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Uberti 1885 High Wall and handloads

5546 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  xtimberman
I took my Uberti 1885 .45-70 High Wall out today with my handloads of 300 grain lead bullets behind 50.0 grains of Reloader 7. What I learned was is that this gun hates those bullets, groups were non-existant, and the barrel leaded badly. Velocity was about 2000 fps. Am I right in thinking that with the older style of rifling, that these guns prefered heavier bullets? I just ordered some 480 grain lead bullets from Baldy to try and work ont he problem. From what I found the twist rate for Uberti is 1/20.
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No, the bullets are not gas checked.
One of the most popular .45-70 slugs in the late 1920's was the Ideal 458122, the 290 grn. "Gould's Express" Bullet. We cast and shoot alot of them and it still works well. My adopted son, Eric shot a nice fat West VA white tail with that slug this past fall out of a modern Marlin 1895s.

I think that the velocity was around 1450 fps.

Just as a casual observation, I wonder if you're pushing those slugs too fast.
I amtrying to figure on a way to slow down the .45-70 300 grain bullet with the Reloader 7 (already down to the minimum of 50 grains), just ordered a book on BPCR, so that might be my next thing.
David i've had great luck with 53.0 grains of varget, and a 300 grain slug. It will give about 1590 fps at 1300 c.u.p.
Sebago Son said:
Just as a casual observation, I wonder if you're pushing those slugs too fast.
That's where I was going. The Varget suggestion is good, I think. I have used it a lot in other calibers and it does very well. Only problem right now is finding any.
It doesn't often matter at close range, but a .45 with a 1 turn in 20" twist needs a 400-500gr. bullet for best accuracy. The twist usually required to stabilize a .45 cal. 300gr. bullet is a much "slower" one at 1 turn in 32".

Trying to shoot a long, heavy bullet in a barrel with a too-slow twist usually sends an under-stabilized projectile wobbling downrange, and often "keyholes". Trying to shoot a short, lighter bullet in a barrel with a too-fast twist often results in the high-velocity projectile over-riding the rifling and stripping itself on the grooves. I believe that this is the likely cause of your profuse leading. Slowing it down to the 1450-1550fps range may cure most of your problems.

Have you checked the twist rate for yourself? You can easily do this with a cleaning rod fitted with a jag and a very tight patch. Use a Sharpie to place longitudinal marks on the rod so you can determine when the rod has made a full turn - (or 1/2 turn and double it). Make a circumference mark at the starting point and another at the point where it has made the full turn to measure the distance required.

Have you slugged the bore to determine the exact diameter....and does the diameter of the bullet match the bore? My rifles generally prefer bullets sized to exact diameter of the bore or .001" oversize. Hardcast plain base bullets that are undersize will get gas-cut and can strip the rifling - and lead badly. Bullets that are way oversize will lead badly, too.

Also, the bullet alloy and lube might not be sufficient for the 2000fps velocity you're talking about.

Any rough spots in the bore?

Lots of factors to consider before you give up on that bullet....

My favorite smokeless gunpowders for the big straightwalled 19th century BP cartridges and rifles are SR-4759 (IMR) and XMP-5744 (AA). Behind those two are IMR-3031 and IMR 4198. I've never had a big boomer that wouldn't perform well with one of these 4.

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