Just back from a week long boat based coastal black bear hunt in the wilds of northern BC.
Absolutely fantastic hunt !
Seven days on a boat, and never saw a road or another human outside of our hunting party. What we did see was spectacular country, and LOTS of awesome, Jurassic size bears. Hunting was done by glassing from the "mother ship" and then using smaller boats to close on bears we like, then get downwind from them, beach the boat and make a stalk. There were days we saw more than a dozen bears, and made 6 or seven stalks, and we were passing on 6 ft bears. Incredible... Biggest adventure I have ever had hunting !
On day four, we spotted this bear feeding up a depressed creek bed on a low tide beach. We beached the small boat downwind from him, but the water's edge was better than 400 yards from the bear. It was myself, the guide, and a camera man filming for the Steve's Outdoor Adventures TV show on the stalk. We walked when the bear had his head below our line of site, and froze when his head was up. Closed the distance to about 110 yards before we ran out of depression to hide our movement. The other guys went to a knee so they could still see the top of the bear, but I went prone to get steady. The bear may have winded us, but not so bad that he skedaddled, just enough that he sensed something was different. He came up the bank for a look, then turned and headed slowly for the woods line. The guide stopped him by "meowing" like a cat, believe it or not ! Broadside, slightly quartering away. I was aiming to break both shoulders, but when we dressed him out, it turns out I hit him just an inch or so back of the shoulder joint so the shot did not break him down. Double lung. Complete pass through. Bullet not recovered. Bear took three or four running lunging steps, and piled up right at the woods line.
Bear squared approx 6'6"
Rifle is Marlin 1895 CB shorty.
Glass is Lupy VX3 1.5x5 Illuminated.
Load was your 420g Hammehead +P
As an aside, of four bears shot, mine was the only one shot kill. The other hunters were using .338 Win Mags, and two of the other bears were not recovered, and the third took multiple shots to finally anchor him. Can't say enough about the good ol' .45-70... and your dinosaur killers. With good bullets, the "old soldier" kills out of all proportion to paper ballistics and armchair hunters "expert" opinions. Thanks again for your help and advice.
- Rich Winkler
I don't think anybody in the world knows more about penetration on big game with .44 Magnum and .45-70 rounds than Randy Garrett, the founder and boss bullet-pusher at Garrett Cartridges. Those are the only two calibers he produces ammo in, and he knows them the way only a true specialist can. A trip to his web site can teach you tons about going after - or defending yourself from - big, tough, dangerous game, and the tools to do it with. If you own a solid .44 Mag revolver, you owe it to yourself and your gun to check out his loads, like the one shown: a 310-grain SuperHardCast Hammerhead that clocks 1,020 feet per second from a 4? revolver barrel. And, he doesn't just make hard, hefty slugs and drive `em fast; the velocities he loads to are carefully selected to provide optimum penetration and bone-busting power.
- John Conner - American Handgunner - January 5th, 2012
"There are two other features about your ammo I find amazing, and is why I will always be a big proponent of GC Ammo. Prior to going to Tanzania to hunt the big 5 (hippo instead of rhino) I tested 470 rounds of 45-70 heavy for caliber ammo including cor-bon, buffalobore, and hand loads. Not only was Garrett Cartridges the most accurate, but it was the only ammo that didn't experience ANY extraction issues, zero! With the mercury hovering at 110 degrees in the shade during my testing all the other competitive ammo got "squirrelly" at one point or another... Oh, and your ammo had a SD of less than 5-fps, and OAL never was effected from recoil pulses in the mag tube!"
"And finally the thing I pay most attention to is to terminal performance. In particularly the permanent wound cannel which I take very serious note of while field dressing my harvest, and without fail all 17 big game animals I've taken with your ammo (mostly 420 Hammerheads+Ps, 6 with the 540s) looked pretty much the same; billiard ball sized entry wound, dead straight golf ball size "pipe" of destruction either exiting the far side taking bones, muscle, tissue with it... or twice coming to rest after passing end to end, 3-6 feet of animal from entrance hole...nice! Keep up the great work, it's obvious to me that all the time and effort you put into your ammunition R&D has produced a product that in its realm is simply the best on the market!"
- Julius Fortuna, Jacksonville, FL
"The outfitter had been giving me a little bit of a hard time about using a "vintage" rifle and cartridge combination. The guide even brought a .30-06 along with us "in case a wounded animal is gonna get off. Your Hammerhead +P dropped him with such authority that the guide was at first sure the elk was spined. He wasn't. The bullet entered behind the shoulder, double lunged the elk, broke the off-side shoulder, and was recovered just under the hide on the off-side. Bull reared slightly at the impact, and went down without taking a single step. The range was approximately 110-yds. My guide told the outfitter and the other guides the story several times, and kept saying he wished he had video'd the shot so they could have seen it! Very happy to take my first elk with this rifle and cartridge." Thanks again,
- Rich Winkler
"Nobody knows more about .44 Magnum and .45-70 rounds than Randy Garrett of Garrett Cartridges. He's spent a lifetime refining the science of optimum penetration with those calibers, and they're the only ones he loads. The NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and the National Marine Fisheries Service exclusively carry Garrett's Hammerhead rounds for protection from coastal grizzly attack."
"I selected nine different varieties of 45-70 factory ammunition to review (with the new Marlin 1895SBL), ranging from Winchester's lightweight and fast 300-gr Supreme Partition Gold to Garrett's rhino busting 540-gr +P SuperHardCast Hammerhead. I was particularly impressed by the accuracy and consistently low standard deviation (8-fps) of the heavyweight Garrett load; those figures are remarkable for a 540-gr flatnose lead slug and would be a real confidence builder if you were facing a Cape buffalo.
