The 12ga slug and 45-70 are two very different types of ammunition, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The 12ga slug is a shotgun round that is typically used for hunting and home defense, while the 45-70 is a large caliber rifle round that is often used for hunting large game animals.

Both rounds have their own unique characteristics that make them suitable for different types of shooting scenarios. In this article, we’ll take a look at the differences between the 12ga slug and 45-70, and discuss which round is best suited for different types of shooting.

12ga Slug

12 gauge shotgun shell is a slug ammunition that is used for hunting animals and short-range self-defense as well. While it won’t fire long-range like a centerfire cartridge, it still will fire with a mean amount of energy and speed.

There are tons of different variants of this slug available in the market. Depending on the grain and the brand, the price will vary highly.

45-70 government

The 45-70 is a long-range caliber also known as the .45-70 government. The original variant of the cartridge was used to hold 70 grains of black powder.

The history of this cartridge is much richer than you anticipate. Over the years, it has gone through several changes. Yet, it still stands firm to this day.

12ga Slug vs 45-70: Key Differences

12ga slug vs 45-70


Whenever you purchase a setup, you always ask first whether the setup is powerful enough to do whatever you want with it.

As for power, the 12ga slug is a large-bore shotgun shell that fires one large projectile toward the target. It’s used for large game animals like deer and bears. The total energy of a 12ga slug is 2500 to 3000 foot-pounds depending on the grain of your load.

The 45-70 rifle cartridge adopted by the US Army back in 1873. It’s a large caliber with extreme power that is still used for hunting large game animals from afar. The total energy of 45-70 is around 2200 to 3000 foot-pounds.

As things stand, the Slug is a bit more powerful at close range while 45-70 has a higher- accuracy at long range.


If you are buying shots for hunting, it’s super important for the cartridge to be deadly accurate. Otherwise, you will not return with any hunts that day. Due to the size of 12 gauge, it has more mass. As you read above, it also packs more energy.

Due to its size, the 45-70 allows for more efficient use of the propellant. It results in higher velocities and flatter trajectories, which means, better accuracy. That stays true for short and longer-range.

The choice will depend on what type of shooting you do and whether you are looking for a rifle cartridge or not. If you are, then 45-70 is the better choice for accuracy.


When it comes to recoil, the 12-gauge slug has a moderate amount of recoil, while the 45-70 has a significant amount of recoil. The 12-gauge slug is typically fired from a semi-automatic shotgun, which helps to reduce the amount of felt recoil. The 45-70, on the other hand, is typically fired from a large-caliber rifle, which will produce a much more significant amount of felt recoil.

Additionally, the 45-70 has a much higher muzzle velocity than the 12-gauge slug, which will also contribute to the amount of felt recoil.

Use Of Both Cartridges

The 12-gauge slug is a popular choice for hunting and self-defense due to its power and accuracy. It is a large and heavy round that can deliver significant amounts of energy and penetration. On the other hand, the 45-70 is a much larger and heavier round that is typically used for large game hunting. It has the capability to deliver more energy and penetration than the 12-gauge slug, making it a good choice for large games.

12ga Slug Vs 45-70: Similarities

Unfortunately, they are worlds apart and there are no similarities between the two, except, maybe the fact that both can be used for game hunting.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the effective range of a 12ga slug?

The effective range of a 12 gauge slug is typically around 50 yards.

What is the difference in the stopping power of a 12ga slug versus a 45-70?

The stopping power of a 12 gauge slug is significantly greater than that of a 45-70. A 12 gauge slug is a large, heavy projectile that is designed to penetrate and cause massive damage to its target. The 45-70 is a smaller, lighter round that is designed for hunting and is not as effective at stopping power as the 12 gauge slug. The 12 gauge slug is capable of penetrating thick armor and other materials, while the 45-70 is not.

What is the effective range of 45-70?

The effective range of 45-70 is around 150 yards.

Closing Thoughts

The 12ga slug and the 45-70 are both powerful rounds that can be used for hunting and self-defense. The 12ga slug has a higher muzzle velocity and is more accurate at longer distances, while the 45-70 has more stopping power and is better suited for close-range shots.

So, the decision will ultimately, depend on what you want. Whether you want a slug or a rifle cartridge, that’s your choice. If you just want to hunt at close range and want to always want to venture around game-hunting, then either of them is good enough.

That’s all for now, take care and will see you on the next one.

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