.45-70 SPRINGFIELD—How is the .45-70 Springfield rifle for accuracy?
The .45-70 Springfield rifle is a very fine, accurate shooting gun. I cut one of these guns down to a length of 21 inches from the cartridge head to the muzzle, which leaves the barrel 21½ inches long from breech block to muzzle. I had heard that a rifle would develop all the energy in a black powder cartridge if the length of barrel was 45 times the diameter of bore, which is the reason for the odd length of barrel. I worked the stock down as light as possible to reduce the weight, and when finished I had a nice hunting rifle of only 6 7/8 pounds. I then made a peep rear sight, and a bead front sight, a little higher than the old one, so that the rear barrel sight was out of the way when folded down, and this made a good combination, as I could use the middle sight by raising it a little and folding down the peep sight. It did not seem to shout quite as strong as it did before it was cut off, so I put the cartridges in a register in the floor and dried them out thoroughly, when they shot as well as before and the powder burned out clean. The carbine load (30 grains of powder and 405 grain bullet) shot as well as before the barrel was cut down, without the drying of cartridges. The recoil was greater than with the full length barrel, but only cartridges loaded with the 500-grain bullet gave so much recoil that the accuracy was affected, as one cannot shoot as well from a gun when it jumps much. The peep sight on the rear made up for the distance between sights which was just by cutting the barrel down. From this you should be able to decide whether a 45-70 Springfield rifle would suit you or not, but remember that it takes a lot of careful work to cut one down and have it shoot as accurately as before. The .45-70 Springfield, as it was made in the Armory at Springfield, has one turn in 22 inches.
Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913.
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