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Thread: Not quite "intermediate" - .45-70 conversion?

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    Happy Camper hcpookie's Avatar
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    Default Not quite "intermediate" - .45-70 conversion?

    I fondled an empty .45-70 case and tested its fit in several magazines. This seems like it would be a NICE round for the AK platform.

    I am sure it will fit in the G3 .308 magazines I tested. I still have a pile of them! The FAL mag would require a bit more work to shape the top area due to the thin size, and it would hold less rounds, again due to the thinner size. My estimate is that perhaps 12-15 rounds in a G3 magazine would fit.

    The PSL mags are really too thin at the tip to handle more than perhaps 5 rounds, if that much. I think the cartridges tip too much toward the middle, but I'd have to stack it full to see exactly how that would work.

    I didn't have any other mags - PSL, FAL, and G3 were all I could find. I'd like to see how those US Saiga .308 magazines would work. I wonder if Saiga .410 magazines might work too?




    Looking at the rim, it seems a 7.62x54R bolt could be modified to fit the .602" base of the .45-70. There would still be enough area on the bolt to cover the rim, and considering the rim really doesn't need to be directly supported, it seems almost too easy to modify it.

    The Speer reloading manual has a section dedicated to the .45-70 with loads specifically tailored to "only the modern lever actions" that can handle the "extremely high pressure" of 35,000 CUP. That really got my attention!

    The AK action should be able to handle this cartridge no problem.
    considerable hunting platform. And a home defense platform too, assuming you put a big muzzle brake on it. I'm thinking a blast-redirecting brake like on the Barrett 50. I'm pretty sure I've seen one of those, perhaps on Global Trades.




    I have no idea on barrels. I assume it uses a .458 barrel but I could be wrong. I'll have to check on what's out there. I think a nice 16-18" barrel with a whopper muzzle brake would fit the bill very nicely!


    Wheels are a'turnin!!!! Someone talk me out of this! Why would this be a bad idea?

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    Master Endmill Breaker Rhino_66's Avatar
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    Talk you out of it? Yeah, right.

    Maybe you could take a look at a Bren mag. It's squared off at the front, unlike the PSL mag. It's made for a large rimmed case. They're affordable. They're BIG. They're thick enough to weld without blowing big holes in them.

    The downside is that they have a big rib on the back for the bolt hold open lug, which might need to be ground/cut off and a new back panel attached. The mag is really just too big for anything less than a PSL bolt and carrier, but you seem to be planning on going that route so it shouldn't be an issue.

    For barrels, you may want to look at Thompson Center. I believe they have 16.5" and 21" versions.



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    No Hope For Me 1biggun's Avatar
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    Hc I read of A guy building one(45-700 on a 20 guage sagia shot gun when researching the Tromix 444 marlin conversion). .458 barrel I have been looking at the 444 Marlin and the 45-70 brass as a doner for a rebated rim round and am collecting parts for a 444 marlin/410 sagia conversion. I really want to build a 444 marlin with a rebated rim on a Yugo kit. I dont think the rebating will be that much work. there is also the possability of using 410 brass shotgun shells as well formed to make a simular round.

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    Happy Camper hcpookie's Avatar
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    Rhino, I thought Bren mags had dried up? I assume you mean the .308 mags? Or the .303 mags?


    Biggun,

    I looked at the Saiga .410 first, but after reading the chamber pressure of a .410 is around 12,000 PSI, I decided to look more closely at a PSL-based setup.

    The data on the Chuck Hawks website here:

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/45-70Govt.htm

    ... is based on the Hornady 6th edition data. The "heavy" load is 50,000 CUP - quite a bit. I'm not sure that the Saiga shotgun actions would be up to it?????



    I just pulled out the Hornady 7th edition, which states that the data listed under ".45-70 Gov't 1895 Marlin" are "held up to 40,000 CUP max"... that puts this just on the high side of normal - but still within - standard AK action pressures. And the write-up says that it will be good for anything "from black bear to moose". I'll bet!!! This would blow volleyball-sized holes in a man-sized target!!!


