What's in your arsenal??

Wet Spreaders

Super Anarchist
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SF Bay
Took the antique Winchester 45-70 to the range today to try out the copper ammo - Barnes Vortex. It's a 300 grain bullet rated at 1900 fps. The prior hard lead 405 grain bullet uses the same charge, but gets only 1450 fps.

At 50 yards I'm getting a 2" group about 6" too high on the target. At 100 yards I managed a 4" group with a couple of "strays" (high) that may or may not count, depending on who I'm telling fish stories to at the time. The main 100 yard group was centered and high about 5" - I have to aim at the bottom of the target to splatter around the middle. The lead ammo is zero'ed in for elevation at 50 yards with the sights fully depressed. Zippy copper does not drop enough.

There's no more sight adjustment to depress the muzzle - all of the adjustment is for elevation, which makes sense if you're shooting lead at a buffalo from 300 yards, maybe, but is crap for copper vs a pig from as close as I can creep up.

What's the plan? Shoot at piggie's toes and swag the elevation, or is there another adjustment I can make. Maybe a taller blade sight at the end of the barrel?

Anyhow, the good news is that the copper bullets don't tumble or do some other annoying stuff on the way down range, and appear to be consistent.
 

Charlie Foxtrot

Super Anarchist
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Floriduh
WS, you're shooting from bags? Going for a 100 yard zero? And you can't lower the rear sight any more? (Tried removing the slider?) You might have to go with the taller front sight if the Barnes Vortex is your chosen round and you want a Point of Aim (POA)/ Point of impact (POI) (a good idea for a hunting arm). Or look to another load. Kinda doesn't surprise me she's shooting high, given the much slower/ heavier rounds of yore.

BTW: In my circle, a three round group is considered the standard sighting group for levers. Five rounds for bolters below the 30 Cal Magnums, three for above) and five for fully-automatic semi-autos regardless of caliber.


Doooood, so proud of you for working up your ol' warrior! Proud, man, Proud! I'm stuck building shelves for Charlotte's sewing room, chasing lizards on my zero-turn, and doing some dry-firing with my CCW.
 
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Wet Spreaders

Super Anarchist
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286
SF Bay
Here's the 100 yard target. The top two are from the first group of 3. The first shot was off the top about 1", and 1" to the right. I re-adjusted my aiming point to the bottom of the target and shot three more, which are the three in a line close to the center box.

I was shooting seated, resting on bags - front and rear. I suspect that the rifle is more capable than I am - iron sights notwithstanding - I'm pretty happy with how the old girl turned out.

The other weird thing - I checked with the Winchester Museum people and they say that the rifle was originally shipped as a 40-82, with a hexagonal barrel and short magazine. Someone converted it to 45-70 round barrel and added a full length mag tube. The museum people think that the barrel is older than the age of the receiver (1894) because of the style of the manufacturer's labeling. Also, it has "Saginaw" stamped into the barrel. My guess is that the work to re-chamber the rifle was done in the armory there, but I don't have any real data to support that. Would be nice to find an ownership chain and get a story, but that's probably lost in time at this point.

IMG_1130.jpg
 

Wet Spreaders

Super Anarchist
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SF Bay
Yup! Grizzly Adams wannabee. I'm kinda stoked to go hunting old-school with the iron sights and historical rifle. I probably won't be wearing coarse wool pants, vest and snowy beard. Maybe the hat would suit me though...
 

veni vidi vici

Super Anarchist
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Yup! Grizzly Adams wannabee. I'm kinda stoked to go hunting old-school with the iron sights and historical rifle. I probably won't be wearing coarse wool pants, vest and snowy beard. Maybe the hat would suit me though...
In my younger days I was at one with iron sights on a rifle
 

Liquid

NFLTG
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Over there
Well now I am looking for a Colt Anaconda 4” barrel. Anyone have a good lead?

Gunbroker and $2-5K...

Anyhow, the good news is that the copper bullets don't tumble or do some other annoying stuff on the way down range, and appear to be consistent.

Is the or your 45-70 not a threaded barrel?

Kinda doesn't surprise me she's shooting high, given the much slower/ heavier rounds of yore.

^ That seems like a key little nugget!
 

Wet Spreaders

Super Anarchist
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SF Bay
Is the or your 45-70 not a threaded barrel?
Yes - the barrel unscrews. I did not try that when I disassembled and cleaned it, but YouTube videos show that it's possible given sufficient torque and appropriate clamping. I'm not going to play with that - let sleeping dogs lie etc...

The reason I was worrying about the bullets tumbling is a comment on one of the Winchester owners forums about a guy with a similar rifle of a similar age getting good accuracy with slow heavy bullets but lousy accuracy and keyholes in targets when moving to the faster copper hunting rounds. Turns out that it was not an issue when I tried the copper ammo for the first time today. He probably has something else wrong (worn rifling, or damaged muzzle or some such).
 

Wet Spreaders

Super Anarchist
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286
SF Bay
I meant, internal threads in the barrel.
Rifling. Yes - it's not a smooth bore, it has a rifled barrel. Rifling can wear out, rust away or get damaged in older guns - probably that's why the other guy was having issues shooting copper bullets - not enough definition in the rifling to spin-stabilize the bullets.
 

giegs

Anarchist
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289
Arid
I might have missed something up thread, but see if you can find something loaded for cowboy action shooting. If you reload they're easy/cheap to make.
 

Point Break

Super Anarchist
26,110
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Long Beach, California
So Sunday my Mesa mag clamp and rail for my Mossberg arrives to put on a WML there as well. Seemed like a good idea given the discussion and since it is my first HD choice given time enough. Now I just have to pick one…….
 

Liquid

NFLTG
4,448
739
Over there
As predicted, my budget $165 Swampfox red dot gave up the ghost after ~350 rounds. It barely made it through my 150 round action certification last Sat. It turns on but only at the lowest brightness and will turn off randomly. Replaced with a Vortex Venom... So far so good.

I would note to clean the red dot glass often and check the initial mounting tightness after a few mags to make sure you got the lock tight right.
 
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