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Expatmedic 22 August 2018 00:17

Rolling Blocks, Lever Actions, Falling Blocks etc...
We have AR and bolt gun threads galore. But, we have had mention of the 45-70, and the Trap Of The Odd Rounds thread.

For years I have wanted a Ruger#1, Win. 94 in some odd caliber with octagonal barrel and I just found the Winchester High Wall.

So, these actions are getting my attention as a cool toy to have.

Falling Block in 25-06, hellz yeah.:cool:

What say you all?

diverescue 22 August 2018 00:40

Ruger #1 had my attention as well. Grabbed one in a .22-250. It combines the simplicity of a single shot with a little fun like a lever gun, and absolutely puts the hurt on coyotes!

Akheloce 22 August 2018 01:46

I had a kick where I was assembling every flavor of AR in every cartridge that struck my fancy. I've got some of the most tacticool hardware you could see in a video game.

Over the last year or four, I've swung a 180 into older stuff.

It all started with a Ruger New Vaquero in 45 Colt that looked cool, and was at an attractive price (plus I had some per diem cash burning a hole in my pocket. I handloaded (and cast) some lightweight gallery loads and had a lot of fun with them. Next, in a drunken night on the laptop, I bought a close reproduction of the original 250 gr bullet mould for the 45 Colt a la 1873. Then, I figured, I might as well get some no kidding Blackpowder, and do it right. A few hundred dollars and a few hundred rounds later, I'm all set up to load BP cartridge rounds of whatever flavor I wanted.

I've always drooled on the Shiloh Sharps website- made dozens of builds on the website before chickening out on the "submit" button.

Not long after, I'm killing time at the local Cabela's gun counter and see what I thought was a Sharps. Low and behold, it's a Pedersoli Italian replica. Some googling on my phone, and it's a very respected replica, and functionally, is a faithful repro of the original Sharps.

Got it home, shot some factory 325 gr loads through it just to generate brass. It shot literally 1.5 dia holes with 3 shot groups at 100 yards. The factory Soule style sight was chincy, so I replaced that with a Lee Shaver. I took the 40 or so brass I generated and loaded some 500 gr lead rounds with 3F Blackpowder.

Later, I got some 540 gr postell smooth bullets, a home scrapbooking kit, and some lightweight paper. I've been spending the summer dialing in the right combo of lube button, granularity of BP, and paper patching technique to get the perfect load.

That Sharps design is awesome. Deceptively simple and functional. With BP, load compression is a plus, and the falling block, as the lever is raised, drives the round home in a cam action, firmly seating the bullet in the case (the bullet is fully engaged in the rifling). The set trigger function is superb... it's not within my current abilities to take advantage of it. My normal 2-stage AR triggers are in the 2-3 lb range. The Sharps set trigger is a single stage in the 1-2 OUNCE range.

In summary, I find a lot more fulfillment and fun spent with a single shot, 14 lb rifle than an SBR'ed supressed AR in 300 BO (not that it's not fun as well, I'm just not shooting it as much as I used to)

mdwest 22 August 2018 07:57

calling @stanley white (high wall fan)..

Im sure he will be along shortly...

The Ruger #1 for what its worth, is an incredible single shot.. Ive seen them barreled in everything from .223 to .458 Lott and 500 Nitro Express.. they are always accurate.. they balance extremely well.. and the action is one of the strongest ever made..

Some of my buddies that are big bore fans and avid "big 5" hunters actually prefer them over bolt guns.. while they dont have the capacity.. they are reliable as it gets, and when putting rounds on something that wants to stomp you into a pink mist or eat you.. putting that first shot EXACTLY where it belongs is paramount.. the #1's accuracy and its speed (handles exceptionally well) are among its biggest attractants for those guys..

usacivpol 22 August 2018 09:11

I have a #1 in 45/70 that I push 550g cast bullets into the .458 winmag range. More fun to shoot the 300g cast, but not terrible.

Stanley_White 22 August 2018 12:21

I am High Wall and Rolling Block fan myself.

If anyone wants a Browning 1885 High Wall in 45-70 with 40 rounds through it I have one for sale. :-)

Having tried both rifles, I prefer the Rolling Block due to its simplicity and you can buy higher end Rolling Blocks for less money than a similar high end Falling Block.

Pedersoli is a good brand.

A fun website for all things related to this thread is here:


gavin 22 August 2018 12:52

Ruger No. 1 in 7x57, Mannlicher stock. One of my few remaining bucket list guns.

B 2/75 22 August 2018 13:08

2 Attachment(s)
Model 1894 Winchester, half round / half octagonal, magazine tube to the end of the handgrip, crescent buttstock, in the original 38.55. Throws a 255 grain softnose in an arc that's tough to guesstimate onto target much past 200 yards, but which will generally put down anything it hits out to that point. This one is essentially the same as mine, but for the back half of the barrel not being octagonal in shape and it having the flat buttplate.

usacivpol 22 August 2018 16:58

Where would a Burnside carbine fall into that list?

gavin 22 August 2018 21:07


Originally Posted by usacivpol (Post 1058743934)
Where would a Burnside carbine fall into that list?

