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.444 marlin ,.450 mrlin or 45-70 gov't

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by airbornekyle1, Mar 17, 2005.

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  1. airbornekyle1

    airbornekyle1 Member

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    i was wondering on what to buy for new big bore lever action rifle.im in between the .444 or the 450 or the 45-70 any suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2005
  2. S_O_Laban

    S_O_Laban Member

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    You need a couple of these babies

    Or you can go the more tradional THR route and buy one in each caliber :D
     
  3. mete

    mete Member

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    The 45-70 is the better choice .Many different factory loads are available from cowboy shooting type to some very awesome loads by Garrett etc.
     
  4. jem375

    jem375 Member

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    the 444 marlin you are limited to 44 mag bullets.....the difference between the 450 marlin and the 45-70 is so small the 45-70 is probably the best choice with more bullet weight choices..........I load the 300 gr. bullets for 2 Marlin guide guns in 45-70
     
  5. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...limited to 44 mag bullets..." Not exactly. .429" to be sure, but you can use heavier than 240 grain bullets in the .444. A quick net search yields data for up to 315 grain cast bullets and 300 grain ammo.
    The .450 Marlin and .45/70 are ballistically identical. However, .45/70 ammo and brass is easier to come by.
     
  6. charby

    charby Member

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    I was/have been looking at the .450 Marlin and .45/70. What I took from is that the .450 marlin was developed so hot loads could be made commercially without the worry of someone putting them in a old 45/70 rifle. I am really leaning towards the .45/70 just because of what you can buy of the shelf. I don't reload, maybe someday but because I rent and will have to be somewhat mobile for the next half dozen years I want things I can go to xyz store and get ammo for.

    Charby
     
  7. airbornekyle1

    airbornekyle1 Member

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    thanks

    Thank you guys for your imput i really appriciate your advice it seems that you guys are pionting me in the direction of the 45-70. So i think im gonna go with the marlin 1895. once again i appriciate your response.




    kyle
     
  8. critter

    critter Member

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    The ole 45-70 is a wonderful choice I think. I have one in a Ruger #1. It is suitable for loads that chunk big ole heavy bullets so slow that you have time to take a quick nap before you hear them hit the 100 yd target (yet are amazingly accurate!) all the way up to the ones you can hunt cape buff with IF you can stand the recoil!

    VERY versatile with a myriad of bullets available and, when you begin to reload, you will find a full catalog of recipes concocted from the 1870's up to now. Factory ammo is almost that plentiful too.

    They are a HOOT to shoot! Enjoy!
     
  9. mainmech48

    mainmech48 Member

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    I bought my Marlin 1895G in .45/70 because I thought it offered more versatility in that caliber. Of course, there was no .444 in an equivalent package nor a .450 Marlin then.

    If you handload, I could argue that the versatility issue is pretty much moot. If you look at the selection of available factory ammo, it's no contest.

    FWIW, the vast majority of the ammo I've run through mine has been pretty mild. There are no grizzlies, buffalo, wapiti, nor outsized wild boar where I live. Hell, I can't even hunt whitetail with it here! While I have worked up wonderfully accurate loads suitable for any kind of hunting that I'm likely to do with it using the Sierra 300 gr. JHP over very moderate charges of both AA 2015BR and Hogden Varget (average velocity c. 1900 f/s in my rifle's 18 1/2" barrel) almost all of my 'fun' shooting has been with commercially-cast 300/350 gr. LFNGC bullets at around 1300 f/s. Easy on the shoulder and the wallet.
     
  10. jem375

    jem375 Member

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    Sunray...the 44 mag is not limited to 240 gr bullets either........I load the Hornady 265 gr. FP and the Speer 300 gr. JHP's.......I also bought some Garrett's 310 gr. heavy weight cast bullets at 1325 fps for my Super Blackhawk and contender.......the best bullets for the 444 would be the Hornady 265 gr. or the Speer JHP, or Hornady 300 gr. XTP's....
     
  11. mountainclmbr

    mountainclmbr Member

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    I have a 444

    I got the 444 because I have a couple of 44 magnums and can put together practice ammo without buying something in an additional caliber. The 444 can be loaded with Nosler Partitions or Swift A-Frames for really big game. I have also loaded up to 300gr loads with good accuracy though I hear they may be marginal for stability in a Marlin rifle with a slow twist rate.

    If I wasn't trying to limit the calibers I reload for I would go with the 45-70. There are stout bullets made for the 458 Win Mag that can be used for almost anything on the planet.

    If you plan to put a scope on one of these, get the long eye relief type. Believe me, your eyebrow will thank you!
     
