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  1. #1
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    Default .45-70: “Nasty Killing Ammo”

    I recall a post Gabe made from awhile back, about a “properly organized .45-70.” One of his specifications for it was that it be stoked with “nasty killing ammo.”

    In this context, what qualifies as nasty killing ammo, specifically something that will perform well from a 16” to 18” barrel? I’m assuming something loaded hot.

    Off the top of my head, the two loads that come to mind are the Hornady LeverEvolution loads, both the 325 grain original, and the 250 grain all-copper. These tend to run hotter than average, and can be found everywhere (during normal times that is). The other is one I found on Buffalo Bore’s site; it’s a 300 grain Barnes TSX bullet, loaded extremely hot. They claim 2201fps out of an 18” bbl. THAT is hot, and I’d like to get some to try.

    What other loadings out there would qualify as “nasty killing ammo?”
    Last edited by MesserMan; 10-30-2020 at 01:10 AM.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    For me for antipersonnel shooting, the 45-70 would not be my first choice. I look upon it as big game cartridge.
    A three hundred grain bullet at plus 2000 fps, my first thought is the recoil. It will certainly kill better than the low power US government load intended for the springfield carbine with 405 grain bullet instead of the standard 500 grain at just above subsonic speeds. Recoil has always been an issue with that round for some and that is why the US government developed the lower power load in the 19th century.
    Intended for stronger lever guns like the '86 Winchester there was a cartridge called the 45-90 that fired 300 grain bullets at higher black powder velocities. The 30-30 in '94 winchester and the heavier .348 in the model 71 winchester replaced the 45-70 and related black power rounds.
    In a lever gun for .45-70 I think you are restricted to round nose bullets. It is not really a long range rifle, but the bullets will kill at any range you can make a hit.
    In the 45-70 I think if you loaded even lighter 250 grain jacketed hollow pts at higher speed, the recoil would be mitigated and the wound would be nastier and that sounds like the original .444 marlin round.
    Edit:
    I missed the 'Hornady LeverEvolution loads'. The 250 grain would give the velocity and nasty wound and less recoil. But then maybe a .44 mag might be an even better choice. More magazine capacity and more projectiles available for it.
    Last edited by barnetmill; 10-30-2020 at 05:16 AM.
    One who hammers his gun into a plow plows for those who do not....Unknown
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  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Interesting concept. To my thinking, keeping with the 45-70 cartridge I would probably opt to use a hard cast bullet with a fairly flat meplat.

    If I had to use this for anti personnel issues, I want to zap the a-hole I’m aiming at and get the a-hole behind them or beside them.

    Just my opinion, ymmv.


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  4. #4
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    Anything in 4570 is nasty killing ammo. Lol. I would have zero issue using a 405 grain hardcast lead round. Consider that a 12ga slug is 436 grain. For people shooting 250 to 300 grain rounds like Barnes TSX will maximize things and still go through a couple people. 405 hardcasts will go through the length of a bear or a couple of elk. Think of them like a 2inch spear being run through whatever you shoot.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorkface View Post
    Anything in 4570 is nasty killing ammo. Lol. I would have zero issue using a 405 grain hardcast lead round. Consider that a 12ga slug is 436 grain. For people shooting 250 to 300 grain rounds like Barnes TSX will maximize things and still go through a couple people. 405 hardcasts will go through the length of a bear or a couple of elk. Think of them like a 2inch spear being run through whatever you shoot.

    The nastiest wound can be made if that big slug expends and puts most of it energy in the human target being I think the goal. Do it right and there could be a palm size exit hole. Hit the shoulder and see it dangling on by just a thread of tissue.

    But then again just how dead do you need your target to be lol.
    One who hammers his gun into a plow plows for those who do not....Unknown
    ...at the end of the day its not about anything else but YOU AND YOURS..... Gabe Suarez
    ....WANT not NEED is what America is all about. ..... Gabe Suarez
    Its not about how fast you can load, but about how well you can shoot ..... Someone being saved by a speed load is not something that has happened with any regularity. Gabe Suarez

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    1,371
    I don't have a 45-70 but I have a couple 458 socoms. I run the 300 grain ttsx and the 300 grain hornady jhp. They are both devastating. The ttsx does have full pass throughs. The jhp usually does not but they do transverse through and I usually recover the slug stuck in the opposite side hide. I may have only recovered one ttsx slug if I remember correctly. Results seen on whitetail, axis and hogs for what it's worth. They both are "nasty killing ammo" and I believe the 45-70 and 458 use the same bullets. I'm not sure which I like better. Your velocity in the 45-70 will be a little higher though.
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  7. #7
    I have owned a 45-70 , both in a bolt action Mauser and lever Marlin. If I were going to use for self defense, I would look for light weight and light jackets.... I'm not impressed by higher velocity is this caliber. The recoil in higher velocity loadings increases the time between follow up shots. I believe that Remington made a thin jacketed 350 gr. JHP for shooting deer and black bear.

    This is a short range caliber. If I wanted to try to increase the range , I'd use Hornady's 325 grain Leverevolution load Might give you an extra 50-75 yards. . ( The 250 grain load is loader hotter and kicks more.)

    Overpenetration on a human ?? I'd count on it ! I wonder if most ballistic vests would stop one ??

    Bullet choice is more important than velocity for the 45-70.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Buffalo Bore makes a few loads in 45-70. All variations on the hard cast, wide meplat moving at respectable speed theme.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    I hunt deer alternating primarily between a 45-70 using a 300 gr. Speer HSP @ 1900 fps, and a 44 mag. carbine shooting a 300 gr Hornady XTP @ 1450 FPS. Honestly can't see any difference at all between the two loads in the many deer I've taken with those 2 loads. They both work well.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by valian View Post
    I hunt deer alternating primarily between a 45-70 using a 300 gr. Speer HSP @ 1900 fps, and a 44 mag. carbine shooting a 300 gr Hornady XTP @ 1450 FPS. Honestly can't see any difference at all between the two loads in the many deer I've taken with those 2 loads. They both work well.
    I find that very interesting. It seems that when shooting big , heavy bullets, It's the bullet and not the velocity that determines performance. I've often wondered at what bullet weight/caliber does this phenomenon begin to be apparent. Are you shooting white -tail or mule deer ??

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