45/70 Govt. - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 04:50 AM Thread Starter
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45/70 Govt.

Well I have wanted a 45/70 for a very long time and will be getting one around/for Xmas, Bday, or Graduation...they are all within 2 weeks of each other so when it arrives determines what its for I guess lol.

It will be used for deer in the 2G big woods where most shots will be under 100yds but 150yds being the most in rare instances, it will also see action during bear season where I typically hunt with the crew a few days and/or set a couple bear travel routes I know of; my hunting area is also inside the extended bear season area which means we can hunt bears all first week of deer rifle so the gun will see TRUE dual purpose hunting in that week.


My plans are for it to be topped with a 2-7x32 Cabelas Shotgun/Muzzleloader scope to keep the weight down but also give me the ability to make the necessary hold over adjustments on those 150 shots when they present themselves. I know the 45/70 has some pretty decent recoil, should I be worried about this scope being "Shotgun/Muzzleloader"? It can withstand even the harshest 3.5" turkey loads, which a 45/70 normally has less recoil depending on load of course, and it is not like it's a air rifle scope....but I still figured I would ask.

From what I have been finding for my desired uses the Remington 405gr. may be the best, I am looking for DRT with minimal meat damage. Any experiences with this bullet or suggestions for other 45/70 factory loads; good, bad, indifferent? I plan to get into reloading after graduation so that is not out of the question, although I know my first shooting sessions will definitely be with factory ammo.

Or any other experiences with the 45/70 in general would be appreciated, I am just a tad stoked to be finally getting a 45/70 so looking for any ideas or experiences.
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 09:37 AM
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Re: 45/70 Govt.

I don't have a 45/70,but I did shoot one with some pretty hot hanloads. The recoil was not bad at all. Best of luck with your new "toy". I'm sure You won't be dissappointed.

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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 01:24 PM
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Re: 45/70 Govt.

My standard handload uses those very same Remington 405's over 51.1 grains of Vihtavuori N133. It's a max or near max load but my Marline Guide gun puts them into 1.5 - 2 inch groups all day long!

You will definetly end up handloading becuase all but the most expensive factory ammo is anemic in comparison to what you can load yourself. Only Buffalo Bore and Grizzly load to the top level your gun is capable of handling and they will break your bank real quick!

It's an easy cartridge to load for too.

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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 01:38 PM
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Re: 45/70 Govt.

I shoot a Sierra 300PH pushed with H322 out of my NEF, one from a 'tail shot at roughly 75 yards, a slight uphill quartering away shot recovered under the hide in the far side "leg pit"(?)

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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 01:42 PM
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Re: 45/70 Govt.

I have a shotgun scope on my 45-70 and it has held up well. Nice and compact with long eye relief. My guide gun shoots the 300 gr. so well thats what I use. I'm getting into reloading o I'm sure I will be testing some of the heavier loads.
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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 02:51 PM
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Re: 45/70 Govt.

Those Remington 405's may say 1300 fps but through the chronograph in a Guide gun they only do 1100 fps. They are anemic. If you sight in at 50 yards they are 4-5 inches low by the time they get to 100 yards. The .45-70 isn't worth it unless you handload. The only affordable factory ammo worth buying is the 325 grain Hornady LE round.
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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 45/70 Govt.

Thanx everyone for the info.

From what I have found reloading is definitely the way to go for the 45/70 as many loads are anemic or very high priced, as many of you have pointed out. What are your thoughts on the HSM Bear Loads, from what I have read they are quality bullets and producing some pretty impressive numbers for 45/70 factory ammo at a definitely reasonable price! They offer them at Cabelas and SportsmansGuide, as well as other online retailers but these are the 2 least expensive places.

HSM Bear Loads
.45-70 Gov't 430 RNFP MV= 1,781 fps ME= 3,029 ft/lbs


I see many of you are having success with the 300-350gr bullets, how are they in terms of saving meat and overall blood clotting or shock. I know the hole is obviously going to be massive but I am hoping to find a bullet that will minimize the area around the hole that turns to a blood clot like when using my .243, .30/06, or .300 win mag.

As for the hornady LE's I have heard the accuracy is likely the best of any factory offering for the 45/70 and better than some handloads for sure, honesly they were the first bullet I looked into. However I found a couple different pictures and reviews of what they do on deer, they got DRT down but they do so at the expense of saving meat; many say they rip one heck of a big hole and the devestation is insane.
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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 04:55 PM
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Re: 45/70 Govt.

that scope will hold up, but may i suggest a small 1.5-4.5 or thereabouts that will fit the gun better? i have a bushnell banner 1.5-4.5x32 on one of my guideguns and it is nice. my others have nikon 1.5-4.5x20's and they are nice too and don't overpower the guns. all are mounted on talley lightweight mounts. ideal in my opinion for these guns.

as for ammo, i personally would steer clear of those 405 remington factory loads. they are pretty weak. i've killed deer with them but there was no expansion. .45 cal hole going in and 45 cal coming out. deer ran a long ways. i also used the 300 grain HP factory load and that performed better. still pretty tame compared to handloads. both of those rounds have rainbow trajectory. hornady makes the leverevolution round which i think is ideal for what you want. site it in for 100 yards and see what it does at 50 and 150. it is a lot more flat shooting and more powerful than the others. if you start getting those buffalo bore and garretts, etc, you are talking $3/shot. the hornadys are about $30/bx.

oh and very important, if you are buying a marlin, don't get a new one. they are very problematic with many QA issues since the factory moved. have been since about 2009. if you need help id'ing a good one, let me know.

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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 05:14 PM
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Re: 45/70 Govt.

I use 350 buffalo bore. Yes 55 a box but how much you gonna shoot? I don't have dies for a 45-70 so I buy. They work fine for me. You won't regret!

Anybody can shoot deer on the farm ground....You earn it in the mountains.......
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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 08:47 PM
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Re: 45/70 Govt.

I bought a 45-70 Marlin Guide gun this summer. The Hornady Leverevolution 325 grn rounds shoot right on the money. I took a real big doe the first saturday with it, she was hit right in the crease behind the shoulder. The round took off the top of the heart and there was no piece of lung bigger than an orange. For deer or hogs I don't need a hotter round but if need be I can get plenty hot rounds for it.

When you are up to your butt in alligators, it is hard to remember your intent was to drain the swamp. Stay focused!
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