|Loading Cartridges for the Original .45-70 Springfield Rifle and
Carbine - Third Edition, Revised & Expanded
by J.S. and Pat Wolf
Wolf’s Western Traders
Soft cover, spiral bound, 6 ½ x 9, 185 pages additional 34 pages
in the third edition
Features: text, black & white photographs, data tables, illustrations,
dimensioned drawings. Spiral binding allows book to lie flat on the
A particularly interesting and noteworthy book that resurrects the knowledge
and techniques used to load the military .45-70 cartridges for the Springfield
Descriptions of creating specialized ammunition to get the greatest
accuracy with one particular rifle are the standard literature. This book
addresses the completely different question of how to create ammunition
for entire army so that any randomly selected rifle using any randomly
selected cartridge will shoot to the ranges stamped on the sights, (2,000
yd) with very high levels of accuracy.
The table of contents is very descriptive and useful.
Section 1, Introduction and Basic Information, 18 pages
Author’s intent is to re-create the cartridges developed and proven
by the Government Arsenals in the 1880’s. Basic information is provided
along with tips on purchasing a Springfield rifle.
Section 2, Maintenance of Firearm and Ammunition, 17 pages
How to thoroughly clean the rifle, bore, and care of cartridge cases.
Section 3, The Springfield sights & Their Use, 27 pages
Illustrations and text from the original military manuals for the model
1879 sight, and model 1884 sight, modern information on these and other
sights. Suggestions on “sighting in” at different distances.
Section 4, The Art of Hand Loading for the .45-70, 21 pages
Describes the various potential problems and their elimination.
Section 5, Black Powder Notes, 16 pages
Methods of placing powder in cartridge cases, and the proper amount
Section 6, Loading Dies and Data, 32 pages
Details use of dies and loading data
Section 7, Other Cartridges, 14 pages
Other cartridges used in the Springfield rifle including, blank cartridge,
three ball guard loading, and forge load.
Section 8, Manual Pages with Explanation, 10 pages
Excerpts from the 1874 military manual with information regarding cartridge,
trajectory, accuracy, and drift. Includes some modern comments.
Section 9, Miscellaneous Notes and Information, 11 pages
Recommended references, list of suppliers, use of the sling, loading
for the 45 long colt, index of terms used in the book.
The book includes many nuggets of information and rules of thumb.
For example, if you’re shooting at a 200 yd target with a cold, clean barrel,
use the sight setting for 175 yd for the first shot. For the second
shot, use the setting for 185yds. For the third and remaining shots, use
the setting for 200yds.
I found the section on the Buffington site particularly interesting.
It is graduated out to 2,000 yd. If you look carefully at the sight leaf
slide, it doesn’t extend straight up, but inclines very slightly to the
left to allow for bullet drift to the right at extreme ranges.
I enjoyed this book immensely. The author set for himself the
goal of being able to recreate the performance of the original government
cartridges. He succeeds and finds and shares much of interest along
the way. The story was, part historical review, part detective story,
and part How-To manual.
I recommend this book very highly, particularly to anyone chasing accuracy
or with a historical interest in firearms.
On Bill’s scale of books, 1 to 5, 5 highest.
Engineer BILL’s book rating is a solid 5.
Regarding shooting the 45-70 to 2000 yards or more, you might fine
Hooks article interesting. This was shooting to 2000 yards under somewhat