The .45/70 Government cartridge started its life as a military and buffalo hunting round nearly 150 years ago.

In 2022, this hard hitting round is the go to close range deer, moose and bear stopping cartridge.

The .45/70 Government cartridge began life as the cartridge selected for the ”Trapdoor” Springfield Rifle Model 1873. The originally black powder cartridge was loaded with 70 grains of black powder, and loaded with a 405 grain .45 caliber bullet, hence the name .45/70 Government.

The original all lead round nose bullet was a powerhouse when it came to dispatching enemy forces or used on the ever present buffalo at the time out west.

Modern loaded cartridges have coupled high tech bullets built for different game loaded with smokeless powders. These cartridges have a harder hit on game animals and have become the sportsman’s rifle for when distances are closer and a one-two knock down punch is needed quickly.

Midway USA

Hornady Lever Evolution cartridges feature a soft polymer tip that allows for good expansion and avoids the chances of detonation when loaded in a tube magazine in such rifles as lever action designs, since the pointed bullet tip sits against the other cartridge’s primer. Trajectories are improved over the old lead bullet varieties of yesteryear, and the 250 grain bullets still knock down the game with authority. The old buffalo gun cartridge has been reborn!

Cheaper Than Dirt

What do you pack in your lever action rifle .45/70 when in thick brown bear territory or in Africa? Garrett Cartridges offers a big boomer with a 500 grain copper clad steel jacketed solid bullet with a velocity of 1,550 fps.

This is a high pressure load only for modern repeating rifles, as Garrett’s website warns. This bullet will penetrate, and then some, even on thick skulls such as bears and wild boar. Sold for elephants, hippo, rhino and cape buffalo as the box states! This round will punch a hole in, and a hole out.

Garrett Cartridges

The old .45/70 cartridge is still going strong and the right pick for big game at short and medium ranges. Deer hunters in Ohio, it is on your approved straight walled cartridge list of allowed rifle calibers allowed now. It is what I use for chasing deer during Ohio’s Deer Gun Season. If the big bear below can be stopped by the .45/70 cartridge a deer sized animal has no chance against such crushing power.

Scott Haugen

May the grand ole cartridge, the .45/70, last another century and more!

Do you like articles about the outdoors? You can follow him @ericthewoodsman on Twitter, The Classic Woodsman on Facebook, and @theclassicwoodsman on Instagram, The Classic Survivalist, and The Classic Woodsman YouTube Channel