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Marlin 1894 vs. Marlin 1895...why bother with the 44 Mag. or 45 Colt??

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by saturno_v, Aug 9, 2010.

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  1. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    I'm trying to understand the practical reasons for someone to choose the Mod. 1894 in 44 Mag or 45 Long Colt over a Mod. 1895 in 45-70.

    The 45-70 can be loaded (or bought over the shelf) from light loads at moderate velocity up to very heavy bullets at relatively high velocity capable of busting big dangerous animals....the 45-70 in a lever action can almost reach 4000 ft/lb of muzzle energy.....it has a versatility that the other 2 chamberings cannot even remotely match.

    If you do not reload, the price difference for regular commercial ammo between the 45-70 (the typical cheap Remchesteral is already ballistically more capable than a 44 Mag or a 45 Colt) and the other two cartridges is not that significant....and, however, these are not plinking rifles anyway.

    If you reload, cost of ammo difference is basically a moot point.

    The price of the 2 rifles is basically the same.

    The only couple of reasons I can immagine for choosing a Mod. 1894 over a Mod, 1895 is extreme sensitivity to recoil or just the desire to own a rifle chambered for the same cartridge of one of your revolvers (hardly a practical reason nowadays)

    Any thoughts or opinions?
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2010
  2. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Handling. Those rifles are dramatically different in weight and pointing characteristics.
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Around these parts, a 45-70 is over-kill for about 99% of the hunting & shooting I do.
    I have an 1894P .44 Mag Guide Gun that is even smaller, shorter, & lighter then any 45-70 Guide Gun. It's hardly heavier then some of the big magnum hunting six-guns.

    A fast 180 grain JHP .44 Mag bullet is great coyote medicine, and less likely to richocet across a cow pasture into the next county then a 405 grain slug.

    BTW: Mine IS a fun plinking rifle, more then anything else.

    rc
     
  4. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    There is between one and half pound of weight difference between the 2 rifles (depending on barrel length).

    I did shoot few rounds with both and I haven't noticed, in my opinion, very big differences.

    Maybe it's different once you are in the field.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2010
  5. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Short of something like a moose or a bison, .45-70 is overkill for just about anything at the ranges that call for a light straight-grip carbine.

    WRT noticing the difference, that's why people haul out their big 12 Gauges to shoot quail, and go home empty-handed. They don't notice the difference at the range.:)
     
  6. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    In the regular commercial offerings (for example Remchesteral) the 45-70 is almost comparable in power to a 44 Magnum and caliber is basically the same.
     
  7. Badlander

    Badlander Member

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    There is no comparison between .44 or .45 rifles and 45-70 rifles. The handgun rounds top out at 300gr bullets. The 45-70 starts at 300gr and goes up to well over 500gr.
    You may load the 45-70 down to .44 .45 power but you will never load the .44 .45 even close to 45-70 power levels.
     
  8. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    That was exactly my point....you can match a 44 Mag with a 45-70 but not the other way around....
     
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    +1
    You can't compare energy figures of slow 45-70 and fast .44 Mag loads.


    Like I said in post #3, a 180 grain .44 JHP will not likely skip across a section of land and take out farmer Brown's bull.
    A 405 grain 45-70 moving slower will.

    rc
     
  10. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Handling is more than just weight. The pistol caliber carbines have quicker actions and cycle much shorter rounds. They're also much faster with followup shots.

    As far as whether it's worth it, much depends on whether the carbine will be a companion piece. If you're already shooting .45 Colt or .44 Mag in handguns, the carbine is a natural match.
     
  11. 336A

    336A Member

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    Because the pistol cartridge firing 1894 are lighter than the Guide Guns and handle like a charm in the real thick stuff. Also due to the shorter cartridge length one can cycle the action quicker on the 1894 and the 1894 can be loaded with 10 rounds vs the 4 or5 of the .45-70.

