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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going elk hunting in Wyoming next year and need some ideas as to what load for my 45-70 GG. I will either use it to hunt elk and for bear protection or just for bear protection. I have never been to Wyoming and won't know where I am going until we get the tags. My other rifle is a 7mm08 and the max range for elk with it is probably the same as the 45-70 (200yds). My gun has the XS lever scout set up and I would probably add a Leupold Scout scope if I only brought the GG. What is a good load for elk and for Wyoming sized Grizzlys? My other option is to bring the 7mm08 and a Ruger Redhawk for the bears. The pistol would be on me all the time, the GG would be a little more difficult. I have loaded Bear Tooth Bullets 325gr and Speer 300gr for short range deer and hog hunting in SC and LA. The Speer has resulted in shorter blood trails but I know the hard cast is better for big critters.
Thanks
 

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To carry a handgun is a good thing but in a quick defense you will use whats in your hand at the time. I would recommend having a load for both Elk and Bear in you Marlin. As Seabass said there are many good bullets for the hunt you plan. The Pile-Driver Jr will also work for anything in North America. I use a Pile-Driver 525 grain just because I like heavy bullets. If you are going to use a hard cast bullet at up to 200 yards you may want to stay in the 400 to 430 grain area for good trajectory. One nice thing about a quality hard cast is you can shot more often and not break the bank, and we all know that lots of practice can be the trick to getting the game and staying alive in the event of a Bear attack. Good luck on the hunt and let us know what you plan on using.

Domenic
 

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Hello Bayou,
If it were my hunt, and I was in known Griz territory, I wouldn't have anything in my chamber, other than Randy Garretts 540gr Hammerheads.
They will drop anything on the planet with 4 legs, if you do your job. They're kinda expensive, but worth it when your bacon is on the line.
JMHO...
Alan
 

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I live in Wyoming so sorta know what I'm talking about. The only Griz' is in the northwest corner, or I sould say the northwest quarter of the state. I dont know where you're going to hunt so I thought I'd pass that along. Elk can be killed with any good quality 300 grain plus bullet. If you are going to be in in the northwest area, then a good 400 plus grain hard cast is the way to go.
 

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lbk454 said:
I live in Wyoming so sorta know what I'm talking about. The only Griz' is in the northwest corner, or I sould say the northwest quarter of the state. I dont know where you're going to hunt so I thought I'd pass that along. Elk can be killed with any good quality 300 grain plus bullet. If you are going to be in in the northwest area, then a good 400 plus grain hard cast is the way to go.
+1 and I also live in Wyoming, I would sight that GG in for the load that you shoot best and chances are if you run in to a grizzly that would be the best because chances are you would only get one shot and you might as well use the most power available. More people are mauled by black bears every year across American than grizzly's and black bears are all over this state. If your hunting with a guide then you should have no worries because they will be right there watching your back. What area's did you put in for? I only carry a pistol for grouse while hunting but I do carry full power loads and if I run in to birds I change out to my bird loads. Also, If traveling a long ways for a possible once in a life time hunt I would also bring and extra rifle along for back-up in the case something happens to the other rifle. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, for the bear and elk info. I won't know where we are hunting until we get the tags, it is a group draw kind of thing and we will either all get drawn for the same area or not drawn at all. I am leaning toward the Beartooth 420 or the Hornady 350 so far. I don't think I need the biggest baddest load just something that will work. Also will probably get a Lee Factory crimp die to make sure my reloads are reliable. I might just bring my 7mm08 along also, it has a bit more reach in case we get to hunt mule deer.
 

