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Recommendations for a lever action 45-70

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by captain awesome, Oct 13, 2018.

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  1. captain awesome

    captain awesome Member

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    So what are thoughts on which 45-70 lever action to get? I used to have a Marlin guide gun in 450 marlin but it shot off center, and I wasn't a huge fan of the action it seemed like it caught half way through. So I sold it full disclosure a few years ago. But now I want a 45/70. One that can handle modern loads. I recently procured a Winchester 92 44 mag and am pretty disgusted with the action and trigger/rebounding hammer. Would I hate a Winchester 1886? I read they have the same rebounding hammer and tang safety garbage as the 92. I am also considering a used Browning, and looking at the Turnbull finished marlin 1895. It says they get rid of the safety block, I am wondering how much that affects the action? Also considering a Henry. I don't care about a side loading gate. So value for the money? What would I be happiest with? What's going to be higher In Quality/accuracy? Anything else I should consider?
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
  2. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    If you don’t want a 1895. Get a Henry.
     
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  3. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    I love my 1895g with Williams peep sight and a trigger job. Had to have Marlin fix it because the front sight was canted but didn’t cost me anything.

    Haven’t owned any of the others so I can’t comment on them intelligently.
     
  4. WrongHanded

    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    I have a Henry H010. I went looking for a Marlin and got drawn in by the fit + finish, as well as the very simple transfer bar safety system (akin to Ruger SA revolvers).

    I did have a problem with the magazine tube, almost out of the box. It quickly became impossible to remove without a set of pliers, and therefore became a single shot. I contacted Henry and they took care of it. Excellent customer service, quick turn around, and the gun is running like it should.
     
  5. Ks5shooter

    Ks5shooter Contributing Member

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    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
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  6. HamSlamma

    HamSlamma Member

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    Ive hunted with a Marlin 1895GBL 45/70 for years,,,,never had one problem. Its one of those guns Ill never get rid of.
    Killed a LOT of hogs and deer with it!
     
  7. badkarmamib

    badkarmamib Member

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    I have not been impressed with the fit and finish on the Remlins that I have seen on the shelves. My father recently bought a Henry H010. Looks great, shoots straight. He only has about 50 rounds through it so far, don't know how much the previous owner used it, but I would be happy with it, from what I have seen, if the loading procedure didn't concern me.
     
  8. Axis II

    Axis II Member

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    I have a newer Marlin 1895 in 45-70 and its so-so. Marlin was acquired by Remington which was acquired by the freedom group and there was a lot of issues but seems to be better now from what I've read on Marlinowners.com. Below is my Marlin story.

    1) Cabelas had one and upon looking at it the wood was different colored and it was an older model right when Remington took over so i passed. The cabelas guy assured me it wasn't and how could they have a 10yo rifle sitting on the shelf. I don't know but the serial number markings came back as a first gen remlin. My search continued and everything i touched at cabelas was gritty, different wood, etc.
    2) I seen a store about an hour away had them on sale Sunday only for $399 after the rebate. I wouldn't make it there by closing time so I called a large mom and pop chain I do a lot of business with and explained my situation. I was told the other store closed at 3pm he would give me 330pm as he closed at 4 or he wouldn't do the deal. I rushed in and he brought the box out. I tried the action which was way smoother than anything I touched at cabelas and the trigger wasn't bad. Very low travel and broke clean. I checked the serial number and it came back as a 2017 so i said lets do it.
    3) I got my new rifle home and began looking it over and low and behold the wood was different colored. I was in such a rush to get the rifle before they closed i didn't think to check it over. The forend is made of pine or whatever they make the 30-30's out of and the stock was walnut. I was extremely pissed! One of the Marlin/remlin issues was wood either being different or not fitted to the metal leaving gaps. All my wood fit perfect except them being different.
    4) I called Marlin and voiced my concern and was told it was possible there are different wood on there to ship it to them and they would replace the wood.
    5) Sight in-It took awhile for this thing to shoot but it does so so with 300gr HP reloads. My CVA single shot shoots tighter groups but its a hunting rifle not a target rifle. It took me awhile to come to terms with that.
    6) Front sight fell off while hunting. Kind of my fault as i should have lock tite the screw.
    7) Huge PITA getting the shells out of the load gate and the load gate it sharp. It actually scares me i may get cut on the metal. A polish wheel or so would fix that issue.

    If this is a deer hunting gun there is no way i would take a Henry into the deer woods. I am very careful with my stuff cause i want it to look nice and not knock the scopes around. I have scratches from briar patches and a few dings in my marlin in just one year. I comes to terms with it that its a working gun but id be really upset if i damaged a Henry stock.

