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Thread: 45-70 for Grizzly...& X = best all around cal?

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    Default 45-70 for Grizzly...& X = best all around cal?

    Hello - I know these topics are largely subjective, but as a new hunter, just getting the bug I am curious about a couple of things.

    I am not currently planning a trip to Alaska but I have been looking for a best 'all around' hunting gun - one that is not so powerful it will break a whitetail in half, but likewise is sane for large game like bear, elk and even buffalo.

    Is there any such cartridge? I've heard 45-70 can be handloaded to almost any of it, but its distance-limited, but I'd welcome oppinions on that caliber and any others that can harvest 'all of North America'.

    I'm sure this is a firestorm so sorry for the obvious newbie question =)

    EDIT - I should mention that I am in Md, and that I will be largely hunting whitetail to start and eventually doing the jedi-mind trick on the wifey to get out west and north to hunt some more exotic critters =)

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeraphG View Post
    I have been looking for a best 'all around' hunting gun - one that is not so powerful it will break a whitetail in half, but likewise is sane for large game like bear, elk and even buffalo.
    Tough to beat the 30-06 as an all-around caliber for North America.

    Bullet selection goes from 100 grain plinkers to 220 (maybe 250) grain "hammers"

    Biggest thing is to learn to shoot it well under field conditions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeraphG View Post
    Hello - I know these topics are largely subjective, but as a new hunter, just getting the bug I am curious about a couple of things.

    I am not currently planning a trip to Alaska but I have been looking for a best 'all around' hunting gun - one that is not so powerful it will break a whitetail in half, but likewise is sane for large game like bear, elk and even buffalo.

    Is there any such cartridge? I've heard 45-70 can be handloaded to almost any of it, but its distance-limited, but I'd welcome oppinions on that caliber and any others that can harvest 'all of North America'.

    I'm sure this is a firestorm so sorry for the obvious newbie question =)

    EDIT - I should mention that I am in Md, and that I will be largely hunting whitetail to start and eventually doing the jedi-mind trick on the wifey to get out west and north to hunt some more exotic critters =)
    You have the potential for long shots in Alaska. The 45-70 will work if you are able to pass on shots outside your effective range. The 45-70 can be streched to 200 as long as you know your bullet drop. Major factory loadings of the 45-70 are plenty for deer. For more dangerous game bullet selection may become a little more controversial. If you don't mind shooting hard cast Buffalo Bore and the like should be sufficient to drop anything in Alaska with a well placed shot. I haven't noticed a lot of high end jacketed options for 45-70 but that doesn't mean they don't exsist.

    If you don't mind handloading it is really hard to go wrong with the .375 H&H in Alaska. It may be a little overkill for smaller game but you won't find yourself underpowered in a bad situation. All sorts of factory ammunition is out there and for your 45-70 type shots out east you can load down a 235grn'er that was designed for the .375 lever cartridges. It's capable of very flat trajectories for longer shots and is very manageable at the recoil pad end of things. I think it's a shame that the only non-magnum options for the 375 are either pressure restricted and/or rare.

    On the smaller end of things the 338win mag is a very popular dangerous game choice in alaska as well. I personally wouldn't go much bellow this but I admit that all my reasoning for this aren't rational. The 30-06 and 30-30 have been used on everything in alaska including furry sea-mammals. Shot placement is an order of magnitude more important than power. Gut shots are a nightmare for all involved. Get something you can shoot well.
    Last edited by Beer:30; 03-24-2007 at 03:15. Reason: clarification

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Marlin

    Go to Wal Mart and get a Marlin 30-30 lever action. All you need for deer hunting. Especially in denser areas where long shots dont come up. They have a new model out that is more accurate supposedely. I forget the model name. The new Revoltion ammo from Hornady improves performance from what I hear. Just saw an article about the new ammo. It reduces drop quite a bit from what I read. Should be a good choice for ammo. Go with the original brush gun. Probably killed more deer in North America than any other caliber. In the south anyway.

  5. #5

    Talking 45-70?

