45-70 Ammo questions


March 23, 2005, 07:21 PM
What is the least recoiling and easy to shoot 45-70 ammo you guys can recceommend (for smaller game and just range shooting).

Also, what is the hardest hitting, most powerful 45-70 ammo you can reccomend (for Big game, grizz, etc..)

What ammo has the best trajectory for those longer shots?

grain size and manufacturer appreciated.


If you enjoyed reading about "45-70 Ammo questions" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
March 23, 2005, 07:40 PM
PMC Cowboy loads....405 gr. lead and a muzzle velocity of 1350 and ME of 1639.

Buffalo Bore has some of the better hard hitters...here is a link....


But my personal favorite is the Winchester Supreme Part. Gold....

300 gr. and a MV of 1880 and ME of 2355 both at the muzzle...

Now if your getting a solid single shot like a Ruger #1 or a TC Encore, then you can roll your own and work up loads that equal some of the better 458 Win Mag loads...Serious African safari loads...but I don't know what you be shootin'....or if your reloading....

Bullets out of this round, no matter what, will be a howitzer...you will average about a 7-8" drop at 150-175 yards with a 100 yard zero...

but if you DO reload, then you can load up some 350-400 gr. lead and 12 grains of unique for some really nice bunny-busters...

Thats about all I can grub up right now. :)


March 23, 2005, 07:44 PM
Thanks cookie monster. No I don't reload, and have no intention of starting. Just looking at available manufactured ammo.

March 23, 2005, 07:56 PM
by not reloading you are really missing part of the fun with the 45-70

March 23, 2005, 08:48 PM
I reload my own (I only use 45-70 for plinking) but if I was plannning on hunting Rhino, Cape Buffalo, Elephant, or dinosaur, I'd buy from these folks:


March 23, 2005, 09:16 PM
Steveno IS correct...the best fun in the world is loading a cartridge that is substantially older than you and having it compete with the best of the african express rounds and such. :)

I get even more enjoyment out of it due to me using it in a 16.5" Contender. :D

I have two busted scopes and a damaged weaver scope base by testing the limits if what it can do with 500 grain RN's....I don't do that anymore. 300-400 grain boolits do just fine for any game in the western hemisphere...and as that one manufacture states, in the world...forgot about Garret...they sell some mean medicine. :)


March 23, 2005, 09:40 PM
And besides, it's the easiest rifle round to reload...it's just a great big honkin' straight-walled pistol case!

You're really missing out by not reloading. Adds a whole other dimension of satisfaction to shooting.

March 25, 2005, 03:43 AM
Um, again, I am not interested in reloading. Don't have the time or desire. Wanting info on factory ammo I can buy. Thanks.

(I live and work in Cambodia, where reloading is impossible, so when I get vacation, I want my ammo waiting at home that has been ordered through MIdway USA or other sources-then I can go to the range, sight in, and then off to another part of the USA or the World and go hunting. My time in limited.)

March 25, 2005, 12:27 PM
the lightest kicking over the counter loads i have used are the winchester 300 grn. next up are the remington ? 405/410 ? grn. both are gental on the shoulder compared to the bufflo-bore rounds that i tried.

March 25, 2005, 09:30 PM
Factory hunting ammo on the hot side.
PMC has a hot 350 grain load.
Corbon has a couple of decent loadings.
BuffaloBore & Garrett have some really hot stuff if you have the $$$$

It's worth remembering that what we now call "light-loaded" 45-70 accounted for a huge number of bison in years gone by... Those aren't exactly small animals.

March 26, 2005, 02:08 PM
I like the Federal "Premium" 300 gr. JHP in my ported '95G. Easier on my shoulder than factory 200 gr. RN is in my 336, IMO.

Extremely accurate in my rifle with five-shot groups of 3/4" or less from the bench at 50 yds using a Williams FP receiver sight and a Fire Sight front bead.

Handloads using the Sierra 300 gr. bullet at equivalent velocities with AA 2015BR or Hogden Varget do as well at somewhat less cost.

All of the so-called "Cowboy" loads with 405 gr. LFPs that I've tried have been very mild, recoil-wise, as are the factory 405 gr. JHPs from Remington et al.

