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Old August 9, 2011, 01:39 PM   #1
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45/70 for bears

There has been alot of bear threads on here and most people say the 45/70 is a good bear gun other pass for the 338 magnums or bigger why is that?? the 45/70 can kill anything in North America I know the rifle has some limatations and its cheaper then the big manums.IMO its enough for black and grizzlies.
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Old August 9, 2011, 01:44 PM   #2
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Short Answer: ignorance and power inflation. A 45-70 is fine for bears. So are most full-power rifle cartridges. A 308, 30.06, 8mm Mauser, 7.62x54r, even a 44 mag or 45LC, pretty much anything with a good amount of energy and a well-constructed bullet over 150gr. Adjust maximum range according to energy of the round. Anybody who claims you need a 338 Lapua for bears is nuts.
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Old August 9, 2011, 01:56 PM   #3
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There is no doubt, at least in my mind, that the 45-70 can kill a bear. I just think there happens to be better calibers today with flatter trajectory that work better.

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Old August 9, 2011, 02:15 PM   #4
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on some of the fourms I go to some people think they need more gun to kill a griz. like I said their are other guns that shoot flatter but the 45/70 hits like a fright train and alot of mountain men had nothing else but that gun and they did ok against the bears.
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Old August 9, 2011, 02:41 PM   #5
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Again: There is hunting, where the hunter generally knows more about the situation than the bear (hopefully) and has the advantage.

Then there is stopping, where the bear is more up close and personal--and irate and coming at high speed.

From reading numerous posts here over the years, it appears that the modern .45-70 cartridge loading in a modern rifle would be good bear medicine for either purpose.
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Old August 9, 2011, 03:22 PM   #6
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I think your right ART! & the 45/70 today is alot cheaper then the 338 win mag.
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Old August 9, 2011, 04:21 PM   #7
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In all the bear threads I've read here, I don't remember anyone denigrating the .45/70.
Some posters might prefer a more modern round or a shotgun. But I can't think of one person calling the .45/70 a pop gun.

To repeat my opinion, if I'm shooting a bear eating berries at 100yds, I'd be happy with a medium power round. If ursus arctos horribilus is bearing down on me like a freight train I want a four bore double.
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Old August 9, 2011, 04:29 PM   #8
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Most guides want a gun that the client can shoot at a distance. Many I am told carry the marlin guide gun to back them up for any close quarter charges, or for going into brush after a wounded animal that they must kill. Which is best depends on how you wish to use it.

The 45-70 is one of the best woods guns available and with the right ammo, packs a true wallop at both ends from what I have heard. Haven't ever shot one, but I am thinking about getting one myself if I can get the steal barreled guide gun. That is one set to do battle from the get go.
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Old August 9, 2011, 07:32 PM   #9
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Up close a personal the 45/70 is hard to beat,400 gr of hard lead makes a pretty good hole, and makes everything I've seen hit by one leak on both sides.
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Old August 9, 2011, 07:49 PM   #10
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Premium 300 gr like the Winchester Nosler load or the Corbon all copper Barnes bullet are excellent .
And Watson , bring your revolver !
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Old August 9, 2011, 07:55 PM   #11
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I think your right ART! & the 45/70 today is alot cheaper then the 338 win mag.
I've owned 45-70's since the 1970's. Good round that will get the job done, but I wouldn't say they are a lot cheaper. Looking at a stainless Ruger in 338 is $614, a stainless Marlin 45-70 is $604. $10 is not a lot cheaper. Factory ammo for the 45-70 is a tad bit less expensive, but I can reload for the 338 cheaper than 45-70.

Nor would they be my first choice. If going to Alaska after the big boys, and in that environment, I would have nothing but a stainless bolt gun, in either 338 or 375. It's not the 45-70 round I have issue with as much as the rifle. A quality CRF bolt rifle will work when needed. You don't have to worry about the sythetic stock swelling up and messing up your gun the way you do with walnut in those rain forests.

While Marlin markets a gun as a "Guide Gun". You won't see many guides actually use one.
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Old August 9, 2011, 08:11 PM   #12
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The .45/70 is a hard hitter, no doubt, but penetration is the issue with dangerous game. You need about 18" of penetration on Alaskan bears. So the .375 and .338 get the preference. Anything else on the continent, it's a fine cartridge, but remember it was designed as a military round, not a hunting round.
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Old August 9, 2011, 09:27 PM   #13
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I have never hunted Alaskan bear but I know even the lighter bullets from a 45/70 work on the local Idaho bear.
Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 25 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple

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Old August 10, 2011, 07:02 PM   #14
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It's more than enough for black bears. It will kill a grizzly with no problem. However, if the first shot doesn't do it and the bear is full of super adrenalin I'd want something larger. There's been a lot of grizzlies killed with 30-30's but that doesn't mean it's the best choice.
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Old August 10, 2011, 07:50 PM   #15
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Don't forget, rifles like the Ruger No. 1 can take very hot modern loads for the 45-70 and many of those would certainly make quick work of bear.

