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jeffyo45

45-70 for Deer Hunting

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jeffyo45

Just bought a Marlin 1895SS 45-70 Gov't. today and was wondering if this is a good rifle for deer hunting, or is it too much fire power? It has a really nice Leupold scope on it so I want to use it. Anyone else use this caliber for deer hunting?

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kindafishy

The 45-70 is a fun round to shoot. I don't think it's to big. Yes, people will say it's overkill, but being a hundred years old makes it a little romantic. Being heavier and slower than most mid range centerfires it is still an accurate round. So keep your shots under 200 yds. and you will be fine.

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IFallsRon

That slug will leave an exit hole as big as your head.

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Flashman

my younger brother bought that same gun 2 or 3 years ago and has killed 4 deer with it using the 350 grain jacketed hollow point. Three have been shot in the head and one through the lungs. There was no hole the size of your head coming out of the deer. It's moving slow enough that it won't explode. It's a great cartridge, I've also seen some 350 grain flat nose bullets some place but can't remember where. My brother affectionately calls his 45-70 "The Pumpkin Slinger"

I'm sure you'll enjoy hunting with it for years to come.

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Bogsucker

Ballistically speaking the 45-70 405 grain round leaves the muzzle with about the same energy as a 5/8 oz. 20 gauge slug. The shape of the 405 grain bullet lends itself to providing a bit fiurther range than the 20 ga slug. The 45-70 405 gr. will not leave an exit hole as big as your head. A 300 grain hollow point at close range might tear up a deer a bit, but hit squarely in the chest a big exit wound doesn't matter much. I would consider the 45-70 to be an excellent all around big game cartridge.

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jeffyo45

Thanks for the replies fellas. I was pretty sure it would be ok for deer I just didn't want to use it if it is going to tear up the animal too much. Anybody have any cartridge suggestions (manufacturer, grain etc.)? Is this a gun that would take down elk or bear? Thanks for answering a novice gun owners questions.

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Bogsucker

The 45-70 is an excellent heavy timber (100 yds) Elk and Bear cartidge. My Brother-in-law and myself have used a 45-70 for bear hunting. For deer I'd use the same 405 grain remington. It is loaded to duplicate original ballistics and will perform very well on a deer. Sight the gun in for 100 yds then shoot it out to 200 to see where your at. It will drop 2 feet between 100 and 200 yards. Definetly a "short" range cartidge.

When one looks at the "Ballistics" of the 45-70 it might seem to be underpowered if anything, though most charts do not list the "momentum" of bullets, which I find to be a more accurate measure of "killing power" than "energy". There is an excellent website with ballistics (energy, velocity, trajectory, momentum) calulations on the net that I often use to compare loads. Search for "Ballistics calculations trajectory" (I use google for my search engine) and I think you'll find the same site I'm refering to.

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huskminn

Head shots on deer?

I am very fond of neck shots, myself, and I get chastized all the time about taking high risk shots with the possibility of just wounding the animal or missing completely.

I've considered head shots, but have never taken them.

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Bogsucker

Head Shots, Neck Shots!!! A bullet or arrow thru both lungs is the surest way to kill and recover an animal. Not only that but head shots have a very high risk of wounding without recovery and neck shots waste meat. We should attempt to make the highest percentage of kill shot as we can and that is a double lung shot, period! It would infuriate me to see a deer walking thru the woods with its jaw half blown off.

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Whelen35

The 45-70 is a great round for deer or larger game. For deer, I like the 300gr bullets. Federal loads Sierra 300gr hp's in their loadings, and it would work very good. You can also get nosler's great 300gr partition in their preeemo load. The 405's are loaded very mild, and tend not to expand very well if at all past 50yds. If you want to reach this guns full abilities, you need to reload for the 45-70 or go with some of the custom loading from garret or buffalo bore. You can load up to 200fps with the 400's and a bit more than 2200fps with 300's. I shoot deer with my contender in 45-70 useing 300gr hp and load the speer 400gr for my guide gun. It will smack deer hard, and the blood trail can be traced by brail.

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huskminn

Bogsucker,

While I might agree that a head shot is risky (because it is a small target) and may have a higher incidence of wounding (because it is a small target), I never hesitate to take a neck shot if the standard behind the shoulder shot is unavailable due to cover or the position of the deer.

I've had plenty of deer run after a double lung or heart shot. Every deer I've ever shot in the neck has never taken another step, period.

As far as wasting meat....you must be fond of neck roasts! smile.gif Seriously, though, I've ruined more GOOD meat with behind the shoulder shots resulting in bone/bullet fragment damage in the backstraps.

Bottom line is that we both want the deer to be killed quickly and humanely. Whichever way we consistently accomplish that is what we need to stick with.

Good luck this season!

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Bogsucker

No comment

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MikeYager - Suzuki

I like lung shots too but have never seen a deer drop from one. This is no problem on the private land I hunt as they never go far but on public land that distance could put them into another hunters spot and that could lead to trouble. Shoulder and neck shots definitely tip deer over. A head shot sounds good especially since I butcher my own deer and hate cleaning the clotted meat but one little slip and a horribly wounded deer is gone for good. I accidently gut shot one a few years back. I got the deer but that is one shot you do not want to make. Very messy.

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