View Full Version : Best barrel length Marlin 45 / 70

July 3, 2012, 07:28 PM
Greetings! I want a Marlin 45/70 real bad for Elk. I have a 1949 336 which has a 20" barrel (30-30) and a Win model 70 in 300 Win mag. I can use the 70, but have really have a hankering for a big bore lever rifle.


will the 18.5" guide gun perform ok vs. the 22" Std 1895?

At 150-200 yards, much difference?

July 3, 2012, 10:38 PM
The guide gun while probably adequate the POU is to defend from something coming after you. If you are going after an Elk why not opt for the extra barrel to pick up some extra velocity and energy? I say go for the 22".

July 4, 2012, 12:18 AM
I have the 18.5" GG and took two deer with it fine. It's very handy length and I did hunt the timber for Elk but just did not connect. I have no probs making good Elk loads with this length barrel. I shot the 16" version and did not like it. I have not shot the 22" version but think it may be better than the 18.5, but not enough to make the difference of do you get the elk or not. I have no regrets buying the 18.5" barreled GG. It's fine for anything. I loaded a 350 gr boolit @ 1699 fps, and a 405 @ 1617 fps. Thats enough for Elk easily.

July 4, 2012, 06:02 AM
I've owned both over the years. I don't think it would matter that much at 150-200 yards. You lose some velocity from the shorter barrel, but the 45-70 does not really rely on great velocity to get its job done. That said I prefered the longer barrel as I never felt hadnicapped by the longer one in any thick stuff.

July 4, 2012, 06:37 AM
Fast powders and straight case tell you that little will be lost with a shorter barrel .Muzzle blast and balance will be the things to look for...I wouldn't get a ported barrel !! I understand that the Marlin in 45-70 is a favorite in your part of the country.
For a 300 gr the Winchester Nosler Partition or the Corbon DPX [Barnes] would be the way to go. There are a couple of 350 available ,or go with a 400. I've used that NP on deer and I was happy.

July 4, 2012, 09:29 AM
I, too, have owned/shot/hunted with both bbl lengths, and can say that despite the allure of the shorter Guide Gun, I found the longer (22") bbl both easier on the ears and easier to make a longer shot.

If you intend to hunt Elk in their tightly-confined bedrooms, I would opt for the somewhat faster handling Guide Gun.


July 6, 2012, 05:44 PM
Rick..I would go with the guide gun...U already have a Win 70 for longer range...I have 2 with 18.5 barrels...One magnaported blue with walnut and scope..and one stainless with low light sights....

July 6, 2012, 09:20 PM
I have a 18.5 inch guide gun and a 26 inch cowboy.

While there is a velocity difference I dont fill it is enough to justify the extra pain it is to carry the longer gun. To be honest I am considering cutting the guide gun down to a trapper (16.25 inch barrel)