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How does a 45/70 caliber gun perform? Is it closer to the .243/.270 family, .30 caliber family or even the .375/.416 range? What

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  • How does a 45/70 caliber gun perform? Is it closer to the .243/.270 family, .30 caliber family or even the .375/.416 range? What

    How does a 45/70 caliber gun perform? Is it closer to the .243/.270 family, .30 caliber family or even the .375/.416 range? What's the kick like and what is it usually used for?

  • #2
    I'll take a shot at answering this one. First off, the 45/70 is nothing like a .243 or .270 cartridge they are just too light and too fast to compare. So let's move on the the .30 caliber family. The 45/70 was a military round until it was replaced by the 30/40 Krag. The 30/40 Krag was enough gun to all but render the 45-70 obsolete yet it is far from the class of the modern 30 caliber. Using the 150 gr bullet in .308 the 30/40 Krag may have managed 2600 fps while the 30-06 which was to be its replacement pushes that 150 gr bullet at 3000fps with the 300 Magnums jumping to 3200 or even 3300 fps. Lighter bullets and higher velocities meant flatter shooting rifles hitting with energy comparable to the 45/70 at ranges which forced the old timer into aim plenty high. So, why has the 45/70 not only survived but has developed a large following and new firearms to boot? It is because it fires a 500 gr bullet with accuracy and authority that belies the ballistic charts. When a bullet of that mass puts a .458 " hole into a big game animal you have a fine killing round. Sure it can be juiced up a little with handloads and the right rifle but it is still a slow moving round with lots of punch.. and recoil if the rifle is on the light side. The .375 H & H is the next plateau and it stands head and shoulders above the old 45/70 as the classic all round open plains caliber. It fires a 300 gr bullet as flat as a 30-06 and with enough hitting power to take down dangerous game. I have experience with all the calibers mentioned but I can't speak to the .416. The bear in close and a deer in the bush is well served by the 45-70, but put either out at a distance and you are better served by other calibers.


    • #3
      It started life killing bison on the plains 45 cal 70grains black powder as bison became more wary and sparse they stepped up to 45/90 and 45/110 These were some of the first cartridge big bores.But sharps and a few others built some very accurate rifles if the shooter was skilled enough.Deer and black bear within 100 yards your Ok don't push it,it will run out of gas


      • #4
        I own a 45/70 single shot by New England Firearms (used to be H&R). We can use them for the primative weapon season in MS and it works great. With the new pointed nose bullets(240 gr I think) by Hornady I can cut the holes at 100 yds. I have shot deer out to 200 yds with great results. The hole is huge and deer don't run at all. The kick is pretty rough out of that little synthetic stock single shot but one shot at a deer isn't too bad. Don't know about a lever gun but I love my little single. If i ever get to travel for a dangerous game or alaskan game hunt, it will be the gun I take.


        • #5
          Thanks! Awesome answers!


          • #6
            Have 1 in a lever action Marlin love it Great on HOGS! Does not kick. IT JUST NUMBS!!


            • #7
              The old school bullet is a 45 70 firing a 405 Grain lead flat nose bullet. Depending on the load (no stats, sorry) it had a muzzle velocity of 1900 to 2200 fps. At 100 yards it shot flat, with a velocity of 1150 at 100 yard mark.. At 200 yards it had a 24 inch drop. Sorry, no velocity stat on that.. I can't see much past 200 yards. you can sight it for 150 yards and have a inch or so high at 100 yards, and better at 200. I am going to go to a 300 grain bullet. Heck, we can kill with a 22. The big X factor is... SKILL. That is a seriously important consideration




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