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Joined: Nov 2020
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Campfire Greenhorn
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Campfire Greenhorn
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Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 79
Saw a 1885 style rifle on GB, no manufacture, cartridge id stamp. Only marking is a serial number.
Seller says a 45-70 round chambers and ejects fine. Suggest having it chamber cast.
Any way of telling if it's BP or smokless?
Tempted to bid.
Info greatly appreciated.

GB1

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Campfire Ranger
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Campfire Ranger
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Smokeless is certainly ok even if longer than .45-70. I wouldn't let that consideration stop me if I wanted the rifle. You can swing both ways no matter what it turns out to be. (Personally I would lean toward Holy Black in a voluminous case.)


"You can lead a man to logic, but you cannot make him think." Joe Harz
"Always certain, often right." Keith McCafferty
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Campfire Greenhorn
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Campfire Greenhorn
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I just didn't want to chamber a factory smokeless round and have the barrel split open or worse.

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Campfire Tracker
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John Moses Browning did not design weak guns. The 1885 had been chambered for high pressure cartridges for generations.

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Campfire Ranger
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Even if it's a vintage rifle you won't "split the barrel" if you fire a "modern" .45-70 smokeless load in it. (Unless you stuff the case with fast burning pistol powder or some other such dumb trick, of course.) The biggest issue would be if using jacketed bullets in a soft old barrel made during the black powder era - repeated use thereof would induce unwanted wear on the bore.

If it's a modern reproduction it'll have a barrel that can digest lead or jacketed, smokeless or black. That's not to say that prudent handloading protocols can be ignored. All cautions apply here as with everything else - stick with proven safe load data. Other more knowledgeable folks can advise you on the specific rifle as to whether it's "safe" to shoot with the hottest modern factory loads, not to mention also the manufacturer of it themselves. Impossible to do here without knowing exactly what gun you're talking about.


"You can lead a man to logic, but you cannot make him think." Joe Harz
"Always certain, often right." Keith McCafferty
IC B2

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Campfire Kahuna
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Campfire Kahuna
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If you like the rifle, buy it. Figure out what you want to load it with and run with it.

Things to consider:
1) If you need to use BP, and you can trust me on this, accuracy will not suffer and if inclined to hunt with it, soft lead/tin alloy will drop stuff stone dead.
2) Smokeless? Load it and figure it out.

The .45-70, with heavy bullets will abuse your shoulder a bit, matters not what powder you use.

Couple of targets:

.38-55, offhand at 100 yards at a shooting match. Load was BP and a 300 gr cast bullet. The gun is designed for offhand shooting and has a scope.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

.45-70, 5 shots, elbow rest and tang sight at 100 yards. Duplex max load, 530 gr cast bullet. Friend of mine calls the gun "Thumper"....for good reason. Weighs a bit over 11#, fits me quite well and does not charge for bruised shoulders.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Both rifles are Highwalls.


I am..........disturbed.

Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass. -Twain



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