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Thread: How fast should 350 gr. 45/70 be for 250# bear.

  1. #21
    Boolit Grand Master

    jmort's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Color Me Gone
    I would go subsonic, around 1,100 fps which should go through and through depending on your alloy.
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  2. #22
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    State of Denial
    The factory load for the .45-75, developed for the 1876 Winchester, was 350 grains of flat nose (probably about 16-1 alloy) at around 1400 fps. Examples of that platform are known to have participated in the great bison thin-out. I've done nine milk jugs of penetration with a hard alloy flat nose 230 grainer at GI .45 ACP speed, and the same with a 130 grain .32-20/.310 Cadet hybrid at about 1250 fps. Cast solids are GOOD stuff. I doubt you need to overthink the problem for .45-70 on a lil' ole black bear.


  3. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    trapdoor load will do it.

  4. #24
    Boolit Buddy maglvr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    800 FPS at the bear = All you need.
    Last I knew, how far a bullet travels, once It leaves the animal, didn't help terminal performance
    The .357 Magnum......
    Major Douglas Wesson, using factory loads, which were a 158 gr. soft lead bullet, traveling 1515 fps, from an 8 3/4" barreled S&W, producing 812 ft. lbs of muzzle energy.
    Antelope - 200 yards (2 shots)
    Elk - 130 yards (1 shot)
    Moose - 100 yards (1 shot)
    Grizzly Bear - 135 yards (1 shot).

    It kind of makes one wonder, why today, it will bounce off anything bigger than a rabbit

  5. #25
    Boolit Master pls1911's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    CowTown... PantherCity... Texas
    The 45/70 is a pet cartridge and will certainly serve you well.
    "Best" in any criteria depends on many variables, your alloy, range, experience, etc.
    As stated above, any of the older "buffalo" rounds will do.
    almost any slug 350-400 grains around 1400-1500 fps with any moderate alloy will fully penetrate a 200 poung hog , nose to bug hole, so bear will be no issue if you do your part. You should consider a Ranch Dog gas checked design, now provided by NOE.
    I'd recommend a gas checked bullet moderately hard, through the shoulders 4-6" below his back profile line. In my experience, this shoulder/spine shot has always dropped my target in its tracks.
    However, I'd defer to more knowledgeable members... like maybe someone whose actually shot bear. Never saw the point myself.
    Salvaging old Marlins is not a's a passion

  6. #26
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Deary, Ideeeeeeho
    While I am in no way saying the 45/70 could not have decimated the buffalo herds, the fact of the matter is that by 1873 when the 45/70 came to be, the majority of the big herds were all ready gone. This is easily verified.

    However, a black bear is at the bottom of the list that this fine old cartridge can account for within reasonable range and with proper shot placement.

    I'll be out again before daylight in the morning hoping to bring home my 4th 45/70 elk. It gets it done if I do my part.!

    Crusty Deary Ol'Coot

  7. #27
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    May 2015
    About 8500 should be enough.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check