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Large Frame Lightning .45-85-285.


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This is gonna  be a rare one.   Anyone else here own and shoot a Large Frame Lightning in .45-85-285?  For those who don't know, this cartridge uses the same case as the .45-70, just with a lighter bullet.   The overall length of the cartridge when loaded with a "regular" 405 grain bullet is ever so slightly too long to fit through the loading gate.  So, I found some 300 grain bullets and loaded 'em up, and the OAL was just fine.

But here's the rub.   I was using Trailboss.  Trailboss, as we all know, is unavailable now and for the foreseable future.   So, are there are other folks out there with this rifle/cartridge combo that can share a load with me?  I'd prefer it to be Trapdoor safe, and if at all possible, have minimal recoil, just like the TB load.

 

Suggestions welcome.

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H.K.

 

I have owned the same rifle for 20 plus years. The thing is a beast but hard to get to shoot well because it is an "Express" cartridge.  The barrel twist is something like 1/26 so it it tends to key hole like a mother until you get the speed up.  I've had decent success with a 300 gr bullet and 70 grains of 2F compressed.  That got me a 6" group at 100 yards.  I have also played with the Remington 255 gr soft lead hollow base for 45 LC  with some success.  

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FYI Trailboss is not safe for use in BP only firearms. The pressure spike created by Trailboss is huge compared to real BP and can cause a catastrophic failure. Stick to real BP.

 

412087460_TrailBossPressureCurve.thumb.jpg.fc7ad836b3df700c96f5ad94b53b7bb6.jpg

 

 

 

775081304_TrailBossPressureCurve2.thumb.jpg.f768c079165539b3ba3841181a3baf6a.jpg

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1 hour ago, Chili Pepper Pete 11917 said:

The Lightning is not a Black Powder only Rifle...

 

 

To the best of my knowledge all large frame Colt lightning rifles were only manufactured between 1987 and 1894. This places them firmly in the pre-smokeless time period. 

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There are smokeless rounds of .45-70 that are listed as "Trapdoor safe" loads.   Including ones using Trailboss and several other powders.  That being said, yes, it is not a substitute for black powder.  I never use it in my antique revolvers, for example, they only get black powder or a substitute.  

As far as accuracy goes, I was able to hit some dinner plate sized targets at 80 yards with my 300 grain bullet loading, so I guess I got the bullet going fast enough.  :)

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Load 'em the same as you would a 45-90.  it also is an express round,  case full of black powder, .410 card wad and 385 gr cast bullet..   never could put 90 gr. of black in the case, more like 73 gr.     have fun it shoots a little faster and flatter than my 45-70,   but is no replacement for it.    shot my Elk with the 45-70 ten years ago.  63 gr.  FFg.  card wad, 500 gr cast lead, a measured 500 yards.    5x5 Bull. one shot.   enjoy the old Boys!   they still do the Job

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