- Dick Metcalf; Shooting Times, March 2009
"The ammunition performed very well and was very accurate. I was happy with the low recoil for the amount of "whump" with the ammo. The buck was running through open burned timber at a little over 100 yards. I led him about 2 feet and the bullet struck perfectly. The rifle was an older Ruger No. 1 and it was scoped with a 2 1/2 X Leupold. Thanks for a great product!"
- Robin West, Soldotna, Alaska
"Randy Garrett's heavy loads with his SuperHardCast bullets are legendary for penetration."
- Craig Boddington, Guns & Ammo, February 2009
"Garrett Cartridges is a specialty company offering only two cartridges, the 44 Magnum and the 45-70 and mostly in Heavy Duty versions for hunting. One of Randy Garrett's customers, Vince Lupo, is one of the world's biggest fans of the 45-70 and the Marlin 1895, and has practically made a career out of hunting in Africa with a Marlin 45-70 loaded with Garrett's ammunition. He has taken everything, and I do mean everything from the smallest antelope to all of Africa's Big Six and done so very decisively. When the same rifle and cartridge can be used for impala, zebra, waterbuck, kudu, eland, leopard, lion, elephant, rhino, hippo, and Cape buffalo, it may be as old as the 1870s but it is still as modern as the 21st century.
Garrett's original 45-70 loads are called Hammerheads- this is most appropriate as they hit like the very hammer of Thor. Hammerheads are loaded with hard-cast gas-checked bullets and are currently offered in 420 and 540-gr versions, the latter especially for deep penetration on really big game and the former for thin skinned game. He recommends the 420-gr Hammerhead load available in 1,650-fps and 1,850-fps versions, for thin-skinned game up to 1,500 pounds and he also has a 350-gr SuperJack, using the Woodleigh bonded-core JSP at 2,000-fps for game up to about 1,200 pounds. For those preferring full jacketed solids, Garrett loads a 500-gr flatnose solid, the Exiter. These are all serious loads for serious hunting and Randy says of his 45-70 Exiter ammo, "It provides the very best in bone-busting capability, for those in pursuit of elephant, rhino, and hippo, with its superb Hornady Copper Clad Steel Jacketed solid. This one clocks out at 1,530-fps while the 540-gr Hammerhead is rated at 1,550-fps."
- John Taffin, GUNS MAGAZINE - 2009 Special Edition
"We started hunting in the Limpopo Province of South Africa on a ranch of 2000 acres after a bull that was pushed out of small herd of Buffalo. The land was fairly open with some bush but very flat. This made it hard to get close for a good shot. The first and second day we did a lot of walking. By now he knew he was being hunted, becoming very weary and very difficult to stalk. By the third day of getting up at 5am plus jet lag I was tired but the bull made a mistake, it broke though a fence of a neighbors farm. This area was much smaller but with heavy bush. Thus we could stalk much closer thanks to our trackers. But Tillie my P.H. said the new conditions made the hunt more dangerous. The third day resulted as negative as the first two, we could get closer but he was so conscious of us he would literally dart away and run 50 yards into a different section of bush. On the forth day his behavior changed, he would no longer run. The trackers found him in heavy bush and we approached to with in 30 yards but he did not move. Tillie now was worried, as all we saw of him was his horns and part of his nose. He was quartering towards us with his body to my left. I wanted to take a head shot aiming 3 inch's below his boss. I could not see his eyes but the horns were parallel and perpendicular so I knew he was facing us. Tollie said if you hit in the mouth he will charge. But I was sure of my placement. A few minutes passed but the bull did not move, then Tollie said okay. I was off by 2 inch's but the bullet entered his brain and ended my hunt. The bullet existed the skull and was not found."
- Steve Katz, New York
Wild boar hunting, Okeechobee, FL, 03/22/08 about 10:45 hrs:
I was treated to my very first boar hunt yesterday in central Florida as a bachelor party gift. We were going for the upper end of average sized meat pigs and I was armed with my new Marlin 1895SS loaded with Garrett 420gr +P Hammerheads. Less than an hour into the hunt we located a trio of boar walking right to left about 100 yards away from us. We quietly stalked to about 50 yards and set up in a large tuft of grass. My hunting partner insisted that I take the first shot. Already in position I carefully sighted and waited as the largest of the three hogs slowly moved broadside almost directly in front of me at 40 yards. A perfect shot presented itself. I calmed my excitement and squeezed the trigger. After the shot I saw something that I did not expect. A slightly smaller sow, standing just on the other side of mine, dropped right where she stood without so much as a stumble or a limp. I mean anchored! My hog, a 250 lbs sow stopped, turned slightly, walked 3-4 slow steps and fell like a bag of lead shot. It took me a moment to realize what had just happened. My shot passed clean through the first hog, traveled about 3 feet, and passed clean though the shoulders of the second hog! Two pigs, one shot! My partner was dumbfounded. He never got off a shot, distracted by the spectacle he just witnessed. A close examination of the pigs revealed clean through and through wounds on both animals. Unbelievable. I was obviously elated. What a great story I had to tell! Not bad for a first hunt.
I'm a believer guys. Garrett delivers on what it promised with this ammo. Later that day, as we headed back to camp I met a guy about to go out. He too had a .45-70 Marlin and had not yet used it on a hunt. I told him about the success that I just had with my gun. He had brought a box of standard loads by one of the big ammo makers with him. I dug into my pocket and pulled out a single Garrett Hammerhead that I still had with me. I offered it to the guy and added that he might take his first shot with it. He would likely not need another.
