358 Winchester 444 marlin or 45/70?

Csinn

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Which one would be the best for 200-250yrd large game shooting? I’m looking at a BLR 358, marlin 444, or a Rossi 22” inch 45/70 or Henry all weather 45/70 but can’t decide which of these amazing heavy rounds would work the best. They seem to all be fairly comparable unless you get the real magnum 45/70 loads
 
Others with more experience with the rounds in question will chime in, but off the cuff, the BLR is going to be the best actual hunting gun of those three IMO if 250 yard shots are a real possibility. The .444 is interesting but bullet selection is limited and the round starts to drop pretty fast past 200, while the .45-70 is the most versatile and can probably run with the .358 out to 250 yards with some of the hotter loads with lighter bullets. The BLR is going to be easiest to scope, which I'd want to do if considering shots over 100 yards.
 
I have a BLR in 358 Winchester and would not hesitate a 250 yard shot on any big game animal in North America with the possible exception of coastal brown bears in which case I would use my 9.3x62. No experience with 444 or 45-70 so will leave those to those who use them.
 
I have a BLR in 358 Winchester and would not hesitate a 250 yard shot on any big game animal in North America with the possible exception of coastal brown bears in which case I would use my 9.3x62. No experience with 444 or 45-70 so will leave those to those who use them.
Stupid question here. Done much 250 yd practice. For me it's hard to get an angle on that and keep the bullets on my place.
 
358Win is a good round - a necked up 308win. 200yrds would be a ideal range for most NA Game and within the BLRs accuracy.

If going with a BLR they can be had in about any cart from 223-300WMag. For longer ranges if thats what you after I might go with a 7mm-08 or 270Win but for 250yrds and under a 243 would be a sweet shooting performer. Keep in mind that the BLR is a fine action but don't expect more than about 1-1/2" groups at a hundred yards which can limit the effective range of even the high end powered chamberings.

The classic/traditional leverguns guns are fine rifles but you have to know their limitations. Unless you just want a big bore a 30-30 can do just about all the heavies can do but it doesn't kick as hard and the ammo is cheaper. If brown bears are around then a 444 or 45-70 may be justified.

If you just want a knock around rig with iron sights that works then a Rossi R92 Saddle Ring in 45Colt/357mag/44mag is a cost effective option.
 
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358Win is a good round - a necked up 308win. 200yrds would be a ideal range for most NA Game.

If going with a BLR they can be had in about any cart from 223-300WMag. For longer ranges if thats what you after I might go with a 7mm-08 or 270Win but for 250yrds and under a 243 would be a sweet shooting performer. Keep in mind that the BLR is a fine action but don't expect more than about 1-1/2" groups at a hundred yards which can limit the effective range of even the high end powered chamberings.
Glad you brought it up because I was like why. He didn't give good choices to make. Didn't want to be difficult but I'll use my 06 over my 1895 at and past 150 any day. Wish they had a star to click on for those that have been there done that. *
 
The 45-70 in standard form (trapdoor)drops 24" from 100 zero to 200. Faster loads drop less but both it and 444 have similar characteristics. I have no experience with the 358 other than one painful shot I fired from a 99 Savage.
I'd think a BLR in 308 would be better overall. Unless you are hunting really big stuff.
 
I'd go .358W... mostly because I did..

It's a great little round, and with the right loads easily a 250yd cartridge. I set mine up as a woods carbine (cut the barrel to 19") cartridge capable for 200yd shots. Brass is easily formed, bullets are coming back in stock, and there's lots of load data for it. I just worked up a plinking load to work moving tgts with 180grn .357 bullets. With my current load with a 100yd zero I'm down:

5.7" at 200
11.9" at 250

A 150 yd zero would put me at:

100 yds +1"
200 -3.5"
250 - 9.2"

and it's still carrying 1800fps at 250 yds for expansion.

IAW Strelok with a 6" kill zone it's got a MPBR of 239yds with 2.9" high at 100.

Unfortunately the .358Win suffered when introduced, just like most of the other cartridge over .308" introduced in this country. Some gun writer somewhere tagged it with the "woods cartridges" moniker at a time when scoped bolt actions and longer range cartridges were the rage.

As a couple of the other guys mentioned, the majority of deer killed in this country are within the .358Ws effective range.

Here's a pretty decent article:


For a lot of the hunting I do; stands, still hunting, and blinds any of the 3 cartridges would work, but the .358W gives a little more distance if needed. I really could have used a 35Rem, but the ammo/brass availability sucks, so the 358W makes a lot of sense.
 
Which one would be the best for 200-250yrd large game shooting? I’m looking at a BLR 358, marlin 444, or a Rossi 22” inch 45/70 or Henry all weather 45/70 but can’t decide which of these amazing heavy rounds would work the best. They seem to all be fairly comparable unless you get the real magnum 45/70 loads
If you're going to be shooting out to 250 yards, then BC and muzzle velocity are necessary for a flat enough trajectory to hit anything and the 358 has more of both than either the 444 or 45/70.
 
Great info thanks! I know there are better cartridges than these but I’m fascinated for some reason by these and just think it’d be cool to have one for the purpose mentioned. I’ve looked at the 30-30 and 35 Remington too but was a bit worried by the lack of energy for bigger game.
 
Great info thanks! I know there are better cartridges than these but I’m fascinated for some reason by these and just think it’d be cool to have one for the purpose mentioned. I’ve looked at the 30-30 and 35 Remington too but was a bit worried by the lack of energy for bigger game.
A lot of times it's all about distance..

