View Full Version : How far do you shoot your .45-70?

April 25, 2012, 10:53 PM
I was just wondering how far out people shot .45-70s, I was told most (people) don't shoot more than 100 yards. People used to hunt buffalo at a distance, so I figure they have some range to them. I would like to clarify that I mean shoot at targets.

April 25, 2012, 11:00 PM
I shot a nice buck with my guide gun at 140 yds, I wouldn't hesitate out to 200 but then it drops off pretty quick

April 26, 2012, 12:43 AM
LOL LOL ! They used to have 1000 yd matches using the 45-70 :p I've only used mine for short range but certainly a fine cartridge .The common comment of "rainbow trajectory " means only that you have to compensate for that rather than an indication of poor accuracy. My Browning 1885 is good for at least 1 MOA with about any ammo.My Lone Star is good for 1/2" groups.

April 26, 2012, 01:00 AM
I've taken two Deer with my Guide Gun. One was at 80 yards and the other one was closer, 60 or so yards I think.

I first saw it at 1000 yards, and I could have made the shot, but hunting is about stalking closer so I did. :D

Seriously, I would take a shot out to 100 yards or so, not much more. I think the rifle would put it in the kill zone out to 200 perhaps.

April 26, 2012, 07:08 AM
The 45-70 can be shot at pretty extreme ranges just. Just like any other gun it is just a matter of having sights that will adjust enough.

FWIW the 45-70 was never a top choice as a buffalo hunting gun. It used because it was commonly available, but was considered too light. Most serious buffalo hunters back in the day prefered much larger calibers. The 45-70 was conceived as a military round for shooting other humans, not as big bore hunting round.

April 26, 2012, 08:50 AM
I shoot Creedmor Matches (800, 900, & 1000) with my Browning 1895 45-70 using cast bullets (Pastel 550 grns) about 1300 fps.

Heck of a lot of fun. Was suppose to have a 1 mile shoot, but mud kept us from getting to the range.

April 26, 2012, 10:09 AM
I have killed deer at 150 yards

I have shot paper as far as 500 yards from a bench and lots of adjustments. I would never hunt at that range cause it would be unethical

April 26, 2012, 10:39 AM
I guess bullet weight has a lot to do with it. When Marlin came out with them again in 1972-1973 I bought one. The first boxes of ammo I bought were Winchester 405 grain. Later I started using 300 grain. There is quite a difference there, but I would be confident out to 200 yards with 405 grain bullets. I never shot the 300 grains farther, but they sure seem to be moving along compared to the heavier bullets.

April 26, 2012, 11:22 AM
I've found if you are shooting lead and black powder, you need soft lead and heavy bullets, and normal BP 45-70 loadings, 1100-1300 feet, you try to go faster or use hard cast bullets, then you get your rounds tumbling at extended ranges.

Magnum Wheel Man
April 26, 2012, 11:24 AM
my range is 300 yards... I have several 45-70's... I've shot both my Martini single shot, & my Guide Gun out to 300 yards... groups are nice, after you figure out how much hold over is needed

April 26, 2012, 12:23 PM
When I was shooting .45-70s, I never even shot them as far as a hundred yards, mainly because of the lack of any place to do that. While I still lived in West Virginia and doing any shooting with a rifle, other than a .22, people would show up after a few shots and want to know what was going on. You may recall that was when beef prices were going way up. That didn't happen when I was at my father's place because people were used to shooting, only I still didn't have a long range place to shoot.

At the turn of the century, there were several long black powder cartridges intended for use in the single shot rifles popular then for target shooting but I don't know how popular the .45-70 Government was compared to others. As for buffalo hunting, it was a long established activity by the time the .45-70 became available and commercial buffalo hunting didn't last beyond around 1880.

April 26, 2012, 02:39 PM
I have a New England, and only shot it up to around 80 yards. It is going to be my deer rifle on the rainy and foggy days since I'm not putting a scope on it. If I ever go bear hunting, I intend to try Buffalo Bore 45-70 Magnum 500 grains. But for deer, Hornady LeveRevolution is what I'll use.

April 26, 2012, 02:57 PM
I have owned several Marlin 45-70's that I hog hunt with....Right now.. I have a short stainless gun as a truck gun..also a blue Magnaported guide gun....Most shots have been under 100 yds..but shot a good size boar once that was running away at an angle...I aimed high and in front....I hit him at 250 yds and he started tumbling....Shot went in behind the ribs toward hid chest area....A fella deserves a lucky shot ever so often.... :D

April 26, 2012, 08:04 PM
I've never had a chance to shoot mine more than 100 yards. However, I've got it set up to shoot 2" high at 100 yards and would certainly feel comfortable reaching out to 150 yards with it. Beyond that, I'd pass on the shot. The gun is certainly capable but I just don't have the experience to know the hold over at that range.

Deja vu
April 26, 2012, 08:22 PM
I shoot paper out to 300 yards.

I use this scope http://www.cabelas.com/riflescopes-cabelas-pine-ridge-lever-action-riflescope-4.shtml

It is kind of a cheep scope and the glass leaves a lot to be desired but the hold over is right on for Hornady 325 grain gummy tips at 2050 FPS. The scope seems to work with what Hornady claims the bullet does rather than what it actually does from the factory (in my gun)

The factory ammo is not as hot as it claims (may be from a long barrel) so at farther range I was hitting low but when I decided to try loading the bullets to what velocity Hornady claims there ammo go, the scope is right on.

I sighted it in for 100 yards and then when shooting at 300 yard with the right retical I am still on the paper.

This is all with a bench. If I was standing with out any thing to lean on I would not shoot an animal at more than may be 150 yards.

p.s. yes it does kick pretty good.

April 27, 2012, 12:04 PM
out to 800 yds with a 525 postell cast bullet. eastbank.