.45/70 Gov’t. 1873 Frankford Arsenal



The .45/70 Government cartridge was developed in 1873, when the US Army standardized on what we know today as the “Trapdoor” Springfield. Earlier variants, some of which had been conversions of muzzle loading rifled muskets, had been chambered in a variety of shorter and larger diameter cartridges which had all fallen short of expectations. The new, nominally .45 caliber bullet had a higher velocity and flatter trajectory of it’s counterparts, and remains popular among historical shooters and hunters to this day.

My bullet is a copy of the 1873 Frankford Arsenal bullet. It weighs 405 grains, is cast in soft alloy, and measures .459″ on the belt. It features a base cavity, which ensures consistent expansion on firing just like a Burton bullet. Overall length is 1.7″.

I fire this projectile through an original Model 1873 Springfield carbine, with the carbine-specific load of 55gr 2fg BLACK POWDER. I use Winchester and Starline brass, which holds my powder charge a card wad and a lubricated bullet with ease. The original rifle loading was the full 70gr, but they were rolled brass cases which had significantly more volume than modern brass. To fit the full 70gr under this slug in modern brass I have to compress it. I do not have load data for it with smokeless as I do not fire smokeless through my weapon, and it is NOT a gas check bullet.

Only use a load that is safe for you, and for your weapon!

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.45/70 Gov't. 1873 Frankford Arsenal (QTY 25), .45/70 Gov't. 1873 Frankford Arsenal (QTY 50), .45/70 Gov't. 1873 Frankford Arsenal (QTY 100)


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