.45-70 for Elephant

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by trigger creep, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. trigger creep

    trigger creep AH Enthusiast

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    I have been seeing a lot of Americans on the internet calling the .45-70 an "Elephant rifle". I hate it because IMO, the .45-70 can kill an Elephant but it is not necessarily an "Elephant rifle". However, if you dare attempt to debate them they often resort to name calling. I have even seen PH's tell them that the .45-70 is not an "elephant rifle", and they get told they are idiots. Now, my question is the .45-70 an "Elephant rifle"? What do you guys think?:confused:




    Sorry for the grammar, I know I'm not the best kid in the world with grammar.
     
  2. Cossack

    Cossack AH Member

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    It's my understanding that the .45-70 isn't even legal in most places for thick-skinned dangerous game, lacking sufficient muzzle energy. It's a great cartridge but it's no more uniquely suited to shooting elephants than the 7x57, .303 Brit., or 6.5 Mannlicher, and unlike those three, it doesn't have a century of heritage in African Dangerous game. And since I don't hear anyone referring to their 7mms or Lee-Enfields as "Elephant Guns," I don't see any reason why we should consider the .45-70 and elephant cartridge.
     
  3. trigger creep

    trigger creep AH Enthusiast

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    I agree with you 100%. But if you say that they will just say "Bell used a 7X57 Mauser". That is so annoying. You cannot explain to them that Bell hunted in open areas wher most of his Elephants were shot at distances past 75 yards. You also cannot explain to them that he himself said that he didn't switch to smaller calibers because they were better Elephant cartridges, he switched to them because of price and recoil.
     
  4. 505ED

    505ED AH Veteran

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    I know one gent that killed an elephant with a 45-70 and the bull fell very dead on the first shot....but....its not an elephant gun!!!!!
     
  5. Macs B

    Macs B AH Veteran

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    I recently read Peter Capstick's last novel, in which he recounts the story of two local hunters accidentally killing an elephant with a 22 cal. rimfire rifle from a very short range. I don't think anyone would argue that a 22 rimfire isn't an elephant gun even though it did kill an elephant according to one man. I'm sure a few bears have been killed by pistols in self defense but you don't typically refer to those rounds and weapons as bear guns.
     
  6. trigger creep

    trigger creep AH Enthusiast

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    I actually have seen people say that there is not need for big bores because people have killed Elephant with .22 L.R's. The sad thing here in America is I see a lot of people using the the wrong cartridges for what they're hunting. They brag about how they killed an Elk or a Bear with a .243 Win. It has become something to brag about if you use a cartridge too small for a certain animal. That is why my signature is "Does your rifle give you an advantage, or put you at a disadvantage?"
     
  7. 505ED

    505ED AH Veteran

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    Bullet tech has done alot for calibers in the last 10 years. Would I use a 243 for elk...yes! It will just limit my range and shot placement. Would I use a 257 WBY for elk.. you bet!!!! With the copper expanding bullets on the market it makes a 257 or 6.5 a very valid elk round. Shot placement, shot placement.. cannot say it enough.
     
  8. trigger creep

    trigger creep AH Enthusiast

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    Yes, but they talk about shooting Elk at 600 yards with .243 Win. I wouldn't hunt Elk with a .243 period, I don't care what Barnes TSX or Nosler partition you can use. I like to hit the animals I hunt hard, not with bee stings. I would rather hunt Elk with a .44 Remington mag with 300 grainers than a .243 with 100 grainers anyday.


    I have a question, why is a guy called 505ED talking about hunting Elk with .243's?:rolleyes: LOL :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2010
  9. MarineHawk

    MarineHawk AH Senior Member

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    Just to be clear, you mean that you "don't think anyone would argue that a 22 rimfire is an elephant gun ..."?
     
  10. Macs B

    Macs B AH Veteran

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    Alright the grammar police got me, just to be clear yes I endorse the use of the 22 rimfire for all apllications up to and including elephant, they just need to be very very small elephants, 10 pounds and under preferably. I feel that it is entirely safe to say that I would shoot any and all 10 pound elephant with the 22 rimfire but not the 17 HMR, thats just crazy talk!
     
  11. MarineHawk

    MarineHawk AH Senior Member

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    I personally would be comfortable hunting 10-lb elephants with the .17 HMR, but I think people who do it with Daisy BB guns are just nuts.
     
  12. trigger creep

    trigger creep AH Enthusiast

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    Isn't 10 lbs. pushing the .17 HMR a little far? LOL
     
  13. Double D

    Double D AH Senior Member

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    My best buddy has a 45-70 and he figures its the greatest thing since sliced bread. He reads all that Turnbull penetration propaganda and believes every damn word. I dont agree but I bite my tongue and let it go. I have shot elephant, and I suppose under ideal conditions a 45-70 will get the job done. But what if you screw up the first shot and the PH's gun jams. It happened to me, I hit in front of the brain "my fault" and the PH's gun did jam. Lucky for me I had a .500 and it stunned the elephant long enough to let me finish the job real quick, but I wouldnt want to be standing there with 45-70 and no back up. Did any one see the Boddington video where shoots and shoots and shoots the buff with the Turnbull. What if the buff was inbound instead of out bound? I no my opinion on this subject is unpopular as hell, but it is my opinion.
     
