View Full Version : 45/70.... .44 Mag revolver ??????

June 9, 2004, 02:58 PM
I don't want to anger members.... I readily admit that
I don't know half as much as most of the members of this
board. With that being said. I would please like some

I bought my 45/70 Marlin 1895CB (26" barrel) 3 weeks
ago, I have spent hours on the internet and bought
2 books researching the available hunting loads. basically
according to posts here and other sites... for me to go
Elk hunting with this rifle, I pretty much need a 350 grn
bullet traveling at a minimum of 2000 FPS !!! (approx)

In doing my research I have learned that the old 45/70
blackpowder cartridges. are the ones that took a vast
majority of the buffalo. Obviously there speeds were
much slower.
Then.. I ended up on 3-4 sites that talk about .44 mag
handguns for elk, moose, or griz hunting. the ballistics
given are basically 260 grn @ 1400 FPS !! and these
are the outdoor writers !!! the one that caught my
attention was the writer that said the above mentioned
round was great for moose out to 70 yards!!! will someone please explain to me why I am told I need to
use Buffalo bore 350 grn bullets traveling at 2100 FPS,
for my 45/70 which I intend to use at shots less than
150 yds? I had one gentleman email me a week ago
that explained that these elephant killer loads are brought
up because they are now available. and that the old
300 grain bullet traveling at 1800 fps is a round that
has great success in the past. So for my own
sanity.... could I get a few thoughts on this?

June 9, 2004, 05:22 PM
For every person you ask you will get a different best load. :D I don't load any of my 45/70 ammo to high speeds. I like lead bullets in the 405 and 475 grain areas. Run them at modest velocities. I also load some remington 405 JSP to around 1600fps for when I think I need them. Best thing I can tell you is work up a load that is accurate at your intended distances and concentrate on shot placement. The most important part of all. All of my 45/70's are single shot except my BFR revolver. My bullet choices are more varied. There has been more than one gun writer who likes the Lyman 325 gr HP for hunting. I have the mold for them and they do a good job and are easy on the shooter. Good luck finding what you need and good hunting.

June 9, 2004, 06:36 PM
you can probably kill an elk with a .22LR, but as a hunter you also have the responsebility of humane kill.
The elk deserves to be killed in an effective way, and not having to suffer for a prolonged time.
Of cource shot placement is the most important thing, but do not overlook the effect of bullet penetration.
Do not choose a underpowered caliber for such a large animal. You might end up having to track a wounded animal for a long time, and the animal will suffer.
Personally, I would not shoot anything larger than a deer with a .44MAG.
Also, check lokal regulations in the area you are going to hunt. Many places they have minimum calibers for sertain animals.

June 9, 2004, 08:03 PM
I guess its a matter of preference.....

minimum cal for elk here is .243
muzzleloader ...........50 cal minium 170 grns.

Handguns for Elk..... min 4 inch barrel, fire a minimum
24 caliber centerfire cartrige.

info gathered from 2004 Wa state Big game seasons
and rules.

Again.......these are the minimums from Wa state dept
of wildlife. Are they wrong? from all I am reading...
on these boards......these weapons would barely work
on a 150 lb blacktail deer! I just read further.... the
.243 is also the minimum req for MOOSE!!!!

Jim March
June 10, 2004, 11:12 PM
Did somebody say "psycho 45-70 +P loads"?



540grain "super hammerhead" anyone?


June 11, 2004, 08:32 PM
Ethical??? I understand what you are saying, but
is it unethical for the state of Washington to allow
such small calibers to be used on big game? I have
done alot of archery hunting the past 15 years. Is
that unethical? My blades are always razor sharp,
draw weight is 60 lbs, Only one deer has ever dropped
immediatly after I shot it with a bow. Last years elk
ran about 70 yards. I am what I consider to be an
ethical hunter. But isn't there also such a thing as
too much weapon? I will get back into muzzleloader
hunting when the state puts better restrictions on them
I am a fan of technology, but enough is enough. Ya
go muzzleload hunting because its supposed to be
more of a challenge. How is it more than a challenge
when todays muzzleloaders shoot better than most
30-30's? I was working with some Indian
game guides a few months ago. When one of the non
tribal guides ask me about my Elk hunting experiences
i told him I primarily use the bow. The 3 elk I have
taken with a rifle were with a 1951 win 94. 30-30. The
guy informed me that wasn't an Elk hunting rifle and that he has used a 7 mm for the past
10 years, I apparently ****** him off a bit when I asked
him how many ELK he has taken 0 . after the guy
walked away the guide told me the 30-30 was about
perfect for Elk and bear in the Olympic Mtns area. he has been guiding for Elk, bear, and deer for the past 25 years.

