The 45-70 Government cartridge is still reasonably popular today amongst hunters and is widely recognized as the perfect cartridge for big game hunting, such as Buffalo.
The 45-70 Government cartridge has been in use since the late nineteenth century and part of a collection of cartridges that were used specifically on big game. The 45-70 was also used by the US Army around about the time of 1870. It’s amazing to think that it is still widely used over one hundred years later.
Similarly to the fate of the 30-06 Springfield, the 45-70 Government became a favorite for big game hunters and was adopted as their cartridge of choice when shooting buffalo and bison. This cartridge was also highly recommended by Remington Arms as the cartridge of choice for their ever popular “big game rifles”, the Rolling Block.
Hunting bison can be an extremely dangerous sport, this is due mostly to the size of an average bison and their penchant to attack, by charging at their opponent. Considering that a bison can weight as much as two thousand pounds, it can be quite a scary proposition. This is why, big game hunters prefer to use a .40 caliber or more cartridge, such as a 45-70 Government, as these will have the desired impact of stopping a charging bison in its tracks.
The 45-70 Government is still very popular among big game hunting enthusiasts. This is a cartridge that is design to penetrate skin and bone, it has been manufactured for many different rifles. Many experienced hunters will tell you that modern factory cartridges are still no match for the 45-70 Government. Whether this is a genuine fact or the reminiscent ramblings of a hunter enveloped in history, I will let you make your own mind up. As for me? There is nothing quite like taking the 45-70 cartridge, hand loading it and taking it our into the field, I feel like I could actually be back in 1870 at times.
One final note of caution, depending on your rifle age, always check the manual when loading 45-70 Government cartridges.
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