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1876 .45-75 Load information for black powder
July 14, 2020
6:44 pm
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Seeing the thread on loads for the .45-60 made me think folks might be interested in seeing loading data for the .45-75.  I recommend getting a few original .45-75 loaded rounds to use as samples.  The Winchester brand cartridges were loaded up into the late 1930’s so are not too hard to find.  To my knowledge they were black powder.

The .45-75 is somewhat more difficult to load these days as the correct brass and bullets is harder to come by.  For brass, the best I have found is resized and trimmed .348 Winchester cases.  Buffalo Arms used to carry these but not any longer.  Maybe the supply of .348 brass has dried up.  Buffalo Arms does list .45-75 brass reformed from Starline .50-90 cases.  I have not used them so no way to give a review.

For bullets if you mold your own you can get an original Winchester .45-75 mold off eBay. The .45-75 was loaded from the factory with the 350 grain bullet.  They are not too hard to find.  Lyman made a virtually identical mold #457192 that drops a 350 grain three groove bullet. I found this one at the CGCA show in Denver years ago. There is no crimping groove as it was not needed with black powder.  If you are shooting that new-fangled smokeless stuff then you might need to find one with a crimping groove.   Buffalo Arms sells a bullet that looks like it would work and has a crimping grove.  I have not tried it.

For primers I like the Winchester large magnum rifle.  The reformed .348 cases will not take a 75 grains of black powder.  It seems 60-65 grains is about right and allows the bullet to lightly compress the load.  You can use a drop tube if you like but I don’t think it’s needed with this short case.

RCBS makes custom dies but I think for most applications an original Winchester 1880 model .45-75 reloading tool is totally adequate.  After all, you are not going to be loading thousands of rounds.  These can be found on eBay.  The de-capping pin is usually missing but that can be done as a separate step using a punch.  Instructions on how to use these tools were listed in the old catalogs.  It’s not rocket surgery and they are intuitive.  It’s a very cleverly designed tool. 

Here are a couple of photos that may be of interest.  Your mileage may vary!  Nothing guaranteed or implied.

IMG_2974.JPGImage EnlargerIMG_2975.JPGImage Enlarger

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July 14, 2020
7:21 pm
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I’m trying to remember the name of the company we used to get 45-75 from. I pretty sure the brass came from Australia, as the box had a Kangaroo on it.

Anybody know which company that is?

Sincerely,

Maverick

July 14, 2020
7:34 pm
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I recall Bertram made .45-75 marked brass but it was not formed.  Buyers had to form and anneal them.  I have not owned any of these.

July 14, 2020
9:36 pm
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Folks,  It has been a few years, but the last .45-75 brass I bought was Bertram brass and it was already formed and sized correctly.  Haven’t loaded it enough to determine its life expectancy.  Many years ago I started with brass reformed from Winchester .348.  Lasted almost indefinitely before finally cracking in the neck area.  Next was the aforementioned Bertram brass that needed to be formed and sized.  Seems it didn’t last all that long but that is only an impression at this time.  I surely hope, for the price, the already formed and sized Bertram brass lasts longer.  I obtained it from Midway USA by the way.  I think they no longer handled Bertram brass, but can’t swear to that.   Tim

PS. I obtained some lathe turned brass from John Hawke a fair number of years ago as well.  I had issues with it.  The rim had no bevel on the face so the extractor hooks on my rifles did not wish to snap over the rim.  I had to turn them then and form a bevel myself.  Look at original brass-it is beveled on the face of the rim.  Anyway, once I did that they functioned in my rifles.  Again, not fired enough to know how well they will last.  Embarassed

July 14, 2020
10:43 pm
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Yeah it was Bertram Brass. My dad ordered some of the first run they made in 45-75 W.C.F. He took his 1st Model 76 SRC to a Texas Gun Collectors Association show in Dallas. George just happen to be there. They got to talking about it, Dad was asking George about how to work on the gun, because it was a little stiff to shoot. George thought he was shooting original ammo, and blown away tickled pink when Dad had “New Brass”. And was shocked it was even head stamped 45-75. And wanted to know where in the hell he found it?! By the time the show was over, Dad was beginning to wonder if he was going to have to pry SRC from George’s hands.

