Inexpensive Reliable .45-70 Breech Loader?


January 10, 2012, 11:55 PM
Okay, so I've been posting some erant stuff lately. Most of it for personal research. Now I'm asking about something I may purchase. Maybe. Does anybody know of any good .45-70 breech loaders (preferably not break-open) for under $600?

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January 11, 2012, 12:13 AM
I would suggest looking for a used Ruger #1. I have a 458 Lott I picked up for $650. It's super accurate and really well built.

January 11, 2012, 12:29 AM
I've thought about that. I'd something on a more historic design, but you can't use higher pre3ssure rounds in anything else. I've seen a #3. Another thing I'm interested in Is a Chaparral Arms 1876 in .45-60. I've seen a bunch on GB, all for the same price. I'm a little wary of that. How much do they normally cost and are they any good?

Dmitri Popov
January 11, 2012, 12:31 AM
H&R Handi-Rifle or Buffalo Classic.

January 11, 2012, 12:35 AM
Preferably not break open. Not that I have anything against them, but I just don't like the look of the Buff Classic and I don't want another handi-rifle. One is enough.

Dmitri Popov
January 11, 2012, 12:40 AM
Well if you don't want another Handi, you could only spend $100 and get a new barrel for your existing rifle. But hey I'm broke and look for the cheapest way.

January 11, 2012, 12:46 AM
I'm not really interested in that route either. I don't feel comfortable with sending it in to the factory. Too much risk for my taste, and the handi isn't exactly my favorite setup. It's just fine in 7mm-08, but a large caliber would just make the less than desirable pistol grip highly uncomfortable. I appreciate the input, though.

Pete D.
January 11, 2012, 09:01 AM
The Gibbs Firearm Co., at one time, offered Lee Enfield #5 Jungle Carbines that had been converted to 45-70. You might find one on Gunbroker....but it won't be cheap.
Maybe a Marlin 1895 lever gun? Does that qualify as inexpensive? Historic enough?

You prefer it were not a Handi-Rifle (but that is the best choice for inexpensive and powerful) and yet all the other guns are considerably more costly.

January 11, 2012, 10:54 AM
If you can find one (they show up every now & then on Gunbroker) I can HIGHLY recommend a Uberti 1885 High Wall.
I paid $700 for mine, brand new (+ transfer) & it's one of the nicest longarms I've ever shot.

January 11, 2012, 12:07 PM
One of the Navy Arms Siamese Mauser conversions would fit the bill.

January 11, 2012, 04:19 PM
I'm looking for $700 and under. I have found a rolling block at the top of my price range. The high wall Robtattoo recomended would be viable. As for mausers, I don't know. I find the idea of the mauser action in .45-70 interesting, as well as the enfield, but I'm not in the market for a bolt action. I'm not a Marlin fan, but the 1895 keeps drawing my attention for some reason. The older ones are probably great, but new Marlins are going downhill. I'm interested but cautious at the same time. I like the merits of a good brush gun, but I would like to able to use spitzer load for it for long range shooting. The Ruger #3 can use any .45-70 load on the market, and the carbine version looks very practical. And I found them well inside my price range. I like the rolling block, too, and it is the style of RB that I like. Maybe I should use the opportunity to buy that, but I don't know. The #3 tops in practicality. At this point, it's between the #3 and the RB, with other options acknowledged as worthy of consideration.

Driftwood Johnson
January 11, 2012, 04:31 PM

Probably not what you're looking for, but I found this nice Trapdoor for just under $700 last year. 45-70, made in 1883.

January 11, 2012, 06:07 PM
I have a Marlin 1895 in 45 70. Great rifle and capable of up to the #2 level loads. You shop around and you can pick them up for 400 to 500 all day. Total classic, historical platform, looks great and really can be dressed up nice.

You may love having a rifle that will kick the Hades out of you but I don't. You start running high end Ruger class loads out of a #3 and you will be in for the kick of your life. Easy to get 60+ pounds of recoil out of that small rifle. A 150 grain hunting round out of a 30 06 that weighs about 9 pounds generates about 29 pounds of recoil for comparison.

I love Rugers and have a #1 but not in 45 70. I also traded a #3 in 45 70 straight across for a #3 in .223. Even medium loads in the #3 were totally unpleasant.

