Have a couple of friends who shot 45/70 - #3s belonging to family or friends and learned their lesson quickly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DON'T!
The one friend, some years after his experience with the #3 would not shoot my #1 even though I told him this rifle was not the same animal.
Two problems right off. #1, butt stock has EXCESSIVE drop and #2 curved butt plate.
A #3 makes a lovely rifle with the addition of a set of #1 wood and the slight modification needed to get the action lever to fit the contour of the #1 pistol grip.
When I bought my #1 - 45/70, cherry shape at an area pawn shop, first thing I did when the rifle got home was, other then getting rid of the hooky Pentax scope, to cut the butt stock to the proper length and add a good thick recoil pad.
While the scope was off and before installing the intended Leupold, I tried firing the rifle with the factory iron sights and QUICKLY found that was a non-starter. PAINFULL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The low head position required to use the factory irons, brought my face to a position that the comb was painfully beating my face/cheek with every shot. Once the scope was mounted that problem was gone.
The #3 in factory condition would only be WORSE with the 45/70.
Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
Wow that is impressive. I passed on one of those guns and have been kicking myself since, looks like a deer hammer!
Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.
I have a small bore Ruger #1 that I enjoy shooting, but I'd like to have a big bore in the same gun. There are more possibilities for reloading when there is no tubular magazine or action to work around.
"Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the Government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian."