is another "oldie-but-goodie" that just refuses to die. It was
introduced in 1873 as the cartridge for the "Trapdoor" Springfield
rifle. The standard load was a .457" diameter bullet weighing 405
grains ahead of 70 grains of blackpowder -- hence the name.
loading manuals show three separate power levels for the .45-70. The
lowest power for old blackpowder rifles, a much higher "medium" power
for use in modern lever-action rifles such as the Winchester 1886, and
a top-power load range that is suitable for bolt-action rifles
chambered in .45-70 such as some Mauser 98s. As you can see, this is a
very versatile round.
The .45-70 can take almost any game animal on
Earth. When loaded for strong bolt-action rifles it has almost as much
power as the .458 Winchester. With the other loads it is still suitable
for smaller big-game. It's a good round for some of the "long-range
rifle" competitions that are held during Cowboy Action shooting
matches. It is fun to shoot with light loads. It is a bit much for home
defense, but if it's all you have it WILL do the job. Ammunition is
still readily available.