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Old November 19, 2012, 04:19 PM   #1
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12ga vs 45-70 recoil

The name says it all I'm thinking of getting a break-open 45-70 (h&r buffalo classic) but I don't know if I can deal with the recoil, as comparison I have a h&r topper 12ga single shot and with slugs I can only take 2 shots before cant handle any more. The shotgun is about 5-6 lbs. so how would the recoil in a 7-8 lb rifle in 45-70 be compared to 12ga slugs in a 5-6 lb shotgun. thank you for your help
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Old November 19, 2012, 04:27 PM   #2
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WAY Less with the 45-70 in my experience.

Shooting 405gr Jacket Soft points in 45-70 was alot of fun.

Shooting the same gun with a 12 ga barrel and just cheap Wal-mart skeet loads was enough to give me a headache and rattle my teeth. I only fired 2 or 3 rounds shooting skeet with it before I took that barrel off and never used it again.

I used the crap out of the .410 and the 20 ga though.
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Good luck.
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Old November 19, 2012, 04:47 PM   #3
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There is a big difference in 45-70 loads. If you stick to traditional loads at old blackpowder velocities the recoil is resonable, around 24-25 ft lbs. About the same as heavy 30-06 or milder 300 mag recoil. If you you use some of the really hot loads you are looking at near 50 ft lbs of recoil. This is actually more than a 375 H&H mag. These numbers were figured with a 7.5 lb gun. Heavier or lighter guns would make a differene, but I kept the weights the same to try to get a fair comparison.

Just for reference a 12 ga slug will be run somewhere between 28-30 ft lbs of recoil from a 7.5 lb gun. You are really getting beat up with a 5-6 lb gun shooting slugs.

Another thing to consider is stock shape. All of the H&R single shots have poor stock designs that seem to magnify the effects of recoil. A bolt gun with a modern stock design will feel as if it has much less recoil.
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Old November 19, 2012, 05:22 PM   #4
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Remington factory 405 grain loaded ammo and my 400 grain cast bullet handloads at about 1350 fps are a dream to shoot but my 350 gr jacketed FP handloads pushed to about 1850 to 1900 fps will get your attention ! Most 300 grain factory ammo is pretty mild as well ! You can get hot loads from Buffalo Bore and Garrett that will knock just about any size game on it's keester or load your own up or down depending on your comfort level ! I am a big fan of the far my favorite cartridge !
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Old November 19, 2012, 07:32 PM   #5
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A one ounce 12 gauge slug weighs 437.5 grains so the 12 gauge bullet is heavier and most commercial slug loads are max dram equivilent which means about 1600 fps, add that to the gun being lighter and it adds up to a lot of recoil.

.45-70, lighter bullet, lower velocity, and heavier gun = less recoil. As long as you stay away from those butt stomping loads from people who try to turn the .45-70 into a .458 Magnum.

For those who insist on trying to turn the .45-70 into a .458 Magnum, why didn't you just buy a .458 Magnum?
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Old November 19, 2012, 07:52 PM   #6
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I haven't shot a factory .45-70 or a factory 12 gauge round in I don't know how long. I think I may have forgotten what recoil is with those two lol.

Seriously tho, most of what I shoot in my .45-70's these days feels like it has about as much recoil as a .30-30. I use Trail Boss and Unique under 300, 350, and 405 grain hard cast lead and could shoot any one of those all day long. I love pushing those big bullets slower.
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Old November 19, 2012, 08:29 PM   #7
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You will probably develop a severe flinch, your already worried about the recoil. I would recomend that if you proceed with your plan that have the firearm fitted to you with a good quality recoil pad. The proper fit, plus a good pad will eliminate alot of the felt recoil. Good luck
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Old November 19, 2012, 09:34 PM   #8
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Another thing you should realize about .45-70 ammo. It's not a cheap gun to shoot, even if you reload. Those 405 grain slugs cost $$$.

Because of the recoil and cost, my small bores get used a lot more than my .45-70 does.
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Old November 20, 2012, 12:31 AM   #9
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Like some of the others here I love to shoot my 45-70's. My lightest, probably between 7 and 8 pounds, is a lever 1886 carbine and the others are sharps single shots, the lightest is around 9 1/2 pounds. I shoot over the counter 350 gr. hallow point amo from the Browning 1886 carbine and the felt recoil isn't bad at all. I also have some hard cast 350 gr. gas checked hand loads I shoot. I can't remember for sure because it has been awhile since I last loaded some but I think I was using 28 grs. of HMR 4198. I shoot a 498 gr. lead cast Seco bullet and a 500 gr. cast RCBS bullet with 65 gr. of Goex cartridge black powder in the sharps rifles and after about 30 or 40 shots from the lighter one, if I am in a T-shirt, I start looking for my slip on recoil pad. That is mainly because it has a steel military style semi crescent butt plate. If I have a jacket on I usually don't bother with the slip on butt pad, but it is nice to have if I feel I need it. From my 12 lb. sharps the felt recoil is no problem at all. To me the felt recoil from smokeless and black powder is different. In my opinion black powder recoil isn't as harsh as smokeless powder recoil and as someone else mentioned stock design can affect felt recoil, so if I were shooting a break open H&H single shot I would consider shooting black powder.
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Old November 20, 2012, 12:47 AM   #10
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With a lever action and some Buffalo Bore or Garrett ammunition, the .45-70 will be brutal. Shooting a 12 gauge pump with the Brenneke Magnum Crush at 3,800 ft lbs would be brutal as well.
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Old November 20, 2012, 06:07 AM   #11
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To each their own , using mainly bulk ordered hard cast bullets for handloading my 45-70 rifles the cost is pretty reasonable and recoil is not even an issue what so ever.....these loads have less felt recoil than many of the bottleneck cartridges I've used and still has plenty of thump for deer or black bear and then some ! I do not recommend varmint hunting with it though and reserve my .243 rifle or even my trusty .22 magnum for such duties !
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Old November 20, 2012, 06:22 AM   #12
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In my experience the .45-70 will have less, quite a bit less, but most of my experience is with Trapdoor Springfields which weight quite a bit.
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Old November 28, 2012, 09:43 PM   #13
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Most 300 grain factory ammo is pretty mild as well !
Not in my experience, especially Winchester or Remington. Both clock over 1800 fps and are hell on my hands, but that is with a Contender rather than a rifle. I would expect them to be pretty stout in rifles as well. I don't have much to compare though, as my shotgun is an auto and therefore a pussycat.
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Old November 28, 2012, 10:53 PM   #14
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I find the recoil of my Rolling Block and my 12 gauge shooting regular birdshot loads about equal. It's kind of hard to say because I never shoot a shotgun from a bench.
Shooting the rifle offhand, it's not too bad but from the bench, it stops being fun after about 5 shots when shooting factory ammo.
Trailboss loads behind 300 grain bullets, about 1150 fps, and I can plink til I'm out of ammo.
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45-70 , recoil , shot gun

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