450 Bushmaster Vs. 45-70: Which One is Better? [Real Testing in 2023]

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Hello, shooters around the world!

Welcome back to our page. It seems like thousands of new cartridge brands appearing in the market have confused you so much lately.

We understood that. Choosing the right one has been our only concern for a long time.

We have tried so many brands and discussed the differences amongst them. Luckily, we could come up with the two most amazing bullets for large and dangerous games: 450 Bushmaster and .45-70.

However, it raises a question: Which one is better? Let’s discover the answer with us in this short article.

Firstly, let’s take a quick look at these cartridges:



The .450 Bushmaster was invented by Colonel Jeff Cooper - one of the most popular gun writers. It was then improved by Tim Legendre of LeMag Firearms and became famous after being licensed to Bushmaster Firearms International.

They designed it to use in the AR-15 platform and M16 rifles. Therefore, it is heavy, large in diameter, and spectrum. You can expect the kinetic energy at the muzzle is 2800  ft/lbs.

However, despite these features, it is a fast cartridge with phenomenal muzzle velocity up to around 2100 ft/s to 2200 ft/s.

What we love the most about it is the flat trajectory. It shoots perfectly at 250 yards. You hardly see the differences in the rise and the drop of it even for a long distance.

And now, moving to the second candidate:


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.45-70 was developed in 1873. It is also known as .45-70-405, which means 405 grains, .45 caliber bullet, and being pushed by 70 grains of black powder.

This special powder can propel the bullet to 1350 ft/s of muzzle velocity.

Regarding the kinetic energy, it is around 1600 ft/lbs.

Wait! We bet you are asking yourself: “How come this can compare to 450 Bushmaster?”

Yes, all those numbers are lower than the first one. But not anymore!

Understanding the potential of this bullet, manufacturers have tried to improve its special powder. Thus, now, the users can load it with a wide variety of choices for the proper energy.

Plus, it is smokeless. How cool it is!

As you have known general pictures of these bullets, let’s compare them for you in the below section.

450 Bushmaster and 45-70: Which One is Better?


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450 Bushmaster


Flat Trajectory.

Steep Trajectory.

Great for shooting at long distances.

Suitable for hunting at near distances.

Limited types of loads.

Multiple types of loads

Use pistol size bullets.

Use rifle size bullets.

The above table shows the main differences between 450 Bushmaster and .45-70.

450 Bushmaster is always well-known for its flat trajectory. Meanwhile, this is not the case for .45-70. It has a steep trajectory. For example,from 300-400 yards, the bullet can drop to 50 inches!

However, we don’t say this feature is good or bad as it is up to your purpose. For a skilled shooter, he can aim at a prey exactly with .45-70.

Notice that firearm manufacturers produce these two for the use of the army. So, they are heavyweight for dangerous games.

Luckily, 450 Bushmaster is better by making a fast cartridge. The velocity of this product can go up to 2100 ft/s, while it stops at 1350 ft/s for .45-70.

Therefore, we recommend you use 450 Bushmaster to shoot targets at a long distance. With the various types of loads, .45-70 works perfectly for short shooting.

Next, 450 Bushmaster uses pistol-sized bullets, so it has fewer options for weights. In reverse, there are tons of weight options with rifle-sized bullets for .45-70.

It is also worth mentioning the rifle you’ll be carrying with these bullets. For 450 Bushmaster, AR 15 is always the best choice. .45-70 is perfectly housed in short-barreled lever-action rifles like the Marlin Model 1895.

By the way, if you are using ar-15, the scope for ar-15 is the good one you should had. Or more other on Scopes & Sights Resource for other rifle.

Finally, Our Choice is

We chose the 450 Bushmaster. Although it comes up with some limitations of loading types and bullet weights, the bullet is heavy with strong energy, high velocity, and has a flat trajectory.

We believe it can help us win over any targets.

However, .45-70 is also an excellent choice. It has potential growth with special loading powder. You can try this one.

Remember to share with us your opinions about these cartridges in the comment section below!

13 thoughts on “450 Bushmaster Vs. 45-70: Which One is Better? [Real Testing in 2023]”

  1. [email protected]
    I think you forgot to look at modern 45/70 loads and not black powder loads for great grandads gun. My 45/70 is shooting hornady 325 grain bullets at 2050 yards almost as flat as the 450 bushmaster modern bullet technology saved the 45/70 and pushes it far beyond the limit of 450 bushmaster

  2. I own a 450 bushmaster and would have to say that it NOT a flat shooter by any centerfire rifle standards. It is one of the best hunting cartridges legal in several upper midwestern states, but the trajectory above and below the line of sight is nearly one foot at 200 yds. The 45-70 is no better, but shoots a larger and more powerful array of bullets. Sort of an apples to oranges comparison depending way more on purpose and range, with larger game at closer range favoring the 45-70 and heavy, hard bullets.

