.45-70 vs. .450 Marlin


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Futo Inu
October 13, 2003, 10:15 PM
If you were going to get your first big-bore lever gun, which cartridge would you pick of these two and why? Thanks. I'm thinking .45-70 - just because no need to re-invent the wheel. But does .450 Marlin have anything on a hot .45-70, other than expensiveness of proprietary ammo? Just makin sure....

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Atticus
October 13, 2003, 10:37 PM
"But does .450 Marlin have anything on a hot .45-70, other than expensiveness of proprietary ammo?"

Dead is dead...and for less money in .45-70. I think you'll be seeing a lot of used .450's at bargain prices in a few years. I've already seen a few popping up at gunshows and nearly bought one last month. If I could only have one though, it would be in .45-70.


Here's a link to a thread on the subject- by people who really know the subject.

http://www.marlinfirearms.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=010175#000002

Robert inOregon
October 13, 2003, 10:51 PM
"But does .450 Marlin have anything on a hot .45-70, other than expensiveness of proprietary ammo?"

Actually, its the other way around. The designer brands of 45-70 commercial ammunition cost over twice the price as those for the 450 Marlin. Only the designer brands equal the power levels of the newer cartridge and the modern case feeds better and is more reliable.

Have both and my 45-70 has been collecting dust for a couple of years now.

Atticus
October 13, 2003, 11:09 PM
That's true, if your talking about the top end of available factory ammo (Garrett/BB vs Hornady). If you don't handload, that's your only choice for .450....at least for now. There is a wide variety of .45-70 ammo at good prices. And if you do handload...you'll have a single option for .450 Marlin brass.

Futo Inu
October 13, 2003, 11:51 PM
So it comes down to whether you handload or not, if you want high power loads at the best price? If you don't handload => .450 Marlin. If you do => .45-70 ??

Atticus
October 14, 2003, 12:15 AM
Either one can be handloaded up or down.
There is only one company currently making brass for the .450 however.
There are many making the .45-70.

Currently there is one factory load for the .450 and it's a good one...but

High performance "factory" .45-70 loads from Garrett and BB are similar in performance to the .450, although more costly. However, reduce the power requirments, and nearly every major commercial ammo maker makes .45-70, from cowboy loads to Grizzly stoppers, and they are less costly.

PMC - for example at $17- $20 retail.
__________________________________________________________
"45-70 Government
For Hunting
New for 2002
This excellent and historically significant cartridge is enjoying a resurgence of popularity thanks to the recent introduction of modern rifles and carbines built to withstand the higher pressures of smokeless powder hunting loads. New to the PMC Silver Line for 2001, the 45-70HA features a tough, 350 grain Jacketed Soft Point bullet achieving a muzzle velocity of 2025 feet per second. The bullet design, in
conjunction with terminal velocities, provides the penetration and
expansion needed to take larger North American game, including bear.
WARNING: This ammunition is loaded to higher pressures and is, therefor, not intended for use in firearms of weaker receiver/frame strength such as the Trapdoor Springfield rifle. Please consult the firearms manufacturer for
compatibility and use."
_________________________________________________________

I like the .450...but as the former owner of a .444 Marlin, I don't think I'd choose it over the .45-70 as my first, or one and only, big bore lever gun. I didn't handload when I had the .444, and I never liked the idea of being limited to one brand and type of bullet/cartridge.

As usual, the best answer would be to get both! I'm sure that helps with you decision. :confused:

Gordon
October 14, 2003, 12:58 AM
"Dead is dead" and the .450 Mag is gonna go the way of the Do-Do bird real quick too IMHO. ;)

Wildalaska
October 14, 2003, 01:34 AM
The 45/70 has about 7% more case capacity than the 450 Marlin..

HSM 45/70 ammo which retails for about $35 per box and uses the Kodiak bullet (this is the best 45/70 load out there for dangerous game IMHO) is no more costly than the 450..

Conclusion...45/70

WildimabigboreAlaska

Jhaislet
October 14, 2003, 05:59 AM
Speaking of .45-70, anyone know where I can pick up some light .45-70 loads for a trapdoor Springfield 1884? The rifle is in great condition and I'd like to see what it can do ;)

Atticus
October 14, 2003, 08:12 AM
Jhaislet:
http://www.georgia-arms.com/
http://www.pmcammo.com/menu.html

Pumpkinheaver
October 14, 2003, 09:54 AM
There is virtually no difference in game taking performance between the two cartridges. Good handloads in the 45-70 will do everything the .450 will do.

Jhaislet I think the old western scrounger sells some blackpowder 45-70 ammo.

JNewell
October 14, 2003, 11:00 AM
So it comes down to whether you handload or not

Exactly. The reason that the .450 case was developed was to keep people from suing manufacturers when they blew up older .45-70s. That, and SAAMI rules require member manufacturers to stay within SAAMI specs, which in this case are built around safety considerations for trapdoors and other similar rifles.

If you do handload, IMO you're much better off with the .45-70. Ammo is much more available...ask me about my 10mm pistol! ;)

JohnKSa
October 15, 2003, 12:13 AM
If you do handload, IMO you're much better off with the .45-70.
Whaaat?

