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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to order my 45-70 this week coming and am looking for some advice.
I like the standard Handi 45-70 with the 22" barrel but I am really starting to like the Buffalo Classic too and am having a hard time deciding which to order.

Could some of you guys with 45-70's give me some of the pro's and con's of each.
I will be using it for whitetails and target shooting.
I hunt everything from thick woods with 50 yds maximum shots to open fields with 150 yd shots maximum.

Please give me some words of wisdom to help me decide.



Spanky
 

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Re: 45-70 advice

BOTH!!! The BC barrel for fun, the Handi barrel for huntin, the 32" barrel would be cumbersome for most folks, although I haven't hunted with my BCs, I've hunted with a 34" barreled flintlock in the same stuff that I hunt in with a 22" Handi, the BC would take some getting used to, for sure, both for hand carry or slung and general handling in woods. There's no practical ballistic advantage of the longer barrel for the purposes you mention, you can get about 150fps more velocity out of the extra 10" of barrel with the right powder, but anything that the 45-70 would be used for isn't likely gonna make much difference. ;)

Tim
 

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Re: 45-70 advice

Agree with quikdtoo, I just don't have the BC yet. It is hard to beat that 22" barrel when you're hanging 12 feet off the ground in a tree stand. Real easy to twist that little rifle around in any direction and not get caught by stand, tree limbs etc and it is very accurate. Not to mention climbing into a stand, walking through the woods, a quick shot out of the truck ... those long barrels are great at the range but the short one's are made for the woods.
 

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Re: 45-70 advice

Amen to everything said. I tried to hunt with a 32 in. barreled Handi, and it wasn't. Handy that is. I now carry a 45-70 that I cut down to 18 inches. It's a joy to carry, easy to get around in a tree stand, and super easy to use out of an enclosed box stand. So far this year, 3 shots, 3 deer. Neither of the deer required the extra 14 inches of barrel. Short is better in a tree stand gun, for sure.
 

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Re: 45-70 advice

At one time I owned both a Buffalo Classic and a regular Handi in 45/70.I really liked the BC but found that the Handi would do everything the BC would do and is easier to handle in a hunting situation.I sold the BC and kept the Handi.

Stan
 

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Re: 45-70 advice

I have a Handi 45-70. Would like to have a Buffalo Classic just for the looks ;D I used to hunt with a Tennessee rifle that had a 36" barrel, never had a problem hunting with it here in the eastern woods. I would buy the one that pleased you, then maybe order the other barrel as finances permit.
 

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Re: 45-70 advice

spanky,
i just sent off for the 32 inch barrel myself, and i have every intention to hunt with it.
i have had other guns ( shotguns) with long barrel and they never bothered me. but if you hunt from a blind or in a tree i can see where the longer barrel could be a problem.
i regularly use a tent blind and, this year carried my whelen with a 22 inch barrel , it was no problems, but i do alot of open sitting to ( actually i shot more deer that way )
so i guess it may depend on how you plan to hunt, if the 32" will be a problem
good luck and let us know what you end up with
glenn
 

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Re: 45-70 advice

I agree whole heartedly with getting both. Remember the old adage "everyone needs at least two 45-70's'.

Mc
 

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Re: 45-70 advice

When I had an early BC, I really appreciated the upgraded wood, checkering and receiver finish - but, I too found the long barrel cumbersome for hunting.

Soooooo, I sold the barrel w/sights for primo bucks, and bought both regular rifle-type barrels and a Pardner Tracker II 12ga RS bbl w/rifle sights. [I got the Tracker II bbl by buying an entire gun new for $125, then selling the wood & action for $85]

I ended up with a whale of a nice looking custom gun !
 

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Re: 45-70 advice

I had a Target Model in .38-55 that was used for hunting one year. Although the barrel was 28" long, it was not too long to hunt with, since the overall length was about the same as a bolt-action rifle. I had looked at the BC, but they look too long for woods use.