    I have to weigh in here on this one...just can't keep my yap shut. First, and most importantly, you have to decide WHAT rifle you want to use, because that will be the most critical aspect in what you can get out of performance for the cartridge. Some rifles just can't handle strong loads. The Rugers and highwalls are vey strong and are capable of strong loads using Barnes-X bullets effectively. I have a point blank range of 250 yds...whether that's sufficient for you, only you can decide. It's not the rifle choice for most, but properly loaded for the task at hand, you'll not have look over your shoulder. Your style and what you want out of a hunting experience plays a role here also. There are fabulous choices in rifles and calibers that one can't go wrong with so good luck in your new adventure.

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    As others have said, the .45-70 with the right bullets will do well for most hunting in Alaska. However, as an all around gun my choice would be a 338WM bolt action rifle.

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    Default .375 for everything

    You cannot go wrong with a .375 H&H. The recoil from a well-fitting stock (this is The most important thing with recoil) is just a 'push,' not a sharp 'jab,' like the .338, .300 Win, and especially 'cranked to the limit' Weatherby calibers, or even the 7mm mag and any other high intensity lots-of-fire-down-a-little-hole in relation to the case capacity calibers. (But to each his own; as the Brits say, "there is no accounting for taste."). And the larger the bullet diameter the less the bullet has to 'perform' to transfer energy to the animal. Depending on bullet performance, small calibers result in spectacular kills . . . or non-kills, if the bullet does not perform, i.e., deliver the energy to the proper vitals of the animal.

    THe .45-70 is too limited, short range, less versatile, and no slouch at delivering a 'big push' to a shoulder, similar to the .375. Don't be so limiting to yourself.

    Light .375 bullets are more comfortable to shoot of course, but beware using thin jackets on deer--or hitting big bones with heavier bullets made for larger animals, on deer-sized animals with full power H&H loads. Both work fine, but the meat loss is terrific. Over the past 34 years I have used a .375 on about 300 deer, mostly blacktails and whitetails. If close, I shoot for the upper neck; farther away I use the behind-the-shoulder shot with heavy bullets to save meat; the big bullet passes through expending very little of its energy--unless big bones are hit (backbone, shoulders, pelvis) that expand the bullet, resulting in expansion and severe meat loss.

    No question, any reasonably placed shot results in a quick, humane kill on deer-size animals with the H&H. Heart/lung shots are the slowest with heavy bullets, and many deer run a short distance before expiring. Some run farther. The jacketed bullet performs like a large, soft lead bullet at lower velocity because, again, the bullet delivers very little of its energy. THis can be a little disconcerting when a deer runs a hundred yards after being heart/lung shot with 4,000 foot-pounds of energy before it keels over. But again, the deer did not receive this energy, just a fraction of it.

    With handloads you have the option of loading down, to .375 Winchester ballistics, 38-55 ballistics, etc. using lightly constructed bullets to match the velocity and animal size. We are lucky these days in having many bullets that are well designed to expand correctly over a wide velocity range for a specific animal size.

    I regularly use bullets that cost $3-5-or even more, repeat, bullets, not cartridges, for hunting. The bullet is the only thing that really 'does anything.' I use maybe 5 to 20 of these in a year, that's usually all it takes for final sight checking and hunting. THe expensive bullets are dirt cheap considering they are usually extremely dependable when matched to the correct velocity and animal's size/confirmation. They may mean success or failure-the worst failure being a wounded animal that escapes and dies slowly. And yes, I carry plenty more, just in case. I practice and zero sights with a very similar-weight and shape-cheap bullet. The .375 is among a relative few calibers that usually-not always in all rifles-delivers different bullet weights very close to the actual ballistic drop or rise downrange. So just a few quick sight adjustments are necessary to change from say a 235 grain Speer to a Nosler 300 grain partition, Woodleigh or whatever hunting bullet. Additionally, you have the option of using effective cast bullets on deer-size animals at reasonable ranges with the H&H.

    Personally, I am not too much for light loads when crawling through the alders on Kodiak, or in Alaska in general. But light loads--jacketed or cast--work fine if you are not expecting--and do not take--long shots. Nor encounter a large bear defending his food cache that you are, inadvertently, almost standing on.

    Ballistically, an approximately 255 grain or somewhat heavier bullet is better for longer shots, and several are made these days both in loaded rounds and bullets for handloading. A .30-06 bullet drop table can be used with some of these loads because the trajectories are very similiar out to 300+ yards.

