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Old November 21, 2011, 10:54 AM   #1
300magman
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45/70 Deer Load Penetration

I've been working up some long range loads for my 45/70 (laugh if you must) But I find that with a range finder and a good scope I can make consistent hits at very long ranges...in 45/70 terms using a 300gr soft hollow-point bullet. (remington)

My questions is, how much penetration can I expect with such a soft bullet having such a low sectional density, once its velocity slows. I know from experience that 1725fps will devistate a deer, but how about 1400...1200... or even just 1000fps. Will I still get enough penetration to be reliably and quickly deadly on large deer?
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Old November 21, 2011, 11:45 AM   #2
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300 grains at 1000 FPS is in the ball park of a stout 45 Colt load at point blank range. Given that deer are fairly soft I think terminal performance will be fine.
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Old November 21, 2011, 12:40 PM   #3
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Have you ever heard of the Sandy Hook Tests? It seems the Army had the same questions back in 1879 and fired the .45-70 at ranges up to two miles.

Quote:
The long range Springfield's 500-grain bullets hit the target four times - twice where it was one board thick, and twice where it was two boards thick. In each case the heavy blunt nosed lead bullet punched through the wood planks and buried itself several inches into the sand.
Penetration has never been a problem with the .45-70. If you can hit that deer, I'll almost guarantee that you'll get a pass-through. Mass has a quality all its own.
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Old November 21, 2011, 01:12 PM   #4
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As said, it will keep going through and beyond.
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Old November 21, 2011, 03:35 PM   #5
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Typically with a hollow point, the faster it is traveling at impact, the less it will penetrate because it upsets more. At the slower speeds it should expand only a little, therefore penetrate even more than at higher speed.
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Old November 21, 2011, 09:07 PM   #6
300magman
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Well, the post about the 45 Colt got me to looking, and it seems most people seem to think they are adaquate within 100 yards which is less powerful than my hot(ish) 45-70s at 350 yards....so I would say I am good.
I can't shoot too far with the 45-70 afterall, as flight time becomes excessive and the animal won't necessarily be were it was when I pulled the trigger.


I suppose if I ever get up the ambition I could try some penetration tests with TrailBoss...after thinking about it, I realized I could easily use TrailBoss to simuluate the same velocities as very long range shooting.


I will one day do my own version of the Sandy Hook trails with the Rem 405gr bullets, once I find a place to shoot, it should be quite a challenge to try sending them out 1000 yards to a mile. I don't think those tests are very relevant to my hunting loads however, as the difference in projectile weight and construction are far too different to assume that my 300gr loads would penetrate much, just because those old military loads did.
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Old November 21, 2011, 09:30 PM   #7
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2 things to look at when considering a hunting bullet

1st is the energy which can be thought of as the initial shock when the bullet hits.

2nd is the momentum which can be thought of as punch through power.

you want to keep your energy up around 600 - 800 ft lbs and the momentum around a minimum of 35- 40 lbs ft/sec for adequate penetration

here is web page which explains it a lot better than I can

http://www.gsgroup.co.za/articlemomentum.html

and another page which will calculate it for you

http://www.n4lcd.com/calc/

using the example of a 300 gr 45 cal bullet traveling 1000 FPS you get a energy of 666 and a momentum of 42. Penetration will not be a issue. I used the Remington ballistic calculator and figure you are good to go out to around 400 - 450 yards.

http://www.remington.com/pages/news-...allistics.aspx
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Last edited by hounddawg; November 21, 2011 at 09:36 PM.
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Old November 21, 2011, 09:32 PM   #8
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If you're hitting the deer in the right place, I think you'd be fine hitting them with down to 500ft*lbs of energy. Some people will rail at that, but history proves me right. Anyway, a heavy bullet does more with its energy than a light one, and 300gr. qualifies. For reference, 500ft*lbs with a 300 grain bullet is around 870fps... Not cooking along, but still moving. I suspect that with your 45-70 loaded as you discuss, you will be able to put down anything you can hit.
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Old November 21, 2011, 09:36 PM   #9
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1000 Feet per Second = 681.8181818181819 Miles per Hour

Ever been hit by a bug at 60? nuf said...
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Old November 21, 2011, 09:47 PM   #10
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I am not the best informed person in the world, but I have never heard of a 45-70 slug stopping in a deer.
I don't think you have any sort of a problem.
For what it's worth, 3 years ago I shot a 350 gr. Hornady through a Moose at 125 yards. Nuff said.
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Old November 21, 2011, 10:33 PM   #11
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Had a hog stop a RP 300 grain bullet once, started about the 2nd or 3rd rib from the back on his left side and wound up near his right wrist. Bounced off or broke several bones along the way. Wasn't much over 200# but he pushed me aside when we jumped him the second time, was waiting for me in a creekbed ambush at our third meeting. Second slug was in his left ear @ 12'. Party over.
I prefer the 405 nowadays but 300 seems ideal for deer @ short range. 45-70 is fine @ long range with heavy boolits. Even the chunky 405 is a bit on the light side for long range work.
And yes, I have pics!(of the bullet, not the hog)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg recovered 45-70 001.jpg (156.3 KB, 77 views)
File Type: jpg recovered 45-70 002.jpg (181.3 KB, 65 views)
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Old November 21, 2011, 11:47 PM   #12
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I think you'll be fine at any range that you can hit the deer.

