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Seymour Action

Long Range Advise Needed

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I'm thinking of shooting in future CAS Long Range events. My rifle is the Henry Single-shot in 45-70 Gov. My question is what bullet is more accurate at long range? Since I'm not hunting, and don't need energy at the end. Am I better to shoot a lighter bullet or a heavier bullet. I know I need to experiment and find the load my rifle likes. I reload many other calibers, but I am new to 45-70. Looks like 405 gr. is popular. Any powder suggestions would be welcomed also.

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Hi there!  A couple of questions back to you for your consideration.  What distances are you planning on shooting the rifle?  Like modern rifles the sites are important out to longer distances, especially with a 45-70.  Tang Mounted Precision sights are recommend out past 200 yards so you can dial in the bullet drop out further.  Our long range set up at Green Mountain Regulators has 2 courses of fire, one for Precision sights and one for barrel mounted factory.  Barrel mounted sights go out to 200 yards and our Precision goes out to 400.

 

A 45-70 depending on bullet weight, speed and design will have very different results sometimes.  The original cartridge was designed for a heavy bullet (500 + grain) although you can get a lower weight ( I think I saw a 350 grain somewhere).  For your Henry, the 405 may be the best general tip to use, a heavier one will have significant recoil due to the weight of the gun.  It is also a good choice out to around 300 Yards, it can fall off in consistency after that due to environmental factors.  I have had good and bad days out past 300 with the 405's.  I have shot my rifle out to just over 600 yards with a heavy bullet and it seems to like the heavy ones the best.

 

I shoot a Rolling Block pattern rifle with a heavy barrel and use a heavier bullet, 485, 500 and 525.  Find some loading data that will push your speed to somewhere between 1100-1250 FPS.  I have found that mimics the design speed of the old BP cartridge and has had very good consistency with 405's to 525 grain bullets.  Keep in mind the ballistics of the 45-70 is a lot like artillery, for example a 405 gr bullet at 1250 fps will drop about 164 inches at 400 Yards, with a zero at 100 yards.  Every rifle I have had likes different loads for some reason, I have tried Unique, 5744, 4227, and 4198 and different charges till I found one that is consistent.

 

With a 405 grain bullet, a few of our shooters use Unique at around 14.2 grains, it is a soft shooting load and I think is around 1125-1150 fps  out of a 26 inch barrel, out of a shorter barrel it may be different.   It might be a good load to shoot with the Henry, I have shot it our of a Marlin and it wasn't too bad from a recoil perspective.  I recommend looking for older Lyman Cast bullet loading manuals they have a lot of older data that may be very useful in developing a load.  My favorite is the 4th edition. 

Edited by Kettleman, SASS #27254
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Thank You so much. That was the kind of answer I was looking for.

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Another suggestion.

The 45-70 bullets come in several configurations.

My years as a commercial reloader, I found the most accurate bullet to be the 3 groove 405 gr bullet.

Comes from a Magma Engineering mold.

It is a flat nose bullet that will feed in a single shot which almost all will but it also feeds well in a levre rifle.

 

As far as loading, I tested full load Black Powder (Goex FFg) that gave an average velocity of 1370'/sec.

So, I worked up sevral smokeless loads and found that if I matched the velocity with what ever powder I was usng, the accuracy remain the same as the BP loads.

(I learned the velocity trick from a long time BP shooter who would test various rounds once a week and write everything in a note book that the rounds did.)

I did not reinvent the wheel.

It was already done.

Edited by Cliff Hanger #3720LR
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Thanks, didn't mention, but plan to shoot black powder also!!! 

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Up here one of Our Major shoots has Targets out to 900+ yards , and those that use .45-70s and the like mostly use bullets in the 485 Gr. - 535 Gr. range ….

I use a Highwall in .40-65 with bullets in the 370 Gr. - 423 Gr.  range …. Less recoil by a bunch … And as I can move them out at 1.550 FPS . they range out there real well ...

 

Jabez Cowboy

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I use 650 grain deep groove postells with 1-1/2Fg in my C. Sharps .50-140. I simply aim towards Mars for the 1,000 yard targets and take a break until the bullet falls out of the sky.

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23 hours ago, Seymour Action said:

I'm thinking of shooting in future CAS Long Range events. My rifle is the Henry Single-shot in 45-70 Gov. My question is what bullet is more accurate at long range? Since I'm not hunting, and don't need energy at the end. Am I better to shoot a lighter bullet or a heavier bullet. I know I need to experiment and find the load my rifle likes. I reload many other calibers, but I am new to 45-70. Looks like 405 gr. is popular. Any powder suggestions would be welcomed also.

 

Your barrel's ROT will have much to do with what bullet weight/length works the best.

You going to load REAL BP or smokeless?

What distance will you be shooting?

You need bullet energy to maintain consistency. 

Flat point bullets are not a good choice here.

Look at a Postell or Creedmoor profile. 

OLG 

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20 hours ago, Seymour Action said:

Thanks, didn't mention, but plan to shoot black powder also!!! 

 

Check out the Shiloh Sharps forum.

What's your background in loading BP.

Hope you plan to use real BP.

I've  been very pleased with Goex Old 'E' 2F in my Shiloh .45-70 and .45-90.

