View Full Version : Another "bigger" caliber...

July 2, 2007, 09:07 PM
I want something an order above my 30-06. I'm not interested in greater distances, but I do want a much harder-hitting caliber at the business end. It needs to be widely commercially available, too - I can't reload at this time.

July 2, 2007, 09:20 PM
Try a 450 marlin

July 2, 2007, 09:47 PM
.300 win mag is about the largest caliber I have found in regular supply at local super-markets (wal-mart, etc, down in southern states). It's a step up from .30-06 (about 20% more muzzle energy), but not massively more powerful. It'll run you about $1.25 a round for decent commercial stuff. If you are willing to go by a gun shop (maybe sporting goods store will have more too) you can step up larger, like .338wm, or numerous others.

July 2, 2007, 09:47 PM
Yep, .45-70 gov't, .444 marlin, or .450 marlin, if you want to go a couple/three orders larger. Maybe a .338 win mag if you just want "an" order larger, as you say.

July 2, 2007, 10:24 PM
45-70 is hands down better than the 450 Marlin in terms of availbility and versatility without reloading.

July 2, 2007, 10:47 PM
.338 Win Mag, shoots a 250 grain bullet with roughly the same trajectory as the .30-06. Not my flavor personally but a definite step up in thumping power. Ammunition is easily found most places but still not as easy as the old 06. The .350 Rem Mag and .375 Ruger sound interesting but ammo isn't very common for either yet. .375 H&H would be a good choice as well but again cartridges usually are not found at the local Wal-Mart.

July 2, 2007, 11:27 PM
.338 Win Mag is a beast in a rifle light enough to carry in the field.

You'll probably regret buying it. Or you'll never shoot it. You might tolerate it if you had a serious likelihood of facing dangerous game in the >1000# category. Some folks like it for lion too. Probably a bit of overkill on lion. But definitely something to be said for dropping Mr. Angry Lion with one shot DRT.

Even .300 Win Mag is harsh in a rifle you would ever be willing to carry any distance.

July 3, 2007, 12:06 AM
375 H&H is gonna be your most common powerhouse that gives you a true big step up from the '06. It is a 200 yard gun with a 2-ton punch.

July 3, 2007, 12:09 AM
.45-70 Govt. in a Marlin 1895.

Garrett 540-gr. Hammerheads.


July 3, 2007, 01:43 AM
375 H&H, 9.3 X 62.

You want a 458, get a Lott, and shoot win mag in it..

Dr. S

July 3, 2007, 02:02 AM
I'm not interested in greater distances, but I do want a much harder-hitting caliber at the business end.

This sounds like the perfect recipe for a .45/70. You've got lever guns in .454, .444 and .450, but they are really outclassed by the .45/70 due to its greater case capacity and therefor lower operating pressure.

This is assuming that you're not shooting your 30-06 much past 300 yards.

July 3, 2007, 02:32 AM
+1 for the 45/70.

They are rear rump thump'n rifles.

July 3, 2007, 04:15 AM
Nearly all of the 45/70 comercial loads are pretty low on the scale of what you can get out of the cartridge with hand-loading.

If 458 win is available in your area readily, that might be the way to go.


Magnum Wheel Man
July 3, 2007, 06:32 AM
I regularly shoot almost all thats listed...

looking at "the next step" from a purely availabily point of view, probably would be be 7mm Rem Mag, 338 Win Mag or 444 Marlin or 45-70...

since you indicate you are not as much interested in increaseing "distance"... we don't really know at what distances you are currently shooting... the 444 Marlin, 45-70, 450 Marlin, are all 200 yard & less guns, really shining in the 100 - 150 yard ranges...

... if you currently shoot your 30-06 over 200 yards, then maybe a 7mm Rem Mag, 300 Win Mag, 338 Win Mag 375 H&H Mag. are more your speed??? with the 7mm Mag, & 338 Mag likely being the easiest to find without going to a "specialy" outdoors store or gun shop

I really like shooting all my "bigger bores"... 45-70 I shoot in both a Marlin lever action, & a T.C. Contender handgun, both the 338 Win Mag, & 375 H&H Mag I shoot in Browning Stainless Stalker rifles with the Boss system, & the 338 "kicks" more, but with the Boss, not any more than a "normal" 30-06

July 3, 2007, 09:29 AM
45-70, what I like is when shooting at 100 yards you can hear the bullet strike the target backer (the target backer is mine belt, it is WV we have a lot of that laying around). Fire, then right after you hear this THUMP, always puts a smile on my face. When I pull out my Marlin Guide Gun someone always say “45-70 huh” and has to pick up a cartridge and look at it.

You could get you a .357 H&H, they don’t cost and arm and a leg and the ammo is cheaper than a .458 win mag. or Lott. I have a CZ 550 American.

July 3, 2007, 09:41 AM
What are you planning to hunt that a 30'06 can't handle. I can think of three things in NA and a bunch more in Africa that would need more than "old venerable". You just enjoy recoil? Try the T-rex.

July 3, 2007, 10:34 AM
"Welcome" workinwifdakids: You ask for something bigger and got a lot of good answers, but you did'nt state (BIGGER) -bullet or cartridge size. Any of the above are bigger than the best round made, the ol' ot six. While most of the above will do it I'M going to say the 7mm Mag., smaller in bullet diameter but larger in the boiler room with a little more reach than your asking for, but hard hitting with more managed recoil and can be found just about anywhere ammo is sold. Rifles in this chamber can be found just as easily as the ammo, new or used!

July 3, 2007, 10:40 AM
What about the .35 Whelen?

