From C.W.’s place:

I have to say that for me, the pleasure I get from shooting the .45-70 Govt depends very much on what rifle I’m using.  In my Browning High Wall, it’s fantastic fun.  With a lever rifle — any lever rifle — I have to have some serious padding at the shoulder to be able to shoot more than a few rounds.

I haven’t yet tried that custom ammo in the picture, but I must say I’m intrigued.

I still have a sneaky Bucket List item, which is to hunt Cape buffalo or grizzly bear with my single-shot High Wall, using the heavy Buffalo Bore loads.


HSM makes a 430-gr +P cartridge that breaks the 3,000 ft/lbs at the muzzle, but I don’t know how much that drops off by 50 yards — not much, I would guess.

Compare that with the .375 H&H (300-gr) load Doc Russia ad Mr. Free Market used to nail their respective buffaloes:

Whatever.  All the Africa hands and serious hunters of my acquaintance think I’m insane, because to hunt buff or grizzlies you need a minimum muzzle energy of 3,000 ft/lbs at 50 yards, and the 45-70 doesn’t get there.  Apparently I wouldn’t be able to get a PH / outfitter to accompany me.

It’s still on the list, however.  (Just don’t tell New Wife.)


  1. I surely would like to see a Henry All Weather 45-70 propped up front and center in my stable. That ammo runs about $59 per 20, so that Henry would be appropriate right next to my Winchester model 71 lever who’s ammo runs about $90 for 20.

    It’s a satisfying feeling sitting on the edge of the bed the next morning with aching shoulder after delivering a few hundred large rounds down range and knowing you possess a gun that can kill any animal on all 7 continents.

    1. “few hundred”? Yer a better man than I am. After a couple boxes of 20, I fall weeping to the ground, begging for an osteopath.

    2. @Ghost . . .
      A buddy of mine has an all-weather Henry … in .44 magnum. That thing is a hoot to shoot, and gentle as a purring pussycat in the recoil department. It might not have quite the punch, but the holes from .44 mag are just as big as those from .45-70 … they’re easy to see with 50-ish year old aging eyes !!!
      – Brad

    1. I think the reason is that the High Wall has a humongous 28″ heavy barrel, and the stock is wider at the heel than the Win-Mar 1895. It’s heavier than the 1895 by about 3lbs altogether, and I think that soaks up the slam.

      1. Thanks. My buddy has a single action chambered in .45-70 and it is a hoot to shoot. He will let anyone shoot 5 rounds, but most don’t get past one shot.

  2. I have the Marlin Guide gun in 45-70 and while I wish I could go after some of the big dangerous stuff and my age and with my budget it ain’t gonna happen however it is fun to shoot that sucker with iron sights and make nice holes at 100 yards with the less powerful ammo. Taking time to aim between shots it would make a good home defense gun as long as a person was careful about the downrange stuff, one round would certainly hunt a bad guy.

    As for the felt recoil that might be attributed to the shape of the stock, I know that a Savage 99 in .308 seems to have more punch than a 30-06 Winchester 70 while it should be the other way around.

  3. The only thing that makes my Marlin 1895 ‘comfortable’ to shoot is the ‘Limbsavor’ buttpad I placed on it. Don’t know why the PH’s in Africa wouldn’t support that caliber, since Guide Guns are a mainstay backup weapon for hunting guides in Alaska when facing the possibility of downing one of their Brown Bears. I also seem to recall that the more anemic original black powder 405 grain soft lead rounds played a major roll in eliminating all those pesky Bison we used to have around here. Although I have some of those extreme penetrator rounds I’ve seen ballistic tests that quite clearly illustrate they do not penetrate more than similar hard cast rounds in the same media. In the test the hard cast zipped right through the 4 feet of ballistics gel and on through the plywood backstop, but the penetrator was stopped in about 3 1/2 feet of gel.

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