45-70 Unknown loading

I am still trying to ID this .45-70 round. Some say a small game load, some say a hand load. Can anyone tell me exactly what this is? In the first photo it is the one on the left. Thanks, keith

someone try to load this case with a 45 acp semi wadcutter lead bullet ?
maybe a short range hand load ?

I agree with ammogun,

it is not factory

Maybe, but what type of reloading equipment would make such a crimp around the case, and to that depth, and that far below the case mouth?
and why would that type of crimp even be needed?

I have reloaded many different projectiles for .45-70 Gov’t, from 525 grain to .454 round balls, and nearly everything in between, and never needed such a crimp, even for use in a repeating rifle.

Would it even fit into a .45-70 chamber?

I cannot see why it would not. At least judging by the image it does not appear to be larger above the odd ‘crimp’ then does the cartridge next to it.

The bulge ahead of the crimp appeared to me to be of greater diameter than the rest of the case. Perhaps the result of poorly adjusted reloading dies.


That type of crimp can be done with a tube cutter with the blade dulled.

Would you be kind enough to mic diameter the diameter above and below the “crimp”, that it may be compared to the diameter of a standard case?

I cannot see why it would be necessary to have a “crimp” that severe: I have loaded and fired lead bullets intended for the .45 ACP in the .45-70 Gov’t., with no need for any type of extreme crimp on the bullet.

More and more curious…

Looks like .476" above the crimp and .478 below.

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Thank you, and still I wonder.
Curiouser and curiouser… to quote Lewis Carroll.

I cleaned the base with alcohol and revealed the color of the primer. Perhaps by the look of the primer you can tell if it is a UMC factory primer or a reload? I guess even if it is a factory primed case the original bullet could have been pulled and replaced with the current one? Thanks for all the input on this item…(I think the UMC headstamp is prior to 1912?)

UMC primer contemporary with that case would have had a domed cup. With regard to the very heavy bullet crimp George Hoyem’s vol. 3 of his set on ammunition history depicts a pliers-like tool that was intended to apply a heavy crimp. These were usually employed with large caliber rifles and the tool shown in Hoyem was identified as a “Holland & Holland 12 bore paradox fixer”. I have an Eley .455 Webley mk.I (long case) cartridge with a similar factory crimp into the lubricating groove of the bullet. Jack

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So, it is looking like this loading is an old handload…

The primer also doesn’t appear to be completely seated? Is it below the plane of the head or a little proud? If proud, another point towards a hand load

Yes, slightly proud. Maybe a .001" or so. Just enough to see daylight around it when a straight edge is laid across the head.

Interesting, and, while I can see putting a heavy crimp on a heavy bullet, especially for use in a double rifle or repeater, can anyone make a guess as to why it would be used on such a light bullet?

Not really, no. Jack

When using any load, even a factory load, in a rifle with a tubular magazine, the pressure from the magazine pushes against the nose of the bullet. As cartridge after cartridge is pushed into the magazine, requiring increasing force, the pressure on each bullet increases. Without a heavy crimp, the bullet can be pushed deep into the cartridge case, especially if the case is loaded with smokeless powder that does not fill the case.

Cartridges in the magazine are forced back into some sort of cartridge lifter. If the cartridge is shorter than normal, because of the pushed-back bullet, the rim of the following cartridge can slide onto the lifter. This generally jams everything,

Latter-day tubular magazines have a cut-off arm to prevent this, but early designs do not. The 1873 Winchester lever action rifle was a particular offender. It worked very well when loaded with black powder cartridges, because the load was already compressed. When cartridges were loaded with smokeless, jams became commonplace.

I have several tubular magazine large bore rifles, including .35 Remington, .44 Magnum, and .45-70, all of which I have been loading for, going on 45 or so years.
I have loaded up to 525 grain bullets in the .45-70, with both Black Powder and Smokeless Powder, and some lighter bullets at stout velocities.
In the .44 Magnum, I have loaded 260 to 300 grain bullets, pushing the envelope of pressure and recoil, and likewise have never experienced any bullet set-back from recoil.
I have not needed any special heavy crimp on any of them, certainly nothing like the one above, and have never experienced any bullet set-back from recoil.
I have likewise never heard of any instances where the pressure from the magazine spring alone is capable of enough force to seat a bullet deeper. Such pressure alone would prohibit the loading of rounds into the magazine.