Bud Helms
June 11, 2004, 11:25 PM
This would be a great thread for The Hunt.

Off we go!

Rich Lucibella
June 12, 2004, 12:44 AM
I've hunted a fair amount with the 45-70. Took two Cape Buffs with the Buffalo Bore 430 grainers and one with the Garrett 540 "Hammerheads". (Hardly psycho, Jim. Noticeably mild, in fact.)

For elk, I'd say you can go with any factory or hand load you'd like. The issue will be trajectory. If you can sight in and get comfortable that a 100 yard zero won't drop a foot at 150 yards and if, as you say, you expect to take Elk within 150 yards, you'll be more than good to go. All the Buffalo Bore loads are outstanding....I've used them against Buff, Hog, Zebra, Warthog and, most recently, black Bear.

The Garrett Hammerheads are a specialty load for breaking down bone on dangerous game (IMHO). I had 7 for 7 broadsides on a Buff pass thru like knitting needles...the exits indistinguishable from the entries....and the Buff unimpressed. I highly recommend his 420 grainers as an alternative for Elk.....but understand this: Randy's bullets are harder than diamonds. They're made for penetration and they do that in superlative fashion. Any decent 45-70 round should give more than adequate penetration, while expanding at the same time.

I've not hunted Elk, but your assumptions of max shots at 150 yards raises an eyebrow based on what I've read. However, your bow hunting background give great credibility to your claim...I give you high marks, for what that's worth. Again, if you're comfortable with that, any decent 45-70 should do well.

ps: as concerns the 7mm Mag on Elk, you couldn't give me one. I've heard too many first hand accounts of utter failure and fragmentation.

June 13, 2004, 04:33 AM
The olympic mtn area, where Roosevelts elk (the big fella's)
live is not the pretty terrain most people think of when
they see elk on tv. as in the Rockies. its pretty dense.
lots of vegetation, (over 100 inches of rainfall per year-
why they call it a rain forest) I don't recommend the
30-30 at all. there are better cartridges. as in the 45/70
most of the area where I hunt... you CAN"T see 150
yards away.

June 13, 2004, 11:34 AM
Without reserructing all of the crap ya see on the internet about "my meplat is bigger than yours etc", take a look at Winchester 45/70 300 grainers...

Think they are using Noslers, good bullet, nice velocity, easy on the shoulder...

Of course anyhting feels good after some of the thumpers I am forced to shoot.


Rich Lucibella
June 13, 2004, 11:42 AM
Agreed as to the 30-30. It can be done, but over the long haul it'll result in an unacceptable percent of wounded Elk. That said, I'd think any 45-70 round will do, including original type loads.

I'm partial to the Buff Bore 430 grainers mainly because I've sighted in for them and bought a boatload....they've never been "too much gun". My tests with the .405 grainers showed no sight adjustment necessary at 100 yards, so that might be a real good way to go, leaving you the option of picking either/or depending on the game. Sundles' trajectory data shows the 350/405/430 all within one inch of each other out to 200 yards.

I suspect "cooler" loads may produce unsatisfactory bullet drop out at 150 yards.

If you ever do anything with .44 mag hunting, I highly recommend Randy Garrett's 44Mag Plus P in 330 grains. I have witnessed some impressive work with these rounds....outstanding penetration. I was so impressed that I've commissioned a custom Ruger just to be able to play.