  12. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    Typically the advice is that if you reload, you should pick the 45/70 but if you don't, you should go with .444 or .450.

    What's really strange about this advice is that the .444 and .450 are basically one load cartridges. Generally speaking, there is only one loading for each of these cartridges.

    On the other hand, loaded 45/70 ammo can be bought with bullet weights from 300 grains up to 540 grains, and velocities from barely over 1000fps all the way up to 2100fps. That, by the way includes a loading from PMC which essentially duplicates the only .450 Marlin loading and is available for around $20 a box.

    As nearly as I can tell, if you DON'T reload, the 45/70 is the ONLY logical choice out of these three.

    The other two are fine calibers, but only if you really like the single loading available for them. If you want anything different you'll have to load it yourself... ;)
     
  13. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    450 Marlin v .45-70

    The excuse for the 450 Marlin is keepin high performance loads out of weak
    actions: the Hornady manual has three tiers for .45-70 reloads, from
    trapdoor (weak), to 336 M1895 Marlin (moderate) to Ruger single shot (heavy).
    Shooting muzzle loader, I used a .45-70 case for a powder measure and I
    have found some brands will hold 73 grain FFg while some will hold 80 grains
    FFg (filling the case full as a powder measure).
    450 Marlin in a 450 Marlin removes all doubts. On the other hand, choose
    your brass carefully and know your gun, and the 45-70 will do just fine.
    Six of one, half-dozen of the other.
    At our black powder cartridge matches, the only perfect scores on benchrest
    have been shot by one gentleman using 45-70, most recently 50 out of 50
    with 4x. 45-70 will be obsolete when gunpowder stops going boom.
     
  14. 444

    444 Member

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    If you don't handload, IMO the best choice is the .45-70.
    That being said, how many different loads do you need ? With the .45-70 you can shoot a huge range of bullet weights from a wide variety of manufacturers. I think you can even get lightly loaded "cowboy" ammo. But seriously, how many people really have a need to play around with all these different loads ? How many people can even find all these different loads to buy ? How many people THAT DON'T HANDLOAD ever really play around with these different loads ?
    The versitility is nice, options are always nice but I doubt if very many people need this option. IMO, you give up nothing with the .45/70 while the other two have limitations.

    As a general rule, the .444 Marlin shoots lighter bullets, faster, than the .45-70. Again, as a general rule the .45-70 picks up where the .444 Marlin leaves off. Basically the .444 Marlin starts with 180 grain bullets and ends with 300 grain bullets. The .45-70 will start at 300 and go up to 510 grain bullets. I REALIZE there are exceptions to all this: lighter, heavier, faster, slower: that is why I said AS A GENERAL RULE.
    The .444 Marlin gets a lot of bad press on these boards due to posts that are incorrect. The .444 Marlin is not limited to pistol bullets, nor is the .444 Marlin limited to one factory load.
     
  15. Coltdriver

    Coltdriver Member

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    JohnKSa I think you have it backwards.

    If you don't reload there is a great variety of loads available for the 45/70.

    If you don't reload there is one commercially available round for the 450 Marlin. Why would you choose a cartridge with only one available commercial round?

    On the other hand if you do reload then either can offer great variety, with the 45/70 being the one with the most available known loads. The 450 Marlin case actually has a little less capacity than the 45/70 but since it is designed to be a mid level loaded cartridge anyway that should not be a deterrent.

    If you classify the rifles these loads are shot from as Level One for a Trapdoor Springfield (weakest), Level Two for a Marlin Lever gun (stronger) and Level Three for a Ruger #1 (strongest) then the loads available for a lever gun are all going to be in the mid range.

    I have been debating which barrel to pick up for an Encore and I am leaning towards the 450 Marlin simply because I would never load to the levels a Ruger #1 is capable of but I still get all the versatility I want from a barrel that would only be used to hunt with once a year.
     
  16. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    What do you want the rifle for?

    If you're never hunting anything larger than white or blacktail deer, buy any of the three.

    If you reload, buy any of the three.

    If you don't reload, and want versatility, buy the .45-70. If you do reload, and want versatility, buy the .45-70.

    Far as light loads go- a load about like Mainmech's *might* be about perfect on short-medium range deer. ;)

    John
     
  17. 444

    444 Member

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    "Why would you choose a cartridge with only one available commercial round?"

    Well, this was a point I was trying to make in my first post. If that one commercial load does exactly what you need it to do, then why not ? As I said, who REALLY plays around with all these different loads ? Some people certainly do, the vast majority don't.
    Which brings us to John's post: what are you going to do with the rifle ?
    If you are going to be using it as a rifle for eastern whitetail deer hunting, then any one of them is fine. Having one factory load is no drawback. If you bought a .444 Marlin, the one easy to get factory load is a 240 grain softpoint bullet loaded by Remington. This load will easily take any animal in North America and certainly any deer: so is this a drawback ? Not really.
    If you are the kind of guy that goes down to the local Wal Mart and buys a box of "shells" then I don't think you are going to be a guy that is experimenting with all the cartridge in question has to offer.

