View Full Version : H&R 45-70

April 26, 2005, 11:31 AM
Just a quick question about the NEF/H&R single-shot rifles chambered in 45-70. Can this gun handle the "hotter" ammo (Cor-Bon, Buffalo Bore, Garrett etc.) that's available? This would be a truck/casual hunting/self-defense gun. I'll worry about ther recoil later....I just want to know if it will SAFELY handle a wide range of powerful ammo. Thanks.

April 26, 2005, 11:44 AM
I have one of the Handi-Rifles in .45-70.
I would not trust the action with the hotter stuff, it wasn't designed for it.

April 26, 2005, 07:21 PM
I don't have any documentation for this, but on the old Marlin Owners Forum, it was generally accepted that hot loads in the H&R single shots were far, FAR harder on the shooter than on the rifle.

April 26, 2005, 09:12 PM
I'd still stay far away from the hot stuff in that gun.
As a side note, mine may be an anomaly, but after about 400 rounds of Trapdoor-level handloads it's loose as a goose with marked side to side barrel wobble even when closed, and my gunsmith suggested I send it back to the factory for an oversized hinge-pin repair. Just haven't bothered, I've got other .45-70s that do handle the hotter loads safely and longer.
I'm not basing my comments strictly on my gun, those little break-opens just aren't as strong as a Marlin 1895, a Ruger #1, or a current Winchester 1886. The lockup and bearing surfaces are quite different. CorBon's heavy .45-70 loads are barn burners, intended for the stronger actions.

April 26, 2005, 09:58 PM
Wow, that's good information to know.

If I were you, I'd call Marlin and see what they have to say about the condition of your rifle.

April 26, 2005, 10:46 PM
After a protracted go-round with H&R about three years ago on their .38-55 version that didn't go well, and a discussion with Marlin about it, I've pretty much given up on this little .45-70. Marlin had a fix for the problems people were having with their .38-55, but we couldn't seem to get the H&R people to translate it to their gun. Marlin's service department, at least at the time, didn't have much direct influence over the H&R operation. Don't take that to mean I was dis-satisfied with Marlin, I wasn't. I just don't look to them for help with H&R guns. I couldn't get either H&R, the .38-55 or this .45-70, to shoot worth a hoot with handloads, the .38-55 ended up being re-barreled to a .30-30. The .45-70 has just been sitting ever since, waiting for me to decide whether I have any interest in trying to do anything more with it. I thought it had great promise at first, it's very light and easy to carry, and I had other rifles for the heavier loads, but it just didn't work out.
I'm not trying to turn anybody away from one, other people have done well with them, and a .22 rimfire H&R I tried a while back was a good shooter.
Both of mine may just be unlucky guns.
Regardless, save CorBons for stronger rifles.

May 2, 2005, 03:47 PM
I guess I am skeptical of it handling hotter .45-70 loads, since that would make the rifle a de facto .450 Marlin, and I don't see that caliber listed as a chambering option on H&R's website.

What are you planning to do with hotter .45-70 loads that milder loads wouldn't do???

May 4, 2005, 10:32 AM
I don't want to waste the time and effort to save a few hundred bucks......looks like a blued 22-inch barrelled Marlin 1895 (I would prefer stainless, but it only comes in the shorter ported barrel). I hear this gun is available from Wal-Mart in the low $400's. In 45-70 it should make a nice all-around gun with the addition of ghost ring sights. Thanks for everyone's input.

May 4, 2005, 12:03 PM
The Marlin 1895 can handle any commercial .45-70 load you might want to run through it, and for quite a while.
It's a much better choice, and well worth the extra money.
My shorter stainless Guide Gun isn't ported, I don't think they put out a ported barrel on the Guide Guns anymore, unless they've started doing it again recently.