    That is true however as I stated in another thread the Marlin 1894 rifles are more of a general utility type rifle. More of a jack of all trades master of none rifle so to speak. They fill a multitude of roles well such as camping, woods bumming, farm/ranch rifle and HD. For strictly hunting, the larger centerfires are better no doubt unless that is you live in a state that confines you to hunting with pistol firing carbines. As for the the 4,000ft/lb statement read my signature line. There is a fella over at Marlin Owners from Wyoming IIRC that uses his 1894 .44mag to fill his elk tags, he is quite succesful too. I guess all of his elk didn't know that cast .44 bullets are supposed to bounce off their shoulders:D

    Actually the price difference where I'm at is pretty wide. I can either spend $40 dollars for 20 .45-70 cartridges or get a box of 50 44 mags for around $30 or less. That gives one plenty of ammo to sight their rifle in with and still have enough left over to hunt with. Not only that .357mag, and .44 mag is widely available pretty much anywhere. While .45-70 ammo really isn't that hard to come by it is more difficult to find than is either .357 or .44mag. Not only that there is a lot of versatility in the .44 mag loading. You can get Hornady225gr LE, Win 250gr Platinum Tip and Dual Bond, Fed 280gr Swift A frame. Fed 300gr Cast Core just to name a few. For really deep penetration (if those 300gr cast core bullets can't cut the mustard) if one has deep enoough pockets one could get some .44 mag loaded with punch bullets, or reload the new 300gr Barnes Bear Busters.

    Reloading is way more economical for the pistol cartridges in terms of powder consumption. The trap door .45-70 loadings alone use almost twice as much powder than my 44 mag. Once you get into the modern lever gun loadings then powder consumption for the .45-70 can easily double a full house 44 mag with H110/W296 and a 240gr bullet.

    The other benefit one gets is less recoil as you already pointed out.

    Anyway in terms of ammo cost/availability, weight, savings in powder consumption, camping gun, woods bumming gun Farm/Ranch gun, HD gun and rifle weight the Marlin 1894 makes a lot of sense.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2010
  12. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    The 44 holds 10 rounds in the magazine VS 4 for the 45-70. Much lighter, shorter and with a much shorter lever throw for repeat shots. The 44 ammo is much cheaper and for 99% of all hunting situations it will be just as effective.

    But I ain't selling my 45-70.
     
  13. Runningman

    Runningman Member

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    Back in the early 90s sold a Winchester 94 30-30 bought a Marlin 1895 22" barrel back in the early 90s. After about two or three hunting seasons with it decided it wasn't my cup of tea for hunting. Seemed like a step backwards from the handy 30-30. The 45-70 also seemed somewhat worthless as a plinker. So I sold it after 5 years of owning it.

    In the late 90s I bought a Marlin 1894P with a 16" barrel in 44 Mag. Talk about a handy, light weight, quick handing lever action. I use this for Deer hunting occasional black bear hunting and lots of plinking. Get far more use out of this combo than I ever did the 1895 45-70.

    Interesting enough in the 44 Mag I've had the Sierra 220 & 250 grain FPJ Silhouette bullets go right on thru just about every animal I've shot with them including black bears. Same with the excellent but no longer made Hornady 240 Grain Silhouette bullet.
     
  14. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    If all you need is a 150yd deer/general purpose rifle, what's the point in buying a .45-70? Pistol cartridges are more efficient (less powder), offer less recoil, tons of bullet options at lesser prices than .458's, can be reloaded with carbide dies, fit into smaller and lighter rifles, etc. A 300gr is a light bullet for the .45/70 but moderately heavy for the .44 and .45 and more than is necessary for deer and most hogs. Standard weight cast bullets are plenty for those purposes. Thus, I have five different pistol cartridge leverguns but exactly zero .45/70's. Why? I have no need for a 200yd sledgehammer. Only bought my .405 for Africa because I was gonna take a Kudu.


    On what planet???
     
  15. RatDrall

    RatDrall Member

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    What changed, that a rifle that fires the same ammunition as a sidearm, only with more authority and faster followup shots, isn't handy?
     
