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Author Topic: Gearing up  (Read 947 times)

Offline Captainkirk

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Gearing up
« on: February 21, 2019, 02:19:58 PM »
I am preparing to 'gear up' for for the upcoming summer shooting season and reloading for .45/70 Gov't BPCR in my Pedersoli Sharps. While I've done a good bit of .45/70 reloading for my High Wall, it's all been smokeless and jacketed bullets.

I've started out this endeavor by purchasing a new set of RCBS BPCR Cowboy dies, which arrived today. My next task will be to experiment with case, powder, primer and bullet combos, and finally, to decide on a bullet that works well and purchase the mould for it.
If any of you guys have combo you really like in this loading, please feel free to expound about what works for you, and why.
This is new country for me, and I realize a lot of you have been doing this a long time and probably have your 'druthers' when it comes to bullet weight and profile, lead mix, powder preference, primers, cases, etc. I'd like to hear your opinions.
"You gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

Offline Hawg

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Re: Gearing up
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2019, 03:13:16 PM »
Never had a cartridge Sharps but I liked a 405 grain LRN with 65 grains of bp in my Trapdoor carbine.
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and tasteth good with ketchup.

Offline Gray Fox

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Re: Gearing up
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2019, 04:46:13 PM »
Part of bullet selection is defining what max range you're going to be shooting.  No need for a 565 grain Lyman Postell bullet if you're only going to be shooting a couple hundred yards.  A 400 grain bullet requires less lead and produces much less recoil, as an example.  GF

Offline tljack

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Re: Gearing up
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2019, 06:07:45 PM »
In my Pedersoli 45/70 Sharps, I am shooting a 405 lead bullet. 30 to I tin/lead. I load with 62 grains of 2F black, compressed,  and lube with SPG bullet lube. After firing a fouling shot, I use a blow tube after each shot and swab the bore after every 5th round.

For sights, I am using the original front blade and a Pedersoli tang sight. The farthest I have shot is 880 yards.

I do not shoot it often as these old eyes like my Shilo Sharps 40-65 Winchester with it's 6 power MVA scope.
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Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Gearing up
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2019, 01:00:55 PM »
Well, based on the experience and recommendations of others here and elsewhere, I ordered the Lyman Postell 535gr bullet mould and handles. Yes, that's a lot of lead to be flingin' through the air, but the experiences of others dictate the Pedersoli Sharps rifles generally favor the Postell over other bullet choices, and also that the Postell shines at the longer distances.
Midway has the Postell mould and handles discounted...I saved almost $25.00, and then they have a free shipping deal for orders over $49.00 to boot...so all told, I saved around $35.00. Enough to make me push the button, anyway. They should be arriving next week.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/471068/lyman-1-cavity-bullet-mold-457132-45-caliber-458-459-diameter-535-grain-semi-pointed

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/698819/lyman-bullet-mold-handles-for-1-cavity-and-2-cavity-lyman-bullet-molds

I am still waiting for them to get Starline .45/70 brass back in stock.

Roto Metals offers 5# ingots of either 20:1 or 30:1 lead/tin for a very reasonable $14.55:

https://www.rotometals.com/1-to-30-bullet-alloy-ingot-5-pounds-97-lead-3-tin/

So, getting geared up for some summertime Sharps shooting!
"You gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

Offline drobs

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Re: Gearing up
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2019, 08:26:24 PM »
My neighbor let me shoot his 45/70 lever action with BP Cartridges last year. That's a nice shooting gun. No recoil at all. He also has a Pedersoli sharps.

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Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Gearing up
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2019, 01:27:33 PM »
So, the Postell mould and handles showed up yesterday. I'll post some pix shortly. Looks like it will throw a mighty hefty chunk of lead.
I'm impressed, anyway. &\?
"You gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

Offline mike116

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Re: Gearing up
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2019, 06:02:58 PM »
The Postell bullet certainly is a hefty chunk of lead.   I have been using it for a couple years now in my Sharps Rifle.   I don't get many opportunities to shoot it anymore but I have reached out and rang the gong at 700 yards a couple times.   I am loading FFFg Goex with a card wad/lube pill/card wad underneath the bullet.   I use a compression die  (https://www.midwayusa.com/product/423150/montana-precision-swaging-black-powder-compression-die-with-stem-45-caliber) I bought from Midway that allows me to cram 67 grains of powder into the 45-70 case.   I could only manage to get 59 grains of powder in the case using a drop tube.   The compression die really makes a difference.    I seat the bullet so that it just barely touches the rifling when chambered.   I know most of what I do is just basic BPCR loading and shooting but it has worked for me from the beginning.   I'm not a competitive shooter so I like to go slow and have fun trying hit targets in the next county.   
I have a trip planned this weekend to visit my son on the ranch and plan to bring the Sharps along with me.   Maybe I'll try for 800 yards this time.

Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Gearing up
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2019, 10:14:26 AM »
Thanks for that link, Mike!
I have a compression die on my "to do" list. I was gonna start out with a marked dowel, but I should probably just "bite the bullet" and get the die right off before I start building these things.
If you are 'dinging the dinger' at 700 yards, you must be doing something right! I'm a bit perturbed that my local gun range (LGR) is only equipped out to 200 yards. I had hoped to be shooting the Sharps at least 400. Another 'penalty' for choosing to make my residence in the Midwest in a gun-tard state.
"You gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Gearing up
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2019, 10:18:09 AM »
Never had a cartridge Sharps but I liked a 405 grain LRN with 65 grains of bp in my Trapdoor carbine.
What was the twist on that trapdoor, Hawg?
Word on the street is that the 1:18 Sharps prefers a heavy (+500gr) bullet.
"You gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

Offline mike116

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Re: Gearing up
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2019, 12:50:54 PM »
Thanks for that link, Mike!
I have a compression die on my "to do" list. I was gonna start out with a marked dowel, but I should probably just "bite the bullet" and get the die right off before I start building these things.
If you are 'dinging the dinger' at 700 yards, you must be doing something right! I'm a bit perturbed that my local gun range (LGR) is only equipped out to 200 yards. I had hoped to be shooting the Sharps at least 400. Another 'penalty' for choosing to make my residence in the Midwest in a gun-tard state.

I don't ring the bell every time at 700 yds but it is doable 3 out of 5 shots or so.   I used to have a 1000 yd range to use but sadly I don't have access any more.     
If you already have a decapping die you aren't using you can buy just the threaded plunger part of the compression die and screw it into the decapping die.   That way you only have to spend about $15 bucks instead of $50.

Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Gearing up
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2019, 03:46:39 PM »
 
If you already have a decapping die you aren't using you can buy just the threaded plunger part of the compression die and screw it into the decapping die.   That way you only have to spend about $15 bucks instead of $50.

Right. What's more, Buffalo Arms sells the plunger insert to fit RCBS dies (like the 'Cowboy' set I just bought for .45/70)

I said I would post pix when I got time, so here ya go:





The Lyman 535gr Postell bullet mould

As an aside, I wish someone would have told me Buffalo Arms sells loaded .45/70 BPCR ammo using Swiss powder and the Postell bullet... ::) As it is, I still need to drop another couple hundos on supplies like brass, lead, cases, bigger lead pot, etc before I can start runnin' ball on these Postells. I can pick up 20 rounds of loaded Postells from BACO for under 40 bucks and be ready to shoot...like, right NOW...and try out the Postell bullet as well. (K|

https://www.buffaloarms.com/45-70-government-535-grain-postell-black-powder-ammo-box-of-20-amobp4570535


That's probably what I will do before buying any more casting supplies. That way I will also get the added benefit of winding up with 20-40 once-fired .45/70 brass as well. Heck, the brass alone is over 50 bucks a hundred...IF you can find it.
This will give me the opportunity to shoot the Sharps as soon as the range opens this year with no other prep, and also test drive the Postell bullet and see how it shoots from the Sharps.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2019, 10:29:14 AM by Captainkirk »
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Offline Hawg

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Re: Gearing up
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2019, 08:22:50 PM »
Never had a cartridge Sharps but I liked a 405 grain LRN with 65 grains of bp in my Trapdoor carbine.
What was the twist on that trapdoor, Hawg?
Word on the street is that the 1:18 Sharps prefers a heavy (+500gr) bullet.

22 inch barrel 1:22 twist.
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and tasteth good with ketchup.

Offline scooby

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Re: Gearing up
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2019, 06:55:41 PM »
I see that I have no need to cast up some Postell's for you. You made a good purchase. You will be happy with it. You still want to try some if the big round nose bullets? Truth be told though, the Postell's are going to shoot better than my round nose and they will not be subject to chambering issues due to fouling. I also have other moulds ranging from 320 grains to 400 plus.

Of course, it is now a day late and a dollar short, but over the past few years, I gave away well over two hundred brand new 45-70 cases. I had more than I could ever use. I sure wish that I could have predicted the future. You would have been set.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2019, 07:00:00 PM by scooby »

Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Gearing up
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2019, 10:26:52 AM »
I see that I have no need to cast up some Postell's for you. You made a good purchase. You will be happy with it. You still want to try some if the big round nose bullets? Truth be told though, the Postell's are going to shoot better than my round nose and they will not be subject to chambering issues due to fouling. I also have other moulds ranging from 320 grains to 400 plus.

I figured, might as well. Saved over $35.00 on the purchase with sale pricing and free shipping from Midway. I'll let you know on the RN bullets, I think top priority for me would be to start developing and fine tuning the Postell load first to develop a baseline...would you agree?

Of course, it is now a day late and a dollar short, but over the past few years, I gave away well over two hundred brand new 45-70 cases. I had more than I could ever use. I sure wish that I could have predicted the future. You would have been set.

 (K| Oh well...thanks for thinking of me, anyway! Got any spare .44-40 WCF brass? ;)
FWIW, I just ordered up 100 new Starline .45/70 cases for my PBCR loads. Midway has been out of stock for several weeks and they just showed up on the website today. There's a coupon for free shipping, so I pulled the trigger (pun intended) and got them, plus a .45 cal flash hole uniforming tool and pilot as well.
Slowly but surely!
"You gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"