I remember it took Dad a few tries to get the annealing done right. Had more than one split case.

Sincerely,

Maverick

July 14, 2020
10:50 pm
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RCBS no longer has a custom die shop. CH4D made mine but the last set of dies I got from them took 18 MONTHS.  You need to call them and ask what is in stock. You might luck out.  Brass is hard to find.  Good luck.

July 14, 2020
11:31 pm
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I have been shooting and reloading .45-75 for a long time.  Back in the early 70’s, an old gentleman gave me 30 rounds of reformed .348 brass.  It worked pretty well, but it had all been trimmed too short.  When .348 brass became plentiful, I  bought 150 rounds.  I’ve  loaded and fired these dozens of times and fired them in many different rifles and carbine, without a single failure.  I have a set of RCBS and 4D, but prefer my original 1875 or 1880 tools for reloading.  I also use an original 5th model Winchester mold.  Absolutely love this cartridge. I’ve shot a total of 9 buffalo, all with original  76’s and 3 with the .45-75.

July 15, 2020
4:19 am
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Spoke with my old man this evening, he was watching the grandkids while I worked late, and we got on the subject of brass.

He said he bumped into a fellow at the Quigley shoot a little while back named Jeff Roberson of Roberson Cartridge Company. Supposedly Mr. Roberson can and will make any standard SAAMI and CIP cartridge brass you can think of. And you can even special order your cartridge design / wildcat type caliber brass be made. They use CNC machines to form the brass, and the brass is not drawn. Which is why I believe their casings are a little more on the expensive side, and they have a minimum order of 50. But hey, when they can make anything practically you want, whats the down side. They can even put whatever head stamp you want on it.

Don’t know if anyone else here has tried them out, but they do sound interesting to say the least. I have never used them and am not connected with them in any manner whatsoever, but if your in a bind for brass. They maybe the solution you need.

Contact Information:

http://www.rccbrass.com

phone:806-329-3130

3848 Business Park Drive

Amarillo, TX 79110

 

Here is a link to what they show for 45-75 brass. https://www.rccbrass.com/?s=45-75&post_type=product

Sincerely,

Maverick

July 15, 2020
1:09 pm
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Chuck said
RCBS no longer has a custom die shop. CH4D made mine but the last set of dies I got from them took 18 MONTHS.  You need to call them and ask what is in stock. You might luck out.  Brass is hard to find.  Good luck.  

It appears that RCBS still offers the .45-75 dies.  They must be a regular production item.  Maybe since Uberti is making .45-75 reproduction 1876 rifles?

https://www.rcbs.com/dies-and-shell-holders/shop-by-cartridge/.45-75-winchester-reloading-essentials/rcbs-45-75-winchester.html

July 15, 2020
7:40 pm
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 Chuck, I also have the CH4D dies and they work well. T/R

July 15, 2020
9:54 pm
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TR said
 Chuck, I also have the CH4D dies and they work well. T/R  

TR, my CH4D dies for the 45-75 work OK but the ones for the 22 WCF took some work to get them set up.  I bought my brass a long time ago and was lucky to find some Bertram brass.  It’s OK but it isn’t as consistent as some.  I have to separate the 45-90’s because the rim is too thick for my highwall but shoots OK in the 86.

Bill, it is good to hear that these are still made by RCBS.

Maverick, I have talked to RCCBrass.  They will make it but they have a minimum.  It is pricey but if more than 1 person wants it they should split the cost.

July 15, 2020
10:27 pm
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 Chuck, I have some 348 brass and also Bertram. Both seem to last, but the 348 rim diameter is .020″ smaller which can be an ejection problem on some worn rifles. T/R

July 16, 2020
4:02 am
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Forgot to update on my 45-70.  Load is coming along but my shoulder is still sore.  Shot it a week ago Tuesday.  Still have a dime size red spot and a silver dollar size bruise.  Need to increase the powder a grain or so and see what it does.  Ouch!!

