Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • That’s a pretty thick barrel profile, I bet it’s a lot heavier than it looks.

    And the platform manages recoil surprisingly well… I shoot “managed recoil” slugs out of my 5.5 pound “thumper” with minimal to negative bruising, and it takes a full 3″ 1oz slug to actually rip the forend out of my hands…

    • Baffled Cajun

      Has anyone had any problems with repetitive missfires with the H&R Handi Rifle SB2 as I have. I ‘ve the stainless steel model with the thumhole stock with I was told was the best that H&R sold. But I’ve experienced several missfires with both Federal 45-70 300gr. Government soft points and also with Hornady Lever evolution 325gr. FTX.
      The accuracy is fantastic, triger pull is perfect , it’s as tight as it can possibly be but the dog gone thing only fires when it wants to.
      Has anyone else had this problem and if so how did you fix it??
      Baffeled Cajun

  • *Drool*

    I fired a .300 Win Mag out of a single shot break action once. I thought it was going to be some crazy experience. The guys who had it threw some fancy expensive optics on it and had a rest for the gun set up on the bench they brought with them. I took it off the cradle and stood up because it was messing with my aim and fired. It did not feel any different then a .30-06 to me. So maybe the .45/70 GVT will not be so bad out of that rifle? Oh and to finish the range story the guys left. They could not hit the bullseye and when I did I explained their fancy cradle was worthless in a nice way. They did not want to try. *rolls eyes*

  • Thanks for the link!

    This is a pretty rifle – and economical too at $248.99!

    Traction Control

  • chris

    buddy of mine has one… they really are not too bad unless you are using really hot loads… standard factory loads arent any worse than a .308

  • Avtomat

    Recoil is not bad at all, even with a somewhat poorly designed buttstock. Of course, I was standing at the time, which seems to reduce felt recoil vs. bench rest shooting

  • Veeshir

    I have that rifle in .500 S&W, the recoil is pretty darn bad but it’s fun to shoot. And besides, it gives me a nice rifle/pistol combo and I’m all about that.

    For about $100 you can get any of a bunch of barrels for it.
    I plan on getting the .45-70 and 10 gauge barrels for it, but then, I hate my shoulder.

  • Stephen

    I own and shoot one of the .45-70 Handi Rifles. Factory loads are fun. No worse than my dad’s .270.

  • chris

    I have a 45-70 handi-rifle and it used to kick like a mule until I put about 3 pounds of shot in the stock. It is a bit heavy now in the rear end, but recoil is minimal.

  • I own an H&R 45-70 govt. I have found the recoil to be not much different than that of a 12 gauge shot gun. It’s rather accurate with open sights. Scope helps with those 1200 yard shots. Now my H&R 500 S&W is a different story.

  • Limp

    1200 yards with a handi rifle? What a goober..

  • Ken

    It’s an awesome rifle, had one for a few years. Just watch out for the “lever action” cartriges, for some reason they pack way more punch than the standard.

  • Sidney Corley

    I just purchased the H&R 45.70 government rifle. Took it to the range today and it misfied. Firing pin is bent. Where, in the middle Georgia area, can I have it repaired.

    Thank you,

    Sidney Corley

  • John S.

    Hey Sidney, If you just bought it take it back it should be still under warranty.

  • John S.

    Hello again, I’m thinking of buying one of these guns but I looked in a shooter’s bible an old one and the ballistics for this cal. aren’t that great which surprised me. According to the book this cartridge only has a muzzle velocity of a little over 1300 fps. and the energy is not that great either. Please tell me that this info is outdated and it’s actually better than this. I have always heard stories about this cartridge having a great deal of power and energy. That it was a good long distance gun for big dangerous game, please tell me this is still true.

    Thanks John S.

  • bj hicks

    Anyone know if h&r is going to make a 300 mag barrel for the handi rifle? And what they charge to get trigger work done? Thanks!

  • Jesse

    That number is for the 405 grain cowboy bullet. Hornady’s flex tip is 2050/fps and Remington’s soft point is 1880/fps. I know people who kill deer all the time with these rounds in the Handi rifle.

  • Jesse

    Sorry, I should have listed bullet weight. These are 325 grain in Hornady and 300 grain in Remington.

  • chris

    Does anybody know whether or not you can make loads (45-70) for these guns that are for a ruger #1. I haven’t been able to find the maximum pressure for this rifle. My hornady reloading book separates the 45-70 into 3 pressure classes: ruger #1, other modern 45-70s, and trapdoors. I have made some fairly hot loads and it handled them well up to about 51.3 grains of IMR4198 (I think this was the powder) and a 480 grain bullet. The rifle hammered my shoulder, keep in mind that the stock is full of #8 shot. I think the recoil was more intense than it was with factory loads and no lead in the stock. Some of the cases cracked and and had holes in them near the crimp. But I may have over crimped them as I have only recently started to reload.

