Story by Tom Claycomb III

Maybe I shouldn’t have placed “rebound” in the title of this article because the .45-70 has always been cool. Maybe it should say it is making a resurgence. Or maybe another title option would be, The .45-70 Is Finally Getting The Attention It Deserves In The Modern Hunting World.

The .45-70 Government has everything going for it. It is a caliber available in a lever action rifle.  That automatically puts it in the Joe Cool class.

Additionally, it has a lengthy history and impressive performance behind it. It was invented in 1873. The .45-70 is now 150 years old. It was originally developed during the Indian Wars for the U.S. Army to replace the .50-70 which was less accurate. It was used up until the Spanish-American War by the Army but faded out shortly after that.

So how did it crossover into the hunting world?  First, it was a good buffalo gun. Secondly all through history our soldiers have come back from overseas and hunted with the firearms they were familiar with in war. Think .30-06 or 5.56.

In the beginning the .45 signified the caliber, and the 70 the grains of black powder. I am told when the Army first started using the .45-70 it was actually called the .45-70-405.  The 405 represented the bullet weight.

Before you youngsters poo-poo the .45-70, remember, the .45-70 has taken the Big 5 in African. So don’t discount it as a hunting rifle for big game. The .45-70 is a real gun when u used within its inherent parameters with plenty of and a viable hunting caliber. Lest I over inflate its value, no it is not a long-range hunting caliber and therein is its limitations. In my opinion it is a 200 yard round.

The .45-70 chambered in a lever action rifle is what most people would classify as a short-range firearm. It also has some traits some of its modern and more popular cousins don’t have. Due to open sights on a lever rifle, you can get on target and acquire your point of impact much faster.  Additionally, follow up shots if needed, are quickly available and moving targets more easily seen and tracked.

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