Range Report Two 45-70's (links to photos)

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KirkD
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Range Report Two 45-70's (links to photos)

#1 Post by KirkD » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:05 pm

This has been an unusually busy summer and I've been away a lot, so there hasn't been much time spent at the range. I plan to rectify that before the snow flies. Today I brought my two 45-70's over to the range to try out some loads I made using some ancient IMR 4198 powder. I brought my chronograph along to make sure that old powder was being reasonable. Testing with some new IMR 4198 powder in my 38-55 earlier, I found that both the Old and the New powder gave the same average velocities, but the extreme spread was higher with the old powder.

The guns:

1. Original Winchester 1886 45-70 shipped in 1890. Here's a photo ...

Image

2. Browning 1886 Saddle Ring Carbine with a MVA combination tang sight. Here's a photo ...

Image

Load:

30 grains of IMR 4198 with a Remington magnum primer under a plain base 405 grain cast bullet. The IMR 4198 was from an old yellow can a friend gave me. Does anyone know when the yellow cans were produced? Here's a photo ...

Image

Results for the Browning SRC at 100 yards: 5-shot group of 1 & 1/2". Here's a photo of the target ...

Image

Results for the original Winchester 1886: 5-shot group of 2 & 3/4". I was doing a 'no-no' by using my tang sight with a rear sight that was slightly off centre, so it was always a question with each shot as to whether the front sight was actually centered in the peep. I think I could do better if the rear sight was not confusing my sight picture. Here's a photo of the target ...

Image
Last edited by KirkD on Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:26 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Range Report Two 45-70's (links to photos)

#2 Post by Ysabel Kid » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:12 pm

Great photos as always Kirk! Impressive results as well! D)
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Re: Range Report Two 45-70's (links to photos)

#3 Post by BlaineG » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:32 pm

Seems like a nice, mild trapdoor-ish load.... Nice going. 8)
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Re: Range Report Two 45-70's (links to photos)

#4 Post by Grizz » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:58 pm

looks like two fine meat-makers to me.

that Winchester just has a way about itself.

good shooting as usual.

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Re: Range Report Two 45-70's (links to photos)

#5 Post by Sixgun » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:07 pm

Kirk,
Nice 86.....to me, nothing has the pizzazz of a FO, FM, CB, all original 1886 from the case colored days. I've got the twin to yours but was made in '88. Close to 10 pounds if my memory is still working.

On to your powder can...if it smells good, there should be no difference and like you said, your velocities were about the same. Don't know how many shots you took or which powder you chronographed first but if you only shot 5 or 10 rounds of each type, well, that don't tell a lot or if the barrel was hotter with one powder and the other shot cold.

I have near every metal can of gunpowder I ever used since 1972 all stacked up in the basement. I stopped buying 1 pounders back in the nineties and went to 8 pounders or I would have a thousand cans down there. The "style" yours is is like the ones I have from the eighties and nineties but......the only yellow ones are in 4756. All of my 4198's are brown. Maybe Canadian imports are different colors. I noticed your yellow can before I read the text and said to myself, "that's a weird color can for 4198" :D ------6
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Re: Range Report Two 45-70's (links to photos)

#6 Post by earlmck » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:45 am

Can't fault that shooting a bit Kirk. And nice looking rifles, fine pictures. Thanks for sharing.

And my Dupont 4198 can from that era is a medium dark red -- I don't have anything in yellow. Couple shades of blue (4227 and 4064), a brown (4350), a couple other shades of red (4759 and 3031) and a purple (4895). No yellow, no green; not a very extensive collection. Like 6 I went to the kegs but I like to use the pounders to fill from the kegs. And the metal kegs all kept the same color scheme as the pounds.
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Re: Range Report Two 45-70's (links to photos)

#7 Post by Tanqueray » Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:33 am

That first 1886 is an absolute beauty! I dream of owning one in one of the .50 cartridges, but I don't think they were every imported to NZ in any configuration, I've never seen one here. Seems we only got 1892's and 1894's.
Great shooting too by the way.
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Re: Range Report Two 45-70's (links to photos)

#8 Post by Pitchy » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:52 am

Great rifles and fine shootin Kirk, thanks for sharing. 8) :)
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Re: Range Report Two 45-70's (links to photos)

#9 Post by Nath » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:52 am

Nice to hear from you friend.
That first group is awesome.

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Re: Range Report Two 45-70's (links to photos)

#10 Post by KirkD » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:36 am

Glad you gents enjoyed the report. What I found surprising is that the average velocities were the same for both the carbine and the longer-barrelled rifle.

