Mine is an 1895 SS, with ballard style rifling (not micro-groove). I've never shot a shorter rifle, so I can't speak to differences there.
I think you should absolutely reload for this gun. I also think you should either cast for it, or buy a good cast bullet for it. Any way you look at it, a 405gr lead bullet traveling at least 1200 fps or so is going to kill just about anything in north America, out to a couple hundred yards or so.
I haven't shot mine on paper any past 100yds, but it is an almost 1" gun at that range, using a scope. Got pictures of several targets to prove it wasn't a fluke. It's very comfortable to shoot at that power level, and would be difficult to beat, as far as game-killing ability.
I always felt that if I got to the point where I thought it was time to bury my firearms, it was actually time to pick them up..