A good way to look at the differences is to use a ballistic table. I normally just use Strelok Pro because it's what I have on my phone.

For instance the 35Rem at 100 yds has about the same velocity/energy as the 358Win at 200-250. So in theory hitting a bigger game animal with a 35REM is about like a .358Win at a greater distance when using the same bullet.

When I compare my 358Win to my .350 Rem Mag, using the same bullet, tracking velocity and energy, I lose about 100yds in effective range, due to the 350s 300+ FPS advantage in MV.

In practical terms, my .358Win is a 250yd cartridge, my 350RM is about a 350yd cartridge, because that's when they approach 1800FPS and bullet expansion starts to suffer.

When stationed at Ft. Lewis WA I hunted with an older gentlemen who was very successful on elk and used a 35Rem. He hunted the heavy timber, range was limited, and his 35Rem was perfectly adequate at those distances.
 
For deer I would usually pick the 35 cal for a little flatter trajectory. All will kill a lot bigger game than deer, and I appreciate all three. My 35 cal is a 35 Whelen loaded right about 358 win velocity, and I have a 45-70 running a 350 grain bullet about 1700fps. It drops more than the Whelen, but with a rangefinder it isn't hard to calculate drop with it. I haven't had a chance to play with the 444 yet, but I've killed enough stuff with the 44 mag to really appreciate the capability of its bigger brother...
 
Stupid question here. Done much 250 yd practice. For me it's hard to get an angle on that and keep the bullets on my place.

I'm fortunate as my backyard range goes out to 760yds and I basically own a small "valley", so I shoot from slope to slope.

uPSX5oHl.jpg


I also do shoot a lot of .22LR practicing, so IF I was distance constrained I'd cut the distance and shrink my tgt size in respect to a deer's kills zone. I like using 6" for my computations, so IF I wanted to practice and all I had was 100yds I'd use a 2.5-3MOA tgt at 100yds to replicate my 250yd shot.

Normal wind isn't much of a player out to 250, so for hold techniques etc. I find the .22LR at 50-100 (or further) to be a great help.

When I competed in Silhouette I had a .22LR built to emulate my match rifle and used scaled animal TGTs and a timer to practice. Back then I belonged to a private range/club and I'd get some odd looks when practicing with my little silhouettes, while most (all?) were shooting from a bench, but it put me in master class. Worked great, so now I use the same type practice for hunting.

More of a precision/NRL22 thing:

EaSDU6pl.jpg


Learning a tripod with a Ruger 77/22:

01fP7NAl.jpg


Then, "real rifles" at "real distances", but the concepts were down:

NwE6Vivl.jpg
 
I'm fortunate as my backyard range goes out to 760yds and I basically own a small "valley", so I shoot from slope to slope.

uPSX5oHl.jpg


I also do shoot a lot of .22LR practicing, so IF I was distance constrained I'd cut the distance and shrink my tgt size in respect to a deer's kills zone. I like using 6" for my computations, so IF I wanted to practice and all I had was 100yds I'd use a 2.5-3MOA tgt at 100yds to replicate my 250yd shot.

Normal wind isn't much of a player out to 250, so for hold techniques etc. I find the .22LR at 50-100 (or further) to be a great help.

When I competed in Silhouette I had a .22LR built to emulate my match rifle and used scaled animal TGTs and a timer to practice. Back then I belonged to a private range/club and I'd get some odd looks when practicing with my little silhouettes, while most (all?) were shooting from a bench, but it put me in master class. Worked great, so now I use the same type practice for hunting.

More of a precision/NRL22 thing:

EaSDU6pl.jpg


Learning a tripod with a Ruger 77/22:

01fP7NAl.jpg


Then, "real rifles" at "real distances", but the concepts were down:

NwE6Vivl.jpg
Good reading
 
The 45-70 in standard form (trapdoor)drops 24" from 100 zero to 200. Faster loads drop less but both it and 444 have similar characteristics. I have no experience with the 358 other than one painful shot I fired from a 99 Savage.
I'd think a BLR in 308 would be better overall. Unless you are hunting really big stuff.
Slip on limb saver recoil pad will ease that pain. The 358 win is everything the 308 wants to be when it grows up.
 
Personally, none of the above. But if forced to choose between the 3 I'd take the 358. For most of it's life 444 was twisted so that it would only handle 240 gr bullets designed for 44 mag handguns. It shot them faster than the bullets were designed for and performance on game larger than deer was poor. When Marlin re-introduced the 45-70 they planned to stop production of the 444 and they did for a while. But they did eventually bring them back with a different twist when companies started making 260-300 gr 44 caliber bullets. I still can't think of a reason to choose one over a 45-70 which would be my 2nd choice between the 3.
 
A buddy has a Marlin .444, I have two Marlin .45/70’s. I’ve shot all three out to about 150 yds.

For the scenario you described, personally I would choose the .358.

Let us know what you decide to do when you buy the gun you want. :thumbup:

Stay safe.
 
I'd go with 45-70 but in a Marlin. I love my JM 1895G. Though the 358 is interesting to me. Or you could step up to 375 Ruger or 375 H&H and have the best of both worlds. A fairly heavy bullet that is perfectly suited for big game far past 250y.
 
45-70 is kind of obsolete unless you load for it. Are you going to use factory ammo that's safe for use in pre-1900s guns or load your own "lever gun ammo" loaded to around 50% more pressure than the trap-door safe stuff?
 
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