New to me rifle

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  • Last Post 30 July 2011
.452dia posted this 18 July 2011

I'm working a deal for a Browning 1885 Hi Wall Sporter in 45-70.  This rifle has the 28 inch barrel and shotgun type buttstock.  Being classed as a Sporter and not a Target Rifle, how do these rifles shoot at longer ranges, say 500+ yds?  I don't know what rate of twist are used in these guns so what bullets will perform best?  Any information will be appreciated so I don't have to start cold.

Thanks,

G

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mike morrison posted this 18 July 2011

a friend shooter has on of these. he had problems with lead bullets UNTIL he changed to hard lead bullets. with that he says it is a tackdriver. Jacketed bullets are another game. I shoot my BPCR Browning to 1000yds.mostly 550. your rifle should shoot to that distance. you will need sights that will let you get the elevation. 500gr+ bullets will hold up better at the longer distances. good luck. m

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.452dia posted this 19 July 2011

mike morrison wrote: a friend shooter has on of these. he had problems with lead bullets UNTIL he changed to hard lead bullets. with that he says it is a tackdriver. Jacketed bullets are another game. I shoot my BPCR Browning to 1000yds.mostly 550. your rifle should shoot to that distance. you will need sights that will let you get the elevation. 500gr+ bullets will hold up better at the longer distances. good luck. m

Depending on how well the rifle shoots or I should say how well I can shoot the rifle will determinne weather I use it as a hunter or try to shoot with the local Black Powder Club.  I've owned several 45-70 rifles over the years but they were lever guns, a Original Trapdoor Calvery Carbine and a wornout Rollingblock.  I let all my dies, molds, brass and bullets go when I sold the last gun about 8 years ago so I'll have to start over.

Thanks for the reply,

G

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PETE posted this 19 July 2011

G,

Your rifle should have a 1-18” twist as that seems to be the “standard” these days and what mine had before rebarreling it to .50/90SS.

I used it for shooting the NCOWS Buffalo Match and 500 yd. gong match. The 457125 mould I had weighed 523 grs. cast of pure Lead and did the job, altho knocking over 50 pd. Buffalo Shilouettes at around 300 yds. was kinda iffy. That was the reason for changing over to the Big 50. :)

As for longer ranges the original trapdoors with a 1-22” twist would shoot with some(?) accuracy to 3000 yds. Man on a horse was the target if memory serves me right.

Pete

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mike morrison posted this 19 July 2011

pete 3000 yards, really. i shot the billy dixon shoot in hotchkiss, co. at the man on a horse (actually three lifesize steel tgts) hard pressed to make bp get that far. smokeless was easier. 1538yds. or 7/8 mile. artillary sights? how long is the bullet in flight? how far does the earth rotate during that flight time? sure would like to try it sometime. m

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PETE posted this 20 July 2011

m.

I stand corrected..... The rear sight of the Trapdoor Rifle was only sighted to 2000 yds. and that could only be reached by using the notch on the top of the staff.

  I agree that 3000 yds. sounded a little long so got out Waite & Ernst book on the Trapdoor. Whether you could actually hit anything at that range is something else.

Back in those days the military calibrated sights by actually firing, and don't forget balloon head cases hold a bit more powder than our current solid head ones.

To kind of show military thinking these days or at least back in the 70's..... Back when the M-16 was a new deal I shot alongside the Missouri NG at the Sectionals who were using them. I was using an M-14. With the sights cranked all the way up they had to hold over the top of the target frame at 600 yds. to get anywhere near the center. I think they shot service ammo, but not sure. I forget exactly but think the target at that distance is 4'x4'. So figure they had about another 2' to 3' from the top of their sights.

Pete Pete

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John Grantham posted this 28 July 2011

I have one of these.   Mine is 1-18 twist.  The SAECO 745 bullet will handle anything from 200yds to a 1000 in my rifle.  70gr Swiss 1 1/2 compressed with a Walters .060 wad to a point where the first driving band is just starting to show grooving by the rifling. Use 20/1 lead-tin alloy i the bullets.

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.452dia posted this 29 July 2011

John Grantham wrote: I have one of these.   Mine is 1-18 twist.  The SAECO 745 bullet will handle anything from 200yds to a 1000 in my rifle.  70gr Swiss 1 1/2 compressed with a Walters .060 wad to a point where the first driving band is just starting to show grooving by the rifling. Use 20/1 lead-tin alloy i the bullets.

Thanks for the info.  I wan't sure about using heavy bullets with this rifle.  Some are saying to stay with 350 to 405 gn. because of 1-18 twist.  What lube do you use with the 20-1 bullets?  I have lead I got from contractors (lead pipe and sheeting) and wheel weights.  If I mix WW and pb  do I still need to add tin?

Thanks,

G

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John Grantham posted this 30 July 2011

I would not use wheel weights.  Pure lead, like the sheeting, and tin works the best in my rifle.  I think you'll find the softer alloys work better with black. If I keep my muzzle speed around 1200fps or less the gun shoots center and never leads  The smaller bullets  like the SAECO 645 (480gr) work  in my rifle. I"ve never used any thing smaller with any luck.  First choice  for lube ,   SPG.   Second , Lee Shavers moly

btw:   I have a mould that throws a 580gr bullet.  It shoots good over 69gr of 1f goex. You can't shoot it all day though.   The recoil is substantial.  Free recoil energy is around 30lbs.

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.452dia posted this 30 July 2011

John Grantham wrote: I would not use wheel weights.  Pure lead, like the sheeting, and tin works the best in my rifle.  I think you'll find the softer alloys work better with black. If I keep my muzzle speed around 1200fps or less the gun shoots center and never leads  The smaller bullets  like the SAECO 645 (480gr) work  in my rifle. I"ve never used any thing smaller with any luck.  First choice  for lube ,   SPG.   Second , Lee Shavers moly

btw:   I have a mould that throws a 580gr bullet.  It shoots good over 69gr of 1f goex. You can't shoot it all day though.   The recoil is substantial.  Free recoil energy is around 30lbs.

Thanks, I will save my WW for other applications.  The lead pipe, sheeting and stick-on WW should all be close to pure lead.  I have about 3 lbs of lead free solder left so mixing should not be a problem.  Cheapest lead free solder I've found locally was $20 per lb. so I guess I'll need to hunt online for a substitute or cheaper price.

Is your rifle the same as mine (28 in. Sporter made in Japan)?

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John Grantham posted this 30 July 2011

Yes.   I have two barrels for mine.  The factory .45 and a take off in a .40

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