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Marlin 1895 Micro-groove 45-70 consideration

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by bikemutt, Jul 29, 2013.

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  1. bikemutt
    • Contributing Member

    bikemutt Member

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    I found a Marlin 1895SS in 45-70 today which I think I can pickup for about $450. It's in really nice shape from what I can tell, serial number indicates it's a 1995 manufacture so it's squarely out of the Remlin era.

    The barrel looks to be about 22" and that's where I have a couple of concerns.

    1) I've seen quite a few of these which don't say they are Micro-groove barrels, and I believe Marlin now, and in the past, used Ballard rifling instead of Micro-groove. I would only shoot jacketed ammo, is a Micro-groove barrel something I should avoid?

    2) At first I thought I spotted some rust in the grooves near the muzzle but even after a couple patches and some Hoppes I could still see what looked like rust, and the patches were free of visible rust. The shopkeep suggested it may be copper fouling. Does that sound like something I need to be concerned about or does it just need a good cleaning with the right solvent?

    Thanks THR!

    [​IMG]

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  2. Abel

    Abel Member

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    No need to avoid Micro Groove rifling. Buy with confidence! Rust usually cleans right up.
     
  3. adelbridge

    adelbridge Member

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    Copper fouling appears like gold streaks or green tarnish. Run some patches thru and it and if they come out rusty skip it.
     
  4. Njal Thorgeirsson

    Njal Thorgeirsson Member

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    Although I personally would avoid micro-groove (because i would probably want to cast my bullets), $450 for that firearm is not bad, assuming the bore is rust-free. If the patch comes out green or clean, your are good to go. If it comes out rusty, you should definitely pass.
     
  5. Don McDowell

    Don McDowell Member

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    I would not worry about that rifle. It'll shoot the small diamonds out of a Leupold sight in target at 100 yds , when you find the right load either jacketed or cast.
     
  6. az_imuth

    az_imuth Member

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    I say buy it. At that price, you're not going to lose any money if you ever choose to turn it loose. I think of these purchases as 'free rentals'. :D
     
  7. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    Micro-groove barrels were the norm for a while with Marlin. Cast or jacketed stuff can be made to shoot tight groups, it takes finding the right load.
     
  8. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    The microgroove barrels generally shoot jacketed very well, it's with cast bullets that they can be finicky. Most that take some time with them say they can shoot cast quite well, it just may take a little extre effort to get the right load/bullet sizing combination.

    Don is correct, the gun will likely surprise you with how well it can shoot. I sighted one in once and the first three shots were completely within the 1" square grid of the target, I ruined the group with the next two shots, it opened up to about 1 1/2".

    Copper fouling looks like copper, brownish colored metal. Its often mistaken for rust. Run a patch through it with a copper solvent, leave it set a few minutes, and run a clean patch through. If its blueish/greenish, it's copper fouling, if brown, it's rust. I seriously doubt its rust though.
     
  9. Bill Jones

    Bill Jones Member

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    I have several 1895s in.45-70, including an 1895SS. I picked up the SS just because it was a good deal and I figured I would trade it later for another Guide Gun.

    The first time I shot it I decided I was keeping it. Shooting 350gr. Hornady RN with 47 grains of IMR4195, we were shooting beer cans at about 75 yards and getting consistent hits.
     
  10. bikemutt
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    bikemutt Member

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    Thanks for all the helpful suggestions guys, I bought the rifle!

    I went back to the store armed with a bottle of Hoppes Copper cleaner (can't recall exactly what it's named), after applying it, letting it set for a few and running a clean patch, out came the green-colored residue.

    This is a pretty cool gun store where a lot of old timers hang out and chat with the old timer owner. Anyway, this particular old timer, lets call him Vern, came over to see what I was up to and said "what ya got there son is copper fouling", so I guess if it's green and Vern says it's copper, by George it's copper :)

    The owner followed up by letting me know if I find anything wrong with the rifle, he stands behind it, just bring it back to him for a refund or exchange. It's one of the many reasons I enjoy shopping there.

