I want a 45-70 lever action... Marlin or Winchester???


December 24, 2002, 05:13 PM
Ok, I have decided i desperately need a 45-70 lever action ....

Question is, do I want to get a Marlin or Winchester?

Doesnt look like Winchester is making a 45-70 at the moment (according to web site), but I think I could fine a fairly new 1886 pretty easily.


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December 24, 2002, 06:11 PM
I cant ever recall hearing a negative comment about a Marlin Guide Gun. I want one too, but other things keep coming up.

I would go with the Marlin you wont be sorry.

December 24, 2002, 06:14 PM
I have heard good things about the Marlin too, my problem is I dont really like the cut away side ejection port, nor do I like Marlin's stock checkering.

December 24, 2002, 07:05 PM
Had my Marlin 1895G Guide Gun for about 2 months now and it's a keeper. Excellent rifle for hunting in close brush and has enough knockdown power to take just about any North American game withing 150-200 yards.

December 24, 2002, 07:15 PM
I bought a Marlin 1895CB in .45 LC and I like ity a lot. I bought it over the Winchester becasue the quality is much better.

December 24, 2002, 09:19 PM
Marlin but with the Ballard rifling for lead bullet shooting.

December 24, 2002, 10:30 PM
See my earlier post in this thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?threadid=18), where I talk about my "project" Marlin .45-70. I think the Cowboy model is the best compromise between portability and magazine capacity. Even with the barrel shortened to 22", there's still a full-length magazine, which is very comforting if one is hunting something with teeth and wants all the shots one can get! :D

3 gun
December 25, 2002, 02:18 AM
I'd have to favor the more modern design of the Marlin. With it you can use the hottest loads available. Loads that would not be safe in other guns.

December 25, 2002, 07:22 AM
I bought a Marlin 1895SS .45-70 a few months ago and am very happy with it.

It has a longer barrel than the Guide model and is not ported. My other Marlin is a 336CB in .38-55 and I enjoy shooting them both.

BTW, my first .45-70 was a Springfield 1875 Trapdoor which is still my favorite.

December 25, 2002, 08:14 AM
I'd have to vote for the Marlin; it seems an all-around stouter gun. I find the actions to be smoother and more "slop-free" as well.

December 25, 2002, 08:29 AM
Marlin. You'll find it easier to clean.

December 25, 2002, 08:54 AM
Marlin ... solid, smooth, accurate.

Snake Jenkins
December 25, 2002, 12:00 PM
The Marlin 1895 Cowboy gets my vote.


December 25, 2002, 12:03 PM
Marlin any day.

December 25, 2002, 01:40 PM
I've owned two Marlin lever actions. The first was a .444 and the second was a .375 Win. I traded the .444 off years ago, but still have the .375 Win. (big, long straight case round). Hits real hard but has a trajectory like a rainbow, ha!
I love the side ejection port on these rifles. And never had any problems with either.

December 25, 2002, 05:11 PM
read a REAL good article (actually a 3-parter) in the archives at http://www.realguns.com.

He's shooting some unbelievable groups with his Marlin. Has a good one on handloads too

Fish Springs
January 4, 2003, 05:41 PM

Go with Marlin's 1895 http://www.marlinfirearms.com/firearms/bigBore_levrAction/1895.htm (1895)

I've found it to be the best balanced of the 1886 and Marlin 45/70's. The Guide gun is great if you have a reason for its shortness. Of the Ruger #3, 1886, an 1895 with a lowpower scope was the most useful hunting gun of the three and will place three rounds in a neat clover leaf pattern at 100 yards.

It is is nice rifle.

January 4, 2003, 09:05 PM
I have heard good things about the Marlin too, my problem is I dont really like the cut away side ejection port, nor do I like Marlin's stock checkering.

Sounds like you've answered your own question, LG...despite the nearly unanimous contrary opinion of all the other posters, including yr. obt. svt., that the Marlin in any of its versions is a vastly superior choice.

Now if I had to choose between my 1895SS and an original '86, well...

January 5, 2003, 12:30 AM
All the new big bore Marlins have Ballard Rifling.

General consensus is that the Winchester stock design contributes to higher felt recoil but that the action is slightly stronger. Probably not an issue as the difference in strength is small and recoil is often the limiting factor in hotrodding the 45-70.

There's a Marlin in MY safe for what it's worth.

Uncle Ethan
January 5, 2003, 02:09 PM
In addition to all the other reasons to buy a Marlin 45/70 is the top of the receiver is solid- less moisture and debris getting into the action. I own both, but the Marlin stays cleaner.

