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Thread: 45-70 vs. 35 Whelen

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    Default 45-70 vs. 35 Whelen

    I'm sure this question gets asked a lot but here it comes again. I want to do my first float hunt in September for moose/grizzly. My two choices of guns are a 45-70 guide gun and TC Encore in .35 Whelen. I know both will do the job but would the lever action be preferred over the single shot due to both quick follow up shots if needed and the possibility of an attacking bear? If the 45-70 is what I take I'm going to go with a hard cast bullet but what weight would you guys recommended? The .35 Whelen will be used with 225gr Nosler Partitions or Barnes Triple Shock. I'm thinking that most shots will be less than 150 yards and in most cases way under that so both guns will be adequate as far as range goes. Am I thinking on the right track or could I expect to need to take longer shots?
    Thanks, Mike

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    Nothing???? I'm not looking for suggestions on the caliber so much as the gun. With the Encore being a single shot a quick follow up shot is an issue. Is there a need/use for multiple guns on a moose flost hunt, shotgun for waterfoul, rim fire/ small caliber for furbearers and predators?

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    My first question would be which do you shoot the best? All be equal, I would go with the lever for quicker follow ups.
    Semper Fi and God Bless

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    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    My first question would be which do you shoot the best? All be equal, I would go with the lever for quicker follow ups.
    That's a good question. I shoot both of them well within their limitation. I would prefer the lever as well for the same reasons.

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    I've killed moose with both. The Whelen is far more versatile than the 45-70.

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    Take them both, that gives you situational options and a spare should something happen to your primary choice or the weapon of another of your hunting party.

    Forced to choose though, I would opt for the "repeater" .

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    Yup, repeater. Get a bolt 35 whelen and never worry about shooting anything at reasonable hunting ranges (250yd??) in North America again. I love the Col. and wish mine was stainless so I could take it more places.

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    Quote Originally Posted by baer19d View Post
    I'm sure this question gets asked a lot but here it comes again. I want to do my first float hunt in September for moose/grizzly. My two choices of guns are a 45-70 guide gun and TC Encore in .35 Whelen. I know both will do the job but would the lever action be preferred over the single shot due to both quick follow up shots if needed and the possibility of an attacking bear? If the 45-70 is what I take I'm going to go with a hard cast bullet but what weight would you guys recommended? The .35 Whelen will be used with 225gr Nosler Partitions or Barnes Triple Shock. I'm thinking that most shots will be less than 150 yards and in most cases way under that so both guns will be adequate as far as range goes. Am I thinking on the right track or could I expect to need to take longer shots?
    Thanks, Mike
    When you're floating on an alder choked river or creek, things can happen fast. That grizzly you plan on going after could be coming after you as soon as you round that bend. And even if you have time to set up for the bear, you want quick follow up shots if he gets up again from the first. The last thing you want is to be going into the alders after a wounded bear with a single shot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    Yup, repeater. Get a bolt 35 whelen and never worry about shooting anything at reasonable hunting ranges (250yd??) in North America again. I love the Col. and wish mine was stainless so I could take it more places.
    I plan on getting one in a bolt action someday. The Encore is convenient for hunting trips sice several barrels can be taken instead of several guns but it obviously ist the best choice when dangerous game is concerned. I guess if a person was to practice loading quickly he could do it fairly quickly if need be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by baer19d View Post
    I plan on getting one in a bolt action someday. The Encore is convenient for hunting trips sice several barrels can be taken instead of several guns but it obviously ist the best choice when dangerous game is concerned. I guess if a person was to practice loading quickly he could do it fairly quickly if need be.
    Even if I thought I could reload a single shot really fast, I doubt I would trust myself to load it fast "enough" with a brown bear bearing down on me from 50 yards.....

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    Both the 45/70 and the 35 Whelen are fine calibers. I own and use one of each. But to try to compare these two is the old apples and oranges thing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Even if I thought I could reload a single shot really fast, I doubt I would trust myself to load it fast "enough" with a brown bear bearing down on me from 50 yards.....
    This is very true and a person never knws if they can do it until they need to and thats a bad time to find out that you can't

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    Quote Originally Posted by boliep View Post
    Both the 45/70 and the 35 Whelen are fine calibers. I own and use one of each. But to try to compare these two is the old apples and oranges thing.
    I agree that these are hard to compare since they are both great cartriges. I'm more concerned about the gun. I've never been hunting where dangerous game is a concern so a single shot had no real downside.

