I really apprecriate your detailed report on the lead/microgroove situation. Sorry to say that it became academic as I bought a new 45/70 today that has Ballard rifling. The Marlin web page still shows that the 1895 SS 45/70 has microgroove, but upon calling them in CT I find that they went to Ballard around/after (not sure now) 1997. The new ones with a serial number less than 03xxxxxx (yes less than) have four stars rather than the words Micro Groove on the bbl and do have Ballard rifling. I also found that the SASS rules indicate that gas checks are allowed for the long range side matches, but not the main match rifle or pistol re: pgs 12 and 17 of the 8/97 rule book. Thanks again for the info and the recommended readings and considerations for cast bullets. I have so much to learn to consider myself other than a complete neophyte. (the next step might be called an advanced beginner or experienced novice? I am looking forward to be so deemed.(BG)). Thanks, Bullmoose aka Jim.
PS: I was a liitle uncertain on the 1895SS with the pistol grip, 22" bbl, white line spacer, etc. but I do want something that I would like to use in Alaska for moose or big bears and still be used in the SASS side matches. I felt that the 1886 Winchester was too heavy although the 95 isn't too much lighter. I will try to pick up the book XX Years with the 45/70.....