Also keep in mind that the 45-70 played no small part in almost removing bison from the earth. If I were hunting black bear, I'd be comfortable with standard loadings. A griz and I might want a hotter loaded 45-70 just because a little over kill wouldn't be a bad thing.
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Old August 10, 2011, 08:32 PM   #16
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45-70 is an excellent bear round.
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Old August 10, 2011, 09:01 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by jmr40
While Marlin markets a gun as a "Guide Gun". You won't see many guides actually use one.
No offense, jmr40, but you'll see just as many guides carrying a lever-action .45/70 as you will just about any other gun.

I've personally known guides that carried everything from 12ga pumps to Marlin .45/70's, to Remington .350 Rem Mags, to a Kimber in .416 Rem.

6 of the 8 guides in Kodiak that I know from hunting, shooting, or both, carry Marlin .45/70's more than any other gun.
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Old August 11, 2011, 01:17 PM   #18
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for years the 45/70 and 45/80 were the gold standard of big game hunting, it'll kill anything in north america as long as you place your shot well and know your limitations...most people go with the modern mag rounds because they offer better accuracy over long distance. in my opinion if it'll kill a bison, it'll kill a grizz. pick what works
just my .02
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Old August 11, 2011, 03:41 PM   #19
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I know people want to be a long way from a grizz. but where the adventure in that? I say any where from 75 to 150 is good and that in range of the 45/70 no need to pay hundreds more on a mag.
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Old August 11, 2011, 06:06 PM   #20
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Different folks have different ideas on such things.

Some want higher velocity, some want a bigger bullet, and some just like the sound of certain cartridges. I once ran into a fellow using a .460 Wby to shoot a buffalo. I was using a 7mm mag. In truth, I could have done the same job with a .45 Colt.

It's interesting that this unfortunate magnum shooter actually missed several shots at his buffalo at extremely close range. I'm talking somethiong like 20-30 yards, and a buffalo heart/lung area makes a fair sized target.

To be very honest, I'd feel very confidant with nothing more than a lever rifle in .45 Colt anywhere in the lower 48. I can push a 300 grain bullet to around 1700 fps, which is the equivalent of a .454 Casull handgun, but with better accuracy. I'd feel perfectly comfortable with a 45/70 in Alaska, and might even consider the .45 Colt, depending on where I was headed.

It's more about hitting your target than shooting the biggest cartridge.

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Old August 11, 2011, 06:38 PM   #21
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Not sure why folks don't think the 45-70 lacks penetration. Take a look at the Garrett Hammerhead in 540 gr.

540-gr SuperHardCast gas-checked Hammerhead at 1550-fps*


Energy: 2880 ft/lbs: Taylor Knockout Value: 55; Meplat: .360”;
Chamber Pressure: 35,000-cup; Brinnell Hardness: 25;
Trajectory: +2” @ 50-yds, ZERO @ 120-YDS, -8.5@ 175-YDS
*All ballistic specs result from 22” barrels.

FIRST CHOICE for defense against heavy grizzly

Our 540-gr +P Hammerhead Ammo is the ideal choice for stopping heavy bears at close quarters or hunting them at short range. This Hammerhead bullet has a meplat (frontal flat) diameter of .360”, which is just one tenth of an inch less than bore diameter. With its tremendous weight to diameter ratio (sectional density) it provides end to end penetration on the heaviest of bears, with exit, and does tremendous damage per unit of penetration due to its extremely blunt front end. This load is carried exclusively by NOAA for protection against coastal grizzly attack. It is also carried by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Geological Survey for protection from grizzly attack. For the specific task of stopping a grizzly charge, this ammo has no peer.
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Old August 11, 2011, 07:32 PM   #22
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hey Alska444 you will need a good recoil pad for such a big load as that.
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Old August 30, 2011, 12:35 PM   #23
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The 45/70's limitation is range. But if you can't get within 175 yards, then you aren't hunting. You're target shooting.
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Old August 30, 2011, 12:51 PM   #24
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Jayhawk AMEN!!! Couldn't agree more!
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Old August 30, 2011, 01:41 PM   #25
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On a stong action like ruger #1 or a Siamese Mauser is not far behind the .458 win., last year with the help of J.Taylor of Puyallup Wa. I build this baby: Siamese Mauser action rebarreled 45/70 gov.
With a 350gr cast/gas check I chrono 2230 ft.second average speed, strong load but not max.load..... Group for 5 shoots little under 2" group at 100 yrd.
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