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Q:
how would a 45.70 work for elk and at what would be the maximum range. I got muley at 150 yds. and almost cut his back in half.just wondering if it would do a job on elk at the same range. Thanks, bc

Question by Bob Cordillo. Uploaded on December 16, 2009

Answers (22)

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from NolanOsborne wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Not sure on range, but if it can take Bear and Moose it can take Elk, you would have to stalk em closer than normal possibly? These are just speculations

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

I see no reason why a .45-70 wouldn't take elk at 150-200 yards. It might be a chore hitting him without the use of a rangefinder past that due to the trajectory curve.

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from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

I would not hesitate to shoot an Elk with one of my 45/70 loads utilizing the Nosler 300 grain Partition. It is not even the top load in the book. Keep it under 200 yards though.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Why not just run it over with a D-8 Cat? Might not mess up nearly as much meat. Using a 45-70 would not be very ethical. Too much waste, as it seems you have already learned.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

If you can hit a Mule Deer at 150, 200 shouldn't be a problem!

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from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Easy honker. I cetainly wouldn't use the unethetical word...I shoot our southern whitails with the load all the time. It makes an exit wound about the size of a 50 cent piece and doesn't cause near the hydrostatic shock damage of a 30'06 round. It certainly doesn't liquefy them like Mr. Coopers .22/250!

It will penetrate through a great deal of hide, bone and meat.

As for Mr. Cordillo's statment of nearly cutting a deer's back in half, I've seen that done with a 7mm-08!

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from steve182 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

I think it's knock his socks off to 200 yds at least.

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from streack wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

The .45-70 is not the best choice of gun, because of range limitations, but I wouldn't let that keep you from using it. When you get down to brass tacks, you are essentially shooting the same round out of a .45-70 as you would for a 50 cal. muzzleloader that shoots a sabot. Also, there are many 50 cal. muzzleloaders on the market that will meet or exceed the performance of most .45-70 loads; so if you are the kind of guy that likes to hunt elk inside of 200 yards, the .45-70 would be a fine choice as well as ethical.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

My friend in New Mexico had a 45-70 trapdoor and I was mortaring rounds at rocks on a ridge a good 1000 yards away. judging on the amount of cubic yards of rock and dust detonating into the air, I believe if you hit MOP at any range their going down!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Bee is right large rounds like the 45-70 with slow to moderate velocity do not mess up the meat nearly as bad as hi velocity rounds. Saw a buck shot with a 257 wby once and it pretty near gutted him. As ol' Elmer used to say with the large round you can eat right up to the bullet hole. That said, I still like the flat trajectory of my 25-06.

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from MLH wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Gotta agree with Clay on this - that much lead even lobbed at slow velocity it going to carry a lot of momemtum. Even if there is no expansion that is almost a half inch hole going in. And if it is a flat meplat .... I can only compare it to 335 gr hard casts coming out of a .454, but I remember a story about Elmer Keith testing out his heavy .44 Special loads. They were going through both side of a log cabin at 600 yards or so. If .45-70's can blast down steel targets at 500 yards I think they are good for about as far as one can accurately shoot it.

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from MLH wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Also, the bullet (round, flap point, hard cast, hollow point, tipped expandable, and weight), speed. and distance will likely make a huge difference in the wound channel will be. As will chance - when a .45 caliber hits bone it might create a mess. If it expands ... yikes! That is why I stuck with hard casts.

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from BradinCO wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

the 45-70 is at max a 200 yard cartridge and after that it has the trajectory of a rainbow. If you look up the ballistics you will see that it doesn't have much energy compared to even a 7mm-08 after 100 yards. It shoots a big bullet that was originally intended to be shot in long barrelled rifles using 70 grains of black powder... same as a .45 caliber muzzle loader with the same load. With modern bullets in a strong action you an do a little better. Elk? yep, it will do the job and I've taken a couple with my 45-70 but wouldn't even consider trying a shot over 200.

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from shane wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

It will. Very well. Excellent elk cartridge.