July 3, 2007, 12:16 PM
What about the .35 Whelen?
I thought about this as well as one of my other favorites the .338-06 but you don't find cartridges for them at the local hardware store or Wal-Mart very easily. I went to Dick's to find my last two boxes of .35 Whelen and all they had was 200 grain Rem Core Locks. If you don't reload I just don't think the .35 Whelen or the .338-06 are as good of a choice as the .338 Win Mag.

Since the OP didn't care about range then the .338 Federal and .358 Win would be good choices as well. The Federal will be easier to find ammo for at the present time. Socrates already mentioned the 9,3X62 which would definatly thump a critter as well, but again how often do you find the ammo outside a specialty shop?

.444 and .450 Marlin just aren't very popular in the western States compared what they are back east. .45-70 is found on a regular basis, but loads are pretty pathetic for liability reasons, or go with custom ammuntition from Buffalo Bore to realize the full potential. Give me a Ruger #1 in .45-70 over the .444 and .450 any day.

July 3, 2007, 01:05 PM
Just my opinion, but if a 30-06 is not enough, and it cannot be killed with a 338 WM, there is always 375 H&H, 340 Weatherby, 378 Weatherby, 416 Remington or Rigby, of course 458 WM, and 505 Gibbs. With any of those, you can take any animal on the North or South American continent, and most of those in Asia or Africa (barring legal bore size limitations). And all are chambered by US gun makers.

45-70 loads are pretty anemic from the factory unless you shoot something like Buffalo Bore or A-Square loads. 444 Marlin is about the same, limited to relatively short range. A 375 H&H is about the ideal medium-bore rifle, not too punishing to shoot, and it delivers the goods pretty well (300 gr JSP at 2500 fps).

Jack O'Conner
July 3, 2007, 01:40 PM
I tried a custom 9.3mm for a season and found it didn't topple elk any faster than my older .308 carbine. So I sold it at a slight profit.

444 has always appealed to me. Seems like a better cartridge for the scope user than the famous .348 but they both do the same thing quite well. That is, they topple large animals with ease out to 225 yards or so. The newer Hornady leverevolution ammo may prove deadly even farther than this distance.

358 is still alive and well. Its comparable to 35 Whelen when same bullet weights are used.

Good hunting to you.

July 3, 2007, 01:52 PM
I would say the .338 win mag is the step up in size and power for the 30-06 bolt style gun line. In power it would go (not counting the wssms and odd balls) 30-06, 7mm rem mag, .300 win mag but for a larger diameter bullet and power the .338 win mag would be a logical choice.
If you want a completely different gun with large bore and not so much range then the lever actions in .444 marlin .45-70 and .450 marlin are pretty hot.

July 4, 2007, 01:36 AM
the 444 Marlin, 45-70, 450 Marlin, are all 200 yard & less guns, really shining in the 100 - 150 yard ranges...

Maybe in a short-barreled lever gun with rudimentary sights, but some enterprising folks back in 1874 had no problems letting the .45-70 reach way out there and thump things - lots of big, furry, delicious things. (We often get hung up on the whole point-blank range concept these days) :D

My sedate 530gr BP .45-70 handloads deliver over 1000ft/lbs of Bambi-thumping energy at 400+ yards from my 32" Sharps Business Rifle. I don't really feel that the .45-70 is a 200yd or less cartridge, myself. I'd wager our shooting forefathers using the same type of rig and chambering would agree.


chris in va
July 4, 2007, 01:43 AM
I'll ah...state the obvious.


July 4, 2007, 05:12 AM
I'm not interested in greater distances, but I do want a much harder-hitting caliber at the business end. It needs to be widely commercially available,

MUCH to me, means a pretty big jump. 30-06 is pretty potent, but, it runs out of bullet weight with 220's.
If you are going on Safari, you can kill elephant to dukier with the 286 grain 9.3 x 62, but, it's all over Europe and Africa, not the US. Does it hit that much harder? Much harder to me, starts meaning heavier bullets, but, still at 2150 fps plus.

Calibers that come to mind are 375 H&H. It's all over, and, half the cost of the other big bores, ammo wise. I own one, and, I'm planning on selling it, after I rebore my 30-06 to
9.3. 9.3 will kill anything about as well as the 375, but, with half the recoil.

Make me an offer. CZ 550 with muzzle brake, Elite 3200 scope, etc.

Now, to get a 'much' harder hitting rifle, I'd start looking at 416 Revoltington, 400 grain .416 caliber bullet, that seriously thumps things, or, my choice, the 458 Lott, because you can then shoot 458 Win mag out of it to begin with, and, nothing like a 500 grain bullet at 2150 fps to really define 'much harder hitting'.

The 458 win mag is more widely avaliable, and, a 458 win mag alone might be fine, but, I like being able to use the 500 grain, 2300 fps Lott loads, just in case I'm attacked by bear, elephant, or cape buffalo...

Dr. S

July 4, 2007, 10:48 AM
Gewehr98: You can't keep doing this to me...:D, About everytime you put up a post you include a dang fine looking rifle! Can i come over to your house and play, mom said it would be o.k., please ask your mommy if i can come over?:) Nice, very nice!

July 4, 2007, 08:48 PM
the rifle on the left is a .500 Nitro a Four-Bore is the right one


July 5, 2007, 01:10 AM
Gewehr98: You can't keep doing this to me..., About everytime you put up a post you include a dang fine looking rifle!

Yup, Gweehr has good taste in rifles! :) Good pics, too.

I'd still go with the .35 Whelen. You can order lots of ammo at MidwayUSA (9 pages of choices) (http://www.midwayusa.com/ebrowse.exe/browse?TabID=3&Categoryid=9354&categorystring=653***690***) and you can shoot a up to a 310 grain round. That's significantly heavier than the '06 round. The .35 Whelen is a great mid and long-range thumper -- without the magnum recoil. I've seen that round do a number on a deer. Dead flop.

