45-70 vs 12 Ga Slug


March 12, 2011, 07:16 PM
How does the recoil of a 45-70 in a 7-8 pound rifle compare to that of a 1 oz slug in a pump action? Please answer this only if you have first hand knowledge.:rolleyes:

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March 12, 2011, 07:24 PM
Shotguns tend to weigh less and have worse ergonomics shooting heavy loads.

Off a bench, the shotgun will clear your sinuses. They can be brutal to sight in with slugs.

The .45/70 guide guns have plenty of fat foregrip to get your support hand on, makes a difference in recoil to me.

I use a PAST recoil shield to shoot either off the bench. Both my 870 and .45/70 guide guns have recoil pads.

March 12, 2011, 07:30 PM
The only time I ever shot a 45-70, the damn thing almost screwed me into the ground. That is the kickinest piece fo excrement I have ever pulled the trigger on. I've shot 300 mags that were pussycats compared to it. I've shot some HARD kicking 12 gauge 870 slug guns with 3 inch magnum chamers and full house loads that didn't kick like that thing did. And it was one of those falling block styles. It got my attention quick. You can have something that slams you like that. It's said many times that what is a lot of recoil on a bench is almost unnoticeable when hunting. Well, I'm here to tell you, that that old rifle will stomp a mudhole in you, and you WOULD notice it when hunting. And that rifle weight in at about 15 pounds. It was a hulk of a gun.

CSA 357
March 12, 2011, 08:35 PM
with the 4570 factory ammo is not bad, now with plus p loads it starts kicking pretty good like a 12ga with slugs

March 12, 2011, 08:41 PM
I find the 12ga to be much more abusive to the shoulder than .45/70. I can shoot my 1895 all day long, but will pass on any lengthy sessions with the 12.

March 12, 2011, 08:49 PM
if yu have to ask!it may not be your cup of tea!

March 12, 2011, 09:08 PM
I've shot both 12ga 3" slug and my own 45-70 reloads. They both are hard on the shoulder but I think the 45-70 is easier to get a firm grip when pulling back into the shoulder.

March 12, 2011, 09:42 PM
I'm asking because there's a bill in the works in Il that will legalize the use of "black powder cartridges" during the muzzleloader season. I'm guessing it might end up like Mississippi where single shot .38 and larger are legal. I don't mind a 1 oz slug @ 1550 but a 3" 1 3/8 oz Buckhammer will wake you up in a hurry.:what: And somehow I always get stuck helping my buddies sight in. :banghead:

March 12, 2011, 10:01 PM
i have shot both. i load for the 45-70, using 320/405 gr lee cast. i use trailboss and with loading tables (no chrono) shoot max approx. 1200fps. i shoot a t/c contender 16 incher. rifle weighs in around 5.25 with scope. it's not a violent combo--more of a whoosh-thump. i have also loaded with some 4064 and shook some fillings loose.

shotgun-remington 870-when sighting in from bench/range--20 rounds was enough for me.

haven't been deer hunting with the 45-70 yet, but i imagine my combo will be more than lethal. that being said, any deer i've shot with a shotgun slug dropped right on the spot.:D

March 12, 2011, 10:10 PM
if it all boils down to wat yu want to reload. im thinkn the 45-70 mite be the easier one.

March 12, 2011, 10:20 PM
45-70 isn't that bad the recoil is close to an 870 or 1300. My 1895 marlin kicks me into tomoorow if I'm leaning on a low bench, mainly cause it gets into the top of your shoulder, that's the only time it bothers me..otherwise I can make pretty tight follow up shots at a deer with thought... I shoot heavy +p with mine...I'm 6' 230#. I wouldn't sell my 45-70 for anything..

March 12, 2011, 10:39 PM
Well, for the .45-70Govt., it depends upon the rifle, and the load. With factory loads, I believe it compares favorably to a light 12Ga. load. For the suped-up single-shot loads, it can easy recoil greater than Brenneke slugs out of a pump. I would say your average .45-70Govt. lever rifle loaded to roughly Garrett specs. is pretty similar to a 12Ga. slug. That said, fitment makes a great deal of difference. I have a .30-06Spd. lever rifle (which has a less than ideal fitment and recoil pad) that has more felt recoil than my .375H&H bolt rifle (which fits me perfectly and is fitted with a proper butt-pad), looking at the numbers that shouldn't be the case. If possible, it is always best to try before you buy.


March 12, 2011, 10:48 PM
My 590 with 3" slugs kicks much harder than my Marlin 1895G with 405gr bullets at about 1900fps. I can run my 45-70 loads all day long. After one tube of mag slugs I am over it.