  3. your listing velocity data on the 45/70 for blackpowder and lead bullet… Look in the vihtavouri reloading manual and you can see the 45/70 exceeds 2000fps easily, max load hitting 2200fps with n133 & Hornady 300 grain hollowpoint up to 2400fps with other manuals.. Hornady’s 325grain leverevolution load is listed at 2050 in 24 inch barreled rifle., Making them dead even.. I would say shoot whichever you “like” best! and both if you have em!

  4. This article is seemingly written by somebody who has little to no experience with either cartridge, or even guns in general. Is this your first writing job out of school?

    What is a “special loading powder”? .450 bushmaster is flat shooting? Compared to what, a .50 caliber musket? A bow and arrow? A hand thrown rock? Are you you even aware of the 3 pressure/power levels that .45-70 can be had in (original black powder/trapdoor level, modern lever action/Marlin level, bolt action/Ruger #1 level), and which firearms are and are not safe with which each?

    Even putting that aside, a quick look at the Hodgdon reloading manual shows that if you load a 300 grain bullet, which is about as heavy as the .450 goes, and about as light as the .45-70 goes, that even the Trapdoor level loads that are safe for the original black powder Springfield rifles are about neck and neck with 450 Bushmaster, with a slight edge to the .45-70. There is no comparison with the Marlin/Lever action loads, and especially the Ruger #1/bolt action loads, which can propel the same 300 grain bullet past 2500 FPS.

    It would be helpful to have at least a modest understanding of the topic at hand before trying to write an article about it, but I’ll give you credit for taking the initiative anyway.

    • you got that right,he must not know anything about reloading, just factory loads. the 45-70 is hard to beat, DANGERUS GAME AINT DANGERUS AT LONG RANGE

    • I’m glad you typed that all out so I didn’t have to. It’s to bad people who are so misinformed put stuff on the internet

    • Thank you for stating this. My son-in-law is a Alaska Wildlife Trooper, and guide. I asked about getting a 45BM for my next trip up there, I usually take a 375 H&H for big game, and 45-70 for bear defense. He told me to forget about the 45BM, in modern loading the 45-70 beats it in every measurable way. So comparing an AR thumper with pistol projectiles to a new 45-70 Buffalobore 8E 300gr, it has a Muzzle Velocity of 2,355 FPS and 3,766 Foot-Pounds of energy. This is just one example. 450BM is a nice, short range mid-power round, really great on deer to 250 yards or hogs to 200. The 45-70 is to save your bacon from a 1000lb coastal brownie, or T-rex, and is good to about 300 yards for deer with the loading above. You need updated reloading data – something newer than black powder loads for 45-70.

    • And for anyone that thinks any AR platform recoils, start shooting any caliber with a bullet over 180-200 grains in a bolt action or lever action. ARs are pussycats for recoil, not raging beasts. Should have been comparing the 250gr FTX Hornadys in both rifles to get an apples to apples comparison. Then the 45-70 walks the dog, the 325 spanking the 450 even worse. May, these guys are using Trapdoor loads.

  5. Don’t sweat it man. Most of us are aware that advertisers are not always subject matter experts. Those who are may try to take the initiative and exaggerate one product or attempt to make a comparison which could seem logical to the layman (comparing the 450 Bushmaster to the. 45-70 GOVT) Unless you’re a reloader, Sharps enthusiast/cowboy action shooter for instance, who is familiar with old cartridges that have modern data for smokeless powder loads and jacketed hunting bullets, or data for use by hobbyists/collectors who enjoy the nostalgia of black powder loads (i.e. paper patched 405 grain cast bullets for .45-70 cartridges fired from an original 1863 Sharps or the infamous 44-40 Henry rifle, rolling block or much older modified trapdoor) Depending on the type of firearm used for the .45-70 cartridge, loading data can vary widely, which is why most manuals have no less than 3 sections for that cartridge. One reason is older firearms, the type of action (lever action is typically much weaker than a bolt action rifle for example). Usually, those who choose to use black powder / cast loadings do so because they are involved in cowboy action shooting or have a nostalgic appreciation for old school big bore cartridges. Some actually perform better on very large heavy bones animals than modern high pressure smokeless commercial ammunition in the same caliber. You did the logical thing in comparing — this one looks similar to that one, and perhaps you’ve heard alot about .45-70, so it should be a good way to market the 450 from your perspective.

  6. Where can I get some of that “special loading powder”? LOL! Seriously, this article, IMHO, is comparing apples to oranges to bananas. First of all, while the 450BM is a decent cartridge for deer sized game, its nothing but a stretched out 45 ACP, yes it uses pistol bullets where the 45-70 is a true rifle cartridge. The author mentions the 45-70 has “steep trajectory” and uses the example at “300-400 yds the bullet can drop to 50 inches”? Really? the 45-70 was NOT originally designed for long range shooting like a 6.5 Creedmoor is. Like Carrole said “dangerous game aint dangerous at long range” I’ll take my 45-70 Henry in bear country EVERY TIME over the 450BM. Maybe we need to put black powder in the 450BM and compare it to the 45-70 with black powder? LOL! If the author needs a reason to like the BM than go for it, to each his own, I’ll keep my 45-70!


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