I put a Limbsaver on my Marlin. My heaviest load is 49 grains of Varget under a dead soft 405 grain lead bullet. Close to 1500 fps. One day I will take it hunting. That round will pass through absolutely anything in North America.

I have loaded up the traditional 70 grains of black powder under a 405 grain bullet too. That is the classic round that killed all the buffalo.

January 11, 2012, 10:27 PM
Probably not what you're looking for, but I found this nice Trapdoor for just under $700 last year. 45-70, made in 1883.

Nice. I love trapdoors, but I don't want to be limited to ultra light loads. I would like to be able to use #2 loads. Top end loads I can live without, though.

Coltdriver, you have a point. I don't want something that will beat me to a bloody pulp and steal my lunch money. Those Marlins are intriguing. I keep hearing somethings about them. How well do they shoot?

January 11, 2012, 10:43 PM
A 150 grain hunting round out of a 30 06 that weighs about 9 pounds generates about 29 pounds of recoil for comparison.

Chuck Hawks says 17.6 pounds of recoil from that load out of an 8 pound rifle but anyway...I would go for the 1895 as well, they shoot great, although I'm not a big fan of the factory sights. There are many options to fix that though.

January 11, 2012, 10:55 PM
Ok here's the thing. I would suggest the h&r or nef that everybody raves about, but mine was JUNK. The thing would only go bang if you YANKED on the trigger. I took it back to the store and grabbed the next one of the rack and it was the same way. This was their "ultra hunter." Go for something better like a Rossi, yeah I said it! I would prefer a uberti high wall or rolling block myself but that's completely up to you.

January 11, 2012, 10:59 PM
I don't know much about the Rossi other than it's based on a 92 Winchester. The 92 is way too weak for a .45-70, so I kinda wonder how they managed it. How does it shoot and handle? So far the Marlin seems to be a good bet.

January 11, 2012, 11:03 PM
I was talking about the single shot. But their 454 leverguns work great and shoot great I will be getting one soon. Their 45/70 is based on the marlin.

January 11, 2012, 11:11 PM
A friend of mine has the Marlin 1895 in .45-70, the Guide Rifle. It shoots good, yes, it shoots hard too, but whatever it hits, its going down! If you're looking for a good firearm in this caliber, plus made to handle the cartridge, get the Marlin! This same friend has a Pedrisoli {Sp} Ballard in .45-70 also, now that sucker plain knocks the snot out of you!

January 11, 2012, 11:13 PM
If it's the break open rossi, then count me out. It just looks a little funky to me. As for their levergun, I don't know. I've heard mixed things about them.

January 11, 2012, 11:17 PM
google,i have a new model 1895 ss 16.5 bbl 45/70 marlin.feeds great.check out the ruger also.

January 12, 2012, 01:01 AM
I hear the guide rifle is very popular. Personally, I like the 22 inch barrel. I'm starting to lean that way. Definitely the least expensive option.

Good feeding is a major plus. I've heard that newer 336 rifles were having feed trouble, but it seems everywhere I turn my ears and eyes the 1895 is having songs sung about it. With so many positive reviews, there must be something right about the 1895.

I think I may just go that route.:cool:

January 12, 2012, 02:12 AM
id go with the Ruger No.1
I have one in .270 that is awesome

just keep in the back of you mind, should you ever decide you want to try out some nuclear .45-70 loads, only the Ruger can do it, and the No. 1 is heavy enough that it may not hurt too bad lol

January 12, 2012, 07:43 AM
Googleplex Quote:
Probably not what you're looking for, but I found this nice Trapdoor for just under $700 last year. 45-70, made in 1883.

Nice. I love trapdoors, but I don't want to be limited to ultra light loads.

I have used Trapdoors and many other 45-70s. I have come to prefer the original ballistics of the cartridge. Complete penetration from any angle and mild recoil, what's not to love. If the trapdoor is not for you, keep looking for a Rolling Block or Sharps, but be ready to buy when you find it in your $ Range, it won't last long.

January 12, 2012, 12:14 PM
I have used Trapdoors and many other 45-70s. I have come to prefer the original ballistics of the cartridge. Complete penetration from any angle and mild recoil, what's not to love. If the trapdoor is not for you, keep looking for a Rolling Block or Sharps, but be ready to buy when you find it in your $ Range, it won't last long.

