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Discussion Starter #1
Hey ya'll new to the site and looking for some recommendations. I am buying a new Henry case hardened .45-70 with the 22" barrel. The gun will predominantly be used for hunting large Iowa whitetails. I am looking for a hunting load with moderate recoil and accuracy out to 200 yards. I have more than 20 years experience hunting deer with 12 gauge slugs, muzzleloaders, and straight wall pistol calibers. I am looking for a round that is comfortable to shoot and wouldn't be overkill for my 15 year old daughter. She has killed a couple deer with a break-action CVA .44mag and my CVA muzzleloader shooting 300 grain sabots.

I would appreciate any feedback and recommendations from people with real world experience with this round and similar rifles.

Thank you in advance!

Joe
 

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I have a lot of experience with the 45-70, and I've shot a number of deer with this cartridge out of different rifles. Trying to make this cartridge a 200 yard deer gun can be done, but it's going to be very difficult with the parameters you just put around it. First, even the mildest loads in this cartridge generate some decent recoil. Not too much for most adults who shoot a reasonable amount, but it's quite noticeable. Shooting it at 200 yards with even moderate loads is like lobbing a mortar at the target. It's drop at that distance can be measured in feet, not a few inches. Using stout loads it's still significant. For someone who doesn't shoot a lot and isn't used to ballistic calculating while doing it, it's going to be a problem. My honest opinion is that this is going to be a far than less ideal choice for a fifteen year old...boy or girl. I think you'd have been far better off choosing something like the .357mag and limited the distance a bit. Or, gotten the Henry single shot and gotten it in a .357mag and had it reamed out to the .357max....costs about eighty bucks to do that. That would have significantly reduced recoil and flattened out the trajectory. The best I could tell you at this point is to find a 300g bullet and use light charges to generate enough oomp to get it going around 1300fps (still a bit of a thumper) and limit the distance to no more than 125 yards. Good luck with what ever you do.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Appreciate the feedback nsb. My girls are 13 and 15 and are 6/6 on whitetail bucks in the last 3 seasons. 5 out of the 6 were killed with a single shot CVA in .44 mag. This is a great little rifle and whitetail cartridge, and they've killed deer out to 125 yards with factory 240 grain Federal Power Shoks on shooting sticks and offhand. Put it on the shoulder and deer either fall down or go a very short distance.

The .45-70 is going to be my rifle and is intended for Iowa whitetails predominantly, but I also plan to take it out west for mulies, antelope, and elk at some point. I'm not concerned about hyper velocity and can manage some recoil. I assume the 350 and 400 grain loads are harsher to shoot due to increased pressure from the heavier bullets. Regarding bullet drop, I have a range at my home out to 200 yards, and can easily establish a 100, 150, or 175 yard zero to compensate for trajectory.

For whitetails at 200 yards or less, I was leaning towards a 300 grain bullet per your suggestion. The objective is to find a load that is fun to shoot and accurate. I'm not interested in range sessions similar to sighting in a 12 gauge slug gun. Is there a factory load that you would recommend to meet these parameters, or is this more of a hand loading situation? I watched a guy shoot 1.25" groups at 100 yards with a scoped version of this rifle and factory 300 grain Federal Power Shoks. Do you have any experience with this load?

This Henry weighs almost 9 pounds and has a substantial recoil pad. I've watched several reviews online and guys were impressed with its handling and weight for reducing felt recoil.
 

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I shoot the Barnes TSX 250 grain at around 2,200 fps out of a Marlin 1895. I talks to you some. It has a recoil pad and not sure how the weight of the two rifles compare. It probably can be loaded down. Check the Barnes website. I keep things to 125 yds. It sheds velocity pretty quick at longer ranges.


On your .44 mag. I picked one up last year and want to reload for it. Do you have any suggestions for reloads? It will be deer, 100 yds or less.
 

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I have a Henry with 18.5" barrel. For your intended use, I'd first look to the Hornady LE 325gr load. The Henry is a tad heavier than a similar Marlin and has a very good recoil pad. I've not had any issue with recoil. My Henry is sub MOA with a 1-4x scope.

Congrats on your new rifle and good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey Rick, I've never reloaded the .44mag, but our break action CVA loves the 240 grain Federal Power Shok JHP. If you can replicate this load on the bench for cheaper I'd definitely give it a try. With a 100 yard zero, our rifle is about 1" high at 50 and just a few inches low at 125. We don't aim behind the shoulder, rather I've taught the girls to walk the crosshairs straight up the near leg if broadside and far leg if quartering away. If the deer is quartering to us, we split the difference between near and far leg, cheating a little towards the near side. When you place the .44mag on the shoulder it is absolutely deadly. We've never had a recovery more than 50 yards. The best part about the .44mag in this rifle is that there is almost no felt recoil. My girls can shoot that thing all day!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Tnhunter, on the Hornady load, are you talking about the 325 Leverevolution factory load? Have you shot out to 200 with any issues?
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Hornady has the following ballistics data for the 325 LE round.

Velocity at muzzle 2050
Energy at muzzle 3032
Trajectory at muzzle -1.5
Velocity at 100- 1729
Energy at 100- 2158
Trajectory at 100- 3
Velocity at 200- 1450
Energy at 200- 1516
Trajectory at 200- 0
Velocity at 300- 1225
Energy at 300- 1083
Trajectory at 300- -27.8
 

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Tnhunter, on the Hornady load, are you talking about the 325 Leverevolution factory load? Have you shot out to 200 with any issues?
Yes, the Hornady LE load with the 325gr FTX. I have not shot it out to 200. However, that load is very accurate (under 1") at 100 yards out of both my Henry and my 1895G.
 

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You buy the 45-70 yet? What about the Hornady ammo?

Maybe kind of late to the party, but I'd likely pick a little bit lighter and softer shooting gun for the girls, like a 30-30, or .35 Rem. They'll reach out to 200 without issue and have plenty of smack for big deer.

If you have the gun, it may be a bit heavy, but probably workable. I'd steer clear of the Leverevolution rounds for the girls, it is not particularly pleasant to shoot, and the brass is shorter than normal, and the bullets are lightly constructed.

The 400 grain Remington yellow and green box stuff is slower, and has mild recoil. Or maybe better yet, work up some 300 gr. reloads from 1000-1400 fps-ish. Trajectory will be somewhat pronounced, though.
 
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