March 12, 2011, 11:40 PM

Depends on the load and the gun. I have a Ruger #1 (7#), a ported Marlin 1895SS (7.5#), and a Mossberg 500 with a 28" ported bbl and an 18" bbl (8# and 7.5#, respectively).

The 300 grain JHPs at 2500 are absolutely brutal out of the #1. Starts to burn my shoulder after about 5 rounds. Goes numb and cold around 10-15.
Same thing for the 405 gr JSPs at 2100.
440 gr cast lead at 1300 are a pleasure to shoot all day long though.

The marlin handles similar loads, with similar results, except that they aren't moving as fast, and it's a bit more front-heavy.

Magnum slugs (440 gr @ 1800 fps) hurt no matter what, and the ergonomics of a pump action shotgun are garbage compared to a #1 or the 1895. My shoulder AND face hurt after these.
Normal slugs (440 gr @ 1600 fps) are robust, and you can tell you're sending some serious hurt downrange. They're fun to shoot though, vs. painful.
The 28" ported bbl is a lot easier to control, and recoil seems to be less. Probably due to balance and the gases from the ports. 18" bbl is much more maneuverable though.\
I can reload slugs that run around 1200 fps and shoot all day long with no problems. They're a lot of fun to shoot and are murderous on water jugs :D

March 13, 2011, 10:30 AM
Depends. With the 2 1/2 slugs the pump isnt bad. With the 3 inch ones its a different story.
Simillarly a 500 grain bullet over 65 grains of Swiss FFFG is mild. The 500 gr bullet over 30 grains of N120 is a whole different story in a .45/70.

March 13, 2011, 10:39 AM
Afy, try 65.0gr. of RL-7* (obviously with a lighter projectile). :evil:

*Only suitable for new Winchester/Browning 1885, Ruger No. 1, et cetera.

Jeff F
March 13, 2011, 10:44 AM
Shooting 45-70 black powder loads is a hoot. They don't kick that bad. Now some of the BB or Garrett hammer head loads can thump you pretty good.

March 13, 2011, 10:59 AM
These are the Hornady Lever Evolution rounds in a Marlin 1895 STP.
I can put a hundred rounds of ammo like this thru it at an outing with no issue.
Yes, one round snuck up on me... first time at the range with it and it has a WWG happy trigger.


Leaky Waders
March 13, 2011, 01:05 PM
Factory loads are fun, and I shot some with mild reloads before I left the States. My youngest shot it too and thought it was fun.

Here's the thread talking about it... http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=538009

March 13, 2011, 01:24 PM
I can shoot a 6lb 12ga double with a plastic buttplate with bird loads all day long and probably just end up with a slight bruise. However, magnum slugs are a different matter entirely. I'll take a big bore rifle over a 12ga pump with magnums any day of the week.

Since we're talking about deer loads, the .45/70 can be loaded to whatever recoil level you can live with and still take any deer that walks.

March 13, 2011, 05:14 PM
Let me ask you a question. If the recoil of a 45-70 were as bad as you seem to think it is,would it be as popular a cartridge as it is. It gets it's killing power from 2 things,its velocity ,which isn't much,and it's mass which is quite formidable.It,s caliber .458 is as large as some bullets expand to,and it's weight,405grns.The big slow bullet will drive thru a deer from end to end.The recoil you feel is controled by the weight and design of the rifle you shoot it out of. I shoot a Handy rifle and factory loads are no worse than a 30-06 in a light bolt action.

March 13, 2011, 05:26 PM
Jeff56, I believe the problem you are encountering is a result of one of a couple factors exclusive of the actual recoil or the velocity.

The first one being the fitment, some stock designs (as well as the recoil pad) just seem to work better for some folks than others, it might help to shoot a friend's rifle of the same chambering (or at least handle a few others to see how they feel) and see if you have the same problem. If you find this to help, you can replace the stock and/or buttpad with something that suits you a bit better and lessen the felt recoil.

The other problem may be the position that you are firing from. Most folks fire a shotgun from off-hand, whereas rifles are oft shot from prone or the bench. Shooting offhand (if possible) may be a way to ease your discomfort with your rifle. Additionally you might want to try a lead-sled for firing from the bench.


March 13, 2011, 11:52 PM
It is like as said before with the 45-70 you can load it up or down it depends on your comfort level. My fool around 45-70rd is a 325gr RNF with 50.0grs of IMR 3130 . My hunting round is a 400gr Speer JSP with 57.6grs H-335 now this one will get your attention.