Sixgun: My original comparison of the old and new IMR 4198 was done with my 38-55. There was about a five minute gap between firing the two sets, but I can't remember which I fired first. The main thing I wanted to know is to confirm that the powder was 4198 (the grains were the same size, so I figured they were in the right ballpark) and that there was nothing really weird that had happened with age. Each set was fired with a minute between shots to keep the barrel from getting too hot. Here are the results:

Old: 22 grains of IMR 4198 with a Winchester Magnum Rifle primer, under a 262 grain Accurate Moulds GC soft cast bullet, five shots, average velocity = 1,430 fps, E.S. = 27 fps, S.D. = 10 fps

New: 22 grains of IMR 4198 with a Winchester Magnum Rifle primer, under a 262 grain Accurate Moulds GC soft cast bullet, five shots, average velocity = 1,451 fps, E.S. = 7 fps, S.D. = 5 fps

I likely shot the new powder first to give me a reference, but I can't say for sure. The main thing was to see if these two powders were even in the same ballpark. The old powder still has that nice alcohol-type smell to it. My plan is to use this old powder up fast by reloading a bunch of 45-70 cartridges. I've got a new mould that looks amazing (wide lube grooves) from Accurate Moulds, so I'm anxious to try it out.
Kirk: An old geezer who loves the smell of freshly turned earth, old cedar rail fences, wood smoke, a crackling fireplace on a snowy evening, pristine wilderness lakes, the scent of
cedars and a magnificent Whitetail buck framed in the semi-buckhorn sights of a 120-year old Winchester.
http://p2c.com/students/blogs/kirk-durston

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Re: Range Report Two 45-70's (links to photos)

#11 Post by gamekeeper » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:02 am

Nice shooting Kirk and that old 86 is beautiful. Great report and photos as usual..... :mrgreen:
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Re: Range Report Two 45-70's (links to photos)

#12 Post by Stevie » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:13 am

That's cool!...I own the same Browning carbine and have found it a superb shooter...even with the factory carbine type rear sight.

Don't think I've ever seen 4198 in a yellow can before...must be old old. I had an interesting experience with an old red can of 4198 powder a couple weeks ago. I was perusing my various powders I thought suitable for .45-70(have used imr 4198 in .45-70 for some years)...any how I picked up my can of 4198 and it was like picking up a rotten tomato!!!...The can didn't look right and was soft and mushy!..I tried to unscrew the lid and look at the powder and the can started to fall apart and give of puffs of rust from inside....I chunked the can into the yard and it busted wide open(like a rotten tomato)...The can was probably about 1/3 full of pure rust with some powder that still looked like powder.

Somehow the powder had totally deteriorated in the can. Not just sure what happened to it. My best guess being that I didn't have the lid on tight. I probably have not used that particular 4198 in approx. three years..the powder itself likely dating to the early 2000's. I have another red can of imr 4198 from the same time frame and it seems just fine. I have had powder in the old round cardboard containers get where I thought they might be iffy..however they never looked bad..just didn't smell right.

No moral to the story except to make for sure you put your powder container lids on tight....inspect your powder on occasion too...chunk the junk before it scares you!

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Re: Range Report Two 45-70's (links to photos)

#13 Post by KirkD » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:26 am

Very interesting. It sounds like there may have been significant water or moisture in the can to cause that degree of rust and corrosion. I still have two 1-pound red (dark Burgundy?) cans of IMR 4198, but it still smells fresh in there.
Kirk: An old geezer who loves the smell of freshly turned earth, old cedar rail fences, wood smoke, a crackling fireplace on a snowy evening, pristine wilderness lakes, the scent of
cedars and a magnificent Whitetail buck framed in the semi-buckhorn sights of a 120-year old Winchester.
http://p2c.com/students/blogs/kirk-durston

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Re: Range Report Two 45-70's (links to photos)

#14 Post by Sixgun » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:07 am

Correction Kirk.....my cans of 4198 may be burgundy and not brown as I posted. I cannot tell the difference between brown and any other color that's close to it.....yea, I'm blind in one eye and color blind in the other. :D ----6
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Re: Range Report Two 45-70's (links to photos)

#15 Post by KirkD » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:17 pm

Sixgun wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:07 am
Correction Kirk.....my cans of 4198 may be burgundy and not brown as I posted. I cannot tell the difference between brown and any other color that's close to it.....yea, I'm blind in one eye and color blind in the other. :D ----6
I am pretty bad as well. My wife just rolls her eyes at my feeble grasp of colour names. She also has long since learned to NEVER send me to a paint store. The last time, about 22 years ago, I went to buy paint, I walked into the paint store and asked for white paint. The lady asked me, "What colour of white would you like?" I was mystified; was she joking? Surely even a child knows what colour white is! Did she not speak English? So I replied, "Uh ... the colour of snow." She then said, "Well let me show you the different shades of white we have and you can tell me which one you want." I took one look at the vast arrays of white and left the store with no paint, deciding my wife is the one for this mission.
Kirk: An old geezer who loves the smell of freshly turned earth, old cedar rail fences, wood smoke, a crackling fireplace on a snowy evening, pristine wilderness lakes, the scent of
cedars and a magnificent Whitetail buck framed in the semi-buckhorn sights of a 120-year old Winchester.
http://p2c.com/students/blogs/kirk-durston

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Re: Range Report Two 45-70's (links to photos)

#16 Post by OldWin » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:09 pm

Beautiful 86 Kirk. Thanks for posting that.

