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Creek Johnson

.45/70 vs .45/110

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Howdy y'all,

I've been wanting to get into long range shooting and I would use the single shot Sharps for other purposes (ie hunting) and I was looking at the .45/110. My question would be 1. Can you use a .45/70 cartridge in a .45/110 rifle without damaging it? and 2. which would be more economical? Many thanks in helping a novice in this area.

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Cartridge specs for the 45-110 Sharps (straight) list the measurements for that cartridge as being significantly different than the 45-70's specs.

 

http://ammoguide.com/?catid=334

 

The best people to answer your question would be the ones who manufactured the rifle you're considering. The mouth of the 110 case is larger than mouth of 45-70 cases. Those 45-70 case mouths would be about 3/4" back in the chamber when fired, and the chamber at that point would be almost .500" due to the taper of the 110.

 

"Cartridges of the World" says that cast bullet 45-70 cartridges can be used in 110s, but you really should ask the rifle mfg.

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I ordered a Sharps in Jan. In 45-110. Something I have noticed since then is that the brass is hard to find! If you plan on shooting alot 45/70 is the best way to go... me I just wanted a 45-110, only reason I ordered it... Just my view from the saddle.

 

Major Art Tillery

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Easier and cheaper to get components and load for the 70. Easier to shoot long strings in the 70. Either one can knock over any game in North America. Why would you want to shoot the 70 cartridge in a 110?

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For the issues that have been discussed. I'd like a .45/110 due to it being true to the movie Quigley Down Under, but the brass would be very hard to find and .45/70s easier to find. I was wondering what the issues would be. So far, it looks like the 70 is the way to go.

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"How big a boy are ya?"

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One question I would have is about accuracy. With the shorter 45-70 in the 45-110 chamber, there would be quite a bit of distance for the bullet to travel before it contact the rifleing in the barrel. It could effect pressure and accuracy. Something to consider.

 

I had a Sharps in 45-70 that was a really great shooter. I sure was satisfied. Just cause the Quigley movie glamorized the 45-110, sure wouldn't be a reason for me to buy one.

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I ordered a Sharps in Jan. In 45-110. Something I have noticed since then is that the brass is hard to find! If you plan on shooting alot 45/70 is the best way to go... me I just wanted a 45-110, only reason I ordered it... Just my view from the saddle.

 

Major Art Tillery

You can always buy 45-120 brass and cut it down...So if you looking for brass and see some 120 used buy it and cut...I don't own 45-110 but do have a 45-90 and a 45-120...And some 45-70s...All mine are Hi wall...

 

Texas Lizard

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Johnson, the caliber choice use of the wrong brass is yours but:

* the 45-110 is a hard caliber to develop accurate reloads for. Ask those BPCR match shooters who shoot it except for Kenny Wasserburger - but you are not a Kenny and he only loads with black powder, as nearly all the other owners!

* The difference with felt recoil shooting a 45-110 is brutal. How tough are you because it will hurt!

* No, only those that are cheap not wanting to pay the difference for the longer brass and don't understand that a 2.1" case is much shorter than a 2.7/8" case. 45-70's shot in a 45-110 chamber will erode the leade, cause leading and result in continuous poor accuracy. Doing this has also been known to ring the chamber

45-70 ... http://stevespages.com/jpg/cd4570government.jpg

45-110 ... http://stevespages.com/jpg/cd45-110.jpg

 

 

I'd like a .45/110 due to it being true to the movie Quigley Down Under,

You may not know that Tom Selleck in the movie was shooting an aluminum Sharps and of course the bigger cases had more 'picture' appeal! <_<

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Howdy

 

Creek: You don't mention whether or not you are going to be loading Smokeless or Black Powder. With Smokeless there is no point at all to go to the longer cartridge. A 45-70 will easily hold all the powder you need, The 45-110 will just give you excess empty space in the case.

 

I heartily agree, for your first single shot, the 45-70 is a no brainer. Brass is much more easily available, Load data is even more easily available. A pal of mine, who taught me a lot of what I know about single shots, has a 45-120. Filled with Black Powder, it is brutal.

