12 Gauge Slug VS 45-70: A Tactful Comparison

When it comes to choosing the right ammunition for hunting or self-defense, an informed decision is essential. The 12 gauge slug and the 45-70 both rounds have their own benefits and drawbacks. So it is important to compare them to decide which one is best for your needs. 

So today, I will provide a tactful comparison of the 12 gauge slug and the 45-70, including their performance, effectiveness, cost, and more. After reading, you will be able to make a well-informed decision about which ammunition is best for you.


What Is A 12-Gauge Slug?

A 12 gauge slug is a large projectile, usually made of lead, fired from a 12 gauge shotgun. The slug is typically cylindrical in shape and has a diameter of approximately .73 inches. 

  • It can weigh anywhere from 1 ounce to 1.5 ounces.
  • The slug travels at a high velocity when fired.
  • It is capable of penetrating thick objects, such as walls and trees. 
  • And this makes it an effective hunting and self-defense round.

What Is A 12-Gauge Slug Good For?

A 12 gauge slug is a type of shotgun ammunition designed for hunting large game such as deer and wild boar. It is effective at distances up to 100 yards. And it can penetrate the thick hide of large animals. 

The slug is a single, large projectile that is designed to deliver a massive amount of energy at the target. It is usually made from lead. Also, it is typically heavier than a birdshot shell. Because of its weight, it is more accurate than a standard birdshot shell, making it a better choice for hunting.


And What Is Mean By 45-70?

45-70 is a caliber of ammunition primarily used in rifles. It is a rimmed, bottlenecked, centerfire cartridge originally designed by the U.S. Government in 1873. It comes in the world for use in the Springfield Model 1873, a single-shot trapdoor rifle. 

It is a very powerful round. It is usually used for hunting big game such as elk and bear. The 45-70 cartridge is still popular today, especially among hunters who enjoy the challenge of using a powerful, single-shot rifle to take down large game.

What Is A 45-70 Rifle Good For?

A 45-70 Rifle is a popular big-game hunting rifle cartridge. It is usually chambered in lever-action rifles and can be used to hunt a variety of game, including deer, elk, moose, and bears.

The 45-70 cartridge is known for its excellent accuracy and deep penetration. This quality makes it well-suited for hunting large animals. It is also capable of taking down small game, such as coyotes and foxes. The 45-70 has a relatively low recoil, which makes it a good choice for new shooters and novice hunters too.


12 Gauge Slug VS 45-70:  A Tactful Discussion

12 Gauge Slug

It usually consists of a solid lead projectile enclosed in a plastic sabot. The sabot is designed to fit into the shotgun’s barrel. So that it provides a more aerodynamic shape. And this allows the slug to travel farther and faster than a conventional shotgun shell. The sabot breaks apart and the slug continues on its trajectory when fired.


  1. The slug is designed to travel farther and faster than traditional shotgun ammunition. And it allows more accuracy in long-range shooting.
  2. The slug produces much greater energy than a traditional shotgun shell, resulting in more stopping power and greater damage to the target. 
  3. The slug is less likely to ricochet or over-penetrate the target than traditional shotgun shells.
  4. The slug’s plastic sabot helps to reduce felt recoil, making it easier to handle and shoot.
  5. The slug is significantly cheaper than other types of shotgun ammunition. 


  1. The slug is significantly less accurate than other types of shotgun ammunition. 
  2. The slug is not effective at shorter ranges. It will not penetrate barriers or walls as effectively as other types of ammunition. 
  3. The slug produces a significant amount of recoil, making it difficult to shoot accurately. 

45-70 Rifle

The 45-70 is a type of rifle cartridge designed for use in single-shot and lever-action rifles. It is a rimmed, straight-walled cartridge developed by the United States Army in 1873. It is still used today for hunting and target shooting.


  1. The 45-70 has excellent accuracy and is effective at both short and long ranges.
  2. The 45-70 has significantly more stopping power than a 12 gauge slug. And this makes it a more effective hunting cartridge.
  3. The 45-70 produces less felt recoil than a 12 gauge slug, allowing for more accurate shooting. 
  4. The 45-70 is significantly more effective at penetrating barriers and walls than a 12 gauge slug.
  5. The 45-70 is capable of firing a variety of bullet designs, including hollow points and soft points. 


  1. The 45-70 is significantly more expensive than a 12 gauge slug.
  2. The 45-70 is not as effective at distances beyond 300 yards. 
  3. The 45-70 is not as effective at close range as a 12 gauge slug.


