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Thread: 45-70 guide gun v. any reasonable high power rifle for bears (again!!)

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    Default 45-70 guide gun v. any reasonable high power rifle for bears (again!!)

    So I am watching Mr. Hickok45 on youtube shooting a Marlin Guide Gun in 45-70.
    Not that I need one but it is a cool gun.

    So anyway it got me thinking, does a 45-70 or a slug really have an advantage poking a hole in a bears skull vs. a 30-06 or any other reasonable high power rifle, as long as you have the proper bullet?

    Is the problem that a jacketed bullet isn't close to a real "solid" so the risk is no penetration into the skull?

    Do real solids only exist for the African heavies like a .375 H&H and up?

    Thanks in advance for your comments.
    Bill

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    Any weapon of sufficient power to "poke a hole" in a bears head, be it a bullet, rock, shaft or baseball bat, will kill it instantly.

    As to a jacketed bullet, there are a few variations on the theme, if you mean a FMJ it will have no difficulty penetrating, beyond that it becomes a matter of jacket design and construction, bonded, or cup and core, etc.

    Solids can be had in most any caliber, I have some that are .22cal from Barnes, there are so many bullet designs to choose from these days that they cover most any application one can reasonably think of.

    A .30-06' with any bullet I can think of, even wooden bullets from WWI at close range may penetrate the skull of a bear, they killed 1000s of people at range in the war. Velocity has a dramatic effect on objects, a tornado can impale a tree with a drinking straw using wind at speeds less than 200mph. A high power rifle shoots a projectile at 1000s feet per second.

    I would not rely on a wooden bullet for much, but I think it more effective than swinging the rifle like a basaeball bat.

    So, to answer your questions, no.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Plenty of hard cast out there as tuff as solids.Doubt I would ever chose the head for my stopping shot on a bear.Mil-surp ball gets real close to the high dollar hunting solids
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    To me the main problem with the 45-70 and especially slugs is not what happens when everything goes right, it's when everytying goes wrong. Say your hunting, take a poke at a bear and insted of dropping at the shot, he heads away from you. He comes into an opening at 250 yds and is just about to make it into some nasty alders that you really don't want to follow him into. With a scoped medium bore rifle, plaster the cross hairs on the chest and finish it. With the open sighted 45-70 or worse yet a slug gun, odds are you're not going to be making a killing shot (especially as you muffed the first one) and you're going to have to go in after him.

    The supposed benefit of the cowboy gun is rapid follow up shots, but a bolt gun can make follow up shots just as fast. And why all the hoopla about follow up shots when you should be putting everything in your favor for the first shot. I just don't see anything bettering a scoped medium bore bolt gun for shots near or far.
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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    If you messed up the shot with the scoped medium would not the same be true.If you can't hit up close 250 is a poke and hope.Up side is has never happened to me and my 45/70.Its easy to make things not work with what ifs.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    If you messed up the shot with the scoped medium would not the same be true.If you can't hit up close 250 is a poke and hope.Up side is has never happened to me and my 45/70.Its easy to make things not work with what ifs.
    Lots of wisdom in this post IMO.
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    I think the great draw of the GG and the 45-70 is the speed of the first aimed shot. Not to many around with scopes but lots of big aperture peep sights, fast target aquisition but not the best for hunting. No way I would be shooting at game 250 yards away with my GG but if I expected something to get in my face quick it would get the nod for carrying that day.
    Can the 45-70 make long shots, sure it can and will but introduces to many variables to making the shot good for me personally to reach for it to go hunting (unless I'm rooting around the alders all day).
    It is a more specialized tool than you would think given the aura of history around the leveraction.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Echo View Post
    I think the great draw of the GG and the 45-70 is the speed of the first aimed shot. Not to many around with scopes but lots of big aperture peep sights, fast target aquisition but not the best for hunting. No way I would be shooting at game 250 yards away with my GG but if I expected something to get in my face quick it would get the nod for carrying that day.
    Can the 45-70 make long shots, sure it can and will but introduces to many variables to making the shot good for me personally to reach for it to go hunting (unless I'm rooting around the alders all day).
    It is a more specialized tool than you would think given the aura of history around the leveraction.
    Mike
    I agree 100%.

    That's the roll I see for the GG.

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    Bust a shoulder, drop (or slow down) a bear. Easier to do with a 45-70. Energy Rules.

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    Eaiser to do with a 45/70 than what? More than my 416Rem? It hits pretty hard up close as well as out there a ways. Even a 30/06 with 220s penetrates really well. There are many other smaller caliber cartridges known for very good penetration such as the 6.5x55 with 160s, the 7x57 with the 170s, the 30/40 Krag with the 220s, the 8x57 with its heavy bullet. There is a common theme here, heavy for caliber bullets at moderate velocities penetrate well instead of blowing up bullets. A fat heavy bullet does have some advantage over the long skinny bullets in that they tend to break bones rather than poking little holes in them. But as far as poking holes, the long skinny bullets at moderate velocity do a very good job.

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    Lots of guns work for lots of circumstances and cartridge selection, while not irrelevant, is not of paramount importance. Caliber/cartridge is not the reason I carry a GG. The properties of the GG are the reason I carry it. Among its attributes is the fact that it is short, handy, of reasonable weight, carries four or more rounds in the magazine and is a fast action for follow up shots. Cartridge selection is at best a secondary consideration IMO.

