What am I doing wrong with my Marlin Guide Gun in .45-70 shooting off the bench?


November 24, 2008, 05:53 AM
I shot the Marlin 1895 XLR and 1895 Guide Gun for the first time today. We were using a bench rest to sight in the XS ghost ring sights on both rifles at 50 yards. To the obvious amusement of my shooting partner, when I shot the Guide Gun, the front of the rifle "jumped" out of the bench rest and came to rest on the wooden bench (with me still holding the stock) :o . This happened three times in a row!! He suggested using a bungee chord to strap the rifle to the rest but I think he was joking since he was laughing a lot as he said it. Is there a recommended technique for shooting such a light rifle when using a bench rest? The recoil for the XLR was significantly less. We were only on the second lightest load for the Guide Gun (45.0 gr of N130) and easily shot the heaviest loads in the XLR (48.0 gr of N130) without nearly as much drama.


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November 24, 2008, 08:57 AM
Is the GG ported? Mine is and mostly recoils straight back when shooting off the bag. What kind of bench rest are you using?

November 24, 2008, 09:28 AM
Don't have my 1895 yet, supposed to be delivered today. I do have a light weight H&R Buffalo classic in 45/70 that pretty much does as you described when fired. Muzzle rise was really bad with it until I went with a lighter load, now she only jumps a little and shoots clover leaf groups at 100 yards. I don't know of any special shooting technique to keep it from jumping on the bench.

Double Naught Spy
November 24, 2008, 10:03 AM
Hold onto the gun when firing it. That usually seem to help.

Al Thompson
November 24, 2008, 12:07 PM
Hold on to the fore-end. :)

November 24, 2008, 12:47 PM
What am I doing wrong with my Marlin Guide Gun in .45-70 shooting off the bench?

Anticipating the recoil maybe?

November 24, 2008, 01:15 PM
Working hot loads with my unported 1895G I always have to lay the back of my hand across the front bag and hang on, otherwise the scope will give me a kiss.

I usually work with it like this:

30 cal ammo can with my range tools in it and a sock full of rice on top for a front rest. Couple of rice socks for rear bags. Back of hand supported by bag, grasp fore end just forward of receiver, don't grab on hard enough to start the trembles. Sit up tall and firmly set butt in the shoulder pocket, use aft rice socks to support. Fire away.

It's not as dead on repeatable as locking the rifle in the rest but if you use a good target for a repeatable sight picture you can shoot good groups.

Sitting up straight instead of hunching over let's you rock a little with the rifle instead of taking a punch locked in and having the rifle jump around more because of it. Unless I'm load testing I eliminate the back rice socks and work off the front rest only.

I think the geometry of the 1895G with the straight grip (and the shorter length and lighter weight) is what results in greater recoil bounce compared to the other models.

November 24, 2008, 01:45 PM
Keoni, the barrel isn't ported. The new Guide Guns don't have ported barrels.

Asherdan, thanks for the explanation of how you shoot off the bench. Intelligent, constructive posts like yours make this board what it is and I really appreciate it.

I don't plan on shooting the Guide Gun off the bench on a regular basis, I was merely trying to sight in the ghost ring sights as well as testing different loads. Once I have the sights dialed in with the load of choice, I plan on shooting off-hand at 50 yards and 100 yards with the hope that I can hit a dinner plate at both distances since that's all that I ask of this Guide Gun.

Olympus, I don't think I was anticipating the recoil but it's possible.


November 24, 2008, 04:08 PM
1858 I wasn't going to lecture it but now that you said:

I don't plan on shooting the Guide Gun off the bench on a regular basis, I was merely trying to sight in the ghost ring sights as well as testing different loads.

That's exactly the way I work with mine. I've got my pet loads for it, now all my shooting is from field positions because I hike and hunt with it. Offhand, sitting or kneeling I don't find recoil to be a problem with any load level in the 1895G.