Questions Regarding 12 Gauge Slug: 

What Caliber Is A 12 Gauge Slug Equivalent To?

A 12 gauge slug is equivalent to a .73 caliber or 18.5mm round. This is because a 12 gauge slug is a large, heavy, cylindrical projectile. 

  • It typically weighs 1 ounce (28.35 grams) and is designed to be fired from a 12-gauge shotgun. 
  • The round is made of lead and is designed to create a large and devastating wound channel, This makes it a popular hunting and self-defense round.

What Is The Trajectory Of A 12-Gauge Slug?

The trajectory of a 12-gauge slug depends on the specific ammunition and the barrel length of the gun. Generally, a slug will travel in a straight line until it reaches its maximum effective range. Depending on the ammunition, this can be anywhere from 50 to 100 yards.

How Much Does A 12-Gauge Slug Drop At 50 Yards?

A 12-gauge slug typically drops about 40 inches at 50 yards. This is assuming a standard velocity of 1,600 feet per second.

Are Slugs Accurate at 100 Yards?

No, slugs are not accurate at 100 yards. Slugs are usually accurate up to about 50-75 yards.

What Choke Should You Use For Slugs?

When shooting slugs, it is important to use a choke that is designed for slugs. A full choke, or more accurately a “rifled choke,” is recommended for most shotgun slug applications. The rifled choke has a series of grooves, or rifling, that spin the slug and help to increase accuracy. This type of choke is specifically designed to work with slugs and will provide the best accuracy and performance. It is important to note that a rifled choke should only be used with slugs, and not with any other type of shot.

How Far Can You Accurately Shoot a Slug?

The accuracy of a slug can vary depending on the type and quality of the gun and ammunition being used. Generally, a slug can be accurately shot at distances of up to 50-100 yards with a shotgun. Though this range may vary depending on the type of gun and ammunition used.

What Is The Most Accurate 12-Gauge Slug?

The most accurate 12 gauge slug is the Brenneke KO or Black Magic Magnum. 

  • The Brenneke KO is a precision-made slug designed to provide superior accuracy and devastating terminal performance. It is made out of a single slug with a hollow point that expands on impact, creating a large wound cavity and high energy transfer.
  • The Black Magic Magnum is a sabot slug that uses a two-piece bullet design and a polymer sabot to increase accuracy. This slug is also designed to provide maximum impact and energy transfer.

But both of these slugs offer excellent accuracy and performance. So they are widely used by hunters and target shooters.

Are Slugs As Accurate As Rifles?

No, slugs are not as accurate as a rifle.

  • Slugs are designed to be fired from a shotgun, which can be used for hunting and target shooting. But the accuracy is limited due to the nature of the shot pattern. Whereas a rifle is designed to fire a single bullet with greater accuracy, allowing for greater precision and accuracy when shooting at a target.
  • Slugs have a greater spread pattern. This means they can be less accurate than a rifle at long ranges. 
  • Moreover, rifles are more accurate due to their ability. It can be customized with sights, scopes, and other accessories to make them more accurate.

What Distance Should I Zero My Slug Gun?

The distance you should zero your slug gun depends on the firearm, ammunition, and intended use. Generally, most slug guns should be zeroed at 100 yards when using rifled slugs. 

  • If you are using your firearm for close-range hunting, you should zero your gun at a distance that is appropriate for the intended use.
  • If you are hunting deer in a heavily wooded area, you may want to zero your gun at a shorter distance, such as 50 yards or less.


Queries Regarding 45-70 Rifles:

How Many Foot Pounds Of Recoil Does A 45-70 Have?

The exact amount of recoil produced by a 45-70 will vary depending on the load and the firearm. Most 45-70 loads produce between 20 and 30 foot-pounds of recoil.

What Caliber Is A 45-70 Comparable To?

The .45-70 Government cartridge is a centerfire, rimmed, bottlenecked rifle cartridge. It was developed in the United States in 1873. It is commonly known as the .45-70 Government, .45-70 Marlin, .45-70 Government Marlin, and .45-70 Government Trapdoor. And it is one of the most popular big game cartridges in North America. 

The .45-70 is similar in size and power to the .450 Marlin and .458 Winchester Magnum cartridges. 

  • It is slightly more powerful than the .444 Marlin and .45-60 Winchester cartridges.
  • But it is slightly less powerful than the .45-90 and .45-110 cartridges.

Is 45-70 Too Much For Deer?

No, the .45-70 cartridge is a perfectly suitable round for deer hunting. It is a popular choice for a number of hunters due to its consistent performance and its ability to take down large games.

