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The .45-70 Rifle Catridge History

Posted on 7th August 2013 in Articles, Video About Ammo



45-70 Rifle Cartridge History

The Government 45 was developed for the United State Army’s Armory.  The ammo was made for the Springfield model 1873. The newer cartridge was to close the gap of .50-70 Government cartridge, this was implemented in 1866 about one year after the end of American Civil War.

The cartridge that was developed before the .45-70 was the .50-70-450 cartridge. This was developed in 1866 and used till 1873. The rifle musket was redesigned to a Trapdoor breechloader. The redesign milled out the rear of the barrel so it tilted the breechblock.  This meant that 50 caliber barrel liner is now inside the 58 caliber barrel. At this time it was an effective hunter’s favorite; it was as small as the .50 and is larger than a 44 caliber. The Army decided in 1866 that the .45 increased the range and accurate target hit.  But the 50-70 was at short term fix to improving the rifle and cartridge.

The Springfield .45 caliber breech was improved in the early 1884. The grain of the bullet increased to 500 grains.

The Navy and the Marine Corps also used the .45-70 caliber in different rifles like the M1873, and M1884 Springfield till 1879.

The US Army realized that the single shot rifle was ineffective and began using a Norwegian design .30 Army Caliber from the Norwegian Model 1892, while 45-70 was still used by the National Guard, the United State Navy and Marine Corps still used till 1897.  During the Spanish-American War the 45-70, was the last good quality rifle.  It was not till the 20th century the when the rifle was taken out of service.  The Indians on the reservation where given the rifles for hunting.

Today’s U.S. military still uses the .45-70, the design is a Cartridge, .45 Caliber and the United States Navy battle groups use a Line Throwing, M32.  The Line Thrown is used by the United States Navy as well as the United States Coast Guard. The Line Throwing design change to the a Trapdoor and Sharps rifles later the model design changed again to have a break single shot rifle action.

The North American big game hunter prefers the .45-70 as ammo of choice and rifle. The fire power and its ability to shoot a high velocity cartridge. You rarely need to use a scope for accuracy.  On a personal note the author of this article lives in an area of the United States that offers plenty of North American big game and personally owns and hunts with a .45-70 rifle.




  1. Beverly August 18, 2013 at 11:25 PM -


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