The .45-70 Government cartridge is one of the most resilient in American history. It began as a recipe: 70 grains of blackpowder behind a .45 caliber bullet. As technology advanced, the cartridge was given a straight wall brass case and hasn’t changed a great deal.
A Great G2 Deer Cartridge
John Snow does his typical excellent job of covering the progression of the .45-70 Government, yet before getting to the really good stuff, I wanted to mention that the .45-70 is now legal in some shotgun-only states. As slug technology has progressed, it has surpassed a number of lesser straight wall cartridges eligible for deer hunting including .44 Magnum, .357 Magnum, .30-30 Winchester and others.
Typically, guns chambered in .45-70 are classic rifles like those shown above, yet Traditions now produces a full line of break-open rifles in straight wall cartridges that are much more accurate and user friendly than a shotgun. Their Outfitter G2 line comes with traditional rifle features including a double safety which makes the model the perfect “first rifle” for a youngster or newcomer. One offering is in .45-70 and when teamed with Hornaday’s LEVERevolution ammo provides a combination that’s ideal for any big game animal. Additionally, Traditions’ stock design a recoil pad help tame the round’s notorious recoil.
The Buffalo Gun: .45-70
It’s hard to imagine the .45/70 Government as a brand-new round, untested and unproven either on big game or in battle. But that was the situation back in 1873, when it was introduced. That was a long time ago. Our country wasn’t even 100 years old, and the Civil War was fresher to Americans back then than 9/11 currently is to us. Giant herds of bison still darkened the Plains, but the great slaughter of these beasts was in full swing, and before long, fewer than 100 would remain in the wild.