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    Quote Originally Posted by baer19d View Post
    I'm sure this question gets asked a lot but here it comes again. I want to do my first float hunt in September for moose/grizzly. My two choices of guns are a 45-70 guide gun and TC Encore in .35 Whelen. I know both will do the job but would the lever action be preferred over the single shot due to both quick follow up shots if needed and the possibility of an attacking bear? If the 45-70 is what I take I'm going to go with a hard cast bullet but what weight would you guys recommended? The .35 Whelen will be used with 225gr Nosler Partitions or Barnes Triple Shock. I'm thinking that most shots will be less than 150 yards and in most cases way under that so both guns will be adequate as far as range goes. Am I thinking on the right track or could I expect to need to take longer shots?
    Thanks, Mike

    burn the cowboy toy, build a good whelan on a mauser style action and never get another gun...in my opinion theyre big enough for bears at bear ranges, and they shoot flat enough at slow enough ranges to hunt the smaller stuff. i think theyre a great all round caliber...as stated allready...they absolutely in no way compare to a 45/70

    ...i dont see any use in a single shot anything frankly. i can load a ruger number one faster than most with bullets on the stock and i wouldnt even dream of following up on bears with one. gorgeous rifles though. the thompsons sure shoot good too...but really...why?

    i hate 45/70's and think of them as defunct and outdated. i'd just as soon not have to "load hot" just to make the **** thing an adequate weapon. there's a gazillion calibers out there that make much more sense for what your trying to do...but hell, if you like a saddle gun by all means take one of those retched things along...with the right bullets they'll kill anything on this green earth...as has been proven more than once. lol, god theyre ugly though...and cold. ever carried on of those **** things around in cold weather? too much metal where your hand goes.

    but then thats just my opinion.

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    i have watched brownies die from a whelen with no problem as well as moose. but when i faced the same choice i bought a 45-70. i think for a gun the 45-70 is the right length, the metal has the right feel, the wood is the right grain,(cut from trees that were the right height), they have the right smell, they are heavy when needed and light when you want it. mine has never hit on my girlfriend, never stole my car, it picks me up when i'm down. heck it just might be the best gun ever.

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    I do agree that the 45-70 is an old cartridge but if I was bear hunting I would rather have the old 45-70 (under a 150 yards) then a 375H&H or .458 Win Mag. I would not say that you would have to load it hot just to make it an adequate weapon. Using Peter Thornileys knock down formula a 420gr cast slug at 1700 fps is more than adequate for; large African plains game, moose, and elk. I would not consider this a real "hot load". There are multiple accounts of people take grizz with one shot with a 420gr slug at similar velocities. I will agree that there are probably some better all around choices but I think people mistakenly disregard the 45-70 for being an old cartridge and for being ineffective.


    Quote Originally Posted by ninefoot View Post
    i hate 45/70's and think of them as defunct and outdated. i'd just as soon not have to "load hot" just to make the **** thing an adequate weapon. there's a gazillion calibers out there that make much more sense for what your trying to do...but hell, if you like a saddle gun by all means take one of those retched things along...with the right bullets they'll kill anything on this green earth...as has been proven more than once. lol, god theyre ugly though...and cold. ever carried on of those **** things around in cold weather? too much metal where your hand goes.

    but then thats just my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawk .44 View Post
    I do agree that the 45-70 is an old cartridge but if I was bear hunting I would rather have the old 45-70 (under a 150 yards) then a 375H&H or .458 Win Mag. I would not say that you would have to load it hot just to make it an adequate weapon. Using Peter Thornileys knock down formula a 420gr cast slug at 1700 fps is more than adequate for; large African plains game, moose, and elk. I would not consider this a real "hot load". There are multiple accounts of people take grizz with one shot with a 420gr slug at similar velocities. I will agree that there are probably some better all around choices but I think people mistakenly disregard the 45-70 for being an old cartridge and for being ineffective.
    Lol, thought that might get a rise oughta some guys....no worries just an opinion from a guy that makes a good portion of his living brown bear hunting....and i still only know of one guide i would call competent that uses a lever gun...and he likes his buffalo gun loaded hot....just a thought...but by all means carry on cowboy. All in good fun. But ill stick with my handh bolt gun...and shoot just as fast and very accurately

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    dont try to understand 'um, just rope and throw and brand 'um

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    Member Blackhawk .44's Avatar
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    Well it did get a little rise out of this cowboy. All in good fun of course. I respect your opinion as well as your experience seeing as how most of my bear hunting experience consists of reading stories of the Internet lol.


    Quote Originally Posted by ninefoot View Post
    Lol, thought that might get a rise oughta some guys....no worries just an opinion from a guy that makes a good portion of his living brown bear hunting....and i still only know of one guide i would call competent that uses a lever gun...and he likes his buffalo gun loaded hot....just a thought...but by all means carry on cowboy. All in good fun. But ill stick with my handh bolt gun...and shoot just as fast and very accurately

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    Quote Originally Posted by 27 sportfisher View Post
    dont try to understand 'um, just rope and throw and brand 'um
    that oughta be interesting anyway...

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