Thanks for the great hunt.
- B. Scott Mitchell, West Palm Beach, FL
"The bear (coastal grizzly) had been hit once with a 375 H&H, but wound not go down. When he turn and started running in the opposite direction I hit him in the rump with the 45-70 at about 120 yards. He went only about 30 yards more before stopping. When we skinned him we found the 420 gr Hammerhead had entered on his right side rump, passing though and destroying the pelvis. I recovered the bullet under the skin beyond the right front shoulder (full length penetration). The bear squared 9'6'' and had a 25 5/8" skull. Amazing penetration!"
- Paul Lenmark, Boise, ID (coastal grizzly guide)
"Randy Garrett, who has devoted 30 years to building special ammo for only two rounds, the 44 Magnum and 45-70, loads his elephant slaying 540-gr Hammerhead to only 1,550-fps on purpose so that upset does not alter the meplat until the bullet is well into the game. His goal is to "not overwhelm the strength of the bullet." "My bullet box is a wooden affair with compartments: a half inch plywood entry panel followed by a water-filled balloon, then clay, ending with phone books or wet newspaper. In one demonstration, a 540-gr Garrett Hammerhead drove through 56-inches of wet newspaper. I had just fired a 458 Winchester 500-gr roundnose solid bullet into the same media. It made an impressive penetration channel. But the 458 bullet did not compromise the integrity of the test box. Meanwhile, a 540-gr Garrett Hammerhead exited the box, blowing out the sides."
- Sam Fadala, Guns & Ammo January 2008
"Any 45/70 shooter who doesn't know about Garrett Cartridges lives in Outer Darkness. This Chehalis, Washington, company loads 45/70 brass with heavier-than-standard hard-cast bullets to enthusiastic velocities. (You can use them in modern rifles only). They don't answer phone calls (given the choice, would you?) but you can see what they have at their website: www.garrettcartridges.com. (The above comments come from a side-bar piece associated with the article).
"Now keep in mind that this little Guide Gun is made to pour out the power at close range; it's not suppose to be a precision instrument. So the irony is that, at 100-yds, my Brockman Guide Gun (master gunsmith Jim Brockman of Gooding, Idaho) will shoot smaller groups than most bolt actions. The average spread for Garrett Cartridges 415-gr load (actually 420-gr) was .721 inch. Garrett's 530-gr ammo (actually 540-gr) grouped into .782 inch."
- Dave Petzal, Field & Stream October 2007
"I used the 540 grain on my Canadian black bear, with the 1st shot too high and to the rear. (At 50 yards through the brush I miss-judged his shoulder.) He turned and began bounding straight towards me. I stuffed a 2nd round down his chest and out his tush. Game over! Great ammo, thanks!"
- Bill Hackaday, Dunwoody, GA
"Hunting in Argentina, I hit my water buffalo at 70-yds behind the shoulder and it blew straight through exiting his left shoulder. He staggered and turned away from me, so I immediately popped him in the tush. As with my first shot, the Hammerhead passed lengthwise through his body and exited his chest,-- GAME OVER! (both 540-gr Hammerheads were last seen headed towards Patagonia in south Argentina). Next year I plan to use your Garrett Hammerheads in Africa for Cape buffalo and hippo."
- Bill Hackaday, Dunwoody, GA
"Garrett's really heavy-duty Hammerhead is a 540-grain SuperHardCast load delivering 1550-fps. This load has been used successfully to take Africa's Big Six."
"For large, nasty, dangerous critters at close range, it would be most difficult to find anything more comforting than a Marlin 1895 or Winchester 1886 loaded with 45-70 Hammerheads from Garrett."
- John Taffin, GUNS magazine, December 2006
"This grizzly was killed in Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Park in the Eagle Nest Mountain Range of Northern British Columbia. He squared over 8 feet and the skull measured 23 13/16'', which is very good size for an interior mountain grizzly bear. When I shot the bear, he had started a charge from about 70 yards away, and by the time I had a sight on him, he was 40 yards. The 540 Hammerhead hit him right between the front legs, and he did a complete front-wards flip after the bullet hit him. That bullet completely penetrated him lengthwise and exited. I made a follow up shot (which was unnecessary, just instinct) after he rolled which angled through the chest, took out a section of spine, and exited the top of his skull (if you look closely at the photo you can see the exit hole in his head). Very impressive bullet performance."
- Tyler Serle, Albuquerque, British Columbia
The elephant. The Kalahari.
On the morning of the hunt we traveled about an hour from the lodge to where the elephant had been last seen. We found fresh tracks and the bushman trackers took off on horseback and with in an hour and a half located the bull. We set off on foot and in the heat of well over 100 degrees it was very hot. After getting in position for the wind we moved into the area where the elephant was resting in what little shade there was. Ill never forget the fist glimpse of the bull, he was so huge and fanning himself with his ears.
We moved in to under 30 yards for a side brain shot and Erik set up the shooting sticks. We had been very careful to make sure the bull did not see or sense us being there. Erik reminded me once again to be very careful in placing my shot. I set the open sites carefully on the area between his eye and ear and slowly squeezed the trigger. I did pull the shot just slightly and missed the brain just by an inch or so. The bullet went clean through the elephants head and we could hear it flying through the air after it passed through the elephants head. The second shot hit the mark and the bull dropped in his tracks. Although it killed the elephant immediately, I reloaded the double and made reassurance shot. After years of dreams and planning, the bull dropped within seconds of my first shot. Once we had located the bull, it was over very fast.