At the butcher shop last week they had a jacketed .45/70 bullet pulled from a deer this season. No idea of gun/load/range. The deer was still obviously dead.
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Old November 22, 2011, 06:35 AM   #13
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I think one of he questions is what the OP defines as very long range. Looking at the ballistics of the 45-70 even with a 20MOA base he will run out of scope before he runs out of bullet. Both the 300 and 400 grain bullets start dropping like a stone after 400 or so yards.
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Old November 22, 2011, 10:05 AM   #14
300magman
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I have not pushed my loads this hot, yet (and may never) but buffalo bore claims they can get up to 2350 with a 300gr bullet, so lets use that as our max velocity in a little example.

Muzzle 2350fps Energy 3679 Drop 0 Flight Time 0
200 yards 1550fps Energy 1600 Drop 6.0" Flight Time 0.315 seconds
325 yards 1192fps Energy 946 Drop 36" Flight Time 0.593 seconds
450 yards 994fps Energy 659 Drop 105" Flight Time 0.941 seconds

Even at 450 yards, drop is not sever to the point of being out of the scope's range of adjustments. It works out to a little over 23MOA, which is very doable. And power still rivals the old 45 Colt handgun rounds at thier muzzle. But look at the time of flight...ALMOST A FULL SECOND!
That is what makes the distances count as "extreme" when using a 45/70. Wild animals move, often unpredictably, you simply can not take a shot at a distance where the flight time is so great, that the animal may no longer be where it was standing when you pulled the trigger and be confident of Any hit, let along a good vital hit.
That is how I limit my range with the 45/70, and the logic I use....others are free to do however they see fit, and I am not trying to say that my way is the only one, or the best one...but I'll be hard to convince otherwise.

Though I should also mention....Wind Drift! Definetly another limiting factor with these type of low BC, low velocity rounds which contributes to my view of 350 yards being "very long range".
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Old November 22, 2011, 12:50 PM   #15
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I still limit myself to the range I can place all my shots in a deer or hog's kill zone... around 8" or so. If I was hunting a bison, with a kill zone of perhaps 24", the range could be extended out to the 400-500yd range, I suppose.

I have never shot my 45-70 on paper beyond 100yds, because that's as far as my shooting range has berms. I think I would be good out to maybe 250yds or so, but I've never tried it.
I know I can keep them under 2" at 100 yds, so logic holds that I should be ok out to the 250yd mark, but there are so many factors in my mind that make up a safe, clean shot, that I'd be leery of it until I'd done it on paper a few times.
I have a phobia about wounding animals. I don't mind killing them cleanly, but I don't want them to suffer any more than necessary for an "instant" kill.
I guess that's why I don't bow-hunt. No criticism of those that do, at all.. it's just my personal choice.
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Old November 23, 2011, 10:29 PM   #16
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I won't shoot at game with my 45-70 Guide Gun past 150 yds but quite frankly I've had very little need to shoot past 100 yds with any rifle. My limit with a .30-06 is 200 because I'm terrible at estimating distance and that skill becomes critical about 250 or so.
I'm guessing OP is a better long distance shooter than I am; for me 150 yards IS long distance.
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Old November 24, 2011, 06:46 PM   #17
300magman
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Originally I wasn't thinking of this rifle as a long range rig, and really I still don't; but if I can have a heavy hitting brush gun and a somewhat "long range" rifle all in one, I might as well.

The marlin XLRs just seem to be built for long range shooting. The trigger (at least on mine) is AMAZING, its amoung the best I own and breaks clean at close to 2lbs. Originally it was a touch heavier but as I put the first few boxes of ammo through, it quickly smoothed and seattled down very nicely....I was very surprised.
I must also say that it is a very well put together rifle and once I get out to do some testing I may have to post some groups. I expect the verticle to be surprisingly tight (once I settle on a consistent loading)...but the horizontal is going to be at the mercy of even the slightest breeze.
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Old November 25, 2011, 09:25 AM   #18
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Hunting and target shooting are two different things. A target won't take a step just as you touch a round off. I used to hunt a lot with a .45-70 and killed a lot of deer, the only bullet I ever collect from a deer hit him just at the last rib on his left side, it took out a lung then traveled the length of his spine in the neck and stopped by his right ear. I never had any quams about shooting a target out to 900 yards because they are nailed onto a stationary board. I used the same bullet and powder load for deer and targets.

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Old November 25, 2011, 10:41 PM   #19
300magman
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Shotgun693 - You seem to be thinking along the same lines as I am (see post #14)
Its not about how far away you can hit a target, its about how far away you can be confident of hitting a living, unpredictable target
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Old December 1, 2011, 12:38 AM   #20
Old 454
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wow this was some good reading....I just bought the 45-70 Marlin Guide gun.....I hope it will be good enough fopr hogs!

I thought that size bullit and kinda slow moving would be like hitting them with an anvil.
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Old December 1, 2011, 09:25 AM   #21
JACK308
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If you shoot them with a 300gr. hard cast going 1599 that works out to 1,704 foot lbs!
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