Red dot or low power (up to x4) optic on 45-70

I have a 45-70 H&R 18" barrel. A little hand cannon… I don’t mind plinking with the old girl… So the question is, what would you - the brain trust - recommend?

A low power optic, something like 1-4 or a red dot. Personally, it’s just a plinker (if you can call it that) and most certainly not a bench gun (I like my joints as they are - working), so I am leaning to a red dot.


From experience these kinds of firearms can be extremely hard to get a zero on, i had a dot on the .500 and i just couldn’t get a reliable zero i was happy with, and i had more success with iron sights, your experience may vary

How do you mean, a reliable zero? Were you sighting in from the bench with a rest? Was it a big dot that covered the target? Distance, etc.?

I can find a scope… I am asking what would everyone use… Dot or scope, and why.

I was sighting in under absolute best case scenario, on a bench with a heavy bag at 25m, with light loaded factory ammunition, being a lightweight large calibre firearm it jumped around all over the place. It was a 3moa dot have you tried it with a sight? You might get a sight on it and be totally fine. I struggled to get a decent group, with iron sights i just set everything centre/factory and used that, much more success for whatever reason

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I must admit, I haven’t tried it with factory sights. It has sights, maybe I should do that next :slight_smile: Eh, maybe I will stick with the scope.

Would the thinking to similar to when we we discussing about whether to go red dot or LPVO on the 22?
It comes down to what you’re mostly going to plinking at, and what distance?

Maybe something to think about with LPVO is whether the eye relief puts you at risk of getting scope punched? I dunno what the recoil will be like though, but I can’t imagine it’s going to be like 22 soft.

18 inches of 4570, i would go a red dot, as its long range capabilities are really non-existentent…and you state plinking as your desired use…

…that’s my predicament. Not exactly a precision setup and shooting is really to 100m, no more. Smallest target being maybe something half the size of a soft drink can. So yeah, leaning to a dot still. Sight in for 50m and be done with that, since it’s all holdover shooting anyway. Will evaluate… Yes, first world problems.

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Yeah i shot my 20 inches of 45 Colt yesterday, very nice, but the front sight is way too fine for my eyes. Im glad i bought the peep sights, but even then it will be set up for 100m bullseye target shooting. I think it will be seriously accurate at that distance going off shooting yesterday.

Be aware the Bushnell AK and AR 1-4x’s weigh a tonne. Very heavy optic. Like half a kilo.

Yeah I’ve got one, its held up well to abuse and on a short arse single shot 45-70 that kicks like a mule the extra weight might be a bonus.


It kicks so much I got ptsd



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Here i am reading about your little sissy sore shoulders :joy:


Guilty…45 Colt owner…haha…but i love 3006 with hot loads!