The Buffalo Classic

This page was created to extol the virtues of the Wesson and Harrington Buffalo Classic 45-70 rifle.

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First, lets talk about the rifle itself.

The Buffalo Classic, in current production, is a break action, breach loading, 45-70 caliber rifle.  It has a 32" medium weight barrel.From the factory they now come with a Williams peep rear sight and Lyman style hooded front sight with replaceable inserts.

The Wesson and Harrington was first produced in 1871 as a break action breach loading rifle.  There are some similarities to today's production model.

Wesson and Harrington rifles are now made my New England Firearms (NEF) whose parent corporation is now Marlin Firearms.

The Buffalo Classic in 45-70 Government has carved out a very competitive position in today's fast growing sport of Cowboy Action Shooting and BPCR shooting. It features a mid weight 32" barrel to get all the velocity possible out of the venerable 45-70 Government cartridge. The 32" barrel length also provides the necessary sighting radius for long range matches.

Today's production models are based on the NEF SB-2 receiver with the exception that it has been chemically color case hardened.

The SB-2 receiver is capable of accepting interchangeable barrels produced by NEF in a multitude of calibers.  This receiver can accept any of the centerfire barrels, with the notable exception of the 10ga shotgun barrel.  Neither can it accept any rimfire barrels.


There is a long list of calibers NEF produces for their SB-2 receivers, that change from time to time.

The biggest drawback to this system is for the initial purchase and fitting the receiver must be sent to NEF.  It would seem with the backing of a company the size of Marlin and with the considerable demand on extra barrels, that NEF/Marlin would come up with a production receiver that made this unnecessary.I can think of only one other firearm that could come close to competing with this rifle and that would be the Thompson Center system.   Of course if NEF produced a receiver not required to be sent back for extra barrels it would cost a little more than current models, but still far less than the TC's.

  This would also open the market for aftermarket barrel makers to offer a wide assortment of calibers not offered by the factory.  Just ask Harley Davidson Motorcycles how much aftermarket support means for the sales of the product.

NEF also makes this rifle available in a target model, but the chambering is in 38-55.  Another classic caliber to be sure.

Both the Buffalo Classic and the Target Model reflect true 19th century styling, including real color case hardening on the frame and crescent buttplate, plus "one line at a time", hand cut checkering on their American black walnut stocks and forends.

The area over the chamber is drilled and tapped to accept a peep sight such as the Williams WGRSHR (now supplied with these rifles).    As these rifles are designed for competition shooting, a number of sight options are available from a wide variety of specialty suppliers.  The shooter's taste and style of competition will dictate the appropriate style of sights.

Both Wesson & Harrington rifles feature a level of quality and attention to detail which would have mad the original Wesson & Harrington proud to have their names affixed to the action.   Additionally, all Wesson & Harrington firearms include a lifetime "no fault" service plan at no charge.  This protect the original purchaser from the cost of ordinary repairs during his or her lifetime.  Full details are included on the registration form which is packed with every Wesson & Harrington firearm.

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