  16. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker Member

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    My 1894PG is much faster handling than the 336/1895 frame. That pound and a half is HUGE! I have an 18.5" barreled 336 .30-30, and while it is fairly short and handy, my .44 levergun is handier, even with a 20" barrel.

    The .44 Magnum plus a reloading bench can do all kinds of crazy things. While I can't match a .45-70 for raw power, I can throw 300gr chunks of lead at useful speeds. I can also make uber-cheap and low-recoil .44 powder-puff loads that you can see flying through a spotting scope. This makes the '94 a pleasure to shoot, and I have wasted a few afternoons just plinking away this way. Never wanted to try that even with the lightest .45-70 loads I've cooked up for my Encore (6-lb single-shot with a 20" barrel, FWIW, handy like the 1894, stronger than the 1895 and kicks like a mad mule on crack :eek: ).

    My 1894 cycles a lot faster and smoother than the longer actions do. It also gives me double the capacity between reloads and would make a fine HD weapon, IMO. Not the latest and greatest, but it is paid for and something I am familiar with. Trumps something new I haven't saved the money to afford yet.

    They each have their places and uses. In my mind the little pistol caliber carbines are handy utility guns, whereas the .45-70s are dedicated hunting guns, plain and simple.
     
  17. Finprof

    Finprof Member

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    Marlin 1984

    For some of us who shoot lever action silhouette, there are three classes, rimfire, pistol cartridge, and rifle cartridge. An 1895 in 45/70 is not the optimal gun for rifle and is not legal (obviously) for pistol. Almost everyone has a Marlin 19894 for psitol cartridge, usually in .357 magnum. A couple of my fellow shooters use the 44 mag for both pistol and rifle, since it is legal for both. They just load milder fo pistol and heavier for rifle, with the heavier targets farther away. Shooting one gun has some advantages over switching between relays.
     
  18. CoastieShep

    CoastieShep Member

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    Because different people want and need different things. It's not hard to figure out.
     
  19. Maj Dad

    Maj Dad Member

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    I bought an 1895 in 1974 because I liked it. Still have it, shoot it every now & then, just like my Trapdoor (1879, mfg Jul 83). I also have a Win 92 Half-Magazine carbine in 44-40 that I handload 44 mag level loads for deer hunting. Both have killed deer like they were RPGs, but the one that kicks most is the Winnie. Short, very light and just slaps the snot out of me. I don't need either one, but having both gives me options that one alone would not. I also have a 24 ft pontoon boat with a porta-potty and 90 horse 4 stroke that will put it on a plane & top out over 30 mph. My wife will tell you that I damn sure don't need it, either... :D
     
  20. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    That is why I got mine, had a 44 Mag Super Blackhawk.

    As stated earlier, the M1894 had ten rounds. Still, don't underestimate the punch of a 44 Magnum out of a carbine at 100 yards.

    I was gettting 1700 fps out of 240's with my M1894, and that packs a heck of a wallop.

    Neither cartridge is exactly flat shooting, so the range limitations are about the same.

    M1894FullLength.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2010
  21. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Member

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    In my opinion...the best reason for the 1894's is CASS (2 guns in one caliber, ammo consolidation)
     
  22. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    All I can say is it's a good thing that we don't have to choose ... we can have both! I have two '94s (.45 Colt and .357 Mag) and three '95s (.45-70 Govt.) and plan on adding a '94 in .44 Mag and SOMETHING in .454 Casull. The only thing I don't understand is why the heck Marlin doesn't make a '94 or '95 in .454 Casull. I bet they'd sell like hot cakes.

    :)
     
  23. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Member

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    Neither action will stand up to the abuse of 60,000 psi...I like the .454 Casull, but its too much for these old designs to handle.
     
  24. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    +1

    And performance wise it would still be inferior to the stout 45-70 loads already available in the Mod. 1895

    Same reason for the lack of a lever action chambered in 500 S&W, as far as I know...
     
  25. 336A

    336A Member

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    Nope there is a lever action rifle currently chambered for to 500 S&W but it will require deeper pockets than I have.
    http://www.bighornarmory.com/products/carbine.php
     
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