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  1. #1
    Gun Wizard
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    45/70 vs muzzleloader killing power

    I have had an interesting year to say the least deer hunting. Earlier this year I shot a nice doe at 82 yards (lasered) with the 45/70 using 300 grain hornadys at 2100 fps. It was placed in the shoulder and traveled through taking out the heart and breaking the other shoulder. a classic bang flop. Kentucky deer.
    Then yesterday, I shot a bit larger doe at 34 yards (again lasered) with a 54 caliber muzzleloader using barnes coppers (275 grains and .500 diameter) in the sabot at 1700 fps. The shot again hit the shoulder, no exit wound and the doe did not flop but ran several hundred yards before giving up the ghost. it took me 3 hours to find it in very heavy cover-- plus I did not see it run because of the d@#$ smoke!! Ohio deer, no rifles allowed :cry:
    To say I was surprised was an understatement. It was my first kill with a muzzleloader and I was not impressed with the lack of knockdown power. Was this a fluke or are muzzleloaders really that poor a performer?
    The ballistics charts and common sense say performance here should have been about the same.
    The best performance was done by my trusty .338wm shooting 210 grain noslers which I used for a neck shot to stop a deer shot by my 15 year old nephew (with a 30-30), entrance wound bullet size, exit wound softball size. bang flop supreme! :shock: I am positive he would have lost this one without help as it was headed for the thick stuff with zero sign of slowing down. The deer would have died, but we would have never found it!
    anyway, your thoughts on the 45/70 vs the muzzleloader please.
    "That wasn't shootin, that was killin" -- Rafe Covington

  2. #2
    Gun Wizard
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    45/70 vs muzzleloader killing power

    I haven't killed anything with a muzzle loader but the ballistics would suggest it is a formatble weapon. Tough deer I guesss?? :?
    Canadian outdoorsman.

  3. #3
    Anonymous
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    45/70 vs muzzleloader killing power

    Poor shot placement. The 4570 hit the heart, the muzzie hit no vitals that you mention. I don't use sabots, don't like them. In my 50 I use a home cast 320 gr LEE R.E.A.L. I use a LEE cast 405 in my 4570 too, all one shot kills. In my opinion your aim was just a bit off. BP has plenty of power. The biggest mistake folks make is to use TOO MUCH BP, thinking it weak and inferior, it's not. I killed a button buck with my 50 at over 100 yds. The shot went in the rt shoulder and exited through the left ham and kept on going, destroying everything in between. No lack of power, and the charge was 55 gr of pyrodex. POWDERMAN.

  4. #4
    Sidewinder
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    45/70 vs muzzleloader killing power

    I use a .54 cal patched round ball and have taken at least a dozen Mule deer bucks over the years. Every time it just blows me away how that little ball just knocks the crap out of them. So like Guest said above, must be shot placement.
    I have recovered a few round balls after they have done there deed, you might find interesting.







    salvo

    "No arsenal, no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women."
    -- Ronald Reagan

  5. #5
    Gun Wizard
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    45/70 vs muzzleloader killing power

    Muzzleloader placement was at a slight angle in the ribcage right behind the right shoulder and the bullet passed through the deer and broke the offside shoulder. Not the direct break both shoulder shot I like, but not too bad a shot.
    "That wasn't shootin, that was killin" -- Rafe Covington

  6. #6
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    45/70 vs muzzleloader killing power

    Salvo - Nice trophy!

    Buckeyeshooter, don't give up on that muzzle loader yet! I've shot a few deer with my traditional .50 cal Thompson-Center, and they were all "bang-flop."

    Here in Washington we are limited to sights only, no scopes on our muzzle loaders. Also have to use lead bullets. I like it that way, and would make it all traditional muzzle loaders if I could do so.

    I didn't take any long shots with my rifle - figured the relatively slow moving, but fat bullet wasn't going to do better at long range. I practiced offhand shooting until I was confident to 100 yards with it, and limited myself to that distance.

    My load is a 385 grain hollowpoint Hornady soft lead bullet over 90 grains of either Pyrodex or black. I've used both. Mulies taken with it have been in the 175 - 225 pound weight range, nothing real big, nothing over a 2x3 rack either. But they've been dead right there at the shot, and I've never recovered a bullet - it just blasts clear through, pretty much wrecking whatever gets in the way. Shot placement and a big ol' soft lead bullet. I doubt I'm getting over 1400 fps, but haven't chronographed the muzzle loader.

