Any opinions of the H&R Buffalo Classic?


March 21, 2008, 08:29 AM
I'd like a .45-70 single shot with a good smacking of nostalgia, but don't want to lay out the cash required for a Sharps/Shiloh. Anyone have one of the H&R Buffalo Classics (built on the old shotgun trapper frame, I assume) that like or dislike it? Looking for decent 100 yard accuracy but not sure their lockup system would be suitable for it.

Any opinions and your experiences with it appreciated. And/or any other suggestions for other pieces along this same line. Thanks.

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March 21, 2008, 08:59 AM
One of the local ranges holds a "Buffalo Shoot" three times a year and I have participated using Sharps and Trapdoor reproductions.
Quite a few shooters use the H&R rifles for the exact same reasons you stated and they do quite well with them.

Loads for these shoots are kept to blackpowder pressure and velocity.
Black powder, black powder substitutes, or smokeless powders may be used and the H&Rs stand up to this type of shooting.
At least I have not yet seen one break down on the shooting line.

For 100 meter shooting the H&R rifles are no less accurate than a Sharps or any other single shot rifle in a large caliber chambering as long as you can bear and control the recoil which will be more noticable than a comparable and heavier rifle.

March 21, 2008, 10:04 AM
I have one, very good accuracy for what it is. Mine will put clover leaf goups at 100 yards with my hand loads with 57.0 grains of Varget and a 300 grain JHP. Much more than that with the steel butt plate and light weight they get a little rough on the shoulder.

The rifle is a little front heavy but not hard to control. I broke down and put a scope on mine. All in all it is a fun and inexpensve 45/70, get yourself one you will be happy.

Here is a pic from 2 years ago with a pot bellied pig I found wondering around my deer lease, guess somebody got tired of their pet. I hit him behind the ear at about 70 yards. No exit wound but very devistating wound channel about 2" in diameter and the bullet completely severed the spine. All I found was the copper jacket lodged in his shoulder.

March 21, 2008, 12:58 PM
Excellent news, fellas. Thanks very much. Think I'm going to get me one for my birthday.

Appreciate the info. THR, as always, rocks.

March 21, 2008, 11:19 PM
I'm not a fan of the Buffalo Classic just because I don't like the way it looks, but that's just my admittedly biased opinion. I've heard it's a very nice shooting gun. You'll love having a 45-70 single shot. My Sharps is the most fun I've ever had with a rifle.

April 30, 2008, 01:08 AM
I got one as my Christmas present last year.

In Mississippi, you can hunt deer with it from Mid November to January 31 between Still-Hunt Season, Run-Em-With-Dogs Season, and Primitive Weapons Season.

I've picked up the Hornandy Leverevolution Ammunition, because it makes it a fairly flat shooter (for a 45-70). Not cheap at about $2.00 per round. That ammo groups about 3 inches at 100 yards. Good enough for a deer's vital area.

April 30, 2008, 01:14 AM
I like the Sharps, too, but I borrowed one for a buffalo hunt. I can't bring myself to pay for a good one -- I've ponied up for a shotgun that cost more, but I shoot that almost every week, not almost every year.:) Handloading BP .45-70 is non-trivial, especially since we have limited real estate. And anything but that wouldn't be the same.

I like the looks of the Buffalo Classic. In person, it's actually a handsome rifle. If I bought a buffalo gun, that's probably what I'd get. Everyone I hunted with had originals (Sharps, Rolling Block, Springfield, all in amazing condition); I can't keep up with that, anyway. The H&R would provide a similar experience for a great price

...not that I wouldn't get a Sharps if I had the money burning a hole in my pocket...

April 30, 2008, 02:28 AM
Our company shooter Ron has one and it is a very accurate rifle but it kicks really hard with handloads. Its one of those situations where you have a one pound gun shooting a half pound bullet :eek: That being said............I want one ;)

April 30, 2008, 09:57 AM
it kicks really hard with handloads

There's nothing you can't kill with black powder; no reason to overdo the loads.

That said, black powder .45-70 buffalo loads kick a lot, too. They're fine for standing offhand shooting or shooting from sticks. I could do that for a long time and enjoy it. But sighting in a Sharps with a steel buttplate from a benchrest is not fun.

April 30, 2008, 10:06 AM
AB, I don't think it was the powder that hurt, it was probably the finger-sized bullet in front of it that was causing the problems ;)

April 30, 2008, 10:58 PM
Personally, I've only shot the Leverevolution bullet. In the Buffalo Classic, I've found the felt recoil to be about the same as a .308. The 45-70 L/R bullet is "only 325 grains", so I suppose that's the reason that it doesn't beat you too much. I understand that if you went that light with a conventional design (in a big, fat .45 bullet) it would not be efficient, and would shed its energy too fast.

May 1, 2008, 12:10 AM
LOL @ kingjoey

My point was that the BP is not high-velocity, and BP usually is more of a hard shove than a shoulder slam like a modern magnum. However, my shoulder HURT when I shot on the bench. No problem at all when standing, kneeling, or whatever. But you have to sight the thing in sometime.

This was a 525-grain hand cast lead bullet over 68 grains or so of GOEX through a Pedersoli Sharps, about 10 lb.

Went straight through a buffalo, and kept on going. Entry and exit holes looked the same. One-shot kill. Gave me a new respect for a freight-train bullet, as opposed to our modern high-speed darts.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
May 1, 2008, 12:16 AM
A feral potbelly, now that's comedy - did you eat it?

May 1, 2008, 03:09 PM
the sights that come on the rifle are not great, Ive put a mid range tang sight on mine, Other than that its a great little rifle

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