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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  BROW (Moderator: Delmonico)  |  Topic: The Wesson & Harrington (H&R) 1871 Buffalo Classic 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: The Wesson & Harrington (H&R) 1871 Buffalo Classic  (Read 15347 times)
Pappy Myles
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« on: December 07, 2006, 03:23:23 pm »


OK Pards,

What I’m about to suggest is probably blasphemous, but I have acquired the subject rifle several years ago before I became a reformist from formal shooting to action shooting.  I found in the used gun rack for a penance at the local establishment that takes most of my expendable assets.  I always wanted to get a 45-70 but really wasn’t aware of the replicas available.  (Even when I became aware I couldn’t justify the $1500 or more for one.   I know,  I know, after I put everything on this to get it to shoot, I bet it would have been more economical to go ahead and bite the bullet and get one. And here I am a reformed NRA High Power rifle shooter with a lot more expensive modern space guns too).

So after I discovered Cowboy shooting, I became more interested in the different matches.  And after seeing “Quigley Down Under”, I wanted to give it a go.   After researching the Quigley rifle (anywhere from $1500 to over $3000 depending on the manufacture) I was having second thoughts.  Then I remembered I actually had a 45-70 that I didn’t have to give an arm and a leg for.

Anyway, I picked this H&R (actually marked Wesson & Harrington) up for about $150.  It came with no sights.   I found one on e-bay for $25 ( it was for a model 30-40 kreg made in 1896 – has a nice ladder and a little lever on it that allows to release the sight for windage.)   The front sight blade came from Buffalo arms.  I got my local gunsmith to mount the kreg sight on the barrel in front of the hump of the chamber.  The sight sits high enough to see over the hump.   The only problem the sight is mounted a tad high, so when the ladder is down, using the open “Vee” set @ 100 yds.  the front sight isn’t high enough to keep the rounds at point of impact at 100 yds. It shoots about 8 inches high. So back to the drawing board.  I have used several different globe sights from Lyman that work very well, but it just doesn’t feel right.  So I guess I’ll just have to make a front sight blade out of a dime and a Winchester style base I can get from Dixie.

I sent the receiver in to H&R to have the steel trigger guard put in to replace that plastic piece of buffalo chip the original rifle came with.   I also had my gunsmith buddy modify the spring loaded ejector to a manual extraction to be in compliance with the SASS regulation.  Before when you unlocked the barrel, the spent case would literally fly out to about 10 yards behind you.

The rifle does shoot well.   4 or 5 rounds within a 2 inch group using 405 grain cast with  26 grains of H4198 @ 100 yds using the little peep hole of the ladder sight.  I haven’t discovered the sweet spot with black powder cartridges yet.  Nor have I had the opportunity to take it to my clubs range with my load and “shoot for calibration” for the ladder beyond 100yds. (after all, it is marked for the 30-40 balistics).

Bottom line is that I have about $450 tied up in the rifle.  It shoot great!......My only complaint is the God awful trigger pull and the rifle is fairly light so when I shoot heavy hitting loads, it’s kinda like the old joke of the elephant hunter with his 6 bore rifle,  when he pulls the trigger, who ever gets up first on either side of the rifle is the winner……….

Now, only if I could learn the mysticism of the black……………….

I haven’t had the opportunity to go to any of the buffalo style matches with it yet, still messing with the ammo combination and sights.  Anyway, I’ve been sentenced to cold labor for about two years buy my company to Alaska.  But this summer when I return to the sweltering heat of my home country of Tejes, I will certainly give it a shot. I have read some article in other boards that have mixed emotions about the rifle.

Well,  that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
Any comments out there?   Good?  Bad?  Or Ugly?
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2006, 03:56:12 pm »

I had one for a little while. I bought it with a Lyman front globe and rear tag sight installed. It worked fine for me, but I am just a buffalo gun plinker. I filled the butt stock with lead shot which made it heavier and balance closer to the receiver. I also put a rubber washer between the "barrel lug" and the forend so the forend wasn't touching the barrel. Hope these suggestions help.

BTW, I got a great deal on a Pedersoli rolling block so I sold the W&H Buffalo Classic. I stole the sights offa it before I sold it. They are on the Rolling block now.

