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Posted by John (S) on Monday, 7 April 2014, at 4:56 p.m., in response to ammo, posted by mike on Monday, 7 April 2014, at 12:55 p.m.
Mike- As far as your ammo goes, 10 years is "almost new" and age should present no problems as far as safety or reliability. When it gets to 50 or 75 years, then there may be some age related quality issues.
Nearly (a carefully chosen word) all Winchester ammo of that vintage should be fine for use in trapdoors. Trapdoor safety limits were pretty much the standard that the industry used even though for decades there were lots of Winchester Model 1886s and other slightly stronger actions using the ammo, but the main market remained the huge number of trapdoors owned by shooters. Accuracy may not be optimum as the jacketed bullets used are typically a bit undersize to become fully stabilized by the rifling. That is a problem with much of the factory ammo, not unique to Winchester brand. For real accuracy, you need to get into handloading, which may not be worth the effort just popping off a few rounds for fun.
SOME (another careful word choice) .45-70 ammo is loaded to higher pressures and velocities and is definitely not safe for use in trapdoors. They are intended for use ONLY in modern rifles made to handle higher pressures, such as the Ruger Number 1, some Marlins, and a few other arms. This ammo will have all sorts of big scary safety warnings, not the standard (semi-scary)use only in arms in good condition chambered for this caliber stuff.
If it really worries you, then get a different box of ammo, preferably some "cowboy action shooter" loads with black powder or black powder substitute. You really want the cloud of smoke to get the full experience of shooting a trapdoor. However, these are loaded fairly lightly, well within trapdoor limits.
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