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Old January 12, 2013, 12:27 AM   #1
Hot_Lead
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.45-70 Lever-Gun

I was looking into buying a Lever-Action .45-70, to shoot for fun and go hunt with. I was specifically looking into the Marlin 1895G (The "Guide Gun"). I went to look around at my local gun store today, and like most gun stores across the country, they were pretty cleaned out. I had seen some .45-70's there about a month or two ago, and even those were now gone .

Anyways, I had a few questions:

1) How hard does it kick/recoil? It won't scare me off, but I'd like to know ahead of time.

2) What specific make/model would you recommend? Like I said I was looking for the Marlin Guide Gun, but I would also like some other input/considerations.

3) Should I look for a used one, or just order a new one? On that note, what kind of cost would I be looking at? $400-$500?

I also plan on reloading the rounds since .45-70 isn't exactly cheap.


Thanks in advance.
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Old January 12, 2013, 12:59 AM   #2
bobn
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recoil in a 45 70 depends a lot of the particular load. some are easy some are nasty...I have shot several lever guns both Winchesters and Marlins. also have had both light H&R single shots and heavy barrel sharps type guns. for me the lever guns are tough to handle and I do better with a heavy barrel sharps type gun. bobn
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Old January 12, 2013, 12:59 AM   #3
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my brother in law owns the marlin 1895(I think SBL is the specific model). I've shot it several times. the recoil is about like a stiff 30-06 with the high velocity heavy bullet stuff but he messes with loads so much that I've fired what felt like everything from a mild pistol cal carbine to heavy shoulder fired cannon, very tough action to say the least. his is a newer post cerberus rifle and I see no difference in the fit and finish and my pre cerberus marlin 1894 in 44 mag. the thing gets heavy as heck fully loaded but it's an amazing little brush gun in the right configuration. he killed a decent cow elk with it a couple months back.
a lot of people say to stay away from cerberus made rifles but I would buy one like his in a heart beat if I could get it all black.
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Old January 12, 2013, 01:13 AM   #4
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The Marlin can kick, or you can shoot it with mild loads that don't.

I don't use a Marlin, but I use the Browning Version of the Winchester 1895 High Wall (Single Shot).

You can load it to near 458 Mag velocities which hurt (My 1895 has a steel curved butt plate) or you can load it to '73 Springfield Velocities which are quite mild. Use 5744 or 4198 loading 405 gr lead bullets to about 1300 FPS.

Its a good round for hunting, since thousands of buffalo were killed with that round I'll assume its good for anything in North America.

If you don't reload, find some cowboy action loads, they're mild.

Shooting isn't fun if it hurts.
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Old January 12, 2013, 04:00 AM   #5
MarkDozier
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Quote:
3) Should I look for a used one, or just order a new one? On that note, what kind of cost would I be looking at? $400-$500?
Look for an used one with JM roll mark. Remington is getting better but the 45-70's I have seen new are still rather poor.
Cost based on current pricing is between 700-900 for a good used one.
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Old January 12, 2013, 09:32 AM   #6
Jack O'Conner
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One of my buddies has a ROSSI Rio Grande model in 45-70. This Brazil built rifle is well made and quite accurate, too.

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Old January 12, 2013, 09:54 AM   #7
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With the mildest loads a 7.5 lb Marlin 45-70 will recoil simlar to a 12 ga shotgun with field loads, 17-20 ft lbs of recoil. With the really hot loads you are talking just under 50 ft lbs or recoil. Which is MORE than a 375 H&H mag and a lot more than 338 win mag.

I've had both the guide gun and the longer barreled gun. To me the shorter barrel didn't help much and I actually preferred the longer barrel. Personally I'd look no further than Marlin and get the barrel length you like best.

I'd look used.