I recently picked up a Handi in .45-70 that I made it into a "scout" by replacing the rear sight with a Weaver #92A scope base and putting on a Tasco pistol scope that I had lying around. It is very easy to carry since the balance point is behind the scope. The 22" barrel is good in the woods. It is the shortest rifle that I use, even shorter that the CZ 527 carbine in 7.62x39.
 

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Re: 45-70 advice

I bought the BC a month ago and decided to use it for deer hunting. I did a lot of shooting with it to become familiar with it and found that I did not like the long barrel length for two reasons.

First off it was too long and I kept banging into things with it and secondly the rifle was front heavy and I could not shoot it off hand very well.

Well I ended up cutting barrel down to 27" which seemed like a good trade off between barrel length and making it handi-like.

The other thing I did not like was the sights are not very good for hunting conditions so I removed them and put a scope on it.

I developed a cast lead load using 340gr RCGS plain base cast and some bluedot powder. Very mild but very accurate. Velocity is 1350fps but the bullet sailed clean through both shoulders. Deer ran 70 steps and dropped. Hit both lungs and not sure how the deer made it that far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: 45-70 advice

Thanks for the replies and the advice. I have decided on the 22" barrel (bought one here on the classifieds). Now for the ammo!! I went to Wally World and bought 2 boxes of Remington 405 gr. ammo. $74.00!!
I will definitely be reloading.

How about some words of wisdom on a good load for this thing.

Thanks for the help guys!!


Spanky
 

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Wooo, that's pricey!!

Well, save that brass, first of all!

Spanky, I've had great success with my .45-70 both in the field and at the range using Trapdoor level loads with both the 405 Rem JSP (they're not expensive from Midway and other sources) and 405 RNFP lead. So far the 405 Rem has gotten 2 deer and 2 bobcats (!!), and it's a hoot to shoot. You may get several recommendations on powders, but I settled on IMR 4198 for my Trapdoor loads-- I don't have my notes in front of me, but I seem to remember the charge is around 32 grains, giving me about 1350 in the 22" barrel. IMR 3031 was also very accurate, but this is a pretty low pressure round at Trapdoor levels and I got a lot of unburned powder with those huge honkin' 3031 grains... Re7 wasn't accurate in my rifle, neither was H335 or some other medium burning powders I tried. After experimenting some with crimp/no crimp and seating length, I seat the Rems to the 2nd cannelure and use a Lee Factory crimp. You don't have to crimp loads for the Handi of course, but the velocities were more consistent and the groups were tighter with the crimp.

I did load up 20 rounds of Ruger-level loads once to see how they'd do. Shot 3 of them off the bench and took the rest home and pulled the bullets. 3 was enough! No need to beat yourself half to death to kill deer with the .45-70.

The old gubmint is easy to load for, you'll enjoy this rifle! 74 bucks? Wow!



Rick
 

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How about some words of wisdom on a good load for this thing.
55 to 60 grains H4198...Speer 300 grain uni-core...Barnes 300 grain triple shock..Nosler 300 Partition...Remington nickel cases..Remington 9-1/2 primer..Lyman "M" die for belling th case mouth..Lee Factory crimp die for...well crimping :D..a mercury recoil reducer in the stock bolt hole...or 2lbs of lead shot..Limbsaver recoil pad and a Uncle Mikes shell holder with some soft foam under it..and hold on... :D :D :D :D...or for cast...a Cast Performance 405grain WLNGC...same case...same primer..same gun improvements...different powder...RX 7...41grains and up...but not over book value of 51 grains...other wise you won't want to shoot it again... :eek: :eek: :eek: These loads are defiantly stout...but if the gun improvements are done...quite manageable in the field...and have shot great out of any 45-70 I have ever owned...