Is The 45-70 Good Round for Bear?

Yes, the 45-70 is a great round for bear. In fact, it is one of the most popular calibers for big game hunting, including bears. The round is known for its excellent stopping power and accuracy. And these qualities make it a great choice for hunting bears.

How Much Does a 45-70 Drop at 400 Yards?

Generally, a 45-70 bullet will drop between 80 and 120 inches at 400 yards. But the exact amount of drop for a 45-70 at 400 yards depends on the specific velocity and trajectory of the bullet, as well as environmental variables such as wind and elevation. 

Can You Hunt Elk With A 45-70?

Yes, you can hunt elk with a 45-70. 

The 45-70 is a powerful round and is capable of taking down large games such as elk. But it is important to use the right ammunition, such as a jacketed soft point or a hard-cast bullet. And you need to practice proper shot placement.

Is A 45-70 Considered An Elephant Gun?

No, a 45-70 is not typically considered an elephant gun. An elephant gun is usually a large-caliber rifle with an especially long barrel. Because they are designed for hunting large game such as elephants.


Does a 45-70 Have More Recoil Than a 12 Gauge?

Yes, a 45-70 has more recoil than a 12 gauge. 

  • The 45-70 round produces nearly twice as much recoil energy as the 12 gauge round. 
  • The 45-70 round produces approximately 28.8 foot-pounds of recoil energy while the 12 gauge round produces approximately 15.8 foot-pounds. 
  • Moreover, the 45-70 round produces a significantly higher muzzle velocity than the 12 gauge round, which can also contribute to higher felt recoil.


Is it OK to Shoot Slugs In A Smooth Barrel?

No, it is not recommended to shoot slugs in a smooth barrel. Slugs are large, heavy projectiles and require rifling in the barrel in order to stabilize the slug and accurately guide it downrange.

  • But smooth barrels do not offer any guidance or stabilization, resulting in inaccuracy and increased felt recoil.
  • Furthermore, firing slugs through a smooth barrel can cause excessive wear and tear on the barrel, potentially leading to premature failure.


Why Would A Hunter Choose A Shotgun With Slugs Instead Of A Rifle?

A hunter may choose to use a shotgun with slugs instead of a rifle for a variety of reasons. 

  • Firstly, shotguns with slugs are relatively inexpensive compared to rifles. So it can be used for a variety of hunting activities, from small games to large games. Shotguns are also easier to use for novice hunters, as they do not require the same level of precision as a rifle. 
  • Another advantage of using a shotgun with slugs is that it is easier to carry than a rifle in certain hunting situations. Since shotguns are typically shorter and lighter than rifles, they can be easier to maneuver. And it can provide better maneuverability when hunting in tight spaces. 
  • Finally, shotgun slugs are much more powerful than rifle bullets. They can provide greater stopping power on larger games. And this makes them ideal for hunting large game, such as deer or moose.


Shotguns with slugs provide a cost-effective and powerful solution for hunters who need a reliable weapon for a variety of hunting situations.


More Frequently Asked Questions:     

What Is The Most Accurate Lever-Action Rifle?

The Marlin Model 1895 is widely considered to be the most accurate lever-action rifle. It has a 22-inch barrel. It is also equipped with buckhorn sights and a deeply blued finish. The Marlin Model 1895 is also known for its ability to handle heavier ammunition. And this specification makes it a great choice for big-game hunting.                             

What Is The Greatest Rifle Of All Time?

There is no single “greatest rifle of all time”. Since there are many different types of rifles, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most popular and iconic rifles from history include the AK-47, M1 Garand, AR-15, and Lee-Enfield.

Is 450 Marlin Or 45-70 More Powerful?    

The .45-70 is generally considered to be more powerful than the .450 Marlin. 

  • The .45-70 is a larger caliber. It is designed to fire much heavier rounds than the .450 Marlin. 
  • The .45-70 can fire rounds that weigh up to 500 grains, whereas the .450 Marlin can only fire rounds that weigh up to 300 grains. 
  • Additionally, the .45-70 can fire rounds with a much higher muzzle velocity than the .450 Marlin, up to 2,200 feet per second. And this gives it greater range and stopping power than the .450 Marlin.



The 12 Gauge Slug and the 45-70 are both powerful rounds and suitable for hunting and self-defense. But the 12 Gauge Slug is the more powerful of the two and offers greater range and accuracy. The 45-70, however, has the advantage of a larger bullet and greater knock-down power. And this makes it suitable for close-range self-defense. 

But ultimately, the choice of which round to use depends on the particular application and the shooter’s preference.