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Bayou Bum said:
Thanks, for the bear and elk info. I won't know where we are hunting until we get the tags, it is a group draw kind of thing and we will either all get drawn for the same area or not drawn at all. I am leaning toward the Beartooth 420 or the Hornady 350 so far. I don't think I need the biggest baddest load just something that will work. Also will probably get a Lee Factory crimp die to make sure my reloads are reliable. I might just bring my 7mm08 along also, it has a bit more reach in case we get to hunt mule deer.
That's what I would suggest, to bring along that extra rifle. As long as your able to hit a bullseye from zero to 200 yards with your GG you will be fine, but bring that 7mm08 for longer range if needed. Plus like I stated in my first post, to have an extra in case something happens to the other rifle then you have a back-up. Good luck on the draw.
 

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I always take a back up rifle and during my last year elk hunt I needed it when my 338mx had the Marlin jam. It took 2 days to get it fixed locally so my 1895 filled the bill nicely. I didn't kill anything with the 45/70 but got an elk later in the hunt with the 338.
Bill
 

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+1 about the extra rifle! I've had two scopes go bad abd a safety that didn't want to work.

You said it will be a group hunt so not everyone needs to take an extra rifle. 2-3 hunters for 1 extra rifle would be fine,

Hip

P.S. GOOD LUCK !!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the advice guys, will bring two rifles. Probably load some hard cast in the GG and put a scout scope on it. Probably load a 140gr Nosler Partition or buy some of the new Hornady Superformance for my 7mm08. This is gonna be fun!
 

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Bayou Bum said:
Thanks for the advice guys, will bring two rifles. Probably load some hard cast in the GG and put a scout scope on it. Probably load a 140gr Nosler Partition or buy some of the new Hornady Superformance for my 7mm08. This is gonna be fun!
Need that tag first. ;)
 

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I agree about a second rifle 100% I take my 45-70 for timber & the thick stuff in Wyoming, but also take a 300 Win Mag if I'm in the open or a long distance telephone call is needed. For elk and using a 7mm-08, use a good heavy for caliber bullet like Nosler, Barnes, Swift, etc.
 

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I have tried Barnes and some of the other premium bullets and they shoot great and in some cases might be better than standard or plain bullets. But you know those old cast lead bullets were killing just as well over 100 years ago and will do the same today. I shoot jacketed bullets still but I don't go overboard. The bullet below was aBarnes FXB 250 grain 338 bullet that I recovered after shooting a 5x6 bull elk at 70 yards. These elk came from below at first light and five cows stopped at a saddle below me, and the bull ran up behind them and jabbed a couple cows in the rear with his horns and gave out a bugle. This is when I aimed at him as he was quartered away. The shot went through his front left chest and through his front right shoulder and in to the ground. The cows went over the saddle and the rest (10 -15) turned to where they came from, including the bull I shot. A few spread out in the timber and stopped, I could see a few other bulls but none were bleeding. One was behind a large spruce tree and I thought it was probably my bull so I waited. The other elk moved first and as they disappeared the one behind the tree stepped out and I could see he was bleeding, so I stuck another bullet in him and he dropped right there. On the way down I had to go around to where he was standing on my first shot and I could see where my bullet hit the bare ground and after I dressed the bull out I returned to dig it out. It went 10" in the ground and lost some weight in the dirt and rocks. It's weight now is 203.4 grains so it only lost a little less than 20% weight. Now what I'm getting at is did that bullet perform as advertised, yes but I think it would have been better if it expanded more and did more damage and shock to the vitals. ???
 

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Bayou Bum said:
I am leaning toward the Beartooth 420 or the Hornady 350 so far. I don't think I need the biggest baddest load just something that will work.
I've used neither of the Beartooth piledrivers - I am just passing this info along:

Both bullets have the same diameter metplat. If you drive the lighter bullet at a higher speed, it will make a larger permanent wound channel than the 525 gr bullet. Since both will easily go clean through a "Lower 48" brown bear, I think the 420 makes much more sense since you can drive it faster for a better trajectory.

If you are headed up north for Alaska bear, then I think the 525 "might" be a better choice, depending on the type of terrain.

When I get around to buying some Pile Drivers, they will be the Jrs....

John Davies
Spokane WA
 
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