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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let's start with this disclaimer: I shoot BPCR with a Shiloh Sharps and sometimes a roller. My use of the trapdoor is for fun and occasional hunting. There is no need to debate the merits of what gun to use for what game. I need strictly trapdoor advice in response to this post.

That being said, I am currently shooting 70 gr., Goex 2F with a 0.030 vegetable fiber wad and either a 520 grain NEI Ideal Creedmoor Postell or a Lyman 457125. Both are sized to .459. Lube is a mix with an SPG base. Bullets are 20:1 Pb:tin but I am having some leading problems and may go to 30:1. Load is compressed with a compression die. All rounds are indexed during the reloading process and chambering.

I am staying with Goex as I have a good supply of the powder and use it for BPCR too. Although I would like to try Swiss and am intrigued that it has a higher moisture content that may help with the fouling, I just ain't paying the higher price.

Now that we have a baseline, here's where I need some help:

Let me know what loads have been successful to you Goex shooters?

Do any of you shoot pure lead? Was the original trap door round pure lead?

Would there be an enhancement by going to a 405 gr bullet? If so is there any particular style I need to consider?

If you mounted a Vernier tang to the stock, how did you mount and bed it?

Thanks friends....
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Thanks Marsh! I am still in the shooting and figuring stage and you're right, I haven't shot this one enough to know what suits it best yet.

Out of curiosity, when you say that your stock was machined for the tang sight , do you mean it was milled, if so what specs did you use? [How did you determine the cut?]

I also need to do a barrel slug. Thanks for the reminder. I have heard there's a lot of variation in the bores on these things.
 

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Get Wolfes book on shooting the Trapdoor. If you shoot the trapdoor you need this book. If you you shoot an original blackpowder cartridge rifle you need this book.

One of the lessons learned is that you don't always need to slug your bore. (There is 25 cent word that i can't put my finger right now, but it mean that the force of the charge expand the bullet out to fit the bore...obturafacation....where the dictionary when you need it. Anyway this expansion and achieving it is more important and a designed function of the 45-70.

On the subject of powder. Ever notice how many different powder the smokeless people have. A wide selection for different applications. Find a powder that works best with your gun and component combination.

So why not do the same with black. For that matter the other premium brands of black don't cost near as much as some of those smokeless powders. We don't hesitate to pay the price to get the best for our smokeless guns, but cheeep is good enough for the blackpowder rifle. Humbug!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks again Marsh. From your description I assume you are mounting the tang base directly to the wood. Have you had any problems related to this? I have seen some articles where persons have embedded a drilled and tapped steel base into the stock. I don't really see what difference that would make. Out of curiosity, what kind of tang sight are you using?

Vicksburg: Glad to be here. It's really nice to have access to such a prominent civil war site whenever ya want it. That's part of what keeps me here although I have plans to eventually get back out west. You're right about hallowed ground, this is it. Heck of a siege and a lot of good people paid the high price for what they believed. It will give ya chills sometimes. If ya get down here again, I'll give ya a tour.

Double D: I've got Wolf's book on the 'to do' list along with Venturino's Buffalo Rifles of the Old West. Based upon your opinion of slugging, I assume you also recommend using a hollow base bullet for maximum expansion?

With regards to powder, I agree. That's why I am sticking with Goex. All my silhouette rounds are based on Goex and like I said, I have an ample supply on hand. By the way, it also works for me. Thus, there is no incentive for me to pay the extra bucks for Swiss, although I would like to try it out. Thanks for the comments. [Guess I should have stated things a little differently].
 

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Leading etc.

Nohorse,

Sounds like you have a load that shouldn't lead the bore... lot's of flakes or just a few? Or do you get strips?

You said SPG based lube. What are the other ingredience(s)? Might be something there that is causing some trouble.

I'd clean the bore with everything I could get my hands on including JB paste. One thing at a time of course and then make sure the bore is whistle clean before trying something different. Some cleaners will react with others that may be present. You probably already know this but some who read might not. I like to use acetone between each different substance.

Is the bore quite rough?

Hoppy
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sounds like you have a load that shouldn't lead the bore... lot's of flakes or just a few? Or do you get strips?
Strips, more than the usual flakes

You said SPG based lube. What are the other ingredience(s)? Might be something there that is causing some trouble.
Murphy's oil soap, gear oil, anhydrous lanolin,beeswax, SPG

I'd clean the bore with everything I could get my hands on including JB paste. One thing at a time of course and then make sure the bore is whistle clean before trying something different. Some cleaners will react with others that may be present. You probably already know this but some who read might not. I like to use acetone between each different substance.
Using Ed's red, which as ya know contains acetone. Gonna do the JB paste again today.