Check out the hot loads from Buffalo Bore and Garrett Cartridges. Check out Hornady Leverevolution if you want to maximize the range potential.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

The point I was trying to make is if you want to limit yourself to shooting less than 200 yards (which I think is a stretch - I have a 40-60 Marlin and wouldn't think of shooting it that far), then why not go with some punk droopy load in .30 or .35 caliber? You'll get a much smaller hole. Heck, maybe the bullet won't even exit. Of course, the shocking power might be on the shabby side and you may have to spend some time hunting down a hurting animal.

Balance the needs of the animal (to die quickly) with yours (to conserve as much meat as possible). That is being ethical. Go with something that is reliable at a fair distance, has reasonable shocking power at those distances, yet will still leave most of the meat in the freezer instead of in the dump. I'm not convinced the 45-70 does the best job filling the bill.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

The only way to achieve perfection in elk cartridge selection is to know exactly the range the elk is going to be shot at, the gross weight of the animal, the angle presented, and the position of Jupiter relative to Mars. Barring that, there are many good all around cartridges available. Worry about shooting large holes in elk after you have killed one.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

WMH,

Spoken like a fellow who has put a few large and small holes in a fair number of Elk!

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from MLH wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

When I started hunting with .45 calibers I thought light JHPs would be the way to go, but decided on wide meplat hard casts because others were complaining about the huge chunks of meat and bone blown away by the large mushrooming bullets, especially at close range. Also some concerns about penetration. Neither are as much an issue with the heavy hard casts (momentum matters as much or more than kinetic energy with these things). The hard casts just hit hard and pass through. Let me know if you get minimal meat damage with those light .45 caliber LeverEvolutions and JHPs at short range.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Well, I HAVE poked a few elk. Check my profile. I'll get up into the attic and dig up some more old pictures once the weather warms up (i.e. above -20 C).

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from MLH wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

And, no, I haven't personally had the pleasure of using a .45 on elk, yet. I've only used a .35 Whelen, but your experiences with elk, are admittedly, well beyond mine,

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from Sourdough Dave wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

You bet. The president of our local chapter of RMEF hunts very successfully with nothing but.

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from blackdawgz wrote 4 years 7 weeks ago

It is my favorite cartridge for deer. But it is not in the same class as many others for range and penetration. The 7mm Magnum is a much better choice. My personal preference is the .375 H, as we have predators here.

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from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Easy honker. I cetainly wouldn't use the unethetical word...I shoot our southern whitails with the load all the time. It makes an exit wound about the size of a 50 cent piece and doesn't cause near the hydrostatic shock damage of a 30'06 round. It certainly doesn't liquefy them like Mr. Coopers .22/250!

It will penetrate through a great deal of hide, bone and meat.

As for Mr. Cordillo's statment of nearly cutting a deer's back in half, I've seen that done with a 7mm-08!

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

I see no reason why a .45-70 wouldn't take elk at 150-200 yards. It might be a chore hitting him without the use of a rangefinder past that due to the trajectory curve.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

I would not hesitate to shoot an Elk with one of my 45/70 loads utilizing the Nosler 300 grain Partition. It is not even the top load in the book. Keep it under 200 yards though.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from NolanOsborne wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Not sure on range, but if it can take Bear and Moose it can take Elk, you would have to stalk em closer than normal possibly? These are just speculations

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

If you can hit a Mule Deer at 150, 200 shouldn't be a problem!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Bee is right large rounds like the 45-70 with slow to moderate velocity do not mess up the meat nearly as bad as hi velocity rounds. Saw a buck shot with a 257 wby once and it pretty near gutted him. As ol' Elmer used to say with the large round you can eat right up to the bullet hole. That said, I still like the flat trajectory of my 25-06.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from streack wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

The .45-70 is not the best choice of gun, because of range limitations, but I wouldn't let that keep you from using it. When you get down to brass tacks, you are essentially shooting the same round out of a .45-70 as you would for a 50 cal. muzzleloader that shoots a sabot. Also, there are many 50 cal. muzzleloaders on the market that will meet or exceed the performance of most .45-70 loads; so if you are the kind of guy that likes to hunt elk inside of 200 yards, the .45-70 would be a fine choice as well as ethical.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