    Though I paid for it, I can't pick it up until 8/8/13 because they operate as a pawnshop and per WA law, must hold all merchandise for 30 days. I never did squeeze $450 out of the shopkeep, $475 is where we landed, close enough not walk from what I feel will turn out to be a good one.

    Thanks again gentlemen.
     
  11. jack44

    jack44 Member

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    The 45/70 can be loaded light,mild or wild.
     
  12. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    I was hunting with another guy once, we were back in camp taking a break. My malamute bird dog flushed a grouse on the edge of camp, I grabbed a round ball load from my cartridge belt, dropped it in the chamber of my 86 carbine and raised up to shoot it. The guy I was with was reaching to plug his ears with his fingers as I shot. He didnt quite make it before I shot, but at the POP of the shot, he said "what was that!" The load was 6 1/2 grs Unique with a .457" round ball. It makes a little more noise than a 22, and kills grouse, small game and snakes without tearing them up. Good fun in the yard also if you live out of town.
     
  13. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    Malamute bird dog?!? Please explain!
     
  14. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    Congrats!!!

    I am fond of black powder loads or at least black powder ballistics but that rifle is a hoot. Marlins seem to like larger than noraml (ie .458) diamteter bullets so do not be afraid to use .460 cast bullets. If you need/want some advice, let me know.

    Ranch Dog molds seem to be the cat's meow for the Marlins.
     
  15. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    All my Mals have loved to hunt birds. They aren't exactly what a bird hunting purist may think of as a bird dog, but they figure out that when they flush a grouse, stand and watch it where it landed in a tree, I come over and tell them what good dogs they are, then there's a noise, and the grouse falls out of the tree. Works out fairly well overall, and everyone has a great time. :D I use round ball loads single loaded in my carry rifle, or take a 22 pistol along with CB's or shorts.

    Couple of my old dogs, now gone, (one was a collie/mal cross, best we could tell)

    [​IMG]

    New bird dog. She thought bird hunting was THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED!!,....until I brought a deer home,...

    [​IMG]
     
  16. itsa pain

    itsa pain member

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    beautiful dogs good luck with them
     
  17. Bill Jones

    Bill Jones Member

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    Can you give some specifics on how you load this combo? Things such as OAL, any case filler or wads, and crimping. It sounds like something I would like to try.
     
  18. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Member

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    Though I have not done it in .45-70, I have loaded round balls in .30-30, .35 Rem, and .38/.357...

    When loading a round ball, I decap, but do not resize the case...I prime, charge, and then tap the round ball in (sprue up) flush with the case mouth and then coat the top with LLA...

    Here is a page that describes it better with some .30-30 data:

    http://www.castbullet.com/shooting/rb30.htm

    The only 'published' load data I can find for a round ball in a .45-70 gives a charge weight of 5gr of 'No. 6 Pistol Powder' which apparently has been discontinued (Ideal Manual No. 38)...

    Put the following in Google, and you will have enough reading for a while:

    .45-70 round ball loads
     
  19. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    I lube the balls with the Lee liquid alox in a butter tub (in the past I didnt, they seem to work ok, but may lead a bit if you shoot many). I like to barely expand the case mouth with a Lyman "M" expanding die, I use the 310 tool for that. No particular length, I just seat the major diameter of the ball barely in the case and gently crimp in place. I use a tiny tuft of dacron pillow stuffing over the powder, it seems to improve ignition consistancy. Just enough to roll into a ball with a little tension on the case wall, and tamp it in place with an unsharpened pencil. I dont recall if I size the 45-70s or not, may be best not to if they fit your chamber alright.

    I load similar loads in 30-30 and 348, with 3 grs unique in 30-30 with a .310 or .315" ball, and 4 grs unique or red dot in the 348 with a .350" ball. The 348 loads arent fantastically accurate, but certainly enough to shoot grouse out to 20 yards or so. They may do better if I tinker with the load, I never have done anything other than pick a charge and load some. A slightly larger ball may help the 348 also.
     
  20. Bill Jones

    Bill Jones Member

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    Thank you.
     
  21. Bill Jones

    Bill Jones Member

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    Dang IPad made me double post.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2013
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