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Thread: A follow on to Paul's "Sissy Gun?"

  1. #1

    A follow on to Paul's "Sissy Gun?"

    i have been reading some scant excerpts about the activities of some members members of the Boone and Crockett probably around 1885/1910?

    Interestingly and hopefully there seems to have been a change of ethics from the old "whack it anywhere" situation of that time to the present day conservation stance?

    Even more interest to me are some of the old calibers in Black Powder, most probably obsolete? except the 45-70. I am still researching these starting with Wikipedia.

    So far I have heard of the following used on Bear, Sheep and Moose to a lesser or greater success. 45-70. .577. 50-110, 30-40 and 40-93-400. some as double rifles.

    Any comment or information welcomed particularly from over the pond?.........where there may still be a few hanging about?

  2. #2
    I have used all of the calibers above , with the exception of the 40- 90 -400 . I still use the 45-70 regularly , it is a amazingly capable cartridge . I've taken most species of game native to this part of the world , I even have a reduced velocity , round ball load I use for Snow-Shoe Hares . The rounds you mention never really went away , they've hung on with a lot of hunters who never felt disadvantaged by their performance . The 30- 40 Krag is a good caliber for most game here , it doesn't shoot as flat as more modern calibers , but with the proper bullet will cleanly take everything from Moose on down . It's ballistic twin , the 303 British , is just as capable and , in Canada at least , is still a very commonly encountered hunting round .

    If I were going for Sheep , Goats or Antelope the above rounds wouldn't be my first choice , but they are up to the task if the shooter knows how to shoot them . I hunt in an area with a large number of potentially dangerous animals with Grizzlies topping the list . Having my Marlin 45-70 lever in hand when after Moose , Elk , etc , while hunting in Grizzly country , makes me feel better . The older rounds are harder to hit with at longer ranges , but they hit with authority without the need to push bullets at high velocity , with heavy recoil . There isn't much that a 400 gr bullet at about 1600 fps won't stop and it isn't hard to hit with out to about 200 yards , which covers most situations we get here . In the end it boils down to personal choice , all cartridges have advantages and disadvantages , they aren't better than the newer developments , they just suit my needs and hunting conditions .


  3. #3
    I have 45-70, .577, and 30-40.

    The 577 just gets range time because the rifle is a pristine Snider and too valuable to drag where I hunt.

    The 45-70 is as AB described. I currently have a Marlin 1895 Cowboy (26", technically, my son's) and a Siamese Mauser 98 which will toss a 300 grain bullet at shoulder bruising speeds. I have killed several deer with the 45-70 Siamese and a buffalo. All dropped like they'd been smacked between the eyes with by a sledge hammer.

    The 30-40 is a personal favorite of mine. I have two Krag Jorgensen rifles in 30-40 and both are exceptionally accurate. With the heaviest bullets weighing 220 grains it will kill anything it hits in North America out to 150 yards. Loaded with 150 grain bullets it can reach speeds approaching 2700 fps so it's no slouch. The last deer I shot with 30-40 was hit with a 188 grain cast bullet and it dropped within 3 yards of where it was standing when I shot. If the 30-40 is obsolete, it is barely so. Ruger produced their #3 falling block in 30-40 Krag up into the 1970's. IT is a lovely cartridge to reload: Decent powder capacity and a l-o-n-g neck to hold bullets aligned. As a note, the 30-40 is the only cartridge on your list that was not a black powder cartridge: It began life as a smokeless round and stayed that way. One more anecdote: In 1911, iirc, the US Army shooters using their 1903 Springfields in 30-06 were soundly trashed by National Guard troops using Reserve Krag Jorgensen 30-40's and cast bullets in the 600 yard comps. It was such an embarrassment that they banned rifles that did not load from a stripper clip -like the Krag- from future competitions.
    Or so the story goes...~Muir

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