45-70 Gvt. Reloading for Henry rifle

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schaafman

Well-Known Member
Hi All,

I have ordered a nice new Henry Colour Case Hardened rifle in 45-70gvt, it should arrive in the next few weeks and I'm doing my homework on the best route for reloading. The purpose of the gun is for Lever gun comps, general paper punching, historic/cowboy themed shoots etc. (I'm not going to hunt with it!, I have 6.5se for that)

I'm quite keen to take the rifle out to 100-300yards and I'm working on paper to figure out a good reload. I don't want to use hard cast heads due to the amount of use the gun is going to have and the amount of time I really want to spend scrubbing lead out of the bore, so I think a jacketed bullet is the way I want to go, and I'm looking at options available to me using heads that aren't super-duper expanding or vicious (Bisley doesn't really like the use of insane expanding ammo on their ranges, I know expanding is seen as expanding but this is just what I'm told) I think the Hornady FTX 350gr could be a good option to start from as they have a flextip ideal for tubular magazines and I would be justified in using them in a lever gun, same goes for Nosler .458 300gr ballistic tips. I have read loads of threads about Berry's bullets being the best option but these are out of stock EVERYWHERE!

Any advice from shooters on this topic would be great, and any sharing of load data would be wonderful.

Many thanks

James
 

Highlandsjohn

Well-Known Member
Hi All,

I have ordered a nice new Henry Colour Case Hardened rifle in 45-70gvt, it should arrive in the next few weeks and I'm doing my homework on the best route for reloading. The purpose of the gun is for Lever gun comps, general paper punching, historic/cowboy themed shoots etc. (I'm not going to hunt with it!, I have 6.5se for that)

I'm quite keen to take the rifle out to 100-300yards and I'm working on paper to figure out a good reload. I don't want to use hard cast heads due to the amount of use the gun is going to have and the amount of time I really want to spend scrubbing lead out of the bore, so I think a jacketed bullet is the way I want to go, and I'm looking at options available to me using heads that aren't super-duper expanding or vicious (Bisley doesn't really like the use of insane expanding ammo on their ranges, I know expanding is seen as expanding but this is just what I'm told) I think the Hornady FTX 350gr could be a good option to start from as they have a flextip ideal for tubular magazines and I would be justified in using them in a lever gun, same goes for Nosler .458 300gr ballistic tips. I have read loads of threads about Berry's bullets being the best option but these are out of stock EVERYWHERE!

Any advice from shooters on this topic would be great, and any sharing of load data would be wonderful.

Many thanks

James

You can try the Gunsmithing and Reloading forums on http://accuratereloading.com/ if you don't find what your looking for here..good luck with a lovely rifle..
 

8x57

Distinguished Member
Schaafman what makes you think that a lead bullet will result in leading? A good hard cast bullet suitably sized and lubed won't lead the bore provided that reasonable suitable pressures are not exceeded. In any case you wouldn't want to fire high pressure .45-70 loads through a lever gun regardless of age and make as they just weren't designed for it, stick to low intensity loads. All good reloading manuals differentiate on .45-70 loads depending on the type of firearm to be used.
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
Schaafman what makes you think that a lead bullet will result in leading? A good hard cast bullet suitably sized and lubed won't lead the bore provided that reasonable suitable pressures are not exceeded. In any case you wouldn't want to fire high pressure .45-70 loads through a lever gun regardless of age and make as they just weren't designed for it, stick to low intensity loads. All good reloading manuals differentiate on .45-70 loads depending on the type of firearm to be used.
This. I've fired thousands (literally) of cast bullets through every conceivable kind of 45-70. No problems. Stick to the Black Powder pressure (Trapdoor Springfield) loads in your Henry and have fun.~Muir
 

schaafman

Well-Known Member
Schaafman what makes you think that a lead bullet will result in leading? A good hard cast bullet suitably sized and lubed won't lead the bore provided that reasonable suitable pressures are not exceeded. In any case you wouldn't want to fire high pressure .45-70 loads through a lever gun regardless of age and make as they just weren't designed for it, stick to low intensity loads. All good reloading manuals differentiate on .45-70 loads depending on the type of firearm to be used.

