.45-70 load classes question

MgderfMgderf Member Posts: 907 ✭✭
I want to load for a brand new H&R Handi-Rifle chambered for .45-70Govt.
I find three different load classes, Springfield, Marlin Lever, and Ruger No.1 & No.3.

How strong is my Handi-Rifle?
Will it hold up to the Ruger loads, or do I want to stay with the Marlin lever data?

I'd appreciate any help I can get.


  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,348 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I wouldn't push past lever gun pressures and it will be way more enjoyable to shoot in plus trapdoor level.

    I like the handy rifles. The last 2 I played with were in 280 Rem and 25-06. The 25-06 shot sub .5 MOA right out of the box with factory ammo.

    I'm not sure what there design pressure rating is but I don't think they were ever made in 270 Win or 7mm Rem Mag.

    I have a Mexican Small Ring Mauser in 45-70. It held loads that blew the extractor out of a number 1. The rifle loaded, with sling and full peeps is less than 6 pounds. Pleasure to carry, not so fun with 458 light load equivalent. I have a 600 Rem in 45-350 Rem Mag from P. O. Ackley himself. 4OO grain Barns bullets are doing 2200 fps from the 18" tube according to the CCI Chronograph Laboratories. The rifle weighs 5.25 pounds, loaded with sling and full peeps. Most people will only shoot it once.
  • CapnMidnightCapnMidnight Member Posts: 8,520
    edited November -1
    I'm with charliemeyer007, the lever loads are as hot as you want to go.
    The warmer ones won't be a lot of fun in that light rifle.
  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 31,137 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I learned the OMG way about the 45-70. It packs a heck of a wallop when you pull the trigger. My load is manageable with a 300 grain jacketed bullet. The load I was steered to, tried and found very accurate and pleasant to shoot is 51.5 grains of IMR 3031 pushing a 300 JHP or Bal-tip bullet.

    I shot some Ruger #1 level loads with 405 grain cast bullets; unless you are trying to stop charging elephants, trains or tanks they had too much recoil for my likes.
  • Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,296 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Don't go by arbitrary classes of gun, go by pressure tested data.
    17,000 CUP (Lyman "Trapdoor") will get a 400 gr JSP to 1500 fps.
    27,000 CUP (Lyman "lever action", SAAMI max is 28,000) and that becomes 1700+ fps.

    Do NOT put Ruger loads in that gun.
  • MG1890MG1890 Member Posts: 4,649
    edited November -1
    Handi Rifles handle 50,000+ CUP cartridges everyday.

    I don't like them, but it will handle whatever load you want.

    The question is if you can handle the recoil of one of these ill fitting prizes.
  • babunbabun Member Posts: 11,497
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by MG1890
    Handi Rifles handle 50,000+ CUP cartridges everyday.

    I don't like them, but it will handle whatever load you want.

    The question is if you can handle the recoil of one of these ill fitting prizes.


    Those guns come in .444 Marlin which can push a 240-grain bullet at velocities over 2,400 ft/s generating 3,070 ft?lb of energy . The 300 grainers go at 2000fps. SAAMI has rated this cartridge at 44,000 CUP.
  • EhlerDaveEhlerDave Member Posts: 5,158 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I shoot a 410gr cast from my TC pistol. I load with Varget and they are not bad at all on recoil, yet are tack drivers.
    Just smile and say nothing, let them guess how much you know.
  • jonkjonk Member Posts: 10,121
    edited November -1
    Even the old 30-06- which these guns are chambered in- is way above the lever action pressure rating. They should handle the top end loads just fine.

    Again, if YOU can take it.

    There's a reason I use mine in 30-06 as a cast bullet only gun. I tried some milsurp M2 ball out of it once. With a high power coat on. The resulting shoulder bruise from the light gun and straight stock convinced me not to do it again.

    I also have a NEF in 30-06. That's even worse...
  • babunbabun Member Posts: 11,497
    edited November -1
    When comparing saami pressures in guns, you should look at different factors along with the psi's.

    The 22/250 remington is among the highest psi out there!!

    I try to compare psi along with bullet weights and the size of the base of the casing.

    A barrel chambered in 22/250 has twice the steel around it as a
    45/70 barrel.

    A .223 rem has 3 times the psi of a 12 gauge, which "kicks" more.

    In the case of the op's gun, the .444 marlin is almost the same as
    the 45/70 parameters.

    Think about ALL the factors and you will never get into trouble.
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