Just outside of Steamboat Springs, Colorado sits the Humble Ranch.
The ranch raises yaks and other animals and has an education center that gives back to the community.
Around 2 a.m. one morning, the ranch manager Jay T. was awakened by the sound of screaming animals.
Jay jumped out of bed and grabbed his rifle.
He went outside and found a bear killing a 200-pound goat. Jay raised his rifle and fired three rounds at the bear.
The 425-pound bear took three rounds from Jay’s .45-70 caliber rifle before it dropped.
The bear killed three goats before Jay was able to put it down.
And this was not the first time this specific bear had come into the ranch, the same bear had previously killed two goats at the ranch.
Local wildlife officers had given Jay rubber slugs to discourage the bear from coming back.
“We could have shot him a couple of times before this, but we tried to use rubber slugs to deter him. It’s not fun to shoot bears in that circumstance. … unfortunately, that’s how it happened,” Jay said.
Since the bear was killing the goat, Jay had the legal right to shoot the animal.
A local wildlife official said, “When (bears) are in the act of killing livestock, (people) are allowed to defend their livestock.”
The rifle Jay used to stop the bear was a .45-70 Government caliber. It’s a straight-walled cartridge that is notorious for its role in Old West history.
The round was originally designed by the U.S. government and entered production in 1873.
The .45-70 went through numerous changes but has stood the test of time. It’s one of the few rounds that was popular with the military and the cowboys of the Wild West.
It’s also one of the rare cartridges that successfully transitioned from black powder to smokeless powder.
Considering the durability and longevity of the round, here are a few reasons why you might want to consider adding a .45-70 caliber rifle to your home arsenal.
If you hunt with a lever action rifle, then the .45-70 is going to be one of the best rounds. It’s effective on large game such as coyotes, bears, feral hogs, antelope, and deer.
The biggest benefit of the .45-70 when hunting is that it creates large wound cavities.
The only drawback to hunting with the .45-70 is that it only has an effective range of about 150 yards. So, it’s not great for long distance shooting.
The .45-70 is a very accurate round. Even if it’s used in lever guns, a trained shooter can fire off multiple rounds quickly.
If you use a .45-70 for home defense, it’s critical to be aware of your backstop.
This round can easily penetrate walls, so you need to know what is behind your target.
But if it’s the caliber of your main rifle, one that you’ve got the most confidence using, it can definitely be used for home defense.
Single shot/ lever action:
If you are considering a lever action or single-shot rifle, I would get one chambered in .45-70, because it’s a dependable round that’s fun to shoot.
Also, the .45-70 is available in factory loads such as Horndy’s LeverEvolution cartridges.
And the round is readily available in many sporting goods stores, and you can also find it online.
The .45-70 is known as the round that killed more buffalo than any other cartridge, so you can’t argue with the power of the cartridge.
Regardless of the firearm you decide to use, whether it’s a rifle, pistol, or shotgun.
And whether you prefer 9mm, .45 caliber, .223 caliber, or the .45-70 round above…
You need to have a comprehensive self-defense plan for you and your family, along with a home defense plan to keep your property and household safe.