Everyone was amazed at how well the 45-70 performed on such a huge and powerful animal. The bullets were amazing. I have taken lots of plains game, a lion, two Cape buffalo, and a hippo with this gun, but even I was unsure about the elephant. It was amazing how well it all went off. Thanks for making such an incredible bullet and helping me to fulfill my dream of taking an elephant with the 45-70.
- Kevin Dooley, Albuquerque, New Mexico (elephant taken in Nov. 2005)
This is a rugged little gun with two personalities. Used with factory ammo, the Guide Gun is effective and surprisingly light kicking. With souped-up, cast lead-bullet loads such as those made by Garrett, it will open a can of whup-ass on anything. Hang on.
- Dave Petzal, Field & Stream Magazine, December 2005
I just wanted to say thanks for producing such an excellent .45-70 cartridge! I shot this 5 pt. elk at 100 yards with your 420 grain +P Hammerhead. I was amazed to see the bull drop on impact...hit right behind the shoulders. I use a Ruger #1, and combined with your bullets, I've taken 2 shots at five pt. bulls the last 2 years...and both bulls were dead in seconds! Thanks again for producing such a lethal load that still has a true "traditional" feel.
- Jim Akenson
"We followed fresh sign for a couple hours and finally spotted four large bulls bedded in the heavy timber. These Bison spend much of the time bedded on the edge of the timber and emerge to feed throughout the day. We positioned ourselves down-wind and got within 50 yards. We had to wait nearly 30 minutes for the animals to turn broadside before I could take a shot. I aimed for the lower left shoulder and, when I felt the offside was clear of any other animals; I sent one of your 540 grainers through his shoulder. The terminal performance of the 540 Hammerhead is unbelievable. The animal was quartering towards from me at about 45 degrees. The bullet shattered his shoulder, took out both lungs and exited. Upon further review, seven large pieces of his shoulder bone took out the top of his heart, while the bullet took out the rear portion of his lungs and two ribs on the way out.
Seeing such a large animal get slammed to the ground is something to behold!"
- Jim Audette
"If you're pursuing big or dangerous game with a 45-70, you can't do any better than using one of Randy Garrett's superior loads. Two, new +P loadings for modern 45-70 rifles are a 500-grain Speer AGS tungsten core solid at 1,530-fps and a 500-grain Woodleigh Weld-Core at 1600-fps. Either one is capable of penetrating a Cape buffalo from stem-to-stern."
- Holt Bodinson, GUN DIGEST, 2006
"Randy Garrett of Garrett Cartridges produces a 540-gr SuperHardCast dubbed the Hammerhead that is loaded specifically for modern Marlin lever guns. This load produces 2880 foot-pounds of energy, and has a Taylor Knockout Value of 55. Penetration is truly astounding; the venerable .375 H&H doesn't even come close. This has become the No. 1 choice of round and rifle for countless individuals and groups who must work in areas containing grizzlies and brown bears. And yes, the combo has taken Africa's Big Six - buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard, rhino, hippo - quite handily. Not bad for a stubby brush gun and cartridge that went to the Battle of the Little Big Horn!"
- Tony Kinton, DEER & BIG GAME RIFLES, 2005
"Having read the testimonials both in literature and on internet websites about the sheer destructive power and penetration of the Garrett 45-70 Hammerhead cartridges, I'll admit to being hesitant about shooting them in my light-weight rifles. After firing the first Hammerhead, while it clouted me some, I immediately felt relief. Recoil was not that bad. Here's what I learned about the 420-gr Hammerheads on targets fired from 50-yards using iron-sights: 10 successive Hammerheads produced an average velocity of 1822-fps (Guide Gun), with a standard deviation of 4 (four)! I'd never ever seen that low of a number before, with factory ammo or my own handloads. 4. Target "A" was an accuracy indicator, a single 5-shot group of about 2", which is about as good as it gets with my eyes using semi-buckhorn sights. As for firsthand observations of the penetrative power of the Hammerheads, there was this: getting zeroed with a scope I fired one Hammerhead that blew clean through two feet of packed soil, a plywood backstop, and two railroad ties. You'll just have to experience these tank-like bullets to believe what they can do. A bit later I shot that excellent 2" group at 200-yards that caused my partner to fetch the camera. What impressed us most about the Garrett Hammerheads at extended range was that in an aggregate of 12 rounds fired by two shooters no single round missed P.O.A. by more than the same 2".Zeroed 3" high at 100-yds, the Hammerheads are only a hand-span low at 200-yards, and still carry smashing knockdown power. In my writing career, I have never found a class of ammunition that was so good that I had to buy a rifle to shoot it, but now I have. The Garrett 420-gr Hammerheads elevate mid-range game shooting to the full limit of trajectory, so I'll be buying a Ruger Number One."
- Robb Lucas, The Accurate Rifle (January 2004)
"Your 420 Grain Hammerhead bullets are amazing! I have a Kodiak double rifle with external hammers chambered in 45/70. A man was admiring the rifle at the gun range when I took my first shot with your ammo. At 100 yards, I killed a clay pigeon and turned it into a little orange cloud with my first shot from the right barrel. Unbelieving my "luck" my new friend didn't think I could do it again. I then fired the left barrel and there went another clay pigeon at 100 yards. Superbly accurate! We killed clay pigeons with every shot all day long with this open sighted double rifle at 100 yards. Then there was the buffalo...Approximately 80 yards off-hand with about three seconds notice of spotting the buffalo. One shot right through the heart that drilled clean through both shoulders like a hot knife through butter. I couldn't be more pleased with your fantastic product. I believe it is the ultimate in accuracy and penetration. On deer sized game you don't get meat destruction and on large game it will penetrate through anything."
