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Old October 20, 2010, 08:26 PM   #1
Wrothgar
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Marlin Guide Gun: .45-70 vs .44 Magnum

K, so they're both not technically "Guide Guns", as that title belongs to the .45-70, but you get my drift. Pluses/minuses to both? I know the .44 can hold 10 rounds, compared to the 4 in the .45-70. .44 mag is cheaper, easier to find, but .45-70 has a bigger punch. Thoughts?
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Old October 20, 2010, 08:36 PM   #2
300magman
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You might get more responses if you include what you plan to do with them. Each has advantages depending on what type of shooting you have in mind.
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Old October 20, 2010, 08:37 PM   #3
Manos de Piedra
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I love the .44. I have xs ghost rings on it and couldn't be happier. it is short range weapon and a hell of a lot of fun. It also packs a good punch.

All that being said, I am buying the 45/70 bdl on January 1st. SIX shots, short barrel=heaven. I just love leverguns and I don't think you will be dissapointed with either.

I am betting you will eventually buy both. Both are reasonably priced. Good luck and good shooting.
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Old October 20, 2010, 09:00 PM   #4
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I have a Marlin 1895STP in .45/70. Limited edition run, only 501 made to my knowledge. It holds 5 in the tube and one in the snot hole. It is a weapon unequaled for bear defense.

Okay, so Wild West Guns' modified .45/70's are the top-tier bear defense guns out there, but my 1895STP comes in pretty close IMO.

However, if I happened upon a good deal on a .44 levergun, I would not hesitate to pick it up.
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Old October 20, 2010, 09:09 PM   #5
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If you are looking for "tough animal" hunting at short range (read that as big hogs, bear, etc) then I'd vote for the .45-70 in the six shot config.

I just picked up a 1895 GBL (like the SBL but in blued metal and no rail) that the former owner had replaced the ladder sights with XS sights back on the receiver. Short, handy, great sight picture and lots of firepower. I've run light and thumper loads through it and it is manageable in all guises.



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Old October 20, 2010, 09:11 PM   #6
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My 44 will launch 300gr bullets at over 1500fps. If I don't think that'll do the job I grab the 45/70.
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Old October 20, 2010, 09:20 PM   #7
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As far as what I would do with it, I dunno... everything? We're looking to move to Colorado next year, so a backpacking/hiking defender, plus hunting elk and mule deer.

The advantage to a .44 is that I would also LOVE to get a .44 mag revolver, so that way I could keep ammo for both with me. BUT, I held a .45-70 round in my hand today - I can only imagine how much fun it would be to send down range.
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Old October 20, 2010, 09:25 PM   #8
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So what your REALLY saying is "which one do I get first" LOL
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Old October 20, 2010, 09:48 PM   #9
Abel
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45-70 unless its not legal to use for deer in your state. There are one or two states where you have to use pistol cartridges to hunt deer.
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Old October 20, 2010, 10:01 PM   #10
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I've got the 45-70 1895GBL like the one pictured above. It holds 6 in the tube and it is an absolute blast to send those down range. I'm going to get into reloading so that I can run some thumpers without paying $5.00 a trigger pull to do it though.
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Old October 20, 2010, 10:21 PM   #11
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I'm trying to avoid hand-loading at all costs. A guy in my wife's hometown died in an accident while hand-loading (blew up his garage). I don't know the details, he could have been doing something really stupid, but still, freaks me out.

So, should that dissuade me from the .45-70?
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Old October 20, 2010, 10:25 PM   #12
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Absolutely not, there are tons of options out there for 45-70 as far as ammunition goes. The bad boys, ie Garrett, Buffalo Bore, tend to be expensive, but you can get much milder for pretty reasonable. I got mine for lots of reasons, the main one being this. If it walks on the surface of the earth, inside 200 yards, with the right cartridge, I can kill it with a 45-70.

Now, having made that statement, I fully expect the flames to start rolling in....
Firesuit is now in place.
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Old October 20, 2010, 10:29 PM   #13
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I own a .44 carbine, lever gun... but this...



This is a BEAUTIFUL gun!

I am very jealous...
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Old October 20, 2010, 10:51 PM   #14
Winchster
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They are a blast, literally, to shoot. Here's mine.

Since I can't find the albums & pics link I uploaded it as an attachment.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg photo (12).jpg (241.8 KB, 137 views)
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Old October 20, 2010, 11:09 PM   #15
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If you are going to hunt then get a 45/70.
If you are want to plink and home defense then get a 44mag.

As far as reloading goes, If you don't smoke or reload by candle or fire light then shooting the rifle is a more dangerous activity. (this is based on being able to read and follow instructions)
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Old October 21, 2010, 07:15 AM   #16
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After all my dealings with the big bore levers from .44 Magnum to .450 Marlin (& .45-70, .444) I ended up with the .44 Magnum in this Winchester 1892:




Lever guns have the tradition of a tube magazine holding many repeat shots. They are traditionally open-sighted. The .44 Magnum is good enough to 100 yards on most game while the more powerful rounds can extend the practical range to 150 yards for responsible game shooting.
Beyond 150 yards you need the scope for sure on the more powerful rounds because they drop fast.
If you need a scope to get another 50 yards why not just pull out the bolt action in .30-06?
Up close the .44 Magnum rifle is very deadly even on large game. It is more of a "lever action" to me than the other choices.
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Old October 21, 2010, 07:19 AM   #17
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I decided on a 6 shot 1895G "Guide Gun" with a few additional custom modifications.