    • AL

      Over loading 45/70 is no joke always double powder charges.

  • mark

    I have owned my 45-70 handi for 15 yrs,after tial and tribulation i found the 350 gr.with 3031 imr puts the bullet out there at about 1900 fps no problem.It is alot of fun at 500 to1200 yrds.Three years ago i was drawn for cow elk.At 93 yards the cow turned just as i fired .The bullet hit her in the left hind quarter and came out of her neck, breaking it as it exited.As far as recoil goes,i put an old rubber pad i had on my 30-06 stock.I can shoot 50 rnds and i am fine.But word to the wise,this is a hot rnd

  • Stephanie

    I absolutely love my dad’s 45-70. I fired it three times during deer season and have three nice deer to show for it. The recoil never gave me problems. I loved it so much, that my husband got me one for valentine’s day. The longest shot I made was 160 yds. and it was dead on (literally). I haven’t tried shooting it further, so I’m not real sure what it will do.

  • Patty

    OP:You sound like a weenie!

  • i have a 223 nice gun to shoot 100y 5 shot in 3/4 ” have just order a 45-70 be my hands i hope in 2to 3weeks to shoot bai game rifle in 25/50/75/100/200y’s i shoot 45-70 in bb it vere nice to plug a way with
    shooting with 375/416 12g slug bsa martin made in 1906 fitted new slug barrel all fitted with mercury recoil suppressors fitted by me no more recil then a 303 or 308 load 375 70g 2209 pill 350g 416 90g 2209 410 g pill
    45-70 28g 2207 pill 405g lead mareeba QLD australia

  • I got one of these H&R 45-70s for Christmas this past year. It is a great rifle. It weighs about 6 lb, and I can carry it all day without a problem. It is pretty accurate out to 100 yd. with open sights. It came sighted at the factory dead on the bullseye at 100 yd. It fires about 4 in. high at 50 yd.. The recoil is about what a 20 gauge shot shell is like. I kinda feel that since the factory in Gardner,Mass. was shut down this past year the qulity of some of H&Rs weapons are not as good as they used to be. I own a .410 bore and a 20 gauge H&R too. The 20 gauge was made at the new site in Illium,New York. It gave me a few problems when I first got it. It had sharp edges that I had to stone down and had a sticky firing pin. The weapons that came out of the Gardner,Mass. plant were flawless.My 45-70 was made at Gardner as well as my .410 bore. I handload the Hornandy 500 gn. Interbond round,the 350 gn round that they make,and I like the Remington 405 gn store bought round. There are many different rounds available for this rifle. I only shoot targets with mine,but my deer hunting buddies that use it claim they seldom hit a buck that takes more than one step before they drop. I think between this rifle and my .17 HMR Savage I pretty well have everything covered that I might run into.

  • i have just sold my dd-ss 45-70 it was a nice gun to shoot useing reloads 405g pill with 28g AR2207 1150/1200 fpm 8ozs mercury recoil suppressor and limp saver pad turn intoo a top gun sold as was in shit over club crapp offer at the time i was pissoff i shot paper only at range

  • Jake Rio

    A H&R 25/70 Buffalo Classic has a 32″ barrel, comes with a peep sight and a hooded front sight. I use it for long range shoots ay SASS ( Single Action Shooting Society) matches. The rifle performs very well. We shoot 200 yards at a 24″ round metal target. With a dead rest a miss is the shooters fault. I shoot 300 gr. Vance bullets, 11 grs. powder, W/W brass, federal primers….makes a good round for 200 yards….any longer you need to use a heavier bullet…..


  • Jesse

    I use leverevolution ammo in my 45-70. Kicks pretty good but I am big Guy. Love this gun. I have a red dot scope. No magnification. But I hunt in mostly wooded area. 100 yds or less.

  • OldSapper

    I just bought the H&R Handi Rifle 45-70. Very accurate out of the box. Only fired at 50 yards as the snow is to deep at my house to go out further. Given the sorry state of my eyesight and the fact that I was using open sights, I grouped 4 rounds in 3 inches at 50 yards. The recoil is not at all bad. The gun is solid, no rattles or clanks. Cannot wait to shoot more in the spring! I plan on adding a scope and will use this to bag my next deer I think.