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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Warren, Pa - Clarion Co. Camp
Re: 45-70 or .444
Pick one! Honestly!
Most factory loads for the 45-70 are 'weak'....however, they're more than adequate for anything other than the large bears...and they still might be for that. They killed buffalo with those weak loads out of those weak rifles....or thereabouts.
I own a 444. I like it. It can be made to have better ballistics than the 45-70 all around, but you have to handload to do it.
Ammo isn't hard to find for either one. It might not be on the shelf in your local 'mart', but most any gunshop I've been in has both in at least one variation. Lots of options online as well.
Let the rifle pick for you. The 45-70 comes in a bunch of various lever guns in several makes and models with all kinds of fun options.
I think only Marlin is making the 444 now and they have two to choose from. There are others on the used market. I don't think Winchester is making one anymore.
You really under estimated the ramifications of the boondoggle you have just perpetrated!