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Some years back I inherited a Springfield 1873 trapdoor 45/70. I’ve had it inspected by a reputable old gunsmith who offered to buy it from me.( Not for sale.) When asked about it’s shootability he felt confident that it was serviceable to shoot.
His only advice, “No smokeless powders, and load lite.”
I’m comfortable with reloading and firing it.
If any of you guys reload black powder for old Springfields, is there a particular brand specific for these older rifles?
Also… Is a 405 grain projectile too much?
Any info from you antique shooters would be appreciated.
 

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No specific brand of bp. Swiss is best. If you want real bp you will most likely have to order it online. I would use FFG grain size. Remember no airspace between bullet and powder. Substitutes are by volume only. A 405 grain projectile is fine just don't use jacketed bullets in it.
 

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Congratulations on your Springfield! I am glad you have a good gunsmith that you are comfortable with. I differ slightly from his advice. These rifles and carbines CAN be loaded with smokeless powder quite effectively. For the 'authentic' experience shooting them, the best choice is black powder. Both the 405 grain (hollow base with the 405) and solid base with the 500 grain bullets work well the the 3 groove Springfield barrel. The down side shooting black powder cartridges is the more intense cleaning required for both the weapon and the cartridge cases.

I've found the IMR-3031 is a good choice for reloading the 405 hollow base bullets in this caliber. Another peculiar requirement in reloading this caliber is that there are THREE distinct power levels found in reloading manuals - and the trapdoor design requires that the first power level be maintained fo load for.

Finally. the Lyman Reloading manual is a great manual - especially for this caliber. Another outstanding reference if the J.S. Wolf "Reloading Cartridges For the .45-70 Rifle and Carbine'.
 

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BP can heavily pit a barrel and the barrel still perform well. The barrels where Pyrodex goes uncleaned the acid will eat the rifling out of a barrel in short order making it totally useless.
 

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I 2nd the J S Wolf book . It has all the info you need for 45-70 black powder for your Trapdoor . Is your Trapdoor a rifle or carbine ?
 

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Congratulations on your Trapdoor and best of fun shooting it! I own a 1878 Carbine and love it. I shoot both Black Powder and Non Black Powder. Use "Remington 45-70 states on box "Safe for Trapdoor" for Smokeless I use 405 grain, 1330fps, 1590 mv semi round lead nose. For Black Powder I use 415 Grain, 1330fps,1590 mv semi round nose. BP is more fun to shoot, shock flame and awe!! Smokeless...eh less of a feel kick no smoke. lol Bad part with BP is cleaning the rifle, it gets dirty real good. I shoot it all the time mostly BP rounds. Here is a good Trapdoor club link, loads of good info
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