There's ONE (1) load for the .450

There are many loads for the .45-70 ranging from 300 to 540 grain bullet weights and power levels from trapdoor loads to loads that rival and surpass the power of the single .450 load.

It seems to me that if you DON'T reload the .45-70 is the best choice. Nearly anything you want can be bought.

On the other hand, there's only one load for the .450. If you don't like it or it doesn't shoot in your gun then you're up a creek unless you reload...

BTW, PMC is now selling a 350 grain bullet 45-70 "+P" load that essentially duplicates the .450 load and at a price that is comparable to the cost of the .450 load.

TallPine
October 15, 2003, 10:24 AM
It was my understanding that the 45-70 and 450 were the same cartridge except for the "belt" at the base which prevented the 450 from being inserted in a 45-70 rifle .... :confused:

Thus the 450 could be loaded to higher pressures without any worry about somebody blowing up an old rifle.

Sort of like the extra 1/8" on the 357 mag case - no need for the extra powder capacity but it won't fit in a 1910 38 special.

BusMaster007
October 15, 2003, 11:53 AM
I bought the 1895 in .45-70.
The .450 ought to be necked down to a .375, I think. That would probably sell pretty well.

s64woody
October 16, 2003, 12:04 AM
laughing at myself, I note that being a handloader does not keep you from making load errors! My most recent 45/70 loads killed the Moose, but did not expand beyond about .50 cal. I needed about 400 fps more to get expansion. You have got to KNOW the characteristics of the particular bullet to make resonable choices. I still go for the variety available in 45/70.

Northwest Cajun
October 16, 2003, 09:29 PM
s64woody,
What is your load?? I'm pushing Rem 405's at 1800FPS out of a Guide Gun.
I "should" be OK out to 200yds. Sound good?
I'll be hunting the Southern Olympics NF the opening weekend of Elk season.

Cajun

s64woody
October 17, 2003, 03:14 AM
Cajun...the loads were cronographed at a tad over 1300 fps, using 4895. Not the best powder for the mission, but what I had handy. The 300 gr HPFN bullets expanded to about .90 cal in the deer that I took, going about the same, so I do not know what I was thinking when I only went to 1300 fps with the 405. I suspect that your load will perform just fine, as you have good velocity, esp. with a big bone in the way.

telewinz
October 18, 2003, 06:58 PM
If you want expansion and you reload/cast bullets the 405 hollow point from Lee is great for hunting and target shooting. I use 2400 powder for everything mild or hot.

redneck2
October 19, 2003, 07:43 AM
this is kinda like the 30-06 vs 308 debate

I suspect the animal on the other end won't care one way or another.

And, a 405 at 1,800 (or whatever speed) will perform the same no matter which gun it came from

Advantage to the 45-70 only due to variety of factory ammo. 450 seems like a solution looking for a non-existant problem.

Keith
October 19, 2003, 01:13 PM
Advantage to the 45-70 only due to variety of factory ammo. 450 seems like a solution looking for a non-existant problem.

I think so. If it shoots the same bullet and has the same ballistics as a .45/70, what's the point?

Well, actually I know what the point is - it's to make the ammo dummy-proof! If it won't fit in Gramps old Trapdoor, then nobody can sue the ammo maker. Yet, that doesn't seem to deter Garrett or Buffalo Bore, they just label their ammo ".45/70 Magnum".

Keith

JohnKSa
October 19, 2003, 05:11 PM
Well, actually I know what the point is - it's to make the ammo dummy-proof!
A thing can be taken too far.

We have +P and even +P+ ammo in several calibers. As far as I know, there have never been any lawsuits due to +P ammo damaging firearms. Never even heard of an incident of this type that I can recall offhand.

PMC is actually marketing a 45-70 round that roughly duplicates the ballistics of the single .450 factory loading. The box is marked 45-70 Govt. but has warnings which explicitly specify which rifles can fire the ammunition. One wonders why PMC can do it while Hornady and Marlin feel obligated to come up with a whole new round.

I don't suppose it's because they sold a whole bunch of ammo and guns to the "got to have the newest thing" crowd... :rolleyes:

JNewell
October 19, 2003, 08:43 PM
One wonders why PMC can do it while Hornady and Marlin feel obligated to come up with a whole new round

Perhaps they don't mind paying lots of money to people who blow up old rifles and claim they didn't see, or didn't understand, the warnings? :rolleyes: I am pretty sure there is no SAAMI standard for this load...not sure whether PMC is a SAAMI member or what kind of significance this would have as far as SAAMI goes.

If they are a SAAMI member and someone blows up a rifle, though, it will look that much worse in court. ("And is it true, Mr. PMC Executive, that in spite of the fact that the SAAMI did not provide for dangerous high pressure loads, precisely because it would endanger the safety of thousands of users of perfectly good rifles, that you nevertheless authorized the manufacture and sale of these dangerous high pressure loads?") It would be a little different in a real deposition but the effect would be the same...you'd think there was enough trouble selling things to American consumers without actually looking for trouble?

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