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  • 45-70 loads?

    What hunting load is the best for the 45-70,as far as moose and bear!Im thinking Garrett loads the best ones,but thats my opinion!

  • #2
    I don't have a 45-70 right now, but I've been really impressed by the look of Garrett's Hammerheads too. I'm planning on getting a BFR w/10" barrel in 45-70, loading it w/Garrett rounds, and packing it for back-up.

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    • #3
      45/70

      I have been impressed with the talk about the garrets loads but I only shoot one load out of my stainless guide gun. 405gr kodiak bonded with H322 and starline brass for 1925fps, and for practice and small stuff the 405gr remington bulk bullets with same load of powder in same brass for 1900fps. I don't think I could even get a better load if I tried.

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      • #4
        I load 440 Cast Performance with CCI 200 and 44.5 grains of Reloder 7. AIn't killed nothing with it yet, but it went more than a foot into a hard-packed sandy river bank. They leave the muzzle of my 18.5" Guide gun at 1875.

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        • #5
          My last moose was taken with a barnes 300gn XFN with muzzle velocity of around 2000fps. Winchester Brass with 48grns of RL-7. The moose was standing nearly sideways to me but a little of an angle away from me. I shot behind the shoulder and bullet exited through opposite shoulder. The damage was very impressive. Chest cavity was completely full of blood from internal bleeding. The heart looked like it exploded with massive damage. I'll use this load again for sure.

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          • #6
            Not a popular opinion with diehard 45-70 fans, but I don't consider the 45-70 a brown bear or grizzly HUNTING gun. Its range is simply too restricted and the power falls off too fast for long range follow-up shots, much less a first shot at even 100 yards. There are simply too many better rounds for big bear hunting. Dandy round within its limits, and I love it for close range protection and hunting the smaller stuff and non-dangerous big stuff in the brush, but there are simply a lot better rounds for hunting brown bears. Black bear hunting is fine within its range limits.

            You can hot rod it to some impressive levels, but I've already shot one GG loose with those and backed off with my second so it gets a few more years before replacement. With one shot up 45-70 behind me, my favorite load now is a good 400 grain bullet at around 1800 fps. Not nearly as hot as many people load it but like I said, I want this one to last a while longer than the last one.
            Last edited by BrownBear; 10-15-2006, 19:37. Reason: typo
            "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
            Merle Haggard

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            • #7
              garrett hammerheads

              I disagree that the 45/70 isn't a grizz gun although I think the 22'' barrell on the marlin would be a better choice if hunting bears and moose. I've been shooting the Garrett hammerheads for about 5 or 6 years now and I certainly don't feel undergunned, i've shot the 540 gr. and 420 gr. loads and they were both very accurate with the 420 grainer I could put them in a 5" circle at 200 yds with a scoped marlin. I know the 45/70 gets alot of slack but there's a good reason why it's still around after all these years...........because it works.
              I once held the yardstick of anothers perfection, I threw it down and carved my own................

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              • #8
                Its ample out to 150 yards or so. I don't imagine that too many bears are shot out past this range. My favorite load is the 405gr kodiak bonded at 1925fps. I haven't had a chance to use it yet but can't imagine it will be anything less than effective.

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                • #9
                  I won't take long range shots at healthy bears with any gun, and for me long is 100 yards. Within that range the 45-70 with stiff loads would be fine. But what happens next?

                  My point is that if long range followup shots are required, you are at a severe handicap. That's why the guides I know gave up on the 458 Win Mag. Simply not flat shooting enough and loses too much velocity with range. Those I know prefer the 375 or even a 416 for flatter trajectories and retained power. Most of their shots are not at charging wounded bears, but at the south end of wounded northbound bears in order to put them down before they get out of sight and require followup in alders. 300-400-500 yards, they will keep shooting until the bear is down. In their boots, I'd much rather have something that gives me a better chance to avoid following up wounded bears in the alders.

                  Without a guide or seasoned shooter backing up your 45-70, the odds of alder followups are simply not acceptable to me. Put 5-gallon buckets out at 300, 400 and 500 yards and try hitting them with a 45-70. Educational, to say the least!
                  "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
                  Merle Haggard

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                  • #10
                    Brown Bear, You make a very good point. Cooper landing had a bear this year with up to 12 bullets in it (I'm told by locals) from people trying to protect themselves and/or property. I have no idea what caliber bullets but the bear was shot by more than one person over a period of a few weeks.