Limited Whelen ammo is found in some stores, but limited is better than none, and lots of stores don't stock much of the magnum ammo, either. Go different and get the Whelen; the .35 caliber guns have killed a lot of big game. ;)

Magnum Wheel Man
July 5, 2007, 06:42 AM
Gewehr98: You can't keep doing this to me..., About everytime you put up a post you include a dang fine looking rifle! Can i come over to your house and play, mom said it would be o.k., please ask your mommy if i can come over? Nice, very nice!

... what he said... then you pick on me, with that quote... :D

... OK... I still stand by what I said for "normal shooters & current or modern rifles"... BTW... I regularly shoot my custom "safari" Martini out to the backstop of my rifle range ( 300 yards ), with a set of 3 leaf safari sights...

July 5, 2007, 10:08 AM
I regularly shoot my custom "safari" Martini out to the backstop of my rifle range ( 300 yards ), with a set of 3 leaf safari sights

Magnum Wheel Man: Got pictures, mom kind of lets me run wild threw the neighborhood...:D

Magnum Wheel Man
July 5, 2007, 10:21 AM
I have several "tools" that are in need of pics...;)

July 5, 2007, 03:26 PM
According to more than a few here, the 45/70 would be the way to go if I want to (as McDonald's says) UP-SIZE from my 30.06 Happy Meal.

So, I went on over to Remington's web site to gander at their ballistics tables, and here's what I saw:

Remington Express (R30062) 150GR Pointed Soft Point Core-Lokt
2281 ft-lbs at 100 yards

Remington Express (R4570L) 300GR Jacketed Hollow Point
1492 ft-lbs at 100 yards

Does this mean the 45/70 (1,492ft-lbs) strikes with far, far less force at 100yards than the 30-06 (2,281ft-lbs)?

I feel duuuuuumb, because I have no idea what's going on.

PS - I may re-post this in its own thread later, perhaps.

July 5, 2007, 03:30 PM
I'll say it again.....TRex...http://www.accuratereloading.com/577tyr.html

Or the 358WinMag might be a tad softer on the shoulder.

July 5, 2007, 03:57 PM
So, I went on over to Remington's web site to gander at their ballistics tables, and here's what I saw:

Remington Express (R30062) 150GR Pointed Soft Point Core-Lokt
2281 ft-lbs at 100 yards

Remington Express (R4570L) 300GR Jacketed Hollow Point
1492 ft-lbs at 100 yards

This is where you get into the problem of OLD .45/70 guns versus NEW .45/70 guns. Since a vintage 1880's trapdoor rifle in some airhead's collection may one day end up going out to the range, the ammo manufacturers stay away from approaching the strength tolerances of modern guns such as the Marlin guide guns. The Remington ammo you mention sounds like it is loaded to the original pressure specs of the .45/70 cartridge back in the 19th century.

430 gr. L.B.T.- L.F.N. - G.C. (1925 fps / M.E. 3537 ft. lbs.)
(Big game up to 2500 lbs. - Penetrator Load)

Lots of stuff between the Remington powder-puff loads and the buffalo bore load I quoted... especially for a reloader. There's also CorBon, Garrett and other exotic ammo makers... and I think Federal and Winchester are in the .45/70 game also.

July 5, 2007, 04:34 PM
yep, the 150gr in a 30/06 was at one time what was being called the one gun battery, well you just happen to own one of the best chambers one could ask for. But now its time to play with something new. What kind of playing are you wanting, what do you have in mind, paper or critters. I would not want to be on the other side of a 45/70 300gr bullet even at 1492. You take a 150gr.-.308 and compare that to the 300gr.-.45, (thats dang near a half inch in diameter and a 300gr. hollow point :eek: ) they both do nasty stuff at the business end.:)

July 5, 2007, 06:29 PM
The 45/70 can be used with heavier bullets, like 405-500 plus range, and, when you combine this with an increase in velocity, ala Buffalbore or Garett, the 45/70 fpe goes up.

Still, now you can see why I suggest either the 458 or 375.

Before I forget, Revoltington is famous, at least with me, for horrible commercial offerings. NEVER use their stuff, period.

At 100 yards, the 458 win mag 500 grain bullet is going 1991 for 4401 ftlbs. That will rock anything. Or get the 458 Lott, and be able to fire both, with the lott version giving you 2028/4567 ft lbs at 100 yards.

The 375 H&H is no slouch, with 2386 at 100 yards, with a 300 grain FMJ, and 3792. No wonder my shoulder thought the 375 had more juice them my 30-06...

HMMM the light 375 load, 270 grain SP gives you 2628 fps at 100, and 4141 fps. That's REAL hard hitting, and flat.

Dr. S

Check buffalobore

for a better idea of what the 45/70 can be loaded to. Not my choice, but, Revoltington ammo really does it shame.

Webley, I've shot a double Nitro Express .500 like the one posted, and, all I can say is it was a joy. Just made me want to get a bolt 458 Lott.

July 5, 2007, 07:11 PM
Muzzle energy does not tell the whole story...those old 45-70 rounds that don't have much energy darn near shot the Bison into extinction. There is something to be said for a big, tough, heavy, slow moving bullet.

July 5, 2007, 08:26 PM
Yep, what mathman said.



July 5, 2007, 08:43 PM
I thought it was clear the 375 H&H was the winner. It is widely available, very powerful, and has a huge selection of ammo. Go here
and see that this one alone lists 19 different commercial loadings, and doesn't cover them all.

