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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Folks, I'm trying to find out whether the Browning 1885 in both .454 Casull and .45 colt can be safely rebarreled to .45-70. When I called the folks at Browning, they said that they couldn't even comment on that - guess their lawyers have scared them away from providing this kind of information. They wouldn't even tell me if the actions for these three calibers were the same specs, in terms of strength. Anyway, does anyone here have some ansers to my question?

Thanks, in advance, for your responses!
 

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The only variations in strength that is found in the 1885 is the variation between high wall and low wall.. They is no material or heat treat differences. I have seen 1885's in 260 Rem (low wall)rechambered to 264 Winchester. While I would be a little leary of that conversion it is still working... The case head area of all the listed cartridges is very close and the Casull is loaded to considerably higher pressures than either of the others so a 45/70 should be no problem at all. Even high pressure loads in the 45/70 will not generate pressures equal to the 454. Still if a rifle is in hand chambered for either of these rounds, why would you even bother with a rechamber. With modern powders most of the capacity of the 45/70 is wasted unless what your really looking for is a 458 lite.. Don't worry too much about the action, your shoulder may get hurt some though..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Gunnut69:

The issue is that I don't have either caliber in hand but have noticed what I consider to be inflated prices for the High Wall in .45-70 through the web. THe .454 can usually be had for less - enough less so that a rechamber job isn't necessarily a bad choice if what I really want is the .45-70...and I do.

Thanks for the info!
 

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I was speaking from a technical point of view.. There is no problem I can see with the conversion, but again I would point out there is a strength advantage to the Highwall version of the '85 as opposed to the low wall variant. The 454 operates at considerably higher pressures than the normal 45/70 and I would bet money you'd runout of shoulder before the rifle ran out of strength. The reason the 45/70's cost more is demand. 454's are not in much demand(relative of course). Of course I am speaking of the modern Browning made recreation of the 1885 and not the original...
 
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