    So, you can emulate many different less-powerful calibers, including lead bullet loads, with the .375 H&H, and in addition, using full loads with proper bullets, you have one of the most worldwide proven calibers for large brown bears and African game. It is also a good sheep gun-any sheep hit half-way right with a lightly constructed bullet does not run off a cliff, fall in a crevass, etc. (Sheep meat is good, I don't try to ruin it, but it is not good if you have to rope-down in a crevasse, or travel roundabout 1,000 feet down to retrive a splintered-horn ram with similar meat.)

    There are many flatter-shooting calibers that can be used effectively at greater distances for sheep, deer, even large bears, etc. However, the bullet diameter is significally smaller--and less 'proven'-- and there is also a great deal to be said for using one caliber through several hundreds or thousands of rounds of practice and many hunts. The trajectory becomes almost second nature and long range hold-over is only a quick thought away.

    Last, yes I like the .375 H&H. I originally started using it in eastern Washington to stop elk 'right there' even if the bull happened to be travelling north and I had to shoot from the south. I was quite disappointed when three individuals claimed a nice bull that I had shot with a supposedly adequate caliber; and it was, but a heart/lung shot is not instantly fatal many times, and may cause an elk to shift into after burner. The bull ran over a small rise, and when I ran up a "person" almost pointed a rifle at me for claiming it was my elk; I was very polite too, and the only shot heard was mine. Since it had not been long since I returned from SE Asia, having been a combat troop, having guns pointed at me in anger amidst curses could have triggered a stay-alive reflex that would have ended in much more than a stolen elk. Hence the .375.

    Best to all,

    Jim, aka .505, the rifle I built most recently

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    I occasionally hunt with my 1886 Winchester in 45-70. I used it much more when I lived in South-East Alaska, (Petersburg) because that area was a evergreen rain forest and the deer and bears were all within 100 yards. Most of the time....I made one very lucky shot at 250 yards and managed to nail a very large bear. Which I thought was a small bear who was much closer. It was a pure accident becasue I was shooting downhill.

    I also take the old lever gun along when walking through tall grass areas during berry picking season.


    When I am actually out hunting moose in this area I stick with slightly longer range calibers, 30-06, 358 Norma, 338 win mag or 375HH.
    Mostly due to the open grassy areas and the lakes / ponds which can throw off your range estimations. At least here in my home town area.

    If you look at what the folks use you live out in the bush full time, you find lots of 30-30s, everyone has a 30-06, a few 308s and occasionally a 338Win mag.

    The closer you get to an Anchorage gun store, the larger the calibers seem to get.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

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    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    If you look at what the folks use you live out in the bush full time, you find lots of 30-30s, everyone has a 30-06, a few 308s and occasionally a 338Win mag.
    You forgot the .223s and 7.62x39s!

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    You will get all kinds of opinions on guns to use in Alaska, but the bottom line is that the most popular cartridges up here are the .30-06, .300WM, and the .338WM, simply because these are "all around" cartridges. These three outnumber all other cartridges by a large margin, as you can see in every poll conducted in this forum every now and then.

    A 30-06 used with 180-grain Partition bullets does very well for moose hunting, but heavier bullets from 200 to 220 grains would be better for game such a bison. The same can be said of the 300WM. Any of these two would be a good for all around use and are very popular with Alaska hunters and shooters.

    The .338WM with a bullet from 210 to 250 grains can be used on deer to moose, but with the 250 to 300 grains can be used for the largest game, including bison. The 210-grain Partition is very popular with elk hunters in the lower-48, but the 250-grain Partition is more popular than the 210 grainer in Alaska. For bears alone you can choose a 225-grain TSX, or a 250-grain TSX, as well as: 250-grain A-frame, 275-grain A-Frame, 250-grain Partition, all the way up the the 300-grain Woodleigh. This is what makes the .338WM so versatile, and an all around cartridge like the other two above. A rifle in one of these three calibers usually weights around 8 pounds, which is much easier to carry around than a heavier and more powerful rifle.

