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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The story about the bear attack in another thread got me excited. I'm a reloading freak....nay, a ballistics freak. I enjoy reloading, but I also enjoy knowing exactly how that bullet/powder/primer combination is going to act inside and outside of the barrel of my gun. You know those charts in the back of Nosler manuals that give all the foot-pound and trajectory calculations? I study those in my spare time.

Anyhoo...I digress.

After years of studying and reading hunting article after hunting article, I decided to go out and purchase my first big game rifle. I already owned a few that I inherited from my father, but now I wanted one that I could call my very own.

My first decision after that was on the actual cartridge. Since I'm a reloader, I wanted a cartridge that would give great performance and put a nice 'thump' on any animal I chose to hunt. Even the great African animals came into my thought process. This was to be the cartridge I could use on deer as well as Africa's largest game (with the exception of elephants).

I chose the .45-70 Government. Why, you ask? Such an old cartridge that's been around for over a hundred years? Of all the 'louden-boomer' thunder-thumping cartridges in the world, why the 45-70??? It seemed like an affordable cartridge that could get the job done when reloaded with premium bullets and a hotter charge than manufacturers could offer.

You see, as it stands, there are MANY rifles chambered for this cartridge in the world that range in age from 100+ years to 1 year old. So you may have an 85 year-old gun shooting a modern cartridge. Since that is the case, and older rifles lose integrity over time, manufacturers must take that into acount. If they load a cartridge that says '45-70 Govt' and load it too hotly, it could BLOW UP and older gun. So they load those cartridges as if EVERYONE shooting a 45-70 shoots a 100 year-old gun. Hence, the reason I reload.

My buddy reloaded dozens of cartridges for me with various powder charges and various bullets with various weights. Everything from 300 grain Nosler Partitions to 405 grain Winchesters. I even tried some Barnes bullets, which proved to be terrible in my gun.

As the targets will tell, the 300 grain Partition turned out to be the winner. Nosler makes a great bullet and is the standard by which the entire bullet industry is judged.

Beyond shooting an actual animal and seeing its effects, I wanted to see how this load would perform on something meaner and harder than a soft old grizzly or a puny little elk. :D So the story goes that my friend and I are on the last day of our elk hunt in October 2007. He is shooting a 270 Winchester and using a great bullet: 150 grain Hornady Interbond. A sturdy, premium bullet travelling at around 2,900 fps. After hiking through the woods and finding no elk withing a 10 square mile area, we pulled up to one of the largest quaking aspens we could find. We estimated this one to be about 16" thick.

My buddy fired his first shot. The bullet entered the tree, but there was no exit.

Now it's my turn. I mosie up to the tree and send that 300 grain Partition flying. It entered the tree, exited the backside, and continued into the tree behind it.

What does that mean?

Well, I believe it says something not just about bullets and speed. But more about BULLET WEIGHT and MOMENTUM. Imagine a bowling ball travelling 200 feet per second flying toward your house. What kind of damage with that do? It is highly likely that the bowling ball will fly right through every wall of YOUR house and keep going through your neighbor's house. Although that ball will have ONE HECK of a rainbow trajectory, it's going to leave a HUGE swath of destruction, even travelling at a relatively low speed.

So that's why I chose the 45-70. I can even load up a 500 grain bullet if I wanted (maybe 1,500 fps). It's plenty gun for anything I will ever hunt in my life. BRING ON THE T-REX's!!!
 

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tapehoser said:
Oh yeah, and my rifle of choice was the lever-action Marlin 1895 with a 22" blued barrel and regular ballard rifling (not the micro-groove).
We all need that rifle AND the matching BFR .45-70 revolver! :D

 
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I also find the 45/70 a keen caliber and I love Marlin arms; the 1895SG is one of the most practical rifles ever albe it hard on the shoulder in 45/70.

I hate to adopt new calibers to load. I only load for a few and am reticent to start loading anything new. I do it both for the cost and of course because I am really lazy. I have been waffling over whether to begin loading 5.56x45 for a year now. It used to be so cheap to buy there was little sense in loading it but now it isn't so cheap. But OOOOOHHHHH how I hate the idea of loading it.

Some of my Marlins... I love Marlins... LOVE THEM!

 

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tapehoser said:
Although that ball will have ONE HECK of a rainbow trajectory
Which is the primary reason why you SHOULDN'T choose a 45-70 for a hunting gun. There's always going to be some trade-off between accuracy, range, velocity, speed, etc.

If you're hunting elephants in Africa and can get within 30 yards, your 45-70 will be awesome. But if you're hunting deer in Utah, you'll likely find yourself watching most deer moseying over the next ridge while you calculate that your 45-70 bullet will have a 40 foot drop and hardly any velocity at that distance.

I've always hunted with a .270 and have killed LOTS of deer and elk - some at well over 400 yards. I'm moving to a .308 this year. Again, it's all about personal preferences and having the right gun for the job. With that said, I'm very jealous of your 45-70!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Actually, apollo, the Utah DWR has stated that the VAST majority of shots taken at big game animals in Utah are taken at 80 yards or less. I'll see if I can find the actual quote or statement.

