Author Topic: .45 Colt in a trapdoor  (Read 912 times)

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Offline guzzijohn

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.45 Colt in a trapdoor
« on: January 16, 2013, 06:46:21 AM »
Would it be possible to shoot a .45 Colt through a 45/70 trapdoor in desperate times?
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Offline jedman

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Re: .45 Colt in a trapdoor
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2013, 12:00:16 AM »
  Yes,  I have heard of it being done but you might get a face full of junk if the case ruptures.
 You might be able to hit a cow sized target if you are within spittin distance.    ???
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Offline Ranch13

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Re: .45 Colt in a trapdoor
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2013, 03:59:43 AM »
Possible maybe, probable, no.
The rim on a 45 colt is way to small to catch the rim recess on a 45-70 chamber and will let the cartridge drop into the chamber about 1/2 inch or more. If by some stroke of luck a person did catch the rim, and close the bolt it's doubtful whether the colt case would stay put long enough to point the rifle and pull the trigger.
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Offline briarpatch

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Re: .45 Colt in a trapdoor
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2013, 05:49:14 AM »
Yes you could and the key words being desperate times. Man can do about anything to feed or protect himself. Sometimes he may not survive the action he takes or come out of it fully intact but he tried.
Growing up I watched my Dad wrap cardboard around 16 ga. shotgun shells and shoot them in a 12ga. because it was all he had.
My uncle carried a pistol he brought home from ww2 and the only shells he could find that would fit well enough to shoot were 32/20. The thing would rattle like a shoe box with marbles.
It served him well after the war as he shot 3 men with it one night. They had knives and his leather ww2 flight jacket had 18 cuts in it with nine cuts to his body but the gun got them off of him when he got it into action.
As we all know it's much better to be prepared but sometimes we have to do what we can. 

Offline guzzijohn

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Re: .45 Colt in a trapdoor
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2013, 03:37:51 AM »
My father bought a trapdoor during the depression for one dollar (also got a Rem. Model 12 for a buck back then) which according to him it was used with .410s instead of a regular shotgun.
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Offline RevGeo

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Re: .45 Colt in a trapdoor
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2013, 06:22:44 AM »
My father told me that during the depression (Oh no! not another depression story!) they loaded trapdoors Springfields with .45 Colt ammo by wrapping wire around the rim to give the extractor something to grab.

Offline garbhead

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Re: .45 Colt in a trapdoor
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2013, 07:06:20 AM »
extremely desperate....piece of steel pipe and hammer.........
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Offline Mikey

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Re: .45 Colt in a trapdoor
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2013, 12:15:07 PM »
Basically no, as the shell case of the 45 colt would drop into the chamber of the 45-70.  You would almost be better off buying a bunch of used 45-70 cases and cutting them down to pistol length if you want to shoot low powered shells - you would still have to use 45-70 slugs (.457-.459), but it can be done.  And, you can always keep a number of the shortened 45-70 cases around for lean times if you can't find 45-70s.
 
On a similar note I tried shooting 44 magnum and 44 Spl through a 444 once and kept splitting the brass (it was in a early Marlin and the chamber may have been oversized) so I cut down some 444s to 44 mag length and with a 240 gn bullet it was no problem, except with cycling the action - strictly a single shot situation but it worked and the accuracy was not all that bad. 

Offline Gatofeo

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Re: .45 Colt in a trapdoor
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2013, 03:32:24 PM »
It could be done, but as has been pointed out you'd have to wrap paper or wire around the .45 Long Colt case to keep it from moving forward in the .45-70 chamber, out of reach of the firing pin.
I had a book years ago about single-shot rifles. In it, the author mentioned that if you took a chamber cast of a .45-70 Springfield to get measurements, you could make an adaptor from steel that would slip into the chamber and allow you to shoot .45 Long Colt ammo.
But, he stressed, a chamber cast was required to get as much "meat" in the adaptor as possible. Toward the end of the .45-70 chamber, it was mighty thin.
The .45-70 will fire 2-1/2" .410 shotshells but it's not recommended with plastic cases. An old, late friend who had been raised in Bemidji, Minnesota in the 1930s and 1940s recalled his father carrying a few of the shorter .410 shells with a Springfield while hunting deer, in case they saw a grouse at close range.
So, I tried it one day -- with vintage .410 shells made of paper. The paper cartridges tended to swell and block the backflow of rushing gas much better than the modern, plastic shells. The plastic shells split their cases and brass bases. I tried this in both my reproduction H&R 1873 Springfield, and my 1977-made Marlin 1895. Same result in both rifles.
When I hunted elk in northern Idaho (love the St. Joe River drainage!) with my Marlin 1895 I carried a few paper-cased .410 shells factory loaded with No. 6 shot. Never had a chance to bag a grouse, but it felt good having the option.
I never loaded the Marlin's magazine tube, just singly fed the .410s into the chamber. I suspect that loading the .410 in the tube would cause a jam.
No need to look for old, paper .410 shells of 2-1/2" length, though. You can make your own shotshells for the .45-70 if you use a .410 wad cup, some Unique powder, and a .45-caliber felt wad (most often used for cap and ball revolvers) under and over the filled wad. I prefer No. 6 shot. Crimp the mouth of the case over the front, seated wad to hold everything in place.
Works okay, but maximum effective range with old .410 shells or the homemade .45-70 shotshells is about 20 feet. Patterns open up too much beyond that for a sure kill.
In northern Idaho, before I purchased my Remington 870 20 gauge with a short barrel, my home defense gun was my .45-70 and my own reloads that used three .457" Speer balls in the case. One shot: three .45-caliber balls screaming at ya!
How I assembled such loads is another story entirely ...
"A hit with a .22 is better than a miss with a .44."