December 19, 2007, 07:42 PM
I own a Marlin 1895. I wouldn't trade it. The largest wild hog I ever harvested was with mine. Marlin is the best.

December 19, 2007, 07:54 PM
Practically speaking the Marlin wins, but I've longed for an 1886 Winchester for a long time.

I'd be hard pressed to choose.

December 19, 2007, 08:50 PM

Imho the Marlin design is stronger for heavier loads like 45-70.:scrutiny:

Winchester 30-30 model 94 is a favorite of mine.;)

December 20, 2007, 01:07 AM
Sharps replica. There's nothing like a 520 grain bullet!

Otherwise, Marlin. Wild West Guns custom Marlin, if you have extra cash that you really hate to keep around.

December 20, 2007, 09:07 AM
I have Marlin 45-70's in all three configurations, Guide Gun, 1895 Cowboy and their standard 1895. The Guide Gun is the handiest, the Cowboy the longest. The Cowboy seems extremely light in weight and handles well. The best shooter is the standard, guess I just like the pistol grip.

I also have a Winchester 1886 repro, take down. It is very heavy and the crescent buttplate will do a job on you in almost all positons except standing.
I understand that they made a lighweight version and I would not want to shoot it if it had the same buttplate.

December 20, 2007, 10:13 AM
Well, the thread started 5 years ago (almost to the day) but I prefer Marlin.

Ranger J
December 20, 2007, 10:19 AM
I have a standard Marlin 1895 and it is a great gun. The action is as smooth as can be right out of the box and it will put Rem 300 GR HP, over 49 gr Re#7 in a ragged hole at 50 yards. I'll drop this load to trapdoor level before next deer season as the damage the faster load does to a deer is way too much.


December 20, 2007, 01:14 PM
I think I could fine a fairly new 1886 pretty easily.Sure you can, for several thousand dollars!
Even one of the Browning or Winchester repro's they made a few years ago will set you back a couple grand at least.

That's three or four Marlins, or more!


December 21, 2007, 10:50 PM
Actually, you can find Browning/Winchester (Miroku) 1886 repos for well under a grand. I bought a new "Extra-Lightweight" last year for less than $800.00 (from a dealer in S.D. I like this rifle a lot and I don't think the Marlin has a significantly (if any) stronger action. I guess I'm the Lone Ranger with this opinion but I stand by it.

Harve Curry
December 21, 2007, 11:46 PM
I'll throw in with the Marlin 1895. I like 1886 Winchesters to, but not fond of the repro version.

December 21, 2007, 11:48 PM
Jap lever gun? That ain't right.:evil:

I used to have a Miroku Browning trap gun. It was built well enough. But a lever gun?

My growing list of Marlin lever guns have been instant favorites, though. Something about them...:)

February 5, 2008, 08:08 PM
Have to go with Marlin on this one! But I already have 2, one in .30-30 and one in .44 Mag! Next up is the 1895G 18.5 inch barrel in .45-70!

Grunt Out!

February 5, 2008, 10:40 PM
my dad bought a marlin guided gun and it is awsome i shoot it more than he does

February 5, 2008, 11:28 PM
If you wan't or care about authentic styling go 1886. Japanese Brownings and Winchesters are around, bought a used Browning last year used for $800.

Winchesters run around $1200 new, friend has a 1886 take down 45-90 that is a great gun and a blast to shoot long range with iron sights...

If you just want a lever 45-70 get a Marlin.

February 6, 2008, 01:09 AM
I have three variations of the Marlin 1895

I like the Cowboy the best. I'd like it even better if it had a shorter barrel. I've hunted the most with the Guide Gun. VERY handy. It took its first Black bear in 2007. The 45-70 is a wonderful hunting cartridge.

All are very accurate. Here are some 50 yard target pictures:


February 6, 2008, 01:24 AM
I've had 2 Marlin guide guns. Found both the be excellent firearms. My 45-70 was a micro groove barrel and it proved to be very accurate. I gave it to my brother-in-law for his birthday one year. My second is chambered in the 450 Marlin cartridge and it is awesome. 405 gr. at about 2100 fps. It hits like a freight train, looks like a toy :what:

February 6, 2008, 03:01 AM
I have a 1972 vintage 1895 and like it a lot. It is accurate has good weight and balance. I also have a Winchester/Miroku 1886 ELW. Makes no difference to me that it's made in Japan. It's very well made and the action design and modern metalurgy make it very strong.