    Now, the Hornady 7th data for the "Ruger #1" does indeed put them at 50,000 CUP. Probably too much for a "G" conversion, but possibly OK for an M76 action? The 54R data from the Chamber Pressures thread here:

    Chamber Pressures

    ... is listed at 46,000 CUP. The question is how well the 46000 would handle the cartridge's 50000 CUP. That's only 4,000 difference, not much really. HRM. The Hornady manual stresses the maximum is 50,000 CUP, so the more I read it, the more I think those 500 grain monster bullets could be used with a PSL action. Oh WOW - 1300-1500 FPS in a 500 grain bullet! That would be a cool dinosaur killer!!! And if you stayed on the left side of the charts, it would not reach up to 50,000 CUP and probably behave like a "hot" 54R round.


    After looking at MidwayUSA's barrel selection, the barrels start at $80. Not bad!


    This has me all warm and squishy inside.

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    Happy Camper hcpookie's Avatar
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    Rhino, I found these:

    http://www.dsarms.com/prodinfo.asp?number=117L1U

    What do you think?

    That doesn't seem TOO bad - $15 each when you buy 2 or more. I've got to find out exactly how many I can load up in a G3 mag...

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    Gunco Member bert01's Avatar
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    i think the 410 sagia would be the way to go as far as mags

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    Gunco Member us_dragunov's Avatar
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    Heck...if the G3 mags work go with those...I got 10 of them for like $5.

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    Happy Camper hcpookie's Avatar
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    I totally agree about the G3 mags! Since I have so many left, they are my first choice. Those Bren mags look interesting, so I may actually pick up a few of those.


    Check this out - the current Hodgdon data indicates 50,000 CUP is the *MAX* for the hottest of loads which are intended for the modern firearms. Obvoiusly these wouldn't work in a lesser rifle. The important thing to me is the comparitive data for 7.62x54R. The asterisks show the hottest load on their charts. I copied only the hotest of loads - more are listed on their site.

    Curious that they list the x54R as a .308 "class" bullet. Somewhere I read a post that x54R can climb up to 49,000 CUP. Presumably that's with a hot military surplus load.

    Cartridge: 7.62 x 54R

    Bullet Weight (Gr.) | Order BW | Powder | Bullet Diam. | C.O.L. | Start Grs. | Vel. (ft/s) | Pressure | Max Grs. | Vel. (ft/s) | Pressure

    150 GR. NOS BT | 150 | H4895 | .308" | 2.875" | 46.0 | 2769 | 38,000 CUP | 49.5C | 2938 | 46,300 CUP

    200 GR. SPR SP | 200 | H380 | .308" | 2.950" | 46.0 | 2337 | 41,200 CUP | 49.0 | 2432 | 46,600 CUP*
    220 GR. HDY JRN | 220 | H4895 | .308" | 2.830" | 38.0 | 2143 | 41,200 CUP | 41.0 | 2263 | 46,600 CUP*


    Cartridge: 45-70 Government (Modern Rifles Only)

    Bullet Weight (Gr.)| Order BW | Powder | Bullet Diam. | C.O.L. | Start Grs. | Vel. (ft/s) | Pressure | Max Grs. | Vel. (ft/s) | Pressure

    300 GR. SIE HP | 300 | H4198 | .458" | 2.525" | 59.5 | 2394 | 37,300 CUP | 63.0 | 2532 | 50,000 CUP*
    350 GR. HDY JRN | 350 | H4198 | .458" | 2.540" | 50.5 | 2104 | 35,100 CUP | 56.0 | 2300 | 50,000 CUP*


    Cartridge: 45-70 Government (Lever Actions)*

    Bullet Weight (Gr.) | Order BW Powder | Bullet Diam. | C.O.L. | Start Grs. | Vel. (ft/s) | Pressure | Max Grs. | Vel. (ft/s) Pressure


    400 GR. SPR JFP | 400 | H335 | .458" | 2.540" | 52.0 | 1798 | 25,400 CUP | 58.0 | 1995 | 40,000 CUP*
    400 GR. SPR JFP | 400 | Benchmark | .458" | 2.540" | 55.0 | 1856 | 29,600 CUP | 58.5C | 1986 | 40,000 CUP*

  9. #9
    Gunco Member us_dragunov's Avatar
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    Interesting that they don't list any 54R loads with .311 bullets.....

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    Gunco Member mickey's Avatar
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    The .444 marlin was originally made from untrimmed 30.06 brass in development by Remington.The rim was left untrimmed for .444 & trimmed for 30.06. The first .444 cases were headstamped 30.06 Remington. Hope this may help.

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