Got my largest buck with my largest rifle

CarJunkieLS1

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Oct 1, 2013
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N. Alabama
I've been hunting the same property (16 acres) for 11 years now. It's not a spectacular spot BUT it's privately owned and it's only hunted by me and my wife. We've had up years and down years, we've always put meat in out freezer, just large bucks have been hard to come by. The spot is kinda in the middle of 4 or 5 other properties that are all hunted heavily, and those hunters are the "brown it's down type" all done legally so can't really say anything. But as some of those other hunters have gotten older it's been better about seeing at least decent bucks. Last year my wife got her first buck, and also the largest buck that has been taken off that property. A typical 7 point minus a brow tine, scored him at just over 100 inches.

Fast forward to this year, I was sitting in a stand that I knew bucks were coming by and carrying my newly purchased Marlin (Ruger made) 1895 45-70. I used my reloads USE WITH CAUTION!!!
Starline Brass 51gr H322 300gr Hornady HP CCI LRP COAL 2.530 NO idea on velocity I haven't chrono'd it yet.

So I was in the stand before daylight all nice and settled, daylight comes and along with comes the dreaded "poopacabra" I had no choice but to answer that call. Roughly 6:25am and I'm back in the stand and figured it was all over, but I was gonna keep sitting. I had texted my boss at work and told him, I'm gonna be late I'm hunting, so I was gonna at least hunt for a while. Somewhere around an hour later I hear a twig break behind me and to my right....close. I start looking and low and behold I catch him slipping through brush and I know it's at least a decent buck. I have to turn completely around to be able to get a shot, I start turning and I see them legs stop, so I freeze mid turn, he starts walking again and when he gets his head behind a tree, I get turned and get my Marlin rifle raised up just waiting for a clean shot.

He must've saw "something" because as soon he gets into a gap he stops and starts looking straight at me 22 yards away. He's frozen broadside looking right at me...too late for him because my rifle is already on his shoulder dead broadside. I squeezed the trigger and with a boom he goes down. I look up off my scope just as he is picking himself up off the ground and he makes a run for it. I listen for him and I hear him crash and fall in the woods. I give him and myself 20 minutes and I just can't take it lol. I don't see any hair or blood or anything so I just start going the direction he ran off to. 35 yards or so away there he is piled up, the excitement I can't describe. I just can't see how he soaked up that big bullet and actually got up and ran out of sight. Bullet did not exit, did not fail and I'm happy with it's performance, guess they really are tough animals with a will to live. What would this be without pics.
 

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Very cool. "Too much" velocity? Even a 400 grain bullet can kind of "blow up" or fail to penetrate when hot rodded in the .45-70. (DO NOT ask me how I know that) I have found the .45-70 performs best/kills best with at least a 350 grain bullet, 400 preferred, loaded to modest velocity. However, killed the deer so it certainly did not fail. Good hunting!
 
Nice buck. Story reads like you’re a little excited and thats great. My wife , who has shot a pile of deer over the last 37 years, was really wound up over the giant doe she got this year. Lots of meat and we saved enough fat I don’t think we will have buy any suet cakes for the birds.

Looking at load data, on Hodgon site, you are below the minimum for even trapdoor rifles. Not sure how well h322 likes being loaded down. I would guess your velocity to be in the 1700 fps range. If other loading sources show that to be an acceptable load , and it does what you want, run with it. It did the job.

when I had a 45/70 IMR 4198 was my powder of choice as it was readily available in the area. Worked well with bullets from 300 to 400 grs. Never went heavier than that. All 300 gr were a bit fragile ,when pushed to top velocities , at close range. Never had anything walk away, but, bullet disintegration did occur. The Hornady 350 was a real favorite .
 
Congratulations on your big buck but you don't need a big rifle to take a deer.
I hunt public land around those it's brown & down types & can easily take deer every year with only a 350 legend AR.
I am hunting deep woods & don't get a chance of a shot longer than 150yds so a powerful rifle is not needed.
 
Congratulations. Your rifle did it's job. I have shot deer with Slugs, 30-06 with large exit wound and a .223 all with the exact same results as you. Some run, some don't. It's where you hit them that counts and there's no predicting how many steps until they die.
 