 

Forget about the movies. Start with the tried and true 45-70. Then move on to a 45-110 or 45-120, if you really still want to, once you have gotten the 45-70 all figured out.

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Thanks to all the great advice! When it comes to this stuff, i'm just a babe in the woods.

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One of the better-known writers of BP breechloading rifles and their use in competition said that he was sure that it was done in the nineteenth century, especially if your 45-90 or 45-110 ran low on ammo and you were facing some natives angry about the buffs you had been shooting. He said that doing so destroyed the brass for future use, was not very accurate and was likely damaging to the bore.

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Your shoulder will thank you for choosing 45/70 as will your billfold something approximating 65-70 grains per shot vs 105-110 grains of BP per shot.

 

Should you decide 45/70 is too wimpy any decent gunsmith with an appropriate reamer can take you to 45/90 or 45/100

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Almost everyone I know that bought a .45-110 wishes they had bought a .45-70. If you ever decide to sell it, the .45-110s are much harder to re-sell than a .45-70.

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Thanks to all the great advice! When it comes to this stuff, i'm just a babe in the woods.

Johnson, thanks for true confessions but your question about using 45-70's in the 45-110 told knowledgeable BPCR shooters who didn't have to guess ... you were still in diapers. :D

If you want to get serious or above average with your new 45-70 Sharps on the subject read this ...

http://www.wahsatchdesperadoes.com/Intro_to_BPCR_Loading.pdf

I know your going to say - 'Gee, thanks but shooting black powder is hard to clean the guns and I want to just shoot smokeless.'

My only advice is ... "If You Don't Want to Run with the Dogs - Stay in the Kennel" ;)

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And for other folks that don't think that the large caliber BPCR rifles don't BITE - here's a picture of a new 45-90 shooter after only 15 rounds ...

http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x220/ColColt/Wounds/_DEF4177m_zps5344dba8.jpg

 

No doubt he is inexperienced how to shoulder a large caliber long arm because I shoot over 2000 large caliber BPCR reloads in a year and 3 times a year, about 500 rounds in a weeks time - shooting every day. Have nary a mark on my shoulder!

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And for other folks that don't think that the large caliber BPCR rifles don't BITE - here's a picture of a new 45-90 shooter after only 15 rounds ...

http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x220/ColColt/Wounds/_DEF4177m_zps5344dba8.jpg

 

No doubt he is inexperienced how to shoulder a large caliber long arm because I shoot over 2000 large caliber BPCR reloads in a year and 3 times a year, about 500 rounds in a weeks time - shooting every day. Have nary a mark on my shoulder!

You sure he wasn't steer wrestling!!!

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Howdy Again

 

After looking at those bruise photos, it reminds me of something else. Unless you know how to shoot one, avoid a Crescent shaped butt plate on your Sharpes. A crescent butt plate needs to be mounted to the shoulder differently than a modern 'shotgun' style butt plate. Today most of us are used to mounting the butt plate of a rifle against the meaty part of the shoulder. If you try that with a 45-120, or a 45-110, or a 45-90, or even a 45-70, your shoulder will shortly look like the bruised shoulder in the photos. Those sharp points at either end of the crescent will dig into your shoulder, and after one or two shots you will develop such a flinch that you will never be able to hit anything.

 

The proper way to mount a crescent shaped butt plate is to hike it further out along your shoulder so the points are encircling the joint. That way, the points keep the butt from slipping, that is what they are supposed to do. But placing those points of the crescent on the meaty part of your shoulder will be very painful.

 

Most of my CAS lever guns do have crescent butt plates, but I learned how to use them a long time ago, and anyway the recoil from 44-40 is nothing like the recoil from a 45-70. But when I went looking for a Sharpes, one of the features I was sure I wanted was a shotgun style butt plate. Only because most of my shooting of the Sharpes is from a bench, and it is more convenient, and easier to sight the gun, from the bench, if the butt is against my shoulder, not out encircling the joint. Easier for me anyway.