Wow, I guess all the cool kids are color blind. :D
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Re: Range Report Two 45-70's (links to photos)

#17 Post by Stevie » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:33 pm

Yeh...I guess the IMR 4198 can is more or less burgundy...4227 is pale blue...3031 is red...4831 appears to me to be a bright crimson red but I think it's actually orange...anyhow..I had/have never seen rotten/deteriorated powder before. It appeared to me as the powder itself had oxidized into rusty fine dust..like about most that was left in the can...with a small amount that appeared like normal silver strands of powder. I notice that all my canned IMR powders have cardboard lid seals...I need to look at what's left of my rotten imr 4198 can and see if the seal is still in it..I think the can remnants are still in my self propelled dumpster(ancient JEEP truck)

Back to the 1886 rifle/carbine. My Browning src isn't tapped with an extra tang hole for tang mounted peep. I would presume Mr. KirkD had his drilled and tapped?

I do know my Winchester M1892 sporting rifle and M1892 carbine are both drilled and tapped for tang sights...were the original M1886 rifles/carbines drilled and tapped for tang sights?

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Re: Range Report Two 45-70's (links to photos)

#18 Post by KirkD » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:03 pm

I drilled and tapped the Browning myself, taking great care to get it exactly centred. I must have lucked out because I didn't even need any shims to centre the tang sight. Original 1886's were already drilled and tapped for a tang sight.
Kirk: An old geezer who loves the smell of freshly turned earth, old cedar rail fences, wood smoke, a crackling fireplace on a snowy evening, pristine wilderness lakes, the scent of
cedars and a magnificent Whitetail buck framed in the semi-buckhorn sights of a 120-year old Winchester.
http://p2c.com/students/blogs/kirk-durston

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Re: Range Report Two 45-70's (links to photos)

#19 Post by piller » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:05 am

Beautiful 1886 Kirk. Things are not mass produced to have such beauty in today's world.

By the time I started reloading, the plastic cans were almost to push the metal cans into retirement. I think I have 2 metal cans. 1 red and 1 burgundy. I got a late start. My Dad never owned a centerfire gun except for a Browning Auto 5 purchased in 1952 or 53 for $87.00 at a BX near the second largest runway in Germany. He was in the Air Force at the time. Since i didn't know anyone who used anything centerfire until I went into the Army, I got a late start with owning guns and an even later start reloading. I am sure glad I found this site because I have learned a lot from most everyone on here.
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Re: Range Report Two 45-70's (links to photos)

#20 Post by M. M. Wright » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:30 am

Thanks Kirk, I have an original 86 and a Browning SRC. The Browning has been shortened to where it is the same length as a 94 SRC and a receiver sight and sling swivels added. My 45-90 '86 was mfgd in 1916 and was a sad sight when I bought it. I originally thought I'd have the barrel re-lined but it cleaned up better than I ever dreamed. The only problem is Winchester thought of 45-90 as an "Express" so they rifled the barrels with a slow twist and loaded the ammo with light, (300 grain) bullets. I'm sure you know all this but my point is, I'll bet your 86 would shoot a much tighter group with a lighter bullet. Mine really likes 30 grains of AA 5744 and a 325 grain, gas checked bullet. For deer season I bump it up to 34 grains just to make it shoot a little flatter.
Anyway, I really enjoyed your pictures, thanks again.
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Re: Range Report Two 45-70's (links to photos)

#21 Post by Old Savage » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:51 pm

See any similarities?
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Re: Range Report Two 45-70's (links to photos)

#22 Post by KirkD » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:22 pm

Old Savage, those are both beautiful 45-70's.
Kirk: An old geezer who loves the smell of freshly turned earth, old cedar rail fences, wood smoke, a crackling fireplace on a snowy evening, pristine wilderness lakes, the scent of
cedars and a magnificent Whitetail buck framed in the semi-buckhorn sights of a 120-year old Winchester.
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Re: Range Report Two 45-70's (links to photos)

#23 Post by Old Savage » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:49 pm

And the measurements are very similar.
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Re: Range Report Two 45-70's (links to photos)

#24 Post by KirkD » Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:45 pm

Old Savage wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:49 pm
And the measurements are very similar.
My very first 45-70 was a Marlin 1895 made back in the 80's when they were excellent rifles. I regret selling it now; it was a beautiful rifle in fit and finish, as well as accuracy. When the Browning 1886 SRC was announced, I sold my Marlin to acquire the funds to get the Browning. I definitely do not regret getting the Browning, but in retrospect, I wish I'd kept the Marlin and sold something else instead.
Kirk: An old geezer who loves the smell of freshly turned earth, old cedar rail fences, wood smoke, a crackling fireplace on a snowy evening, pristine wilderness lakes, the scent of
cedars and a magnificent Whitetail buck framed in the semi-buckhorn sights of a 120-year old Winchester.
http://p2c.com/students/blogs/kirk-durston

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Re: Range Report Two 45-70's (links to photos)

#25 Post by Rube Burrows » Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:46 pm

Love a good range report. Lovely rifles and good shooting.

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