Best 45-70 ammo for plinking at the range?
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Thread: Best 45-70 ammo for plinking at the range?



  1. #1
    Tenderfoot
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    Best 45-70 ammo for plinking at the range?

    Hi all,


    I'll be picking up my new 1895SBL next week and in anticipation I have been thinking more about what ammunition I should acquire for target practice at the range. I'm new to the 45-70 format and am not quite ready to jump into reloading at this point, so I'll be buying factory ammo. Obviously, I'll be interested in finding the best "bang for the buck" and looking for something (relatively) inexpensive without breaking the bank... of course I don't want anything that is so crappy it's going to give my levergun or barrel any problems either.

    Some of the brands I've noticed around the online retailers are as follows:
    (roughly, cheapest to more expensive)

    Black Butterfly Ammunition, Target, 350gr, Berry PRS "Sitting Bull" ...(looks like a "new" brand, never heard of it before)
    Steinel Ammunition 300gr Hornady JHP High Power ...(Is this stuff any good?)
    HSM Cowboy Ammo 405Gr. RNFP-Hard-TLG
    Privi Partizan 405gr Semi Jacketed Flat Point
    Winchester 300gr Polymer Tip Ballistic Silvertip
    Armscor 300gr JHP
    Sellier & Bellot 405gr Soft Point
    Federal 300gr Bonded SP Hammer Down
    Great Lakes 405gr RNFP
    Hornady 325gr FTX LEVERevolution
    Ventura Heritage 360gr RNFP
    Federal Power-Shok 300gr FN
    Fiocchi 405gr Lead Round Nose Flat Point
    Remington 405gr Core-Lokt Soft Point ...(2 kinds? Marlin & Remington Express?)
    Hornady 250gr LEVERevolution Monoflex
    Winchester Super-X 300gr JHP

    *These prices are roughly ranging from $1.17 to $1.65 per round (at today's prices online)

    Also, trying to understand what the deal is with ammo listed as "Cowboy"... some are, some aren't. I assume that maybe this has something to do with the bullets being "lead" (Cowboy) verses "jacketed" (non-Cowboy), yes? Also there seems to be some difference in the amount of recoil in some of these "Cowboy" loads (reduced velocity? less recoil? safer for Trapdoor leverguns?) Anyone care to enlighten this 45-70 NOOB? Are "Cowboy" loads not recommended for the Marlin 1895SBL, safe (or worse) to use that the non-Cowboy loads, or does it even matter?

    Any brands, types of ammo you recommend on the list above or otherwise for practice at the range? Thanks in advance for your advice, recommendations, or comments!
    94win30wcf and kah64 like this.
    - Ken
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator
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    Of those listed I only have experience with the Hornady and Winchester Super X. Cowboy loads are fine in your gun and easy on the shoulder. Most of my shooting is with subsonic 405s through a suppressor so have to roll my own.
    kah64, FishTaco and Travlin like this.

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  3. #3
    Contributing Member
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    "Cowboy" loads are indeed mild, and a lot of fun to shoot. Actually the standard Remington 405 grain soft point ammo is gentle shooting too.

    I haven't shot a lot of factory ammo through a 45/70, preferring to handload, but yes, there are quite a few options. I'm impressed that you found so many different 45/70 ammo choices!

    Guy
    kah64, FishTaco, msharley and 1 others like this.

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  5. #4
    Wrangler
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    Commercial bullets in this caliber are going to be expensive for “plinking” most manufactures do not make a “plinking”round. Cowboy action is a light recoil and would fall into the “plinking” category. Purchasing loaded bullets via the mail is expensive unless you purchase in large quantities Your best bet is finding somebody that reloads and buy the components. I just loaded up 50 rounds of 290 grain lead “plinkers” over 11 grains of unique. Very light to no recoil, fun and economical to shoot. Well below the projected $1.17-$1.65 per bang.

  6. #5
    Sidewinder
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    If you are going to get the itch to shoot the 45 70 it is time for you to invest in a lee loader, some cast bullets, and trail boss powder. Virtually fool proof equipment and components. Sit at the bench and reload more as you are enjoying the day at the range. Straight wall cases are a bunch of fun with the lee loader and Trail Boss powder will give you all the plinking loads you desire. You might as well do it now and save the time of doing it later.
    Plato:
    “Strange times are these in which we live when old and young are taught falsehoods in school. And the person that dares to tell the truth is called at once a lunatic and fool”

  7. #6
    Certified Gunnut
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    Shoot whatever is cheapest - your Marlin can handle any of them. The .45/70 is what got many into handloading (me included). Perhaps you will be another.
    FishTaco, kah64 and Land Cruiser like this.

  8. #7
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    Save your cases. someday you will reload!
    Travlin, FishTaco and kah64 like this.

  9. #8
    Tenderfoot
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    Dallesed is spot on. I started shooting 45 70 with factory ammo and could hardly afford to shoot, so I soon started reloading. Trail boss with 405s is so cheap, and a lot of fun. Get the cheapest ammo you can find if you just want to plink, and be sure to save your cases. Reloading straight wall cases is not hard to learn. When you're ready to start reloading you will easily be able to find more than enough instructional videos.
    FishTaco and kah64 like this.

  10. #9
    Gunfighter
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    I have to agree that if you are plinking with factory ammo, price will probably be your primary consideration. I'm one of those that started reloading because of my 45-70s. It doesn't take long for a modest reloading kit to pay for itself at $1.17 to $1.65 per round. Regarding the cowboy loads, my GBL loves the Black Hills, 405 grain at about 1250 fps. In fact, I've hunted whitetail the past few seasons with them and had excellent results. Of course, 50-60 yards is a long shot in my hilly hardwoods.

    Congratulations on the SBL! We're looking forward to some pics and a range report when you bring it home. I think you'll really enjoy it.
    FishTaco likes this.

  11. #10
    Tinhorn
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    i couldnt afford to shoot my 45-70 if i diddnt cast and reload my cartridges .the price here is crazy.
    Scorpiusb and FishTaco like this.


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