 

Actually, when I started looking at Sharpes rifles, I too was swept up with the romance of the Quigley style rifle. Crescent butt plate, fancy checkering, patch box, and pewter fore end cap. But when I started handling some guns with these features, I was very disappointed in the actual quality of the features. Poorly executed checkering was one thing I found. Lines that did not meet properly under the wrist and lines that extended past the border. The end caps I saw really disappointed me too. Most of the end caps made by the Italian companies are pinned in place, and then the cap and the pin are ground down to make the seam less noticeable. The ones I saw stuck out like a sore thumb. The correct way to add a fore end cap is to cast it in place on the end of the fore end. The wood is undercut to lock the cap in place. Then the fore end and cap are ground down together to make the joint seamless. But it seems you don't get a proper fore end cap unless you pay a lot more money for one of the high end American made Sharpes rifles. At least that was the situation when I was looking.

 

So rather than be annoyed at poor detail work every time I handled the rifle, I decided to get a much more bare bones rifle. Plain stock, no checkering, no fore end cap, no patch box. What do you need a patch box for with a cartridge gun anyway? I bought a Pedersoli Silhouette Model from Dixie Gunworks. It was on sale at the time for $800, regular price was $1200 I think. The same rifle today seems to be going for $1550. It does have a pistol grip, and double set triggers, which were my requirements, along with the shotgun style butt plate.

 

I am very happy I bought that rifle, rather than be disappointed with less than perfect details on extra features.

 

If you decide to go with Dixie, check their website often. They often have deep discounts on selected models.

 

Also, if you want to hunt with it, you will probably want a lighter rifle if you are carrying it. A lighter rifle will recoil more. The buffalo hunters did not carry their rifles, some of them were very massive. They got out of their wagons and set up a shooting stand and did not move at all while they shot dozens of buffalo. Fine for long distance accurate shooting, not so hot for carrying long distances while hunting. If you want one for long distance shooting, you will want a fairly heavy barrel.

 

Also, BPCR rules set limits on weight. I dunno what those limits are, I'm sure John Boy does. If you want to get into BPCR, make sure you don't buy something that is heavier than allowed.

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Posted · Hidden by Dusty Chaps, SASS #5925, July 23, 2013 - No reason given
Hidden by Dusty Chaps, SASS #5925, July 23, 2013 - No reason given

On the one hand you can always load the 45-110 down, and on the other hand you can have the 45-70 rebored pretty easily to either 45-90 or 45-110 if you decide to go "big game" with it.

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I'm bigger than the average bear, and I can tell you that 45-70 in marlin 1895 lever rifle is all I want!

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Unless you're thinking of shooting black powder don't go with anything bigger than the 45 70. Even that cartridge has some problems with using smokeless powder because of the large case capacity. But with the 45 70 it can be handled.

 

I shoot the 45 70 in my Shiloh Sharps but only black powder. Done properly it will shoot a 500+ grain bullets out to my 1000 yard steel buffalo with authority.

 

I like a muzzle velocity of around 1100 fps. I've found it more accurate and with less wind drift than higher velocity loads at long ranges.

 

SCG

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I can personally say, based on experience, you can fire a 45-70 from a 45-110 and you will not have a blow up. The accuracy will be utterly poor with large groups and key holes at 50 yards. The bullet jump is just way too much.

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Driftwood - always a pleasure to upgrade your knowledge base:

 

BPCR Silhouette Match Weights

Black Powder Cartridge Rifle - Maximum weight 12 pounds, 2 ounces

Scoped Black Powder Cartridge Rifle - Maximum weight with scope - 15 pounds

 

BPCR Target Match Weights

The rifle, including all attachments such as, but not limited to slings and sights, shall not weigh more than 15 pounds unloaded.