- Keith Boe - Arlington, Washington
"I Place my trust, the safety of my clients and myself in Garrett Cartridges. My backup rifle and revolver are fed nothing but Garretts."
- Lee Hawes, "The Buff Hunter" President of the Kansas Outfitters Association
Question: "I own a Marlin 45-70 Guide Gun and would like to hunt moose, elk, big black bear, and wild boar with the 45-70 ammo loaded by Garrett Cartridges. Garrett makes some pretty bold claims for their ammo. Do you think it will do the job?"
Answer: "Garrett loads hard-cast bullets to very high velocities, and they are the real deal. Any of the animals you mention is going to take a dirt dive when hit by one."
- Field & Stream Magazine, 10/2003
"I recently returned from a successful Alberta black bear hunt, where I used your 420 grn. 45-70 ammo in my Marlin Guide model. After taking a 5' and a 6' black bear with one shot each through both front shoulders as you recommend, they dropped in their tracks. When the guides skinned the bears, they couldn't believe the devastation from your ammo. The shock caused by your hard cast rounds turned the exiting side of the bears to jello. You've gained a customer for life."
- Chet Skov
"For your information, I challenged 3 wild boars to get them to charge me so I could get some practice shooting your 45-70 ammo out of my Wild West Guns Marlin Guide Gun under "exciting circumstances" in preparation for our fishing/camping trip into bear country in Alaska next month. The first two boars must have known that I was packing Garrett ammo because they ran the other way. The third boar I walked up on must have been a foreigner and did not know the difference between Garrett's and "the other ones" so he charged! I shot him right between the eyes at 20 yards with your 420-gr. The bullet impact blew both eye balls out of their sockets and passed completely through the boar lengthwise. This boar's estimated weight was 275 lbs."
- Bill Eastman
"The next day, I came across a fantastic Mouflon Sheep. He was about 160 yards in front of me and moving slowly broadside to me. He fell to one 420gr Garrett Cartridges Hammerhead. The bullet put him down in one shot and exited the far side cleanly. Once again, thank you for your great cartridges. By the way, I was using my Brockman/Marlin."
- Vince Lupo
"My nilgai outfitter on the King Ranch in Texas brought along two tracking dogs, because he claims that nobody drops nilgai where they are shot. The nilgai was facing me at 157-yards. I put a 540-grain Hammerhead directly into his chest and it went lengthwise through him and exited nearly five feet later by his hind quarter. I have become quite used to this spectacular performance from your ammo, but my guide was totally shocked to see what your Hammerhead did to that nilgai. His hunters have taken over 400 antelope with him over the past 14 years. Never had he seen such total destruction. If everyone used your ammo, he said he would have no use for his tracking dogs."
- Larry Crain, Slidell, LA
"I shot the bison in Ford, Kansas. My bison was 17 years old and weighed 2157 pounds. The distance was 137 yards, and I took him at the standard broadside position. The bullet went thru the near shoulder and exited thru the off shoulder. My guide told me that bison stop all bullets and do not have an exit hole. He also said that bison run about 150-200 yards even when hit with a well-placed shot. Naturally, he was quite surprised to see him drop so quickly, but just couldn't believe that the Hammerhead went completely thru both shoulders and destroyed everything in between. I was told that my bison was only the third one out of 29 that required only one shot. My outfitter was Lee Hawes of Hawes Ranch Outfitters. None of this would have been possible without your Hammerhead bullets. Thank you for helping me to choose the correct bullet for the size game that I hunted. Your concern for the success and safety of my hunt is greatly appreciated."
- Larry Crain
"Your 540gr Hammerhead Cartridge hit my American Bison quartering towards me at about 115 yards. The cartridge entered his left front shoulder and exited his right rear ham and sped off into the sunset as my super trophy 2500lb American (Texas) Bison hit the ground dead where he stood!"
- Vince Lupo
"I used your 420-gr +P Hammerhead load for this one-shot (heart shot) bison, the bull went 20 feet and collapsed. The crew was in awe after having seen these bulls soak up numbers of bullets. They couldn't believe that the bullet went thru a rib, whistled through the heart and exited between ribs on the offside, punching a dime-size hole. Very impressive performance indeed."
- Lon Oberpriller
"Randy,Hi. Just thought you would want to know that Les Hepner of Bloomfield, NM took a trophy buffalo off the Krebs ranch in Scott City, KS using my Pedersoli sharps .45/70 using your 420 grain hammerheads. The bull weighed over 1900 pounds and it had 14 1/4 bases and was 19 3/8 long. The shot was about 80 yards and downed him with one shot. Those cartridges you made for me sure did the trick once again. Enclosed you will find a photograph of Les Hepner and his trophy. Les Hepner is pictured with Dwight Krebs of the Krebs ranch you can read about it in next months web-site story about the Krebs ranch titled 'And the Pilot Wore Spurs'Thanks again.See you on the trail."
- Jim Ferguson, Great American Outdoor Trails Radio Magazine
"Randy Garrett's 45-70 Hammerhead 540-grain hard-cast at 1550-fps went 55-inches into wet newspaper." "The 500 Nitro Express with a solid weighing 570-grains penetrated 48-inches into wet newspaper, followed by the 458 Winchester Magnum with a 500-grain solid traveling at a muzzle velocity of 2260-fps and 47-inches of penetration." Penetration tests conducted at the 2001 Linebaugh seminar.