YMMV. My opinions are subjective and based upon my own tolerance level and experience using my Marlin '95G carbine with its ported barrel and stock recoil pad. FWIW, with the exception of the Federal 300 gr. load and equivalents, I've fired several brands of 405 gr. LFPs and SPs from an 1880's-vintage Trapdoor Springfield infantry rifle without discomfort. they are loaded to very mild pressure levels in deference to these antiques.

As has been referred to previously, there are loads from Buffalo Bore, Cor-Bon, Garrett and some other specialists that use comparatively heavy bullets, either jacketed or hard-cast with GC, that are capable of taking virtually any animal that walks this planet within the limits of their optimum range. Some of them can't be used in Marlin levers due to either OA length or exremely high pressures suited only to Ruger #1 and #3, Siamese Mauser conversions, or purpose-built custom rifles. J.D. Jones of SSK fame has worked-up loads which can only be safely used in arms rechambered to his proprietary specs using 500 gr. bullets which have been used to take all of the Big Five from custom TCs with 14" bbls.

IMO, premium factory 300 gr. JHP loads tailored for the '95 would be suitable for about any reasonable use without undue battering to your shoulder. While I wouldn't extend that recommendation to include the Asian wild bovines, elephant or increasingly rare tiger you may run across in Cambodia, I gather that you aren't going to be looking for them either.

Should you contemplate going into their territory on a regular basis, I'd advise you to consider getting something better suited to the extremely potent loads, like a SS Ruger #1, preferably with a MB and premium pad if you still want a .45/70. Better yet-a .458 Winchester.

March 26, 2005, 06:50 PM
Good info mainmech. No, the 45-70 is for hunting in North America and Africa. Don't hunt in Cambodia (I am here trying to stop the poaching of endangered wildlife). If was to encounter guar, tiger, elephant, or bear while on patrol in my area in Cambodia-and it posed a threat to myself or my men- we have Ak47s and M3s (.45 acps) to solve the problem. Hopefully that would never happen. There have been rangers attacked by bears before here. And several years ago there were several man eating tigers in an area south of me. (see some of the post I had on the Hunting Section of THR). Of course what I would love to be able to have my 45-70 here with me and to get a bunch of Remington 870 shotguns for my men!

Johnny Guest
March 26, 2005, 11:16 PM
For many years, the only commercially available ".45-70" load was the one with the 405 jacketed soft point bullet. There simply wasn't that much demand for factory ammo, and there were ZERO rifles being chambered for the round. Winchester and Remington furnished the standard load for those who owned vintage arms and who did not hand load.

Those enthusiasts interested in testing the versatility of their single-shots and the big Winchester and Marlin lever guns mostly shot handloads or custom loaded ammo.

In 1873, when the US Govt reduced the standard caliber from .50 to .45, the normal load was a 405 grain, .45" lead bullet over 70 grains of black powder, of about Ffg granulation. Bullet weight was later increased to 500 gr. for better long range accuracy. Now, these loads were okay with the full stocked, 32.5" barrel rifle with an equally long ram rod and a sling. With the far lighter cavalry carbines, though, recoil, especially with the .45-70-500, was vicious. It should be recalled that the cavalry recruited individuals of small stature - - made it easier on the horses.

The govt contracted for special carbine ammunition, externally identical, with a lighter 55 gr. powder charge; thus the .45-55-405. This was the cartridge actually used in most of the famous cavalry battles in the Indian Wars, including the Greasy Grass. (The victors normally get to name the battles they won. The losers called that one the Little Big Horn.)

For the benefit of the occasional shooters with rifles weakened by age and those with the trapdoor carbines, the ammo manufacturers were actually furnishing a smokeless powder version of the carbine load.

Some of "The Rest of the Story."


March 27, 2005, 10:59 AM
Depends on which gun you have. A Trapdoor Springfield isn't nearly as strong as Ruger #1. If you're using and older model check with the ammo maker to be sure it's safe in your gun.

Sounds like you have a very interesting job. That's one of the cool things about these forums, hearing from folks you otherwise never would.

If you enjoyed reading about "45-70 Ammo questions" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!