    My primary hunting rifle is a .30-06, I have available to me possibly the greatest range of bullets and loads of any cartridge currently available. When I hunt, I have always used the same load: 150 grain soft point at 3000 fps. ONCE I used a 180 grain bullet on elk. And I am a hardcore handloader. I just don't really see the need to play around and experiment with my '06 hunting loads.
     
  18. Okiecruffler

    Okiecruffler Member

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    I've never played with the 450, but I've had a couple of 45-70's and currently have my old Marlin lever 444 and my Contender 444. From my experience the 444 is just a tad more accurate than the 45-70, but for the job these guns are designed for there isn't enough difference to matter.
    I choose the 444 because, in the wise words of my grandfather, "You best stay on the horse what brung ya."
     
  19. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    I'll add my vote for 45-70. It does tho help if you can reload - heck a simple single stage, some dies, and a box of BearTooth or LaserCast bullets - off ya go (powder and primers help of course! :p )

    This round I can load to screamer status for #1 and then also load a slightly less aggressive round for BFR revo. It is a round that has totally got me by the $%#@ - some folks will know what I mean! :D Love it.


    ruger-no1-86-s.jpg
     
  20. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    Coltdriver,

    In the first sentence of my post I was stating what is typically given as advice, not what I think. As I said in the next sentence, that advice is strange to me.

    Clearly a person who doesn't reload can purchase a wide variety of loadings in 45/70 but only one load in .444 or .450.

    All of the 45/70 commercial offerings that I'm aware of are safe in modern lever action rifles. I don't know that I've ever seen anyone selling 45/70 ammo that was too hot for a Marlin or Winchester.

    So non-reloaders should chose the 45/70 due to the likelihood that they'll be able to find ammo that meets their needs off the shelf.

    A reloader could pick whatever caliber he wants since he can load his own ammunition to his own specifications and not have to live with the total absence of variety in commercial 444 or .450 ammo.
     
  21. JNewell

    JNewell Member

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    .444 -- too few bullet choices that are designed for the velocities this cartridge can do <ding>

    .450 Marlin -- too little commercial ammo in too few places <ding>

    .45-70 -- can do everything the .450 Marlin can do, both with factory loads and with reloads...huge selection of bullets designed for a variety of velocities...commercial ammo of one kind or more is available in virtually every sporting goods store, hardware store or gas station north of the US/Mexico border...

    The choice seems obvious to me! :D
     
  22. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    John - I confess, I have not explored all choices on 45-70 factory ammo - always having reloaded - I worked from there.

    However - the Rem stuff I got was pretty weak - and I felt that was because ammo makers have in mind trap-doors - and so would not load hotter. I am probably wrong. It would mean tho trap-door owners may have to choose carefully and read the label!!!

    To me... the levers are sorta ''mid-range'' - 30,000 pressure if you will - this is approx where I load my BFR (plus a bit!). The ''top end'' for #1's of 35,000 is of course probably reloads only. ''Screamers'' LOL :evil:

    Can you mention any makers of other 45-70 rounds other than Rem - I am interested anyways to know how much choice there is.

    I started BFR with 20 rounds of whimpy Rem - and then bought 200 Starline cases - after which it has been reloads all the way! :)
     
  23. 444

    444 Member

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    God, I wish someone would let me know how many different bullets and loads you need in a lever action, big bore rifle ?


    The statement that only one is available (not true for either, but repeated anyway) has been repeated now a half dozen times but no answer to the question of just how many you need.
     
  24. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    ''Need'' ???? haha - often more like ''want''. :p

    I suggest anyone into this read thru load suggestions in Lyman (mine is #47) and the Speer 13 perhaps - plus any other manuals. This will give a good idea of the choices. I'd not necessarily recommend one over another.

    So much depends on what the shooter fancies. Fast and light or slow and heavy! I am using 405's all time - but might try 350's some day.
     
  25. 444

    444 Member

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    Well, to repeat what I said earlier: most handloaders love to play with different loads and different bullets.
    But how many people that don't handload, see only having one load as a drawback ? How many factory loads does their need to be for the non-handloader to try ? If you are buying the rifle for a specific purpose like hunting the animals local to your area, and the ONE load (not true of either caliber but repeated anyway) is great for that purpose, what difference would it make if that was the only one available ?
     
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