July 5, 2007, 10:39 PM
With all due respect to the 45-70, he said he wasn't looking to extend the range of his 30-06, but that didn't mean he is willing to cut it by a 1/3 either. I assume he means that the new round should shoot nearly as flat as the 06. That means that if an average bullet weight is zeroed an inch or so high at 100 yards, it should have hit no more than an inch or so low at 250 yards. Anything much more than that and you start getting into what is lovingly referred to as brush guns (or big-game rifles), because of their caliber size and high-arching trajectories. That is all generally speaking of course, so there is no need for anyone to chime in telling us about how the 45-70 can take a deer down at 2,000 meters with iron sights, or how using the right powder you can push a 50 grain slug twice as flat as an 06 can push a 225. The 22 magnum can shoot a mile or 2, but that don't make it a good hunting gun for mile-long shots. I am just talking about your nominal sectional density for each caliber. Like I said, it's just generally speaking, and I am just guessing that is what he means.

July 6, 2007, 12:00 AM
so there is no need for anyone to chime in telling us about how the 45-70 can take a deer down at 2,000 meters with iron sights

Who said that?

July 6, 2007, 07:09 AM
Who said that?

Nobody yet, but I have heard some pretty tall tales. I've been known to tell a few myself after a dozen cold ones. :o

Here is a good one from Ned Buntline of Colt Buntline fame http://www.jcs-group.com/oldwest/guns/rifle2.html
In short, a marksman shooting at a buffalo almost three fifths of a mile away would have to use rare judgment in aiming more than 62 feet above a mark he could not see. So the man who tells about regular game shots at 1,000 yards is probably indulging in what westerners like to call "stretching the blanket." Ned Buntline, who was something of a crack shot in his time, said that a hunter should use rock salt instead of lead for such long shots, and thus preserve the meat until he got to it.

July 6, 2007, 07:25 AM
Gewehr, I was gonna say that!:)

July 6, 2007, 11:32 AM
Just a wee smidgen of hyperbole there, methinks. :rolleyes:

The Sandy Hook Tests of 1879 showed even the sedate 405gr Trapdoor Springfield could penetrate 1.12" of spruce/pine target, at a distance of 2,500 yards. The target was only hit 5 times with 70 rounds fired, but that means the concept of volley fire was useful - at least in theory. Aimed fire, not so much:


The energy figures for the Remington (Revoltington? -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED-?) ammo reflect Remington's efforts to produce a safe jacketed bullet round for the relatively weak Trapdoor Springfield rifles still out there. That doesn't mean the older round isn't effective, however. The big 32" Sharps rifle I pictured before can handle hotter loads than the Trapdoor, yet I still run low-pressure BP rounds for it, to keep things in an 1874 frame of reference. So I load a cast 535gr Postell on top of 70gr of FFg Goex, for a wicked velocity of 1300fps. It's hauling ass, ain't it? The muzzle energy reports 2007ft/lbs, which is just a hair better than the Remington factory 300gr offering.

Once the smoke clears, I have over 1000ft/lbs of energy remaining at 400 yards, and have no problems thumping Bambi with that big .459" slug at that distance.

The 3" rear Creedmoor sight lets me shoot things out over 1000 yards, and believe it or not, you can see a life-sized steel buffalo quite well using a naked eyebulb and vernier rear sight/globe front combination. Come with me next June to the Forsyth, MT Quigley shoots, you'll see all sorts of folks hitting steel buffalo targets out to 800 yards using Trapdoors, Rolling Blocks, Sharps, etc. They don't complain that they can't see the targets, nor are they hung up on the "point-blank range" thing.

Even the Palma Rifle target shooters use the same type of combination for their .308 rifles, shooting out to 1,000 yards with no optics.

FOR THE RECORD: Nobody, and I mean NOBODY here in this thread has promoted or suggested that one take hunting shots at game animals outside their experience level or the capabilities of the rifle and round it chambers. To suggest otherwise is disingenuous at best.

My point is that too many folks hop onto the Intarweb and proclaim the .45-70 round to be a 150-200 yard cartridge. My experiences and historical investigation say otherwise. I'd modify things and state that short-barrel leverguns with rudimentary sights chambered in .45-70 are a 150-200 yard combination, because the round itself can do much better, even at the sedate Trapdoor pressures.

July 6, 2007, 01:35 PM
I'm still trying to figure out just exactly who said they shot deer at 2,000 meters.

Surely anyone that can kill a steel buffalo at 1,000 yards can drop a buckskin deer at 2,000 meters. :D
When it comes to deer hunting, the 45-70 is a 200 yard gun. I'd be willing to bet my straw hat that most of the buffalo that were killed back then were wounded to death, not shot to death.

July 6, 2007, 02:17 PM
Nobody here's forcing you to - just don't pee on their wheaties with stories about how others cannot do it simply because you can't yourself. I'm pretty damned comfortable with my .45-70 delivering 1000 ft/lbs at 400 yards on Bambi. Want to stand downrange from me and tell me it's not enough? This antelope was taken with a similar Shiloh Sharps rifle at 300 yards. Care to tell the guy he's got no skills and a lousy 200 yard gun?


Black bear on a dead run, taken at 300 yards with a .45-70 Sharps:


Or a bison at 250-300 yards, same type gun:


How about an elk at 460 yards, you guessed it, a .45-70:


Of course, they should all know better than to do such things.

Jeebus. Some people would argue that the world is still flat. :barf:

July 6, 2007, 02:22 PM
What about the new .375 Ruger the OAL is about the same as a 30-.06 but it packs more of a thump than the 06.

As for the .45-70 I finally Broke down and purchased one of the Buffalo Hunters. That 405 grains sure does make one heck of a thump that you can hear when it hits downrange. That is with with a cowboy load from Black Hills. With some more practice time and familiarization/handloading it would make a good hunting rifle imo.

