.45-70 and Unique

“I think a very safe general-purpose Unique load is to find the volume that will just overflow the case, and half that for a Unique load (with no heavier than middle-weight bullets). This is about 15gr with a .308, probably 16-17gr with a .30-06, and right about 20gr with a .45-70 case.”
See .45-70 and Unique, how hot can I load it?
I’m new to reloading and shooting .45-70. Observations right off the top?

  • Retail jacketed bullets are outrageously expensive.
  • Plated swaged lead bullets are better.
  • I might have to cast bullets.
  • A variety of powders work well and they are all expensive these days.

So, what’s a cheapskate like me to do? One thing I can do is use the fastest burning powder that works for plinking and deer. So far, I’ve tried Unique, IMR4227, and H4198. H4198 seems very popular for lighter bullets and full power loads. Unique gives much less recoil and may be good enough for deer at close range.

I tried loads from 15 to 18 grains of Unique behind 350 grain FN bullets with LOA 2.462 inches. I’ve made a new batch with 19-21 grains Unique with LOA 2.514. That should be near maximum, reaching ~1700 ft/s) and still save me a ton of money for powder. We shall see. Unique was not widely available here but IMR (Division of Hodgdon) now offers “Unequal“. At least, temporarily, my favourite supplier is offering 14 oz at a lower price per pound than in 8 pound jugs. I might take him up on the offer if this test works. Saving half the price of powder and switching to cast bullets might make .45-70 even more fun to shoot.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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3 Responses to .45-70 and Unique

  1. Everything’s OK. Just trying a new keyboard…

  2. Grece says:

    I forgot to add, that one can even fire .50 cal from the AR platform. But you would hypocritically chalk that up as overkill. Just ask the rabbits and squirrels you mangled with your .45-70 antique.

  3. Grece says:

    I’m new to reloading and shooting

    So everything you stated previously was a lie? Who would have guessed that!

    Coincidentally Robert, you can get some nice use from .458 SOCOM. You don’t need to buy a single cartridge gun, just have one gun with plethora of other calibers as options.

    In theory, you could get an AR15 and plink 22lR, 223, 300 BLK, 9mm and 45 cal. But what whats this? Canada has restrictions on such an animal and has a 5-round limit and can only be used at the ranges.

    Sorry Robert, continue burning pension money on 120-year old firearms. Perhaps you will get a flintlock next and brag about how unique and awesome it is.

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