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45-70 Conversions

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treadhead1952 View Drop Down
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    Posted: July 13 2011 at 1:01am
Hi All,

After looking over several of the threads here, one of the conversions has struck a chord with me.  The 45-70 Government cartridge has long been a favorite of mine and a Gibbs conversion utilizing that caliber would be most excellent.  I was wondering, has anyone else done anything like this?  I used to have a Siamese Mauser that had been converted to .45-70 by a gunsmith, not the Navy Arms conversion.  The barrel on the one I had was a 24" long Douglas barrel and shot like it was made for the caliber rather than a conversion.  It held three rounds in the magazine compartment which made it a very nice hunting type rifle.  I fired factory ammunition as well as handloads in it that in some cases were approaching .458 Winchester Magnum power levels, it digested all with ease.  I am wondering if an Enfield conversion would equal that level of performance.

So does anyone have one of these rifles or know of a gunsmith who does the conversions?  It would seem that the Number 4 variation of the Enfield would be the one to use with it's stiffer receiver.  I doubt that you could stuff more than five or six rounds in an Enfield type magazine of that sized caliber, just too fat.  What sort of barrel options were available with the Gibbs Rifles?  The longer 24 inch barrel seemed ideal, I shot mine out to 500 yards and was able to get 6 inch three shot groups at that range with handloads. 

At the time I owned the rifle two of my buddies, one owned a .458 Winchester Model 70, the other a Weatherby .460, would go out with me to shoot the "big boys" as we called them.  Most of the shooting was target type, not much game equal to those calibers in Arkansas.  I did use the .45-70 one season to take a black bear when they first opened bear seasons back up there.  It performed admirably, dropping the bruin with a single shot through the chest and back using a 500 grain cast lead round nosed bullet.
Jay
treadhead1952
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 13 2011 at 5:16am
I believe "Richard/SIA" a member on here does that kind of work. send him a PM & ask what he has handy.Star
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 13 2011 at 9:20am
i second that - he does nice work 
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treadhead1952 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote treadhead1952 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 14 2011 at 1:21am
Thanks Guys!

Now I just have to come up with some cubic dollars and a #4 to convert.LOL

While single shot and lever action .45-70 rifles are more commonly acceptable, a nice robust bolt action has them beat hands down in my opinion.  With the advent of the Lever Revolution rounds being brought out by Hornady and being able to get their bullets with a ballistic tip it should be an interesting little combination to tinker with.
Jay
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote White Rhino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 14 2011 at 4:38am
I would rather put 100 rounds through My 45/70 Enfield .. than shooting 10 rounds through My H&R Handy Rifle ......
The Enfield is way easier on the shoulder than the H&R is ....and More fun to shoot also !!!!
Now the only reason I have the H&R is to hunt legally here in La. for primitive weapon season .. But I can use the Enfield for the regular Rifle season
"White Rhino"

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard/SIA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 14 2011 at 10:27am
45-70 is not particularly difficult, no modification to the bolt.
Proper barrels cost a bit more than most, not sure why.

The action often has to be opened up a little for the larger rim to reach the end of the chamber, I have a customized reamer for doing that.
A No. 1 action may be used for traditional loads, a No. 4 would certainly be a good idea if contemplating the newer higher pressure loads.
Never exceed Enfield pressure spec for any load!

A .303 mag can be modified to work in 45-70, it will hold four rounds max.
It's simpler to just order a Summit 45-70 mag from Navy Arms surplus, at least until they run out of them.

I can do more of these, but would prefer to do them in a batch, say five+ guns, for efficiency.
At over $3.00 a gallon for gas, I want it leaded, 100 octane, and my windshield washed!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote treadhead1952 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 14 2011 at 10:58am
Hi Richard,

Thanks for that information.  While I am not planning on getting too crazed with the loads, I got over loving to have the c*#p kicked out of me by my firearms owning the Siamese Mauser in .45-70 and loading it up to within 200 feet per second of a .458 Winchester as well as owning a .375 H&H Magnumb bolt action with a steel skeleton butt plate.LOL

Nowadays in my old age I think it is safe to say that normal old fashioned .45-70 type rounds would make me quite happy.  Besides, when you start tossing chunks of lead that big around, you don't really need to get velocity crazed to do the deed in hunting or paper punching. 