These are NRA BPCR match weight rules. Highbore match weights are different

 

A 74 Sharps with 34" barrel (15 lbs) meets Target Weight only and these other original rifles/replicas meet both Silhouette and Target weights:

 

A hunting or military style rifle, single shot, originally made for black powder cartridges, of United States manufacture prior
to 1896 and being typical of the era. Replicas thereof, regardless of origin of manufacture, are permitted. Hammer must be exposed. If replacement barrels, stocks, or other parts are used, they must be as original. No Schuetzen-style rifles permitted. One rifle will be used during all phases of the match. Examples of permissible rifles are e: Ballard, Buck, Bullard, Cole, Farrow, Maynard, Peabody, Redfield, Remington Hepburn, Remington Rolling Block, Sharps, Springfield Trapdoor, Stevens Tip-up, Stevens No. 44, Wesson Falling Block, Wesson (hinged barrel), Whitney Phoenix, Whitney Rolling Block, Winchester 1885, and Wurfflein. While the following single shot actions may not conform to the exact criteria of Rule 3.4, they are allowed because they conform to the spirit of the competition in form and function, provided the firearms conform to all other configurations of Rule 3.4: Browning Model 1878, Browning Model 1885, C. Sharps '75, Falling Block Works, Stevens 44 1/2 and Wickliff '76.

 

Not mentioned specifically but legal is the Stevens 44 1/12. The only difference between the Stevens 44 & 44 1/2 is the 44 action weighs 3 lbs 1 oz and the much stronger 44 1/2 action is one lb more with some internal changes. The CPA Stevens weighs 12 lbs ... OK for Silhouette & Target

 

Various common calibers used and variations of the 38's - 40's and 45's:

Silhouette: 32-40 (in the hands of a real marksman and hope the wind is low), 38-55, 38-72, 40-65 and 45-70

Target: 40-65, 45 - 70, 90, and 110

 

If one is thinking about a BPCR and future match shooting - my recommendation would be the Winchester 1885 HiWall in either 40-65 or 45-70 which is legal for both match classifications and with the mentioned calibers that are excellent also for both classifications

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Howdy

 

Creek: You don't mention whether or not you are going to be loading Smokeless or Black Powder. With Smokeless there is no point at all to go to the longer cartridge. A 45-70 will easily hold all the powder you need, The 45-110 will just give you excess empty space in the case.

 

I heartily agree, for your first single shot, the 45-70 is a no brainer. Brass is much more easily available, Load data is even more easily available. A pal of mine, who taught me a lot of what I know about single shots, has a 45-120. Filled with Black Powder, it is brutal.

 

Forget about the movies. Start with the tried and true 45-70. Then move on to a 45-110 or 45-120, if you really still want to, once you have gotten the 45-70 all figured out.

 

Can one really ever get the 45-70 "all figured out?"

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A little off topic, but I went to shoot my Marlin 45-70 yeaterday at a local range. There was a mom/dad and a 10 year old girl there shooting a 22. I waited until they finished a string, then told them mine would be a little louder (under a tin roof) and to be sure to keep their ear protection on. After 1 shot the little girls eyes were as big as dinner plates! That boom/thump of the 45-70 is pretty impressive. She would shoot a string out of her 22, then I would shoot about 2 round of 45-70. Her dad asked me about the rifle, I told him about CAS and invited them to our next match.

 

The targets at the range are on plywood stands, in front of a dirt berm. buried in the face of the berm are some old railroad ties. I could actually hear the bullet hit the plywood, then smack into the railroad ties. pretty darn cool! I'm looking forward to trying Cody Dixon out.

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.40-65 in a Highwall will do what needs doing ....

 

 

Jabez Cowboy

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45-110 and 45-120 can be a hurdle to load for, but once you find the right recipe for your rifle(like all others!) it is satisfying..... However, anything rifle less than 13 lbs wouldn't be fun to shoot in 110/120. That's why I keep my Quigleys.. Everything else is 45/70 lever and 45/90 single shots.

 

it is nice having that huge honking round sitting on my shelf next to the others though... Of course I just added 577-450 martini Henrys to my collection... That round is just silly.. Miniature artillery!

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