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Thread: New H&R 1871 Buffalo Classic in 45/70

  1. #1

    Smile New H&R 1871 Buffalo Classic in 45/70

    I picked up my new H&R 1871 Buffalo Classic today at Gander Mountain along with 5 boxes of 45/70 ammo in 3 loadings; 300gr Leverevolution, 325gr hollow point and 405 lead cowboy load. After a good cleaning to get the packing oils out, I took it to the back yard shooting range and test fired samples of each load. The 1871 was spot on right out of the box with all three loads (accounting for variances in boolit weight of course) and the Leverevolutions shot a 1 inch group at 75 yards (the current limit of clearing at my range). I use the thin post insert in the front globe sight and this gun has a great sight picture with that insert.

    Next step is to load up some cast and work out a good combination for the gun - suggestions welcomed. All I need is for Midway to deliver my mold...

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    Congratulations on your new rifle! Those things seem to shoot really well for everybody who has one. Loads? Geez, there are a million that work. My favorite was the Lee 405HB over a charge of 65-70gr. FFg black powder. Hard to go wrong with that! It works fine out to 500M on the silhouette range.

    -Nobade

  3. #3
    Black Powder 100%
    cajun shooter's Avatar
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    If you really want to have some fun with your rifle there are several ways to make it a better gun.
    You may use a metal insert that has been threaded and epoxied into the wooden tang. This will allow you to use many of the finer soule type of sights available if you choose to see what it is capable of with BP loads. The 535 Postell with 70 grains of KiK 2F will reach out as far as you want.
    Before moving up to this type of load you should insert a good recoil reducer in the stock. There are several shooters who have taken this rifle with BP and out shot the smokeless powder loads.
    There are also some great material on how to give that rifle a top notch trigger.
    Look on the Greybeard forum as they have an entire section devoted to the H&R rifles.
    Shooter of the "HOLY BLACK" SASS 81802 AKA FAIRSHAKE; NRA ; BOLD; WARTHOG;Deadwood Marshal;Bayou Bounty Hunter; So That his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat

  4. #4
    So far, the only available mold I have been able to find is a Lee 459-500-3R. Not my first choice by far, but it is cheap and comes with handles. It will have to do until I can get something better out of backorder hell.

    I am planning on going the BP route which will be a first for me. I have been loading smokeless for 15 years and figure it's about time to make the jump into BP with the Buffalo Classic. I am researching the how too's on that - drop tubes etc..

    The Lee 405HB is on my list of molds to try - again, the inexpensive route to test out some loads. I have seen a lot of references to the Postell and I am looking for a good mold for that as well.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    Junior1942's Avatar
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    My exact same rifle likes the Lee 450FP best of all bullets tried including the Lee 405FP, which was worst of all tried but still fine hunting accuracy. Next best were the (#3) Lyman 498(?) SP and the (#2) Lee 500 3R. Loads were all slightly compressed Pyrodex RS, lubed felt wad, bullet with medium crimp. Alloy was reclaimed shot. If you have some surplus WC860, it works just as well with the above bullets and with identical velocities (circa 1200 fps) but with much easier cleanup. Use a heavy crimp with WC860 for no unburned powder. Light or medium crimp w/WC860 = lots of unburned powder in barrel. But still with fine accuracy.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Texantothecore's Avatar
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    Do not forget .457 or .458 roundball over 70 grains of ffg. A real hoot and cheap to boot. I shoot mine down to 10 or 15 grains of ffg and some of my friends who have tried would swear that it was a misfire. Always, always check that the ball has left the rifle when shooting reduced loads. The rifle does everything well.

    And after you get used to it, try it as a shot gun. It works and the round when first issued to the army came with shotgun loads for rabbit and bird for the troops.
    Last edited by Texantothecore; 05-28-2013 at 09:49 AM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master bubba.50's Avatar
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    a 340gr lee loaded to black powder levels with either 4759 or 5744 is a hoot to shoot & very accurate in my gun. also 450gr lee's over 60gr goex 2f lightly compressed & with a couple milk carton wads is fun.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master TCLouis's Avatar
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    davegalesr

    Try Midsouth Shooters Supply for a mold.

    F&M Distributing also (if they are still in business).

    You asked for loads . . .

    What ya wata and agonna shoot.

    What powders do you have in stock/available?

    With that in mind, we can buy you in suggestions
    If one attempts to do everything, they will likely do nothing

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    i have 5 molds and mine hasnt shot any of them bad. my 405 lee hb weighed 375 when i got it, now weighs 390 (ground off hb plug) so i could use a walters wad it shoots the best with a snort of 4759 i like it best.

  10. #10
    Midsouth seems to have the same out of stock issue as the other vendors - at least Midway accepts backorders so I have a couple of molds on order from them.
    As far as loads, I plan on shooting target - mostly at 100 yards. I will most likely bloody this with a whitetail or two as well once I find a load I like. Around here, the shots on deer will be 100 yards or less.