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Old October 21, 2010, 07:24 AM   #18
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I agree, if its a hunting gun, 45-70 is the way to go. Keep in mind that the 45-70 has got some nifty ballistics to it and it tends to drop like a rock. Not that you can't make long shots with it, but you've got put some time in with the gun. 200 yards and in it's pretty straight forward. Outside of that range and it would be tough.
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Old October 21, 2010, 08:15 AM   #19
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love my 45-70...

I bought a 44 mag lever, but only to use as the base gun for a project ( 50 A.E. lever ) which has been completed for several years now... & is almost as much of a beast as my guide gun... love it

as far as my thoughts, I like rifle calibers in the rifles, unless it's just as a fun gun, then 357 mag would even be IMO better ( cheaper, less recoil, more available ammo, etc. ) than the 44... 30-30 would be my choice before 44 mag, if you didn't want to step up to the 45-70... ( & if don't handload, the 450 Marlin, which is basically a hot loaded 45-70 )... otherwise there are tons of other cool chamberings available as well...

my guide gun...





my custom 50 A.E.





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Old October 21, 2010, 08:25 AM   #20
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The 45-70 will be the more versatile of the two. Mild, Trapdoor Springfield level 45-70's are pretty similar, ballistically to a .44 Magnum (300grn at 1300fps) but you can really get some impressive power from the top-end lever gun loads like Buffalo Bore, Double Tap, Grizzly, and Garrett. The main disadvantage to the 45-70 is the cost of ammo, it will usually run at least $30-40 per box (Winchester, Remington, and Federal) and as much as $60-100 per box for the more premium stuff (Buffalo Bore, Grizzly, Garrett). It is for this reason that most 45-70 shooters reload (this cartridge got me into reloading). If it helps allay your fears any, 45-70 is an extremely easy cartridge to load for: bullet and powder choices abound and the low pressure and lack of a bottleneck make the brass last a very, very long time.

This is not to say that the .44 Magnum is without its advantages. A .44 lever gun will have a shorter lever throw, making it quicker to cycle. Because of the shorter case, a .44 Magnum will also have a higher capacity for a similar sized gun. Some states only allow certain hunting with pistol-caliber rifles (45-70 is not a legal deer cartridge here in Indiana but .44 Magnum is). Factory .44 Magnum ammo is cheaper and somewhat easier to find (while just about any decent gunshop will have 45-70 ammo, don't expect to find it at Wal-Mart) and the .44 Magnum is also a very easy cartridge to reload.
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Old October 21, 2010, 08:33 AM   #21
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45/70

add another "4" to that 44mag and get a Marlin 444. My number one big hog medicine.
Reload it and it's hard to beat.
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Old October 21, 2010, 08:56 AM   #22
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The difference between the .45/70 and the .444 is minimal as far as ballistics go. Both are close enough that, realisticaly, one can say that neither is superior over the other ballistically. However, factory .45/70 ammo is a lot more available than .444 in most places.
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Old October 21, 2010, 09:05 AM   #23
Magnum Wheel Man
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Quote:
The difference between the .45/70 and the .444 is minimal as far as ballistics go. Both are close enough that, realisticaly, one can say that neither is superior over the other ballistically.
actually just talking factory loads, I think the 444 has an edge...

back when I was a young man, I had a buddy that had a 444, I had a 45-70... neither of us reloaded... we pretty much shot the same, but it "seemed" back then, with no chrony, & similar rifles, that the 444 was hotter...

of course now that I reload, & can buy heavy gas checked bullets, I think the old 45-70 has the edge ( because of components & data ) over the 444, but still believe that with factory ammo, the 444 is probably hotter ( no trap door 444's out there )
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Old October 21, 2010, 09:17 AM   #24
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Go for the 45-70 and if you don't reload, start. The 45-70 is a great cartridge to reload for you can load it down with Trail Boss and a 300 gr cast bullet so it shoots like a 45 colt or load it up with RL7 and 400gr cast to shoot close to a 458 magnum.

I love mine and sadly I don't hunt with it too much because I am a handgun hunter for the most part. But I have shot a few hogs and Deer with it. My Guide gun is one of the older ones with the ports. Its one of my favorite guns. I put the happy trigger in it from WWG and it was a new rifle. Well worth the money.

If recoil is an issue look for a used older Winchester or Marlin 30-30 and get it cut down to 16". They make a handy woods gun and will out perform a 44 mag. This is especially true if you are not going to reload for it.

As far as the 444 and 45-70 with factory ammo, I too think the 444 hits harder.



PS

MWM, I cannot believe you have those pointy rubber tipped bullets in your stock ammo holder. I would think you would have had some big nasty WFN 540gr cast smashers.
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Old October 21, 2010, 09:44 AM   #25
Magnum Wheel Man
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SAM... that was pretty early on... they are now stuffed with cases full of gobs of powder & these bullets...

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=977389
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