Burnsides were pretty innovative for the times when designed, and were probably the most accurate BP carbine ever made.

I'm not aware of anyone making a reproduction Burnside (meaning you'll have to use an original if you want to play with one). Burnside carbines use a truncated cartridge, PITA to produce. So...IMO, using a Burnside today would damn near be a full-time job.

Akheloce 23 August 2018 00:27


Originally Posted by gavin (Post 1058743981)

Burnside carbines use a truncated cartridge, PITA to produce. So...IMO, using a Burnside today would damn near be a full-time job.

I'm mildly surprised to find these:


EchoFiveMike 23 August 2018 04:07

^^Never underestimate the potential of a frustrated autistic machinist.

I had a Miroku Winchester M1886 takedown in 45/70. Awesome rifle, but the crescent steel buttplate was awful. With puffball loads it was fine, but anything heavy it killed on both ends. 40gns of 3031 behind a 405 or heavier cast bullet was about ideal, and would probably kill most anything in CONUS without too much drama.

If you're looking for a collectible, the Miroku 1886's are a solid choice. I sold mine for significantly more than I bought it for, and they're well crafted guns you could pass down to your kids. S/F....Ken M

usacivpol 23 August 2018 09:27

Akheloce has it right. That same company also makes nylon cartridge cases at 75 cents each. I have been meaning to order some to try.
Already have the gun.

Sharky 23 August 2018 10:16

I have a Navy Arms rolling block 45-70 with octagonal barrel. It's a beast.

JAFO 23 August 2018 10:32

...and not one mention of Henry Rifles? :confused: I've always been intrigued by the 45-70, but my shoulder fears the impending bruises.

gavin 23 August 2018 10:33


Originally Posted by Akheloce (Post 1058744015)
I'm mildly surprised to find these:


I know that Burnsides are fairly popular with re-enactors (or whatever you call the folks that dress up in period clothing and re-create battles). I guess they make Burnsides cartridges for them? Had no idea you could by them commercially. Burnsides carbines are fairly plentiful, but not cheap. When I run into Burnsides for sale, the price is usually > $2K.

mdwest 23 August 2018 11:01


Originally Posted by Sharky (Post 1058744099)
I have a Navy Arms rolling block 45-70 with octagonal barrel. It's a beast.

If you dont bring that to TX with you in October.. you are a puss..


mdwest 23 August 2018 11:19


Originally Posted by JAFO (Post 1058744103)
...and not one mention of Henry Rifles? :confused: I've always been intrigued by the 45-70, but my shoulder fears the impending bruises.

Dont let recoil shy you away from 45-70..

If you step into full power buffalo bore ammo (or similar like garret, etc..) its definitely going to share a little hate with you every time you pull the trigger..

But if you stick to "normal" 300 grain factory loads from winchester, remington, etc.. and shoot them out of a reasonably weighty rifle like a henry lever action, marlin guide gun, etc.. 45-70 isnt really all that bad..

To give you something to compare it to....

45-70 shooting 300gr projectiles @ 1800 fps out of a light weight rifle (7lbs) generates 23.9 pounds of recoil energy, and has a recoil velocity of 14.8

300 win mag shooting 180gr projectiles at 2960 fps out of a typical 8.5lb rifle generates 25.9 pounds of recoil energy, and has a recoil velocity of 14.0 (slightly less recoil velocity but slightly more recoil energy than the 45-70)..

30-06 shooting a 180gr projectile at 2700 fps out of an 8lb rifle generates 20.3 of recoil energy, and has a recoil velocity of 12.8...

In a nutshell.. a 45-70 with a good recoil pad, and at a normal weight (8-9lb rifle).. if shooting 300 gr projectiles is going to "kick" roughly the same as shooting heavy loads from a 30-06 of similar weight.. and "kick" a good bit less than a 300 win mag.. shot from a heavier rifle..

There are a lot of ways to help mitigate recoil.. the stock design, fit of the stock, recoil pad, rifle weight, etc.. all play significant roles.. as do the actual rounds you are shooting through the gun..

I've shot 308's that have hammered my shoulder harder than one of my old 45-70's..

but.. on the other hand.. I used to own a little 18" barreled single shot 45-70 that weighed about 6.5lbs that was one of the hardest hammering guns I have ever shot.. the recoil from that thing even with 300gr winchester silver tips was brutal (although fun in a f'd up sadistic kinda way).. it was far worse than any of my magnum rifles, to include the 375 H&H Mag that I own now..

JAFO 23 August 2018 12:08


Originally Posted by mdwest (Post 1058744116)
Dont let recoil shy you away

Good data. Thanks brother!

EchoFiveMike 23 August 2018 13:43

1 Attachment(s)
Trying for velocity with the 45/70 is the wrong way to go about it IMO, especially with a single shot that you can play with OAL. Use a 400+ cast bullet, and start with that load of 40gns of IMR3031. It'll do 1300-1500fps, depending on chamber tightness, OAL and barrel length.

I generally use a 440 gn gas checked bullet that works acceptably in a 1895 from a custom mold from Mountain Molds. It's not 458, but for North America, I wouldn't sweat the difference. S/F...Ken M

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