Safe .45-70 Loads For H&R Buffalo Classic

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Brother Bob, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

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    I'm questioning the strength of this rifle. It's two years old and a single shot at that. Similar to the Ruder#1. It has a 32 inch barrel which will probably get my fps. on up there. I'm just getting into reloading and I don't want to blow myself or my rifles up. There are three different sections on reloading for the .45-70. Any thoughts?
  2. rfc357

    rfc357 G&G Newbie

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    It is by no means similar to the Ruger #1. If it were, it would cost as much as a Ruger #1. While these rifles are good buys, they are not as strong as a solid-frame rifle with a dropping block. I would use the loads intended for the trapdoor. You exceed these at your peril.

    No break-action rifle is suitable for high-pressure loads. Even the best English double guns are made for low-pressure loads. And the H&R ain't no English "best gun."

    I know lots of people will now say, "I loaded top loads in mine and nothing bad happened." It's your rifle, and your call. If you want to use Ruger #1 loads, my advice would be to get a Ruger #1.

    I have a Ruger #3 in .45-70. I have loaded some moose-blaster loads, and they are no fun at all to shoot. Trapdoor-level loads are more than adequate for deer.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2008
  3. Cyrille

    Cyrille G&G Newbie

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    Use Black Powder it is far more forgiving than smokeless, and if you know how you may be able to work up to a full load. Read a good Blackpowder reloading manual! BE SAFE!
  4. nathangdad

    nathangdad G&G Newbie

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    H&R is high quality

    H&R is high quality and you can bet Marlin
    makes sure of it.

    As to the .45-70, you really might want to think
    before loading hot loads as this cartridge has plenty
    going for it in the new regular factory loads. I would
    explore various brands of ammo on the market before
    I got into loading higher power loads.

    If a .45-70 won't do it for you there is always the
    .450 from Marlin. If that doesn't do it, get a
    .458 Winchester Magnum.
  5. Pumpkinheaver

    Pumpkinheaver G&G Enthusiast

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    Go to the marlin owners forum there is a section on there dedicated to H&R rifles. They can answer your question better than I could.

    marlinowners.com
  6. turkn8r1

    turkn8r1 G&G Newbie

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    I have several handi rifles and a buffalo classic. I will not reccomend loading hot loads for it as to each his own. As far as the strength of the rifle I must disagree with it not being any stronger than a trapdoor. The SB2 receiver comes with all sorts of barrels including 500 smith, 7mm mag and 300 mag. These factory rounds produce a whole bunch more pressure than the trapdoor ever thought about. There is allot of info out there on the buffalo classics and loadings for it. I will say that I got some 250 grain barnes 45-70 tsx up to 2600 fps with no pressure signs but the group fell apart after 100 yards. Do allot of research and then decide which way to go but I can say that the 1 in 20 twist will start to catch up to you over 2100 fps with lighter bullets and the hevier ones won't achieve it. The loadings I do are of my own free will understanding the risk involved and if you are new to reloading I reccomend starting well with in the established data and then make your personal decision when you are more familiar with the process, pressures, powders and all that. Now I do have a few tricks that will help you make some great loads that I learned through trial and error so that info I will be glad to share with you if you like.
  7. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

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    Thank you all so much. I've only shot about 4 rounds through it. I was wearing a light t-shirt and that metal butt plate was eating my lunch! I bought some reloads for it and they must have been real hot. It split the stock at the butt plate, top and bottom. I had it in a lead slead and it tore up the butt cradle and contacted metal.
  8. Pumpkinheaver

    Pumpkinheaver G&G Enthusiast

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    I'd find the guy that made those load up and ask him what the heck he loaded them with! I have fired a lot of heavt loads in various 45-70s over the years and never had a stock split!
  9. gerry303ca

    gerry303ca G&G Newbie

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    I just use light loads and cast bullets in mine and have lots of fun with it. Be very carefull when using someone else's handloads, you can get into a lot of trouble that way.
  10. Midas

    Midas Chief Troll B' Gone Forum Contributor

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    Your statements concerning the ability of the H&R to handle hot loads, are completely false. The H&R can handle loads pretty close to those that you could safely shoot out of a Ruger # 1. Take a look at these loads from Buffalo Bore ammunition, and look at what rifles they are recommended for. You will see that they can be used in the Ruger # 1, as well as the supposedly "weaker" H&R Handi Rifle.


    MidwayUSA - Buffalo Bore Ammunition 45-70 Government +P 405 Grain Jacketed Flat Nose Box of 20
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2008
  11. Palladin8

    Palladin8 G&G Enthusiast

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    One of the reasons the stock split is because there was to much weight in the lead sled. It didn't allow the rifle to recoil backwards enough and the stock splintered. If you want to tame the recoil on a rifle than I would suggest getting a P.A.S.T shoulder pad. I have heard from several people that have used the lead sled and didn't load it properly i.e to much weight and they lost some very nice wood.
  12. rfc357

    rfc357 G&G Newbie

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    Midas, the unfortunate Brother Bob now has a damaged rifle. Perhaps this was a result of the shooting cradle he was using, perhaps not. I would be willing to bet he does not use someone else's handloads again.