OLG 

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Yes, REAL BP!!! I'm luck to have a local store that stocks GOEX. My background in BP started today. I just shot for the first time a 1851 Colt that I got from Flaco Joe. It was a good experience. I plan to work up loads with both powders, because I think they have both categories. Thanks for the Shiloh lead. 

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Windex multi-task w/vinegar is the best BP cleaner out there.

Do NOT use smokeless bullet lubes w/BP.

You will also have to learn about fouling control and how very important it is.

OLG 

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47 minutes ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Windex multi-task w/vinegar is the best BP cleaner out there.

OLG 

Except that it isn’t 

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5 minutes ago, El Hombre Sin Nombre said:

Except that it isn’t 

 

Except that it is :P

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I have an ultrasonic cleaner

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2 minutes ago, Seymour Action said:

I have an ultrasonic cleaner

You really don't need it.

Soak the cases in a 3:1 mix of water & vinegar for about 20 minutes.

Rinse twice.

Do this outside, if you uh want to save your marriage :lol:

I then put the cases in a tumbler with solution and ceramic media.

BTW, best to weigh your BP charge and not go buy volume.

Match grade BP reloading is the PHD of reloading knowledge. 

PLZ research before you start....

Good luck,

OLG 

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From actual experience and reading the wire.....most SASS long range matches I consider speed rifle. Way under 300 yards and the most hits in the shortest time is the winner. Using real BP, unless they separate BP and smokeless as categories, is a disadvantage. With BP you need a blow tube or wipe between shots to maintain accuracy. Depending on the weather the barrel will start to foul. At 10 shots with no blow tube, or wipe, it will be fouled. So while you're using your blow tube the other guy has already gotten another round off using smokeless.

 

If its a most hots out of 10 with no time then BP is good to go. You can then compete with smokeless. Our side match we line up 6 shooters. One shoots and then the next and then the next. While the others are shooting you have time to adjust sights and wipe or blow. We're out to 750 yards with other targets as part of the series at 300, 500 yards. 30 rounds plus sighters.

Ike

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18 hours ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Windex multi-task w/vinegar is the best BP cleaner out there.

Do NOT use smokeless bullet lubes w/BP.

You will also have to learn about fouling control and how very important it is.

OLG 

All correct except the first allegation.

17 hours ago, El Hombre Sin Nombre said:

"Windex multi-task w/vinegar is the best BP cleaner out there."

Except that it isn’t 

Nope, that would be simply hot water.

14 hours ago, Seymour Action said:

I have an ultrasonic cleaner

Nice for cases, but certainly not necessary.  Be VERY careful, for overuse of the cleaning solution can leach the tin from your copper... and you end up with very soft, unusable cases.   Useless for cleaning your gun.  

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:D I use 3:1 solution of water and Windex w/vinegar. I wipe that clean with cotton patches. Then, I apply Ballistol. That's my method and I'm sticking to it.  :)

 

That has worked for me for 2-1/2 decades.  ;)

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38 minutes ago, Griff said:

All correct except the first allegation.

Nope, that would be simply hot water.

Nice for cases, but certainly not necessary.  Be VERY careful, for overuse of the cleaning solution can leach the tin from your copper... and you end up with very soft, unusable cases.   Useless for cleaning your gun.  

 

You don't get the 'flash' rust with the Windex, like you do with the steam/condensation of hot water, BTDT.

Windex multi-task is mostly distilled water, vinegar and alcohol. 

OLG 

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OLG,

I'm in the humidity of NE TX, I run hot water down the barrel, then a dry patch, then an oiled patch... this is when I'm putting the gun away in the safe.  At the range I just use the blow tube.  And at the end of the day, if it ain't goin' home right away, I use cold water, dry and then oil.  My Shiloh is 32 years young, not a spec of anything in the bore.  It's been on a mostly diet of BP loads, ~85 grains of either Goex "Cartridge" or Swiss #1-½.  When it sees smokeless, it's 5744... 40-90SBN.

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3 hours ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

 

You don't get the 'flash' rust with the Windex, like you do with the steam/condensation of hot water, BTDT.

Windex multi-task is mostly distilled water, vinegar and alcohol. 

OLG 

Never seen flash rust on any of my guns. Not once. No idea where that notion comes from. By the way, the water in my sink is a lot cheaper than the water in windex ;)

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6 minutes ago, El Hombre Sin Nombre said:

Never seen flash rust on any of my guns. Not once. No idea where that notion comes from. By the way, the water in my sink is a lot cheaper than the water in windex ;)

 

The flash rust I have seen started overnight in a high humidity area of the PNW.

OLG 

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I'm with OLG. I shoot nothing but BP in all my guns. Windex/Vinegar is the thing for me. I can set it on the bench and spritz each gun as I'm working. I spray down the muzzle of the rifle and shotgun and let them set while I clean my pistols. Shotgun, one push with a bore brush and patch and all the plastic and gunk come sout leaving a clean barrel. Not as messy as the water deal.

Ike

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Thank You all lots of good information

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Dish soap and Hot Water ,,,,, Followed by Balistol ......

Cases, Dish Soap and hOT Water Double rinse , dry , then tumble ......

 

Jabez Cowboy 

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