My friend in New Mexico had a 45-70 trapdoor and I was mortaring rounds at rocks on a ridge a good 1000 yards away. judging on the amount of cubic yards of rock and dust detonating into the air, I believe if you hit MOP at any range their going down!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from BradinCO wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

the 45-70 is at max a 200 yard cartridge and after that it has the trajectory of a rainbow. If you look up the ballistics you will see that it doesn't have much energy compared to even a 7mm-08 after 100 yards. It shoots a big bullet that was originally intended to be shot in long barrelled rifles using 70 grains of black powder... same as a .45 caliber muzzle loader with the same load. With modern bullets in a strong action you an do a little better. Elk? yep, it will do the job and I've taken a couple with my 45-70 but wouldn't even consider trying a shot over 200.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

I think it's knock his socks off to 200 yds at least.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Gotta agree with Clay on this - that much lead even lobbed at slow velocity it going to carry a lot of momemtum. Even if there is no expansion that is almost a half inch hole going in. And if it is a flat meplat .... I can only compare it to 335 gr hard casts coming out of a .454, but I remember a story about Elmer Keith testing out his heavy .44 Special loads. They were going through both side of a log cabin at 600 yards or so. If .45-70's can blast down steel targets at 500 yards I think they are good for about as far as one can accurately shoot it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

The only way to achieve perfection in elk cartridge selection is to know exactly the range the elk is going to be shot at, the gross weight of the animal, the angle presented, and the position of Jupiter relative to Mars. Barring that, there are many good all around cartridges available. Worry about shooting large holes in elk after you have killed one.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

It will. Very well. Excellent elk cartridge.

Check out the hot loads from Buffalo Bore and Garrett Cartridges. Check out Hornady Leverevolution if you want to maximize the range potential.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

WMH,

Spoken like a fellow who has put a few large and small holes in a fair number of Elk!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

When I started hunting with .45 calibers I thought light JHPs would be the way to go, but decided on wide meplat hard casts because others were complaining about the huge chunks of meat and bone blown away by the large mushrooming bullets, especially at close range. Also some concerns about penetration. Neither are as much an issue with the heavy hard casts (momentum matters as much or more than kinetic energy with these things). The hard casts just hit hard and pass through. Let me know if you get minimal meat damage with those light .45 caliber LeverEvolutions and JHPs at short range.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Well, I HAVE poked a few elk. Check my profile. I'll get up into the attic and dig up some more old pictures once the weather warms up (i.e. above -20 C).

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

And, no, I haven't personally had the pleasure of using a .45 on elk, yet. I've only used a .35 Whelen, but your experiences with elk, are admittedly, well beyond mine,

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sourdough Dave wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

You bet. The president of our local chapter of RMEF hunts very successfully with nothing but.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from blackdawgz wrote 4 years 7 weeks ago

It is my favorite cartridge for deer. But it is not in the same class as many others for range and penetration. The 7mm Magnum is a much better choice. My personal preference is the .375 H, as we have predators here.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Why not just run it over with a D-8 Cat? Might not mess up nearly as much meat. Using a 45-70 would not be very ethical. Too much waste, as it seems you have already learned.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Also, the bullet (round, flap point, hard cast, hollow point, tipped expandable, and weight), speed. and distance will likely make a huge difference in the wound channel will be. As will chance - when a .45 caliber hits bone it might create a mess. If it expands ... yikes! That is why I stuck with hard casts.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

The point I was trying to make is if you want to limit yourself to shooting less than 200 yards (which I think is a stretch - I have a 40-60 Marlin and wouldn't think of shooting it that far), then why not go with some punk droopy load in .30 or .35 caliber? You'll get a much smaller hole. Heck, maybe the bullet won't even exit. Of course, the shocking power might be on the shabby side and you may have to spend some time hunting down a hurting animal.

Balance the needs of the animal (to die quickly) with yours (to conserve as much meat as possible). That is being ethical. Go with something that is reliable at a fair distance, has reasonable shocking power at those distances, yet will still leave most of the meat in the freezer instead of in the dump. I'm not convinced the 45-70 does the best job filling the bill.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report

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