                    Ive had my 45-70 for 30 years or more have used it for a camp gun, and protection while taking wildlife photo's. I now carry a 500 Smith for the same reason. Im not saying either one is absolutely capable of putting a brownie down but I believe that if you NEED to shoot a bear for protection, you should at least use a caliber with a chance to kill the animal or dont shoot it at all. Ive seen people carrying 9mm, 45 auto, and even smaller for bear protection and it just isnt enough in my opinion.

                    That being said, in all the time Ive spent in the woods carrying a weapon for bear protection, Ive only needed it twice. In both instances the bears were not charging, just being an extreme pain in the neck around the camp looking for food. In both instances a shot into the dirt scared them off just fine.

                    As for the range of the 45-70, I agree it is a 100yard gun and seldom have ever hunted for moose where I would need anything more. Ive shot my share of moose with it too. Every one went down very nicely with no chance of getting up again. It wouldnt be my choice for Brown bear though I wouldnt think twice about using it for blackies. The 375 H&H is my choice for Brownies if I were to hunt one. I do my shooting with a camera these days.

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                    • #11
                      45/70

                      you do make a point brownbear but I still disagree on the fact that I know few guys who can accurately put lead in a running bear at 300 to 500 yards even 200 yds is quite an accomplishment because those bears can really move when they want to!! I personally keep all my shots on bear under 100 yds because I know follow up shots will be required regardless of caliber and once that bear clears 200 most guys will be out of ammo or just kicking up dust at a running bear. The 45/70 using the right loads and put through the front shoulders will do the job under 100 yds and you still have 4 more rounds till he hits 200.
                      I once held the yardstick of anothers perfection, I threw it down and carved my own................

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                      • #12
                        Phil Shoemaker has a documented Moose kill at just over 400 yards with his 458 Winny and the 450 grain Barnes X bullet.

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                        • #13
                          405gr kodiak bonded

                          Originally posted by Thebear_78 View Post
                          Its ample out to 150 yards or so. I don't imagine that too many bears are shot out past this range. My favorite load is the 405gr kodiak bonded at 1925fps. I haven't had a chance to use it yet but can't imagine it will be anything less than effective.
                          I loaded the Kodiak bonded with RL-7 up to 2050fps. I was shooting backup to my buddy at a moose this year and put one clean through the ribs, took out both lungs, at 270 yards. The moose didn't go 3 steps before expiring. I wouldn't normally take a shot this far, but the moose was hit a bit low and was walking into the woods. The bullet wound was very impressive and my confidence in this load went up drastically. I wouldn't think twice about taking a bear at 100 yards. John

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                          • #14
                            You guys need to remember there were thousands of buffalo killed with black powder 45-70s loaded with plain lead bullets and velocities way under 1,500 fps. I'm sure many huge moose, black bears, and monster elk succumbed with the same loads. 58 cal. muzzle loaders with 120grs. 3F will do the same. I see no reason for such hot loads in 45-70's unless a chance Grizzle is around.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DNP View Post
                              You guys need to remember there were thousands of buffalo killed with black powder 45-70s loaded with plain lead bullets and velocities way under 1,500 fps. I'm sure many huge moose, black bears, and monster elk succumbed with the same loads. 58 cal. muzzle loaders with 120grs. 3F will do the same. I see no reason for such hot loads in 45-70's unless a chance Grizzle is around.
                              What the story books never talk about is how many of those buff wandered off wounded. The guys that used the low velocity 45-70 lead bullets with great success knew what they were doing. They were the marksmen of their day and were very capable of accomplishing a clean harvest. The problem was that every Tom, Dick and Harry jumped on the buffalo killing band wagon and thus all the wounded and slow to die buffalo. I think the same holds true for the modern day Marlin 45-70 that some Alaskans are opting for. No doubt some are prolific hunters and can shoot them little guide guns well. On the other hand those big heavy bullets in those light levers are not for the faint of heart tenderfoot. It takes a better man to be an accomplished marksman with a Guide Gun than a bolt gun in 338. To you guys that have really mastered the Guide Gun I say go for it. For the rest (which be most,me included) follow BrownBear's advice.

                              I mastered the bolt gun years ago(really whats there to master?). However I have been playing with my Guide Gun lately with pig killing in mind and have discovered that I got a little work to do. This is the first time since I was a kid that I got a little flinchitis not to mention that my bird finger on my right hand is pretty tender from the lever slamming back into it. I don't think any brown bear guides would want me showing up in camp with my guide gun....not yet anyway

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