Slim
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2006, 04:26:13 pm »

Ah, so that is where those sights ended up, HAH!
Pappy, I bought S.C.S.'s H&R and put a Lyman on the front and a Smith Enterprises Ladder on the barrel, it is designed specifically for that rifle and really works well, got both through Brownell's. You might want to reconsider the Smith sight as it will fit right and be in the exact spot for eye-to-target acquisition.
Built like a tank, these rifles will be around for awhile and are a good buy at any price! I expect we'll start to see some historically-correct add-ons such as sights, old style steel trigger and guard, etc., as it becomes more acceptable in the CAS community.
Regarding your Alaska venture, there are a boat load of Big Bore Shooters up North, many of them hang out over at the BPCR.net forum, another good site is the Shiloh Rifle Co. forum.
Best regards and good shooting!
'Ol Gabe
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Pappy Myles
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2006, 05:29:06 pm »

Thanks for the tips, esp on the rubber washer.   I've seen the smith sights, but for some reason just didnt like'em at that position.  Old habits die hard.
I'll also add some lead in the butt stock.

Keep'em down range........
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2006, 05:42:10 pm »

I have one, too. Lyman front sight, Taylor's BP tang sight. Loaded the stock hole with some lead. I reduced my loads to just about BP speed which made it somewhat more pleasant to shoot. it's a heck of a lot more accurate than my old eyes and arms can hold. Can't beat it for a low cost entry level single shot..............Buck Cool Roll Eyes Wink
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2006, 06:39:40 pm »

Either the washer trick or a glass bedding of the forend will help a 2 piece stock as well as a bolt gun.  I have wone 2 piece (a 99 Savage) that has a steel piler in it, turned it into a tack driver.  The Low-Wall Hornet and the Sharps did better with full bedding.

Another thing that helps a lot on 2 piece stocks that are not break actions is to have just enough gap between the foreend and reciver to slip a cigerette paper between, uneven pressure there can also cause all kinds of problems.  It ain't a pretty that way but pretty that don't shoot worth a durn don't cut it in my book.
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2006, 06:50:45 pm »

I saw Buffalo Clasic chambered for 38/55. I've never heard of this round. I see there are brass and dies available. Has anyone used this round?
Thanks,
Tubac
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2006, 08:01:59 pm »

I have one in 38-55. It's probably the most accurate rifle I have. The 38-55 is really accurate out to about 300 yds. Great rifle. I've thought about fitting it with one of those long scopes that were on the rifles back in the Civil war times.
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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2006, 06:47:38 pm »

OK, here's another silly question, are these rifles proofed for smokeless powder?

Tubac
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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2006, 06:54:43 pm »

The originals probably weren't. The new ones are just H&R's with the Wesson & Harrington name on them as a type of commemorative run but they don't look like the original W&H's. They will take any type of loads. You can also buy different barrels for them in a whole host of calibers, mostly modern, just by sending the gunback to H&R with a handful of cash. They fit the barrel and send it back to you. Then you have two barrels to choose from. I've been tempted to get a 45 Colt barrel made so I can switch betwen them. Then a .22lr would be fun, too. And a .223. And, and, and............ Grin
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« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2006, 07:49:47 pm »

Get a 22 Hornet Will, if you don't already own one, everyone should own a Hornet. Grin
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« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2006, 10:27:49 am »

I have an H&R with the following barrels: .22 Hornet, .223 Rem, .270 Win, .44 Rem Mag, and .45-70 Govt.  Grin

Slim
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« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2006, 12:53:28 am »

I have one as well.  It shoots great, especially offhand.  I guess standing up makes taking the recoil easier.    I've been doing more long-range shooting with my rolling block lately. I hate seeing that H & W standing in the gunrack, though.  My next wild hair involves getting a new buttstock - kind of a perchbelly profile, cheekpiece, Helm-style buttplate, maybe a palmrest.  Should make a fine scheutzen.
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Pappy Myles
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« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2007, 06:49:46 pm »

UPDATE on H&R Project......

OK,  I managed to take one of my 1 pound lead ingots, beat it into a round rod shape and managed to get it into the rifle stock.   I have to admit, it ballanced the rifle and sure helped out on the recoil.    I found a small piece of leather that I cut out a hole in it and trimmed it up to fit in the foreare to act as bedding (ok   gotta work on that one).  I've replaced the front sight with a tall blade I got from buffalo arms.  Took me several days of careful filling away to get the right hight to work with the old military 30-40 kraig ladder sight I have on it.  BUT IT WAS ALL WORTH IT!!!!!!!!!!

Got it out to the range with some ammo I bought at sportsman wearhouse ( ultramax - 405 grain fp, about 1100 fps - yep, I cronographed the stuff) and on the saeco lead hardness tester it punched about a 4, so its relatively soft lead.  But benched at 100yds, using the 100 yd target with the orange center, and after dinking around with the brass hammer, punch, and file, I managed to cut out the orange center.  Great Shooter!!!!

BUt I did notice that while shooting my own reloads ( 405 lazer cast bullet - IMR 4198 cronographed at 1450,) they started drifting all over the place.  That and the lazer cast bullets pulled a 6 on the lead hardness tested.  So, I've come to the conclusion the barrel likes soft lead at a slower velocity...........

