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45-70 or 375 H&H

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by aknomad, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. aknomad

    aknomad Beaverton Member

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    What are the basic comparisons between these two calibers? Mainly, what is the best round to "do it all?" From White tail to Cape Buffalo.
     
  2. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    375 is an extreme round for whitetail, everything bigger it's alright. There is no such thing as "do it all" round. This is the umpteenth "what's the best...?" thread.:deadhorse:

    There is no answer to your question
     
  3. nitestocker

    nitestocker woodland washington Well-Known Member

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    with in say 250 yards the 45/70 will do it all if you use a marlin they take the hot loads like randy garrett rounds or hsn bear loads for the big stuff. i sold mine just kicks to much for me and mine was ported. now i just use the 3006 and it will kill any thing i hunt deer /elk /black bear.. good luck on your search
     
  4. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I'll give a one-sided offering here, having NO hunting experience with the .375 (although I've shot more than a few). Your criteria is "do it all". For that application, I'd go with the .375 H&H.

    That recommendation is based on only one aspect of "do it all": long range. The .375 is much better for reaching out to maximum practical hunting ranges (my criteria puts the practical limit at 400 yards). It is not that the Gov't. round won't reach there, it is only that reaching there with the .45-70 will introduce more calculation (and perhaps more aforehand practice) to reach there consistently on target.

    If you are of a more sensible nature, and/or your hunting applications will be very most often at ranges maxing near the 200 yard mark, either caliber will serve with absolute satisfaction. Your specifics at each end of game size (Whitetails and Cape Buffalo) fit the 200 yard limit almost perfectly, and 99.9% of shots at those two critters will be at much lesser ranges (providing of course, you do not frequently travel to Montana or Wyoming for your Whitetail). No PH worth his salt would ever ALLOW a 200 yard shot (and rarely even a 100 yard shot) at a Cape Buffalo.

    My experience in the field with the .45-70 is significantly greater. I have taken praire dogs to elk with the cartridge, and everything in-between. Learning the cartridge and the chosen gun (I own five in the caliber, each has a different arena of aplication, and different power ranges of loadings), I have never felt handicapped when facing a long shot. Without checking recoil statistics, I will say that the .45-70 is much more pleasant to shoot (and therefore easier to learn to shoot proficiently). My Trapdoor Springfields are at the low end of power for loadings, and my Sharps rifle is loaded a bit warmer. My Marlin Guide gun increases delivered power (at both ends) significantly, and the Browning High Wall and Siamese Mauser will challenge right at the back door of .458 Winchester Magnum loadings.

    Neither cartridge can be slighted in any fashion. Both can be loaded with great versatility as to chosen quarry. Now that you have an opinion from someone with NO field experience with the .375 (and yet chose that cartridge for your stated criteria), try to find someone with extensive experience with the .375 who might give the nod to the .45-70. He might be the (other) guy to devote your attention to for good information.

    And, with my statement about long range being my hinge point toward choosing the .375,(and with application to something not a Whitetail or Cape Buffalo) I will contradict it with this:

    SharpsGoat.jpg


    Pronghorn buck taken at 375 yards, Shilo Sharps Montana Roughrider, .45-70. 525g lead bullet, 60g FFg Blackpowder.
     
  5. tac

    tac UK, Oregon and Ontario. Well-Known Member

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    This might colour your opinion....

    From the horse's mouth -

    The minimum caliber permitted is a .270. The 30-06 is capable of taking most of the plains game available. The 30-06 in my mind is the absolute minimum to be used on Blue Wildebeest, the BWB is not called the poor man's Buffalo for nothing. I did not include Class 1 here as the Min Caliber for the following is, .22 Hornet, .223, .243; Suni, Dik-Dik, Blue Duiker, Rabbits, Game birds, Gazelle, Minor antelope, Reedbuck, Lesser Kudu. Your 30-06 will suffice for these.

    Class 2 – Large Game
    Major antelope, Zebra, Greater Kudu, Sable, Roan, Waterbuck, Wildebeest, Hartebeest, Lion

    25-06, .270, 7mm RM, .308 Win, 30-06, 300 WM, .303 Brit, 9,3 x 62

    Minimum 2500 ft. pound of energy

    Class 3 – Dangerous thick skinned game
    Big game, Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Hippopotamus, Giraffe

    .375 H&H, 416 Rigby, 458 WM, 505 Gibbs

    Minimum 4000 ft. pound of energy


    Your 45-70 is in deep trouble for larger game, unless you are shooting a load that I don't know about.

    tac
     
  6. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    While such (admittedly to be seriously considered and respected) caliber restrictions are certainly seen in SOME districts of Africa, and insisted upon by SOME outfitters there, they certainly ARE NOT universal to the continent or outfitters operating there. "The horse's mouth" as it were is not the same mouth for all horses.

