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Latest range report on the Buffalo Classic
Old 06-30-2005, 09:46 AM
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Default Latest range report on the Buffalo Classic

Got to the range yesterday and was able to check out several new loads. Among the guns used was the H&R 1871 Buffalo Classic in .45-70. The last range session with this rifle was very disappointing. I couldn't keep the hand-cast 500 grain Postells inside 6" at 50 yds. After talking with Jay and Don, probable causes were found and solutions were suggested. The primary causes were:

1) Bullets too soft - These were "pure" wheel weights, air-cooled. BHN was about 10 as I recall.

2) Leading - Due to soft bullets, high speed (1800-ish fps) and marginal or no lube, leading was a major issue.

The solutions were:

1) Harden the bullets - Added 10% by weight chilled shotgun shot (basically added antimony) and water-quenched the bullets as they dropped from the mould. The resulting BHN was a very uniform 21.

2) Copious lube using Liquid Alox

3) Install gas-check - This was a bit problematic until Don came to my rescue. The 500 grain Lee mould I am using does not recess the heel for a gas-check. I could rabbet the heel with a lathe, but I don't have a metal lathe. Here's where Don comes in. He made a one-of-a-kind "hand lathe" just for the purpose of cutting a precise gas-check rabbet in the heel of my bullets. Works like a charm. Don would make Red Green proud - you know... "If the women don't find you handsome, at least they should find you handy."

The target results are very pleasing. Eight shots into 1.02" x 1.65" at 50 yards. Average velocity 1669 fps, st dev = 11.

I also changed the sights. The front sight is a "globe" sight that is manufactured in three heights. Why H&R 1871 put the highest front sight on this rifle I'll never know, because it runs completely out of elevation even at 50 yards. At any rate, I ordered the lowest height model and replaced the original with that. I also ordered a whole set of inserts - target to field... BIG difference. Finally, H&R 1871 also used a large .090" aperture in the rear sight. I replaced that with a 0.050" aperture... BIG difference.

Replacing the front sight caused me to have to sight in again. Therefore, below, you will see the three original target groups from which the composite was derived. The composite is simply all of the shots with the windage adjusted due to sighting in.

Oh yeah, the charge was 46.5 grains of Vihtavouri N-135.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg 45-70 6-29-05 001.jpg (45.5 KB, 146 views)
File Type: jpg 45-70 6-29-05 003.jpg (16.8 KB, 143 views)
File Type: jpg 45-70 6-29-05 002.jpg (28.7 KB, 149 views)
File Type: jpg 45-70 6-29-05 004.jpg (42.7 KB, 183 views)
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.45-70, buffalo classic, gas check, globe sight, h&r 1871, postell, range report

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