50-70 Government Ammunition
Cartridge Hall of Fame
The 50-70 Government was the first centerfire cartridge adopted by the US Army. It was developed for use in the 1866 Trapdoor Springfield.
The round is considered a heavy powered cartridge generating over 2,000 pounds of muzzle energy. It's name is derived from the old convention of caliber of bullet over grains of powder, that is 50 caliber bullet and 70-grains of black powder. The case is straight-walled and features a rim to control headspace.
Primarily used in the early Trapdoor Springfield's, this cartridge saw only seven years of use before being replaced by the 45-70. In addition to the Springfield other guns such as the Sharps and Remington Rolling Block were chambered in a 50-70 as well.
The 50-70 was popular as a buffalo cartridge in the late 1860's to early 1870’s and even today. Interestingly General George Armstrong Custer's favorite rifle was a Remington Rolling Block chambered in 50-70.
Although, little use today, our first centerfire rifle cartridge the 50-70 Government has earned its place in the Cartridge Hall of Fame.