    The .375 H&H is a step UP from the .338WM, and it too can be an all around cartridge, but it does its best with 270 to 300-grain bullets. Shooting bullets lighter than 270 grains is best done by the several .338's out there. Since the average .375 H&H rifle is a little on the heavy side, lugging one around takes a little more effort, but if you can take the greater recoil, you can buy a lighter weight .375 H&H and go with that one. The .375 H&H case holds more power than the .338WM, but the added weight helps with "perceived" recoil, that's all.

    Other than that, there is no magic cartridge that can do it all. The rest translates to what one person believes what the best choice for you is, based on his own experience with his favorite cartridge. That's why one person will tell you to use a .45-70, while another may tell you to use a .458 Lott.

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    Default 30-06

    Your in Maryland
    Your not planning to hunt Alaska
    You may hunt out west with a kitchen pass
    Your primarily hunting whitetail deer

    Sounds like a 30-06 for sure. 150 grainers for whitetail. 180 grainers for elk, 180-200 grainers for moose, 200-220 grainers for blackies and interior griz (if you make it to Alaska). 100 grainers for varmints. This is "the" caliber for North America, IMO. If there was an all-around caliber for everything this is it. It has range (taken game out to 500 yards with it). It has knockdown power. It has availability of ammo anywhere you go. It has been proven to take all game, regardless of what you may here. Sure there are more suitable calibers for certain species, but for an all-around gun this is it.

    Get a Tikka T3 Lite Stainless. Rain is Maryland will rust metal just as easily as rain in Alaska (stainless will rust BTW). This is a lightweight gun for those potential pack hunts out west. It won't break the bank (got mine in 30-06 new for $330).

    I agree 338 or 375 for Alaska like stated above, but since that isn't in your plans, sounds like a 30-06 is what you want. Aside from hunting coastal griz, the 30-06 would be/has been my "go to" gun on all of my Alaskan hunts.

    30-30's have killed more deer than anything... and they will kill just as effectively as an -06. However, the 06 has them on range. 45-70 would be on the edge of "overkill" for Maryland whitetails. Don't get me wrong though a 45-70 is a great deer round, just think an -06 is better suited all-around.

    Whatever you get, learn the ballistics and you will be amazed how far a "limited range" weapon can be effective.
    "The rich... who are content to buy what they have not the skill to get by their own excellence, these are the real enemies of game".... Theodore Roosevelt's A Principle of the Hunt

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    Great info everyone - I appreciate the input =) I'll post an update when I decide and get my gun.

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    Ditto what Akndres said....................

    Get a 30-06 and if you ever get to a financial position to hunt Alaska, then you'll probably own a wide selection of rifle's to choose from.... Don't worry about buying something big enough for Alaska right now!

    - Clint
    Last edited by Alaskacajun; 03-27-2007 at 08:33.

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    I agree 30-06 for all around gun with a variety of loads. To me the 45-70 is a good guide gun IMO. lever actions a pretty quick to draw on something coming quick at close range, and protecting those clients..hehehe

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    Default What brands and Models?

    So for a 30-06, what are the recommended brands and models on a budget? I've heard Tikka and Savage are good. And Remington, but I think they are a bit more pricy(?)

    I say budget because I have to buy a scope etc so I want to make sure I'm not wasting money.

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    There is getting quality for cheap.... Then there is cheap gear.

    You can get Savage in the package deal... Gun/Sling/Scope/Rings/Bases for around 325-375 total. I've had one of these guns in an -06 and had absolutely outstanding accuracy out of it. It will win no beauty contests. It's rough around the edges, and is not a status symbol rifle. It will kill a deer easily and accurately if you do your part. You can find these anywhere from Wal-Mart to Cabelas to Sprotsmans' Warehouse.

    You could go with the Remington 700 ADL. They come in scoped packages as well. They are usually a little higher. $375-$475 depending on the package and sale. They are usually out in force right before deer season at Cabelas, Gander Mountain, Sp Warehouse, etc. Good rifles, better craftsmanship, don't know that they are more accurate. Bonus... you now have a Rem 700 action for any future rifle builds if you so choose.

    Tikka comes in package deals also (these are usally the T3 rifles not necessarily the T3 lites). Sport Warehouse and Cabelas are where I've seen them. They usually run $425-$500 depending on the type of rifle. I like these rifles and as stated in my earlier post. The Tikka T3 Lite is hard to beat for accuracy/weight/smooth action. Sako makes them in Finland, they are imported by Beretta.