Basically what I'm looking for is rifle that with the mildest loads is *adequate* (as in will take them cleanly every time with a correctly placed round- yeah, I know. That's every rifle on the planet, but if I shoot for the heart and lungs, I don't wanna bore a hole straight through and do no terminal damage, as some faster big-bore rounds and some smaller rounds will do) for deer. The slow moving projectile of the .45-70 oughta be perfectly capable of transfering energy and not proving to be too much to be effective. Also less trauma means less meat damage. Also where I'm at in Texas there are tons of exotics. And plenty of huge ones too. How would a trap-door safe load fair against, say, water buffalo? I'm doing a terrible of wording what I mean, I know, but basically what I'm looking for is a good general purpose large bore.

January 12, 2012, 12:36 PM
The 45 70 is really a 200 yard rifle until you figure out the arc. If you have a repeatable load you can really shoot at some distance but it takes some practice.

Most of the Marlins will shoot moa at 100 yards. And the good thing about a 45 70 is that you do not lose much with a short barrel versus a longer barrel, except of course weight to soak up the recoil. That guide gun is a great very handy rifle.

I have some 1200 FPS 300 grain rounds that are plain fun plinkers. You can shoot them all day no problem.

You can shoot the 325 grain Hornady Leverevolution and make a reasonable 200 yard rifle out of it. All of these 45 70 bullets blow a hole right through anything they hit.

I got a nice forearm, made a cartridge holder and a sling and will add a larger lever loop later.

Mine is here:

January 12, 2012, 10:05 PM
So by theory these 1895's, after figuring out your trajectory, can be good long range shooters? I know the cartridge has a history of long range use. Will this action with a 22 in. barrel use the cartridge to a fair degree of it's true long range potential? What is the difference between the thickness of the guide rifle fore end a standard fore end?

January 13, 2012, 03:57 AM
You will never be sorry if you get either one. Marlin 1895 or the Guide gun. It is true you will have a lot less meat damage with the 45-70 vs most 30 caliber.
My safe holds these.
Two 1895 45-70
one Guide Gun 45-70
Thompson Center Encore 45-70
At one time i HAD a Magnum Research 45-70 revolver :eek:

Driftwood Johnson
January 13, 2012, 08:20 AM
The slow moving projectile of the .45-70 oughta be perfectly capable of transfering energy and not proving to be too much to be effective. Also less trauma means less meat damage. Also where I'm at in Texas there are tons of exotics. And plenty of huge ones too. How would a trap-door safe load fair against, say, water buffalo? I'm doing a terrible of wording what I mean, I know, but basically what I'm looking for is a good general purpose large bore.

Howdy Again

I dunno about water buffalo, but the 45-70 was used by the American buffalo hunters all the time. Mike Venturino writes that a 520 grain bullet backed by a case full of Black Powder going between 1100 fps and 1200 fps will completely penetrate a full grown buffalo (bison). That is a Trapdoor safe load.

Yes, the 45-70 has a rainbow trajectory, but once it is figured out the round has great long range potential. When the cartridge was first developed, it had a 405 grain bullet. Minimum acceptable accuracy at the Sandy Hook trials was four inches at 100 yards. Hitting a 6 foot square target at 600 yards was common.

Later, a 500 grain bullet was substituted for the 405 grain bullet and it exhibited better long range accuracy. This load could reach distances of 3,350 yards. Effective range was limited to 1000 yards.

When I first started shooting my Trapdoor I noticed it was shooting very high at 100 yards. Later I found out that they were usually regulated for 225 yards.

January 13, 2012, 01:01 PM
It is a break open but I picked up a G2 Contender carbine in 45-70 a couple years ago for $450 (and got a 209X50 barrel and forend with it)...shoots great, kicks greater.

January 13, 2012, 04:00 PM
I like contenders, but I would get one in something more like .309 JDJ or a contender pistol in 7-30 Waters. I'm not really turned on by their .45-70's for whatever reason.

What do you guys think of the pistol grip stock on the standard 1895?

