Yup , -- I guess you could project that logic down to smaller and smaller calibers .
I figure , however , that you've got to keep tying to what the main purpose of the cartridge is .
If you stick with Big-Bore lever action rifles , then with .375 you've moved out of the box into a Medium-Bore cartridge . --- But that's not too off-topic , because .375 is still a big caliber , capable of carrying relatively heavy bullets , -- for use against big tough animals .
And you've got to consider that .375 H&H has a storied reputation for killing way beyond it's ballistics on paper . ( Too bad someone doesn't make a .375 H&H Lever Action ) .
If you go below .375 , -- then I would think that you've moved completely outside the
( topic ) box .
Seems to me when these .444 vs. .45-70 threads come up , -- people are mostly looking to justify their personal favorite , -- ( for whatever reason ) . --- I'll plead guilty to that myself .
But , I think it's not a matter of which cartridge is all-time " best " , because that tempts us to have a certain useage in mind , -- and that ain't necessarily what someone else has in mind .
If you really want to ask me whether the .444 or .45-70 is best , -- I'll have to ask , best for what ?
Then before I answer , I'll have to know what the hunting conditions will be , the country , the weather , the anticipated ranges , -- all the particulars about the game animal to be hunted , -- whether they ever charge the hunter , -- and on , and on .
And I'll have to get very detailed answers because the .444 and .45-70 are such similar cartridges .
Actually , there ain't no " best " ; -- the .444 will shine for some situations , and the .45-70 will be better for others ; --- and MOST , ( not all ) , similar tasks will be covered adequately by either one .
If I knew I'd be in Coastal Alaska , and needed a pure Bear-Defense rifle , and had to carry a Lever Gun ; -- you can bet your Bippy , I'd choose the .45-70 with the hairyest hard casts I could shoot safely , ( unless I could afford a custom .50 Alaskan ) .
A similarly loaded .444 would not be far behind , though .
For general big game , in the lower 48 , -- I'd much rather have the .444 , for the reasons stated above .
That's overview , on what I really think . --- The rest is just havin' fun .
--------------- MMCOUGAR .