New toy on test

An interesting delivery arrived this morning.  The box contained a Henry Model H010 .45-70 lever-action rifle, with 18½” barrel – that company’s equivalent to the well-known Marlin Model 1895 Guide Gun.  (Image courtesy of Oleg Volk – click it for a larger view.)

Unfortunately, I didn’t get all that lovely ammunition with it – I’ll have to provide my own!  I’ve ordered some Hornady 325 gr FTX LEVERevolution cartridges, which should be here shortly.

Also included was a Riton Mod 5 1.5-6x42IR scope.  It should be perfect for the short to medium ranges over which the .45-70 round excels, and the illuminated reticle should be very helpful during early morning or late-in-the-day hunting, when the light is low.

I’m going to have the pleasure of wringing out the combination over the next three months, with range time for myself and a number of friends at our Blogorado get-together next month, plus at least one (possibly two) hunts.

I’ve ordered an EGW Picatinny rail to fit the Henry receiver, and a couple of extended scope rings to mount the (rather long) scope as far forward as possible, so as to provide a usable eye relief.  I’ll fit them when they arrive.  I’m looking forward to trying the combination on hog and deer later this year.  Miss D. and I are already eating down the freezer, and she’s making suggestive noises about what she hopes to see in it before long – so I’d better not miss!

I must admit, I have a weakness for a well-crafted lever-action rifle.  They’re just so darn neat, and there’s a lot of history in the design.  I have half a dozen in my safe already.  If all goes well, I suspect this combination will make a worthy addition to my collection.



  1. I had one of the Marlins. Loved it. 45-70 is definitely the boss.
    I saw a huge difference in impact point of the LeverEvolution compared to traditional cartridges.
    LeverEvolutions turn my 30-30 into an accurate 200-yard rifle, but I didn't really care for them in the 45-70.
    My favorite in the 45-70 was the yellow and green Remington 405s.
    I'd like to get one of the octagon-barreled Henry 45-70s.
    – Charlie

  2. I still have my .45-70 Marlin, it does not get shot a lot, but it is huge fun to shoot. I added a slip on recoil pad and it helps a good bit.
    Have fun.

  3. I will be interested to see how the rifle does.
    I have a Marlin Guide Gun in .45-70 and it is a fine rifle.
    It has ghost ring peep sights on it and a rail that will
    take a Scout Scope.

  4. Jim West at Wild West Guns in Anchorage has superb ghost ring sights for lever rifles. Don't know about fitment with the Henrys, but they're drop-ons for the Marlins.

    Factory .45-70 ammunition is weak, since it's designed to not damage very early .45-70s of questionable metallurgy. Outfits like Buffalo Bore have the cure, in several bullet weights. My solution was a rather stout load of IMR 3031 under a 400 grain Speer soft nose, which turned out to be extremely effective on deer, and shot as flat as a heavy bullet .45-70 load can; it would be a lousy combination in the flatlands, but in the South's deep woods and hollers it's the bees knees. Recoil is commensurate with bullet mass and velocity, so be warned; loads like that are not for those with soft shoulders.

  5. Nice!
    The Marlin Guide Gun in stainless is apparently the hot ticket with Alaskan and Canadian guides escorting big game hunters. They need something light, durable, and with the authority to drop a charging brown or polar bear.
    Only thing I've never cared for with Marlin or Winchester lever guns is the open sights. My .357 has a ghost ring peep that I installed and I mounted a red dot on the .44 magnum.
    For reloaders there are three levels with the .45-70. Weakest, and what most commercial rounds are loaded to, is for old guns such as the Trapdoor Springfield intended for low pressure black powder. The intermediate level would be intended for modern guns such as your Henry or the Marlin equivalent. And the top tier is loads intended for bank vault solid actions such as the Ruger #1. Those can come very close to approximating the ballistics of the .458 Winchester magnum and have been used to take African elephants.

  6. Depending on how you mount the scope you may want to acquire a hammer extension, a knob that projects off to the side of the hammer to make it easier to operate under the rear bell of the scope.
    Not sure about Texas, but in Alabama and Mississippi feral hogs are considered a nuisance critter, and so have no closed season and may be hunted at night as well. Big old boars can be a might tough, but it grinds into sausage just fine.

  7. @Oleg: Yes, I could reverse the Weaver mount, but I think the Picatinny version will be more flexible for future reference. It also fits the extended clamps better; I've found clamps to fit a Picatinny rail, but not a Weaver.

    @Uncle Lar: Already ordered the hammer extension.

  8. I wish I had purchased a 45-70 lever before they became so fearsome expensive. I used to own a .444 Marlin many years ago, but had to sell it to get funds for my residence exterior doors. Basically a slightly souped up.44 caliber 30-30 Winchester, a good thing as whatever it hit stayed down right there, with little meat damage as well. A great gun – I'm sure the 45/70 is similar. Good shooting !

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