July 6, 2007, 02:53 PM
The only advantage offered by the high velocity rounds in general use today is flatter trajectory and lighter recoil. I don't want to start the whole ft-lbs vs. lbs-ft argument again, but if the old, slow bullets wouldn't kill, why did the pioneers eat so much meat? Many of our current crop of outdoor writers spread that same lie about old cartridges being 200 yd rounds, but all you have to know is the distance to your target and the trajectory of the bullet in order to hit waaaay out there.

44 AMP
July 6, 2007, 10:33 PM
Range, with any gun, is what you can hit accurately, and there are quite a few folks outh there who can do it at distances that amaze other folks. I think Gewehr98 covered that quite conclusively.

But the one thing that has not been mentioned about the .45-70 is the actual effect of the large bullet is out of proportion to what the ft/lb energy numbers indicate.

There are lots of high intensity rounds that hit much harder, but even the relatively "light" .45-70 loads hit game like the hammer of Thor.

If you aren't a handloader, the .45-70 offers versatility in factory/custom ammo not found in larger rounds, nearly all of which are full throttle all the time.

Plus, its just neat! Get a single shot .45-70, you'll love it! You can either go the full historical route like Gewehr98 does, or you can get a potent light weight handy carbine like I have, a Ruger No.3! Or, for not much money, you could get a NEF Handi-Rifle in .45-70, just to check out the concept.

To me, there is nothing quite like the sound of loading one of these rifles, with the muzzle down. "Shooonck!" Then a click as you close it. Then another click as you cock the hammer, or take the safety off. That is shootin' old school!

And the light carbines will let you know when the go off, too!

July 6, 2007, 11:03 PM
It is hard to understand how someone can be proud of someone who would shoot at a running animal at 300 yards.

July 7, 2007, 12:25 AM
I forgot about the Ruger. Ammo avaliability may not be very good, and, that's the only problem. If you want a step up, rebarrel your 30-06 to the Ruger 375. That's an easy, cheap way to go, with the only drawback being ammo....

Dr. S

I certainly agree with the 45-70 hitting very hard. If you want a 458 bullet, and, ammo avaliable the world over, get the Lott/Win mag 458. Then you don't need to lob bullets at stuff like a mortar.

You REALLY have to admire that guy that can run and shoot bear at 300 yards, at the same time, with a 45-70...;-)

July 7, 2007, 02:26 AM
It is hard to understand how someone can be proud of someone who would shoot at a running animal at 300 yards.

-CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED-? It's called hunting. Look it up in the dictionary, it's a pretty easy concept to grasp. I'll bet cash money there are no rules that mandate the critters must be standing absolutely still for you to take the shot, be they ducks, geese, pheasant, bear, deer, bison, or elk. Would you like to see the venison in my own freezer that was taken on the run, cleanly and with one shot?

Your own skills may vary, of course, but even if you're not particularly proficient with moving targets, I invite you to save the condescending tone for a forum that can better utilize it. To disparage a skilled hunter for an excellent game shot smacks of something rather unbecoming. It's not like these folks I've linked to in the pictures are rank amateurs, spraying bullets hither and yon hoping to get lucky in the off chance they can pepper their quarry. They have one shot ala' 1874 style, and make the best of it. They are confident of their skills, they know their sight settings for the arched trajectory vs. the range to the target, and with no quick second shot, they put particular emphasis on shot placement. They're not using fancy belted magnums with laser beam trajectories and 50mm objective lens scopes. In fact, they're only just slightly removed from their muzzleloading cousins, loading the black powder from the breech instead, slightly less messy.

I have nothing but the utmost respect for them. To that end, I will use my own Sharps Business Rifle to do the same in the not-too-distant future. You can count on it.

July 7, 2007, 05:24 PM
I don't mean to hijack the thread, but...

Is the Ruger No. 1 pretty much the only current viable single shot rifle available in 45-70? I'm going to buy a Marlin 1895 Guide Gun first...just because I think it would make a good deer gun for the distances that most shots are taken (100-200 yards)...but eventually, I'd like to get a single shot.

July 7, 2007, 05:41 PM
Uberti makes a 1885 replica in 45-70. I've held one at the local range. They have very nice wood and the metal is very well finished.


July 7, 2007, 07:41 PM

Ballard makes a 1885 replica too, but be prepared for sticker shock.

I prefer the Ruger for it's more classic looks. The western look of the High Wall is nice for the 45-70 though.

Smokey Joe
July 7, 2007, 09:52 PM
With all due respect to the numerous and highly skilled .45-70 practitioners here, I wonder that no one but no one has mentioned for Workinwifdakids that the .325 WSM is a step up from the venerable '06, in caliber and in velocity, as well as being a modern cartridge which, while not being in Wal-Mart, will be found easily in any decent sptg gds sto.

July 8, 2007, 12:54 AM
For how long will that .325 WSM be available in your local gunstore?

I'm already seeing a dearth of the WSM rounds in my local Gander Mountain and Dick's Sporting Goods. Even Cabelas' selection wasn't worth writing home about.

Winchester's abrupt departure from the scene probably didn't help that matter a whole lot, either. :(

I'd love for it to go otherwise, but IMHO the Winchester Short Mags will go the way of the Remington Short Action Ultra Mags, and become a handloading-only proposition in the not-too-distant future.

That's probably the main reason nobody here offered the .325 (8mm) WSM as an option to the Original Poster of this thread.

If he wants Cape Buffalo-thumping power, I'd also have to recommend the bigger .375 H&H, .416 Remington, or .458 Winchester Magnums. They have withstood the test of time quite well in what's become a fickle market.

