Big Bores Are Back

June 09, 2012 2 min read

The last five years or so have seen many offerings in the 224 and sub 224 bores, such as .204, 17 Fireball, 17 HMR, etc.; so, it seems quite paradoxical the way companies are chambering in the old big bore cartridge 45/70.

Browning has brought back Winchester 1886’s in different configurations.  My favourite is the light contour 1886 lever rifle. Also, Browning’s Winchester brand has brought back the 1885 High Wall in various versions: the heavy barrel Vernier Sight Target Model and this year the traditional hunter in 45-70 and also 45-90.  H&R New England Firearms build a couple of standard break open 45-70 Rifles and also the Buffalo Hunter which is quite a bit of rifle for the money.  Marlin has re-introduced the 45/70 quite a few years ago and has had stainless, long barrel and short guide guns, etc.

Ruger offers the No. 1 in 45/70 single shot in a couple of variations.  Chiappa and a couple of other reproduction companies offer the 1886 rifle or carbine in 45/70.  Uberti offers the Sharps and the Highwall in 45/70.  Let’s not forget the BFR 45/70 single action revolver.  Also, the Baikal SXS 45/70 double rifle which we have found shot better than what its price would indicate.  I know there are others I’ve failed to mention in this old U.S. military cartridge.

The point is there are a lot of choices to shoot a big bore without killing your shoulder or pocket book.

The 45/70 with Remington factory ammo is pleasant to shoot with more of a shotgun recoil than a heavy sharp magnum recoil.  Better performing ammo for hunting or long range target can be bought from Hornady or other manufacturers who load for modern firearms.  Reloading will also squeeze more performance out of this old war horse.

Enjoy shooting a gong or paper with this vintage big bore cartridge.  Maybe even hunt moose in heavy cover; the 45/70 might not be going 3000 F.P.S. but up to 150 yards or better it’s a large bullet with devastating knock down power.


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