View Full Version : Need a Buffalo Gun!

Arizona Fusilier
November 28, 2004, 11:13 PM
I have a completely unplanned and unforseen opportunity to hunt Buffalo in New Mexico next year (sorry, I don't have many other details on this right now). I have absolutely nothing up to this hunting task; what a great opportunity to buy another gun! :)

Obviously, I'm looking for some advice on a buffalo gun. For now, assume price is no object. Really looking to hear from those of you who might have some relevant experience. When you reply, see if you can address the following three concepts:

1. The ideal cartridge/platform for just buffalo.
2. A good catridge for buffalo, but also versatile for other game/applications.
3. A "cowboy" option; I'm really thinking about getting into CAS, and it would be cool to justify the expense of a new weapon by covering this base at the same time. After all, they hunted buffalo, right? Good time to get a "Quigley" gun?! ;)

An additional question, sort of related to #2., since I don't own a hunting grade 30.06 and would eventually like to get one; is this cartridge, loaded with the heaviest of bullets, up to the task of buffalo? I would think that it is the absolute "floor" for this species, but obviously I'd like to hear from others.

And thanks ahead of time, everyone.

November 29, 2004, 12:16 AM
For buffalo [bison] a traditional one would be 45-70 with suitable loads. I have a Browning 1885 just right for that and it's certainly a cartridge suitable for other types of game. A Marlin1895 cowboy puts it into the CAS category...As for the 30-06 with a heavy premium bullet it would work but from what I have heard something bigger would be preferable such as the 338win or 375 H&H.

November 29, 2004, 12:40 AM
I know of three guys that have hunted Bison and one that hunts them in Wyoming every other year, and all of them shoot the buff through the ear at roughly 100 yards. So if that's the case a 30.06 is more then adiquet.

Rich Lucibella
November 29, 2004, 10:29 AM
My prejudice is well known.
Lever Action in 45-70 or 50 Alaskan.
I took 3 Cape Buff with the first and a Black Bear with the second.

They're handy, versatile and lots of fun to shoot. Additionally, you can get a .22 in the same configuration and sights for cheap practice.

A classic alternative, though not quite as versatile, is a Shiloh Sharps....VERY cool.


November 29, 2004, 08:51 PM

November 29, 2004, 10:19 PM
It`s time to look at the Marlin 1895 in 45/70.Barrel lengths and finnish are your choice.We call it a lever action sledghammer.Good luck.

November 29, 2004, 10:28 PM
45/70 will be historicly correct...

December 1, 2004, 11:33 PM
Marlin 1895 in .45-70 Gummint.

Ammo http://www.buffalobore.com or http://www.garrettcartridges.com or if you handload, cook up your own recipe.

January 8, 2005, 09:23 PM
the 45-70 with a big ol 500 grain hardcast will take down any game on this planet and it can be loaded light for deer and other things too. The .45-70 will hit em hard and keep them down. as for gun i have to agree with the other guys and vote marlin and maybe a small variable scope

bill k
January 8, 2005, 09:37 PM
No comment I changed my mind about posting

January 8, 2005, 10:26 PM
What a great reason for building up the 35 Whelan I've always wanted. Hope you have a great hunt.

January 9, 2005, 05:14 AM
Last time I lifted a Sharps I think it was about 20lbs. or more. :p

January 9, 2005, 06:58 AM
I think 22 short would be sufficient... at 100 yards too. :D

Arizona Fusilier
January 9, 2005, 05:23 PM
I don't know exactly how or why the miscommunication occurred, but it looks like I will NOT being going out for Buffalo this year. Looks like the guy who was going to give up his spot was not drawn, and unfortunately my communications were through an intermediary. Sorry to get everybody excited. :o

But thanks for the replies nonetheless. Seems a lot of folks are hot on the .45-70, and I always wanted one in some guise or another.

But in investigating the "Quigley" angle, I've heard a couple of people sing the praises of .45 - 120. Anyone have experiences with this, or the 90/110s?

And on that note, what does the 70/90/110/120 stand for? Millimeters? This would seem obvious, except I didn't think they took to the metric system back when these cartridges were popular. Anyone care to illuminate?

January 9, 2005, 05:42 PM
quigley used a 45/110

January 10, 2005, 10:30 PM
The 70,90,100,110 and 120 are the amount of blackpowder that is loaded into
the case. The Quigley rifle is a 45-110 and was one of the original chamberings for the Sharps. The 44-77 and 45-70 were also original chamberings. The 45-120 is going to be hard to load for. The 45-110 is making a comeback and components are becoming more available. Buffalo
Arms has .348 stretched brass which is what most folks in BPCR are using. Also, if your reloader is not large enough, the 45-110 case may be too long. My RCBS barely loads my 45-90 Sharps cartridges.

Arizona Fusilier
January 25, 2005, 10:48 PM
The amount of powder loaded into the cartridge case. That sure beats my metric system :o

Thanks, Hatchet. I'm a way off from getting a Quigley gun, but I feel much more informed.

January 26, 2005, 02:04 PM
Just remember those powder charges are with Blackpowder, NOT Smokeless. Even so, I've never loaded with Blackpowder and don't know if todays powders use the same charge weight. I'd definitely consult a loading manual for Blackpowder cartridges and talk to some shooters who use it.

January 26, 2005, 06:42 PM
i know a guy who has buffalo and the first time he went to butcher one he took along his old 22lr (he had only butchered hogs and cattle before) well he shot it just behind the ear 7 times and waited for the thing to fall down but of course it didnt. after a bit he went back to the house and got the 7mm mag and put a 164 grainer right into the forehead which of course ended that fight. now he uses a 7mm-08

February 1, 2005, 03:59 PM
My buddy raises buff,he sells meat and hunts,for meat he runs them in a chute and drops them with a 22 mag rifle.

February 1, 2005, 05:45 PM
another vote for a 45/70......... NEF makes a nice clasic for around 300.00.

No, I don't work for NEF but a have a few and find them to be a real good rifle and a real good price and it's American made.... :D

February 1, 2005, 06:49 PM
BTW, like anything else you should first know the anatomy. Looking at a broadside view the spine drops down quite a bit and where the leg is the spine is at the center of the body .Anything above mid point then is hump and that won't get you the bison. Just behind the leg for a heart/lung shot is the way.