Lead loads in 45-70

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Lead loads in 45-70

Post by bigrich » 14 Sep 2021, 4:30 am

Hey fellas, just thought I’d see if anyone is using lead 45-70 loads for hunting ? Primarily pigs . What’s your load and how does it perform on pigs ?
Also the difference in performance of hard cast versus soft cast . I bi thinking just buying commercial 400 gn hard cast would be a no fuss way of doing it , but I like the idea of casting my own 400 grain hollow points
And what’s your advice for barrel cleaning with firing lead

Thanks in advance, cheers
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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by bigpete » 14 Sep 2021, 6:28 am

I have done,I used 405gn hand cast over 2206 powder for around 1500fps. They were poor killers imo
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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by bigrich » 14 Sep 2021, 8:23 am

bigpete wrote:I have done,I used 405gn hand cast over 2206 powder for around 1500fps. They were poor killers imo


I gather you mean hard cast ? I’ve heard the praise of soft cast wheel weight lead on American forums, but not much info on practical hunting in this country. With components supply for things like projectiles being so vague these days, I was looking at this as a option. I got brass, primers and adi powder is getting more obtainable again. There’s a company that will cnc machine molds to spec , was thinking a soft cast hollow point around 350-400 gn would be a good option
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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by boingk » 14 Sep 2021, 10:29 am

Big meplat seems to be the go mate, around the 400gn mark. Drives 1500+fps no worries and will still flatten out well enough to do major damage if using wheel weights or similar. Water quenching will give you around 12BHN so fine for these pressure levels.

Avoid the Lee 457 diameter moulds unless you want to do work to them to enlarge, you can do it but its fiddly. You need something in the 458 to 460 range to work with most rifles, especially if you've got a deep-rifled Ballard type barrel.

Look at Cast Bullet Engineering. They do the lot - everything from 130gn flying discs through 500gn hollowpoint and 730gn toddler crayons. The positive reports I've heard are around their 400 or 405gn offerings with the large meplat for good expansion and deep penetration.

https://www.castbulletengineering.com.a ... ds/458-cal

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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by Oldbloke » 14 Sep 2021, 12:42 pm

bigpete wrote:I have done,I used 405gn hand cast over 2206 powder for around 1500fps. They were poor killers imo


I've heard that before somewhere. Puzzles me given the diameter of the bullet. I would have thought 1500fps would give enough penetration.
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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by boingk » 14 Sep 2021, 1:48 pm

Oldbloke wrote:I would have thought 1500fps would give enough penetration.


I don't think the speed is conducive to energy transfer within the beast. Sure it'll leave a big old hole in there and out the other side, but you're depending on blood loss from a small primary wound channel and not hydrostatic shock and a much larger associated secondary (temporary) wound channel and associated pressures impacting the nearby organs and nervous system.

If you get these things, even down to 300gn, hooking up around the 2000fps mark on target you'll be having much more impressive results. I'm aiming for something similar myself.

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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by Gamerancher » 14 Sep 2021, 2:02 pm

Considering the North American Bison were all but wiped out with 400 - 500 grain lead bullets launched at muzzle velocities around 1250 f/s out of mostly single shot black-powder rifles in .40, .44 and .45 calibre, I don't think you can class them as not being adequate for hunting.
Softer lead works better than hard cast. Fat, soft and slow, works better than hard and fast with cast bullets.
As with anything, shot placement is key to more consistent results.
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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by bladeracer » 14 Sep 2021, 2:05 pm

boingk wrote:
Oldbloke wrote:I would have thought 1500fps would give enough penetration.


I don't think the speed is conducive to energy transfer within the beast. Sure it'll leave a big old hole in there and out the other side, but you're depending on blood loss from a small primary wound channel and not hydrostatic shock and a much larger associated secondary (temporary) wound channel and associated pressures impacting the nearby organs and nervous system.

If you get these things, even down to 300gn, hooking up around the 2000fps mark on target you'll be having much more impressive results. I'm aiming for something similar myself.

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As long as the bullet is supersonic at impact you will have hydrostatic damage, but if it doesn't deform (like hard-cast lead) you won't get the energy dumped into the target, so the wound channel will be relatively narrow.

