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While trying to find an answer to this, I read somewhere that the .30-30 can be compared to an ak-47 round, the 7.62×39mm. If the .30-30 is to 7.62×39mm, then what would/could the 45-70 be compared to in velocity and range like, .243, .270, .308, .30-06, .300 win mag?
 

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The .45/70 is a remarkable leftover from the 1870's. A blackpowder era cartridge that exists today out of a love for the nostlalgia and an appreciation for it's qualities.

There's really little quite like it in the arena of modern cartridges. Instead of high velocity, it relies on the large diameter & mass of the bullet, moving at modest velocity.

A couple of large bore cartridges have come along that sort-of approximate it, but only roughly.

I was struck, some ten years ago, by the similarities of my then-new .500 S&W revolver ballistics to the venerable .45/70 rifle ballistics.

.45/70, 400 gr bullet at about 1330 fps
.500 S&W, 440 gr bullet at about 1400 fps

So, it's really nothing like the cartridges mentioned in the first post, the .243, etc...

J Bobway makes a great point. The .458 Win mag is surpringly similar, shoving a 500 gr bullet downrange at around 2,000 - 2100 fps. A max-loaded .45/70 can approach that, reaching 2000 fps with 400 gr bullets... I've fired some of those loads and they're a handful in a lightweight lever action rifle...

Regards, Guy
 

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Read a book from Paul Mathews, 40 years with the 45-70 to get a better understanding. also Ken Waters have plenty of articles relating to the 45-70 and how to et the most out of it. this is an antiquated obsolete cartridge (tongue in cheek):flute:and does not compare to the new magnum cartridges. Although it is believed that deer have become immune to these type of obsolete cartridges over the years, maybe evidence of evolution, and folks need the new magnums to effectively take game animals.:hmmmm:

I will say that even loaded hot such as the Buffalo Bore loads it does not punish me as much as a hot load in the 30-06. IMHO it is more of a push than a hard kick and learning how to shoot it requires a bit of trial and error considering the trajectory of the massive bullet. I wish I could figure out how to post a video on this thread as I would show you an aggressive watermelon that I shot with 405 gr in subsonic load with blue dot. there was nothing bigger than your thumbnail left, when you hit a deer size animal it usually shakes a bit and drops like a rock.
 

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The power (foot pounds of energy) of fully loaded modern lever action 45-70 can be compared to a lot of rounds, like the 308 and 30-06, but then are they available in lever actions too.

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In my mind, nothing really compares to the 45-70. There are calibers like the 458 that shoot an identical bullet bit it goes pretty far beyond what a 45 -70 can really do in the velocity department. Also, while I'm sure it could be done, you never hear about people downloading the 458.

If I were really going to compare it to another caliber, I think it would be the 30.06. Not for anything to do with ballistics but because the '06 may be the only other caliber that comes close to the reloading versatility of the 45-70. Shear bore size gives the 45 - 70 an advantage here but popularity alone gives the30 caliber guns an equal advantage in bullet selection because while not every bullet company makes a selection of 45-70 caliber bullets, they certainly do for the 30.06. To get the most out of the 45-70 you really do need to shoot cast bullets. Given that option alone you can go from 145 grain collar buttons to 500+ grain hammers. That translates to about a 325% range of bullet weight choices. If it were not for the old "accelerator" rounds for the 30.06 it wouldn't even come close but as it is, you could say the 30.06 has a bullet range of 55 grains up to about 220 grains which is right at a 400% range but the 55 grain bullet is actually a 22 caliber bullet in a plastic sabot. BUT a 30 caliber round ball is about 45 grains so you could go that route.

Anyway, not what you asked for, just rambling really.
 

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I thought this was interesting...at least to me it shows a high powered round that transfers all its energy to the target isn't necessarily better than one that goes through without transfering as much energy, unless you like to vaporize your prey instead of eat it:
 

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Depending on how you load it….:flute:

Transport Vehicle Locomotive Mode of transport Rolling stock
 

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The 45-70 has no direct comparison in my opinion. ( We all know what they say about opinions) Having shot a few animals with different 45-70 loads and also having shot quite a few animals with various other rounds from 243 to 375 the effect of the 45-70 with a wfn bullet is like non other I have ever seen. I will trust my life on a properly loaded 45-70 more so than any other round not met for dangerous game. I personally would rather have my 1895 in a tough situation than my bolt 375.
 

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for kill action I think a 45/70 is more like a magnum muzzle stuffer. all game I have shot with a cast wide nose boolit from a 45/70 just laid down and gave up.
the same with a heavy out of a smoker. I have seen more drop right there with cast heavy's then with all the high powered mags I have ever used.
 

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There is not a cartridge that can't be loaded up or down. Myself I'm looking at another bolt gun. Why? It's what I learned to shoot with and feel's natural. 1964 35 Rem at my side as I type! Why? I love it!!!!!!!
 

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The 45-70 (as noted in the many Comments) is a very versatile round. Sure, there are more powerful bolt gun rounds but in a small package with very quick action cycling? It's very difficult to find anything handier than a Marlin 1895 guide gun. You can bet your life on it....
 

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Shooting a gallon of water with almost anything will not yield any
meaningful results. A 22 Mag would blow it up as well. The best way is with wet
phonebooks and I do mean dripping wet.
That will show penetration but not the effects of what the big heavy boolit
will do vs a speedy 223 varmint round which will probably severely overpenetrate
but not stop much of anything.
 

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Shooting a gallon of water with almost anything will not yield any
meaningful results. A 22 Mag would blow it up as well. The best way is with wet
phonebooks and I do mean dripping wet.
That will show penetration but not the effects of what the big heavy boolit
will do vs a speedy 223 varmint round which will probably severely overpenetrate
but not stop much of anything.
That reminds me, there was a video or pictorial of a guy testing 45/70s with phone books, showing that higher velocity 45/70s actually penetrated less than mid-range velocity 45/70s, due to bullet deformation/fragmentation. Drawing a blank on finding it at the moment, though.
 

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Is it similar to this one?

 
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