- John Taffin, American Handgunner, July / August 2002
"And I should also assure you that the ballistic figures shown for Garrett's rhino-busting 540-grain load are not a misprint. Standard deviation was zero! When I looked at the printout tape from the Oehler M-35 chronograph the first time, I thought "Uh-oh, false reading." There was only 1-fps spread showing between the fastest and the slowest rounds. So I did another 5-shot string, and it came up with a mere 2-fps spread and a standard deviation of 1.0. So I listed the first reading. That's the first time I have seen that happen in over 30-years of chronographing ammunition. Garrett loads an extremely consistent cartridge."
- Dick Metcalf, Shooting Times, April 2002
"During this second safari, I managed to take five animals and then suffered a broken ankle requiring surgery and a hospital stay. Naturally, that event ended my hunting! But, I must tell you all five animals were taken with one shot each, using your 420-grain Hammerhead cartridges. I took a 2500-pound Eland, at about 100 plus yards and he dropped as if he were struck by lightning. Neither my PH, nor I could believe our eyes. We saw this huge animal take a single broadside shot that hit him in the left shoulder and went straight through the other shoulder leaving a US quarter size hole and one down and very dead Eland! What a great feeling to take such a wonderful animal in that manner.
My good fortune held true when I harvested the second animal on my quest for the Big 6, a huge 220-pound male leopard! It is here that I once again must thank you for the care and quality control you take with the production of your cartridges. I shot my leopard head on, face-to-face, during his full and unexpected charge. His charge ended as he fell dead at my feet when he met up with one of your 420-grain Hammerheads at gun muzzle range! There was neither time nor opportunity for a second shot by either my PH or me. The four of us (2 trackers and PH and myself) stood in amazement at the sight of this magnificent creature lying dead at our feet.
Once again, your Hammerhead cartridges did for me, what you designed them to do, the quick and devastating dispatch of game animals.
- Vince Lupo
This past year I chose to use a Marlin 45-70 loaded with your 540 gr. bullets for elk. The reason was that I was going to be in an area of dense dark timber and the lighter .30 cal.'s were of no advantage, easily deflected and hard to find the shaded animal with a scope. The shot I took (the only shot I had) was at about 80 - 90 yards through thick brush. It was an angled front shot. The bullet sailed through the small brush on the way, caught the elk in the front left shoulder breaking it, through the heart and lung and broke the other shoulder, exited and was found in large pine tree after it passed through a 4" pine. Bullet weight was later measured at 518 gr. Not bad weight retention!! The 6x5 Bull dropped never knowing what hit him. Thanks for an exceptional product. While your ammo is more expensive than that from the shelf in the local store - Why risk a $1,500 or more elk hunt because you are too cheap to buy the best ammo?
- Jim Yontz
Mr. Garrett, I am a Master Guide in Alaska and a Licensed Professional Hunter in Africa. I have made a full time living as guide since 1975 and have over the years tested the bullets from every major bullet maker and from most of the custom bullet makers. I chose to use your 45-70 ammo because it is by far the best. I do not believe that any better load exists to go into thick brush after a wounded Grizzly.
When my 8 year old son (Jason) decided that he wanted to hunt Grizzly with me on the Alaska Peninsula I was pleased as he had decided this on his own with no prompting from me. (I do not believe in pushing kids into doing what the parents do) This became a goal that the two of us shared together as a father and son team. Over 9 months we prepared for his hunt. Lots of target practice for him with a 22. We spent last winter cross country skiing and practicing shooting from a variety of real life field conditions.
I had unlimited choices of rifles and calibers that my son could use. I have custom rifles in medium and big bore up to 470 Nitro. We also have friends with custom rifles made for kids that wanted to loan some very fine rifles to Jason. We decided on Jason using a factory rifle, the Marlin Guide Rifle in 45-70. The only modifications that were made was installation of peep sights, 2" cut off the stock and a decelerator pad installed. Dry fire practice and getting into kneeling and prone positions was the first thing Jason worked on with the 45-70. After he was proficient at that I let him fire a few factory 405 gr. loads from a kneeling position. I needed to see if he could handled the recoil. Jason did okay but it was too much for him to practice with. After that I only let him used the rifle with a 45 ACP adapter made by MCA Sports. This adapter let him shoot 45 pistol ammo and practice a lot so he did not develop a flinch. We never used a bullseye target for his practice. We used a paper archery target of a life sized grizzly standing broad side. No aiming point to see so he had to learn to target on the shoulder himself.
The end result is that 9 year old Jason shot a beautiful 8' 7" Grizzly with your 45-70 ammo. From 45 yards the 540 gr. bullet struck the bear broadside in the left shoulder. Breaking the shoulder, going through the rib cage on both sides and breaking the right shoulder, then exiting the bear. This was a devastating blow to a tough animal. The bear made one jump when hit then collapsed dead 18 feet from where he was standing.
Thank you for making the excellent ammo that helped make my son's hunt a success.
- Jerry Jacques
Garrett's is now offering a 540-gr. Hammerhead bullet that is designed to protect the user against anything. This is a hard cast flat-nosed bullet that clocks out at 1,575 fps (24-inch barrel). This load will take anything.
- John Taffin (GUNS Magazine, September 2001)
Garrett bullets feature the broadest possible "meplats," which is the flat point forward of the ogive. This is combined with a very tough, but not brittle, lead body. In his heaviest "hammerhead"configuration the 45 caliber bullet weighs 540 grains." "This combination should prove to be about perfect for the heaviest and most dangerous game.