I'd also suggest staying with the milder loads and enjoy shooting the gun. Even with the standard loads it will work on most anything you'll ever hunt. If you really need the super hot loads, then you really need to step up to the 338 or 375 magnums. You'll get more power, with less recoil.
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Old January 12, 2013, 02:24 PM   #8
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45-70

Most factory ammo loads from 300 grain to 405 grain are intended for all rifles and are pretty mild even in my 1886 light rifle ! The 45-70 cartridge is very fun to handload and while most my loads are more on the mild side...I do enjoy firing off a few hotter loads in my Ruger No. 1 occasionally which knocks down iron buffalo with authority ! Handloading definitely makes the 45-70 more economical to shoot......I use bulk ordered cast lead bullets of 350 to 400 grain weight !
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Old January 12, 2013, 03:53 PM   #9
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Yes Hot Lead, you can load the 45/70 from "mild to wild".

However, shooting a RUGER #1 that can handle the "wild" end of the spectrum, I would need to ask, why.

Now, "Hot Lead" leads me to believe that if not already casting, you may have at least given it some thought.

Forget jacketed expanding bullets, and anything below 400gr and go with a WFN, non-expanding cast boolit of 400 PLUS grains at 1600fps +/- and it will take anything you'll ever hunt in North American.

I like the 465gr WFN at 1650fps that I use, and it is VERY deadly on game up to and including elk.

I know that many folk use bullets/boolits of less then 400grs, but bigger IS better.

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Old January 12, 2013, 04:31 PM   #10
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My last take was a 300 lb red deer with a Corbon DPX [ 300 Barnes all copper @ 1900 ] .Worked very well , mild recoil .I have used that load or the 300 NP Winchester for a bunch of deer ,all mild recoil very accurate great performance. My Browning 1885 can be loaded very hot like the Ruger # 1 but then it will bight at both ends.The cartridge works on putting a large heavy round out , not faster is better !!
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Old January 12, 2013, 05:01 PM   #11
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My Marlin Guide Gun with some minor tweaking, it's my only .45-70 gun.

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Old January 12, 2013, 05:38 PM   #12
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I call it The Beast. With a 300 gr. HP over 62 gr. of IMR 4064 off a rest on a bench it's a Beast. Free standing not so much.

With the same 300 gr. HP over 54 gr. of IMR 4198 off the bench it hurts.

I must be a sadist because the last time I had it out... last week... I started liking to shoot it.

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Old January 12, 2013, 06:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
I must be a sadist because the last time I had it out... last week... I started liking to shoot it.
I think the word you're looking for is masochist.
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Old January 12, 2013, 06:23 PM   #14
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It does not seem to me that my 45-70 hits the shoulder harder than some others. I think it's a slower burning load so I don't feel the impulse. Even though it is a heavy bullet, other rifles and maybe some shotguns hit the shoulder harder.
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Old January 12, 2013, 06:29 PM   #15
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I think the word you're looking for is masochist.
Yah, that too.
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Old January 12, 2013, 06:54 PM   #16
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I have a Marlin 45-70 with the 22" barrel. It is a fun gun to shoot and load for. I also cast my own bullets for it as well. This is one of the the pre Remington guns. I have no experience with one but I notice Henry is now making a lever gun in 45-70. They also may be worth checking out. Some people really like the Henry Leverguns.
http://www.henryrepeating.com/rifle-45-70.cfm
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Old January 12, 2013, 06:56 PM   #17
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I agree with SteelChickenShooter.....I owned a light 30-06 and a 338 magnum that felt much harsher on the shoulder than some of my hotter 45-70 handloads ! My 400 grain handloads pushed to about 1350 fps are like shooting my .243 Winchester light varmint rifle and actually feels like less felt recoil to me anyway !
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Old January 12, 2013, 07:22 PM   #18
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Naturally I agree with WIN1886. This is a forum including lever action and I don't think there is any reason to fear them. Perhaps new shooters could be intimidated by the size of the round, but shooting 300 grain 45-70's out of a present day Marlin just does not equal the shoulder pain experienced with some other rifles & ammo in my book. I think some of my 30-06 rounds hit the shoulder harder than a 45-70. And at the risk of crossing over, some of the light handguns or even some of the 44 magnum handguns can give a person a sharper jolt than a 45-70 lever action rifle.
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Old January 12, 2013, 09:30 PM   #19
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My 1973 Remington 700 BDL hit harder than my 45-70 until I put it in a thumb-hole stock with a rubber recoil pad and put a brake on it. It now shoots much easier than the 45-70.