Besides controlling the rifle, I've found that shooting off your rested hand with your hand grip in the same position as when you're off the rest gets you the same force applied on the same part of the stock and keeps your POI the same on or off the bench. Shoot it like you're gonna use it and you wont be chasing sight settings.

Good luck and good fun!

November 24, 2008, 09:41 PM
yep, it is kind of normal. mine wanted to jump right out of my hands every time. i had a muzzle brake installed, and a limbsaver recoil pad put on. help tremendously with the recoil! also takes some of the kangaroo out of the muzzle as well. it is that short little barrel, it is much closer to the pivot point (your shoulder)!

November 24, 2008, 10:02 PM
How come the new Guide Guns aren't ported?
When did that start?
Have they done away with the cross bar?

November 25, 2008, 12:29 AM
X-Rap, what's the cross bar and yes, the Guide Guns don't come with muzzle breaks these days. Maybe not so good for the one pulling the trigger but a whole lot better for the folks standing next to him/her.

Asherdan, thanks again ... I plan on having A LOT of fun once I've got the load figured out. Thanks for the tips on shooting off the bench too.

moooose102, so it's not just me. I'm going to follow Asherdan's advice and maybe bring a bungee chord to the range next time just in case.


Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
November 25, 2008, 12:29 AM
Not doing nuttin wrong. It jumps. Put it back on the rest and continue shooting. What's the problem?

November 25, 2008, 12:29 AM
How come the new Guide Guns aren't ported?

I think it's a liablility issue.

Have they done away with the cross bar?

No, I just bought a guide and it still has the crossbar, I need a machinist to build me a dummy piece.

November 25, 2008, 12:09 PM
2001-2002 they quit porting them. I think user preference was the reason for the change. My buddies is ported, mine isn't. I don't see much benefit in muzzle jump from the ports but they will clear out range benches on either side of you.

I slipped a tight o-ring in the groove in the 'fire' side of the safety bolt and don't think about it anymore.

November 26, 2008, 03:15 PM
1858 the crossbar is the safety as you might have figured by now.
Some guy in Wisconson makes dummys for around $14 including shipping.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
November 26, 2008, 03:19 PM
The EXACT same thing happened with my .50 caliber muzzleloader when I was sighting it in off a Hoppes rest. I even have my first DING in the front stock to prove it!

Hold the front down with your non-trigger hand.

James T Thomas
November 26, 2008, 04:00 PM
An "educated" guess:

You may be unknowingly resting the heel of the butstock on top of, or in contact with the bench surface. Consider something similar.

My older brother was anxious about the recoil from a 12 gage shotgun, so he thought it would be better to place the butstock against a tree that was at his back. Of course, when he fired the stock rebounded back in his face, and broke his jaw!

The next time at bench rest, slip your fingers beneath the {is it heel, or toe?} of the gun to determine if it is not fully residing in your shoulder "pocket." And not in contact with the bench.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
November 26, 2008, 04:34 PM
I know when it was happening with my new muzzleloader that the rear stock WAS NOT touching the bench, as the finish would have been missing as well as the rear sling swivel stud.

November 26, 2008, 05:04 PM
X-rap, I had figured out what you were talking about but now I have another question. For those of you that have removed the safety, how do you carry the rifle when hunting/hiking? By that I mean loaded/unloaded/half-cocked/hammer down etc. I'm new to the Marlin so I'm still at the stage of cocking the hammer, engaging the safety, cycling the lever to load a round in the chamber, depressing the trigger with my thumb on the hammer and lowering the hammer to the half-cocked position. Without the safety, would you carry the rifle empty, loaded with the hammer down or loaded with the hammer in the half-cocked position?


The EXACT same thing happened with my .50 caliber muzzleloader when I was sighting it in off a Hoppes rest. I even have my first DING in the front stock to prove it!

... me too!! :( Oh well, I'm sure it's going to get more dings and scratches with use. Thanks for the tip.