I like to chrono the exit velocities of bullets exiting materials to get an indication of how much energy was actually dumped in the target, but I haven't tried it with flesh and bone, yet.

CCI Std Velocity 40gn RN bullet enters 12mm rubber conveyor belt at 1070fps making 102lb-ft of energy.
It exits at 735fps making 48lb-ft of energy, so it dumped half its energy into the rubber, and is deformed to a diameter of .34".
If it had stopped within the sheet it would have dumped all of its energy into it.
At 735fps it no longer has sufficient energy (as it is also more than 50% larger diameter) to pass through a second sheet, it buries itself inside it, dumping the other half of its energy into that one.

I'll have to try this with CCI Copper-22, as that won't deform hitting anything but steel it would tell me how much velocity is lost without any deformation.
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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by bigrich » 14 Sep 2021, 3:21 pm

boingk wrote:Big meplat seems to be the go mate, around the 400gn mark. Drives 1500+fps no worries and will still flatten out well enough to do major damage if using wheel weights or similar. Water quenching will give you around 12BHN so fine for these pressure levels.

Avoid the Lee 457 diameter moulds unless you want to do work to them to enlarge, you can do it but its fiddly. You need something in the 458 to 460 range to work with most rifles, especially if you've got a deep-rifled Ballard type barrel.

Look at Cast Bullet Engineering. They do the lot - everything from 130gn flying discs through 500gn hollowpoint and 730gn toddler crayons. The positive reports I've heard are around their 400 or 405gn offerings with the large meplat for good expansion and deep penetration.

https://www.castbulletengineering.com.a ... ds/458-cal

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yeah , cast bullet enginering . i think their not far from me too . my marlin guide has ballard rifling , that's why i bought it .powder wise i was thinking ar2206h for good case fill over ar2207 . thanks for the advice :thumbsup:
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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by Blr243 » 14 Sep 2021, 4:29 pm

I use a cbe mould with a big meplat. 405 grains my mix is 98 per cent roof flashing lead and 2 percent tin I don’t like the idea of hard cast hunting Bullets regardless of design eg hp or flat .... no experience in the field with my 4570 loads. That will change if I get to the cape in 2 weeks
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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by Blr243 » 14 Sep 2021, 4:31 pm

I bought some lead remover and a stiff rod and a couple of 45 brushes To help me deal with the lead I’m expecting
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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by Blr243 » 14 Sep 2021, 4:33 pm

I have some slow red dot loads and some shoulder busting re7 loads. Not really expecting lead issues with the former. We will see
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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by Blr243 » 14 Sep 2021, 4:34 pm

I bought some lead remover and a stiff rod and a couple of 45 brushes To help me deal with the lead I’m expecting
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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by AZZA'S HJ47 » 14 Sep 2021, 4:53 pm

I have a heap of 405g cast projectiles that are ready to cause some havoc but unfortunately haven't had enough time to do anything with them. I have smacked a few with a hammer and they are fairly hard so expansion wont be great but given the diameter of the 45 put in the right place would be plent big enough.
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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by bigrich » 14 Sep 2021, 5:00 pm

Blr243 wrote:I use a cbe mould with a big meplat. 405 grains my mix is 98 per cent roof flashing lead and 2 percent tin I don’t like the idea of hard cast hunting Bullets regardless of design eg hp or flat .... no experience in the field with my 4570 loads. That will change if I get to the cape in 2 weeks



keep us posted mate on how the lead performs in the field . lots of yanks rave about soft cast , must be a reason for that . the 405 cbe mold is the one i'm thinking of as a good general purpose weight . :thumbsup:
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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by bigrich » 14 Sep 2021, 5:03 pm

Blr243 wrote:I bought some lead remover and a stiff rod and a couple of 45 brushes To help me deal with the lead I’m expecting


brake fluid is something i heard of for lead removal by a 44 mag marlin silo shooter . he reckons about 200 rounds before he needs to clean the barrel :unknown:
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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by bigrich » 14 Sep 2021, 5:05 pm

AZZA'S HJ47 wrote:I have a heap of 405g cast projectiles that are ready to cause some havoc but unfortunately haven't had enough time to do anything with them. I have smacked a few with a hammer and they are fairly hard so expansion wont be great but given the diameter of the 45 put in the right place would be plent big enough.


yeah, shot placement would be more critical with hard cast i would expect
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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by LawrenceA » 14 Sep 2021, 5:35 pm

Where do I start!
I have an original 1880's trapdoor as well as a Marlin and only use cast in either.
Shot lots a pigs.
First the 45-70 will not perform like a 308 so dont expect it to really tear stuff.
It does a poke a very deep hole.