  11. #11
    I currently have Lee C457-500-F, 457-450-F, 457-340-F on backorder - the first 2 will ship around 6/5 and the third around the end of August. I will get a Lee 459-500-3R this Friday and will try a few practice loads soon. I'm retired so I can take my time playing with loads and boolit style.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I just picked up the 22" handi rifle and i noticed the rifling is deeper than the other 45-70s I've looked at.

    The LEE 340s did decent over R7 I had loaded for my Rio Grande. However I had two alloys one ACWW that my Rio Grande loved and some wrong alloy BH 20 loads that Rio grande wouldnt shoot at all. Exact oposite results the soft cast did OK and the harder casts were half the group size. The boolits sized to 457 did give some leading but not with the ones at .459. I think the bore should be treated like a true .458 and get .459 or .460 boolits in the BN 12-18 range for hunting.

    i moved to a load of 39g R7 over the LEE 450g for around 1550fps loaded fairly long and wam I'm into 2"@100y with a 4X scope. I made more of ACWW+1%tin and loaded them so the front driving band just touches the rifling. These would never fit a levergun due to length but should be the ticket. I'll let you know today.

    I see this little cheapo gun becoming a facination as its a blast to shoot.

    I did make an oder through Brownells last night (I get dealer pricing!) for Coyote tan parkerizing, a new recoil pad, and a buckhorn site for my Rossi 92. Once I refinish the metal and wood this thing may not stay the cheap truck gun I bought it for.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    Once you start reloading for your BC, you'll find that the brass Hornady uses in their Leverevolution ammo is shorter than SAAMI specs call for. You'll want to segregate that brass and load it seperately, as you'll have to adjust your dies for it. The Buffalo Classic also has a very short throat, which may require you to seat bullets deeper than you had originally planned. Probably not an issue until you start loading black powder, when you want all the case capacity you can get. I bought a neck and throat reamer and lengthened the throat in my barrel just a tad bit.

    The question frequently comes up about how strong the Handi Rifle action is; it will handle any .45-70 load that you can get into the chamber. The rifle can, that is. Your shoulder will usually give way before the rifle does! These are great rifles - especially for the cost, but they really should weigh about three pounds more than they do! The advice to install a recoil reducer (and recoil pad) is definitely something to pay heed to.
    'I have a feeling we're not in Kansas any more, Toto!' Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    put weight in the stock bolt hole, adds about 2 lbs and makes it balance better

  15. #15
    Boolit Master bubba.50's Avatar
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    heavy bullets with brisk powder loads will make ya cuss that infernal curved buttplate. I put a stock set off a h&r trapper deluxe custom shotgun on mine. and a piece of 3/4in copper pipe filled with lead in the stock bolt hole. still a force to be reckoned with if usin' bullets in the 450/500gr range especially if ya go over about 1000 to 1200 fps.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I got to shoot about 30 rounds of BP and 3031 405s out of a BC a guy was testing for leading. His shoulder was done so he just let me keep shooting. I'm pretty darn good with recoil but I agree that curved plate wasn the best. You can get a new stock for around $45 from Brownells with recoil pad in youth or standard walnut.

  17. #17
    I noticed right away that the Hornady brass was shorter - at least with the Leverevolution loads - it really stands out with one beside a Winchester case.
    I picked up a slip on recoil pad when I bought my BC - I was prepared for the recoil because of my researching the gun. I had a front stuffer side by side in 10 gauge that had a curved steel buttplate - that hurt worse than the BC has so far - especially when you touch off both sides together (ouch)

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    30 grs of 4198 & Dacron filler - 415 gr boolit
    40 grs of 3031 no filler - 415 gr boolit
    both very accurate "mild" trapdoor level loads that give DRT performance everytime. have fun & good luck.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Shot those longer loaded 450gs yesterday. 1.5"@100y but I need to get a plinking load these are a tad rough on me. Seated so that I get a small mark from the rifling when insterted.

    Are these aren differences besides barrel/sites/stocks on the BC and the SB2? I saw a rifle built with the BC barrel and aftermarket thumbhole that may be my next build for long range 45-70 work.

    you'll see about half way down here:

    http://www.go2gbo.com/forums/index.php?topic=90635.0

    Think it cae from here: http://www.gunstocksinc.com/web_page...fle-stocks.htm

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Dave, want to trick out your new BC to make it shoot more accuractely than it already does?
    Graybeard has a link with more information and tricks on H&R's ... http://www.go2gbo.com/forums/index.php?topic=26264.0

    BTW, Congratulations on your new purchase. I bought mine used in 2003 and it's 1st range test provided a 600yd - 5 shot group in the 7 ring, with a 2.25x7" group with 3 holes one could cover with a silver dollar! Not too shabby for a $250 purchase including the 38-55 fitted barrel
    Regards
    John

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check