Smokey Joe
July 8, 2007, 01:39 AM
Art--Question is, Smokey Joe....For how long will that .325 WSM be available in your local gunstore?Don't know the answer. And Win's departure from the scene I agree won't help matters.

Workinwifdakids wanted a step up from the '06. The .325WSM is exactly that. Note that he did NOT say he was going to Alaska nor Africa after big baddies--he just wanted one step up from the '06.

As to the future: IMHO, all of the WSSM's are doomed. They are answers in search of a problem. And when Rem began chambering their rifles for the WSM's it was obvious they saw the writing on the wall with regard to the RSAUM's--Note that Win did NOT chamber their products for the RSAUM's, although of course they were in the beginning stages of folding up @ the time.

But I think one of the WSM's will stick around. I bought a .300WSM because I wanted a .30-'06 on steroids, without going for a "big" magnum, and that's exactly what I got. There probably isn't room in the marketplace for both the .270 and the .300 WSM's, just like there isn't room for both WSM and RSAUM's.

Now, whether the "little big thumper," the .325 WSM, is a keeper or a dodo, only time and the marketplace will tell. (I had been hoping they'd turn out a .35 WSM. Guess I'll stick with my dream of a .35 Whelen AI.)

I'm sure the handloaders will keep 'em all going, and brass will probably be available forever, although perhaps only through the likes of The Old Western Scrounger for some of the cartridges.

Will Wall-Mart carry the ones that survive, forever? Certainly not. Will Cabela's? I would expect so.

July 8, 2007, 04:42 AM
Since the OP didn't care about range then the .338 Federal and .358 Win would be good choices as well. The Federal will be easier to find ammo for at the present time.

+1 for .338 Federal

July 8, 2007, 09:59 AM
Is the Ruger No. 1 pretty much the only current viable single shot rifle available in 45-70?

No. NEF has 2 versions - their 22" standard and their long-barreled Buffalo Classic ("BC"). Plus, many modern replicas of old Ballard, Sharps, etc. rifles. They're all "viable", as I use that word.

Back to the OP's question. To summarize all the many good responses, you might say that...

-if you want to go ONE level up the scale of thumpdom, then look at something in the .338 or .35 or .36 families - .338 federal, .338 winmag, .338-'06, .35 Whelen, .358 Win, .350 remmag, 9.3x62mm
-if you want to go a couple levels up, then something like a .375 H&H mag
-if you want to go several levels up, then you can get a lower powered big bore like a .45-70 or .444 marlin.
-Or, if you want to just get crazy with overkill, then get an africa caliber - .458 winmag, .458 lott, .416 rigby, .416 remmag, .404 jeffrey, .505 gibbs, and any number of nitro express calibers.

But he said:

--I'm not interested in greater distances,
--but I do want a much harder-hitting caliber at the business end.
--It needs to be widely commercially available, too

That fairly screams .45-70 in level 2 loadings, or perhaps .444 marlin. I wouldn't call .450 marlin widely commercially available. I don't think I'd call the .338 federal or .358 win MUCH harder-hitting than .30-'06.

.375 H&H mag would arguably fill the bill, too, although it happens to be a flatter-shooting, longer-range caliber.

Hope Federer can grease Nadal this time in the finals.

July 8, 2007, 06:18 PM
He could use a hatchet. Talk about the thump factor. And at 60 ft per second it still has plenty of killing power at 45 yards. I once nearly took a running bear with mine but right as the hatchet hit the bear a flying saucer swooped down and beamed up the bear and my hatchet.

Art Eatman
July 8, 2007, 10:02 PM
oldironman, there's nothing inherently wrong, immoral or fattening about shooting a running animal. 300 yards is certainly getting on up into the area of "more skilled", but it's not all that unusual.

Holdover isn't difficult to figure, at all. Most folks shoot high. :) How much to lead can be a bit of a high-speed integration, but it's not all that big a deal. You have to have some feel for an animal's size. For instance, Bambi at 30 mph is moving 44 ft/sec. So, at a hundred yards, figuring the bullet will take a tenth of a second to arrive where it's supposed to, ya gotta hold roughly three feet in front of his head. At 300 yards and somewhere around three or four tenths of a second, about two to two and a half Bambis in front of his head.

And like my dear ol' daddy tole me, "If you don't shoot, you won't hit."

:), Art

July 8, 2007, 10:42 PM
And like my dear ol' daddy tole me, "If you don't shoot, you won't hit."

As a younger lad, I was told by my mother, "The freezer's empty, and the next paycheck's a long ways off. You can bring home something for the supper table, or we can eat oatmeal." :D

I'm trying to remember just how many running shots on game I've made in the last 30+ years, especially when Dad and I were putting supper on the table for the family. I'll also have to state it's the first time ever to my recollection that either myself or other hunters received morally indignant flak about it, but I guess there's a first time for everything. ;)

What I would like from Oldironman, however, is an explanation as to why it's bad juju to shoot a game species on the move. Is it a karma thing? Am I going to hell for yet another reason?

