View Full Version : Micro Groove Marlin 45/70, lead bullets

September 15, 1999, 10:33 PM
I have heard many comments concerning the inability of the Micro Groove system to accurately shoot lead bullets for SASS type events. I asked the question about them today in a gun store and was told that they do if you use gas checks. I have heard rumors that the faster you drive them the worse they are with lead and that over 1400fps, forget it. Of course the old trapdoors, etc don't drive them that fast. Experiences to share?
There seems to be butches of microgroove 45/70s available at very reasonable prices, those with Ballard rifling are more scarce and expensivie. Jim

El Chimango Pete
September 16, 1999, 07:10 PM
Hi Jim! - just got my (Ballard rifled) Marlin '95 SG today, haven't even unpacked it. My thurty-thurty Marlin 336 is Microgrooved, and I did havve leading trouble - but Paul B, fellow TFL'er, has posted a working solution - if he doesn't reply here you can find him using the 'search' feature... (which also works now - great, and thank you Zach and co !!) :)

Paul B.
September 18, 1999, 09:36 PM
Jim. I have an early "new model" Marlin 95 with the Micro-groove barrel and painful curved buttplate. I get from 2 to 2.5 inch groups with a peep sight most of the time,when it isn't kicking the slats out from under me. (I load some pretty warm loads for hunting)
All I shoot is cast lead in this rifle. I have had the best luck with gas checked bullets, but at the velocities involved with "cowboy" shooting, plain based bullets may work as well. In fact, don't "cowboy shoot" rules specify plain base?
Anyway, use a cast bullet that is at least .002 inch larger than your bore diameter. My bore is .457 inch in diameter. My bullets cast .460. inch. I could probably hand lube them and shoot them as cast, but I have been sizing them down to .459 inch. Use a relatively hard alloy as this way there is less chance of the bullet stripping. Also use a hard lube, such as LBT Blue, or Lyman's Orange Magic. Alox 50-50 will work but it is messy and it stinks like a skunk. Gets runny on hot summer days too.
The only plain base bullet I use is Lyman's 330 gr. hollow point, the Gould bullet. Gould was the president of the NRA back in the late 1800's and possibly into the early 1900's. He designed an express bullet (Lyman #457122) for the 45-70, which if properly cast shoots well in Micro-groove Marlins. If you can find a copy, get Paul Matthews FORTY YEARS WITH THE 45-70. He goes into loading for micro-groove Marlins, and gives the load I use with the Gould bullet. Actually that's where I got it. LOL The alloy I use is 10 pounds of cleaned wheel weights, and 1 pound of linotype. Makes a good bullet as is,(12BHN) and can be heat-treated to be much harder, if necessary. (20-24 BHN depending on WW composition)
Hope this helps you out.
Paul B.

September 19, 1999, 12:59 AM
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.....

Paul B.
October 8, 1999, 09:09 PM
Jim. You can order 40 YEARS WITH THE 45-70 by Paul Matthews at: (www.riflemagazine.com). The order number is #567.1. Price is $14.50 plus S&H.
That'll make it easier to track down.
BTW. my suggestions for micro-Groove barrels will work with the ballard style too.
I do the same thing with 30-30's and I have Winchesters and Marlins with MG barrels.
Paul B.