Author Topic: .45-70; Wads or not?  (Read 7670 times)

Pistolero

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.45-70; Wads or not?
« on: March 25, 2008, 04:46:01 AM »
Hello all,
I have not reloaded in some time, but I just reloaded fifty-four empty .45-70 shells with my little "Classic Lee Loader" hand loader.  I wanted to try BP but found that I had no BP but two cans of Pyrodex and one of Pironeer.  When I use up these powders then I will go to BP.  Anyway, I used 70 grns of Pyrodex and a 405 grn bullet made with my Lee mould. The bullet has a flat bottom with several grease rings, which I fillled with lube.

I have seen where some have posted about putting wads between powder and bullet. Is that all that necessary? Did the government do it with their Army issue .45-70 shells back in the 1870s or the civilian companies?  I did not put any wads in mine. I don't think the bullet would have fit with a wad too and a full compliment of 70 grains.

As far as loading with the full compliment of 70 grns, not having a drop tube, I had to gently tap my shells lightly to settle the powder enough to take the bullets.  With a wad it would not have fit I don't think.
Anyway, I was just curious about the wads, if they were all that important.
Thanks,
Pistolero
Alabama
« Last Edit: April 02, 2008, 12:28:55 PM by John Boy »

TAKAHO KID

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Re: .45-70; Wads or not?
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2008, 05:30:09 AM »
Hello Pistolero,

Yes, wads are required with BP. The protect the bullet from errosion from blowby and damage to the base by all that solid matter slamming into it.

Yes, the old Gov't issue rounds I have taken apart a card wad.

Now all you have to do is figure out what materail and thickness gives you the best results.

Best regards,

T.K.

Ranch 13

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Re: .45-70; Wads or not?
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2008, 05:45:30 AM »
Wads can be anything from a peice of wax paper to a chunk punched out of an old felt hat. Most of the time I use the .030 thickness fiber wad purchased from Sage Outfitters.
 While you can get by without a wad, they definetly help with fouling management, and keep lube from contaminating the powder.
Eat more BEEF the west wasn't won on a salad.
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Pistolero

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Re: .45-70; Wads or not?
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2008, 06:33:22 AM »
Thanks y'all. I will find me some and use them next time.
Thanks again,
Pistolero

Carlos El Hombre

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Re: .45-70; Wads or not?
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2008, 04:46:13 PM »
Buffalo Arms sells wad punches and paper milk carton makes a fine wad.
Carlos El Hombre

John Boy

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Re: .45-70; Wads or not?
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2008, 06:22:36 PM »
Quote
Anyway, I used 70 grns of Pyrodex and a 405 grn bullet made with my Lee mould.
Pistolero - Here is Hodgdon's recipe from their data base for a 420gr bullet.  Using a 405gr, the powder charge would be in the 58gr range
45/70 - 60 gr. - RS/Select - 420 gr. bullet - Ox-Yoke
Regards
John
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Pistolero

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Re: .45-70; Wads or not?
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2008, 01:55:31 PM »
Hello all,
The next time I reload I will try some sort of wads. I am not sure which I will use. Did the original Old West era rounds actually use 70 grains of black powder? Just curious.
Pistolero

Ranch 13

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Re: .45-70; Wads or not?
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2008, 02:07:53 PM »
yes the original rounds were 70 grs of 1f. I shoot 70 grs of 2f fairly regular, and 68-70 grs of Cartridge has served well.
Eat more BEEF the west wasn't won on a salad.
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Driftwood Johnson

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Re: .45-70; Wads or not?
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2008, 02:17:20 PM »
Howdy

The idea of the wad is it protects the soft base of the bullet from deformation. I don't bother to use a wad with either my 45 Colt or 44-40 Black Powder loads. As a matter of fact, I compress my powder directly with the base of the bullet when seating my bullets with those calibers.

But with 45-70 I do use a wad. I use a .030 thick fiber wad I buy from Buffalo Arms. With my 45-70 loads I use a drop tube and a compression die to compress my powder. Then I seat my bullet on top of the wad. Using a .030 thick wad I can get the same amount of powder I can without the wad, I just compress it .030 more.
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Lou Graham

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Re: .45-70; Wads or not?
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2008, 05:33:29 PM »
Driftwood explained what to do but not why to do it, so I'll elaborate a bit.

When you drop tube the powder, the little grains of powder all snuggle up closer together = more powder in less space.

