some more pleasant subjects.
We made up some black powder loads for the .45-70. Which I was a bit nervous about, as black has some things it won't allow. Such as there cannot be any space between the powder column and the bullet; space will cause a pressure spike that can do unpleasant things. And you need lube on the bullet a bit different from that used for smokeless, as one of its jobs is to help keep the fouling soft. So bullets actually intended for black tend to have lube grooves both wide and deep.
There's a very good piece on getting started with black powder cartridge loading(pdf file), so started with that. Five rounds with 60 grains of FFg, a cardboard overpowder wad and a 405-grain bullet, that load having about 1/10" of compression of the powder. Wasn't able to set the Chrony up so don't know what the velocity was; recoil was softer than with smokeless, the cloud was impressive. About 4-5" group at 100 yards(same sight setting as with smokeless loads), which could probably be improved quite a bit, starting with a little more powder and more compression. Cleanup is a bit of a pain, cases included, but not horrible.
Added: in comments Arthur gave a link to this on cleaning cases after black powder
And in the comments on the video, someone gave this link for products that contain the sodium perborate he mentions.
You might remember the .338 project rifle. It had an odd feeding problem on occasion: it didn't want to feed from the right side of the magazine. From the left, the cartridge slid right in, from the right it'd get about halfway into the chamber and jam. It got to be a more-often thing. Lots of digging around and asking, ran across a guy who'd had the same problem with a AR-10 in .308. His was under warranty so contacted DPMS, they sent a shipping label, off it went. Came back with note from the gunsmith that 'chamber was tight, reamed, polished, tested with ten different brands of ammo.'
So removed barrel(DPMS) and sent it and bolt to guy with go/no-go gauges, a .338 reamer, and a lathe. Headspace was good, so he just polished it very well(and threaded the muzzle while he had it). Reinstalled, and the problem is gone. Which is nice.
The outdoor range I go to was packed. Closer it gets to deer season, the busier it is. Give it another week, and it'll drop off a lot.
I would love to find a place where could get out to 3-400 yards with that .45-70, see how it'd do. For that matter, some other things I'd like to try at longer range.
.22 ammo is more expensive(like just about everything else), and fairly available. Best price I've found was for Federal Champion or American Eagle, $2.50/box.
Some smokeless powder that's been in short to nonexistent supply for a long time is showing up again; I'm guessing ammo manufacturers are getting caught up on backlogs and powder makers can start supplying more to the public.
I just ran through what all I need to load in the near future; damn.