View Full Version : Lever Action 45-70

December 20, 2010, 11:43 AM
I've always wanted a lever action 45-70 so I looked at the gunshop the other day. I looked at the guide guns by marlin and I dont like the short mag tube. I like the traditional look more. I kinda like the looks of the 1895 cowboy. Does anyone have any feed back on this rifle good or bad?

December 20, 2010, 11:48 AM
Here's a thread on this subject I started a couple days ago.


December 20, 2010, 11:56 AM
Got a 1895. My Father-In-Law's hunting gun. When he passed, he left it to me since I loved it so dearly. I think most of my famiily members were intimidated by the caliber anyways. Funny too, since he was all of 5-3 and 140lbs or so.

I shot my first deer with it. I love the thing. Honestly. It hits deer like Thor's Hammer, man. I mean I've NEVER seen a deer take more than 3 steps before dropping like a sack of rocks. I had a scope on it for that first deer. After I totally missed a doe with it from about 20ft., I ditched the scope. I don't see shots beyond 70yds, so I felt it largely uneccessary. Open sights for me, please .Strong action to boot. I have run some nasty handloads of FIL's thru it, never had a glitch of any sort. I love people's rection too when they see you whip out the box and load it. Wide eyed shock! I guess I first shot it 13 years or so ago. I've owned it for about 9, and honestly never had a single issue.

December 20, 2010, 12:06 PM
alabaster, what kind of groups do you get with it, and how bad does it kick?

December 20, 2010, 12:22 PM
Nathaniel, I don't have one presently, but I am looking at them like yourself. If you are especially recoil sensitive you can put a pad on the butt of the stock that will absorb some of it.

I shot one years ago, and as I recall, the kick was about equivalent to shooting a 3 inch magnum turkey load from a 12 gauge shotgun. Not that bad really.

December 20, 2010, 12:41 PM
I'm not gonna lie. I don't get the best groups out of her. I'm only running 5-6 in groups @ 100yds. I know that's -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- for most folks, but I've never really tried to tighten it up either. I never shot it for groups with the Leupold, and I think I'm okay with iron sights. I'm almost exclusive to handgunning. I shoot my Marlin less than 10 range trips per year. Only about 50 rds or so total, annually. Again, I never hit a deer and had it get far. Though, I never even attempted a shot at one longer than 60-70 yds. I just don't trust myself enough, and I hunt in the brush here in VA, so long shots aren't common. I'm sure she can shoot better than I can. Not sure where you are, but if you're near NOVA, I'd be glad to meet you at the range and let you have a go at her, I'm sure you could do better.

As far as recoil. I'm not recoil sensitive at all. I mean that too. Not trying to be bad as*, I just don't mind it. 12ga. 3in magnums all day. I've shot much harder recoiling guns. My Uncle's .338WinMag was quite a bit more noticeable IMO. Most people that have actually given it a chance were surprised that it didn't kick as bad as thought it would. Recoil seems to be very subjective tho, so bear that in mind. If a long day of 308's takes a toll on you, pass on the 45-70.

December 20, 2010, 02:26 PM
I must say the first time I shot mine I was expecting some serious recoil too, but it was a lot less than I expected. Mine is a Marlin 1895xlr w/24" barrel. So I'm sure the overall weight of the gun helps. It did come with a decent recoil pad too. Keep in mind that a lot of factory ammo is loaded to be safe in old guns. I have the components to reload this one now, but have not had time to do so yet. When I do I will try to work up some hotter loads. If you don't roll you own you can find some manufacturers out there that make hot loads. (Buffalo Bore comes to mind) I have a Ruger M77MKII and a Weatherby Mark V both in 30-06 and they seem to beat the tar out of me compared to the Marlin. Maybe because they're so light? I don't know. Probably in my head.
I can't really comment on the shot grouping. I haven't sat on a bench with it. I did get a deer with it the other day with a 405gr Rem cor-lok and he dropped after just a few steps.

December 20, 2010, 02:34 PM
I love the marlin 1895 45-70s!! dont have one but def see myself getting one eventually. but isnt it kinda overkill for deer??

December 20, 2010, 02:40 PM
i have the marlin 1895 cowboy in 45/70. it is a great gun, the recoil isn't as much as i expected but i shoot 405 gr factory loads mostly. i havn't used it for hunting and i hav'nt taken it to a range. i usually set some target up in the desert and it always hits the mark. i like taking long shots at rocks and things and it never takes me more than 2 shots to hit my target at 3 to 500 yards with open sights. i would like to mount a tang sight on it for more serious shooting. i like mine alot.

December 20, 2010, 03:01 PM
great rifle. I had one. Ended up selling it to fund another project. Will buy one again. Just don't know when.

I know a few individuals, myself included, had to return theirs to Marlin to get some things fixed. Mine had an issue with the loading gate. Would jamb up when trying to cycle the first round into the chamber. New loading gate and the problem was solved.

Fun guns to shoot. Especially with the full power loads. They really get your attention.

red caddy
December 20, 2010, 03:16 PM
I've been cold trailin' a stainless, take down, guide gun, but can't seem to get my hands on one, (I'm NOT cheap, I'm frugal) this model looks nice but I'd want it in stainless.

I know it's not traditional, but the way i use my workin' guns SS is the only way to go, for me, and the laminate stock causes no heartburn.
The mag tube capacity is not really much of an issue for my uses either, if 5 won't solve the problem, one more ain't gonna help much. The big lever is a plus for a knuckle dragger like myself, who normally needs a LOP an inch or so longer than most normal humans.
My NEF Buffalo classic has killed every thing with hair, that I pointed it at, most DRT. 405 Gr @ 1900 FPS is a serious thump, prolly enough for the occasional rampaging '58 Buick Roadmaster... anything tougher than that, I dust off the 45-120.

Still, I think an up close and personal look at this one might be in order.


December 20, 2010, 04:03 PM
nathaniel I looked at the guide guns by marlin and I dont like the short mag tube.

The mag tube can be extended... my .45-70 Guide Gun with a +2 mag tube extension.


December 20, 2010, 05:34 PM
An 1895 should be able to group close to 1.5"
If 405 is too much recoil then go to the 300. The 300 factory loads , at 1850 have been around for 100 years !!! Yes Winchester loaded it back then !
I much prefer the Win Partition which uses the Nosler Partition ,expansion and penetration.:D

December 21, 2010, 10:27 AM
OK thanks everyone, I think I will try to find a 1895 cowboy around, I like the longer guns so I think the cowboy will fit the bill just fine. What would be better for sights; a tang sight, peep sight, or the factory irons?

December 21, 2010, 11:30 PM
I've owned a few flavors of Marlin 1895. Like them all but my favorite is the Cowboy.


The LTD III has the good looks of the Cowboy and the handiness of the Guide Gun. Light to carry. Upper end levergun loads aren't very fun off the bench.

They are capable of impressive accuracy.
50 yards, open sights

Devastating on game. Even a low end levergun load will zip long ways through a Black Bear.