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Forum > Rifles > Rifles > H&R Officers Model Cenntenial 45-70

H&R Officers Model Cenntenial 45-70

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Joined: March 2011
Posts: 6
Posted: December 20, 2011 02:02 AM
Have just purchased one of these in NIB unfired condition ser no 9493. Does anyone know or can tell me anything good (or bad) about these rifles. Loads etc would be good as i have heard that some of these had to have breechblocks replaced with originals through excessive pressure or some such. Any info would be gratefully recieved. cheers, Nelson from Zealand [confused]
Joined: September 2011
Posts: 449
Posted: December 20, 2011 09:23 AM

:) Hello Nelson, it just so happens I own one of these rifles. Bought it when they first came out.

Serial # 5797 made 3696 rifles before yours. It's in excellent condiction, fired with Remington

factory loads about 20 times. A box of ammo was given to me by the shop when I bought the rifle.

Never fired reloads through it, but if that day ever comes I will use a powder disigned for reduced loads that

is not position sencitive, produced by Accurate Smokeless Powder Co. A low pressure load for the

Springfield Trapdoor would be using a 405 gr. lead bullet 24.5 to 27.5 grains. The Trapdoor action is not

a very strong action Nelson. Can't use just any 45/70 ammo in it, the box must be labeled 45/70 Govt.

Standard Commercial Ammo only.

If it ain't don't buy it or use it. My rifle shot very well. It's been so long since I shot it, but when I did, if my memory serves me right, it shot good groups at 100 yds. Good enough to kill deer out to 200 yds.

Be advised only 10,000 H&R Officer's model's were made as there Centennial model and there is some collector value. I've seen at gunshows a few in only good condition priced at 12 to 16 hundred dollors.

BTW, the barrel has a 1 in 20 twist rate. I hope this helps you a little.

May you be in heaven one hour before the devil knows your dead.

Joined: August 2011
Posts: 5695
Posted: December 20, 2011 10:10 AM

Nelson, As you stated, there was a recall for the reasons you listed and it was fianlly dropped from production. As I recall the bolt body, at the pivot point was egging out the hole and causing a headspace issue with some guns suffering severe damage. I suspect that some of this was due to misthinking on the shooters part....thinking because it was made of modern,tougher steels, that it could digest the hotter lever gun loads. I know of one that saw its end due to the use of Duplex loads. These are Blackpowder loads that are stacked on top of asmall charge of smokeless powder. This data was still listed in the Lyman manuals as late as the mid 60's and was commonly used in Canadian BP matches. The idea was that these loads were self cleaning. I don't list data here because I don't consider the practice to be a wise one.If I were to acquire such a firearm and was reloading for it I would restrict the loads to the powder developed in your area of the world and imported into the USA by Hodgdon-IMR. "TRAIL BOSS" is a propellent intended for reloading and shooting vintage firearms with reduced loads,but filling the case or nearly so. It is near impossible to accidentally double charge with stuff as the volume is much greater than even BP. In fact, the loading data for unlisted cartridges uses this formula(posted by Hod/IMR) Gather the load components..LEAD bullets,primers and cases of the same brand and internal capacity. Determine where the base of the select bullet will be when seated to depth in the case(mark this) Now fill the case to that point with Trail Boss.....dump the powder into your scales pan and record the weight(I like to do at least 3 separte cases and average this weight) This is your MAX or do not exceed load by weight. To start, reduce this by 30%(I use 25%)...This is your starting load. From this point, you develop loads as your would with any other propellent. When Trail Boss was first introduced, there was a warning about use in bottleneck cases...no reason given...this was on the IMR website...abhout a month later, IMR listed loads for several bottlenecks..30-30,etc..but all with cast bullets.I get the impression, that the powder may not develop enough pressure to drive a hard jacketed bullet clear of a longer barrel..Trail Boss was develop primarily for use in old hand guns...it didn't take long for the Cowbioy Action Shooting crowd to start playing and developing data...it appears to be a very safe powder..I use it in 30 caliber cases like the 7.63x39.... 30-30...308 Win and the 30-06 for plinking and small game loads using Speer 93 gr .32 caliber hollow base wadcutters for the .308 bores I resize to that dia before loading. Makes a nice light popper load......

Joined: September 2011
Posts: 449
Posted: December 20, 2011 02:13 PM

Main Area



Cartridge Loads

Shotshell Loads

Instructions: Select a Load Type and Cartridge, then click Get Data to view results. You may also filter by Manufacturer, Bullet Weight and Powder.


Load Type

- Select - Rifle *Cartridge

- Select - 45-70 Government (Trapdoor Rifles)*45-120 Sharps458 Winchester Magnum Manufacturer

- All - IMR Bullet Weight

- All - 300385405485 Powder

- All - IMR 4064 IMR 4895 IMR 8208 XBR IMR 3031 IMR 4198 Trail Boss

These data are intended for Springfield "Trapdoor", Rolling Block, and Antique Replicas. Max pressure, 28,000 CUP

Cartridge: 45-70 Government (Trapdoor Rifles)*

Load Type: Rifle

Starting Loads


Maximum Loads


Bullet Weight (Gr.) Manufacturer Powder Bullet Diam. C.O.L. Grs. Vel. (ft/s) Pressure Grs. Vel. (ft/s) Pressure


405 GR. CAST LFP IMR Trail Boss .458" 2.540" 12.0 971 24,500 CUP 13.0 1007 25,600 CUP

(Click on any icon below to return to that product)

May you be in heaven one hour before the devil knows your dead.

Joined: September 2011
Posts: 449
Posted: December 20, 2011 02:25 PM

Accurate 5744 is an extremely fast burning, double-base, extruded powder. This unique powder can be used in a wide range of rifle calibers and magnum handguns. 5744 is characterized by excellent ignition and consistency over a very wide performance range. Low bulky density and superior ignition characteristics make 5744 an excellent choice for reduced loads in many rifle calibers and in large capacity black powder cartridges such as the 45-70 through 45-120 and 50-90 through 50-120. Made in Canada.

Bulk Density(grams/cc) +/-2.2%




Bulk Density(grains/cc) +/-2.2%
















May you be in heaven one hour before the devil knows your dead.

Joined: August 2011
Posts: 5695
Posted: December 20, 2011 06:04 PM

Nelson, Here is the contact info for a renowned expert on trapdoors, including the H&R's. In fact he buys and sells these on a regular basis..parts and technical data is on the catalog page on his website..Keith Rush website: www.trapdoors.com and e-mail to: info@trapdoors.com and he has a monthly cyber newsletter you can subscribed to..it is a freebie.....