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The Ultimate Reloading Manual
Wolfe Publishing Group
  • alliant reloading data
  • reloading brass
  • shotshell reloading
The Ultimate Reloading Manual
hodgdon load data

.45-70 Government (in an 1895 Marlin)

Author: Brian Pearce
Date: Apr 23 2020

The .45-70 Government started life as a military round in the Model 1873 (Trapdoor) Springfield rifle before becoming popular with civilians using single-shot and lever-action rifles. Today it remains popular among black powder cartridge shooters, but its greatest success is as a hunting cartridge in lever-action rifles such as the Winchester Model 1886 and Marlin Model 1895.

Many of the loads listed still have “space” between the base of the bullet and the powder. When used in lever-action rifles with tubular magazines, it becomes important to place a heavy crimp on the case/bullet to prevent bullets from being “deep seated” when subjected to inertia associated with recoil.

When loading the Hornady 325-grain FTX bullet, cases were trimmed to 2.040 inches for a Cartridge Over All Length (COAL) of 2.590 inches. However, in separate tests, FTX bullets were seated to the crimp cannelure in cases measuring 2.100 inches (industry specifications) and fed reliably in several Marlin rifles, but failed to feed in two of them. In trying this load in an original Winchester Model 1886 and both Miroku Brownings and Winchester Model 1886s, function was flawless.

It has been observed that when using the Hornady 350-grain FP bullet seated to its crimp cannelure with a COAL of 2.545 inches, Miroku Winchesters and Browning Model 1886s will not allow it to chamber due to their short throats. The Ruger No. 1 and Miroku Winchester Model 1885 will likewise not accept this load without lengthening the throat.