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Can you think of a cartridge that is available in a lever action rifle, that you believe can be hand loaded very close to the .45-70, and that would work well for the person who doesn't own a .45-70? I have in mind a cartridge that can be used for elk, moose, and grizzly/brown bear? Would the .45 L.C. work inside of 50 yards? What about the .454 Casull? .444? What is the maximum yardage that you would limit to the cartridge you pick?

Thanks for reading and responding,
Timberwolf ;)
 

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While I like the Triple Four very much, I do believe the .45 Government to be the better, harder-hitting round inside 100 or so yards. That's where most of the big beasties are taken, so is there any doubt to what my answer may be?

Nothing can replace or significantly improve upon the old warhorse.

For lesser game and with enough field practice I think the .45-70 is probably fine to 200 yards. A stoutly loaded 300-350 grain bullet will still pack plenty of punch at that distance.
 

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The 450 Marlin and the 45-70 are virtual ballistic equivalents when loaded to their potential in modern lever guns. The 444 Marlin gives up very little to the 45-70 and any animal hit with a well-placed shot and bullets of adequate construction from either won't know the difference. The 454 Casull will easily match the SAAMI 45-70 in the better Winchester 1892 reproductions. The 45LC is significantly less powerful than the 454 Casull but within range with good bullets and well-placed shots would handle the game you specify. I would probably want something other than the 45LC for brown bear, though.

My Marlin 1895 45-70 cannot be replaced. I guess the answer is the 444 Marlin and the 450 Marlin may be a substitute for the 45-70, each out to 200 yards.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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There's probably a scad of old black-powder rounds that could be handloaded to similar ballistics (at similar pressures) to the .45-70, but it has outlived them all.

My take is, since the .45-70 is still around, no, there probably isn't a replacement, at least not anything that offers any real advantages. .45-90?
 

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How about the .50 Alaskan ? :D Seriously though I agree with you all that there isn't something out there that would ever replace the venerated 45-70. CEJ...
 

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Simply because of availability of excellent cartridges, as well as components for reloading, I have to vote for the 45-70. Cases are cheap and there are dozens of excellent bullets to chose from.While the 45-90 is significantly more powerful when loaded to it's potential there just aren't many modern rifles chambered for it. Original 1886 Winchesters with nickle steel barrels are nowadays priced far above the "huntin' gun" status. Likewise the 50-110, which is in a category by itself. Extremely powerful, but not cost effective. Practicality keeps the 45-70 at the top of my list. Properly loaded it can do it all.
 

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The 444 Marlin provides an excellent alternative, if not superior replacement for the 45-70. While the 45-70 cannot be matched for bullet weight, the 444 Marlin does compete in the area of knock down performance, and longer range hitting power.

If you're interested Marshall Stanton has compiled three articles in a series giving information on the 444 Marlin, loading data, and a multitude of various other comparisions.

http://shootersforum.com/tech_notes/archive_tech_notes.htm/17
 

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While the 444 Marlin is a fine cartridge, physics cannot be denied. When considering these rounds in the modern lever gun the fact is that given equal sectional density the 45-70 can drive a bullet of similar configuration and construction at least as fast as the 444 Marlin. In addition, given equal weight the 45-70 can drive a bullet of similar configuration and construction significantly faster than the 444 Marlin. Hence, the 45-70 will shoot just as flat as the 444 and will deliver more punch (at both ends) while doing so. However, no animal hit with a well placed shot from an appropriately constructed bullet from either is going to know the difference. Where the 45-70 may have a significant edge would be on the very largest and toughest game.

Marshall's article on the 444 is good reading but does not really give a fair comparision with the 45-70. Were he to load the 45-70 with hard cast bullets with the same sectional density of those he loaded in the 444, the result would have conformed to my above proposition.
 

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My two cents on this subject- Though I in no way am stating the .45 LC is the equal or better than the 45-70. In a good Lever gun it will take all the critter's mentioned. Would I take it up against a Griz or Browny? If thats all I had to stop one from making me his dinner -you bet I would!! Would I go after one knowing this is what I had to do the job with -not with -out a good back-upgun in trusted hands!! The largest bullet I've shot through mine so far has been the 325 gr Buffalo Bore rounds- Chrono'd at about 1840 Fps 2,444 Ft-lbs Muzzle energy- 1,941 Ft -Lbs at 100 yds!! Now I think that kind of energy will stop just about anything that walks. Now if I was to use Marshals 360/385gr bullets at say 1600 fps for 1,941 ft-lbs at 100 yds, I don't think there many Griz or Browny's that could take many of these through the shoulders a survive.
 

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They don't call the .45-70 "God's Chosen Caliber" for nothing ya know. ;^)
 

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I think that a close second to the venerable 45-70 for big beasts on this continent would be the .454 Casull lever action. I now own one of these and I am very impressed with the ballistics and accuracy.
-Mike
 

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Normally I don't get involved with these type of threads. For my heartfelt love of the 45-70 and secondly I am not able to spew stats about one caliber's service over another. But this time I'm going to jump in with my two bits.
I've killed with my Buffalo Classic Mdl 1871 45-70 an 405 Rem bulk /50 gr IMR3031/Starline brass/Fed 215 primer all of the fore mentioned crittersand some African beasts as well. All with one shot and all were within 80 yds.. True ALL of these critters died within seconds. BUT to be honest they all would have been just as dead using a 30-06 with good 180 gr bullets.
NOW with that said, ask which one is steeped in history, tradition, which one can I show up in whitetail camp and moose camp and not be over gunned or under gunned with the correct bullets for the game at hand? yep the ole 45-70. But this alone doesn't make it the superior caliber over anyother. Truth be told THERE IS NO ONE STANDOUT!
Right now I'm onto a 45LC lever gun craze. With Sierra 300FP/23 gr H110/Starline brass it too would kill all those critters I've killed with the 45-70.
Guess when it comes right down to it....like beauty a gun/caliber is best left to the individual to relish or distain.I really don't think any animal on earth could withstand punishing blows from any 30 caliber and up modern round.
Think about it like this..get an arrow shaft into a heart of any critter, and he'll be just as dead. LF
 
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