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Old March 8, 2010, 08:31 PM   #1
Hog Buster
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Too much gun for Whitetail?

Lots of posts about caliber, killing power and the right rifle for Whitetail posted here lately..... This might interest some of you.

My grandson was out back blasting a half inch thick steel swinging target with a .22 and a 9mm and got bored with the small stuff. He asked me if he could shoot my 45/70.

Here's the result..... The 2 dents at 6 o'clock are from a 30/30 just for comparison.

So you don't have to ask.... 55 grains of Reloader 7 behind a 300 grain Remington JHP.
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File Type: jpg Steel Target.jpg (70.7 KB, 241 views)
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Old March 8, 2010, 08:33 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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I don't think that you can really have too much gun for the target.
Too much gun for the shooter is another story.
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Old March 8, 2010, 08:38 PM   #3
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Pizza Dude

Well it sure as hell was too much for my pistol target......
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Old March 8, 2010, 08:43 PM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
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Well it sure as hell was too much for my pistol target......
Hey, it stopped the bullet didn't it?
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Old March 8, 2010, 08:44 PM   #5
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Just make sure your a safe distance from the steel target when you or your grandson is shooting it. Don't ask how I know!
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Old March 8, 2010, 09:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
I don't think that you can really have too much gun for the target.
Too much gun for the shooter is another story.
Agreed. A friend of mine calls his .45/70 his "bowling for deer gun." People have said nothing kills like a great big hole. So my thought it is that anything will be fine as long as:

1) It's big enough to reliably destroy vital tissue every time
2) Accurate enough to hit vital tissue every time
3) The shooter is proficient enough to achieve # 2

After that, who cares how big it is? That deer may be just as dead with a .243 or a .45/70, but it's not always about using the smallest possible bullet you can get away with.
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Old March 8, 2010, 09:41 PM   #7
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Pay attention to what Trooper3385 said. I got a 45 slug in my forearm shooting at one of those. The Orthopedic guy had to dig it out.
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Old March 8, 2010, 10:08 PM   #8
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I am not sure how the comparison of pistol and puny calibers against .45-70 on a soft steel target has any relevance on hunting deer and whether the .45-70 is too much gun or not.
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Old March 9, 2010, 12:04 AM   #9
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Didn't realize there was a such thing as soft steel. I guess I learned something today!! I was just trying to provide some info to people that might prevent an injury in the future. Ever see the video of the guy shooting a 50 cal and have a round bounce back off his head. I doubt anyone would consider that a puny caliber. The incident I was talking about was a 12 gauge slug. I was 20 yds behind the guy firing it and it bounced back and hit the guy i was talking to in the nuts.
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Old March 9, 2010, 07:49 AM   #10
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45-70 too much for whitetail? Not with standard loadings it isn't. Big hole going in, slight bigger hole going out, dead deer within 100 yards.

A hot loaded 45-70 might be a different story though, but, hitting a steel plate is certainly different than hitting bone and flesh.
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Old March 9, 2010, 11:14 AM   #11
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I believe there is a point at which you can have too much gun for deer, but if the cartridge is made commercially then I feel that is not the case. I keep hearing that "it wastes too much meat" etc. Hey, just put it in the boiler room and away from the sholders and what is lost is minimal. A 45-70 slug through the lungs or heart will drop them quickly. Same can be said for a 25-06 or a 50BMG. Get yourself an anatomy chart and find out where these vitals are really located.
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Old March 9, 2010, 11:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
I believe there is a point at which you can have too much gun for deer, but if the cartridge is made commercially then I feel that is not the case.
I'm just curious, what does "commercially made" have to do with anything?
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Old March 9, 2010, 12:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Didn't realize there was a such thing as soft steel. I guess I learned something today!!
You are kidding, right? Of course there is soft steel. There is hard steel as well. You want hard steel, such as AR500 rated, for rifle calibers so that you don't get the cratering seen in the target above.

Quote:
I was just trying to provide some info to people that might prevent an injury in the future.
Right and using the correct type of steel will go a long way to preventing the cratering seen above.

Quote:
Ever see the video of the guy shooting a 50 cal and have a round bounce back off his head. I doubt anyone would consider that a puny caliber.
The puny caliber statement was in reference to .22 and 9mm being compared against a .45-70. They are, by comparison, puny calibers. So just because a .45-70 will damage a soft steel target and .22 and 9mm won't isn't relevant to whether .45-70 is too much for deer.

A little checking into the .50 cal story and you find out he was using a soft steel target. That was a very poor choice of target material.


The incident I was talking about was a 12 gauge slug. I was 20 yds behind the guy firing it and it bounced back and hit the guy i was talking to in the nuts.
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Old March 9, 2010, 12:55 PM   #14
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Trooper...
Quote:
Didn't realize there was a such thing as soft steel.
Steel comes in a plethora of formulas... also there are techniques to attain varying levels of "hardness" from the same formula...

Hardness and softness as well as malleability or brittleness are chosen for the widely varying application requirements.

railroad track is much harder than the wheels of the locomotive... the axles of the wheels are much harder than the bushings they ride against.