Leading is something that the rep from Henry in the us said would be an issue, he gave quite a lengthy speech about it, and about the cleaning procedure and products and it put me right off of the idea of using hardcast bullets. I'm not looking to achieve silly pressures or velocity, I just want a nice reload that'll do 300 yards with minimum fouling and fuss.

Cheers

J
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
Leading is something that the rep from Henry in the us said would be an issue, he gave quite a lengthy speech about it, and about the cleaning procedure and products and it put me right off of the idea of using hardcast bullets. I'm not looking to achieve silly pressures or velocity, I just want a nice reload that'll do 300 yards with minimum fouling and fuss.

Cheers

J
I wish I'd have been there. I'd have asked, "Are the barrels in your rifles so crudely rifled that the lead bullets the cartridge was designed for will cause leading???" Unless this IS the case, the guy knew not of what he spoke.~Muir

(I mean, you'd never get that from a Marlin rep....)
 

Southern

Well-Known Member
Forget about the 300 yards for now, and start on 100 yards. As Muir said, you cannot load this Henry up like a Winchester High Wall or Ruger No.1. A 300-gr Sierra or Hornady with somewhere around 33.0 grains for 1,550 FPS to 41.0 grains of H-4198 for 1,800 FPS will start you off with happy groups, low recoil, and a great 100 yard deer load. That 41.0 gr load is great in a Marlin 1895, but you may need to stop well short of there in the Henry. The Marlin, Winchester 1885, and Ruger No.1 are more my wheelhouse.
 
Last edited:

dodgyrog

Well-Known Member
Hi All,

I have ordered a nice new Henry Colour Case Hardened rifle in 45-70gvt, it should arrive in the next few weeks and I'm doing my homework on the best route for reloading. The purpose of the gun is for Lever gun comps, general paper punching, historic/cowboy themed shoots etc. (I'm not going to hunt with it!, I have 6.5se for that)

I'm quite keen to take the rifle out to 100-300yards and I'm working on paper to figure out a good reload. I don't want to use hard cast heads due to the amount of use the gun is going to have and the amount of time I really want to spend scrubbing lead out of the bore, so I think a jacketed bullet is the way I want to go, and I'm looking at options available to me using heads that aren't super-duper expanding or vicious (Bisley doesn't really like the use of insane expanding ammo on their ranges, I know expanding is seen as expanding but this is just what I'm told) I think the Hornady FTX 350gr could be a good option to start from as they have a flextip ideal for tubular magazines and I would be justified in using them in a lever gun, same goes for Nosler .458 300gr ballistic tips. I have read loads of threads about Berry's bullets being the best option but these are out of stock EVERYWHERE!

Any advice from shooters on this topic would be great, and any sharing of load data would be wonderful.

Many thanks

James
Why on earth would you have to scrub lead out of the bore? Get the right boolit and the right load and NO leading will occur! You will, however, save a lot of money.
 

shooternz

Well-Known Member
You don't need hard lead the biggest cause of leading is bullet fit they need to be at least .001"-.002" over groove diameter to seal the barrel from gas cutting and a good lube,
I learnt years ago that linotype is bad for leading, my standard lead mix is 50/50 wheel weights and pure lead with 2% tin added to help fill out the mould plain base bullets are
ok up to 1400fps and gas checked to 1800-2000fps, My S&W 586 357 mag revolver has fired over 70,000 cast bullets velocity is 1200 fps I clean it every 300 rounds only because the
powder residue gums up the cylinder and it looks crappy the barrel only gets a light clean with an oily cloth has not leaded up since it's initial break in,
If you shoot cast bullets with mild loads you will never wear the barrel out, I think you will find that Cowboy action matches only allow lead bullets,
You probably won't be able to source Wheel Weights so find a smelter and order a 30:1 lead tin alloy, by a good mould about 350 - 400 grains and go shoot buffalo
I would send you some of my bullets to try but the freight is more than the bullets are worth,
Cheers from the long white cloud
Robert
 

schaafman

Well-Known Member
Hi Robert,

Many thanks for your detailed reply!