Mac
 

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[/color]HOWDY ! I AM READY TO DO THE 45/70 ! HAVE HAD SOME FOR A WHILE BUT NOT MUCH TIME TO SHOOT . T/C 16.25" BBL . AND MARLIN LEAVER FIRST TWO . THEN STUMBLED ONTO THE MAKINGS OF A SIAMESE MAUSER BOLT ACTION SO DID IT . NICE PUT 2-7 SCOPE AND BI-POD . NOT REAL SHOWEY BUT AS EFFECTIVE AS THEY COME . LAST ADDED WAS ENCORE BARREL. JUST RETIRED . NOW I HAVE TIME TO RE-LOAD AND SHOOT . . . PLEASE TELL ME ABOUT THE MERCURY RECOIL REDUCER OR 2# OF LEAD SHOT ( SEAMS TO BE CHEAPER ) . PLAN TO USE G.I. EQUIV IMR 4895 AND WHAT EVER SEEMS TO DO THE JOB . 300-450 OR MORE GRAIN PROBABLY LEAD UNLESS I CAN FIGURE OUT THE WAY YOU MAKE YOUR OWN JACKETED STUFF .! ANY COMMENTS WOULD BE APPRECIATED AS ACCORDING TO ME " IF YOU CANNOT LEARN SOMETHING EACH DAY , THEN YOU DIE SOME EACH DAY . I WANT TO KEEP GOING . SO HELP ME LEARN .
thank you,
dscp
 

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dscp, please see the mercury recoil suppressor link in the FAQs and Help sticky.

Tim

ps...please loose the all caps! :(

 

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I see no one has posted this load yet, my all time favorite for my 45/70's. A 350 grain Hornady RN or RNFP half jacket bullet ahead of 28.0 grains of 2400. VERY accurate, clean burning, and easy on the shoulder, try it you will like it...Merry Christmas to all....<><....:)

P.S. - still looking for someone to actually chronograph this load for me if they ever get the chance,
out of a 22" and 32" barrel would be great but the 22" is what I would really like to know....Thanks
 

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MSP said:
P.S. - still looking for someone to actually chronograph this load for me if they ever get the chance,
out of a 22" and 32" barrel would be great but the 22" is what I would really like to know....Thanks
Shooot! I'll do that! I got a 45/70 and a chrono.... uh, wait... don't got no 2400... no Hornady 350 gr boolets neither... how 'bout some unique and 300 or 405 gr. instead? ;)
 

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I just got back from the range. Had to quit when I put a bullet into my chrono. :eek:
Prior to that I checked out some of my 45-70 loads. Here are my findings.
13.2 gr of Unique under a Lee 500 gr WW slug lubed with 30% Beeswax, 66% lard. Smokey but leaves barrel clean. Average velocity is 1030 FPS and very accurate.
51gr of IMR 4230 under a Rem 405 gr soft point. Lots of unburned powder in barrel. Average velocity is 1610 FPS and not as accurate.
Factory "cowboy" loads, 405 gr lead. Average velocity 774 FPS!
All of my loads where taken out of various manuals, old Lyman, Hodgen, Nosler, Speer, Sierra; that covers my library.
I am thinking of ordering the 390 gr Big Lube mold and trying that bullet. Does anyone have experience with them?
By the way I shot my chrono with a 9mm P64 pistol. That's a expensive opps.
 

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First of all, I have owned the Handi and the BC in 45-70. Apparently, unlike some, I had no problem hunting with the BC and even have a Target Model 38-55 that I hunt with at times as well. Haven't had any problems bumping them on anything and feel they are a much better looking gun. I liked the BC much better than the Handi so I sold the Handi; kept the BC. The load I have is the 405 grain Remington soft point with 45.0 grains of H4895. One-hole groups at 50 yards. I have a good friend I hunt with who also started with the Handi 45-70, saw my BC, handled it, shot it, and then got himself one also. He still has his Handi that he lets his son use or anyone else that comes to the deer camp that does not own a 45-70 or other "modern" primitive weapon.
 
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