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Discussion Starter #1
What a nice site! Glad Ive found you. Got my first H&R 20 gauge when I was 15. I have 4 now, 20 gauge mod, 12 gauge slug, 22 hornet and 223, either H&R's or NEF. Love them all. Im thinking of getting either the 45-70 BC or the 38-55 next, its a hard choice. If I make my own ammo, does the 38-55 cost more to reload than the 45-70? I don't know crap about reloading but Im gonna have to learn with ammo getting outragous in price. Thank you
 

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Welcome to GBO I would go with the 45-70 because of the ease of finding supplies for reloading on it.
 

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Welcome Aboard deadrabbit , my vote is for the 45/70 just from an ammo stand point , till you start loading you can get ammo just about any place . and their a HOOT to Shoot . ;D

stimpy
 

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Welcome aboard, deadrabbit!! You'll find the 45-70 the more popular of the two and easy to shoot accurately, the 38-55 suffers from an oversize bore, so shooting jacketed bullets isn't much fun unless you get some that are bigger than what's available in factory ammo. Those made this year have a better chamber neck in them from those that have reported on them, earlier barrels had a chamber neck too small to load cast bullets big enough to shoot well, those being .379" to .380". Check out the FAQs and Help sticky, lots of good stuff in there including a great article on loading for the 38-55 Target. ;)

Tim
 

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I second that on the 45-70. Get into casting too. I just did and it will lower costs a lot. I have the 38-55 and have owned the 45-70 BC ( I currently have a Marlin in 45-70) but the 38-55 is a bit finicky, at times. If you get either and slug the bore (push plain lead plug down barrel to get ACTUAL bore and lands dia) they can be loaded pretty accurate as well.

But, items and ammo for the 45-70 are a lot more plentiful.
 

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The 38-55 is a little hard to feed at first but once you find something that works...STOP, QUIT, GO NO FARTHER. Just shoot it and enjoy after that. It is a gun, in my experience, that can be quite frustrating if you keep changing things around. Find what works and then just shoot the heck out of it. The Target Model is great fun to shoot.
 

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I'd go with the 45-70. Plenty of light loads for fun shooting and can be driven harder than you can likely stand as well. My early 90's 45-70 is extremely accurate with several loads going into less than an inch (3 shots). It is not picky about bullets or powders (likes 3031, 4198, H-322). The only bullet I have tried that it did not like were 350 grain Speers (built for the 458 magnum), it threw those all over the target.
 

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Go with the .45-70. I had a .38-55 that I had high hopes for, but ran into the problems that quickdtoo detailed. I now have a .45-70 Handi and love it. I haven't done much handloading for it yet, but the 300 and 350 grain bullet loads and the .405 gr. cast loads that I tried all worked well.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wow! Thanks for all the advise! I'm going to spend some time reading all the stuff on this site, especially the reloading stuff, but it appears the 45-70 would be a better choice of the two. Thanks again and hope to buy a barrel or two on here as time goes by.
 

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I have both the Buffalo Classic 45-70 and the Target Model 38-55. I have loads that I love for both of them and much prefer the 38-55. As has been said above, the 38-55 can be very finicky. The load I have found that will give me 1-hole groups at 50 yards is the Barnes Original Bullets in .377 diameter. Those suckers are about $40 per box and gets too expensive to plink with. The 45-70 is not nearly as finicky and I can get 1-hole groups with bulk Remington soft point bullets which are only a fraction of the price. Downside there, however, is that the 45-70 is not nearly as much fun to shoot. Though I guess I could load a lighter load, the one I have is great for deer hunting and I'd rather shoot it with the load I hunt with. It obviously does kick though. Doesn't bother you bad when you're hunting, but when sighting in a scope or developing a load I have been known to get a sore shoulder.
 

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deadrabbit - I bought the H&R Buffalo Classic and had the the Target barrel fitted - variety is the spice of life and have never looked back. Forget about those jacketed bullets - use lead cast. They will do most any type of shooting with smokeless and black powder - much cheaper and with accuracy too. Get a copy of Lyman's 48th Reloading Handbook and look at the many recipes you can put together.

With a 38-55, your shooting distance with accuracy is a max of 300yds. The 45-75 will shoot 1000yds with accuracy and good eyes. If you are going to just shoot 50 yards, just buy a new 22.

Both calibers will bring down game and if your so inclined, many gents have taken a buffalo with the 45-70 caliber

For the extra hundred or so, having the 38-55 barrel fitted - you now have 2 excellent calibers and 2 rifles. And I totally disagree that the 38-55 is 'finicky'. Black is my powder of choice. These reloads require more complexity than just dumping smokeless in and capping it with a bullet. My 38-55 shoots just fine at long ranges ... with iron sights!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
When I get my BC, it will be 97% for target shooting because I cant use rifles for big game where I live but I might nail a rabbit now and then. Adding the barrel at the factory sounds like a good idea. But then I have to order other calibers too ;D
 

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A friend bought a .38-55 Target and had the same experience that I had. He was about to give up when he tried black powder. He cast the bullets from pure lead, figuring that they would obturate and take the rifling whereas the alloy ones wouldn't. He was right! He enjoys the rifle now, but hates cleaning the brass.
 

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The 45-70 is a very versatile cartridge as far as reloading is concerned as it can be loaded mild to wild and there are LOTS of great' boolit' choices too! Also remember 'everyone needs' at least two 45-70's. AND it is ACCURATE beyond most people's expectations.

Mc
 

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I wish I could get a .32-40 barrel, where I could seat the bullet into the rifling with a plugged case, then seat a case with powder behind it.

there is a club at the range that does a lot of cast bullet shooting. they are mostly using CPA rifles, based on the Stevens model 45 1/2.



They all have scopes and I don't want to put a scope on the BC. If I had another barrel I could scope it!
I think I will try it with my tang sight (its 100 and 200 yards). this would be another great place for the H&R to become even more popular.
come to think of it, with the 45-70 the large bullet hole could be to my advantage in scoring ;D

I would really need to turn down the power since its 40 shots that count at each distance (plus practice shots).
 
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