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Old November 26, 2007, 09:39 AM   #1
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45/70 load ?

I just bought a 1871 H and R Buffolo classic rifle in 45/70. What would be a good powder load for it? I want to use 300 gr. hp bullets. normally I use Hodgen powder in my other loads and would like to stay with Hodgen. This is a modern single shot rifle.

Last edited by htshot; November 26, 2007 at 06:04 PM.
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Old November 27, 2007, 12:38 AM   #2
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Get a good manual that has data for IMR 4198, IMR 3031, and Reloder 7. They will give you good accurate loads that work well. Start low and work your way up. Your rifle is NOT AS STRONG as a Marlin or Ruger, so DON"T push things. H&Rs seem to shoot pretty well from any reports I've read lately. CB.
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Old November 27, 2007, 03:09 AM   #3
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Your rifle is NOT AS STRONG as a Marlin or Ruger, so DON"T push things
I asked that question of a lady that answered the phone at H&R. "At what level can I safely load my H&R buffalo classic?" Her answer was that all their rifles can be loaded to lever action pressure levels.

H-4198, H-335, H-4895 are all good powders for the 45/70. Notice that most manuals have 3 sections for loads for the 45/70. Your rifle can be loaded up to the lever action levels. The heavier bullets at top lever gun levels will recoil much too much to be enjoyable.
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Old November 27, 2007, 10:18 AM   #4
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I have a Martini Henry in 45/70, a custom job obviously. Being an antique it has the same pressure limits as your modern trap door. I have examined both mechanisms and even built of modern materials, the trap door is not a mechanically strong design. Most lever actions have a long springy bolt, locked at the rear, they are not exactly strong either.

Anyway I have been using AA5744 which does very well in this caliber. Accurate Arms claims that it was developed for these big black powder cases, all I can say it shoots well, and does not require a filler. My data is below, I think I settled on 27.5 grains with a 405 LRN. I can keep my shots within four inches at 100 yards offhand, which is the only type of shooting I do with this rifle. I believe the velocities are in the blackpowder range, the rifle is.

If you notice, AA5744 gives excellent SD and ES’s in the 45/70. I have been using this powder in 30-06 and 303 with cast bullets, and it works better than any other powder I have tried.

26" Shilen Barrel

405 LRN 26.5gr AA5744 R-P cases WLR
T = 80 °F Group Size v. good

Ave Vel = 1294
Std Dev = 13
ES 40
Low 1274
High 1314
N = 15

405 LRN 27.0gr AA5744 R-P cases WLR
T = 70 °F
Ave Vel = 1284
Std Dev = 22
ES 80
Low 1263
High 1343
N = 12

405 LRN 27.5gr AA5744 R-P cases WLR

T = 75 °F Group Size good offhand at 100 yards
Ave Vel = 1363
Std Dev = 24
ES 97
Low 1298
High 1395
N = 20
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Old November 27, 2007, 12:33 PM   #5
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There are loading manuals that have three classes of .45-70 loads.
The lowest pressure are for the antiques and similar actions like the trapdoor and rolling blocks.
The next group is modern guns but still lever action.
The strongest group is the Ruger #1s and bolt action designs.

I think Speer had this data at one point, but the loadig manuals are all at home.
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Old November 27, 2007, 07:55 PM   #6
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I like Hodgdon powders too. You can get a ton of data on their website. I like Varget and H4895. Varget is the lower pressure powder of the two and consequently lower velocity. My favorite load is 58 grains of Varget under a 350 grain Hornady RN bullet using CCI 200 primers. This will be a safe load in your gun and if it shoots as well in your gun as it does in my Guide Gun you will be very happy.
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Old November 28, 2007, 05:29 PM   #7
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loaded some 45/70s

Loaded up some 45/70s to the lever action loads on the low side,47.5 gr. of H4198 with 300 gr. JHP . Kicks like a mule but shoots good. Inch high at 100 yds. ,6 inches low at 200 yds. Cases and primers show no stress at all so I should be ok. Being a light gun explains the recoil. After 10 shots I had enough.
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