    I like all kinds of rifle and use different rifles for different jobs. When I'm hunting I'm more likely to carry a bolt action rifle of some sort , with a scope. Fishing, camping or simply roaming the wild places I'm more likely to carry the GG with a ghost ring and sourdough front. YMMV.
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    1Cor:
    I think you covered it pretty well. Most medium sized or larger rifle rounds are plenty capable. I also hunt mostly with bolt guns. I have a M92 Puma in 454 Casull that I use for my knock around gun as the short light quick handling lever guns are a joy to carry and shoot.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Anyone ever see a bear guide carry a Marlin Guide gun,probably not.Hitting with the 45/70 at two fifty is not the problem,whats left in power is and though fine for man or deer big bear are different story for first shot at the longer range.JMHO
    Also if you are hunting bear as dangerous game you want to be close on the first shot and a trip to the alders adds to the rush and danger if second shot is needed.For walking around protection all firearms are about equal in truth and like car insurance companies
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Come on Amigo of course we carry them GG..... These bear gun issues seem to come up often and truth is there are ton of adequate gun/cartridge selections out there including the 45/70
    I have known some old salty bear guides that have carried everything from a 30/06 to a 460wby and beyond. The difference to me is what happen after the first shot is fired what situation are you in. I have went in the brush and then I like to take my scope off as its not needed. I also have had to shoot a bear at well over 200 and without a scope or capable gun things could of been different. Just plan for what you are hunting and know the limitations of your gear and all will be well. The 45/70 sports a chunk of lead if I am not mistaken so up close that would be one heck of a headache just ask ole Taylor....

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    I have 3 Model 70 Winchester's chambered in 30-06, .338 Win. Mag. and .375 H&H and a Marlin 45-70. With a proper bullet any one of them is capable of killing Mr. Bear. When not hunting and walking in the woods I carry the .375 or 45-70, both have aperture sights. For a bear hunt it will be the .338 or 30-06, or I would mount a scope on the .375 H&H. In the end it all comes down to how competent you are with your rifle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    Eaiser to do with a 45/70 than what? More than my 416Rem? It hits pretty hard up close as well as out there a ways. Even a 30/06 with 220s penetrates really well. There are many other smaller caliber cartridges known for very good penetration such as the 6.5x55 with 160s, the 7x57 with the 170s, the 30/40 Krag with the 220s, the 8x57 with its heavy bullet. There is a common theme here, heavy for caliber bullets at moderate velocities penetrate well instead of blowing up bullets. A fat heavy bullet does have some advantage over the long skinny bullets in that they tend to break bones rather than poking little holes in them. But as far as poking holes, the long skinny bullets at moderate velocity do a very good job.
    Most all those bullets you named wouldnt even go through the hair and hide of a grizzly. Sure wouldnt go thru the skull. Pretty risky hunting browns with those calibers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mustang0335 View Post
    Most all those bullets you named wouldnt even go through the hair and hide of a grizzly. Sure wouldnt go thru the skull. Pretty risky hunting browns with those calibers.
    I tried to stop myself but...You're just plain wrong on that opinion. Good bullet in the right place...job done! Will a bigger caliber and heavier well constructed bullet work better...probably but then dead is dead.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mustang0335 View Post
    Most all those bullets you named wouldnt even go through the hair and hide of a grizzly. Sure wouldnt go thru the skull. Pretty risky hunting browns with those calibers.
    You know this is funny, and I can't say from personal first hand experience on a brown bear but I shot my 540 grn Garretts through about a 30" or so tree and then through another 14" or so tree and then into sand about another foot from my GG. This all said this made a believer outta me and the 3 others with me that that round will go through a brown bear. and I don't hesitate taking it with me for bears. I also have all the other big bores but I do like my GG for 100 yards or less hunting.
    Tony

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    regular bullets dont work on bears, they need super bullets. i think the l. a. bank robbers were wearing bear hide and all the soldiers in the war zone are asking for that bullet proof bear skull body armor. if you got any questions, next time you shoot one strap that head to a post and hit it with a 22lr. goes right through.

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    Before this thread turns into yet another bear stopping caliber war, heads south and gets locked, thought I'd add my $0.02. The GG may not be the most reliable gun, the most accurate gun, the quickest cycling gun or 45-70 may not be THE BEST caliber. But as an overall package IMHO it is the best compromise (every gun is some form of compromise) for hunting and protection. If you want THE most reliable, then carry a single shot break action, if you want the most accurate carry a 260 or 204, if you want the lightest then carry a kids 22lr, if you want the quickest follow-up carry an AR etc.

    The GG is fairly light, fairly compact (mine is 16" bbl), quick into action, quick follow up shots and 45-70 with the right load is more than enough for grizz. In the right hands it can be cycled much quicker than a bolt gun. The right tool for the job, if you are out fishing or hiking it is a great companion, if you are out poking holes in deer at sub 200yds it'll do that and help protect ya. If you are out trying to poke a hole in big game out past 200yds, it'll do it, but you have to know what you are doing, there are better tools for that.

    I love my GG and it goes with me most places and I am very well practised with it. But the '06, 338WM and others also get a run out depending on the hunt.

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