    A buddy of mine uses only lead round balls from his T-C .50 Hawken, and has taken mulies, whitetail and elk with it. His big elk go at least 600 pounds, and the round ball has had no problem.

    Regards, Guy

  7. #7
    Gun Wizard
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    45/70 vs muzzleloader killing power

    Got to admit, that I have not had that impressive of kills with the charcoal burners. Round ball in the 45 cal, was a slow kill. Round ball in the 50, was better, but I still had one go quite a ways. That ball entered in front of the shoulder and exited opposite side near the tail. Lot's of travel, but seemed to lack the shock and awe I would have hoped for.

    I remember one, with a T/C 54 Renegade, which was a RIP when he landed. All I have now, are a 45 and a 50. I shoot the T/C 50 Maxiballs of my own casting and a neighbor lost a deer with one of these. Great blood, just dried up and lost it.

    My disappointment, has been with seeing saboted pistol bullets. I'm seeing way too many lost. I think they get these new in-lines and scope them. They think they have a 200 yard gun, because they can see the deer in the scope. Problem is the energy left at those distances is pretty pathetic. Good shots, at reasomable ranges still seem to be getting game.

    The comparisons with the 45-70 are a little unrealistic. Muzzleloaders when used properly, are ok, but the big flat nose on the 45-70's bullet, delivers a smack that Maxiballs, saboted bullets and especially round ball, cannot deliver. That's just my humble opinion!
    Regards
    Bestboss
    I have given up reality for Lever actions, Jeeps and have a wife that understands. It's a better world!
    Team 30-30 #236. Team 1894 #187.

  8. #8
    Sidewinder
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    45/70 vs muzzleloader killing power

    Sweet Mullie Salvo...

    Having just begun the BP Gig... keep that info coming all!

    Great Posts!

    -P

  9. #9
    Gun Wizard
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    45/70 vs muzzleloader killing power

    I have found this input interesting. I have always considered a round ball to be an antique and other than in a place like Pa. where the use of them is required by law, I have never considered them. Perhaps, as some have said it is the sabot and pistol bullet. I bought the new inline to use them as the old side hammer rifle never seemed to fire when I had it out hunting. I used the maxi balls in it and it seemed powerful -- but I never shot anything with it.
    I do not know if the twist is correct for a maxi in the inline. perhaps I will experiment. If accuracy is acceptable maybe I will try them. I do know I am rapidly losing interest in a rifle that smokes so much you can not see whatb you shot and does not kill it until it runs to the next county. :shock:
    "That wasn't shootin, that was killin" -- Rafe Covington

  10. #10
    Gun Wizard
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    45/70 vs muzzleloader killing power

    I looked back at my post above, and I have the following to add...
    I DO like the muzzleloader for hunting. I do not see a good comparison between most of them and a 45-70.

    At the closer ranges, if you are moving the same mass at the same velocity, you very well could have similar results. However, remember that some are comparing the lead to jacketed and soft lead to harder lead.

    The muzzleloader movement has been infected with inlineitis. In order to extend their hunting, we have tampered with the ignition, the rate of twist and the projectiles we fire. Oh yes and the propellants themselves.

    People are trying to take a 50 caliber, scope it, tighten up the twist rate and make a long range (read 270) out of it. Not going to happen. In the spirit of muzzleloading, let's think about the rifles, how they were used and quit giving away perfectally good Hawkens and the like, for inlines.

    The value of a Hawken, or even better and old flint and ball gun, is to get in touch with our past. To learn something. To experience another time. Shooting sabots at a 200 yard bull, is not going to do this.

    Last week, I bought a Hawken 45 copy. It was 75 bucks. I didn't need it, but I will talk someone into the sport with it! A few ball, powder and some caps...A hunderd bucks, puts you n the field. What's wrong with that?
    Regards
    Bestboss
    I have given up reality for Lever actions, Jeeps and have a wife that understands. It's a better world!
    Team 30-30 #236. Team 1894 #187.


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