    My advice FWIW is figure out how to match serial numbers on Marlins if you go that route and ask to see every single one the store has and don't settle for the first one. I handed cabelas back 2-3 between the 22'' barrel and the guide gun cause they were crap. I then moved onto other stores.

    Good luck and let us know what you get.
     
  9. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    All the guide guns I’ve looked at, including mine, the forend is a lighter color than the stock. It’s certainly not pine, but I don’t know what it is.

    Most of the Henry’s I’ve looked at the stock tang is not properly inletted. The reciever tang is usually proud of the stock either on the top or bottom.
     
  10. Llama Bob

    Llama Bob member

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    I've seen a lot of Marlins, including recently, that I do not think were made to an acceptable minimum standard. I would not buy new unless you inspect literally every part. Old JM Marlins are better but avoid the last couple of years as they were going under and cut corners. A JB 1895 from a ways back (pick your style) is an inexpensive default option. They're decently strong, and made OK.

    Henry I don't like the action, but if you do they seem to be OK. I've seen a few bad ones but mostly good ones. There is some question as to the action strength.

    Winchester/Miroku, you get the rebounding hammer. Fit and finish are very good typically. They're very strong - about 10KPSI stronger than a Marlin. I have a Navy Arms/Winchester/Miroku '92 and while it's not the original action, it has never done me any evil. I use the half cock notch and ignore the safety.

    Old Browning/Mirokus, you get the original action. Same great fit and finish. Same strength. The downside is cost and availability. It took me time to find them but I bought a 86 and a 71 and used them to build my .45-90 and .50-110 respectively. Trurnbull did the work. I have no regrets at all, but it was not cheap.

    I've heard good things about the Taylors, but have never handled one. I believe Turnbull used their receivers for their in-house builds at one time.
     
  11. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    If someone GAVE me a Henry, I’d sell it and buy another Marlin.

    I expect your 1895 needed about 15min of work with a safe edge file to eliminate that little hiccup in the leverstroke. Some are worse than others, but cleaning up that cam isn’t a big job. Not sure what “shooting off center” means, other than failing to take 30min to zero your sights?
     
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  12. Mosin Bubba

    Mosin Bubba Member

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    I've got an older Guide Gun and they're great. It's about the perfect gun for the 45-70.

    With the Marlins going downhill, one thing I'd consider for myself is one of those Henry single shots. Really cheap and IMO, you're not getting off more than one shot quickly with a 45-70 anyway.
     
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  13. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

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    I have a brass Henry.
    Quite like it.
    My working .45-70 is an older Marlin Guide gun.

    There is no question about the Henry's strength.
    Denis
     
  14. Llama Bob

    Llama Bob member

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    I don't know about his gun specifically, but a large number of Remington era Marlins have shipped with mis-aligned sight cuts. It is not the user's fault, and can't be fixed short of replacing the barrel which Marlin generally will not do under warranty. It's a bad situation.
     
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  15. dh1633pm

    dh1633pm Contributing Member

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    Marlins, love em or hate em. If you don't want a Marlin, then you can get a Henry or Winchester. You need to try them out before you buy. I have a 2003 Model 1895G, its sweet.
     
  16. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    This just jumped out at me... personally, if I'm working with iron sights, I like to boresight it (same as for a scope, except the front sight can be anywhere along the grid's vertical center line) and see that the windage is centered before I shoot the first round on paper. If the windage is good, then it's all about elevation zero.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
  17. captain awesome

    captain awesome Member

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    it was a while back many guns ago and maybe I missed something, but I remember wondering why in the world they didnt have a way to adjust windage if they couldnt manufacture it to shoot straight. I cant remember if it shot left or right but POI was significantly off. As for the file (again I dont memeber that well) I remember reading something about a piece wearing prematurely and that's what caused the hiccup and eventually could cause the action to completely lock up unless fixed with a small piece of harder steel welded in place where the wear was? Anyway it seemed beyond my skills to do and maybe that was something completely different.
     