February 6, 2008, 06:07 AM
Get the Marlin for the 45-70.

Then get the Browning remake of the Mod. 71!

Two Big Bore Lever guns is better than one any day!

The 45-70 loaded hot is good for big animals and such. When you want to varmit hunt you can use the small bore .348 and shoot em with the 200 gr bullet around 2500fps.

I have both and frankly love either one in the woods. Both have serious wompability.
The Marlin takes the Leupold 1.5x5 scope and the Browning has Williams Fool Proof peeps.

I have taken deer with both and if they dont fall on the spot, they woble for 20yds or so and then fall over.

The reason I bring up the .348 idea is so the wife unit has an easier time of understanding why you need another big bore lever gun! Different caliber of couse! Honey. Bigger is better, right baby?

What ever you choose, you will have fun.

Big Bores Roar!

Bullet Bob
February 6, 2008, 08:37 AM
"I bought a Marlin 1895CB in .45 LC and I like ity [sic] a lot. I bought it over the Winchester becasue [sic]the quality is much better"


Out of curiosity, what do you base that opinion on?

Here's my EL - it has a shotgun buttplate, not a crescent style, and I use a Galco removable recoil pad:


For the original poster - you might have posted at leverguns.com already, but if not you could go there and search (please) for their opinions also.

February 6, 2008, 12:31 PM
The newer Marlins have ballard rifling, however the older Micro-Groove barrels shoot cast bullets extremely well as long as you use .431-.432 diameter bullets, and push them hard. They are also easier to mount scopes on. My 1971 Marlin in 444 Marlin shoots MOA at 100 Yards with factory Hornadys! The newer Guide guns are not ported, BTW. You might try www.Marlinowners.com for info on Marlins.

February 6, 2008, 12:47 PM
What is the going price for a 1895 SS? Thanks.

November 17, 2008, 12:06 AM
The marlin is as good as you can get, I have a 1895 cowboy with a 26in octagon barrel, I love it, It is slow but pwerful. The buffalo hunters used 45/70 and they didnt shoot close up, there has been recorded kills up to 700 yrds, They have shot up to 1200 in competitons, for most part most people will hunt within 300yrds, A person really needs to know their windage and elevation no matter what gun they shoot. Yes the 45/70 drops bad, but if you know your gun , know windage and elevation then dont be scared to shoot long distances. Think about it, the army used them the buffalo hunters, and big game hunters in africa...Why, because it is an effective gun with a hell of a lot of punch. Even military snipers need to know their windage and elevation. So dont be scared to experim,ent with the 45/70, study the ballistics, find a good grain and brand of bullet and practice, I shoot shotguns a lot and everyone said for years a slug was a fifty yrd gun, My dad killed a buck at 120 yrds with a remington 870 , 30 in barrel using a rifled slug. He didnt realize the shot was that far but it was . I have been shooting shotguns all my life and I have never been scared to shoot a deer at a hundred yrds. In fact a slug will not drop at 100 yrd s as they say they will, now people are buying rifled slug guns and scopes and saying they can shoot up to 200 yrds. Its all about knowing your gun and learning to shoot it. As far as the checkering on the marlins, i like it but when I bought mine, i got one without it , I am a traditional shooter and wanted something that looked original, I am searching for a load that i like above all right now nad havent decided whether to use blackpowder or modern, I will buy a handloader this spring and experiment for myself.

Harve Curry
November 17, 2008, 09:39 AM
* Marlin *

November 17, 2008, 10:23 AM
I just ordered a Marlin 1895 with the 22" barrel. I have wanted one for a long time I just never made the jump. I should have it in about a week.

November 17, 2008, 12:32 PM
I have both and after reading and researching over at Leverguns.com, they both are very good rifles. If you want to mount a scope, the Marlin is easier, but the modern Browning/Winchester '86 is a stronger action by design.

Here is a link to an article written by Paco Kelly, who is very much an expert on most everything lever action:


Enjoy reading and please join that forum. Great group of guys that shoot lever guns and SA/DA revolvers in classic calibers!!!:cool:

fireman 9731
November 17, 2008, 12:52 PM
I have never been a fan of marlin lever guns... I guess its because Im spoiled from my Henry's.... too bad they dont chamber 45-70 in any of their guns though!

November 17, 2008, 02:28 PM
Marlin, mainly the later models 1895. My 45/70 will group 1" at 100 yards with a scope . Although I really like the 1886 Winchesters too.

November 17, 2008, 02:40 PM
And now for something completely different ...


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