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Thread: 45-70 velocity question

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    45-70 velocity question

    My question is how low can you go in velocity and still get good terminal performance? I know it depends some on bullet and distance, so I can answer those questions. Bullet is from the Accurate 46-415v mold which weighs 420 grains after powdercoat and gas check. It does have a nice .37 inch meplat. Intended game is deer and maybe black bear at ranges under 125 yards. I am currently looking at the 1150-1200 fps range. Sufficient, or lacking?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    The most 'pleasant' loads I've fired a 420gr. from my Marlin CB clocked about 1350 fps.
    Which is pretty close to the old original BP loads.
    Its not punishing to shoot, good accuracy, and these small Texas deer at 80-100 yards- it knocks 'em for a loop.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    The U.S. Army 55-grain blackpowder carbine load with 405-grain bullet produced about 1100 fps from a 26-inch barrel.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Your 420 grn bullet at 1150-1200 fps is ahead of a 44 mag energy wise. Should also be more penetration. The original 400 grn 45-70 at 1150 - 1200fps was a stellar performer at extended ranges even. Millions of buffalo couldn't be wrong.

    Put together a good accurate load in that velocity range. one that perfoms well over 3-4 testing sessions. Then don't look back, place your shots as best you can. Ill bet any well placed hit dosnt travel more than a few yards

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I agree with the 1100-1300 fps range. Recoil starts getting noticeable above 1500. Really noticeable when you approach 2000.

  6. #6
    Boolit Man MrHarmless's Avatar
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    Good form on the bench behooves you above ~1500 FPS. I leaned way too "into" my first few.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Its almost an ounce of lead with a huge meplat and a diameter that equals what many jacketed loads get to after expansion. All you have to do is get reasonable accuracy at you intended range and that freight train of a boolit will knock down deer, bears and hogs. Probably go end to end on any of them.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Bub oconeedan's Avatar
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    I have shot many deer with a slow moving 45-70, all cast 405gr, around 1200fps. I haven't had a deer stop one yet.
    It works very well, but keep in mind that a double lung shot won't drop them fast. I have tracked one around 100 yds before, with little blood trail (fat clogged up holes). She was dead but didn't know it.
    Any hit in the shoulder will drop them on the spot usually. Dan

  9. #9
    Boolit Master murf205's Avatar
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    It's PLENTY powerful! The most important thing is for you to shoot the rifle with the load you settle on at the intended range so you KNOW where it hits at what range. If you stuff one of these boolits in the right spot all you will need is a sharp skinning knife after that.
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    You are good to go with that bullet and velocity. Just don't cast them too soft. 20-1 or 30-1 works just fine. I have taken quite a few deer and hogs with a very similar set up. Hit them in the right place, and they won't go far. A deer won't hold that bullet with a hit from any angle.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    You are killing me, by the way. I don't really "need" a 45/70, especially since I have a 44 mag lever I really have not wrung everything out of yet. That said, boy do I want a Henry single shot 45/70 to play with.
    "If you see me running something has gone poorly, and you should probably run too." - any beekeeper

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy pertnear's Avatar
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    I've never shot a bear, but I can pretty much guarantee a .45 cal lead slug weighing 420 gr started at 1,200 fps, inside 125 yds will glide right through a deer & leave a good bleeding hole both coming & going!
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  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    Given the number of deer I've killed with .45 Auto Rim loads using 240 or 250 SWCs at 900, I'd say that .45/70 at 1100 with much more bullet mass is a no brainer. The pistol loads shoot completely through deer, side to side or lengthwise. It's perhaps not apparent to everybody, but a .45 caliber, large meplat bullet of decent mass with very moderate velocity has killed and will kill anything in North America without much drama.
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  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Firing Table for .45-70 Black Powder (55 grains) "Carbine" Load 405-grain bullet.

    .45-70 Government, Lead FP, 405gr, 55 grs. 2Fg, 26-inch barrel Trap-Door Carbine, issue sights.

    Yds__Drop(ins.)___FPS______Ft.-Lbs
    0____-0.9652____1080_____1049
    25___3.3053_____1055_____1001
    50___5.6252_____1033______959
    75___5.9094_____1013______923__Max. bullet rise 6"
    100__4.0752______994______888__Zero 4 inches high at 100 yards
    125__0.0416______977______858__Point of Aim = Point of Impact 125 yards
    150__-6.2706_____960______829__Point Blank Range 150 yards with max. 6 inch drop
    175__-14.9393____945______803
    200__-26.0414____930______778__Head hold for torso hit at 200 yards
    225__-39.6529____917______756
    250__-55.8497____904______735__Hold a man's height high beyond 200 yards, H&I repel boarders

    Beyond 250 yards set slider on raised rear sight ladder to known range.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Veral Smith said it best when he said:
    Meplat 70% or better is optimum.
    Speed at hit between 1400 and 1700fps.
    That ballances for optimum penetration and best secondary cavity.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master


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    It should be fine. It’s not the speed that counts with a .45-70, it’s the weight of all that lead.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
    Its almost an ounce of lead with a huge meplat and a diameter that equals what many jacketed loads get to after expansion. All you have to do is get reasonable accuracy at you intended range and that freight train of a boolit will knock down deer, bears and hogs. Probably go end to end on any of them.
    Says it all.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master pls1911's Avatar
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    Daylight transfer is a wonderful measure, and a lead slug measuring .458 leaves lots of it.

    Any velocity 1200 to 1500 fps will kill effectively inside any range where you can properly place your shot.
    Salvaging old Marlins is not a pasttime...it's a passion

  19. #19
    Boolit Master redhawk0's Avatar
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    Just as a reference...I only shoot a 340gr boolit at 1200-1250fps....It makes a 1/2" hole in and about 2" coming out of a whitetail. If you are throwing an additional 80gr above mine, at the same speed....you shouldn't have any problems.

    redhawk

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  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have shot a "bear" (too small to count) and a few deer ( one really heavy) with my 45-70 using both cast and jacketed bullets. My Marlin 1895 is loaded for bear with the first two rounds being Remington Core Lok 400gr @ about 1300fps. The third is a cast SWC above 38.5 gr IMR 3031 (factory equivalent according to an old Lyman reloading manual) which should penetrate a black bear end-to-end. The last two rounds are Buffalo Bore because if three 400 gr bullets haven't done the job, I'm in need of a trouble-ender. I should have enough preference points to get a black bear license in northern MN this year. That's where a friend got a 408# bear a few years ago.

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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