  18. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    1894’s in 44mag, 1895’s, Ruger Vaquero 44mags and Single Six 32H&R, Ballister Molina’s - and of course AR’s - are guilty pleasures of mine, maybe what might be called addictions. I have or have had 1894’s, 30A’s, 336’s, or 1895’s from any given decade from inception through current. The 2010-2015 had some rough stuff happening. So did the 1970’s. I have a ‘75 336 which looks and feels like absolute garbage compared to current production stuff. The later 1980’s and 1990’s were great, and my 2000’s vintage 1895 Cowboys are as good as any I have ever handled. I handled a couple bad 1894’s and 1895’s in shops during the transition era, and obviously didn’t buy them for their faults. I also rejected transfer on an 1894 I had ordered in 96 or 97 because the bolt didn’t mate properly to the receiver, and we couldn’t get it to lock into battery... supposedly during Marlin’s heyday... my first 1894 was an 1984 Model, the finish was even, but terribly executed, so it took on freckles if you didn’t keep it nearly wet with oil all of the time... my wife’s 2013 Remlin 1895 SBL is likely the smoothest and best fit action out of the box of any I have ever handled.

    I think it’s really popular to talk bad online about any Remington Arms family brand right now, and I guess that’s ok for some folks, but a lot of guys are talking out of their asses about problem rifles from 10yrs ago which haven’t been a problem in the last 5yrs.

    I do think the day of the Levergun is over, LONG OVER, so I don’t ever recommend a levergun to anyone buying a rifle, but there’s a lot to like even about a Remlin 1895 over the Henry.
     
  19. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    You can adjust windage. Both the front and rear sights can be drifted side to side in their dovetails.
     
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  20. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    Mine had the front sight canted when I bought it. I called Marlin and they sent a tag to send it back and fedex came to my house to pick it up.

    I was not entirely happy with the fix because rather than replacing the barrel they just indexed it to make the front straight, which of course made the rear canted in the opposite direction. I called to complain again and they offered to replace the barrel but I decided to keep it as I had no intention of using their rear sight.

    I have a reciever sight on it which is the way they should come anyway. It’s a rinky dink deal but still they are good guns and less than half the price of any other traditional lever 45-70, and once sorted are excellent shooting guns.

    Depends on if your willing to sort out a gun yourself or spend 2 or 3 times as much to get something nicer, so I guess that’s a personal decision. I’m sure the majority of them being made are okay as is, but there certainly a good number with issues.
     
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  21. az_imuth

    az_imuth Member

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    I have one of the 1886 Brownings made back in the early 90's without the rebounding hammer and I love it. The thing is built like a tank and makes offhand shooting seem easier than any other rifle I've got. It is a bit heavy, so maybe that keeps it a little steadier in the wind. Very smooth action and a nice crisp trigger don't hurt any either.
    a9QZaQJ.jpg
     
  22. Llama Bob

    Llama Bob member

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    I know people want to like them because of nostalgia for the old brand, but the bad guns aren't just from five years ago. They're still coming. I saw an atrocious new .30-30 at the range not too long ago - horrible finish, horrible wood, horrible fit, a mis-shaped loading gate, and canted sights. This gun had just been purchased. It was the guy's first rifle.

    It'd be nice if they'd shaped up, but they haven't.
     
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  23. If1HitU

    If1HitU Member

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    I have a Marlin 1895 CB .45-70,9 shot Octagon tubular magazine 26" barrel.
     
  24. eastbank

    eastbank Member

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    I have lever action-bolt action-single shot 45-70,s, some took a little work(right loads and smoothing up inards) to get them up to snuff. but I love them all, but I think the best is a older browning 86 that all you had to do is load it up and go shooting-hunting.
     
  25. ilmonster

    ilmonster Member

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    Anecdotally, from a giant sample size of one, I have a 22" 1895 I purchased back in 2015 that is Remington made and couldn't be happier. I checked it out before laying down cash, and it had good wood to metal fit, straight sights, no buggered up screw heads, etc. Since then, I've put a grind to fit Limbsaver pad on (it is a 45-70 after all) to replace the rubber butt pad and a WW Happy Trigger Kit. It has 400-500 rounds through it (mostly my 1,100 fps handloads) and has performed perfectly, no different than my JM made 1894C. Will do 1"-1 1/2" at 50 yds and 1 1/2" at 100 yds, and smacks steel with authority at 200 yds. (mine is scoped). Seems like QC has improved quite a bit since the transition. So one vote for Marlin. I also don't have a 30-30 and have no particular need for one, so am considering buying one! I am considering both a Marlin 336BL (like the looks) and a Henry color case hardened 30-30 (because I like the looks). Hard to decide on which one. Depends on what might be more important to you (or me). The Marlin can also be slicked up by many smiths out there including Turnbull, Grizzly Custom, Wild West Guns, etc. Let us know what you decide!

    p.s. kind of also like the fact that the Henry's are made here in northern Wisconsin in Rice Lake :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
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