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Old December 23, 2012, 09:41 PM   #1
smokin' barrels
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450 marlin and the 45-70...what are the differences?

performance-wise, im curious on which one is superior to the other.
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Old December 23, 2012, 10:02 PM   #2
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The 450 Marlin seems to have an edge based against standard loadings of the 45-70. The 45-70 however can be loaded very hot in modern guns and those ballastic numbers look very similiar to the 450 using 300gr bullets.

Overall, considering the ease of finding 45-70 ammo in various loadings, and almost identical ballastics with hot loaded 45-70 rounds I give it the nod over the 450 Marlin.
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Last edited by Kreyzhorse; December 24, 2012 at 07:23 AM.
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Old December 24, 2012, 10:51 AM   #3
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The .450 is basically a higher velocity and slightly flatter shooting round. I bought a .450 because I happened to be in the market for a deer gun at the same time I heard of them. I'm one of those guys that likes to be a little different than the others in our deer camp, and nobody else had one. I am very happy with it and it is my favorite deer gun, BUT Kreyzhorse is right, I did not consider the performance I could get out of hotter 45-70 loads, and if I had to do it again I would probably go with the 45-70 due to the MUCH larger choice of loads.
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Old December 24, 2012, 11:05 AM   #4
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With Buffalo Bore, the .45-70 is sightly more powerful than the .450. They both are enough gun to smoke anything on earth. If you buy ammunition, you have way more options in .45-70. If you reload, pick'em
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Old December 24, 2012, 12:18 PM   #5
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The .450 Marlin actually has slightly less case capacity than the .45-70.

If you reload and you have a MODERN .45-70, they are essentially equal.

The .450 Marlin is essentially hot loaded .45-70 ammo that has a belt on it so it won't fit into the chambers of Trap Door Springfields, Remington Rolling Blocks, and other black powder era gun designs.
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Old December 25, 2012, 11:27 AM   #6
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Prior to the 357 magnum's introduction companies loaded a round called 38/44. It was simply a 38 special loaded to 357 magnum power. It was intended to only be shot only in 38 special guns built on the 44, or N frame. But some guys bought the ammo and loaded it in standard size 38 framed guns and developed problems. S&W then developed the 357 revolver built on the N frame and made the 357 ammo just enough longer that the new hotter ammo would not chamber in 38's

Marlin's 450 was the answer to the same problem. You can handload, or buy some specialty 45-70 ammo that will equal or exceed the 450. Many ammo companies were reluctant to load 45-70 ammo that hot fearing shooters would load it in guns not suitable for it.

If you are only interested in the hottest loads and are not a handloader the 450 is your answer. If only interested in mild loads the 45-70 is the better choice. If you handload you can load either as light or hot as you want. I prefer the 45-70, but as a handloader could make either work.
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Old December 25, 2012, 12:09 PM   #7
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B.L.E. wrote: The .450 Marlin is essentially hot loaded .45-70 ammo that has a belt on it so it won't fit into the chambers of Trap Door Springfields, Remington Rolling Blocks, and other black powder era gun designs.
That's part of the story. Going away from the flanged case did serve the purpose of keeping the ammo out of weak actions but going to a belted case made it more modern and "Magnum" looking for marketing too. The 450 Marlin is essentially a knock off of the 458 American which was developed by Frank Barnes in the early sixties. The belt is for head spacing but the belt on the 450 Marlin was also made taller to prevent the round from being chambered in smaller bore rifles like 300 WM and 7mm RM. Yeah like anyone would confuse those but that was the stated reason.

It's a shame that they chose to make the belt as tall as they did and not standard height. The 450 Marlin could have made a good down loaded round for 45WM rifles much like the 45WM is to the 458 Lott.

Performance wise, the 450 was made to duplicate what hand loaders had already been doing for years with the hot rodded 45-70. The case was thickened internally to better handle the pressures and promote longevity. Hand loaded the 45-70 can usually squeeze out a little more but the critter on the other end wouldn't know the difference. Factory ammo wise, I have a lot more choices in 45-70 speeds, types, and bullet weights.

Last edited by SHR970; December 25, 2012 at 12:35 PM.
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