If a load will punch clean through a bison, I would imagine a water buff wouldn't stand much chance. I may add a trapdoor to my wishlist (right alongside the sharps, rolling block, 1876, Henry, Evans, Arsenal AK, SVD or SVD copy, AR, Vickers/Maxim, Thompson, Swedish K, BAR, 9.3x62 Mauser M03, and .470 NE Searcy Double. I better win the lottery. :rolleyes:) But at any rate, I'll probably add one to my collection someday. But at the moment, for the same price or less I can get a good shooting rifle with more rounds at handy and capability of hot loads in case I ever want to prank some unsuspecting unknowledgable shooter. That sounds like good fun.:D

January 13, 2012, 04:18 PM
Is there any accounts of how well the 45-70 did on the plains buffalo herds during the late 1800's? I ask this because those were relatively mild black powder loads. Yet they didn't seem to have any trouble with killing those buffalo. Perhaps you don't need to load to the max level possible with today's smokeless powders? After all, if it makes it out the other side then anything left for bullet energy is pretty much wasted, no? Maybe a trapdoor, which I would think managed to take out a fair number of horses and likely buffalo isn't as bad as you think.

January 13, 2012, 04:34 PM
No, I'm sure the trapdoor is perfectly fine. But still, I like the idea of the capability. More safe options = less danger in choices if a family member decides ammo is a good gift and doesn't know what they're getting, or any similar situation. Also, it's a nice, compact package. I hear the trapdoor carbines are not the finest shooters beyond 100 yards, and the rifle models are just too long for some hunting applications. The Marlin could be carried into brush, used easily in a blind, and still take some slightly longer shots (maybe up to 200-250 yards with after-market irons). It would be a little more practical for about the same price or less. It just sounds like a good idea to me.

January 13, 2012, 06:31 PM
Okay, I need a little clarification on the science behind big-bores and why penetration seems to be #1. As a deer hunter, I was always taught it was not about penetration, but energy transfer. If the bullet passes all the way through, it won't transfer all of it's energy. But everybody talks about 6 foot penetration for these ultra big-game hunting loads and boasting about complete pass throughs. It seems to me that the rounds with 18-24 inches of penetration would be better, not 6 feet, but I don't know. I can understanding piercing thick hide and bone, but a total pass through longwase on a cape buffalo does not seem necessary. I imagine I'm just ignorant of some bit of big-game ballistics here. Can someone please clarify? I feel like I'm asking a dumb question.

January 13, 2012, 06:44 PM
It doesn't take much for a clean pass through with a heart/lung shot on whitetail. There really isn't all that much in the thoracic cavity to stop things. Hell, I've had clean pass throughs with everything from Federal 00 buck to .30-06. In the end, a .45 caliber hole through the vitals is nothing to sneeze at.

January 13, 2012, 08:27 PM
Well yeah, but on a large animal why is it good for the bullet to shoot all the way through? Wouldn't it be better to stop after the heart and lungs and transfer 100% of it's energy?

January 13, 2012, 08:42 PM
That's just the thing, on a good, clean broadside chances are you're going to have a pass through regardless. Penetration is nice if say, you were to take a "Texas heart shot," or perhaps a quartering shot through the ham.

January 13, 2012, 08:48 PM
Nobody in their right mind would take those shots. You'd be shooting through the guts. So pretty much when buffalo bore advertises 18-24 inch penetration, and then says "only suitable for animals under 400 lbs", they're talking about giving a deer a .458 caliber sapository?

January 13, 2012, 08:49 PM
To put it another way, you can shoot it with a well constructed .30 soft point that may or may not expand to .45, or just start with a .45 and poke a .45 hole through from any angle.

January 13, 2012, 08:52 PM
You'd be surprised at the shots people make during gun season. If nobody made them, the term would never have entered the hunting vernacular...

January 13, 2012, 09:09 PM
The thing of it is, when you start talking about the BIG big game calibers (.375 H&H, .416 Rigby, .458 Lott etc...) you're talking about AFRICAN big game, not American big game.
If you look at a lot of African animals there is a LOT of animal to get through. Much much more than their New-World counterparts.

Let's compare Buffalo;

American Buffalo (bison).....

Cape Buffalo (near as dammit identical, skeletaly to the Asciatic Water Buffalo).....

As you can see, the African Buffalo has HUGE ribs. Overlapping plates of thick, heavy bone cover the vitals. The Bison has a much more typical ribcage with cylindrical ribs & lots of space between them.
When you start talking about Hippos, Rhinos, Elephant & Giraffe something like the .45-70 would be classed as a marginal round.

