450 Bushmaster Vs. 45-70: Which One is Better? [Real Testing in 2020]

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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 triggered 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, met so many experts to discuss 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, the brief information you should know about these cartridges:



The .450 Bushmaster was invented by Colonel Jeff Cooper - one of the most popular gun writers. It 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 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 fps to 2200 fps.

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 a drop of it even for a long distance.

And now, how about moving on to:


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

This special powder can propel the bullet to 1350 fps of muzzle velocity.

Regard to 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 us 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, at the yards of 350 - 400, 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 buffalo exactly with .45-70.

Notice that firearms manufacturers produce these two for the use of Army. So, they both have heavy weights and plays for dangerous games.

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

Therefore, we recommend you to use 450 Bushmaster to shoot targets at long distances. With the various types of loads, .45-70 works perfectly at nearer ones.

Next, 450 Bushmaster uses pistol size bullets so it has fewer options for weights. In reverse, there are tons of weight options for you with rifle size 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 a chamber of 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 choose 450 Bushmaster. Although it comes up with some limitations of loading types and bullet weights, the bullet is heavy, 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 a 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!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 9 comments
Brent Couturiaux - May 24, 2019

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

Charlie Wright - July 21, 2019

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.

Kirk Ethridge - September 3, 2019

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!

DAVID J SPRINGBORN - October 16, 2019

Go with a light brass 200 grain bullet and the 45/70 can hit over 2600fps

Mr. X - December 27, 2019

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.

    Ron Parker - February 4, 2020

    Thank you for saying what we were all thinking.

    carroll costlow - February 22, 2020

    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

    Jimmy cracked corn - March 3, 2020

    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

carroll costlow - February 22, 2020

I DONT THINK SO, modern 45-70 loads walk all over the 450, do the research.


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