Garrett's 45-70 Defender Ammo

540-gr SuperHardCast gas-checked Hammerhead


Energy: 2349 ft/lbs(22”) 2184 ft/lbs (18.5”):
Taylor Knockout Value: 49(22”) 47(18.5”);   Meplat: .360”;
Chamber Pressure: 28,000-cup;   Brinnell Hardness: 25;
*All ballistic specs result from 22” barrels.

The 540 Defender utilizes the same Hammerhead super hard/tough hand cast gas checked bullet as the 540+P load. The difference is the Defender is loaded in nickel cases and is a standard SAAMI pressure load yielding a velocity of 1400fps from a 22” barrel and 1350fps from the popular guide gun length barrel of 18.5”. These velocities are a bit more appropriate for the deepest penetration right off the muzzle. Even out of a guide gun (18.5”), this load will have a similar trajectory to a high speed .22LR. Additionally the recoil is substantially milder than the 540+P load, making follow up shots quicker for anyone. Perhaps the biggest news with the addition of the 540 Defender load is that it makes the combination of the 18.5” guide gun and a 540-gr Hammerhead usable for bear defense/hunting by small statured women and young teens.

Modern 1886 pattern rifles can use this ammo if they will easily chamber. The throat dimensions will determine this. Example; the Pedersoli examples tested have chambered this round fine. Browning and more recent Winchester’s pattern 1886’s generally will not chamber this round. In many cases it being so close you can relieve the interference by twisting the nose of the bullet in sandpaper where the rifling starts to engrave. Additionally on Ruger No.1’s; Ruger has used different throating dimensions thru-out the years, some will chamber and some will not.

$80 / 20 CTGS

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