.40-70 BN for Buffalo

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pacecars
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.40-70 BN for Buffalo

Post by pacecars » Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:25 am

Has anyone here used a .40-70 BN on Buffalo or a similar sized African critter? If no one has would you consider using it on one?
Real gun powder is black.

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Re: .40-70 BN for Buffalo

Post by rdnck » Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:18 pm

Use your 45-70 and a 500 grain Govt. bullet in Africa. Rdnck.
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pacecars
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Re: .40-70 BN for Buffalo

Post by pacecars » Sun Jun 12, 2016 6:28 am

Mi guess I should have said American Buffalo. I would definitely use the .45-70 or larger on Cape Buffalo. Rdnck what alloy did you use in your Safari?
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Re: .40-70 BN for Buffalo

Post by 77 sharps » Sun Jun 12, 2016 11:16 am

If it will hold 65 to 70 grains of powder, a 370-400 grain bullet with a generous meplat (lyman 410655 for example) cast 20:1, I would not hesitate to use it. I can easily get 75 grains of powder in my .40- 2 1/2 SS with a PP bullet.

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Re: .40-70 BN for Buffalo

Post by rdnck » Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:45 pm

I used 30-1 on the first two trips, and didn't recover a bullet. On the third trip, I used 50/50 wheel weights and lead. On that trip I recovered one bullet after 40 inches of penetration lengthwise front to back on a cow kudu I shot for meat at the PH's request. Shoot straight, rdnck.
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Re: .40-70 BN for Buffalo

Post by desert deuce » Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:30 am

As I recall, a young, slenderer, Mike Venturino took a 40-70 SBN to Africa in the last century. Either Rifle or Handloader Magazine carried the article with photographs of Mike with game taken. When I try to visualize what I recall about the article all that appears in the minds eye is a very dead Wart Hog. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: .40-70 BN for Buffalo

Post by rdnck » Mon Jun 27, 2016 8:25 am

My recollection of the article--and my memory may be faulty--is that when all was said and done, the PH was not impressed and Mike was less than happy. Shoot straight, rdnck.
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Re: .40-70 BN for Buffalo

Post by 77 sharps » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:50 am

Mike took that trip back in the days before he had obtained enlightenment and started using black powder and cast lead bullets. As I remember he was shooting smokeless powder at BP velocities and using jacketed bullets. The selection of bullets in .410 must have been very limited. So in reality he was shooting a .41 Mag. revolver as far as terminal performance was concerned. Using heavier cast bullets would have increased the terminal performance considerably. I would not hesitate to use any of my .40 Caliber rifles on medium plains game. But Eland would definitely be off the menu. Mike

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Re: .40-70 BN for Buffalo

Post by bobw » Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:08 pm

My memory is better than all you guys. Yes he was skinnier then, he used Barnes jacketed bullets in the 400 gr range and smokeless getting around 1800 fps, hardly 41 mag range. IIRC Mike was happy with his results only regretting that he used his 308 even once and the PH wanted no muss or fuss and a scoped modern rifle used. bobw
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Re: .40-70 BN for Buffalo

Post by Bamadep » Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:08 pm

Not a BN but I killed my first Buffalo with a 40-70SST and he went down pretty quick. I did a write up on it in the hunting thread Aug 2011.

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Re: .40-70 BN for Buffalo

Post by kenny s » Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:09 pm

All interesting thoughts, but remember, the premiere long range Buffalo cartridge of the 1870's was the 40 90 SBN. A 40 caliber.
they said you could kill a Buff as long as you could see it. 800 yard shots were recorded with one shot kills.
My 40 70 uses a 360 PP and 67 1 1/2, but....If I load it up with the 420 grain PP and 75 grains of 1 1/2, it really thumps..

and no, I have not hunted with it. so far just buffalo target kills. and it takes a LONG time to cook them! :shock:

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Re: .40-70 BN for Buffalo

Post by firefighter1990 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:38 am

