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Boys, I think I messed up...

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by MacAR, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. MacAR

    MacAR Member

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    It's a bit of a long story, but bear with me.

    Last night a friend of mine called me up and said, I got something you need to see. So I took off over to his place, and he produced an H&R Buffalo Classic in 45-70. He says, "ya wanna shoot it?" HECK YEA! So we touched off a couple rounds down at the old gravel pit, and it was a hoot to shoot! Then he asks if I'd be interested in it. Well, yea of course I am! So I swapped him my Marlin 336 30-30 for it, straight up. Maybe not the best trade, but we're both happy.

    Now, here's where I'm afraid I messed up:

    It's so darn much fun to shoot, I'm afraid it'll break me buying ammo! I'm even looking for a good used reloading set up, so I can load black powder and cast bullets. Have I started down the slippery slope? What could be next? A rolling block? A trapdoor? I'm concerned!

    In all seriousness, I'm quite enamored with my latest swap. If anyone has any experience with a Buffalo Classic, or even just the 45-70 in general, sound off! I'm interested to hear what you've got to say!

    Mac
     
  2. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm Member

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    Just remember one thing. If you're going to load black powder you need a black powder powder measure. Standard powder measures shouldn't be using with black powder.
     
  3. Alaskan Ironworker

    Alaskan Ironworker Member

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    Pictures!
     
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  4. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    If you got into guns and shooting as a cheap hobby, perhaps you could save some money by switching your interest to vintage wines, handmade shoes, mistresses and personal helicopters. :)

    Compared to 30-30 the 45-70 is a bit pricier to handload. Uses heavier bullets and heavier charges. On the other hand, it's a single shot -- just shoot a bit slower to savor your handloads and a range session should cost about the same.

    I've just one rifle in that chambering right now, a Ruger No.3 Carbine. My own preference is for a 300 grain cast bullet over a case of Trail Boss. I've been playing around with some ultralight loads using 45 cal muzzle-loader sabots and .357 bullets, but I've no real joy to report there as yet.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
  5. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Unless there was something special about your 336, the trade was between fair and leaning in your favor, dollar value-wise. The Bufffalo classic is discontinued, and nice used ones go in the neighborhood of $350-$500
     
  6. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

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    Sorry, "messed up?" I'm not seeing it ...

    :thumbup:
     
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  7. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    Why?

    Long before lawyers got involved, standard measures were all that were used.

    Kevin
     
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  8. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    Trade it back to him now before it’s too late
     
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  9. LoonWulf
    • Contributing Member

    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    buwahahaha.....It...already IS!

    Those bufflow classics are neat rifles, I wanted one when I cruised h&RS webpage years ago.
     
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  10. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

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    The thing to remember is that smokeless powder is measured by weight; black powder is measured by volume.
     
  11. LoonWulf
    • Contributing Member

    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    From what I've read, and this is just reading I've never tried to find if anything actual occurred, the worry is that a standard powder measurer may set off the powder. By spark, or crushing granules, I dunno.

    I weigh my charges of 777 (converted from volume) for my muzzleloader, my thrower won't reach the charge weight I want accurately. I've used measured charges as well, and do if I manage to shoot all the reloads my buttcuff carries. But my velocity is more consistent if I weigh charges, which could be my measuring equipment....
     
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  12. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    For something low volume/high cost like that, a Lee hand press for around $30 would keep it well fed and would be an easy way to get started loading. Your equipment could pay for itself in real short order. It would let you utilize all the flexibility inherent in a cartridge like that too. From T rex killers, to tail boss powder puffs and black powder too
     
  13. 792mauser

    792mauser Member

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    I load a lot of 45-70.
    Just find a cheap-ish source of lead or projos, a bit of soy/beeswax, some cereal boxes/egg cartons, dies, primers and some powder. And you'll be gtg.

    I've gotten the cost down to about $.25 a shot with my homemade Black powder.

    Holy black/777/pyrodex/etc on the other hand.... just make it consistent with no air gap and a touch of compression. Dosent matter how you measure it. just keep it consistent.

    Trail boss/3031/BP are your best friends
     
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  14. MacAR

    MacAR Member

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    You'd think by now I'd know better than to post a thread like this and not put photos in! I'll get some this evening if I can get home before dark.

    Too funny Dave. I guess I'm a little bit of a tightwad, but factory ammo seems to be a bit pricey, at least around here. $40/box of 20 is what I'm finding locally. Midway, Academy, etc are somewhat cheaper. Probably will order a couple boxes to tide me over until I get some reloading tools.

    A poor attempt at humor, I admit. The 45-70 seems a little heavy for our local game, but I suppose we'll see about that on Saturday. We have a doe-only season and I have every intention of popping one with the rifle. I'm currently using Winchester 300grn JHP's and I should think they'll be plenty good enough for our little whitetails here.