Time before last I put 40 rounds through the 45-70 working up loads from 60 to 64 gr. I was no worse for wear when I finished. Last week I put 12 rounds of 62 gr. through it sighting in a scope and actually enjoyed it.
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Old January 13, 2013, 08:04 AM   #20
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I agree with SteelChickenShooter.....I owned a light 30-06 and a 338 magnum that felt much harsher on the shoulder than some of my hotter 45-70 handloads ! My 400 grain handloads pushed to about 1350 fps are like shooting my .243 Winchester light varmint rifle and actually feels like less felt recoil to me anyway !
Those are very light loads. Some of the hotter 45-70 loads will be pushing a 400 gr bullet approaching 2100 fps. That works out to just under 50 ft lbs of recoil. A little more than a 375 H&H mag shooting a 270 gr bullet at 2700 fps and considerably more than a 338 mag shooting a 250 gr bullet at 2700 fps.

That said a 400 gr at 1300-1400 fps will work on most any animal.

Quote:
since thousands of buffalo were killed with that round I'll assume its good for anything in North America.
This is a misconception. The 45-70 was designed for the miltary and for shooting indians, not buffalo. It was considered underpowered for buffalo, but was used occasionally because it was commonly available. The serious buffalo hunters used much larger more powerful guns starting with .50 caliber.

By 1900 the 45-70 was for all purposes dead and it lay dormant until being revived in the 1970's by Marlin. Other than being used briefly by the military in the indian wars it never really saw much use, especially as a hunting round. Newer loads and bullets have made it possible to do things with the round that were not possible in the 1870's.
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Old January 13, 2013, 08:18 AM   #21
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My first choice would be an '86 Browning.

My more likely purchase would be a Rossi Rio Grande.
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Old January 13, 2013, 12:17 PM   #22
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I just can't gasp the idea that a gun has to hurt the shooter to be effective.

I haven't found that to be the case.

It looks like, if you read different topics, the 44 mag pistol or 500 S&W will kill anything that walks the earth but a 400 grn 45-70 at faster velocities wont kill a little white tail.

Good thing they didn't have the Internet in the 1800 or all those pioneers would have starved.
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Old January 13, 2013, 02:21 PM   #23
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I've noted that mindset myself, Kraig, and for some time. It's sort of like the magic that haints single-shot pistols. Folks who scoff at the 30-30, .35 Rem or .375 Winchester in a rifle, somehow see them as 350 yard Pronghorn or Buffalo slayers, in a pistol.

We should keep in mind that no matter what we do, we aren't going to make the 45-70 a flat shooter. As long as we set some self-imposed limits, it doesn't need to be. 350+ grains of lead, trundling along at (give or take) 1300 fps, will bore a big hole through an awful lot of meat & bone.
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Old January 13, 2013, 03:43 PM   #24
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Marlin 1895 here.....

I decided against the Guide Gun version as I usually sit in/on a stand anyway and that extra barrel length/weight helps with recoil/weight. If I was packing it walking long distances or in through heavy brush I might change my mind. If I shoot the standard Remington load (405 grains @ 1300), it recoils between a 20 and 12 guage shotgun. The hottler loads are pretty much equal to a heavy 12 guage load, IMHO. I have not tried the super-hots, however. They go for around 500 used here - without optics.

J
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Old January 13, 2013, 06:39 PM   #25
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I load mine with Hornady gummy tip 325 grain ammo running them about 2025 fps. The recoil is about like a 223 but that is largly due to the extra weight on the end of the barrel. Its also nice that the guns required no hearing protection.

I love 4198 powder with these bullets

my suppressed 45-70 Marlin 1895SBL
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