Whitetail Deer Hunting Gain a better understanding of the World's most popular big game animal and the techniques that will help you become a better deer hunter.

.45-70 vs. 12ga. Slug/Sabot

Old 08-27-2014, 09:46 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: The Great State of Ohio
Posts: 14
Default .45-70 vs. 12ga. Slug/Sabot


I'm sure this has been tossed around a lot on here but I went back several pages and didn't see anything recent. My state of Ohio just this year adopted the use of straight-walled cartridges fired from a long gun as an option for whitetail. (We'd traditionally been a shotgun and pistol only state.) 12ga. w/ a rifled barrel and sabots is a great option in the 100 yard range which is what I've found makes up 90% of shot opportunities where I hunt, BUT I was curious and have never fired one, on how the .45-70govt. round performs comparably? I'd be interested in some feedback of experiences you've had in terms of range, bullet-drop, take-down power more so than actual ballistic ratings itself. I don't reload, so I'd also be interested in what brand/grain of bullet has proven effective. I'm entertaining the idea of purchasing a Marlin 1895G Guide Gun in .45-70 and spending some significant range time with it before the season but wanted some input on here before making the jump. Why not stick with what's worked....dunno, change can be a challenge sometimes, right?

If both guns are sitting on a rack, which are you walking out the door with on the first day of whitetail season?

Thanks in advance for the feedback.
CJMart is offline  
Old 08-27-2014, 09:54 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: fairview park oh
Posts: 657

a 444 marlin or a 460 smith & wesson but between your 2 choices i would pick the 45 -70 my choice is the 444 marlin just a we bit stronger & got a h&r single shot for 250 shoots real nice & about the kick of a 12 ga. right now good luck finding 45/70 ammo the 444 marlin is starting to dry up good luck
t.shaffer is offline  
Old 08-27-2014, 09:58 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,445

I've shot deer with a 45/70, and have not had any of them complain.

You don't handload, and you're buying a new gun, so perhaps think about the 450 Marlin. Factory ammo is loaded toward the higher end of the cartridge's capabilities, as opposed to factory 45/70 ammo which can be on the lame side, except maybe Hornady Leverevolution and some of the othe small makers like Buffalo Bore and Garrett , which are not caheap by any means.

If you hit a deer forward of the diaphram with a 45 caliber bullet moving around 2000 fps, the deer will expire pretty quickly. This should be easy to do with either the 45/70 or 450 Marlin. Ballistically, Id say these guns are about on par with the higher end sabot slugs, so you may not see any real ballistic advantage to using a rifle. I'd say the advantage would lie in relative accuracy (perhaps) and handiness of the rifle.

I have an 1895 SS in 45/70 with a peepsight, that is awesome in the woods. I would much prefer to hunt with it than my Marlin 512 bolt action slug gun, though both are accurate enough for the areas I hunt.
UncleNorby is offline  
Old 08-27-2014, 11:38 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,149

12 ga. with sabots 150+ yards.
RWK is offline  
Old 08-27-2014, 12:04 PM
Fork Horn
jdb_77's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Newalla, Oklahoma
Posts: 111

I have both a mossberg 500 w/slug barrel and a Marlin 45-70. Both will get the job done out to a 100 yds.
jdb_77 is offline  
Old 08-27-2014, 12:44 PM
Nontypical Buck
redgreen's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Alberta Canada
Posts: 1,081

45 70 hands down. The Hornady ammo works great. I prefer the Federal 300 grain factory loaded with the Speer hot cores in a factory load. Great bullet and accurate. Flatten moose and elk with authority. I do handload and load em warm and love the old caliber. Nothing on this planet is a match for this old girl. You'll love it. It is very capable of long shots if you are using a range finder and have shot longer distances with it. We do 500 yard gongs with them, and you smile as you hear that smack after firing.
redgreen is offline  
Old 08-27-2014, 01:00 PM
Super Moderator
Bocajnala's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Trumbull County, Ohio
Posts: 9,078

The .45-70 is a good choice. I have a mossberg 695 bolt action that is a great slug gun, and I've shot out to 150. But the .45-70 would be my go to option. I will say this, for allot of Ohio's special draw hunts, the shotgun is still the only thing allowed. So if you have any plans of applying for those draws you may want to go with the shotgun. But for other days go with the .45-70
Bocajnala is offline  
Old 08-27-2014, 01:26 PM
Boone & Crockett
Oldtimr's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: south eastern PA
Posts: 14,641

This will be the 4th year I will be using a 45-70 for both deer and wild hogs. I use the leverevolution ammo 325 grn. I have killed 3 deer,2 shot in the crease behind the shoulder and one in the base of the neck. All went right down and I had no meat loss and the ones shot behind the shoulder had the lungs and heart turned to soup. I have killed 5 hogs, all shot in the head. I used a .308 for 40 years before I bought the 45-70, Marlin 1895 guide gun with ported barrel. I may go back to the .308 one day but right now, I am enjoying the 45-70. If I had to choose between a rifled slug and the 45-70, no contest, I would take the 45-70.

Last edited by Oldtimr; 08-27-2014 at 01:29 PM.
Oldtimr is offline  
Old 08-27-2014, 08:00 PM
Giant Nontypical
Sheridan's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 5,130

Originally Posted by RWK View Post
12 ga. with sabots 150+ yards.

12 gauge Slugs (sabots) ........if you can hit where you are aiming, they are devastating !
Sheridan is offline  
Old 08-28-2014, 03:23 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Seymour IN
Posts: 597

Savage 220f 20g have dropped them out to 225 yards.
Parrot Head is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.