The.45-70 rifle cartridge, also known as 45-70 Government, was developed at the U.S. Army’s Springfield Armory for use in the Springfield Model 1873, which is known to collectors as the “Trapdoor Springfield.” The new cartridge was a replacement for the stop-gap.50-70 Government cartridge, which had been adopted in 1866, one year after the end of the American Civil War. As is usual with military ammunition, the .45-70 was an immediate hit among sportsmen, and the .45-70 has survived to the present day. Today, the traditional 405-grain (26.2 g) load is considered adequate for any North American big game within its range limitations, including the great bears, and it does not destroy edible meat on smaller animals such as deer due to the bullet’s low velocity. It is very good for big-game hunting in brush or heavy timber where the range is usually short. The .45-70, when loaded with the proper bullets at appropriate velocities, has been used to hunt the African “big-five. The .45-70 has been loaded and used to hunt everything from birds to elephants and the cartridge is still undergoing new development work.
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