Personally I use the Gould bullet which is a 320 grain hollow point design originally made for the Blackpowder express rifle. I am waiting to get a Thor;s Hammer from MP Molds.
https://www.mp-molds.com/product/462-ha ... ck-mold-2/
You can park a truck in the hollow point of these babies.

I powder coat for the Marlin and leave uncoated for the trapdoor.
With pure lead you will get good expansion but start to lead badly around 1500fps.
Hard lead will with proper lube get you to 1800fps
Powder coated to maybe 2000 and gas checked to 2400fps.

A big meplat allows the bullet to shed energy and do heaps of damage and a hollow point just increases that meplat.

I have never chronied my loads but use 65gns FFFG in the Trapdoor and currently 37.5 grns AR2207 in the Marlin but have had it up to 52.5 Gns.No leading in any loads. I have no qualms taking running shots. They may not always drop straight away but there is a large short blood trail a blind man could follow.
Any increase in velocity will see that energy transferred to the target quicker (kinda like air resistance but pig resistance)

You need to run your bullet a thou or 2 over the throat size in the Marlin especially if it is micro groove otherwise you will get bad leading.
One well placed shot is all it takes.
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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by bigrich » 14 Sep 2021, 5:47 pm

thanks lawrence , some very interesting information . i want to keep things as simple as possible . uncoated and keep velocity low enough that leading isn't a issue . 2207 seems to be the powder for the 45-70 , but ar2206h has a better case fill than most
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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by LawrenceA » 14 Sep 2021, 6:09 pm

For lead you need a quicker powder than jacketed.
If you cast then go Alox lube and wheel weights and push em as hard as you can.
Minute of pig is all you need.
If you buy then chances are powder coated is available. Look at
https://blackwidowprojectiles.com.au/pr ... -base-458/

Doubt you buy anything other than 405grain solids though.

If you have 2206H Then just use that
One well placed shot is all it takes.
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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by bigpete » 14 Sep 2021, 6:54 pm

Mine were cast from wheel weights,using a LEE 405gn mold,measured at .461,and killed very similar to an arrow after passing through the shoulders of several goats.
They killed,albeit definitely not a bang flop as one might expect.
Sure the American bison was nearly wiped out with these sort of guns....I very much doubt the buff hunters gave a s**t if the animal dropped dead on the spot or wandered off a bit,as long as it fell over at some stage.....
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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by bigrich » 14 Sep 2021, 7:03 pm

LawrenceA wrote:For lead you need a quicker powder than jacketed.
If you cast then go Alox lube and wheel weights and push em as hard as you can.
Minute of pig is all you need.
If you buy then chances are powder coated is available. Look at
https://blackwidowprojectiles.com.au/pr ... -base-458/

Doubt you buy anything other than 405grain solids though.

If you have 2206H Then just use that


i'm guessing those black widow are hardcast . would prfer soft cast for expansion

bigpete , i've found that some projectiles on goats don't expand cause their so light . your same soft cast projectiles might have done well on a boar :unknown:
i've also considered a mold that makes soft cast hollow points . would work well on light game and give a massive energy dump on boar and reds maybe ?
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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by LawrenceA » 14 Sep 2021, 7:20 pm

Let me know if you find anywhere that sells soft cast.
Black Widow are definitely hard cast
Pure lead expands wonderfully.
Mate of mine shot a massive boar with a 577-450 and one of my pure lead bullets.
The bullet stopped just under the Battle pad on the far side.
It was almost flat and almost 50 cent piece size.
Pure lead expands very well.
One well placed shot is all it takes.
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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by LawrenceA » 14 Sep 2021, 7:36 pm

Just thinking if you want to use a Lee mold consider the 459 hollow base. Better gas seal and lube grooves that the 457 plain base.
One well placed shot is all it takes.
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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by boingk » 14 Sep 2021, 11:24 pm

LawrenceA wrote:Just thinking if you want to use a Lee mold consider the 459 hollow base. Better gas seal and lube grooves that the 457 plain base.


