45-70, 45-90, or 450 Marlin?

WyoHunter1

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With reloading components being hard to get go with the 45/70. You will find ammo easier and if you do reload for it you will have all the power you can handle. Factory loads come in +P and trust me if you dont shoot them in a heavy rifle they will kick your butt. I have a 1895 stainless with synthetic stock and 18" barrel. It is light, it is handy, but with +P loads it hurts to shoot. I had a black and blue mark 4" long on my bicep for 2 weeks after my last outing with the +P loads. I am 6'2" and weigh 245.
 

Tac-O

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Have owned many 45-70s. Have also owned 45-90, 50-90 and 50-110 plus some double rifles in BP in 8 and 4 gauge. If you are going to shoot smokeless powder go with the 45-70. Lots of guns, lots of brass, lots of loaded ammo. The 45-70 with 3031 and a Hornady 350 RN is my all time favourite bear control round. Loaded to 1600 FPS it will penetrate bear or moose length wise 100% of the time. You can load the 45-70 much hotter than that but trust me, all they do is kick harder, they certainly don't kill any better, and they slow recovery for second shot. I won't say how many bears I shot testing all kinds of different cartridges as well as various bullet, speed combos in the 45-70 because no one who doesn't know me would believe it but the sample is definitely statistically valid.

If you are going to shoot black powder a lever is a real pain in the butt to clean and you can't just leave them not cleaned as black powder attracts moisture and will rust you out in a hurry. If you want to shoot BP I would look at the 50-110 as you don't gain anything going 45-70 to 45-90 with BP unless you shoot cast over 500 grains.

There is a very good reason the 45-70 is still going strong after nearly 150 years and the rest are relegated to enthusiast users status.

Thanks for the info!

Where do you live that you do bear control and end up with such a large number of tests?
 

Tac-O

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He is talking about a Marlin 1895. They have shot up in vlaue since Remington's bankruptcy. Of the levers, the 1895 Marlin is my favourite because it is so easy to scope with a quick detach mount and or use peep or open sights on. They also shoot great. The guns made by Marling for at least 5 years prior to being bought out by Remington are real crap, machines were worn out and QC was poor. Not all JM Marlins are created equal. Same hold true for ones made in the first 2 or 3 years Rem had it before they moved the production and got all new machinery.

This was shot with a late Remington, 2015, made 45-70 Guide gun with an 18" barrel. The later made Remingtons are every bit as good as my JM I bought new in the mid 80s. Bottom target is the JM with a 22" barrel, firing 5 rounds pretty quickly over the hood of the truck and prior to it being Magnaported.

l1NNAA1l.jpg


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Thanks!! That is good to know. I'll not worry about the one I found for sale, as it's a 2006, so a good chance of it not being worthwhile, and the guy just sold it likely for his asking price.

So I'll just keep looking for an older 1895 or hope I get can get my hands on a case hardened 1886!
 

OldTimeHunter

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Cimarron also makes a very nice 45-70 based on the 71 Winchester design.

 

Tac-O

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Apr 28, 2019
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Have owned many 45-70s. Have also owned 45-90, 50-90 and 50-110 plus some double rifles in BP in 8 and 4 gauge. If you are going to shoot smokeless powder go with the 45-70. Lots of guns, lots of brass, lots of loaded ammo. The 45-70 with 3031 and a Hornady 350 RN is my all time favourite bear control round. Loaded to 1600 FPS it will penetrate bear or moose length wise 100% of the time. You can load the 45-70 much hotter than that but trust me, all they do is kick harder, they certainly don't kill any better, and they slow recovery for second shot. I won't say how many bears I shot testing all kinds of different cartridges as well as various bullet, speed combos in the 45-70 because no one who doesn't know me would believe it but the sample is definitely statistically valid.

If you are going to shoot black powder a lever is a real pain in the butt to clean and you can't just leave them not cleaned as black powder attracts moisture and will rust you out in a hurry. If you want to shoot BP I would look at the 50-110 as you don't gain anything going 45-70 to 45-90 with BP unless you shoot cast over 500 grains.

There is a very good reason the 45-70 is still going strong after nearly 150 years and the rest are relegated to enthusiast users status.

Dean,

Can't you shoot 45-70 rounds in a 45-90? I thought I had read that you can safely do that and they used to all the time back when there was a lot of 45-70 rounds around from the govt.

Any idea on accuracy when doing that?
 

Dean2

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Taco. I live in Alberta. I no longer shoot bear control but I did for 20 years when I lived in northern Alberta. There were days when my partner and I would shoot more than a dozen bears in an evening that were raiding grain bins or bee hives. That gives you a unique view on what works.

Yes u can shoot 45-70 out of a 45-90. They all headspace on the rim so outside of jump, which isn't critical on these big bores, there is no issue. Same is true for 50-90 through to 50 -120. You can use the smaller cartridge in the bigger gun but not the other way round. Accuracy is not affected and we often down loaded 45-90 to 45-70 equivalent. What you can't do is down load black powder rounds. You do not want an air gap between the powder and the projectile. Loading BP is a lot different, not hard but has it's own rules.
 
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Tac-O

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Taco. I live in Alberta. I no longer shoot bear control but I did for 20 years when I lived in northern Alberta. There were days when my partner and I would shoot more than a dozen bears in an evening that were raiding grain bins or bee hives. That gives you a unique view on what works.

Yes u can shoot 45-70 out of a 45-90. They all headspace on the rim so outside of jump, which isn't critical on these big bores, there is no issue. Same is true for 50-90 through to 50 -120. You can use the smaller cartridge in the bigger gun but not the other way round. Accuracy is not affected and we often down loaded 45-90 to 45-70 equivalent. What you can't do is down load black powder rounds. You do not want an air gap between the powder and the projectile. Loading BP is a lot different, not hard but has it's own rules.

Ah! I didn't think about Alaska. Man... A dozen bears a night... That'd make a lot of bear oil, so I hope you got to take home some of them!

That's good to k ow on the 45-90. There's a Winchester 45-90 case hardened 1886 I found at a local store that is absolutely beautiful. Seeing as I can't find any 1886 45-70 for sale online at less than $1700, I figured a this new 45-90 for $1500 would be great seeing as I could shoot either round.
 

Dean2

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Ah! I didn't think about Alaska. Man... A dozen bears a night... That'd make a lot of bear oil, so I hope you got to take home some of them!

That's good to k ow on the 45-90. There's a Winchester 45-90 case hardened 1886 I found at a local store that is absolutely beautiful. Seeing as I can't find any 1886 45-70 for sale online at less than $1700, I figured a this new 45-90 for $1500 would be great seeing as I could shoot either round.
Only question is what steel and year made is it. If it is nickle steel barrel and/or of a modern construction, like a Mirukou made model, I would buy that in a heart beat at that price. If it isn't nickle steel barrel you will be limited in the pressures u can run but it will still take velocity that is completely effective.
 

Tac-O

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Dean2

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Tac-O

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That is a great modern version and would make a great gun. Not light but great fun to shoot. I would get the 45-90 and some brass and have at it.By the way, I am in Alberta Canada, not Alaska.

My apologies. That must have been an autocorrect.
 

OldTimeHunter

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Old Winchesters will not handle the same pressures that Marlins, Brownings and Cimarrons will.
New Winchesters hav the horrible tang safety and a misfire issue (I owned one, it was a ***)
 

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