November 26, 2008, 05:13 PM
Hunting: Load up when I get out of the truck. Half cock and empty chamber hiking in. Half cock and one in the chamber hunting. Unloading at the truck, cycle the lever and eject 'em on the tailgate. Maintain muzzle control throughout.

November 26, 2008, 05:27 PM
if its not i wouldnt suggest porting it, hang on, hold it tight aginst your sholder, and try to hold it as if you are shooting off hand (put your hand on the grip when fireing) this works very well with my .300 Wby Mag.

November 26, 2008, 05:39 PM
Asherdan, thanks for the explanation ... this safety stuff is important so I appreciate your feedback. These Marlins aren't second nature to me yet but I'm getting there.

ken, I'm definitely NOT going to get the barrel ported. Your shooting technique sounds the same or similar to Asherdan's and this is what I'll be trying next time. Thanks.


November 26, 2008, 08:40 PM
You might try a butterfly rest like this one. It works really well controlling muzzle jump when shooting the Guide Gun off the bench. The upper "bags" put pressure along the length of the forestock and it can be pinched pretty snuggly.


November 26, 2008, 09:35 PM
1858, the design of these and similar rifles has been pretty much the same for 100 yrs then some liability lawyer came along and now we have an extra devise added to what was a beautifly simple gun. I will confess to missing a shot at a cow elk due to me using it because it was there. I had carried older levers for years before without the cross bar without problem and now it sits on red all the time.

November 26, 2008, 10:13 PM
I know that Jim at www.longhunt.com has safety replacement "screws" for 1894 models. I don't know if he has them for the 1895 as well or if the 1894 screw would fit the 1895. Some of the parts are the same. For instance, I just ordered three Wild West one-piece extractors (bear proof), two for the '95s and one for the '94 and those are all the same. The triggers are the same in both models too.

flashhole, thanks for the suggestion.


J. Jay
November 27, 2008, 12:56 AM
Loop up! Oh, try a ching sling, they work wonders with gun with lots of muzzle flip.

November 27, 2008, 12:00 PM
When shooting any two-part stock rifles off a rest, move the rest up under the receiver. I think you'll find that this will improve the groups considerably. Also, when shooting a heavy recoiling rifle (like a hot load in the .45-70), don't use a rest, but use a "normal" hold with your elbow resting on the bench. I think you'll find your accuracy is still quite good. I learned this little trick reading Paul Matthews book 40 Years with the .45-70.

November 27, 2008, 04:22 PM
I agree with the first part of kragluver's post. My Ruger #1 is more accurate when I bring a bag up near the receiver. As for the 45-70, shooting it with your elbow resting on the bench will give you a raw bruised elbow. Yes, that's the voice of experience. :)

November 27, 2008, 09:29 PM
So what exactly is a crossbar?

November 27, 2008, 09:38 PM
Crossbar = cross bolt safety. It took me a while to figure out what they were talking about too. :o

P.S. I have Clyde Ludwig's safety replacement kits in my GG and 1894 and am very happy with them. There is also a UPer deer that is very happy I didn't put the kit in as soon as I got the gun. ;)

November 27, 2008, 10:56 PM
Ludwig is the guy that is selling them for around 14 bucks isn't he?
Sorry to hear about the one that got away but its good to know I'm not the only one.

November 28, 2008, 09:39 AM
mine has the crossbar safety. i intentionally do not use it. i have in the past, went to fire the gun, and the dang thing just goes "click"!. so i slip one into the chamber, and put it on 1/2 cock, LIKE EVERY OTHER LEVER GUN I OWN. it works quite well, and there is no safety issues. i will always keep the crossbolt safety for one reason, UNLOADING. it is a nice feature to use for this purpose. other than this purpose, it is there only because the lawyers want it there.

November 28, 2008, 02:02 PM
The only time I use that dang cross bolt is on the range occasionally. I have my brother drop by the bench and set the safety on or off then I set up a shot and pull the trigger without looking. Flinch training. Otherwise, it's o-ringed on fire.

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