Congratulations. Your rifle did it's job. I have shot deer with Slugs, 30-06 with large exit wound and a .223 all with the exact same results as you. Some run, some don't. It's where you hit them that counts and there's no predicting how many steps until they die.
Truth. I shot a deer four times with a .303 British. After the first shot, it went a ways, and jumped over a bush, all the while me shooting at it. I said: "DANG! missed it four times!!" Looked behind the bush, and dead deer with four holes in it. All good shots in the chest. !!
 
Truth. I shot a deer four times with a .303 British. After the first shot, it went a ways, and jumped over a bush, all the while me shooting at it. I said: "DANG! missed it four times!!" Looked behind the bush, and dead deer with four holes in it. All good shots in the chest. !!
Lol, I have done that with a 30-06. And it was a small deer. Again once with a slug gun.
 
Congratulations on your big buck but you don't need a big rifle to take a deer.
I hunt public land around those it's brown & down types & can easily take deer every year with only a 350 legend AR.
I am hunting deep woods & don't get a chance of a shot longer than 150yds so a powerful rifle is not needed.
I know a big rifle isn't needed, until this year all my deer but 2 have been killed with an AR-15 in various cartridges, none of them 5.56/223, go figure right. Year before last year got one with what you mentioned a 350 Lengend AR, worked like a charm.
 
Nice buck. Story reads like you’re a little excited and thats great. My wife , who has shot a pile of deer over the last 37 years, was really wound up over the giant doe she got this year. Lots of meat and we saved enough fat I don’t think we will have buy any suet cakes for the birds.

Looking at load data, on Hodgon site, you are below the minimum for even trapdoor rifles. Not sure how well h322 likes being loaded down. I would guess your velocity to be in the 1700 fps range. If other loading sources show that to be an acceptable load , and it does what you want, run with it. It did the job.

when I had a 45/70 IMR 4198 was my powder of choice as it was readily available in the area. Worked well with bullets from 300 to 400 grs. Never went heavier than that. All 300 gr were a bit fragile ,when pushed to top velocities , at close range. Never had anything walk away, but, bullet disintegration did occur. The Hornady 350 was a real favorite .
I seen that Hodgdon data and to me it's a bit warmer than any other data source I've seen. Even for the trapdoor type loads. I used multiple sources for data and my 51gr H322 is at the upper end of trapdoor data in a Speer #14 manual and a Hornady #3 and Hornady #9 manual I have. I do not get a complete powder burn, that I know and I do have some unburnt powder left in the cases after firing.

Velocity I've seen posted online has kind of been all over the place, I've seen similar loads anywhere listed as 1600fps all the way to about 1800fps. I do have a chronograph and it'll be a priority once hunting season ends.
 
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Congratulations , nice story . I killed my first nice buck right after I took a crap . My shotgun was still laying against the tree when it popped out of the woods . I grabbed it and he took off , but didn’t get far .
 
I seen that Hodgdon data and to me it's a bit warmer than any other data source I've seen. Even for the trapdoor type loads. I used multiple sources for data and my 51gr H322 is at the upper end of trapdoor data in an older Speer manual and a Hornady manual I have. I do not get a complete powder burn, that I know and I do have some unburnt powder left in the cases after firing.

Velocity I've seen posted online has kind of been all over the place, I've seen similar loads anywhere listed as 1600fps all the way to about 1800fps. I do have a chronograph and it'll be a priority once hunting season ends.
For higher velocity loads I always used 4198. No unburnt powder. Some of the lower velocity loads I tried did have unburnt powder. Maybe due to low pressure. Did have one powder that burned fairly clean for low power loads, but, cannot remember what. Having been away from the cartridge for 30 years I doubt I have any notes left for it. It just didn’t do it for me. Of course that was back in my late 20’s when everything had to be run at wide open throttle.

Will be helping my friends kid develop loads for his 45/70 this summer. Will update if I come up with anything good. Have already picked out a couple that I am not bench testing for him. He is young and tough and needs to enjoy them all on his own.
 
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