July 8, 2007, 11:34 PM
There's some very good banter going on here! :D

July 8, 2007, 11:43 PM
Art and Gewehr, first, don't take this tone of voice in any other fashion than friendly. I understand what you guys are saying. I ain't no Danny Boone, but I have hunted a lot in the last 35 years, and so far I have taken 2 shots at running animals. One at a hog that I killed, with a shot I shouldn't have taken. Another was an easier shot at a running deer. Another kill, but it was maybe 30 yds or so. Now, I can handle my guns just fine, but I really shouldn't have taken either shot - I was just surprised and excited. The thing is, there are very few people - myself included that can consistantly hit a pie plate that is moving both horizontally and vertically at the same time while it traverses the landscape, while you are perfectly calm and prepared, much less in the outdoors with all the other things working against you. I'm not saying I won't ever do it again - but I know I shouldn't, and I don't think that I should be promote it on here for new hunters to think it is something they should start getting good at - we set the example. The deer was lucky, it dropped dead when I hit it. The hog wasn't. It was about a 250 to 300 yard shot and I had to listen to it scream for the whole time it took me to get to it. We all know that the difference between a clean kill and a painful wound is only an inch, and at 100 or 300 yards, there just aren't that many people that can do it every time (the running shot), and if you can't make a clean hit every time, you have no business pulling the trigger, in my opinion, not unless you must have it for food. Like I say, I ain't trying to point fingers or start a brawl, I just think we have to set an example on responsibility, and that is to speak in general terms. We don't have to tell a real sniper or a seasoned hunter what kind of shots he should take. He knows. We have to tell the newer hunters, though. And they are watching us right now, and they will do what they see us talking about.
That is why I say my 300 winmag is only a 300 yard gun. We all know it has killed at 1000 yards, but for most guns, in the time it takes the bullet to travel the gap, a deer can and will likely move a few inches, and that is all it takes to send a wounded animal back into hiding. Oh well, enough about me, how are ya'll doing? :p

July 8, 2007, 11:52 PM
I forgot, I did miss a blackbuck antelope at about 100 yards. But it wasn't really running, more like bouncing. If you have ever seen then, you know it is more like trying to shoot an Olympic gymnast the way they bounce around. :o

July 9, 2007, 08:55 PM
Saeed over accurate reloading made, on video, one of the most amazing shots I've ever scene. He snap shot a little Dukier, quartering away from him, at 275 something yards, and nailed it.:eek:

Now, his brother just won the Olympic Gold in skeet shooting, and, it's his younger brother. Guess who taught the younger brother to shoot, and guess who's the better shot??

Dr. S;)

Art Eatman
July 9, 2007, 09:38 PM
Sorta like the Dirty Harry bit about a man's knowing his limitations.

I wouldn't argue against the idea that the average shooter shouldn't try certain shots. I've passed shots that at other times I've made; call it a "Zen" thing, maybe. But, some of us here are above average; others, just starting out, haven't gotten up toward average, yet. Different levels of skill--which is why there's no "One size fits all."

There is a history in this forum over the years, however, of folks who have no confidence in their own abilities for certain shots to impugn the character of those who take and make them. That's just something to remember about the occasional "touchiness". :)

As usual, when there are no facial expressions or body language to help get meanings across, just the typed words can be taken in a manner that's different from what's intended...


July 11, 2007, 04:14 PM
Good discussion! I have seen my hunting partner take and make shots that I won't and can't. But he was raised with a rifle in his hand by a Dad that was a small arms instructor in the Army. I came to rifle hunting late, and I know my limits. I am trying to improve by shooting a lot, including at Gamo's new moving target system with a pellet gun at home, but I still would lean toward no shoot on a moving animal at range.

I used to hunt with a guy that loved to fling lead no matter what. Key words in that sentence are "used to".

July 12, 2007, 07:28 AM
Well, this has been one of the more interesting threads of late but I have some comments no one else has made and of course I don't agree with everything here.

First of all, the .444 could not be said to have a range limitation (in the sense used by the one of the contributors here). After all, the original intent of the .444 was to increase the rage of the .44 magnum, which it probably did and then some.

Secondly, I wonder just how popular the .45-70 was with civilians in the old West relative to other calibers then available. The large caliber hunting rifles, mostly but not all single shots were available in several other calibers. Most are now forgotten but I think contemporary Sharps can be had in some of them. I think it is interesting that some of the complaints (here) about the .45-70 are about the range and trajectory it has, yet it was introduced as an improvement on the .50 caliber rifle already in US Army service at the time. It offered a flatter trajectory. It had heavy bullets for sure but lighter loads were also used for carbines. These were all black powder loads, of course, and I think it was a long time before the older cartridges were even offered with smokeless. It would be interesting to know just when that happened. Black powder ammunition was available for quite a while after smokeless came along. For that matter, some people continued to use muzzleloaders long after breechloaders.

For whatever advantage the slow, heavy bullet may have, there were people foolishly interested in higher velocities quite early on--which is how we got to where we are today. But anyway, some of the cartridges like the .44-40 and .38-55 were available (later, at least) in "high-speed" loadings. There are always those who are looking for a little more horsepower, so to say.

One thing a heavy bullet offers, slow or fast, is greater retained energy as the range increases. Nobody mentioned that so far, I think, whether or not it is important.

Personally, I like the .45-70 and have had three rifles in that caliber, all bought new. For one thing, it is significantly different from a bolt action .30-06 to make it worth having. I would even say it is more popular now than since before 1900. Equally different but similar in ballistics are the .45 and .50 caliber AR-15's. That would have to be the best of both worlds. Just imagine: an assault rifle chambered in something that is as good as a .50-70!

July 12, 2007, 07:57 AM
One thing a heavy bullet offers, slow or fast, is greater retained energy as the range increases. Nobody mentioned that so far, I think, whether or not it is important.

It's hard to argue with fact. I will argue that it's superfulous for most situations. 300winmag and higher energy cartridges that shed energy faster than the old "gov" due to less weight still have "enough" energy take almost all game at 500 yards and even more with the rifleman needing less information about trajectory.

I have a great deal of respect for bow and primative hunters. They choose something that requires more skill to do the job. The same feeling is extended to the rainbow boys. I just point and click and convince myself it's hunting.

