45-70 VS 308: WHICH IS BETTER?


The 45-70 and the 308 are two of the most popular rifle cartridges in North America. They’re both big, they’re both powerful, and they can take down game from a wide range of species. So which one is better? Well, it depends on what you’re looking for. We’ll compare these two cartridges across four categories: shooting performance at different distances, reloadability (cost vs time), recoil/handling characteristics (which will affect the shooter’s ability to stay on target through follow-up shots), and finally price tag (because who doesn’t like saving money?).

Introducing the Two Contestants

The 45-70, introduced in 1873, has been around for over 130 years. The 308 was developed in the 1950s and is still used today.

30-30 vs 308

Now that we’ve established the basics of the 30-30 and 308, let’s compare their performance and capabilities.

The 30-30 rifle cartridge has been around since 1894, so it’s an oldie but a goodie. This is one of the most popular cartridges in existence and was originally used on lever action rifles, as well as bolt action rifles with tubular magazines (i.e., not box magazines).

The 30-30 cartridge has a muzzle velocity of 2200 feet per second (fps), which means it can travel nearly 2000 feet before hitting your target—not bad! As for accuracy at long range? Well…not great. It has a maximum effective range of 150 yards or so depending on what kind of rifle you’re using; anything farther than that will probably require more practice if you want to hit anything reliable!

The .308 Win is newer than its counterpart—it first came out in 1952 (yes, I know how old THAT sounds) from NATO forces looking for an accurate alternative to existing military calibers like 7×57 Mauser or 7×65mm French Lebel rounds.”

How do they shoot?

Shooting the two rounds is like stepping into an alternate universe where every other hunting rifle you’ve ever fired was a joke.

The 45-70 is a high-pressure round that’s capable of reaching 1,600 feet per second with standard bullets, and it’s able to retain its velocity over longer distances than the 308. This accuracy advantage translates into more success at long ranges: The 45-70 has an effective range of up to 250 yards (230 meters), while 308s are only accurate out to around 200 yards (180 meters).

There are several reasons why this happens: For one thing, 308s are usually larger in diameter than their 45-70 counterparts—so they have less energy when they hit their target. Additionally, 308 bullets tend not be as aerodynamic as those designed for the bigger caliber, which affects how far and straight they fly after leaving the gun barrel; this effect becomes even more exaggerated when shooting from longer distances where wind resistance plays an increasingly important role in accuracy.

Recoil comparison

The recoil generated by a cartridge is a function of several things, including the weight of the bullet, powder charge and internal design of the cartridge.

The .45-70 has been around for close to 140 years and has been chambered in many different rifles. Its recoil is slightly more than that of cartridges with similar projectile weights but less powder charge.

This is because it uses black powder in its loadings which burns slower than modern smokeless powders do. The larger volume of gases being expelled from the gun also contributes to an increase in felt recoil as well as muzzle blast (which can be reduced by using subsonic loads).

In contrast, 308 Winchester was designed specifically for semi-automatic weapons like AR-10s and M1As with lightened receivers so they wouldn’t tip over when fired on full auto mode while wearing body armor! It’s no surprise then that 308 has significantly less recoil than 45/70 when used in these rifles – though not quite as low as 223 Remington which was also designed specifically with lightened receivers (and therefore doesn’t require heavy barrel contouring).


Reloading the 45-70 is much easier than reloading 308. The reason is that the 45-70 is a bottlenecked cartridge, which means it has a shorter case and can hold less powder than a straight walled cartridge. With less powder in there, you don’t have to worry about pressure as much and making sure your loads are safe.

On the other hand, 308 is a straight walled cartridge which means its case holds more powder. This means that if you want to use heavy bullets or shoot at long range with heavier bullets (which requires more energy), then you’ll need more powder for that bullet weight/energy requirement.

To get those higher pressures safely (without blowing up your gun), requires more attention to detail when reloading 308 compared with reloading 45-70 because of all that extra pressure from loading it up with so much powder!

So if we take cost into consideration as well, then this pushes things even further towards 45-70 being better overall

Ultimately, it’s up to you.

Ultimately, it’s up to you. Like I said before, 45-70 is a great cartridge for many uses, but 308 does more than just work well on medium range targets. It’s a great cartridge for long range shooting too! The choice comes down to how much money you are willing to spend and what kind of game you want to hunt.

If you’re looking for a hunting rifle that will allow you to take out deer and moose at distances up to 500 meters (but not further), then the 308 might be right for you. On the other hand, if getting closer sights won’t bother you and if taking out elephants or even buffalo interests you (it should!), then go with the 45-70!


In the end, it depends on what you want from your rifle and how much money you want to spend on it. If you’re looking for a cheaper option that’s still powerful enough for hunting and self defense, then 308 is probably the best choice for you.

But if money isn’t an issue for you or if you want something with more power and range than 308 then 45-70 may be better suited for your needs. Ultimately, when comparing these two cartridges it all comes down to what works best for each individual shooter based on their unique needs.”