Hmmmmm   so I'm thinking on ordering a lyman mold and going with black now that I have a reference point and confidence in the rifle..........What mold do you guys use, suggest? and load?
(32 In barrel, 1-18 twist)

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« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2007, 10:55:41 pm »

I was an early adopter of the rifle. It originally came without sights, but included a sockup and a case. I added a Lyman 17A and Williams WGOS rear sight with 3 interchangeable blades. I sent it back to H&R1871, LLC to have the steel trigger guard & forend spacers installed along with the stock weight. I don't know whether they are still honoring the pricing on these special offer forms now that they are owned by Marlin: http://buffaloclassic.tripod.com/ One could always give them a call.

The H&R site is now listing a carbine version in .45 LC

Over the years I've often kicked myself for not getting the fancier, limited edition anniversary model. I've got a snapshot of mine on my Image Event album: http://imageevent.com/1875td/crandcowboyriflecollection/collection

Good shootin',
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Pappy Myles
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« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2007, 04:54:53 pm »

Hi Rusty,

Appearently they are honoring somekind of deal, it was only $75 for me to sent in the receiver to have the steel trigger guard and forearm spacer put in.

I have installed an old 30-40 kreig ( model 1896) ladder sight (with windage adjustment) on the barrel just right before the chamber hump.  I tried the various lyman #17 globe sights.  All fit well but just couldnt get my loads to hit where I wanted @ 100 yds with the kreig sights set at 100 yds.  I know, picky picky picky.  Not to mention the different balistics of a 405 grain 45 cal bullet and a 200 grain 30 cal bullet that the kreig sight is calibrated for. The kreig sight were sitting a tad high.  So what I did was acquire from dixie arms a retangular front sight that is about 9/16" tall.   I placed it in the barrel, shot a few, filled some, shoot a few more, filled some more, until I brought the hole in the target down to target center.  I just like to have a solid reverence  point that I dont have to think about when the sight is at its lowest position.  I'll have to post a picture or two.

Wonder if I can get a spare trigger guard and add a "lever " to it to make it look like the original W&H rifle.   That would be interesting


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« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2007, 01:45:48 am »

Is my Wesson and Harrington H&R 1871 target model 38-55 legal for the SASS long range side matches? thanks JB
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« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2007, 09:02:15 pm »

Hi John,

The calibre is ok, now I did have my ejector modified so it wouldnt spring out the cartridge, which I believe is a requirement for single shot buffalo rifle.  and depends on the sights you have on it

but over I , I believe so........
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« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2007, 09:03:02 pm »

Evening,

I have the same problem in regard to money and what I can afford.  I have looked at the H&R Handi-Rifle.  It is also a 45-70.  It also comes with an automatic ejector.   So, I find it interesting that you were able to get the ejector modified to a manual.  I  will need to check this out myself.

Thanks for your post.  It has helped me.

Be well,

Captainjack
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« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2007, 09:45:21 pm »

I can't find the website now (it used to be buffaloclassic.tripod.com), but a few years ago, I found a H&R Forum that had instructions on converting the ejector to an extractor.  It basically involved removing the roll pin that retained the ejector, grinding off a "step" in the piece, and putting it back in.  It basically takes the "snap" out of the ejector, so it just kinda slides out.  DO NOT use my description as directions on how to do this.   I'm sure somebody on this forum probably knows how to get to the website I mentioned, which is a good one.  It has drawings for exactly what to grind off for modifying the ejector, and another article which leads you thru "slicking up" the trigger assembly, complete with step-by-step photos.  Some other stuff on triggers is at:  http://www.perkloafm.com/downloads2.html , but I haven't check it out.  Again, don't do nothin yerself till you get good, accurate information.
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« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2007, 09:56:24 pm »

I modified a SxS double by grinding off the sear that catches the ejector on each side. Now it just lifts them up so you can get ahold of them. Sounds like the same idea as yours, GG.
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« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2007, 11:08:35 pm »

I need to check, but if I remember right there is also just a spring you can remove with out doing any modification.  The ejector is spring loaded.
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« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2007, 11:23:24 pm »

Guns, if you are thinking of the forum that was dedicated to the Handi Rifle, Marlin shut it down if I remember correctly.  They apparently felt that there was too much gunsmithing advice be given and that they might be liable.

Graybeard has a H&R board.  you might be able to find what you need there.

Will Ketchum
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« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2007, 05:59:35 pm »

Ejector modifications.........

Remembering now, that was where I got the modifications ( buffaloclassic.tripod.)  I had Al Horton of single action services in Houston Texas modify mine.

Also. I sent the receiver in to NEF and got the metal trigger guard installed for about $75. 

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