Wolf's Western Traders

Ballwright Hand Loader

“Did you finally decide to blow the dust off Grandpaw’s old Springfield .45-70 or had to tell your kid to wait for ever to learn to shoot it? The Ballwright Hand Loader Kit has been designed for you.
So, what does it take to fire up the Old Warrior? First is to get your copy of the LOADING CARTRIDGES FOR THE ORIGINAL 45-70 SPRINGFIELD RIFLE AND CARBINE by Spence & Pat Wolf.
You will find that there is a lot of “stuff” you need to know. For some folks it is almost too much technical jargon and decide to buy new ammo. Which, of course, would be the wrong choice.
Throughout the LOADING CARTRIDGES FOR THE ORIGINAL 45-70 SPRINGFIELD RIFLE AND CARBINE is information about Gallery Practice Cartridge loads. Reduced powder charges, soft lead balls, recoil is negligent and the cost is pennies a shot.
Not since the late 1800’s has there been the correct tools made for Military Guard, Gallery & Target Practice Ball Loads.
It was the place to start to develop shooting skills then and it’s the place to start now.
You will Discover Surprising Accuracy, the Low Cost of Ball Loads and LOADS OF FUN for you and your family. Not to be fooled, Cartridge Ball Loads are as effective as a Musket ball load.
The Ballwright Hand Loader Kit makes your Springfield Trap Door accurate down to 25, 50 and 100 yard Targets that you can shoot all-day-long.
The Ballwright Hand Loader Kit with a supply of commercially available balls, Black Powder, primers from your Gun Dealer and some tricks you will learn about loading Ball Loads and you are off to the range!
For detailed information and To place your order contact BALLWRIGHT HAND LOADERS at Ballwright4570@gmail.com or call KEN at 503-362-0873 Monday thru Saturday 9am to 5pm.
Contact Ken at Ballwright for current special pricing.
Please purchase your “LOADING CARTRIDGES FOR THE ORIGINAL 45-70 SPRINGFIELD RIFLE AND CARBINE” from this site. Other items you should have available on this site are: Bore Scope, Barracks Cleaning Rod Kit, “The 45-70 Springfield” book by Poyer & Riesch in order to have the basic items needed to utilize the Ballwright Hand Loader Kit.

          The Original Ballwright Hand Loader Kit is fashioned after the 1905 Frankford Arsenal “Hand Reloading Tools for Gallery Practice Ammunition Caliber .45 for Issue to Colleges.” These Educational Institutions established Military Training & Marksmanship Courses throughout the United States.

The original “Ordnance Department Instruction Manual #1984,” that was issued in the 1905 Kit, is included in the Ballwright Kits.


       At the heart of the Ballwright Handloader Kit is the Case Expander and Ball Seater. The cutaway shows the One Ball load, Two Ball load & Three Ball “Guard Load.” Note the Black Powder Chambers resulting from the Ball Seating Depth in the cases.

Here’s a tip: Modern high power, high muzzle velocity cartridge cases usually have thick case walls, making those cases good candidates for the 3 Ball Guard Loads.


    Get started right away. The Ballwright Kit includes 9 Speer .45 caliber Round Lead Balls in 3 sizes: .451, .454 & .457”, and three .45-70 Gov. cases from different manufacturers. Each having different internal dimensions, tapers and wall thickness.

Practice with the case sizes and the fit of the balls depending on the Ball Seating Depth & Powder Charge you choose. The seating depth of the ball is dependent upon the case thickness & the amount you expand the case.


        Remove the Expander from the expanded case by placing the Expander & Case through the Extractor Ball, threading the Expander into the Drive Ball. Then tighten the Balls until they separate. The Extractor Extension is positioned under the Case Head for longer cases.

     Drill the Flash Hole to .096” with the #41 drill supplied. Be sure to remove any burrs from the edges of the new flash hole. 


       The Primer to use is the Federal #215, Large Rifle Magnum with “Goex FFFg”, (3 F) Black Powder for the Charge you choose.

Here’s a tip: Concentrate on the FIT of the primer in the primer pocket. Your first clue comes while decapping the case. A loose primer will almost fall out during decapping. Discard worn cases.


        The precision Grainwright Dipper allows a precise measure of Goex FFFg black powder. Each turn of the handle measures 1.5 grains (by volume).

The unique Floating Stainless Steel Sealing Washer seals in the black powder. The first position measures out 7 grains, typical of Single Ball loads.

Nine to ten turns of the Grainwright handle measures 21 to 22 grains for a typical Two Ball load. Twenty to 22 turns measures 38 to 40 grains, typical of the 3 Ball Guard load.