Is the bore quite rough?
Only a few spots towards the end of the muzzle. Other then that, its a mirror and leading is worse towards the chamber. Makes me think it may be the bullet design..

Thanks for the help. LMK what ya think. Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

Double D: Ordered Wolf and Venturino's books yeserday.

Marsh: Ordered the Lee hollow base 405 gr. trapdoor mould yesterday. I'll see what that does!
 

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Get rid of the motor oil in your lube! It's petroleum based.

I don't recommend any specific bullet. Find one that works in your gun.

Sorry to hear you are limiting your ability to find the best load strickly on what's available in you powder locker. But I do understand with the difficulty in locating a supply/supplier and then once you find one being restricted to buying 25lbs at a whack.

You don't have to do that anymore. http://www.powderinc.com/index.shtml will sell you a five pound case. They say they you can mix the order also. They will sell you GOEX and KIK but if you go into their purchase menu you will find Swiss listed also. I have been told 1 1/2 FG works good in the 45-70.

You could buy 5 lbs and get a mix of 1 lb each of KIK FFG, Swiss FFG, Swiss 1-1/2 FG, GOEX Cartridge, FFG Clearshot. You'll have enough to make test loads to see if it works, and what's left over you will have on had for future testing.

You will no longer will be restricted to a good load with powder on hand, but you now can find the best load for you rifle.

Oh how I wish that all my rifles shot IMR4895. I get good groups in my 338/06 and my 338/308 with 4895. The results are good for most uses. The 338/06 becomes a tack driver when it's fed IMR4350 and the 338/308 a laser with RL 15. I am never satisfied with good results, I want the best.

Find a lewis Lead remover for handguns and put it on your rifle rod and clean leading out of your barrel. Usually in one or two passes. It will also clean out crusted fouling.

Read that Wolfe book as soon as you get it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Double D. I used the Lewis screen last night. Gonna give the old gun another look later this morning.

Thanks for the powder link! I'll check it out. Stay in touch, I appreciate the help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
On lubes:

I have heard both sides of the argument. Some swear by petrol products others can't stand 'em. So far I've had some success with them in my Sharps and roller, as have others. The few times I tried lubes without petrol they failed, but I was shooting a 34" tube at the time. Now I shoot a 30" so maybe that'll make a difference? Anyway, I just started with the trapdoor and my current lube seems to be working.

Interested in the logic behind these arguments and good substitutes for things like gear oil. Always open to suggestions. Thanks again Double D.

Thanks!
 

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Petroleum products make a tarry like fouling and are more difficult to wipe and clean out. Animal fats don't . Remember a by product of burning a petroleum product is carbon.

I am not all that experienced at this blackpowder shooting but it is something that I learned real early.
 

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More thoughts...

Nohorse,

Many have claimed that Dextron II Trans Lube is really a synthetic sperm whale oil. Can't say for sure. Maybe use that instead of the gear oil.

My best shooting TD has a fair amount of pitting in the bore. Shoots great and I only occasionally see a small flake or two of lead on cleaning patches. I'm using 20:1 alloy and either straight SPG or my own lube (see the Springfield thread of recent hours/days).

I think the original Springfield Gov't round had a bullet of 16:1 alloy.

Good Luck,

Hoppy
 

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Let me know what loads have been successful to you Goex shooters?
68 grns. Goex CRT. 500 grain 20-1 or 16-1 (haven't yet decided which one my rifle likes best - so far it's a toss up) Rapine, sized .461.

Do any of you shoot pure lead? Was the original trap door round pure lead?
I don't shoot pure lead either. Springfield Armory and Frankford Arsenal conducted extesive experiments over the years from the inception of the 45-70 to the final adoption of the 500 gr bullet. They finally settled on 16-1 alloy as being the most suitable for the 500 gr bullet. Keep in mind the depended on obturation (the word DoubleD was looking for) as the sized the bullets .459. Many assume the hollow base of the 405 and 500 gr arsonal bullets were to perform and expand the same as the skirts of a Minet bullet but such was not the case. The arsenals used the hollow base only to adjust the weight of the bullet while maintaining the nose shape and bearing surface length.


Would there be an enhancement by going to a 405 gr bullet? If so is there any particular style I need to consider?
I've been thinking of the same thing. The arsenals found the 500 gr bullet to be the more accurate because the 405 gr bullets did not obturate consistantly even with the full charge (70 gr) rifle load. However, since I don't depend on obturation I have found the 500 gr Rapine bullet to be more accurate than the 400 gr Lee bullet. I've been thinking of getting a Rapine 460400 and trying it. I would think that for shorter range (out to say 300 yards) the 400 gr bullet would be preferable if accuracy was as good as the 500 gr.


