Monday, 23 Sep 2019

[Slickguns Review] Henry .45-70 Lever Action Rifle: Big Game Ready

[Review] Henry .45-70 Lever Action Rifle: Big Game Ready


Lever action in a big buffalo caliber? Yesssss!

Henry .45-70 Case Hardened

Doesn’t hurt that it’s also one of the prettiest Slickguns I’ve ever handled.

Check out our experience with Henry’s .45-70 Lever Action as my team and I Slickguns Review it for shootability, reliability, accuracy, looks, and more.

Henry .45-70 Gif
Henry .45-70 Gif

By the end you’ll know if it could be your next heavy hitting range Slickgun and/or big game hunting rifle.


759
at Brownells

Compare prices (2 found)

  • Brownells (See Price)
  • Cabelas (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

Fit & Feel

Like the Henry Golden Boy (.22LR) and .410 Shotgun I’ve tested before…the .45-70 version feels quality.

Henry .45-70, Left Side
Henry .45-70, Left Side

It’s hefty but not heavy at just above 7 lbs. I wouldn’t want a super light rifle chambered in .45-70 anyways.

How about that lever action?

Smooth right out of the box. And I’m sure will get even smoother with use.

Henry .45-70 Lever Action
Henry .45-70 Lever Action

Stay tuned for our shooting videos below for more details.

Now…how about that case hardening?

Henry Case Hardening
Henry Case Hardening

It’s so pretty I didn’t even want to shoot it…just put it up in a glass case in the middle of the den to show it off!

As for the other things…the wood is great as always and nicely checkered for grip.

Henry Wood Grips
Henry Wood Grips

Sights are decent with an adjustable buckhorn-style rear sight…

Henry .45-70 Rear Sight
Henry .45-70 Rear Sight

And a green hi-vis front sight bead.

Henry .45-70 Front Sight
Henry .45-70 Front Sight

Ok…one more full rifle shot then we’ll go into how it shoots.

Henry .45-70 Lever Action Rifle
Henry .45-70 Lever Action Rifle

Shootability

First, Henry rifles load through a cylinder magazine at the front.

Henry .45-70 Loading Tube
Henry .45-70 Loading Tube

You unlock the cylinder and bull out the brass loading tube. Then drop your rounds into the rifle…and finally push the tube back down and re-lock.

The spec sheet states a capacity of 4 rounds…but I was able to get 5-6 in there although closing the tube took a little more trouble. So probably don’t be like me!

So…how does it shoot?

Superbly…

We thought we were going to be blown away by the recoil of the .45-70 round. But it comes down to ammo selection.

We started with some Cowboy Action rated rounds which felt really nice and made everyone that tried it put on a surprised face…and then a smile.

Black Hills .45-70 vs 5.56
Black Hills .45-70 405gr vs 5.56

However…then we moved into some more modern rounds that really added some oomph.

Hornady Lever Revolution .45-70 vs 5.56
Hornady Lever Revolution .45-70 250gr vs 5.56

You can check out John’s reaction in this video with the Hornady…

The lever action is smooth and the single action trigger is nice.

There’s no traditional safety button or lever…but there is a transfer bar mechanism when the hammer is let down.

And for me…I always made sure to load on an empty chamber since you’ll likely have to get some part of your hand/arm in front of the muzzle to load.

Accuracy

For accuracy we took it to our local range for some fixed distance and lead sled shooting.

Henry .45-70 Accuracy Testing
Henry .45-70 Accuracy Testing

.45-70 ammo was a little hard to come by so we stuck with the two from before…

  • Black Hills .45-70 405gr
  • Hornady .45-70 Lever Revolution 250gr

Here’s the view from the sights…

Henry .45-70 Sight View
Henry .45-70 Sight View

I placed the targets at 75 yards since it was difficult for me to get a good sight picture at 100 yards.

I loaded 5 rounds for each test and fired slowly for my maximum accuracy potential.

The results?

Henry .45-70 Groups
Henry .45-70 Groups

OK with my skill level…around 4-5 inches with the Black Hills and slightly smaller at around 3 inches for the Hornady.

I’m sure you can definitely tighten it up by getting behind the sights more…I’ve been spoiled with fancy scopes and red dots.

A Couple AR-15 Optics
A Couple AR-15 Optics

But…the good thing is that the Henry is drilled and tapped…so it’s ready to accept optics and rail mounts! I’d probably put some sort of hunting 3-9x optic like the Leupold VX Freedom soon.

By the Numbers

Reliability: 5/5

Several trips to the range, four shooters, ~100 rounds (.45-70 is pretty expensive), and no failures of any kind.  What I’ve come to expect from Henry.

Accuracy: 3/5

More likely down to my skill level…but it’s showing around 4 MOA at 100 yards.  Nothing against the trigger either…it’s great.  I feel I’d do much better with it lightly scoped.

Ergonomics: 4/5

Like other Henry’s…it’s a little front heavy because of the barrel.  But for this caliber I’d rather have more heft all around…especially if I start shooting the harder hitting hunting rounds more.

Looks: 5/5

Oh yes…the prettiest Henry I have in my collection.  Love that case hardening.  You also can’t go wrong with their regular blue case or brass models.

Customization: 3/5

It’s drilled and tapped so you can add a scope.  That’s about all you’d probably do to it anyways.

Bang for the Buck: 4/5

Normal versions of the .45-70 are around $750 while if you want to get the case hardened version…it’s over $1000.  I personally think it’s worth it!

Overall Rating: 4/5

Conclusion

Henry goes back to its lever action roots with the hard hitting .45-70 caliber.

Henry .45-70, Right Side
Henry .45-70, Right Side

If you’re looking for something old school that won’t let you down…and will get oohs and aahs from sight alone…check out the Henry .45-70.


759
at Brownells

Compare prices (2 found)

  • Brownells (See Price)
  • Cabelas (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

Looking at other lever action Slickguns? Check out the Best Lever Action Slickguns (You Can Still Get Today). Or our other Slickguns Reviews of Henry’s .22LR
Golden Boy and .410 Shotgun.

The post [Slickguns Review] Henry .45-70 Lever Action Rifle: Big Game Ready appeared first on Pew Pew Tactical.

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