The Grainwright Handle/Case Scraper also serves as a Depth Gauge to sort out thick cases good for 3 ball loads from the thinner case 1 & 2 ball loads. If the depth gauge measures about ½ way down the case, it is likely a 3 Ball case. All the way to the full depth of the case indicates a likely 1 or 2 Ball case. Separate these cases while cleaning & inspecting cases. Do your precision Case & Ball Sizing when reloading.


     The Ball Seater Cavity is designed to match the curvature of the soft lead balls, minimizing ball distortion. The Ball should seat in the case all the way to the level of the powder charge. With Ball Loads, some air space IS acceptable between the powder & the base of the ball.

The Ball Fit is what you control. Select the smallest ball, .451. Drop it in the case. Note the Ball depth. If the next size ball does not drop as far, it is likely that the larger ball should be used for the first ball to seat into the case. It is up to you to work out this critical fit. Make & Keep notes of these measurements. If the largest ball will not fit snugly into the case shave some wax with the ball seater from a soft candle into the ball seater cavity. Insert the ball seater into the case and squeeze the wax to the perimiter of the Ball-to-Case contact area to hold the ball in position.

A trick I use is to leave the primer out of the case, hold a wire through the flash hole so you can slowly lower the ball into the case until the point of contact with the case wall. Record that measurement. Then push the ball back out of the case. You now have an idea how much you want to want the ball(s) to seat in the case with the powder charge you want.

Here is a tip: You should never have to beat the !@#%???!! out of the ball to obtain the ideal seating depth, ball fit & powder compression. Try this: go ahead and “hammer” a couple ball sizes into a couple of cases so you get a “feel” for how little amount of force that’s required to distort the ball, bulge the case and accuracy suffers greatly. Be nice to your balls.


         The Ball Seater Precision Threads & Locking Nuts allow you to set the exact Ball Seating Depth you desire. Cutaway view is of a Fully Seated Single Ball cartridge. The Ball size,  Powder Charge then the Ball weight is written as a .454-7-140 Ball Load.

The numbers mean: the exact size of the ball in inches, then the powder charge in grains (by volume, not weight) and the weight of the Ball (by weight not volume.)

Increased accuracy can often be obtained by weighing the powder charge in grains or grams. Whichever you choose, stick with that figure. Then calibrate your Grainwright Dipper “scale”, the number of turns of the handle measures 1.5 grains (by volume) per turn, to match to your powder weight


     This cutaway view shows two Multi-Ball Loads.

A .454 + .457-15 to 20 -280, Two Ball Load, And,

A .451 + .454 + .457 - 30 to 40 - 420, The 45-70 Government Three Ball Guard Load,

And, shows Powder Chambers resulting from those typical Ball Seating Depths.So, read the 45-70 Book and Fire up your “Old Warrior” with the Original Ballwright Hand Loading Kit and begin your journey of enlightenment in the World of Black Powder Cartridge Shooting.

Place your Ballwright Kit order directly with Ken at Ballwright4570@gmail.com OR,

Call Ken at 503-362-0873 Tuesday thru Saturday 10 am to 3pm, “Oregon” Standard Time.

I encourage you to Call or Email your comments, questions & suggestions. Tell me how your Ballwright Kit works for you. Share your shooting experiences. I Guarantee Ballwright Hand Reloading Kits provide the most Fun at only Pennies A Shot.

All Ballwright Tools are guaranteed for their intended use for the life of your Trap Door Springfield.

The Ballwright Kit Ball Loads work great in modern .45-70 firearms too! My Thompson Center Contender Pistol, fitted with the .45-70 14” Hunter Barrel, is a pleasure to shoot Ball Loads. I love to shoot Ballwright Ball Loads as I am at the ripe old age of 60, full of Arthritis and have a bad right shoulder. It only took me 50 years to discover Ball Loads that you can start shooting right away! 

Be sure to order these & more items you’ll need directly from Pat Wolf, Wolf’s Western Traders

The “Affordable Clearview Borescope”

The “Barracks Cleaning Rod Kit”

“The 45-70 Springfield” book by Poyer & Riesch - with all the information you need to authenticate your .45-70 Trap Door Springfield.


Your local Gun Dealer will set you up with these supplies:

Goex FFFg Black Powder

Federal #215 Large Rifle Magnum Primers

Speer Round Balls in .451, .454,.457 sizes, 100 count boxes. These are swedged & coated in Alox lube.

Lee Case Resizing Lubricant

Plastic powder funnel

New and/or fired .45-70 GOV. Cases. Expect differences in case specifications between brands.

Black Powder cleaning supplies

Targets, Shooting glasses, Ear protection and more.

I suggest you buy the Lee Auto Prime Hand Tool, as you will be priming a lot of cases!

The very cool mini Anvil in the Ballwright DVD is a stock item at your local Tandy Leather Store. I paid $18 for mine.

Website Builder