The .45-70 cartridge is created by SSK Industries. The company was founded and is run by famous cartridge designer J.D. Jones. Mr. Jones is the inventor of JDJ and Whisper families of cartridges. The .45-70 Whisper is made of .45-70 Government brass cut down to 1.6″ case length and loaded with long bullets fitting .45-70 Government’s overall length.
As with other Whisper cartridges, this round’s main feature is subsonic loads tailored for a certain weapon platform. Particularly, .45-70 Whisper relatively easily fits in lever action rifles requiring only a barrel change with different chamber dimensions and faster twist rate to stabilize longer bullets. Below is an image of Marlin Model 1895 chambered in .45-70 Whisper and equipped with a suppressor.
The round was initially designed for the Lehigh Defense 465 grain controlled fragmentation bullet. Maximum muzzle velocity of .45-70 Whisper cartridge with this bullet is about 1400 fps and manufacturer recommended sub-sonic velocity is 1040 fps. The cartridge also can be loaded with a number of other bullets weighing from 300 to 500 grains. For reloading purposes, standard 45-70 dies are suitable. However, a new seater die must be used.
I think the starting trend of suppressing lever action rifles will grow. Although it is nothing new considering that lever action rifles have been suppressed even with first Maxim silencers. As the saying goes: “Everything old is new again”. In fact, a lever action rifle is a good host for a suppressor. There are no moving parts of a self-loading mechanism to make their own noise as in semi-auto firearms. The manual operation also flawlessly works with any kind of reduced subsonic loads.