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45/70 ammo for black bear

  1. Just got my hands on a Marlin guide gun in 45/70. I was planning on using the Hornady LEVERevolution ammo w/ 325 gr. bullet. My shots will be 50/60 yards max. I will be hunting a cedar swamp.
    Any one have any other suggestions?
  2. I think that will work. I also think that Remington 405gr. factory loads would work, and the 300gr. factory loads made by Federal, Remington, and Winchester would work fine. I think the Black Hills Cowboy load with a 405gr. cast bullet at 1250fps would work fine. Certainly any of the Buffalo Bore loads would work.

    60 yards isn't that long of a shot and black bears aren't armor plated. I think about any .45-70 load would work well.
  3. For 50/60 yds in a cedar swamp, I'd forget about putting any glass on that Guide Gun. I'd go with a peep sight... Williams makes a great one that I've used on my Marlin lever-gun (336 in .35 Rem) for 20 years. They're not very expensive either... probably about the same cost as a scope-mount base and some decent scope rings. The Williams peep sights are deadly accurate and much more durable/sturdy than the stock Marlin rear leaf sights, and I've shot deer with mine out to 150 yds with no problems. Adding a fiber optic front too makes things even better. ;) Cedar swamps tend to be dark places... a fiber optic front sight is really easy to see with a dark background, like a black bear in dim light.
  4. You are lucky - great carbine.

    Good luck!
  5. The 45/70 got its reputation from a 405gr bullet at 1300fps. The new stuff from Hornady will work well.

    Put a set of XS ghost ring sights on your gun. They are awesome.
  6. buffalo bore...

    2500fps, 4000lbs energy....
  7. Anything short of cowboy ammo will work fine. Find what shoots best in your gun and I don't think the bear will notice if it's shot with bullet A or bullet B.

    As far as the comments about not scoping, I'll give my point of view.

    I have bad eyesight, I tried for a long time to use peeps and other forms of iron sights. During normal sunlight/daylight hours it was fine. Sunrise or sunset times, when it gets grey, I couldn't see em worth a dam! I use a marlin 44mag. I bought a 2.5x scope and tried that out one day. Made all the difference! For me it's faster to the target too. Didn't affect the handling of the gun whatsoever, a bit more legal time, and it's faster shooting. I found what worked for me.
  8. Black Hills Cowboy load = 405gr. lead bullet at 1250fps nominal

    Remington Express Factory load = 405gr. JSP bullet at 1330fps nominal

    I agree with this statement
    but do you really think a bear will notice the nominal 80fps difference between the two?
  9. Both of those loads will cleanly take a black bear. They aren't tough. Their hair soaks up a lot of blood so it is hard to trail them sometimes.
  10. It's not the speed it's the bullet. Most cowboy if not all is loaded with a soft lead bullet. Not saying lead bullets are bad and won't do the trick but hit the wrong dangle with the wrong angle and it could deflect and not penetrate like you would want it too. The rem jsp is a great bullet. Deadliest mushroom in the woods, so they say.;)
  11. Try telling that to all the bison, elk, grizzly bear, and black bear killed over the years with soft lead bullets from cartridges like the .45-70.
  12. Those bullets weren't soft lead, they used alloys. A bit harder. Just because many were killed, it doesn't make it the best choice. You use what you use, I don't buy your bullets or put food on your table.
  13. 100 years ago they didn't use alloys that we would consider hard.

    Pure lead has a BHN of about 4 or 5. Paper patched bullets were usually pure lead. The alloys used for non-patched bullets ran from pure lead to 1-40 up to 1-20 tin-lead without antimony. 1-40 has a BHN of about 6 to 8. 1-30 has a BHN of about 9. 1-20 has a BHN of about 10. The "hard" cast bullets Elmer Keith used were 1-16 which has a BHN of about 11. These are all soft. .22LR bullets are about 1-40 and you know how soft those are. One of the big things that lead people to alloy tin with the lead is that it makes it easier to fill the mold completely so you have a higher yield when you are casting.

    For comparison linotype has a BHN of about 22. Lyman #2 alloy has a BHN of about 15. Wheelweights typically run 10-12. The high BHN numbers for use in higher velocity rounds like the .454 come from using more antimony and heat treating the bullets. The BHN for these can run up close to 40. There is no need for that level of hardness on this kind of game.

    I don't know what the alloy is in Black Hills Cowboy loads for the .45-70 but I'll bet it is between 1-40 and 1-20 just like the bison hunters used.
  14. Ok. You have a good point.