When the .45-70 was thought of, bullet construction, energy expenditure, expansion & things of that nature really hadn't been explored. It was literally a case of 'If it's not working, lets make it bigger!'
The problem you have with Black Powder loadings is that more powder doesn't equate to more power (well, it does, but there is a serious law of diminishing returns there) & the only way to increase power is to increase bullet weight, either by lengthening, or increasing caliber.

The idea of having a bullet pass all the way through was, at the time, a case of ensuring penetration to ALL the vitals, plus a shot animal with 2 holes is a lot easier to track than an animal with only one. 2 holes equals a lot quicker bleedout time, hydrostatic shock not being as simple with large calibers.

January 13, 2012, 09:15 PM
I guess the other thing to consider is that we can't guarantee a perfect shot. An animal my be perfectly broadside when we begin to take the shot & be hard quartering when the trigger breaks. In that case, a lot of penetration is a good thing!
Incedentally, a hard quartering shot isn't a bad thing at all, even if you do get a bit of gut. A well placed quartering shot, or even a 'suppository' shot is still going to drop your animal pretty dang quickly. Messy to dress, but very, very effective.

January 13, 2012, 09:38 PM
The notion of 100% energy dump versus pass thru is total nonsense.

Sorry Googleplex, but its a fact. The majority of hunting rounds pass thru.

I have not had a chance to hunt with a 45 70 yet but every account I have ever read is that it is a drt round most of the time.

January 13, 2012, 10:07 PM
I would not say any angle. It is not comparable to a 30-06. Effective range is generally considered to be 200 yards tops even then it is a foot low.
It is powerful enough to kill anything in North America and elsewhere if you know what you are doing. It is used in target shooting at longer ranges but it takes alot of effort.

January 13, 2012, 10:18 PM
I'm sorry to be argumentative d2wing, but what a crock.

Even the original black powder loads in .45-70 are light years ahead of .410 slugs. A good, modern 'hot' load in .45-70 will knock a 12ga slug into a cocked hat.

The 'effective' range of the .45-70 is well over 200 yds. It's actually nearer to 2000yds. Yes it has a trajectory like a rainbow, but it's still carrying a crapload of energy when it lands. Even a moderate bullet weight of 405gn is devastatingly effective at much farther yardage than you'd want to shoot it. When you get up to the bigger bullets of 500gn+ that energy only increases.

As to a .410 slug, I personally wouldn't launch one at a whitetail at more than 30yds.

January 13, 2012, 10:54 PM
I think I see what ya'll are saying- since pass-thru with this cartridge, like so many others, is essentially inevitable, the main stream of thought is initial impact and then penetration to reach entirely across the vitals of an American Bison.
I don't know that I'd say .45-70 is entirely marginal for African game. I've heard of Aussies taking water buff with .308. Personally, I wouldn't try it. But a heavy buffalo bore .45-70 load or an ultra hot handload oughta be just the ticket, I would think. But of course then you've practically got a .458 Winchester, performance wise. I would still pick something else for rhino and elephant.

January 13, 2012, 11:05 PM
You're right, it is more than marginal if loaded right. I guess I meant that the original pressure, BP loads would be consider marginal.
When it comes to African game, bullet hardness & density start to come into play too. A soft lead or soft alloy bullet is just going to annoy a big Elephant! Unless you're shooting very hard alloy bullets, a frontal brain shot on a bull elephant is just going to put him in a bad mood & a heart/lung shot with just about anything is gonna get you turned into part of the landscape :D

All in all, as I'm sure you're aware, the .45-70 is an extremely versatile cartridge. I can tell you from experience, however, that it doesn't leave a lot of squirrel or rabbit for the pot!

January 13, 2012, 11:18 PM
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying you should rush out and get a trapdoor. Just that it's an option if you're after a single shot for some uses.

I'm actually a huge lever gun fan so your choice of the Guide Gun had me nodding with approval... :D

I'm not a hunter so take what I post with some doubt and confirm. But I've read that the heavy .45-70 bullet choices tend to just plow through a lot more meat than the basic muzzle velocity would suggest. And traveling at a slower than usual speed I've also read that it does less damage to the meat on the animal around the path of the bullet.

Hey Coltdriver! What does "drt round" stand for? Direct Right Through?