It sounds like you've honed the art of casting bullets, I'm a simple reloader and I think working a smelting area into my workshop may be a bit above my level of skill! I'm ideally looking for a solution with the minimum of fuss and 'tooling-up', I'm going to order some Nosler ballistic tips and also some hardcast heads from my local reloading guy in the UK and see how I get on!

Thanks for the advice and kind offer of sending some bullets for me to try out, but yes NZ is just a bit far away!

All the best

James
 

Ray7756

Well-Known Member
I have a friend who shoots a 45/70 gvt and regularaly takes fallow with it, using cast bullets, so was curious and looked up my Lyman cast bullet handbook, and they show loads for the (1873 springfield) (1886 Wnichester & 1895 Marlin Only) also the (Ruger No1 & No3 Only) with no mention of the Henry, so curiosity is going to force me to do some research into why no mention of the Henry ( or just wait till Muir spots this and gives the answer )
best of luck with your new toy when it arrives
Ray
 

schaafman

Well-Known Member
I have a friend who shoots a 45/70 gvt and regularaly takes fallow with it, using cast bullets, so was curious and looked up my Lyman cast bullet handbook, and they show loads for the (1873 springfield) (1886 Wnichester & 1895 Marlin Only) also the (Ruger No1 & No3 Only) with no mention of the Henry, so curiosity is going to force me to do some research into why no mention of the Henry ( or just wait till Muir spots this and gives the answer )
best of luck with your new toy when it arrives
Ray

Hi Ray,

Yes this is another issue in my reloading quest, no Henry certified loads available!? I've read that Trapdoor Springfield reloads are a good starting point

Reloading for a henry 45-70 - AR15.COM

James
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
Slight side track how far can you shot a 45 70 with black powder
There are guys who shoot 45-70 in the Montana "Quigley Shoot" and that is at a life sized buffalo target at 900 yards. Back when i used to build a a lot of rifles for the NRA (US) Black powder 500M Silhouette comps, we did a study with a 475-500 grain (iirc) bullet over 55 grains of 2F black powder. (This as about how much the case can hold with a compressed charge) One of the club members calculated that if you clamped your rifle into a machine rest, and had your rounds hitting dead-on at 1000 yards, you could cease fire and build an 8 story apartment building at the 500 yard mark -then commence firing without endangering the renters. The bullet had a 90' trajectory. I never saw his data but I believe it. ~Muir
 

Southern

Well-Known Member
Muir, did you ever know Marion Hammer, the former black powder national champion and NRA president? She and her brother grew up on a farm just a few miles from me. That's quite a nice set up in New Mexico.
 

shooternz

Well-Known Member
A couple of shooters I know shoot 1000 yrds Black Powder matches one with a 45/70 the other with a 30/40, they are in training for a 1000 yrd match to be held in Australia later this year
about the only type of gun allowed in Aus these days
 

acj375

Well-Known Member
A couple of shooters I know shoot 1000 yrds Black Powder matches one with a 45/70 the other with a 30/40, they are in training for a 1000 yrd match to be held in Australia later this year

about the only type of gun allowed in Aus these days
lm confused only gun a load in Aus They are always adding posts on guns .??
 

xavierdoc

Well-Known Member
There are guys who shoot 45-70 in the Montana "Quigley Shoot" and that is at a life sized buffalo target at 900 yards. Back when i used to build a a lot of rifles for the NRA (US) Black powder 500M Silhouette comps, we did a study with a 475-500 grain (iirc) bullet over 55 grains of 2F black powder. (This as about how much the case can hold with a compressed charge) One of the club members calculated that if you clamped your rifle into a machine rest, and had your rounds hitting dead-on at 1000 yards, you could cease fire and build an 8 story apartment building at the 500 yard mark -then commence firing without endangering the renters. The bullet had a 90' trajectory. I never saw his data but I believe it. ~Muir

I can believe it!

The Sandy Hook test included a 45-70 firing a 405gr bullet with black powder. They stretched it out to 2500yds; the bullets' angles of impact are like mortars.

The .45-70 at Two Miles
 
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