March 14, 2011, 03:00 PM
In that case, I suppose its just you...if you ever have to rebarrel the rifle (doubtful if you scarcely shoot it) i'd look into a 7x57mm instead. Sweet shooter, should fit your bolt and action, and has quite a bit less recoil. ;)

March 14, 2011, 09:53 PM
i spend alot of time hunting with slugs here in MD and they don't bother me unless it's a long day at the range/sighting in, i've only shot a 45-70 twice at a bench off of a rest i think it was a 1885 but not sure I shot it twice and that was enough for me i do think it was +p loads

i will also say that the stock on my 870 makes a difference I was using my waterfowling gun with a cantilever barrel and scope and i couldn't firmly place my cheek on the stock and it would smack me everytime. 2 yrs ago i bought another 870 and dedicated it to use as a slug gun with a proper stock it made a world of difference

Double Naught Spy
March 15, 2011, 12:59 AM
Shotguns tend to weigh less and have worse ergonomics shooting heavy loads.

Off a bench, the shotgun will clear your sinuses. They can be brutal to sight in with slugs.

I saw a buddy of mine break a bone in his cheek sighting in a 12 ga with slugs off the bench.

For short range shooting, inside 75 yards, the 12 ga. slug is superior in many ways. Regardless of distance, recoil is not a way in which the 12 ga. is superior. I enjoy shooting my .45-70, even off the bench.

For comparison. I can get through 3-5 slugs off the bench before my time with the 12 ga is done, but I have put over 100 down range from the shoulder before lunch time and not been in as much pain that day or the following day than with shooting off the bench.

With a .45-70, 40 rounds off the bench is about it for me and the only thing limiting shoulder firing is finances.

I like hunting with my .45-70. I get less and better controlled recoil from a lighter gun than my 12 ga shotgun.

Oh, my guns are a Marlin 1995 at about 7.5 lbs. and a Rem 870 at a bit over 8 lbs with a light and sidesaddle.

March 15, 2011, 11:38 AM
They weigh more, the action soaks up a good portion of the recoil and the .308Win. is a good 100-200fps (depending upon the weight of projectile) slower...all of that contributes to lesser recoil. Keep in mind that you can always handload the '06 to mimic .308Win. performance (with an indiscernible increase in recoil), the opposite condition doesn't hold true. ;)

March 16, 2011, 04:15 PM
I'm a small guy at 5'2" and 155-160lbs. Personally, I find shooting slugs out of an 870 brutal.

At the range where I shoot, I've sort of befriended the owner and guys that work there. As a part of the services that they offer, the zero rifles and they get a flood of guys with crack actions every year, just before the season opens. Anyway, since I'm a better than average shot (little self plug there), I've had several opportunities to shoot .45-70s and .444 Marlins and find them to be fun and not at all brutal. The only thing I HATE is when a guy doesn't have his head on straight and puts a scope on the big bore with only 3" of eye relief. I'll just say that more than 3" of eye relief is better and leave it at that.

If I had to characterize the recoil of the .45-70s that I've shot, I'd have to say that it is sort of like a .45 ACP. The recoil has more of a roll to it than a snap.

March 16, 2011, 06:33 PM
45-70 recoil like A .45acp? You have not fired the right ammo!!!

March 16, 2011, 07:59 PM
I think he meant a 45-70 is to rifle what a 45 acp is to pistols.. a 45-70 thumps you, it doesn't crack and sting.. I actually tore the skin on my shoulder with my 45-70 and I had a huge stretch mark but no bruise. however my buddy had a 30-06 mauser and a metal but plate... now that was just miserable.

March 16, 2011, 11:26 PM
My Mossberg 835 is just plain painful with 3 1/2 in turkey loads. I broke my nose in high school and I just can't stand to shoot it more than a few times without taking a break. My thumb against my nose makes my eyes tear up after those couple of rounds. I still have the gun only because my wife bought it for me and it because it isn't so bad with 2 3/4 inch shells.

That said, the only gun I ever got rid of because of recoil was a T/C Encore in 45/70. The gun with scope was probably in the weight range you listed. I don't know what the deal was other than stock design but that gun was just unpleasant to shoot. I have shot Marlin Guide Guns and H & R Handi Rifles and H&R Buffalo Classics and none of them were nearly as bad. Take that for what it's worth.

March 17, 2011, 01:01 AM
Badlander, I guess you missed the analogy. I suppose suzukisam did a better job of articulating what I was trying to say.

I was just looking through my ammo cabinet and found a stack of boxes of reduced recoil slugs. I don't even remember getting them. I'm gonna try them this weekend and see how they do.

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