during some of the discussions ive had on here some of the anti-gun types have brought up the fact of why do US Citizens need rifle capable of firing rounds that can kill a person at a mile away. the following is nothing more than to put facts to why that claim is silly.
in 1873 the US Government decided to drop the 50-70 as the military's principle rifle cartridge and decided to use the 45-70. it also chose a new military rifle, the 1873 US Springfield, also known as a "Trapdoor Springfield". the 45-70 saw service officially for only 19 years though it was unofficially used in special military and police actions up until WWII. the 45-70 is still popular to this day giving it a life so far of around 134 years.
in May of 1879, after the round and rifle already had extensive battle experience, the military decided to do some tests starting at Springfield Armory. the tests were to determine just how far away the 405 and 500 grain cast lead bullets could kill a man using volley fire. at the Springfield Armory rifle range the farthest away they could place the target was 1500 yards. at this distance both bullets zipped through 3 inches of hard wood and kept on going.
since the military ran out of room at Springfield they moved the test to the beaches of Sandy Hook, New Jersey. a huge target was assembled 22 feet high by 44 feet wide. the target consisted of 6 layers of 1 inch thick hardwood boards. at a distance of 2500 yards(1.42 miles) the 405 grain bullets almost completely penetrated the targets. the 500 grain bullets zipped through the 6 inches of wood and continued on to bury themselves 6 inches into the sand.
so they extended the range to 3200 meters(20 yards short of 2 miles) at which point the 500 grain bullets 1 and a half inches of hardwood........at 3680 yards the bullet still went through an inch of hardwood.
it is a well known fact that the soldiers of the time, atleast those who were hunters and shooters before joined the military, could make life very dangerous for a person at 1000 yards and beyond. all this with a black powder round throwing a bullet between 1500 & 1800 feet per second depending on what bullet was used with no help of a telescopic sight.....just using iron sights.
i do not have a Trapdoor Springfield. however for comparison here is the 45-70 round.
(left to right) standard fingernail clipper for those not familiar with cartridges, a 22LR with a 32 grain bullet round, a 223 Remington with a 40 grain bullet, a 405 grain bullet for the 45-70(not the same design used in the 1879 tests though), a 45-70 round with 300 grain bullet, and a 30-06 with a 150 grain bullet.