“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.