I also prefer the heavy hitters, the 45-70 was made to be a heavy hitter so you might as well use it for that. I hunt big game and have only had it a few years and so far I have shot one mule deer buck, one antelope buck and one bison, buffalo bull. All were one shot kills and Paper patched bullets. ;D
The reason I shoot 325 LFNGC Beartooth bullets is because they work so well in my 1895CB. I have shot 405 FNGC BTB's as well and they are tremendous as well. But that 325 grainer is just so consistant that I dont want to change. I have my eye on an 1895 guide gun when I get home and will load up 405's for that one, it will give me more opportunities to experiment with BT bullets.
I figure why not shoot whatever u can. I have a nice stock pile of 300,350,375,400,405,and 475 grainers. I figure if the price is right grab em up, I don't see component prices really dropping much in the near future so gobble em up
+1 on that one, I never buy one (1) of anything, if I cannot buy multiple's I roll the dice and save my money in the hopes the prices dont go higher. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesnt, but I sure have a stockpile of bullets, primers, powder, cases....well you get the idea
I really could not limit myself with the survey. Although I did pick the medium weights. I can use my 45-70 for just about everything here in Oz,
I have even used a 425grgc on rabbits, overgunned you say? (It was what I was carrying at the time.) Well I get around that by quoting the 12th commandment, "THOUGH SHALT NEVER BE OVERGUNNED", and being a devout Marlinite I abide by those words.
405gr - I have two moulds for it (Lyman FN/FB and Lee FNHB). I figure that I can kill anything in Texas with that, it will make a nice through-and-through channel, and, with the light TrailBoss loads, it isn't going to kill my shoulder, just what's in FRONT of the bore!
I vote for 420gr. hardcast. I know there are good light weight bullets (300partition) that perform all out of porportion, but I like this caliber in 420ish range as ideal for what it is. I am not trying to strech it out to bolt gun range, I use it in the timber for a close ELK SLEDGE HAMMER, and it works fantasic. I think it is a perfect ballance for weight and velocity. I really don't see a need for a bullet ligher than 400 grains, but that is just me. I know lots of people use them on deer and I guess thats why they make light fangible bullets for them, but it just doesn't seem to fit the purpose for me. I shoot 550 gr. bullets too, but I think that that is a bit much for the velocity loss from 420ish range unless pure penetration is what your after, not that it wouldn't get the job done. I am a heavy for caliber person regardless of caliber any way, no amout of paper charts will ever convince me to shoot a 110gr. 30cal bullet either. I just don't understand the use of lightweight bullets in any caliber. My thoughts are always if you want to shoot a light bullet get a smaller gun that matches up with the weight.
Frankly, I'm a fan of letting the gun tell me what bullets it likes within the mid weight bullets that the gun was designed for. Eg I shoot 150s in a 308, 165s in a 30-06, and 180s in a 300 Weatherby. I'm still experimenting with what my 45-70 GBL likes. I plan to hunt deer and black bear with it in wooded areas, so I have no plans to try to stretch out the range with fast, light bullets.
I picked the 400 to 430 because that will take care of any animal I want to hunt with it and I don't want to adjust my sights for so many different point of impacts from all the different bullet weights.
I clicked the 300-350 because that is what I use now and it works for the conditions we have here in NE PA. Besides, who is to argue against 1" or less groups? With 54grns of H322 in Rem cases, it is pretty mild. However, if I were going after elk or even bison, I would go with a different bullet configuration, and would definitely consider a heavier bullet. So, I'm not "married" to a bullet weight. Depends on what you're after and where you hunt. Think about it, it's a cartridge that one can load with a huge range of bullet weights. What else can you load with a 300+ grain weight variance in one caliber? not many! No wonder it's such a popular caliber. Beautiful caliber, superb platform to launch them with (Marlins)!
I bought 2 moulds, one a 350 and the other a 420, both NOE which are similar to RD's with a deeper grease groove.
I shoot the 350's at two speeds, one is a 1400fps load and the other is a 1800+ load. I find them both to be accurate. Perhaps this will be my longer range, flatter shooting round. I don't know what game can't be taken with these.
My other bullet, the 420g I also shoot at two speeds. One @ 1400fps and the other close to 1700fps. Again, these are both accurate.
If I had known how accurate the 45-70 lever really was, I'd have bought one years ago.
Have yet to hunt with it, but either bullet would do and if I might, I'd probably open things up by using the 350g to start with.
I picked the 300-350 as it is the most useful bullet here in Utah, IMO. You get just a tad more range, and the 350 HornadyRN is a very popular bullet, even for buffalo. I play with heavier, but can see no real advantage to them, other than if a rifle prefers accuracy wise.
I chose the 300 grain bullet range because it is a flatter shooting bullet and gives me a max point blank range around 170 yards while keeping max bullet rise to only 2 inches. Now if I were walking among the grizzlies, then I would move up to a 400+ grain bullet for hunting.