On a very elementary level... drill or hack saw "cold rolled" material than feel the ease of doing the same task on "hot rolled"

Look at some S.A.E. bolt heads... find one with 3 hash marks and one with 5 or more.... cut these both and you will see the difference in soft and hard steels...
Brent
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Old March 9, 2010, 01:33 PM   #15
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Well pizza, 20mm 40mm 105mm and 120mm are not commercial cartridges. There are quite a few millitary cartridges that are not really suitable for hunting.
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Old March 9, 2010, 01:43 PM   #16
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Whitetails?? I dont belive there is a gun to big for a deer, to small, definatly. One shot one kill. The bigger the gun the better your chances are of accomplishing this task!
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Old March 9, 2010, 02:04 PM   #17
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I think the dents in the steel target are a fair representation of the 45/70s power. Enough to kill anything that walks, creeps or crawls on the face of the earth.

As for hunting deer with it, white tail or mule, it all boils down to is whatever you like. If it’s a macho thing with a big gun, that’s OK, I like big guns, I just don’t hunt deer with them. If it’s the precise shot route with a smaller caliber, that’s OK too, the method which I prefer. It’s whatever jerks your rope. The deer hunters around here mostly use the .243, 270 or 30/06, a few use 30/30 and 7mm Mags. Most get several every season.

However novice deer hunters seem to be overly influenced by large caliber's. They assume that greater killing power equates to easier kills. Anyone who has hunted deer for a while knows this just ain’t true. How many times have you heard “ I can’t believe I missed.” or “I hit him a little far back and couldn’t find him.” Nobody ever says “I must have flinched or jerked the shot.” A miss is a miss with any caliber, but flinching and jerking is a bit more common with large bore weapons than smaller ones. Not a good thing for new deer hunters, or any hunter for that matter.

Hunt them with whatever rings your bell, just try and make well aimed and executed killing shots. Don’t just rely on caliber killing power to bring home the venison. As I’ve said before, it’s not the size of the hammer, but how it’s applied.
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Old March 9, 2010, 02:05 PM   #18
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Well pizza, 20mm 40mm 105mm and 120mm are not commercial cartridges. There are quite a few millitary cartridges that are not really suitable for hunting.
Ah, I see. I wasn't really considering non-shoulder-fired weapons. I thought that you were referring to "not commercially available" in the sense of high-powered but obsolete, or wildcat, rounds so I wasn't sure why the availability, or lack thereof, had any bearing on "overkill" status.

Yes, a tank is overkill, I agree.
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Old March 9, 2010, 02:17 PM   #19
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I'd like to hit a Whitetail with a pumpkin chucker (pneumatic).
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Old March 9, 2010, 02:30 PM   #20
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.45-70? Pfui.

My uncle used a .444 Marlin for deer for 7 years until his brother-in-law wanted the gun back. It's popular for black bear. My uncle then went back to using his old BAR .30-06. He likes it, says it doesn't kick as much, but he's 78 and starting to slow down.

Original .45-70 = 405 grains, 1330 fps, 1590 ft.lb.

.444 Marlin = 300 grains, 2000 fps, 2665 ft.lb.

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Old March 9, 2010, 03:01 PM   #21
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Original .45-70 = 405 grains, 1330 fps, 1590 ft.lb.

.444 Marlin = 300 grains, 2000 fps, 2665 ft.lb.

444 Marlin? Pfui!

12ga, 385gr, 1900fps.... 3085 ft/lbs.....
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Old March 9, 2010, 03:30 PM   #22
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Quote:
Didn't realize there was a such thing as soft steel.
There are many different grades of steel. For our range gongs, we have nothing under 7/8", most are 1 1/4". They are all hardened plate, but even so, before we ever put a round one into them, I take them to my shop and surface the entire area with hard surfacing rods and then grind the ridges out. Yes, it takes time, but before I went to doing this, our gong life was not that long, currently we are shooting the same gongs for going on 3 years now and when they do get cratered to an extent, take them back to the shop and grind down all the crater rims and re-surface them.

As for having too much for a whitetail, I would have to reiterate what others have said; depending on shot placement as to whether you lose much meat or not. Hit a deer in the flanks, front or rear, with a 180gr out of a .300 Win mag and you lose at least one shoulder if not both, hit it with a 95gr .243 low, behind the shoulder, right in the heart or in the neck and you lose minimal, both shots from both guns are still kills, so it all comes back to shot placement.

(I can't say DRT for 100% though, simply because I hit a buck recently with 7MM Rem, partial shoulder, jellied the heart and he still went 15 yards. Found him easy enough, but he was not DRT on the spot, is all I am saying.)
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Old March 9, 2010, 06:29 PM   #23
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Quote:
peetzakilla
Too much gun for the shooter is another story.

I definately agree, you can use anything on deer. Whatever you feel most comfortable with.
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Old March 9, 2010, 07:42 PM   #24
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if shooting whitetail with a 45/70 is overkill, then what would you call shooting baby groundhogs with a savage smokeless muzzleloader at 25 yards with 300 grain bullets
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Old March 9, 2010, 09:19 PM   #25
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then what would you call shooting baby groundhogs with a savage smokeless muzzleloader at 25 yards with 300 grain bullets
I think that falls under the "red mist" category.
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