1895Gunner's Ammo Load Recipes for the 45-70 Lever Gun
"Load Data for the MePlat Lover"
by Scott Crawford - June 12, 2021
Writing a Load Book for the 45-70 Govt. has been a challenge I’ve eagerly accepted however more time consuming than I realized. I’ve had to reach back almost 45 years to capture everything I’ve done, read about or participated in with this grand cartridge. I’m experimenting with different formats from recipe cards to ballistic charts & data. As the first photo in this blog shows, I’ve already started with some photoshoots as well. Getting the right amount of detail for each picture is important to me as it conveys much more than the written word.
An important feature of this load book will be breaking the 45-70 cartridge down to three, possibly four cartridge pressure ranges. Most people are aware of the Trapdoor, Lever Action, & Modern Rifle designations and meanings when it comes to the 45-70. Many or most are probably not aware that the Trapdoor is really divided into two separate strengths. I intend to cover that as well as more and more collectors are putting their Trapdoors back into service at the range & in the field. Using the proper cartridge pressure in the Trapdoor is paramount to coming home unharmed from the range or the field.
This recipe card example shows one style I’m considering and if you enlarge it a bit you can see three designations under the cartridge description. It shows Trapdoor, Lever Action, & Modern Rifle with check boxes next to each category the load is safe to be fired in.
This card also includes the number of rounds that can be made from one pound of powder for this particular load. It indicates Muzzle velocity, Muzzle energy, load pressure and percent of max pressure it is loaded to. The latter is important to understand from a safety perspective. Of course it indicates proper trim length and combined overall length (COAL) for the cartridge & bullet configuration.
I’m also including a Bullet Drop graph & associated data sheet for each load giving a great visual to the hand loader for the proper use of the load. Not only does it provide bullet drop info for every fifty yard distance, it also includes the projectile energy in ft/lbs at each distance. Although the 45-70 cartridge is good for about 3,500 yards effective range I’ve cropped the graph and charts to 350 yards max.
This shows info from the back of each recipe card listing the equipment used to manufacture the cartridge with hotlinks to each manufacturer or distributor. For those wanting more information on the tools I use this provides the details. Especially useful for someone just starting out in the hand loading adventure.
It’s also a shout out to the great sponsors I have and their wonderful products that I use almost every day. Today I’ll list those whom I work with in an ongoing basis.
I use Hodgdon powders almost exclusively however I will be sharing loads that include the following powder manufacturers.
As the title of the book indicates, this is specific to the 45-70 cartridge and really meant to sustain and support all of the lever gun users across the world today who have considered loading their own or who already do but would like a more detailed look into loading and the ballistics associated with them. It won’t be the first or the last load book for this popular cartridge however it may be the most comprehensive.
IN THIS ARTICLE
Hodgdon Powders Alliant Powders Accurate Reloading Powders VihtaVuori IMR Powder Winchester Smokeless Go Gear Direct Starline Brass Lyman Products Caldwell Shooting Supplies Frankford Arsenal MEC Outdoors MidwayUSA Sportsman's Warheouse Shooters World Powders