If you mounted a Vernier tang to the stock, how did you mount and bed it?
I also machined a slot in the stock of the "marksman" style stock. Once the height of the base was confirmed as correct I used two 1/4" wood srews and some Micro-Bed to hold the sight base in place.

I too would suggest slugging the barrel to find out how deep the rifling is. I have found that using bullets of groove or throat diameter give better accuracy than depending on obturation of the bullets of .002-.003".

I use Wolf's fairly simple lube formula and have never had even a hint of leading. Even when using bullets that were fairly hard (WWs) and driving them upwards of 1500 fps. I use 4 parts of olive oil (the virgin type of course) to 5 parts of beeswax. Melt them together in a Pyrex cup in pan of boiling water (double boiler). I leave the mix in the pyrex and when cool slip it into a larger plastic baggie to keep clean. When the Lyman 450 is low I just melt the lube again and pour right into the 450. It is easy to scrape some lube off the top of what's in the Pyrex with a butter knife when handlubing bullets.


Larry Gibson
 

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Rapine 460400

Larry Etc.,

I played with the Rapine 460400 and it shot very well at 200m except when the wind was blowing. Thought well enough of it to load up 75 of them or so for shooting offhand at the chicken sils. Very pleasant to shoot, carries a lot of lube. I gave it up for target work but if there was never another windy day I'd go back to it.

But like I said it really was quite wind sensitive... would probably be another real good hunting bullet.

I had no success at all with the Lee hollow base bullet. I don't think I cast up more than 30 of them. Those thirty shots were so bad that I never pursued it further. Some folks claim really good success with them.

Hoppy
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
LMG: Most interesting post. I really enjoyed reading it. Glad you have had so much success with 500 gr. bullets. Think I'll keep playing with my postell and see where it goes although I have also been thinking about the Rapine. I am also gonna play some with the hollow base Govt round and see what happens too. Interesting comment on the hollow base design, as you said I had always read that the hollow base was for expansion.

As far as Dextron goes, this is not a petroleum product? How does it compare to using olive oil? Have you tried Jojobba oil, I have heard it is very similar to whale oil. I tried it once but didn't have much success. I assume from your post that you also stay away from lubes with petrol products?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
A few more questions:
Do you neck size or full length resize?
Do you use a crimp [I don't just curious]?
Have you tried the Lyman 310 tool, [it seriously neck sizes brass!!]?
Do you anneal your brass?
Does your bullet engage the rifleing when chambered [I have heard some TDs like this and some don't]?


Thanks again friends for sharing the info!!
 

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nohorse

Years ago when I first looked at an original M1873 405 gr bullet my imediate assessment, like most everyone's, was the hollow base was there for expansion of the bullet on firing. However, when I got around to researching TDs and their ammunition I quickly learned otherwise. Besides some authoritive books and arsenal writings most all the "Description and Rules for the Management of the Springfield Rifle, Carbine and Army Revolvers" (the "Field Manuals" of the time) have an excelllent description of the ammunition. In describing both the M873 bullet and the M1882 bullet the statement is; "There is a dished cavity in the base of the bullet, suffiecient to bring it to it's proper weight without effecting it's general form." Nowhere in the writings is there reference to it being a "hollow base" for expansion. Expansion is always referred to as "obturation", described as the bullet upsetting to "take" the rifling due to the inertia of the bullet resisting the explosive force of the powder. We refer to this these days as "bumping up".

Also of note; I forgot to mention in my previous post the alloy mix for the M1873 405 gr bullet was 12-1.

Larry Gibson
 

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nohorse

Not sure if your "A few more questions:" applied to me but since I'm here I'll answer.

"Do you neck size or full length resize?"

Most often I neck size. The NS'd cases used it my H&Rs are interchangeable between the Off Mdl and the LBH carbine with only a partial FL sizing required every so often. My original TD, and other originals, generally have slightly larger chambers than the H&Rs so I used seperate (W-W in the H&Rs, R-P in the originals) NS'd cases for the originals.

"Do you use a crimp [I don't just curious]?"

Most often at the target range, no. I've found with BP loads using bullets that fit the throat (I don't depend on "bumping up") and necks with sufficient, yet not excessive, tension do not require the crimp for consistant ignition of a compressed powder charge. I use a taper crimp die to straighten out the necks for easier insertion into a prairie belt and to keep dirt from sticking to lube for field use. For target loads I most often leave the cases as flaired as this seems to keep the rounds better centered on chambering and seals the chamber better on firing. "Seems" is the key word there. Can't prove it but it just "seems" that way. Guess I have my own little methods of "witchcraft".

