Deer season is right around the corner, so it's time to stock up!
If you want to fill the freezer, you better hit that big buck with a round that'll drop him in his tracks.
We tested the American-made Buffalo Cartridge Company's .45-70 "Deer Dropper" cartridges out to see how they perform.
First off, let's see what the cartridge is made of. Using Starline brass, these .45-70 loads launch a jacketed hollow-point with a bullet weight of 300 grains. They're flying at a published muzzle velocity of 1,900 feet per second, and having incredible muzzle energy equates to great knockdown power. That hollow-point is certainly an imposing cavity to throw at any game animal or target. It would certainly have plenty of expansion, especially on a deer-sized animal. Additionally, these particular cartridges sport some pretty massive SJHP projectiles, which appear to be all business.
What's the best way to test how well these cartridges from Findlay, Ohio, will fire and group? I procured three different .45-70-caliber hunting rifles to make independent groupings with. The first shot was from a clean barrel and then the shooting continued at a slow, careful pace from a vintage Boyt rifle rest. I would follow this procedure for all three rifles I tested with the Deer Dropper rounds. The rifle barrels weren't cooled or cleaned between shots.
Range day was a humid, 75-degree overcast morning in late June.
The first to face the test was the Henry Arms Single-Shot .45-70 Rifle. This great, accurate rifle is topped with the Maven RS.1 Scope, and the target was placed at 100 yards away. The following five-shot, 2.5-inch group in the lower half of the below image was the result.
With a quick scope adjustment, the following two shots fired were touching in the X-ring at 100 yards, making an incredible .25-inch group. The Deer Dropper definitely surprised everyone at the gun range with this kind of accuracy. After those two consecutive shots, I began ringing AR-500 steel plates out on the 200-yard range. Every long-range shot used second crosshair down to allow drop from the Maven RS.1 Scope, and ultimately connected with steel.
The second rifle tested was a Henry Arms Lever-Action .45-70 Rifle. This lever gun shot with factory iron sights. The group size was 2.5 inches at the farthest impacts.
The third rifle was a vintage Marlin 1895 Lever-Action .45-70 from 1972. It sports an original 4-power Weaver scope. The group size at the farthest impacts was also 2.5 inches.
As you can see, the groupings from all three rifles was certainly impressive. Any deer at 100 yards and beyond is in serious trouble from any hunter who's steady with his or her shot. A well-zeroed rifle loaded with the incredible Buffalo Cartridge Company's .45-70 Deer Dropper cartridge will undoubtedly get the job done. I look forward to testing this cartridge on big Ohio whitetail deer this fall hunting season.
Be sure to check out the .45-70 Deer Dropper cartridges on Buffalo Cartridge Company's website, or check your local gun shop to see if they stock them. Also check out the full line of other great calibers and offerings, including the Outlaw Cowboy Action Loads. Best of all, it's all made right here U.S.
Do you like articles about the outdoors? Click here to view more articles by Eric Nestor. You can follow him @ericthewoodsman on Twitter, The Classic Woodsman on Facebook, and @theclassicwoodsman on Instagram. You can view more Nestor Photography photos at Nestor Photography.