  14. trigger creep

    trigger creep AH Enthusiast

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    It is things like that make me dislike the .45-70 government. The people who own them can be unbearable at times. The worst thing of all, is the people who are saying that say that they're shooting an elephant rifle are using factory ammo, not handloads! Only if you handload the .45-70 with 500 grainers is it even worth considering for Elephant! They're using the weak factory loads and saying that they're shooting an Elephant rifle. The 500 grn. factory ammo probably wouldn't even penetrate the Elephatnts skull if you needed it to.
     
  15. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    I most certainly do not think that the .45-70 is an elephant cartridge.

    So Christian, just how much have you shot a .45-70 and how many head and what type of game have you taken with it? What bullets have you used in it?
     
  16. trigger creep

    trigger creep AH Enthusiast

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    Skyline, I'm 13 and the biggest thing I have shot a lot of is the .30-06. My dad has used a .45-70 a bit. I don't know if you are mistaken or what but I, at no point during this thread, said that the .45-70 is an Elephant cartridge. In fact, I am making fun of the people who say it is one. IMO, it is minimal.
     
  17. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    Gentlemen, there is one thing you need to know about the old 45-70 Gov cartridge and the rifles that are chambered for that cartridge.

    The reason the 45-70 Gov is named the way it is, is because it was made for the 1878 Springfield trapdoor military rifle, and carbine to be used for killing humans. It was also used to collect meat supply for the troops while on patrol, in Indian country. I even have a “wood incased” bird shot 45-70 cartridge that was issued to troops to shoot birds and rabbits with the trapdoor 45-70 rifle. Sort of the original shot shells made for pistols today by CCI. The rifles and cartridges were well designed for their intended purposes they were designed for their time in history.

    I own three rifles chambered for the old 45-70, and have owned many more over the last 50 yrs or so. I today’s firearms, the cartridge will do some thing much better than it did in the old days, because of stronger guns, and hand-loading for those newer guns for special purposes.

    The cartridge has always had it’s handicaps, and most of those are still in effect today regardless of the better rifles, and loads that can be used in those newer guns.

    The problem with the guys who shout so much BS about how powerful the 45-70 is, are either trying to sell you something, or in most cases have no idea what they are talking about, and/or believe the guy who wants to sell them something! Most of those guys have never shot anything bigger than a goaty old whitetail deer, or shot a bigger rifle than the 45-70, and are in a word full of crap and most are not over high school age and have a lot to learn about African elephant if they think this cartridge is an ELEPHANT CARTRIDGE. The 45-70 is not the best stopping rifle for the lower 48 in the USA much less in Africa. Even with a lower 48 Griz, I would far rather have a 338 Win Mag, or 375 H&H and neither of those can be counted on to stop a griz every time, but they are certainly better than a 45-70. Also the 375 H&H is legal in Africa and the 45-70 is not.

    The 45-70 with a VERY strong rifle, and HOT hand-loads, is workable for all North American animals under the right conditions. Especially if that is all that is in your hands when they are encountered. In a short repeating rifle it is a better self-defense weapon than a pistol, but a dependable STOPPING RIFE/CHAMBERING it is NOT!

    AFRICA?????? Well, of the big five it would be OK for the two cats over bait, with the afore mentioned HOT hand-loads, with proper bullets, and the very strong rifle. Cape buffalo have been killed with the old 45-70 but that doesn’t make it a Cape buffalo rifle/cartridge combination, and in fact is illegal for that purpose in every country where those animals are hunted. That is not to say that PH sometimes alow it to be used for that purpose, they do on occasion! However anyone who allows that cartridge to be used on an elephant is a little light in the brainpan, IMO!

    It does no good to argue with the 45-70 crowd because their minds are fixed, firmly in their head in the sand along with the ostrich. Ignorance is not an indication of one’s intelligence! It simply means a person simply doesn’t know something. The stubourn resistance to information that corrects that lack of knowledge is another matter all together!
     
  18. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Oh I see Christian. Sorry about that. I had not read many of your posts before and didn't know you were only 13. Obviously you would have no real experience with the .45-70. In any event I am not sure what I am mistaken about as I agreed with you, the .45-70 is not an elephant cartridge. It is a pretty good cartridge for a lot of things, but elephant is definitely not one of them. Have a good day.
     
  19. trigger creep

    trigger creep AH Enthusiast

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    I think we were both mistaken, as I thought that you were saying that I was saying that the .45-70 Gov't was an Elepphant cartridge. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I would love to have a .45-70 someday, but I wouldn't use it on jumbo.
     
  20. trigger creep

    trigger creep AH Enthusiast

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    Very informative post. I had no idea about the bird shot cartridges, that is very interesting. Thanks for taking the time to reply.
     

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