The compression die and the wad "go together."  The wad gives the die something to compress down onto and the compression gets the little grains really snuggled together.  When you try to compress the powder by using the bullet seating operation, you deform the bullet.  >:(   This is especially true if you make (or buy) them cast very soft, as a proper 45-70 BP bullet should be.  I can get 67 grains by weight of powder in my 45-70 case by doing it the way Driftwood suggests.  I deformed a few bullets before I figured it out.
Lou Graham, APOMO, LOOG #1

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Dick Dastardly

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Re: .45-70; Wads or not?
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2008, 06:52:10 PM »
After compressing the powder charge with the 1/16" Circle Fly fiber wad, I hand seat the bullet.  All the compression is done before the bullet is seated.  Not so for my SASS main match stuff, but the long range black powder cartridge game is a different discipline.

When you are heaving heavy hunks of lead a Thousand yards you need all the consistency you can get and some you can borrow.  Compressing with the bullet just isn't consistent enough.

FWIW, preliminary testing with the new DD 45-70 500 grain Mk-III bullet is very promising.  I've been able to get sub moa groups out to 100 yards.  The long range stuff has to wait for Winnequah.

DD-DLoS
Purveyor of Big Lube supplies
Avid Ballistician in Holy Black
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Lars

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Re: .45-70; Wads or not?
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2008, 07:17:32 PM »
Pistolero,

Whether or not wads are really needed can depend on various things. They can be a great way to compensate for small mismatches in chamber, case, free-bore (if any), forcing cone, etc. and bullet -- especially when there is enough space between bullet and surrounding case, chamber, forcing cone, bore to allow powder gasses to leak past and play havoc. Right diameter and thickness wad for your gun can reduce or stop that. Wads are popular and probably a smart thing to do, unless you are willing to do what it takes to get proper match of bullet and bore, etc., say, by muzzle seating.

Drop tubes are something else time honored and useful. However, doing a bit of high-frequency vibrating of loaded cases can achieve much the same result in settling a powder charge, BP or coarse-grained nitro rifle powder. Both techniques can provide the essential factor of consistant physical condition and dimensions of powder charge. I doubt that there is any magic with drop tubes.

Suggest reading Mike Venturino's book "Buffalo Rifles of Old West" to get a good overview of the diversity of loading techniques used by some of USA's best long range shooters of such rifes. Perhaps some other poster can direct you to similarily diverse information from days of Creedmoore, etc. long range shoots.

Lars

Ranch 13

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Re: .45-70; Wads or not?
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2008, 09:15:03 PM »
 ??? There's a fellow BPCR longrange shooter that has been firing test loads into a snow bank all winter. Now the snow is retreating and the bullets he's recovered so far aren't showing the wads doing a whole lot to keep blow by from happening.
 I think it'll be interesting to see what he comes up with in the final summary after he's recovered all the bullets.
 
 I'm not ready to draw any solid recommendations on compressing. Half the shots fired on this target were compressed and half seated with out compression. The load was 68 grs of cartridge dropped from a Lyman 55 measure thru the 24 inch drop tube into remington nickle 45-70 cases , .030 wad, and the RCBS 82084 bullet cast at about 20-1 ,sized .459 and lubed with sagebrush alox. Range was 270 yds on a sort of a miserable day for shooting, overcast , snow on the ground and fishtaling winds 10 mph from about 2:30
« Last Edit: March 26, 2008, 09:17:38 PM by Ranch 13 »
Eat more BEEF the west wasn't won on a salad.
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Dick Dastardly

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Re: .45-70; Wads or not?
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2008, 05:52:45 AM »
Well anyway Ranch, none of 'em hit sideways.  Round holes are a good thing.

DD-DLoS
Purveyor of Big Lube supplies
Avid Ballistician in Holy Black
Riverboat Gambler and Wild Side Rambler
Gunfighter Ordinar

Ranch 13

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Re: .45-70; Wads or not?
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2008, 06:37:54 AM »
Yup round holes are good.
 I've shot good scores to 1000 yds with the same load only stuffed into winchester cases, in the other rifle. The rifle that fired that target had less than 100 rounds thru it at the time.
 If the bullet nose fits the seater plug properly I don't believe there's enough distortion to worry about, unless for some reason a person is using dead soft bullets, or trying to load a large amount of powder with heavy bullets such as 72 grs of 3f express in a 45-70 case and then compression is necessary.
Eat more BEEF the west wasn't won on a salad.
http://historicshooting.com/mybb/index.php