Here's my trajectory for a 300 grain bullet:

100 yards: +4"
200 yards: 0
300 yards: -18"

For me it would be irresponsible to take more than a 300 yard shot because I am not well-versed in long range shooting. However, for an elk, that trajectory is just fine. As long as I keep it under 300 yards, it's a calculation that can be done in my head in no time at all.

And you're right about the .270 Winchester. If it's zeroed at 200 yards, you're only about 1.5" high at a hundred and a couple inches low at 300 and about 8-10 inches at 400. It's definitely a 'straight' shooter.
 
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apollosmith said:
tapehoser said:
Although that ball will have ONE HECK of a rainbow trajectory
If you're hunting elephants in Africa and can get within 30 yards, your 45-70 will be awesome. But if you're hunting deer in Utah, you'll likely find yourself watching most deer moseying over the next ridge while you calculate that your 45-70 bullet will have a 40 foot drop and hardly any velocity at that distance.
With a trajectory like that you could still hit that deer on the other side of the ridge! Then turn the gun on its side (gangsta style) and shoot around corners for home defense. Do that with your 270!
 

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tapehoser said:
Here's my trajectory for a 300 grain bullet:

100 yards: +4"
200 yards: 0
300 yards: -18"
You should have thought about a 460 Weatherby. It'll shoot your 300 gr at 3000 fps which is as flat shooting as any other gun to 300 yds. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
But the kick between a 416 and a 45-70 are probably as different as night and day. With the 45-70, I'll still have all my teeth after a day at the range.

Nate, any chance you and I could meet up at a range so's we could try each others' rifles??? That would be most awesome!
 

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That would be fun, I am still in California finishing up school right now but will be done very soon. I plan on going to the first meet at a restuarant that I can make it too and we can plan something.
 

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tapehoser said:
Here's my trajectory for a 300 grain bullet:

100 yards: +4"
200 yards: 0
300 yards: -18"
Not being one that is too prone on ballistics, I'll count myself as thoroughly flogged and corrected regarding the 45-70. Of course, this is using YOUR ammo and not anything most people would shoot (for reasons you mention). But I'm quite impressed with the range you're getting. Still, I'll stick with my .270 or .308 for deer and elk.

LOL Eukatae at the gangsta style use of bullet trajectories. I'm no physics major, but that there seems a bit sketchy. :lol:
 
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apollosmith said:
LOL Eukatae at the gangsta style use of bullet trajectories. I'm no physics major, but that there seems a bit sketchy. :lol:
Clearly sir you are no gangsta!
Once I shot two jackalopes that where on a hill above me, one right behind the other, by turning my rifle upside down.

..\
....\
.....\x (jackalope)
......\
.......\ x (Jackalope)
........\______________x(me)_________
 

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I really like studying ballistics and this is an interesting thread. One subject that has fascinated me is bullet cavitation. It is a direct result of the shock wave a bullet has as it travels through tissue. A bullet traveling under about 2300 fps pretty much punches a hole. A big bullet punches a big hole, especially if it has an expansion design like a hollow point. A fast bullet creates a large permanent hole because of the shock wave. If anyone has ever hit a squirrel with a 22-250 traveling at 4000+ fps you know what I mean. Small bullet very fast speed. It punches a large hole. I bought a S&W 460XVR handgun for that reason. It will get a 200 gr. .45 caliber round buzzing at about 2300 fps. I've hit a coyote with one and it went down hard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Man, if they made a 200 grain bullet that was flat-nosed and usable in a 45-70, I'd guess that sucker to be flyin' at least 2,500 fps!

[drool smiley]

I came across some spire-pointed .458 cal bullets that were 250 grains once upon a time (Barnes, I believe). If I had a single-shot Ruger, I'd have reloaded them for the 45-70. I'm sure they'd have packed a whallop. However, carrying spire-pointed bullets on top of each other in the tube of a high-powered rifle would not be smart.
 

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tapehoser said:
However, carrying spire-pointed bullets on top of each other in the tube of a high-powered rifle would not be smart.
Wuss
 

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This comment always is debated. Elmer Keith and Jack 'O Conner were always debating this.. Speed/velocity with a smaller bullet, vs. a large slow moving bullet. When I hunt I shoot a .340 WBY so I guess I compromised betwen those two, the .340 is fast, & it is a large bullet. :wink: For personal defense I like the .45 ACP, I think that it has a proven record. After working in the operating room for 9 years I can tell you that it creates a larger wound channel, thus causing the felon to bleed out quicker vs. a smaller 9mm or .22lr wound channel. Yes fast rounds cause damage due to hydrostatic shock! Also effective!
 

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:beathorse:
 

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CR500AF said:
careful when you beat that dead horse, they're trying to make that a Felony you know! :ROFL:
You will have to even be careful tenderizing your steaks
 
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