    That was my plan, to be honest. I figured a Lee 310 or similar and some dies, powder, shot, and primers would set me up pretty rightly. I could likely get into that around $100, and it'd be a nice way to spend those cold winter evenings indoors. When I had my Sharps 50, I used a hand press, but I can't remember what it was or where I got it from now. Go figure.

    Anyhow, thanks for the input guys, keep it coming! Lots of good ideas here.

    Mac
     
  15. entropy

    entropy Member

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    And you'll have a supply of brass.

    Nice trade, I've shot .45-70 out of a Marlin lever and a T/C Contender (Once!), I'd imagine the H&R would be no worse than shooting 20 ga in an H&R Topper. Sounds like a fun little gun.
     
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  16. Eddie Booth

    Eddie Booth Member

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    45-70 is a hoot to shoot and easy to load. A cheap single stage press and lee die set is all you need. Order a $25 lee mold, and a Lyman bottom pour ladle, go to goodwill and pick up a hotplate and cast iron pot and you're ready to cast. Lead is $1 to $2 a pound online or grab a shovel, bucket and a colander and head out to the range like I do. Need a good powder? Hodgdon Universal is the answer.
     
  17. MacAR

    MacAR Member

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    It isn't bad. Bone stock the rifle weighs eight pounds. The previous owner added two pounds of tungsten fishing weights into the stock cavity, and it really helps. It also helps balance that loooonnnnggg barrel out. The rifle balances about an inch ahead of the hinge pin, and isn't too bad to carry. I do see sling studs as a future addition, however. If covering much ground it could become quite heavy.

    Thanks for that Eddie, very helpful information. I can get a coffee can full of wheel weight lead at the local tire shop for 5 or 10 bucks, and have used that before when making bullets for the 50 and my cap and ball guns.

    Mac
     
  18. Krusty

    Krusty Member

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    The last ones I saw for sale recently were $500. You did ok.
     
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  19. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Don’t go smokin’ smoke or anything, that Buffalo Classic is a proper smokeless, and not period correct enough to really warrant such drastic measures. Load up light plinking loads with fast powders and bang it to death.

    Pricing for both when the H&R was still in production were similar, now the H&R would tend to bring a few nickels more on most instances. So you were good on the trade economics.

    Personally, I’d trade 336 for a Buffalo Classic in a heartbeat.
     
  20. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    I recently found a pretty good deal on an 1895GBL. At least it was a good deal before I started buying accessories: 100 rounds of factory ammo, .45-70 dies, shell holder for the Lee priming tool, bullets, brass, more primers, H4198, sling, but cuff, XS sights & rail, scope, etc. etc. etc ad infinitum.

    I don't even have the rifle yet, it hasn't made it to my FFL.

    I used to think that owning an airplane was expensive!
     
  21. Eddie Booth

    Eddie Booth Member

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  22. MacAR

    MacAR Member

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    Sounds like I did alright, then. Now I just gotta get rid of the 3 boxes of shells I have for it. I'll probably carry 'em over to the lgs and swap for some 45-70, or 22lr. Seems like I just can't get enough 22lr!

    I believe that's called mission creep! I'm already looking at reloading tools/dies, a butt cuff, sling, and some more inserts for the Lyman 17A front sight! I don't think it ever ends!

    Mac
     
  23. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    I started with a Pedersoli Sharps, then got a Uberti trapdoor carbine then a Marlin 95 CB rifle.
    Brass,dies, hard lead bullets for smokeless loads, soft lead bullets for the black powder loads... ;)
    Yeah, "mission creep", sure, that's what it is... o_O
    ;):)
     
  24. fireside44

    fireside44 Member

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    Good score. Those are nice guns and a little tough to find. Your friend is a smart man adding the tungsten weight. The regular 45-70 Handi-Rifle with warm loadings can be brutal so the extra barrel length of that buffalo classic and added weights should really soak up some of the boomers really nicely so you can actually bench the rifle without excessive pain. A cheek pad might not be a bad idea if you are going that route.

    Good advice. The Lee press is cheap and you can use it for sizing and though the Lee sizing system is a little less than ideal it does work. 45-70 is easily the most fun casting and sizing of just about any projectile IMO and there is a large selection of Lee and Lyman molds available. If you haven't cast before I think it's easier to deal with smaller single and two cavity molds casting larger projectiles. 45-70 stuff is bit hard on the lead supply but the price of store bought cast will make a casting fool out of anyone without real deep pockets.

    As @Varminterror said, get a few boxes of factory ammo, shoot it, and you can load nice, easy shooting target rounds and get some miles from the cases, otherwise, see above. Have fun with the rifle!
     
  25. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    I absolutely love plinking loads in 45-70. My absolute favorite thing to shoot is a 350 grain cast bullet over 18 grains of trail boss. Very economical and friendly on the shoulder.
     
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