January 13, 2012, 11:26 PM
DRT = Dead Right There.

You're absolutely right, by the way, 405 or 525gn of lead travelling at 1000-1200 FPS takes a hellova lot of stopping!
With the mass weight of these solid lead bullets & the lack of speed, expansion is minimal, therefore penetration is slow, steady & clean, but very, very certain!

January 13, 2012, 11:42 PM
< delete>

hang fire
January 13, 2012, 11:48 PM
Recently bought this original JM Marlin Ballard #5 Pacific in .45-70. It is kick butt accurate with black powder and a lot of fun.

January 13, 2012, 11:49 PM
I figured someone would say what you did Robo but lookup ballistic charts. Honestly 6x6 foot groups at 600 yards are accurate?

January 14, 2012, 12:00 AM
The original and safe for old rifles is more like a .410 slug.

How, pray tell, is an 87 grain .410 slug comparable to a 405 grain projectile moving at equal velocity? I haven't taken a physics course in a few years so I could stand for some education....

12 gauge foster slugs weigh 1 oz and step out at ~1500 FPS... A trapdoor safe 405 (.926 oz) can step out at ~1300 FPS if you hot rod it with 4227... Not seeing alot of difference...

January 14, 2012, 12:01 AM
I dunno about water buffalo, but the 45-70 was used by the American buffalo hunters all the time.

I think that most of the rifles used by the "pro" Bison hunters were Sharps 50-90's...correct me if I'm wrong but I think it's a misconception that the 45-70 is a classic bison cartridge.
AGAIN...there are definitely people on here who know more about this than I do! :D

January 14, 2012, 12:13 AM
Well, Buffalo Bill favored a 66 trapdoor in .50-70 that he named Lucrezia Borgia.

January 14, 2012, 02:59 AM

Here is some good reading material for you on through and trough shots. I really like the 540gr Hammerheads 45-70 for BIG BEAR protection up here in Alaska.
Now that i am reloading again i roll my own. Not as good tho, still working on it.

Only use in the proper gun. Not intended for older trapdoor rifles.

January 14, 2012, 07:30 AM
The American Bison was shot with whatever the hunter had at the time of the hunt. Some hunters bought specialized rifles but a good case can be made that the 50-70 accounted for more bison than any other cartridge. The Sharps rifle has always had it's fan club but realistically, it was not a rifle that was affordable to the average fellow of the time. Unlike the "obsolete" Springfield and Sharps 50-70s. Even the 45-70 was quickly picked up by the hunters of the day.

And yes, the Trapdoor was tested at extreme range and found adequate for Military use.

They did increase the powder charge to 80 grains but still, some interesting information.

The 45-70 is still used at extreme range today, on targets. Witness the 1000 yard matches. Not everyone is using a 45-110 or even a 45-90. I hunt with the 45 and 50 caliber trapdoors.

I hunt with the 45 and 50 caliber Trapdoors loaded with black powder and lead. They are beyond comparison with any shotgun.

Gplex, comparing a BP round with a smaller centerfire round (ie 308 Winchester) is difficult. both are effective but one is easier to hit with because of the flatter trajectory. Both will give pass through shots but one will leave a bigger, yet less damaging hole. Get all the information you can and make a decision. Neither cartridge will be a mistake. If you want a 308 lever rifle, consider the Browning BLR od Savage 99.

January 14, 2012, 11:36 AM
Oh no, I'm not considering a .308, I just brought up as a reference for the sake of clarification. I would like something that could handle all North American game from white-tail on up, and SOME African game with a hot-load. I don't ever plan on elephant hunting with a .45-70, I'll get .470 if I want to do that way later on down the road. And I'm very surprised at the Marlin's accuracy potential out of a tube fed rifle. Also, less meat damage for the win. How does the 18.5 inch barrel of the guide rifle compare to the standard 22 inch barrel of the 1895 standard model in terms of effective range and group sizes at various ranges?

January 14, 2012, 12:05 PM
Those Garrett Cartridges look interesting. I find't realize there was an entire micromarket for .45-70 shooters, at least not one large enough to be sole enterprise of a company. That is probably one of the coolest things I've ever seen. The articles he wrote are neat as well. Some interesting points on .458 caliber bullets and penetration.