Wolf is adament about the use of a heavy uniform crimp being necessary with his service duplication loads and he is correct, it is most often necessary. This is especially the case with the 405 gr bullets which do not have sufficient mass for obturation ("bumping up") when sized .459 as he recommends. However, the crimp may not be necessary with 500+ gr bullets, even when sized .459, depending on the alloy as they have sufficient mass to properly obturate. This was what the arsenals discovered in their tests over a hundred years ago. It is why the 500 gr bullet proved more accurate at "distance" as the 500 gr bullet obturated more consistantly. If you depend on obturation or "bumping up" in your TD it might pay to experiment with no, light , medium and heavy crimps.

"Have you tried the Lyman 310 tool, [it seriously neck sizes brass!!]?"

First let me answer those who would say "why not just partial size?" That works ok but I found with both Lee and RCBS FL dies that case stretch was still significant when partial sizing. This required trimming every couple firings. With NS there is no stretch and trimming is only necessary when the cases are partial sized again.

Yes, I have used 310 dies and yes they do over size the necks. I got a Ripine NS die and traded off the 310s. The Rapine was better but it still sized thin W-W necks down so they would hold a .456 bullet. This was just right for the H&Rs when I used .459 bullets but was again too much for the .461/.462 bullets in the original TDs. When Lyman came out with their "Classic" die sets a friend got a set for his 45-90. The Lyman NSer sized the necks just enough so the .459 expander barely touched the inside. I ordered a Lyman NS "Classic" die in 45-70 and it works perfectly. So now I use the Rapine die for the H&R cases and the Lyman for the original TDs. Though I do use the Lyman NS die when dulicating carbine loads with the Lee 405 gr bullet for the LBH carbine.

"Do you anneal your brass?"

No. Have not found it necessary with regular W-W and R-P brass. The R-P brass I have is from the '70s and has been loaded a gawd awful lot of times. Have lost a couple to body splits is all. Lost a few of the W-W to split necks when using the 310 dies and crimping. Haven't lost one at all since using the Rapine and Lyman NS dies and no crimps. Other than sorting by make I no longer even track how many times they are fired.


"Does your bullet engage the rifleing when chambered [I have heard some TDs like this and some don't]?"

Yes and No. With my target loads about one third the width of the driving band is engraved on chambering. With the Rapine M1882 bullet this poses no chambering difficulties with BP and without the use of a blow tube. I use the Lyman .457124 to duplicate the M1873 rifle load for use in my H&R Off Mdl, mostly with smokeless powder. With it a taper crimp is used and the driving band is slightly engraved on chambering. With the 275 gr bullet plinking and field loads I seat the bullet so the taper crimp of the case mouth covers about 2/3 of the driving band. This ensures easy use in the prairie belt and no lube is exposed to accumulate dirt.

All the above sounds a lot more difficult than it really is. Actually the 275 gr plinking loads are loaded on a Dillon 550. I shoot so many of them I have two double cavity Rapine moulds so I can really crank them out when casting. Correction; I shoot them if my wife doesn't beat me to 'em, she loves 'em in that little LBH. She's pretty darn good with it! Don't tell her I said that or she'll shoot 'em all.

Larry Gibson
 

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obturation, obturation, obturation, obturation! YES that's the word. I know that word. Thank you gentlemen>

I am loading 40/90 Ballard and 577/450. I resize the Ballard just enough to hold the bullet. I don't know if this is right yet, as I can't get this gun to stop key holeing bullets.

The Martini is an entirely different beast. The 577/450 has a huge neck. The .465 diameter bullets I shoot will drop all the way down in case with out touching the neck in a fired case. For this reason you must anneal after every firing and before sizing. Don't do it and you will end up with a split neck real fast. I neck size and then apply a heavy crimp for this round. Another thing that calls for annealiong first.

I do one other to help with brass life. I index my brass. I think someone already mentioned this, but I'll repeat. I use a file and cut a notch in the rim of the case. This notch always goes at 12 o'clock in the chamber. Some people also do this when they place the case in the shellholder to resize. I don't. Some people swear by it.

One thing I never do is switch my brass from one chamber to another. This will shorten brass life, especially in a bottle neck case. But it's rough on straight walls also. All my brass is dedicated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks LMG for the informative and interesting response! I appreciaite it!
 
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