Scoping a 45-70


July 30, 2007, 08:37 PM
As much as it pains me...

I've got a handi rifle in 45-70 that I'm pretty much set on scoping. While I / it shoot(s) to an acceptable level of accuracy with iron sights, I always seem to have a bear of a time making out the front sight during the hours that I'm most likely to have a shot (dawn / dusk) and consequently end up passing on shots that I might otherwise take.

Anyway, I was thinking about something in a fixed 4x, but a Burris Fullfield in 3x-9x is sorely tempting - I just doubt I'll ever turn it past the 3x setting. I doubt I'd ever take a shot over 150 yds with this set up - the idea is just to aid shot placement with the necessary hold over / under that comes with 45-70.

Anyone out there with a similar dilemma?

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July 30, 2007, 09:06 PM
i'd say go with the fixed 4x, you can get some really good glass for the price of a variable that you won't even use. fixed power has nothing to fiddle with and are the same rain or shine. (no leaving it on the wrong power.) 45/70 trajectory should match 4x optics to a tee. front sight getting a little fuzzy huh:p i'm 37 and i started noticeing my fuzzy front sight a few years back. it happens, comes with age i guess.

July 30, 2007, 09:31 PM
I'd go with a low power variable, 1.5x4.5, 2x7 maybe. I like low power for close range and most still hunting and you don't need 9 power for a .45-70.

A fixed 4x would work, but I'd rather have a fixed 3x if I were going to go with a fixed power scope.

July 31, 2007, 10:01 AM
I’ve got a 45-70 with a 3-9X40 on it not because I’ll ever need 9X magnification but because a good 1.5-4.5X costs more. It almost always stays on 3X unless I forget my binoculars and need to crank it up to get a closer look before I decide to take a shot. Note the eye relief distances of the different scopes while your shopping, you want this number to be as long as possible. A few “scope dopes” from a 45-70 is a great way to develop a nice flinch.

July 31, 2007, 12:12 PM
I've got a Fullfield II.

That Ballistic Plex reticle is pretty neat, and would be a godsend on a .45-70.

Now, other manufacturers are offering similar reticles in reasonable price ranges also.

July 31, 2007, 01:06 PM
Leupold makes (or at least used to make) a nice 2.5x fixed scope intended for use on shotguns and black powder guns. It has a long eye relief. I think there were two versions, one with heavier duplex reticle and the parallax set to 75 yards, the other with standard duplex reticle and the parallax set to 100 or maybe 150 yards.

Either one would be great for a .45-70.

In the end, any low power (<4x) fixed or variable with a low end down at 3x or less would be great. Pay attention to the eye relief though, especially if you use hot handloads. You don't want a scope ring tattoo on your eye. Also, smaller scopes won't hurt the weight and balance as bad as bigger scopes.

July 31, 2007, 05:30 PM
Thanks for the comments guys...

What about pistol scopes? Long eye-relief, and low magnification - plus some of the ones that are getting used on the newer hand-cannons have got to be fairly resilient under heavy recoil.

jmorris - you hit the nail on the head - I was looking at the fullfield II in 3x-9x because it's considerably cheaper than the lower power options, and seems to be somewhat easier to come by - but I am concerned about getting long enough eye relief....

And yes, I am starting to have some difficulty picking out the front site post, but I like to think it's just a little dust in the eyes...:neener:

July 31, 2007, 05:38 PM
Burris is a good choice, as they're known for durability under recoil.

They have some other scopes, like this Short Mag, with less critical eye relief.

The 2-7x is spec'd at 3.7" to 5"

July 31, 2007, 11:09 PM
One of the best scopes I have is a 1.5X4 20 VXII from Leopold. Works perfect for a lot of rifles that you can only realistically shoot under 200 yards.

I have mine on a TC 45/70 Barrel that is just 20" long. The little scope fits nicely on the compact package.

August 1, 2007, 09:05 AM
Forward mounted optics work great. The problem you may have with the Handi-rifle is finding a mount for it. I'm sure a good gunsmith could get it mounted but that may cost a bit of money.

August 1, 2007, 09:57 AM
My choice would be a low power variable or a fixed 2.5.

August 1, 2007, 11:22 AM
Although mine came with a set of williams open sights, it was also already drilled and tapped for the standard weaver rail that comes on many of the other handi-rifles. I already picked up the mount, and it was a three-screw, loctite, easy install.

Thanks for the continuued suggestions - I like the idea of the burris ballistic plex short mag, but I'm going to look around at some of the other lower power options as well.

August 1, 2007, 11:34 AM
I like the idea of that fixed Leupold 2.5X, personally. I do have a very strong (believe it or not) Bushnell 1.5x4.5 that has been on several rifles. I got it 20 years or more ago, but it's held up well, is a rugged scope with good optics. I'd put that on it since I don't have it on anything, but a .22 right now. However, that Leupold 2.5x would be perfect and a very strong scope for a heavy recoiling rifle.

August 1, 2007, 11:50 AM
I have the fixed Leupold 2.5X on my Marlin Guide Gun. The area I hunt is heavily wooded and most shots I would take are under a 100 yards. I am happy with it so far.

August 1, 2007, 05:57 PM
it would probably look wierd but put a red dot sight on it

August 1, 2007, 06:06 PM
One thing I thought about with my 1.5x4.5 Bushnell, it's a 22 mm objective, no bell on it. That's cool, but if you're woods hunting deer, it's not a very bright scope. In that situation, might be better to get a 44 or 50mm, 40mm variable anyway, rather than go for the low power with a smaller objective. That Bushnell is a good scope, just ain't very bright at dawn and dusk.

CSA 357
August 1, 2007, 07:10 PM
I Have A 3x9 4o Mm On My B 78 45 70 And I Have Killed Deer At Ranges Most Would Think Are To Far For The Old 45 70, Hand Loads Make This Gun A Tack Driver:d

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