    A 500 grain solid, launched from a strong-action .45-70 at 1800 fps delivers 3597 ft. lbs of energy. As has been proven time and time again in numerous districts of Africa, by hunters who have been guided with their .45-70's (even with lesser loads) by PH's without such caliber restrictions, such a load delivered appropriately insures the only entity in "deep trouble" is the Cape Buffalo.

    We need not (except for entertainment purposes) enter an argument that might propose energy as equivalent to killing effectiveness. So many other factors are at least as important.

    I might also differ with some who would contend that questions such as posted here by the OP are "unanswerable", or redundant. While it seems that such questions spark debates that have been explored thoroughly on numerous previous occasions, I would submit that it is precisely such questions/debates that are the base fuel for websites such as this one. The OP (at least from his "statistics") is relatively new to this forum. ANY questions from those arriving here recently (redundant or not), deserve information from any who can offer such along with experience (or, as in my response, lack of). In truth, I found his question to be rather well-thought, of good interest and APART from the norm (i.e.: .270 vs .30-06, Glock vs. 1911).

    While I would agree that the .375 (in its regular loadings) might be much ("extreme") for Whitetail deer, and my preferences run to much less "extreme" cartridges for that game, the cartridge is VERY versatile, and can be loaded to be entirely appropriate for Whitetails. Some proponents (many, actually) of the cartridge who use it for that purpose might defend it as even a BETTER choice for Whitetail than say, a .30-06, producing wound channels that allow "eating right up to the bullet-hole", and providing penetration necessary to anchor a big buck should the shot be at the south end of a northbound deer (no advocacy of such a shot is proposed here).
     
  7. rickoshay

    rickoshay gaston or Member

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    Someone who only has one gun is not going after Cape Buffalo
     
  8. dklime

    dklime Montana New Member

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    I was once told by an old timer that the .375 H&H is the smallest caliber allowed for African game. However, for my "all around" gun for big game, that is, including Whitetail, Muleys, Elk, Bear or Moose is the .375 H&H. I have utilized other faster, flat shooting calibers but the old ".375" tops the list. Ammo is available anywhere you go in the world and the knock down power is great. The recoil is more of a push, rather than the sharp punch. Loading for it is great as the trajectory doesn't change a heck of a lot with the different bullet weights. The range is considerably more than the 45/70 (which is a good caliber), that's if you are capable of ranges further than 200 yards. And, the best reason is that you can just about eat the meat up to the bullet hole without dealing with "bloodshot". If you are going on safari, I would consider the .416 or the .460! Not real practical for big game in the states, but who cares! Things can eat you over there, lol.
     
  9. unklekippy

    unklekippy In The Mountains Near Sprague River Well-Known Member

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    My opinion is that in the continental US the 45-70 makes the most sense. If I were to choose between the rifles to take to Africa or Alaska I would choose the .375. I may take the 45-70 to Alaska, but only if I am anticipating short range, timber situations. Long shots over tundra, the .375 wins out without question. With Cape Buffalo, you simply don't get the penetration that you need with a 45-70. I believe a .375 is necessary for Buffalo and a 45-70 should cover just about everything else. Bear in mind, I have never been to Alaska or Africa. I have spent years reading about those guns and animals from Keith to Boddington to Selous and so on. For me, I have no intention of an Alaskan or African trip in the near future and that is why I would opt for a .45-70. Kip
     
  10. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I had a 45-70 that I loaded pretty hot ans was very confident that I could hit/kill the animal I was hunting at any reasonable range I'd encounter in this state. I traded it off because it was a gorgeous and heavy rifle that I didn't want to trash dragging around the country side.

    The 375 Ruger is slightly more than the equal of the 375 H&H. Both of these two cartridges will have a trajectory similar to a 30-06. Maybe not the flattest in the world, but certainly "workable" for ranges much further out than 200 yards.

    My "do it all" rifle doesn't have to cover as wide of a spectrum as the OP states. I hunt deer and elk and am perfectly comfortable/confident with the 30-06. However, anything I can do with the 30-06 I can do with the 375 Ruger, and then some.

    If I was really going to hunt big bears or head to Africa and wanted a "one gun safari", I would take the 375, hands down.

    But that's just me.
     
  11. dklime

    dklime Montana New Member

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    Good man who hunts with the .375 H&H. I ran into the same problem with being weight. To solve that, I had a barrel built which was on the same contours as the .338. (Ruger 77). Had the action work with the longer follower done by a top notch gunsmith and low and behold, I have a great .375 H&H which maybe weighs 7.5 lbs w/o the scope. To compensate for the higher recoil, I put a nice Limsaver recoil pad on it. I love the rifle. Now I have a custom rifle which didn't cost an arm and leg. Several of my friends liked it so well, they did that too. It wasn't my idea but I seen it done in a some shooting magazine. If you were interested in this type, I might be able to give you more info as to how this is done. It was cheaper than buying the Ruger.375 since I already had all the loading stuff for this and casings.