I do have my Enfield manufactured 1918 SMLE that has already been hacked up by a Bubba.  So much of it has been sacraficed that trying to return it to it's former glory as a Military Rifle would be prohibitive.  I will contact Navy Arms Surplus and see if they have any more of the .45-70 conversion magazines available and how much they want for one.  Perhaps a quartet of other interested parties might join in this little endeavor to bring it up to the five item listing that you would like to see.
Jay
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote treadhead1952 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 18 2011 at 10:57am
I dug around on the Old Western Scrounger Site and discovered the .45-70 Gibbs Rifle Magazines you were speaking about, $75 a pop for a 3 shot Magazine, seems a tad bit on the spendy side.  I will have to save up a bit for that one but it is not out of the realm of possibility.

Just out of curiousity, how much are we talking for conversion of a Lee Enfield to .45-70 approximately?  Yeah, I know, if you gotta ask, you probably can't afford one....OuchLOL
Jay
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote White Rhino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 18 2011 at 10:35pm
Thats where I got My Mag for My .45/70   and its made for a No4 receiver ..My .45/70 was mak on a No1 MK III receiver ,
Had to do a little magic with the file to get it to fit ....  but it works fin now!!

"White Rhino"

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard/SIA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 19 2011 at 3:26pm
"Just out of curiousity, how much are we talking for conversion of a Lee Enfield to .45-70 approximately?  Yeah, I know, if you gotta ask, you probably can't afford one."

Well, they are less expensive if I can avoid having to refinish the wood.
I have been unhappy with the recent quality of synthetic stocks, maybe their molds are getting tired?
So my preference would be to let the buyers put the finish on the wood.
It's not that stock finishing is difficult, it's just time consuming, particularly with having to wait a day between steps.
45-70 barrels cost more than other calibers, barrels over 20" cost extra too.

So to quote an accurate price I need the final specification.

Really do need to do a few at a time for efficiency.

.303 mag. can be modified, but to do it properly will not be less expensive than the Summit magazines.
At over $3.00 a gallon for gas, I want it leaded, 100 octane, and my windshield washed!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote treadhead1952 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 20 2011 at 7:48am
Hi Richard,

For a ballpark figure, I would have to say a Number 4 Mark 1 as the starting point, no wood work to speak of as I would be replaceing it with aftermarket Boyds or other maker.  The Magazine would be sent as the same time as the rifle and would be the Navy Arms Surplus .45-70 version for more convenience for you.  A 20 inch barrel would be sufficient for my tastes, probably balance better as well.  If a steel bolt or two would be needed to be implanted in the stock in the interests of recoil efficency I could probably also handle that with a little guide or hint from you as to the best place to put it or them.  Again, I am not planning on getting outrageous with the loads, the interests of having a .45-70 negates the need for uploading to be efficient.

I am hoping having it listed in here might drum up some other interested afficianados of the caliber that may be possible purchasers of your services.
Jay
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote deadkelly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2011 at 6:55pm
awesome i'm keen as mustard for one of these little beauties . i'm in Australia though but if i sort out the paper work this end it should be all sweet , as far as i know . money is not a problem . it would be really handy if i could can get some help with gathering my bits & shipping them over your country . maybe we could double up the magazine orders ect & actions ect even other parts . i was looking at a .411 - 303 build but hell the .45 is bigger again LOL .
such is life
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chopaz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 05 2012 at 11:10am
  I don't want to sway to much from the subject but I was told by a local gunsmith that the bolt thrust was beyonde it limit with the 45-70 round.  I don't know how much truth is behind this.  If some one could shed some light on the subject that would be great.  I am considering this this conversion myself but this gunsmith said he would not touch this with a ten foot pole.  Once I clear up this info on the bolt thrust which he says was designed for 8000 lbs in 303 and the 45-70 would be 1200lbs, Iwill try to find someone else to rebarrel my action.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TRX Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 26 2012 at 8:37am
The original Lee was *designed* for the .45-70. Once the British adopted it, it was modified to take the .303.

Gibbs/Navy Arms sold a lot of converted .303s in .45-70, complete with warranty. Which means something in these litiginous times.

I'm not expecting any trouble out of my own conversion, at least if I ever finish it...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Sukey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 31 2012 at 3:47am
Why not just buy a 45-70 Marlin?
Though I must admit I did take a bubba'd No4 and had it converted to 7.62 x39'
 
uses five round Czech AK magazinesLOL
 
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