    All of these packages are pretty standard. Your paying for the rifle and the accessories are just there to entice the buyer. The accessories would usually total about 50-60 bucks if you had to buy them separately. So they are pretty much inconsequencial.

    With package deals they are usually centered towards whitetail hunting. They have cheap scopes that are fine for taking to grandpas back forty, but I wouldn't trust them in Alaska or on extended backcountry hunts. I wouldn't hesitate buying one of the package deals to get yourself into business. Then upgrade your scope/rings/bases/sling later on when you have the funds.

    You don't need a thousand dollar gun and a thousand dollar scope to do what you want. A thousand + dollar gun isn't necessarily a more accurate gun. Take your time and break the barrel in properly. Find a load the rifle likes. Spend time at the range. You can be just a productive with a cheaper set-up as someone with $5K on their shoulder. Don't feel inferior or that you gun isn't good enough for species X. The bullet does the killing not the gun. Concentrate on quality ammo that shoots accurate in your rifle. That is more important than a high dollar gun with crappy bullets.

    Depending on your budget, any of these set-ups will do you well. If you are spending between 350-500 dollars on a rifle.... buy new. I wouldn't trust somebody's trade-in/pawn..... unless you know the owner/gun personally, that's different. Yes, there are good deals out there, and not all used/pawned guns are crap.... far from it as a matter of fact. You have to know what you are looking at, looking for. Bad guns look like good guns to untrained eyes. Bad crowns, bad bores, bad chambers, etc. Take you time and do some research.... and don't impulse buy.

    Have fun. If you have any questions at all, post'em here. There are far more knowledgable folks here (myself excluded) than in many gun counters.
    "The rich... who are content to buy what they have not the skill to get by their own excellence, these are the real enemies of game".... Theodore Roosevelt's A Principle of the Hunt

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    Quote Originally Posted by akndres View Post
    There is getting quality for cheap.... Then there is cheap gear.


    You could go with the Remington 700 ADL. They come in scoped packages as well. They are usually a little higher. $375-$475 depending on the package and sale. They are usually out in force right before deer season at Cabelas, Gander Mountain, Sp Warehouse, etc. Good rifles, better craftsmanship, don't know that they are more accurate. Bonus... you now have a Rem 700 action for any future rifle builds if you so choose.

    You don't need a thousand dollar gun and a thousand dollar scope to do what you want. A thousand + dollar gun isn't necessarily a more accurate gun. Take your time and break the barrel in properly. Find a load the rifle likes. Spend time at the range. You can be just a productive with a cheaper set-up as someone with $5K on their shoulder. Don't feel inferior or that you gun isn't good enough for species X. The bullet does the killing not the gun. Concentrate on quality ammo that shoots accurate in your rifle. That is more important than a high dollar gun with crappy bullets.

    I told you wrong on the remington model. It IS NOT the remington 700 ADL..... it's the remington model 700 SPS.

    http://www.remington.com/products/fi...el_700_SPS.asp

    My apologies for any confusion.
    "The rich... who are content to buy what they have not the skill to get by their own excellence, these are the real enemies of game".... Theodore Roosevelt's A Principle of the Hunt

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    Wink For The One Gun Hunter.

    For the do it all rifle it"s got to be a 30 06. A 270 is also nice, which is a 30 06 necked down to take slightly smaller diameter / lighter bullets, with less recoil. But today 30 06 ammo is also available in everything from light to heavy, and good bullet loads to premium bullet loads, for the non handloading hunter. As a tool it"s a cartridge thats perfect for some things yet good for everything! What ever you choose put the bullet in the right place, and your good to go. Bill
    ; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 1 SAMUEL 2;30

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    Listen you can harvest any game animal in the world with a 22 lr(not practical but you could do it),its all about shot placement
    But for northamerica the good old 30-06 can handle anything with fourlegs

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    Weatherby makes a nice affordable Synthetic Model called vanguard, comes in blued, or stainless. I just picked me up a stainless 338 and its more accurate than i will ever be. They are in the 450 to 550 price range
    Formerly known as one who clings to guns and religion

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