Yeah that'd be my bet for the Lee's. Gotta admit I do like their 6-cav moulds for the lighter stuff.

I use Lee Alox and wheel weights on my home-made pills, and have used the Black Widow pills to good effects in my 1895GBL. Great rifle, shoots 1" or less at 100m (0.87MOA or less) with the BW 405's.

14gn Trailboss with 405's is about 1000fps, good intro for mates. I keep a few on hand.

48gn of 2206H will give about 1500fps or so out of the standard 18.5" barrel.

48gn of 2207 will give about 1800fps or so out of a standard 18.5" barrel.

You can push harder to the limit of the rifle, but the rating of 50gn 2207 is near the 40kCUP limit of the rifle. Apparently the 1895's are good for 45kPSI and proofed 25% higher, but I'd rather stay under that figure.

By contrast with 2207 and a 350 pill you're looking about 2100fps/54gn and at 300gn/60gn you're looking 2500fps.

For the maths genius' out there, thats a loading of roughly 2900, 3400 and 4100 foot pound for the 400, 350 and 300gn 2207-powered pills respectively.

Sweet honey-dripping strippers, thats a lot of foot pounds!

Keep in mind, if you've ever used commercial loads as an intro, that PPU and Federal are only 300gn pills doing roughly 1400 and 1800fps respectively!

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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by bigrich » 15 Sep 2021, 4:31 am

Thanks for the info boink. I want to keep things simple with any lead loads. Don’t want to muck around with coating and gas checks if I don’t have to. Ar2306h has good case fill and I want to keep the speed down. Most pigs I’ve come across around dams have been 50 yards or less. I reckon a soft cast 405 travelling around 1400 FPS should get the job done. Actually, looking through uncle nicks book ar2219 and ar2208 can also be used with low FPS for lead with good case fill. I got good accuracy with 2219 and 300 jacketed. The more I look the more I find 45-70 is a very flexible round to load for. Wheel weights are hard to come by in bulk, all the tyre service places don’t give them away like they used to . What other sources are there ? Buying roof flashing wouldn’t be cheap I’ll bet
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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by Gamerancher » 15 Sep 2021, 11:34 am

Be careful with wheel weights, they 'aint all lead. Best bet if you aren't getting too serious, is to visit your local scrap merchant. Look for old lead roof flashing, melt a bunch down outside over a gas ring, stay away from the fumes generated, old paint and sealants will burn off but can be quite toxic. Flux with paraffin candle wax, scoop all of the dross that floats to the surface off and you'll be left with some pretty good useable bullet lead. You can then cast that into ingots for use in an electric pot if you have one or back to the gas ring. Be very careful if adding more lead to the pot that it doesn't have any moisture, that will cause a blow up of your melt and consequences can be nasty. Best to have it all in before applying the heat if possible. I have a pot made from a 9kg gas bottle cut in half that I use for doing bulk melts with scrap lead or range lead that I use in my lever-guns and pistols, you can fit a lot of lead in that pot. ( I use pure foundry lead and tin for my competition black-powder rifles )
A tight fitting cloth patch, soaked in turps, will get lead out of a barrel as well as anything else.
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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by bigrich » 15 Sep 2021, 12:14 pm

Thanks GR , that’s a lot of good practical advice :thumbsup:
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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by Blr243 » 15 Sep 2021, 3:49 pm

Even when I buy roof flashing lead from Bunnings I’m pretty sure my 405 pills still work out roughly 25 cents each
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Re: Lead loads in 45-70

Post by Blr243 » 15 Sep 2021, 3:51 pm

Big rich can u please share your nick Harvey low FPS lead loads with 2208 and 2219. Pretty sure I have those powders ?
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