1881 45/70 ammo

Anthing you think is a big bore

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1881 45/70 ammo

Post by scholtenj »

I have an 1881 45/70 made in 1883. It's been in the family since it was new. The last time I know it was fired was way back when I was in 7th grade ( a long, long time ago). It's been living packed up in a closet ever since. I finally took it to a gunsmith to get checked out & get a once-over. The gunsmith said it's in great shape overall. He has fired it a few times.

I'd like to use it for hog-hunting this fall. Does anyone have recommendations for factory, store-bought ammo? Is there something out there that approximates the 'oomph' of the original black powder ammo it was designed for? Even though the gunsmith says it's in great shape, I'm a little leery of using modern ammo in an antique firearm. This thing is such a hoss that I'm sure it can still do its job with lower-powered ammo. I worry that using modern 45/70 loads could put too much stress on it. I'd like to make it last so it stays in the family for a long time to come.

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Re: 1881 45/70 ammo

Post by sddav29 »

From what I have read and been told by the local gunsmith you do not want to shoot jacketed bullets or smokeless powder in these old guns. The barrel steel is much softer than the steel in modern barrels. He recomends shooting lead bullets and black powder or black powder substitute only. The designation
.45-70 stood for 45 caliber and 70 grains of black powder.
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Re: 1881 45/70 ammo

Post by Sure-Shot »

PMC makes 45-70 " for all rifles" I have used it in my 1881s withn no ill effects as well as in my trapdoor rifle it is a very light charge but good for hunting. key is keep the pressure low and lead bullets.
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