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My son bought a beautiful new Henry 45-70 and I am reloading for it. He and I sighted it in with factory ammo (Hornady LR) at 75 yards and noticed that shots would alternate between 1" high above the bull, and 3" low and right. The weird thing is that each individual group is touching each other, just 4" apart. I figured it was just the factory ammo. I switched to my handloads using 300gr Hornady HP and either H322 or AA2230. I worked up the loads to about midway from starting loads to maximum and then loaded a bunch to get some good practice rounds. These rounds were very similar to the factory ammo. I had two separate groups. It happened for both of us. I checked the scope and mounts and both were tight. The scope is a Leupold Freedom 1.5-4x in Talley one piece mounts.

Am I doing something wrong since this is my first extensive use of a lever action? I shoot my bolt actions regularly along with a pump as well. I have never had grouping issues like this. I have an older Sightron scope I could put on it to see if it is the scope. Any ideas what it could be???

Last edited by himmelrr; 08/05/22.
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I have photos of how well my 45-70 and 45-90 group with some shots in the previous hole, so it is not the caliber.

A well mounted scope may refine your sighting, but it also adds more complexity to the issue, so trying it may help diagnose the problem

Good luck sorting things out.


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I had a .30-06 that was double-grouping. Long time ago.

The cause was an Ocular lens that would wobble, and as it wobbled, the cross-hairs moved with it. I was highly disappointed, the scope was worth every bit of $35.00, and no, it wasn't a Leupold. I can't remember the brand for certain, but it was something along the lines of a bubble-pack Bushnell

I bit the bullet and bought a Tasco World Class($89.00!!), and was surprised at how well the rifle did shoot. The issue that surfaced after that was the fact that eye relief was only about a half-inch, so I got bit e'ry now and then.

Though both scope and mounts were tight, it turned out to be an internal issue with the scope.

I also have a .45-70 Marlin Guide Gun, and it will group very good with a load it likes, and I just plain can't shoot the real hard kickers all that well by the 4th shot.

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No benefit shooting "hard kickers" unless you are in bear or moose country. Handload "purpose" rounds.


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Originally Posted by SheriffJoe
No benefit shooting "hard kickers" unless you are in bear or moose country. Handload "purpose" rounds.

I am not stranger to "hard kickers'" I have an 8 pound 375H&H that I shoot a decent amount. The loads I am shooting on this rifle are medium powered rounds with whitetails in mind.

I am just trying to figure out what is the issue with these groups...is it me, the scope or the load? As an example, I had a guy at the range that was struggling with a Remington 7600 in 308. His groups were all over the place. I was shooting a Remington 760 in 243 and had great groups. He asked if I had any tips. I said quit putting the barrel on the rest. Use the forearm only. Resting just the barrel will change the harmonics of the barrel and affects accuracy. His groups tightened up a lot.

Last edited by himmelrr; 08/06/22.
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Originally Posted by SheriffJoe
No benefit shooting "hard kickers" unless you are in bear or moose country. Handload "purpose" rounds.

I will shoot white tail with a much larger cartridge (300 Magnum through various 375's) than needed at times and with heavy for the caliber bullets. I do it mainly for practice. I've taken 45-70's out prairie dog shooting and similar cartridges. I killed quite a few with a 44 mag one year.


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I would concentrate on making sure the rifle is being held/supported exactly the same between shots. If that does not help contact Henry, their customer service is superb.


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Was the barrel touching the bench or anything else when you were shooting? A barrel resting on a hard surface will mess up your groups. I have a Marlin 45-70 Guide gun with a short ported barrel, a real Marlin before Remington bought them out. I shoot Hornaday Leverevolution .325 grain bullets and it groups tight.


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Originally Posted by SheriffJoe
No benefit shooting "hard kickers" unless you are in bear or moose country. Handload "purpose" rounds.



^^ THIS ^^ my 45-70`s are now safe queens permanently to many headaches.


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Originally Posted by SheriffJoe
No benefit shooting "hard kickers" unless you are in bear or moose country. Handload "purpose" rounds.


Did you ever shoot a 45-70?? I have shot a lot of deer and even more wild hogs and a Bison with my Marlin 45-70 Guide gun and I feel more felt recoil with my .308 than with my 45-70!


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Hey OP, where do the first 2 go ? You don't need more unless your Custer.

3"@100 is all you need.


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A 3 inch group at 100 yards may be acceptable to some people but it is not a good group.


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Originally Posted by oldtimr1
Was the barrel touching the bench or anything else when you were shooting? A barrel resting on a hard surface will mess up your groups. I have a Marlin 45-70 Guide gun with a short ported barrel, a real Marlin before Remington bought them out. I shoot Hornaday Leverevolution .325 grain bullets and it groups tight.


No, nothing was touching the barrel. Just the forearm, a sand bag under the butt and my shoulder.

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Originally Posted by UpThePole
Hey OP, where do the first 2 go ? You don't need more unless your Custer.

3"@100 is all you need.

The first one is dead on. The second is usually low then the third is back in the bull. The forth shot touches the second (low) shot.

I removed the Talley lightweight one piece mounts. The receiver contact was very inconsistent. Back to the range next week. I will be taking an extra scope to swap at the range if it is still is spraying the rounds.

Last edited by himmelrr; 08/20/22.
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does sound like your scope was moving.

Last edited by oldtimr1; 08/20/22.

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