Henry Side Gate 45-70?

wisconsinteacher

Handloader
Dec 2, 2010
1,907
36
I'm starting the process of saving up for a Henry Side Gate in 45-70. I'm looking at the model with the brass receiver. My one requirement is that it has to come from the Rice Lake factory. Does anyone have any information on these rifles and how they shoot? I would really like to shoot cast bullets from it and use it on my next bear hunt here in WI in 2025. Thanks
 

bdbrown66

Handloader
May 16, 2016
738
134
First of all, all of Henry's centerfire rifles are made in Rice Lake. So you're good on that.

Second, I don't have the side gate, but I do have an earlier color case hardened 45-70. I doubt that the receiver difference has any effect on accuracy. Mine shoots very well, especially once I found the load that it liked.

I think you will be very pleased with it. Only downside is the weight, those octagon barrels are heavy. If you're sitting in a blind or a stand all day, no big deal. But I wouldn't want to carry it all day in the woods.

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KinleyWater

Handloader
Jun 15, 2019
542
525
I also do not have a side-gate Henry. I do have one of the all-weather ones; an original tube-feed only. Mine shoots well, but it is sensitive on COAL, so you may want to think about how heavy you want to go on your pills. Before you ask, the load I had an issue with was with Meister Bullet Co. 405gr RNFP. Yes, it was a surprise to me as well, so I suspect it was operator headspace and timing at fault.

In any case, I think you will be very happy once you get it set up. If this is your first 45-70, you're in for a real treat! Something I did for fun with mine was I took an old t-shirt and wetted it down before hanging it up as a target. Even with muffs, you could hear the bullet impacts. Not good for anything other than putting a dumb grin on my face.
 

PJGunner

Handloader
Dec 11, 2010
1,854
451
The only 45-70 I own today is a Ruger #1H. Bullet was the 330 gr. Gould hollow point originally designed for use in the 45-60 Winchester cartridge. It was decently accurate in a new model 1895 Marlin (1.5" average at 100 years at 1900 FPS.) The same load gave 1.0" to 1.25" groups from a Ruger #1H. Velocity was the same in that rifle. Never shot any of them at game as most of the time shots were at longer range than I was comfortable with.
Paul B.
 

JD338

Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
22,132
1,824
Henry make a great rifle and they are shooters.
Don't overlook the Marlin 1895g guide gun.
They are light, fast handling and accurate.

JD338
 

wisconsinteacher

Handloader
Dec 2, 2010
1,907
36
Thanks for the info. I talked to one of the quality control guys who shoots rifles every day at the factory. They don't make all the center fire rifles in Rice Lake. The only make the 30-30 and 45-70 for rifle rounds here I guess.

I was really hoping they made the 38-55 here but for now it is not an option.

He said that the new side gate is a lot lighter than the original with the octagon barrel.

When I save up enough pennys, I will put my order in and post up pictures here.
 

KinleyWater

Handloader
Jun 15, 2019
542
525
Thanks for the info. I talked to one of the quality control guys who shoots rifles every day at the factory. They don't make all the center fire rifles in Rice Lake. The only make the 30-30 and 45-70 for rifle rounds here I guess.

I was really hoping they made the 38-55 here but for now it is not an option.

He said that the new side gate is a lot lighter than the original with the octagon barrel.

When I save up enough pennys, I will put my order in and post up pictures here.
Just out of personal curiosity, why is the 38-55 not an option? I'd like to have one myself.
 
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