January 14, 2012, 12:18 PM
45 guy I was mixed up on that .410 post. Guys shoot .410 loads in 45-70's. Not a good idea. Win SSP12 385 gr 2000 fps, 3419 fps of energy. If a safe 45-70 loads exceed that I will delete my posts on this subject if they are wrong.

Jim Watson
January 14, 2012, 01:21 PM
Yup, a 12 ga slug can run up some impressive numbers.
And they are effective on game at close to moderate range, although some of the older designs were marginal on penetration for fish and game crews carrying them for bear protection. Maybe they are better now.

But I don't know anybody who target shoots with slugs for fun and certainly not at any extended range, even 200 yards, which is peanuts for a .45-70 if you have the sight setting.

January 14, 2012, 01:40 PM
I used a Marlin Guide .45-70 on a black bear a few years ago...good medicine...on shot behind the ear...dead

January 14, 2012, 01:47 PM
Is a guide gun every bit as capable of 1 moa as the 22 inch rifle? And does it group comparably at 200 yards?

January 14, 2012, 02:11 PM
The guide gun I used belonged to someone else, so I never really tested it's accuracy. But I will say that I loved the short length and handling of it in the brush. I would buy one. Ive had a 336 in .35 Rem that I bought new 30 yrs ago and it's my favorite deer rifle.

January 14, 2012, 03:06 PM
I'm sure it's spectacular in brush. Where I'm at has a lot of brush country, but also a lot of open areas. I'm sure it's perfectly usable at 100 yards, but I'm wondering if it's performance is anywhere near that of it's 22 inch brother. I definitely would not be opposed to getting the guide gun if the performance is close.

January 14, 2012, 03:32 PM
No experience with the Guide as of yet, but the 22" 95's are SWEET.

January 14, 2012, 04:10 PM
It seems that the prices are about identicle. Can anyone who has used both chime in on recoil differences, grouping differences at 100 yards and out to about 200-250 yards? This is what I need to know at this point.

January 14, 2012, 05:56 PM
I have both. The difference between the 22" vs 18.5". All i can really say because i have not compared them at 200 yards. Both are MOA=Moose at that range. One shot drop in tracks dead, with Williams peep & fire sights.

When i started using the 540 grain loads i installed a mercury dead weight recoil system in both of them. Sweet recoil dampening system.

Not sure about now, but the first Guide Guns came with the ported bbl.

You could do like i did with one of my 1895's. It had the 22" bbl ,for $80.00 i had a gunsmith cut it down to 18.5" and re-crown it when i had the peep sights mounted. That way you could try the 22" and change out at a later date if needed.

January 14, 2012, 06:09 PM
So I should probably expect comperable results from either one of 'em, I'm guessing? I'll probably just go for whichever I find first at the lowest price. Of course I would like it to be made between 1998 and 2007, in order to gain ballard rifling and not have have a gun bastardized by corporate greed on the part of FGI, but I'll settle for anything that will function reasonably.

January 14, 2012, 08:01 PM
Marlin never made a straight stock 22 inch in more recent years, did they?

January 14, 2012, 09:06 PM
Quote:Not sure about now, but the first Guide Guns came with the ported bbl

The one I used had a ported barrel, I forgot about that until you mentioned it.

January 14, 2012, 09:24 PM
Has the guide rifle always been ballard rifled?

I answered my own question: They were introduced in 1998, the same year Marlin went back to the ballard method. So yes, they have always been ballard rifled. That's a plus for me.

Jim Watson
January 17, 2012, 06:35 PM
Back in a bygone era, early in the fourth quarter of the 20th century, a friend had a first generation reissue 1895. It had "conventional rifling for cast and jacketed bullets." And an action strong enough "for loads listed for the 1886 Winchester." It had a straight grip stock, too. Which looked nice, but I have always preferred the Marlin pistol grip to their straight grip or a Winchester's straight or half pistol grip.

They then went to "Modified Microgroove rifling for cast and jacketed bullets."
But it wasn't long before they went to regular shallow Microgroove and quit saying anything that would lead you to think that handloads were acceptable in their rifles.

So they eventually got back to conventional six groove rifling which they call "Ballard Style" for the historical connection because Marlin owned Ballard at one time. I don't think a Marlin excec would know a Ballard if it bit him on the knee.

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