July 13, 2007, 01:19 AM
Secondly, I wonder just how popular the .45-70 was with civilians in the old West relative to other calibers then available. The large caliber hunting rifles, mostly but not all single shots were available in several other calibers. Most are now forgotten but I think contemporary Sharps can be had in some of them.

I'd say the old .45 Government round was darned popular, being the government issue rifle cartridge from 1873 until the .30 US Army (.30-40 Krag) took over in 1893. Just like today, government issue cartridges and rifles tend to be very popular amongst the populace as soldiers become civilians (At least those that didn't get thwacked at Little Big Horn, that is). The Trapdoor Springfield went West in .50-70 and .45-70, as did the .45-70 Remington Rolling Block, the Sharps, the Winchester Model 1886 levergun, the Remington-Keene bolt gun, the Ballard, the Winchester (Browning) 1885 Hi-Wall, and so forth. Many of the latter guns were also chambered in other big-bore, big-cased BP rounds, but I'd wager if you went to a trading post, general store, or fort, you'd probably have an easier time of sourcing .45 Government rounds vs. a .40-82 Ballard.

I wouldn't put the .44-40 in the same league as the big .45-70, both being different tools for different jobs. The .44-40 and companion .38-40 were smallish, short-range rounds, first and foremost. Winchester came out with them in the Model 73 levergun, and Colt chambered their Model 1873 Single Action Army revolver in the same rounds shortly afterwards (1876?), providing folks with a means to feed both their revolvers and carbines with the same ammo. There was an economy to be had in using the same ammo in both types of firearm, but pistol-caliber carbines suffered in range and energy compared to their longer-chambered brethren.

The .38-55 was a different beast, closer to the .45-70 in oomph, but still somewhat short, even with the flatter trajectory of the smaller bullet. That was just fine, considering the reason why it was developed. It came along via Ballard's single-shot target rifles in 1884, and was chambered in the Winchester Model 94 ten years later. The .38-55 was also once available in the Marlin Model 93 and Savage Model 99 lever actions, the Remington Lee bolt action, and various Winchester single shot rifles. I would have no problems taking deer or elk with a .38-55 or its modern smokeless reincarnation, the .375 Winchester. But it ain't no .45-70 or .40-65. ;)

Old Time Hunter
July 13, 2007, 07:04 AM
.444.....evreything from squirrels to elephants. Especially in a Winchester Model 94 Timber Carbine, light and easy to handle. Read what the book "Cartridges of the World" has to say about it when comparing it to the other cartridges mentioned. Hornady's 265s have over 3k of ft lb and with the Leverevolution stuff stretches the distance if you want. The Timber Carbine even handles a optic enhancer (scope) if you need a crutch.

July 13, 2007, 10:01 AM
oldironman, I agree with ya in general about consistency in wingshooting - not for the average hunter, or even the average above-average hunter, on running game.

July 13, 2007, 07:41 PM
Only problem I see is the 45-70 is sort of in that weird ballistic area, between 1400-2150 fps. With big bullets, on big game, it doesn't have enough whack to really get their attention. Sure, you can punch a big hole, and this includes the 50 alaskan, but, it just doesn't have the time tried and proven over and over 450 Nitro Express 2 2150 fps, with a 480 grain bullet.

If I'm going to sink that kind of money into a caliber, I want at least the ability to go there, if I need to.

That said, the 375 H&H is a BIG step up from the 30-06, and, very close in FPE to the 450 Nitro. Think I may keep mine, instead of selling it.


July 13, 2007, 09:01 PM


July 14, 2007, 12:50 AM
Get you a 338 win mag or 375 and be done with it. As far as running game issue, if you are skilled enough to do it then put them on the ground, if it is at a reasonable distance. As a teenager years ago I could hit a running gray squirrel several times with a bolt action .22 as it ran on the ground. These days I prefer to limit shots on running game, according to the circumstances.

July 14, 2007, 01:14 AM
So what if Vince Lupo takes a 45-70 and shoots the big 5?
I could do that with a 5X57, 9.3, .223, 7.62 x 39, bow and arrow, try with a sword, if you want a real stunt hunt, or, better, a spear and shield. I think Lee Jurras stunt hunted just about everything, using a 44 magnum, with 180 grain bullets, HP's.
Only problem is most countries set a caliber limit at 375 H&H, and, it's energy. The 45-70 usually falls under that. Course you can always try and hot rod a Ford, and try and turn it into a Ferrari. Guys been doing it for years, and, sometimes it works out pretty well. However, you've still got a lot of money tied up in something that's just a Ford.

Better pressure wise to download a 458 Win mag, or 458 Lott to be your 45-70 then to take a 45-70, or .50 Alaskan, and try and turn it into an African game rifle.

I like to think the animals you are trying to kill deserve a better, quicker death then some stunt hunt with a 45-70, or some such caliber.

But, each to their own.

Dr. S

July 14, 2007, 11:12 AM
Better ask the forum owner, Rich Lucibella, about his African big game hunt with the .45-70. He was confident of the power and accuracy, as well as shot placement. Nor did it appear that the constabulary there had problems with hunters using that particular chambering, so it must have met their power floor requirements. Here's his Cape Buff via .45-70 levergun:


Folks get it in their mind that the .45-70 is always relegated to Trapdoor Springfield pressures and velocities, and nothing could be further from the truth. That's whether it's Garrett or Buffalo Bore factory ammo, or your own SAAMI-safe handloads for Ruger #1, Siamese Mauser, or Browning 1885, look for yourself. I do similar stuff with my Ruger #1, so I'll reiterate that 405gr at 2150fps is NOT your grandpa's Trapdoor load. That's intruding right there into .458 Win Mag territory, per all my load books. Dead with one shot is dead, be it a .45-70 or .458 Win Mag, nicht wahr?