June 13, 2004, 02:43 PM
I agree, I am impressed with the Buffalo Bore cartriges
was about to buy a box of the 350 (recommended by
the guy at the desk of "bullseye shooters store" Yes
the one of DC sniper fame. I actually forgot to pick
them up as wife wanted to test fire a few 40 and 9 mm
pistols. I ran into a friend here in my town and told
him about these buffalo bores. By chance his neighbor
had a few. to let me try. Truth is.... I fired 3 factory
loads first then tried one of them buffalo bores. I swear
thunder and lightning struck, my 45/70 up to that
had been a joy to shoot, that 350 grain 211 FPS.
really pounded me. I am not a frail person, I bench
press 315 lbs 3-4 times weekly. It rocked me!! I
do have a recoil pad I put on the rifle. I just cannot
see myself shooting more than 3 rounds of those things.
which reduces my practice with the rifle. And I really
like to practice before I hunt. I can't see myself laying
in the prone position fireing that cannon. I am one of
those who really likes to know exactly what the rifle
can and can't do. before I put a bead on an Elks shoulder.
I won't be able to reload this year. the only choice
it appears as I research, is the winchester supreme
300 Nosler rounds. ALthough I have heard that the Rem
405 are a decent round for elk. I have to be able to
enjoy shooting this rifle to get "good with it" good to me
means that I can take out a playing card at 100 yards
with 3 shots consistantly. and out to 150 yards. I hope
this better explains why I have been asking. Right now.. I can consistantly put 2-3 arounds in the card consistantly@ 100 yds.

Rich Lucibella
June 13, 2004, 03:35 PM
I'm 145 lbs soaking wet. I'll agree that the BB's can be tough on you from the prone, but I don't believe in sighting in for hunting from the prone. Most find their actual point of aim changes, at least with iron sights. I do all of my sighting from a sit, usually with the support hand in a barricade position for stability.

From field positions, like the sit, I have no problem running 20 rounds thru my very lightweight DRC Custom Marlin takedown. More than that gets pretty expensive anyway.

FWIW, I'm a big believer that recoil is generated more from poor comb to sight height. (Betcher shooting a scope?). If you don't need to come out of the stock to get on the sights you can probably handle a lot more recoil than those rounds....my current flavor is the 50 Alaskan, moving a BB 430 grainer at 2100 FPS...the same velocity as the 350's you shot. No problem from field positions. In fact, I had occasion to snap shoot a bobcat from a twisted position in the cab of a truck earlier this year. Never noticed the recoil.

The other "must" for me on a heavy rifle is a Pachmayr Decellerator.....they prove that not all recoil pads are the same.


June 13, 2004, 05:00 PM
ummm interesting. No I don't have a scope on the rifle.

i really want the best bullet for the job. I just want
it to be the one practice with over and over and over.

The prone position for me is actually pretty common
when your in thick firs and hemolcks. when you get
low you can see better. and I have been able to get in
on Elk that way. Which includes crawling thru the firs
for about 50 yards. So a prone shot is not uncommon
at all. Perhaps I should just suck it up and learn
to tolerate the BBs. I have read up on the Nosler
winchester supreme rounds.. I think I have mentioned
that before. they are if memory serves me about
$30.00 dollars a box in my area. I really need to get
into reloading. I really do appreciate you alls thoughts
though. I am Learning!!!

June 13, 2004, 08:51 PM
$180 / 20 CTGS



Click Here to read more about the 45-70 Exiter Ammo

$180!!?! Please tell me that's a typo.

June 19, 2004, 06:36 PM
bytor, if loads like the 350 PMC or Buffalo bore are too uncomfortable then go for the winchester 300partition. I've used various standard 300 s on deer then decided I wanted less expansion for the close range here (within 50 yds) so I went to the 300 partition. That will give you very good penetration for something like an elk and stiil have mild recoil.

June 19, 2004, 08:48 PM
my 45-70 is a Ruger # 1S and when I bought it , I figured the only load to shoot in it was Elmer Keith's memorial load which was a 400 grain really hot. I can assure that this load will bring tears to your eyes and NOBODY will help you shoot them up. if was to go hunting I have a 405 gr sp at about 1500 fps. the load I shoot the most is 18 grains of Unique with a 300 gr hp at 1450 fps and extremely fun to shoot. I have shot probably 3,000 rounds of that load alone in the #1S. any heavier loads are definitely not needed for anything other than PAIN. the 45-70 is a fun caliber so don't ruin the experience by making it miserable or worse

Rich Lucibella
June 19, 2004, 11:18 PM
I guess my pointed disagreement renders me a glutton for punishment....though I've not seen a bruise or complained of a pain yet. Then again, I took pains to have a 45-70 carefully fitted to me and I added a good butt pad.

The specific round of which you speak, I've shot out of a 4" 500 Linebaugh pistol. It's too much for me in that platform, but not for others including our own Marko. Out of a fitted rifle? I knew the gun went off, but failed to see Armageddon.