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I am getting a 45-70 1895ss.  Will be useing it for deer and plinking.  Will want to reload near max.  What bullet should I use?  On the Marlin forum, I was advised, not in so many words, that the Beartooth 405 would not open up and may not be best choice.  Rem 405 and Alaska Bullet works 405 suggested.  Any comments?
 

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Acy,

Paul Matthews in his book "Forty Years With the 45-70" touts the 330 Gould Express as perhaps the perfect deer load. You might want to pick up this book; it's a wealth of information and evaluations of many loads actually used on game over a long time.  Wolfe Publishing has it for about &#3615.  This load was an early attempt at a "high velocity" load for this cartridge achieved by reducing the weight of the bullet from the standard 405 grains down to a 330 grain hollow point. Lyman still produces this mold. Properly cast and sized to your rifle, this can be an accurate bullet loaded to your 1800-2000 fps with minimal leading and will be Thor's Hammer on whitetail deer.

                       El Lobo in NM
 

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acy,

Honestly I don't think you need to worry about a hard cast 405 gr. 45 cal bullet opening up on a whitetail, which of course it won't.  Anything .458 diameter is already pre-expanded.

Now if you feel the need for expansion, just buy some good old Speer 400 grainers.  They're pretty soft and usually expand 2X their diameter and they still hold together real well.  Plus they're resonably priced. Remingtons are pretty hard.
 

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Acy- You don't need high velocity in the 45-70 to kill deer. I don't know what distances you plan to hunt at, but with a 45-70 I know it won't be great. Last year, I took a large doe with one shot from my old Marlin 1895. This was a 325 gr. cast RCBS bullet, at a screaming 1700 FPS. The distance was under 50 yards (about 30 as I recall. Quite simply, I had a 1/2 in. entrance wound. Also a 1/2 in. exit wound. The doe spun around in a circle 2 or 3 times, then ran for the nearest fence, (about 20 yards away). She didn't make it. She made a mighty leap, but didn't clear the fence. Too weak. Too much blood lost. As stated before, a 45-70 is already the diameter of a well expanded 30 caliber bullet. Too many people put too much emphasis on expansion. While it is important with minor calibers, with the 45-70, it's an unnecessary luxury. Complete penetration, is complete penetration. My Marlin stopped the deer faster than my 30-06 used to. At about the same ranges, too. Another point I'd like to make, is that maximum velocities can actually reduce penetration with cast bullets (you'd likely never notice it on deer), but you may also find better accuracy and greater shooter comfort if you don't shoot the train-stoppers for hunting at the moderate ranges the 45-70 is suitable for.
 
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