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Old November 16, 2019, 03:11 PM   #1
straight-shooter
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My first 45/70

I just aquired a nice Marlin 1895 45/70 lever the other day. Got a few tools ordered and going to hand cast some 405gr bullets. I'm also going to powder coat them. I just need to decide on the powder i'm going to use. I have 8 pounds of H4895 and 8 pounds of Varget. Don't need anything abusive, just target fodder.

Anyways, it's my first 45/70 and wanted to share my excitement and i'm sure it will be loads of fun!

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Old November 16, 2019, 04:09 PM   #2
Hanshi
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You've just got yourself one of the most fun rifles of all time. I've had one since the 1970s and killed deer, varmints and paper targets. A good number of medium burning powders work well in the .45/70. Your 4895 is an excellent way to start. I use 3031 for a velocity of 1800 fps with the Speer 400 grain sp. The accuracy is so good I never considered changing to another powder. Forget the slower powders recommended for bottle-necked cases; they won't build up enough pressure to give desired velocities and accuracy.
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Old November 16, 2019, 05:47 PM   #3
Oliver Sudden
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If your rifle has Ballard rifling (normal rifling) it will handle cast bullets well. If it’s one that has the Micro groove rifling you’ll need to load jacketed bullets. I had one with the Micro groove type and cast bullets both hard to soft wouldn’t shoot very good.
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Old November 16, 2019, 05:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
If your rifle has Ballard rifling (normal rifling) it will handle cast bullets well. If it’s one that has the Micro groove rifling you’ll need to load jacketed bullets. I had one with the Micro groove type and cast bullets both hard to soft wouldn’t shoot very good.
Luckily I have the Ballard rifling so i'm good on that front. Thanks for the information Oliver.... good to know.

Hanshi, I have considered the Speer for jacketed. Price is right and i've had good luck with them in other calibers.
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Old November 16, 2019, 07:04 PM   #5
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I have always liked Hornady’s 350 grain RNSP for jacketed loads. I have four 45/70s. I use the jacketed bullets in two of them. The others, a Browning BPCR and an 1873 Trapdoor carbine, get BP only and cast bullets.
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Old November 17, 2019, 01:26 AM   #6
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had one of those for many years, finally traded it as excess to my needs. Miss it now, of course, oh well.

A quick check of an old book shows 4895 will get you into the 1700fps range at max loads, possibly a tad more. IMR 3031 will get a little more fps but not a significant amount more.

DO TAKE CARE and do NOT "crawl" the stock. In other words, make sure your scope has plenty of eye relief. I, personally never had a problem but a fellow who shot my Marlin with 385gr RN (cast, copper plated) at approx. 1800fps got too close to the scope.

Eyebrows bleed a bit!

With heavy loads recoil can be stout. The stock doesn't fit everyone real well and that can add to the felt recoil.

Shooting at "standard" (black powder speeds) of about 1300fps or so are no trouble and a lot of fun.

There is nothing quite like working the lever after the shot and seeing that HUGE case come out. DO crimp securely (tube magazine rifle) and if you load long, keep an eye on total length. The Marlin will jam if you try to feed rounds that are too long from the magazine. Not impossible to fix, but will require disassembly of the action. Keep rounds below the listed 2.550" COAL max and you should be fine on that score.

Enjoy the gun, its a good one, do your part and it will take anything that walks in North America. And they can be surprisingly accurate with certain load combinations, too.
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Old November 17, 2019, 03:28 AM   #7
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I have owned several 45-70's (still do) and shoot them a lot. Eventually you'll figure out that a 400g bullet will completely pass through any whitetail at any angle moving along at a leisurely 1400fps. As velocity goes up shooting pleasure goes down with this cartridge. I like "extended" range sessions most days, and I've found out that 1300-1550fps allows that to happen. Also, my best groups occur in that range. I have an 1886 that will group five shots (on a regular basis, not a one time thing) under 1.5" at a measured 114 yards (my deck to my backstop). Best powders/loads to date are with 4198, Rel7, and 2400 powders. Good luck and have fun.
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Old November 17, 2019, 08:01 AM   #8
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Congratulations. Great gun and honestly a great hunting round. One of my favorite rounds to spend a day at the range as well.
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Old November 17, 2019, 08:48 AM   #9
105kw
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You got a great rifle.
The 400gr Speer jacketed can be over driven in velocity.
My hunting partner was running it at 1800 in a Ruger No 1. It blew up like a varmint bullet on a big does shoulder. It killed the deer, but we pulled shredded jacket out of the wound track.
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Old November 17, 2019, 09:13 AM   #10
mehavey
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SHOOTER:
Go ahead and invest in a lb of 5744 and/or UNIQUE.
You will be very glad you did.


BTW: How are you planning/equiped to size the bullets after casting?
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Old November 17, 2019, 09:32 AM   #11
straight-shooter
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Quote:
BTW: How are you planning/equiped to size the bullets after casting?
I plan on casting then powder coating. Let them set for a day to let the powder coat setup. I'll run them through either a Lee .459 push through die or I have the option to push them in my Lyman Lubrasizer if I decide to put lube in the grooves.
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Old November 17, 2019, 09:43 AM   #12
mehavey
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If you're going to wait a day for set-up, I'd suggest just push-through after cast (light film of imperial sizing wax and/or case lube), then just put some full strength ALOX on thumb/forefinger/rotate the bullet between them -- usually 2-4 bullets per finger-full -- very thin film.

