I love the 45/70. I just got in from the shed and cast around 200 bullets with a mold I haven't tried yet. Here's the bullet. It's a 420gr next to a 45acp round. I have a mold in the same design in 340gr that shoots really well out of my Marlin. If this bullet shoots as well, it's what I will be using for bear this year.
fantastic brush busting gun for deer in PA. heavy slug moving with enough authority to do the job...handloads take it to MORE than enough authority...but lets face it, dead is dead and that's your objective, right?
THERE is no such thing as "TOO DEAD"...either you are or you aren't and your better off "TOO DEAD" than not!! That big ole' slug is just like hittin'with a slug or an inline muzzloader..it won't even hardly expand in a whitetail at those velocities and won't cause much damage either.. you'll also be amazed at how little "blood shot" meat there will be right around the enterance hole.. good cartridge, not for everyone or every situation but it'll work..
The 45-70 is adequate for deer, but not a good choice for deer. the energy is lower than an '06 with a 180 grain bullet in the '06. But the recoil is 35% greater. And I'm talking the low loaded factory, not P+ or heavy handloads. Most hunters can't shoot the heavy recoil of the '06 180grain with any great accuracy...so the added recoil works agains them on accuracy.
Deer are very, very easy to kill animals...so I doubt the 45-70 with its 300-405 grain bullet is really needed at all.
If one wants a PA deer lever rifle with a large bullet, the 44 mag and the 444 are probably better than the 45-70.
One thing about really 'hunting' in PA, it is hilly and every 45-70 I've shot are heavy rifles. Some puffing carrying alday up hills?
But if a person wants a BIG bore the 45-70 will ceertainly kill a deer in PA. I once used my 416 mag on a PA deer, and it has more than 3 times the energy of the 45-70. Not a perfect deer rifle, but it will work!
I did a quick recoil calculation using a 180gr bullet in a 30/06 traveling at 2700 fps and a 300gr bullet in a 45/70 traveling at 1810 (both remington factory loadings). Assuming both rifles weigh 7lbs, the recoil on the 30/06 is 22.82 ft/lbs. The 45/70 is 23.66. I doubt anybody would be able to tell the difference. The 45/70's impact energy is a lot lower but when you are throwing a heavy slug, it's not that important. I shoot only cast bullets out of my 45/70 and get very little expansion but it's not needed. I'm not bashing or supporting any caliber over another. I own and have killed deer with most of the popular calibers.
shot one with the rem hollowpoints and it sure puts em down hard. i love the big bore levers for a woods/brush gun. if your not going to shoot past 100 yards i would much rather have the big 45 slugs going slow than a screaming fast '06 or 270. in the end its all personal preference though. shoot what your comfortable with and like.
Glock, I based my calulation on the 400 grain factory, which is 35% more recoil.
Also, many 45-70s are really heavy, heavier than the average 308 or '06 that people like to carry, so that would reduce the recoil also. Again these are for the low pressure factory loads, most 45-70 guys want the performance of the P+ or reloads.
ive never shot one..but looking at ballistic tables, i couldnt see the comparison..then it dawned on me that you may meant recoil...
my buddy bought one JUST for bear huntin..ive never seen such a long heavy gun...i dont know what model it is, but its LONG..full octagon barrel..its plain out heavy..couldnt pay me to carry that thing when were pushin...
recoil is also a matter of butt stock design and rifle weight. I can load up 65 grains of 2ffg, a grease cookie and an Ideal 457125 500 grain slug. If you shoot that out of my trapdoor a few times, you'll know what it is like to be slapped around. Shoot the same out of my Hepburn, and it is not nearly as bad.
And although the some folks put all their stock into ft lbs of energy. there is something to be said for the simple knock down power of 1.14 OUNCES of lead.
However the beauty of the 45-70 is that through out it's 137 year history, it has been loaded up for everything annd down for indoor gallery practice. My 1921 Marlin-Ideal catelogue lists small game loads. What other cartridge has had a range of bullet from 185 grains up to 600 grains. I have 9 different molds for the 45-70, and I don't have the lightest Ideal ever made, the collar button mold.
There aren't many instances in PA hunting in which the trajectory of a 45-70 is a big disadvantage.
In factory loads when I want something light I get the federal 300 grain loads. But they are definitely anemic.
I have the following 45-70's. 1873 Trapdoor, 1884 Trapdoor, Hepburn, H&R Shikari, and a Winchester Hiwall. I also have a Martini chambered for 45-90 in which 45-70's can be fired.
If you don't reload for the 45-70 your choices are somewhat limited. Akthough right now, there are some extra offerrings because of the popularity with cowboy shooters.