- Jeff Cooper's Commentaries (Vol. 9, #9)
Garrett's ultra-blunt Hammerheads provide reliable stopping power on heavy game. They punch large wound channels, making them an excellent choice for such game as elk, moose, heavy bear, and buffalo. During my last African safari, I used Garrett's SuperHardCast 415-grain 45-70 load on a 2200 pound Cape buffalo in Botswana. My rifle was the Kodiak Mark IV, which handled Garrett's ammo with ease. The recovered bullet had penetrated through the buff's heart and chest, breaking a rib on the far side. It was found just under the hide in almost original condition, retaining 396-grains of its original 415-grain weight. I'm planning a return trip to the Dark Continent in the upcoming year, and plan on packing Garrett's cartridges with me on this trip as well. I'm a big fan of Garrett Hammerheads for dangerous, heavy game. They performed for me when it counted.
- Phil Spangenberger (GUNS & AMMO July 2001)
I just got back from Africa where I took a great Cape buffalo with my Marlin 45-70 and Garrett's 540-grain Hammerheads. Man, what a combination! The big buffalo was broadside at 80-yards when I placed a 540-grainer through both shoulders, destroying everything in between and exiting. The buffalo dropped at the shot, but managed to struggle back to his feet and face me as the second shot hit him between the front legs and just below the neck. The frontal shot penetrated lengthwise through the buffalo and exited out the rear, turning everything from front to rear into jello and dropping the Buffalo on his ass and then his side, DEAD! Both exit wounds were big enough to insert one's fist into. You just can't get better performance than that on a killing machine like a Cape buffalo! I can't wait to get back to Africa to use up some more of those fantastic 540-grain Garrett Hammerheads!
- Vince Lupo
Randy Garrett of Garrett Cartridges was one of the first ammunition manufacturers to offer truly high performance 44 Magnum hunting loads with hard cast bullets. This was soon followed by another high performance round for 45-70 leverguns. Today, Garrett still offers excellent hunting ammo for really big critters using either 44 Magnum sixguns or 45-70 leverguns.
Garrett's Hammerhead 415-grain hard cast 45-70 loading is rated +P with a muzzle velocity of 1850-fps.
In the Marlin 45-70s, the Guide Gun and the 24-inch Limited Edition, muzzle velocities proved to be right on the mark at 1802-fps and 1870-fps; however, they picked up in the Winchester 1886, generating 1968-fps, and 1966-fps in the Browning High Wall. Garrett's load is for the truly big, mean, want-to-hurt-you type animals, and has been used successfully on the big bears of Alaska and the lions of Africa.
Randy Garrett has long offered the 415-grain hard cast bulleted load for the 45-70 leverguns, which has an excellent reputation in the game fields all over the world. Now comes the ultimate Hammerhead load from Garrett, a 530-grain hard cast, gas-checked bullet rated at 1550-fps.
In the 18 and 1/2 inch barreled Marlin Guide Gun, Garrett's new load clocks out at 1461-fps. The same load out the longer barreled Marlin 1895 Limited Edition goes 1551-fps.
Old time African hunters preferred the large bore double rifle for a fast second shot. Most of us will never have the necessary funds to acquire such a rifle. However, the Marlin 1895 is reasonably priced and affords not only a fast second shot, but three, or four or more. The Garrett 530-grain Hammerhead 45-70 load combined with the fine leverguns from Marlin gives the hunter of large game a formidable combination.
- John Taffin(Guns Magazine 3-2000)
As you may know, Randy Garrett of Chehalis, Washington, has been making up what may be called "Plus P" loads for the excellent 45-70 cartridge for over 10 years. They are about ideal for the great bears and for lions, and they compliment Jim West's "Co-Pilot" to perfection... Now Randy has introduced a new 530-grain, SUPER-HARD-CAST HAMMERHEAD bullet, to be started at 1550-fps for a Taylor KO rating of 54. It is designed to shoot clear through a buffalo at 'charging range.'"
- Jeff Cooper (Guns & Ammo, 2/2000)
"Big, bigger, biggest: In the span of a couple years, Garrett Cartridges has changed the way our oldest surviving service cartridge, the 45-70, is perceived. The initial load a 415-grain SUPER-HARD-CAST bullet at over 1800-fps, has been bettered by the Chehalis, Washington-based company's latest offering, which launches a 530-grain SUPER-HARD-CAST HAMMERHEAD bullet at 1550-fps. It should be just the ticket if the dinosaurs ever come back, or if Cape Buffalo is on your agenda and you just don't trust those newfangled bolt guns. We'll reiterate Randy Garrett's admonition that this particular load is suited for modern Marlin lever actions or Ruger single shots only!"
- Payton Miller (Guns & Ammo, January 2000)
"Another ammo company I have had a relationship with is Garrett Cartridges.... Randy Garrett is a fine man.... that really knows his stuff when it comes to ammo. I have been testing his 45-70 loads. My Marlin has never had such a good time. If I were going to Africa and taking my 45-70, his 530-grain +P 45-70 ammo would be going with me.... and I would use it to brain an elephant. I think that much of his ammo. A Marlin Guide Gun.... and this ammo in the wilds of the north would keep your hide safe from very large bears. Everyone that owns a 45-70 Marlin or Ruger #1 in good condition should have at least one box of this ammo on hand. I haven't tried it on wild boar yet.... but the first chance I get I will.... and personally I think it would turn a 300 to 400 lb boar inside out. Out of my Marlin SS it clocked at near 1600-fps.... that's over a ton and a half of muzzle energy. With all the elephant and other behemoths being taken with 454 and 475 handguns do you really think this 45-70 load would be light for Africa's biggest? Garrett's other 45-70 load I tested was his 415-grain +P 45-70.... that clocked just over 1875-fps and 3240 ft/lbs of energy (22-inch barrel). Elk and moose anyone? All of his ammo is made up in FC nickel plated cases with very broad flat faced bullets.... cast hard for absolutely no fouling.... don't worry about needing expansion, with 458 caliber it's already expanded."