Throw them into a slightly-warm oven on a plate and when dry the next morning -- shoot them.... Slow or FAST
See https://www.marlinowners.com/forum/4...ml#post7505265

"...anything that walks in North America...."


.

Last edited by mehavey; November 17, 2019 at 09:49 AM.
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Old November 17, 2019, 09:54 AM   #13
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Nope, not getting in to that PC vs Alox debate... LOL. It's Sunday after all.
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Old November 18, 2019, 10:21 AM   #14
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You mention in your original post using the 1895 for "target fodder". If you're only going to use it for punching paper and steel (which is what I do with mine), you may wish to consider a lighter recoiling load. I shoot 300 gr. RNFP lead bullets going around 1,100 fps using TrailBoss powder. This is a load I can shoot at the range all day long, makes a manly clang on steel, and is accurate on paper (I've shot out to 200 yds). If you're hunting, you may wish to duplicate the Remington 405 factory loads moving along at ~ 1,300 fps.

Also, I replaced the rubber butt pad on mine with a Limbsaver grind to fit recoil pad and it makes shooting the 45-70 much more comfortable, especially from a bench.
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Old November 19, 2019, 05:26 PM   #15
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@straight-shooter Im looking into the same thing. You mind telling me what you paid?
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Old November 19, 2019, 05:37 PM   #16
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IMR-3031 is ideal in these rifles. Try to stay with a 405 grain cast bullet to keep your shoulder in one piece.
While it is fun shooting the 550 grain bullets the play in the rifles bolt really increases the felt recoil when fired.
I do powder-coat and the bullets have never leaded the barrel even when really pushed hard.
It is import and to anneal your cases or you will get cracks at the crimp after a couple of reloads.
I bought my marlin 1895 rifle when they first came out for sale in the early 70's to go hog hunting in S.C while in the Navy.
I had bought the then new Marlin .444 in the late 60's just before I went active duty.
both rifles are just plain fun to hunt with.
As stated above,that scope is close to your eye. You creep,you bleed.
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Old November 23, 2019, 02:00 PM   #17
straight-shooter
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Quote:
Also, I replaced the rubber butt pad on mine with a Limbsaver grind to fit recoil pad and it makes shooting the 45-70 much more comfortable, especially from a bench.
Luckily I have a universal limbsaver pad and will most definitely use it.

Quote:
@straight-shooter Im looking into the same thing. You mind telling me what you paid?
I acquired this in a trade deal so it was a trade at retail face value both ways. This is the 22" model and to give you and idea, Cabelas sells this exact rifle for $649.99
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Old November 23, 2019, 02:52 PM   #18
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5744 will be your friend. I use it in my in falling block.
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Old November 23, 2019, 02:59 PM   #19
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I'm initially going to start with H4895 @ 40gr topped with dacron and work up from there. Actually H4895 can be downloaded 60% from max load which would be 28gr. Very versatile for the 45/70. If the results aren't satisfactory then I'll look in to 5744, 3031, RL7 or even some Varget. So many compatible powders make this a very exciting caliber.

I'll be using a Labradar and hoping to get in around 1,250 fps to 1,350 fps and search for a accurate node within.
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Old November 23, 2019, 04:00 PM   #20
Jasonzee
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The 45/70 is a good rifle for deer kills them fast. Good powders for it are
Unique
Imr3031
Varget
Aliant 2400
Reloaded 7
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Old November 23, 2019, 04:34 PM   #21
agtman
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Quote:
If your rifle has Ballard rifling (normal rifling) it will handle cast bullets well. If it’s one that has the Micro groove rifling you’ll need to load jacketed bullets. I had one with the Micro groove type and cast bullets both hard to soft wouldn’t shoot very good.
Actually, I had a question about that very issue. I've been looking at the current Marlin SBLs in .45-70.

What rifling do the SBLs use, and will they shoot the hard cast 405gn boolits accurately (specifically the COATED 405gn HCs)? I'll be sticking with that weight of HC slug almost exclusively.
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Old November 23, 2019, 04:36 PM   #22
agtman
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Quote:
The 45/70 is a good rifle for deer kills them fast. Good powders for it are
Unique
Imr3031
Varget
Aliant 2400
Reloaded 7
What's the consensus on AA 5744 with HC slugs in 45-70?
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Old November 23, 2019, 07:15 PM   #23
LAH
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I shoot the NEI clone of the RCBS 45-405-FN which comes in at 420 grains with 25 grains of 5744. It shoots as well as I can hold.
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Old November 24, 2019, 09:02 AM   #24
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i have shot H-4198 for years in my 45-70,s. 47 grs with a Hornady 300 gr bullet(not for trapdoors).
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Old November 24, 2019, 09:58 AM   #25
Jasonzee
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Dont forget to SLUG your barrel so you now what dimater of bulletts to buy.
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