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Re: Shooting the M66 and M68

Posted by Fred on Friday, 26 November 2010, at 8:51 p.m., in response to Re: Shooting the M66 and M68, posted by JasonZ in MO on Friday, 26 November 2010, at 2:04 p.m.

Jason, I started out using a Lee Loader with my 45-70's and have never used anything else. In the card that comes with it, there were smokeless loads for different grain weights of bullets. I used this for awhile while reloading my 405 and 500 grain bullets, then switched to using black powder later but always used the Lee Loading tools to do so. Later, I loaded 450 grain 50 cal. bullets in my Dixie 50-70 cases using the same loading chart in the 45-70 Lee Loader that dealt with approximately the same bullet weight. All of the 45-70 Smokeless loads given in the Lee Loading kits are low pressure loads and are safe for trapdoors, Winchesters, rolling blocks etc. that were made for black powder ammo. As long as the loading chart is followed correctly and there aren't any double loads of smokeless powder accidentally put into the case, everything should be OK. I just liked the black powder loads in my 45-70's. By the time I was shooting my 50-70's, I think I didn't have any black powder around and so I just used the reduced 45-70 charges of smokeless powder. They all went off and were extremely accurate. I then bought the previously mentioned Sharps rifle and loaded some smokeless 45-70 loads for it, but about 20% of the time, the primer would go off and push the bullet up into the bore a bit without igniting the smokeless powder. I could only shudder at the thought of a late powder charge going off then and blowing my barrel open. Maybe I'd let the powder go bad in the can or something, but I quit using smokeless after that and never tried it again. I didn't use any filler at the time to fill up the excess space in the cases. Maybe that was part of the problem when the small powder charge was lying down in the bottom of the case away from the primer. I don't know...Anyway, I went to black powder and never used smokeless again.


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