    By the way, if the person selling the reloads was not a licensed ammunition manufacturer, he was breaking the law.

    I base my recommendation on the statements in the loading manuals. They are somewhat specific about which rifles are appropriate for each load level, to the exclusion of others. The Hornady manual recommends only trapdoor level loads for the H&R. My many years of experience in aviation has taught me to pay attention to any statement that begins with the word "Warning:."

    At the end of the day, it's your rifle (or his). Use whatever you want. The consequences are yours.

    The loads you reference are loaded to SAAMI pressures. SAAMI specification for the .45-70 is nowhere near the max loads in the loading manuals. Ruger #1 loads in the Hornady manual are loaded to 50,000 cup. The loads recommended for the H&R are 25,000 cup.

    Have a nice day.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2008
  13. Cyrille

    Cyrille G&G Newbie

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    I have loaded and shot my .45/70 with both smokeless and black powder. I used light to moderate loads when loading with smokeless and dang near the maximum load with the Holy Black. I stay at least 2 or 3 grains by volume below the maximum load with BP.
  14. TNRICK55

    TNRICK55 G&G Newbie

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    45/70

    I HAD A GUN LIKE THAT AND I LOADED MY 45/70 LOADS WITH 65 GRAINS OF FFFG BLACK POWDER SHOT WELL NOT MUCH RECOIL.HOPE YOU INJOY YOUR TOO
  15. turkn8r1

    turkn8r1 G&G Newbie

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    You aren't the first and won't be the last to have a stock split from shooting a buffalo classic in a lead sled. What they don't tell you is that you have to put some sort of padding in the lead slead or the fit of the metal butt plate combined with the stock design when slammed into the metal rear of the lead sled it will split. I split mine on the 3rd round using winchester factory 350 grains. My pardners split after the 5th round with lever evolutions as I couldn't get to the phone fast enough to warn him. It had nothing to do with the loads. He put a slip on recoil pad on his. I glued the chip back in and clamped it then cut the stock and installed a simms grind to fit pad (small) and refinished it. Several hundred rounds later out of the lead sled and some extremely hot still no more problems with the stock. Don't be surprised if the action popps open when you fire it. The spring is too weak for the long barrel and if you send it back to H&R they are going to change the spring. I have been looking at it though and it appers that there isn,t enough contact in the closed position. I'll let you know what we come up with. We are currently building 2 custom 45-120,s on SB2 receivers so we are working out the bugs.
  16. petemi

    petemi G&G Regular

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    I shoot Hornady's Leverevolution .45-70s in my NEF SB2. I love 'em and the rifle loves 'em. And yes, Buffalo Bore rates the Handi Rifle as being capable of handling their .45-70 Magnum loads, and they are HOT. I'm too much of a sissy to try them, but the Hornady has better ballistics than Remington, and I can shoot them all day. The SB2 is a fine rifle, don't under rate it because it isn't $1000.00 plus! I own 3, and I sold some "better" rifles to get them!
  17. samuel

    samuel G&G Newbie

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    The only cracked frame I ever saw on an H&R rifle housing(not shotgun)was one two boys were loading .22-250,s for and went well over SAAMI specs.They had to be in the 55K+ range.They were using IMR4895 and just kept going hotter.It cracked the housing but no one got hurt. sam.
  18. Lizard

    Lizard G&G Newbie

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    The recommendation for only using .45-70 level one loads name the H&R "Shikari", a rifle that is no longer made and which is quite different from the Buffalo Classic. The Shikari was put on an iron shotgun receiver, while the BC is put on a hardened steel high power rifle receiver, the SB2. This is the same frame used to mount the .500 Magnum and now the .300 WM barrels.

    One of the problems I had was in trying to find anything that named the H&R BC. After a lot of searching, I found information from other shooters who claimed to have talked with H&R personnel and supposedly the BC is able to take any loads that the Ruger will take. But, this is all only 2nd and 3rd hand rumor.
  19. VATX Hunter

    VATX Hunter G&G Newbie

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    I shoot Hornady's Leverevolution .45-70s in my 1895 GS.
    What I want to know is what are you looking to accomplish by hand loading your stuff hot other than busting yourself up.
    You dont think that a factory stuff on the shelf can take down what you are hunting, I know you can save some money hand loading and I know it is fun to hand load but when you are shooting Big Bore Guns I dont think the balistics gains you may get is worth the worth the PAIN.
  20. Midas

    Midas Chief Troll B' Gone Forum Contributor

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    I personally contacted H&R to clear this matter up, and they told me that most loads in a reloading manual that are safe for the Ruger # 1, are also safe for the SB-1 and SB-2 framed Handi-Rifles chambered for the 45-70 Govt. But, this is from H&R themselves, so I can't really say how much truth it holds :smirk:
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