It's easy for this topic to take on the theme of "apples vs oranges" and there are a lot of things that I personally would take into account before bullet diameters. Such things as bullet design and alloy temper; the specific animal to be harvested and the expected range for which the shot is to be taken.
Modern nitro ballistics of the latest and greatest umpty-dumpty magnums kill with an absurd amount of shock from super sonic impact velocities. Large and slow bpcr's rely on straight-line penetration and big wound channels to bleed out. Don't get me wrong, there still is shock imposed and this where a generous meplat and that "splash" effect come in: but the collateral damage to meat and tissue is much less then today's (in my opinion) overkill technology. Will an animal know the difference between a 40, 45, or even a 50? Probably not. But will a blunt 40 cal kill better than a 50 cal elliptical?
Today we are much more ethical hunters and a long-range shot on game with a bpcr is asking for trouble with their falling-from-the-sky trajectories and low impact velocities. Back in the era of hide hunting, a kill and a harvested hide was money in your pocket no matter what way you went about it. So given the point-blank range of what these fine old cartridges are humanly limited to: it's a level playing field where bullet geometry plays the bigger role.
The American bison is a unique critter in that they have large lungs but are void of a valve to partition both sides like that of an elk or us humans or perhaps African game. (I honestly don't know the biological make up of every animal) but the American bison is a large healthy winded mammals but the unified lungs are easy to collapse with a good puncture and thus a bow and arrow could do so as the primitive natives did long before guns were around.
I do have a 40-90 bn and load it with 370gr ppb's that seat only .100" into the case allowing for an easy 100gr charge and that cartridge requires much less points on the vernier to reach the ram line. My 50-90 with a 700gr over 100gr topples the rams in more of a train wreck fashion though. So my vote and long drawn out answer is this: with the right bullet design, I wouldn't hesitate to use a 40 anywhere in north America with a bias to humane ethics. If dangerous heavy hide and bone bearing game are the quarry then Max payload in a fast twist 50 would be my ticket. Again- a whitetail or fragile lung bison won't know the difference between calibers. A grizzly won't either but in that scenario the hunter would and should know the difference.

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Re: .40-70 BN for Buffalo

Post by bobw » Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:39 pm

I've read to many factual accounts from the buffalo hunt years to think that them old boys cared about humane one shot kills. They figured to do it with 1 shot per buff if possible. Shooting at it 3-4 times to get it dead asap wasn't part of the hide hunters operating procedure. Hitting it by using the flattest trajectory they had available was. Remember that Sharps did not recommend the 40-70 as being a reliable buffalo gun. Hard to say at this point I haven't shot a buffalo with my 40-70 or my 40-90 SBN. Logic tells me my 45's and 50's will open a bigger hole and resulting wound channel imparting MORE trauma causing a faster death of a game animal. Obvious a perfect shot with anything trumps one that isn't. bobw
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Re: .40-70 BN for Buffalo

Post by Yellowhouse » Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:24 pm

I think it was Remington that said the 40-70 wasn't enough for Buffalo. It was generally loaded with the 330 gr bullet though and made its rep on the target ranges with that weight. On the other hand the 40-90 had a glowing rep using the 370 gr pill. Seems to me that even giving up 100 fps to its big Brother the 40-70 should have been just as capable when used with heavier bullets.
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Re: .40-70 BN for Buffalo

Post by bobw » Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:56 pm

Sam your right, was Remington that said that. My 40-70 is the 2.1 version C. Sharps came up with. No slouch either with a 26" barrel it will throw a 330 gr ppb at 1375 fps and the 370 gr ppb at 1330 fps with 76 grs of F g GOEX. Lethal looking loads for sure. I am figuring my 40-90 2 5/8 with 370's will run between 1400-1500 fps. I've shot 2 buffalo, one with my 45 2 7/8" and 1 with my 50-3 1/4". Of course a CNS shot is instant but shots thru the thoraces (lungs, ribcage etc.) take a little longer. If you shoot to high and miss the heart they can take an amazing amount of punishment..bobw
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