- Paco Kelly (Bits & Peices2
"The big 45-70 slug hits big game with impressive authority. With proper ammo this caliber can take any game animal on earth. Garrett Cartridges produces a fabulous 415-grain hard-cast bullet that, at 1850-fps, will penetrate like there is no tomorrow. To date, this is the best 45-70 factory load available for hunting large or dangerous game."
- Brian Pearce (Petersen's Hunting, 5-99)
"...Our Marlin Guide Gun delivered several 1.5" three-shot groups at 100-yds, using Garrett's SUPER-HARD-CAST HAMMERHEAD at around 1800-fps. With such a load, the 45-70 comes into its own as a premier stopping rifle for dangerous game and, when combined with a handy lever-action repeater, practically fills the niche of the revered British double rifles of days gone by."
- Staff Report (Guns & Ammo, 3-99)
"... I had only a second or two to shoot. I snapped the rifle to my shoulder and as soon as the front sight centered on the shoulder, I pulled the trigger. There was a large puff of dust which exploded on the right shoulder and the big "jabali macho" (600-pound Argentine/Russian boar) dropped like he had been hit by lightning. The Garret 415 gr SUPER-HARD-CAST bullet performed like a freight train hitting a sparrow. These bullets are the hardest hitting hunting bullets offered to today's hunter.
- Glen Voorhees (Gun Week, 11 -20-98)
"Just returned from the arctic. Shot a Boone & Crockett muskox with your 45-70 ammo. One shot, instant breakdown of animal. Broke front shoulder, penetrated through lungs, went entire length of body through opposite ham and lodged just under the skin at rear of animal."
- Lad Shunneson (Sportsmen On Video, Personal Letter)
"I was able to experience hunting one of the most dangerous game animals on earth, and one of Africa's Big Five, Cape Buffalo. However, in my desire to be certain that the 45-70 had enough stopping power for such an animal, I relied on a potent 415 grain load from Garrett Cartridges, Inc. After closing in on a group of four lone bulls, first spotted at more than 500-yds, we wound up stalking them for more than 30-minutes in heavy brush. When they finally broke from cover at a run, I was able to connect with one of the better buffs, at a distance of just 20-yds! That's what I call a cardiovascular exercise."
- Phil Spangenberger (Guns & Ammo Annual 1997)
"We were introduced to Garrett's 45-70 load and its spectacular hard-cast bullets. We shot some large hogs and these bullets penetrated through entire body lengths while doing massive damage." "The knockdown power of these bullets was decisive. My roommate on this hunt was Finn Aaagaard, who has more experience in Africa than anyone I know. I asked him what he thought of the Marlin/Garrett combination and he said, "It would make a good combination for African lion in the brush." "This is one devastating bullet."
- Glen Voorhees (Gun Week, 8-20-97)
"Garrett Cartridges offers a high-performance load launching a 415-grain SUPER-HARD-CAST flatnose bullet, offering tremendous punch, flat trajectory and almost "limitless" penetration."
- Bill O'Brien (Guns & Ammo, 5-95)
"Garrett 45-70 ammo combines flat trajectory with dynamic penetration, retaining enough power at 200-yds to punch through both shoulders of the biggest, toughest game on earth."
- Kevin Steele (Guns & Ammo, 2-95)
"Randy Garrett, the custom ammunition maker, has really been hard at work on the 45-70 cartridge as well as the various super-hot loads for the heavy pistol. He is now featuring a 415-grain hard-cast bullet for the cartridge that shows greater penetration than almost anything you can name, including the 375 Holland & Holland. When you remember that dangerous game is shot at short range, it begins to appear that we have been overlooking the best brown bear cartridge for more than 100-yrs."
- Jeff Cooper (Guns & Ammo, 2-95)
"...The Garrett load produced tight groups at one MOA. The SUPER-HARD-CAST bullet passed through both shoulders of the elk. When we field dressed him, the internal hemorrhaging was massive, confirming Garrett's contention that his 415-gr SUPER-HARD-CAST bullet is a stunning penetrator. Loaded in a quick shooting rifle like the Marlin 1895, it is deadly on elk."
- Joe Coogan (Petersen's Hunting, 8-93)
"Hunting dangerous game or even hunting in dangerous game areas requires some special planning." "Deep bone-crushing penetration and absolute bullet integrity is essential. Randy Garrett of Garrett Cartridges has addressed this issue with a vengeance. Garrett's ammo provides "express" performance. It is an excellent for all North American game or all thin-skinned African game. These hard-cast 415-gr bullets deliver super-deep penetration from all angles of entry. Jacketed bullets cannot compare to the reliable construction of these custom rounds."
- B. Anderson (Gun-News, 4-93)
"About Randy Garrett, he loads 44 Magnum and 45-70 ammo. I've shot both and they do everything he claims."
- Hal Swiggett(Sportsman's Gun Annual, 1992)
"Anyone who hunts with the 45-70 would do well to give these cartridges a try."
- J. Wayne Fears (Shooting Times, 3-91)