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History of .45-70 Government Ammunition
The .45-70, also known as: .45-70 Government, .45-70-45 and .45 Government, is one of the greatest cartridges developed by the US Government. It remains a respected cartridge among hunters and shooting enthusiasts. Also, the .45-70 is one of only a handful of cartridges to continue to thrive after the conversion from black powder to smokeless powder. Designed at the historical Springfield Armory, in Massachusetts, the .45-70 was intended to be a short term replacement for the .50-70 that was adopted just over a decade before.
Adopted in 1873 for use in the 1873 Springfield rifle, a trapdoor action rifle, the .45-70 underwent several improvements. By 1880 the cartridge had an effective range out to 300 yards on point targets and was capable of area effect fire at 600 yards. The cartridge served in the military until it was phased out shortly after the Spanish-American War.
The end of military service was only the beginning for the .45-70 as it quickly became the choice for large game hunters. Bear, moose and bison were easily harvested at ranges less than 200 yards with the 405 grain FP bullet that traveled at 1330 feet per second and has a muzzle energy of almost 1600 foot pounds. This cartridge has also found great acceptance among reloaders as bullets ranging from 300 to 500 grains can be loaded for a wide variety of uses. Some authorities note that the .45-70 can even be used on the African "Big Five" to great effect. Ammo manufacturers have definitely not forgotten about this great cartridge, Hornady offers their FTX bullet, while several other manufacturers offer their specialty JHP ammuntion to hunters.
Today, there are single shot and lever action rifles made in .45-70 by several manufacturers, Thompson Center Arms and Marlin are two of the most commonly known. But for the ultimate in handguns, this cartridge fits the bill, Magnum Research offers its Biggest Finest Revolver in .45-70. The 5 shot cylinder allows the user to enjoy the challenge of handgun hunting with a vintage cartridge and still be able to make quick follow up shots, should the need arise. The .45-70 quickly established itself as an important part of the firearms world and today it remains a great cartridge for hunting even the most dangerous game.
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