June 22, 2021
11:38 pm
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Roger
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I have loaded 10 rounds of 45-75 WCF that I made from 50-90 Sharps.  I cut the sharps 50-90 cases down by 1/2″ then I turned the rims down from .562″ to .527-.528″, from there I ran them through a RCBS die set for the 45-75 WCF to form them into the new caliber.  I trimmed them to 1.890″ in length and then ran them through my tumbler overnight before I annealed them twice in my AMP annealer.  I had some 350gr copper jacketed lead bullets made by Hawks bullets made.  I received the bullets last week and loaded up the 10 rounds with 42gr of Blackhorn 209 powder, F215M primer, seated to base of neck. .360″ of .900″ long bullet protrudes from case making it 2.250-2.260″. They run great through the magazine tube, cycle through the chamber, and eject just fine.  Since I cannot find any good load info I went off what the 45-70 was loaded with using the same brand of powder, I backed down from that and I will test fire these this weekend up in the hills.  I won’t be holding the rifle when I do (no idea what the pressure will be).  I will attach a Magnetospeed chronograph to measure velocity at the muzzle, but I have nothing to measure pressure.  I plan to be about 30-50′ back and pull the trigger using a string.  I am expecting the velocity to be in the 1350-1450FPS range.  Anyone have something to add to this or concerns?  I will try and remember to show results after Saturday when I get home.  Good or Bad.  This is the first round I ever loaded where I had to make the entire bullet and shell and load without any load recipe.  I could use BP and I might still do that, I definitly don’t want to use smokeless powder. 

June 23, 2021
5:59 pm
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Really can’t comment much since I have no experience with the powder and primers you are using?  This powder is supposed to be more powerful than black powder.  My suggestion is to use black powder.  The 45-75 and the 1876 were not made to withstand the pressures of a 45-70.  Backing off is OK but you really are guessing as to how much.  Start lower you can always work your way up.

June 23, 2021
6:50 pm
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Roger
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I did call Hodgdon who bought out Western Powders that used to make Blackhorn 209.  I told them exactly what I was doing and how I was going to load the 45-75 WCF using “Blackhorn 209”, the guy said it should be fine but suggested I add a cardboard wad behind my bullet.  Supposedly this was one of their load support guys.

June 23, 2021
7:00 pm
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My 1876 was made in sept, 1878. I was able to procure 40 Jamison 45-75 cases. I contacted the makers of ACCURATE powders and was told I could use 21 to 30 grains of 5744. I loaded 25 grains with 350 grain jacketed bullets. I have shot up the 40 rounds with no trouble. I can’t vouch for accuracy due to eye problems. Don

June 23, 2021
7:22 pm
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Don, mine was made about 4 months after yours.  It was the last gun that I’ve owned that I developed a smokeless load for.  There is a reason why loading manuals don’t show loads for this Model.  If you know of any I would like to know.

Roger, are fillers necessary or recommended with this powder?

June 26, 2021
10:51 pm
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Roger
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Well I tested my load today for the Uberti 45-75 WCF using 42gr of Blackhorn 209 powder, 350gr Hawks FN copper jacketed bullet, in re-formed 50-90 Sharps Starline cases.  Here are my results:

Fowler shot: 1326fps

2nd 1466fps

3rd 1468fps

4th 1465fps

5th 1450fps

for ES: 18fps (not bad for first rounds loaded)

 

next series:

1st 1448fps

2nd 1451fps

3rd 1450fps

4th 1430fps

5th 1461fps

for ES: 31fps

I need to figure out why each session had one round so low, but very happy with this load.  All cases sealed perfectly, no blow back or soot on case necks at all.  all primers look great no signs of pressure anywhere.  I know this isn’t an original but I thought it would give someone a better idea of where to start if they wanted to try in the older guns.  For an original gun I would definitely start at 35-37gr instead and work up from there.  I also forgot to say I was using FED215M primers.  Thanks and good luck to all,

June 27, 2021
10:12 am
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I have 40 rds of 45-75 I bought several years ago at the Cody show. The box is labeled from Rifle Works & Armory and the load description is, 30:1 lead 350 gr., .458 spg lube, HS-6 powder 17 1/2 gr., Fed 215 primers. The brass is turned & head stamped NWMP 45-75. I have fired 4 rds thru my 1876 ser. #2332 without chronograph but they seem pretty snappy. Do any of you have info or experience with this powder/load? I have no loading experience and am not familiar with this powders bulk. I wonder if a filler was used as I don’t hear it when shaken. It may be compressed??

Darrin

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