450 Marlin vs. 45-70

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valkrider8

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 14, 2007
Messages
110
Location
PA
Hi Guys,
I do some bear hunting here in Pa. where the shots are usually up close and personal in our swamps and mountain laurel. A quick handling, compact gun would be nice to carry. I got to handle a Marlin "Guide Gun" in 45-70 and I can tell you my heart beat like a first date. I have never owned a lever action rifle, but this one just felt so good. Does anyone out there hunt with this gun and caliber? Is there much difference between the 450 Marlin vs. the 45-70? They seem almost ballistically the same. Any advantage of one caliber over the other?? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Rich
 

cas6969

Buckeye
Joined
Oct 11, 1999
Messages
1,215
It all depends on if you handload or not.

If you do handload (or are willing to buy "boutique factory ammo" (Buffalo Bore, Garret etc.)) there's really no difference between the two.

If you're going to use standard off the shelf ammo, the 450 Marlin has the ballistic edge, power wise.

My concern would be how available is the 450 Marlin now? How 'bout in years to come?

If I hand loaded I wouldn't even consider the 450 for a second. (I do.. and didn't. I have a .45-70 Guide Gun)

That said.... while standard factory .45-70 is loaded far from it's potential, it would probably still do nicely for the task at hand.
 

redsouthpaw

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 20, 2007
Messages
66
Location
Colorado
cas":gddr3fkj said:
It all depends on if you handload or not.

If you do handload (or are willing to buy "boutique factory ammo" (Buffalo Bore, Garret etc.)) there's really no difference between the two.

If you're going to use standard off the shelf ammo, the 450 Marlin has the ballistic edge, power wise.

My concern would be how available is the 450 Marlin now? How 'bout in years to come?

If I hand loaded I wouldn't even consider the 450 for a second. (I do.. and didn't. I have a .45-70 Guide Gun)

That said.... while standard factory .45-70 is loaded far from it's potential, it would probably still do nicely for the task at hand.

What he said. The .450 marlin is a good round but the .45-70 is more available. The .45-70 is the oldest metallic cased round in normal production and for good reason.
I have the 1895 rifle that groups very well at 200 yards with my hand loads. If you hand load for it you can go from very light loads using unique to very stout loads pushing a 350gr pill at over 2100fps.
The .450 can be pushed a little faster, but the rifle is meant as a brush gun and the .45-70 has plenty of power for this.
Get it, I guarantee you will not regret it.
 

doublebarrel

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
158
Location
Irving,Texas,United States
I looked at both and bought a 45-70.It's a lot easier to find ammo for and you will have a greater selection(from mild "black powder" loads to the "hot rod "loads from places like Buffalo Bore).I reload so that didn't concern me that much,but even the mild loads will easily put down most animals.It is a sweet handleing gun but wake you up with the hotter loads.
 

Merle1948

Buckeye
Joined
May 10, 2008
Messages
1,395
Location
Mercer County, PA
I bought a Marlin M1895 about thirty years ago and still use it. It is a marvelous brush gun & I have used it in PA, Maine & Wisconsin. As the others said, it is a lot more flexible if you handload, which I do. I also use a lot of cast bullets for lighter loads, which saves quite a bit of money. I looked at the 450 when it came out, but could see no advantage to it.

I would like to add that you might want to consider the 300 grain loads. They shoot a bit flatter than the 405 grain loads, if you happen to get a slightly longer shot. Still plenty of power for whitetails & smaller black bears, but I used my heavy handloads for moose while in Maine.

8) 8) 8)
 

buckeyeshooter

Blackhawk
Joined
Nov 8, 2004
Messages
710
Location
Ohio
I have 3 marlin 45/70's. A cowboy (26" bbl), standard (22") and an LTD II (18"). I can handload to the same or better power level of the 450 marlin and then down to 'plinker' levels for fun and small game. For deer the 300 grain loads are fine. For Pa. bear --- I use 350 rain or 400 grain bullets. Most folks who do not hunt Pa do not know about how often someone there stumbles on to a 500+ pounder. In the laurel thickets attempting to 'jump' them from the bed they are in at 15 feet away a 300 grain hollowpoint is not my idea of ideal! I would much prefer heavier bullet.
 

captainkirk

Blackhawk
Joined
Jul 30, 2002
Messages
538
Location
Abilene, TX
buckeyeshooter":3pkqhxwe said:
I have 3 marlin 45/70's. A cowboy (26" bbl), standard (22") and an LTD II (18"). I can handload to the same or better power level of the 450 marlin and then down to 'plinker' levels for fun and small game. For deer the 300 grain loads are fine. For Pa. bear --- I use 350 rain or 400 grain bullets. Most folks who do not hunt Pa do not know about how often someone there stumbles on to a 500+ pounder. In the laurel thickets attempting to 'jump' them from the bed they are in at 15 feet away a 300 grain hollowpoint is not my idea of ideal! I would much prefer heavier bullet.

Whoa, LTD III, now those are nice. (Not that your others are not.) You just don't come across the IIIs very often. I wish I had bought one several years ago when I had the chance.

Watch out for the bears.

captainkirk
 

pete44ru

Hunter
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Messages
2,176
Location
Rhode Island
I've owned several .45-70's, over the years, then bought/shot/hunted with a .450 Marlin chambered Winchester 94 Timber.

I can't say I cared for the .450, nor could it do anything my .45-70 couldn't - except handcuff me, were I to need to buy ammo somewhere in the boondocks.

I sold the .450 after a year with it, and went back to the .45-70.

.
 

Ruger1nut

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 3, 2006
Messages
766
Location
Honeoye NY
Good choice. Take that 45-70 and never look back. Even the "plain Jane" Federal Remington Winchester ect will take care of 90% of the critters on the planet if you do your part.

The 45-70 is one of my all time favorites.

Happy hunting

Dave
 

63November

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 20, 2003
Messages
249
Location
Alaska (63 North, 162 West)
valkrider8":2igszkps said:
I got to handle a Marlin "Guide Gun" in 45-70 and I can tell you my heart beat like a first date. I have never owned a lever action rifle, but this one just felt so good. Does anyone out there hunt with this gun and caliber? Is there much difference between the 450 Marlin vs. the 45-70?

I think you've answered your own question already. And even with "only" plain old Remington 405s at their "speed of silence" level of operation, any failure to dispatch a blackie hastily will be your own doing, not the weapon's.
I say as other: "45-70"
 

SteveRuger

Hunter
Joined
Apr 6, 2004
Messages
2,388
Location
Northern, Utah. USA
I have used the Marlin 45-70 as a back up gun when my Son & I hunt Bores with hand guns with Walker Hounds, The one & only time I ever had to use it it did it's job on a 435 lb Russian bore. Never shot anything with the 450 Marlin yet.
 

ClintV

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
151
Location
North Florida
I have several Marlins, including a .444 and .45-70. I don't have a .450, just too hard to find ammo around here, and it won't do anything the .45-70 wont do. If you handload, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities with the old war horse. There isn't a thing on this continent I wouldn't be confident taking on with a .45-70 and proper bullets. 8)
 

OldRugerMan

Blackhawk
Joined
May 26, 2003
Messages
758
Location
Idaho USA
A little bit off the subject but I had a Lyman Centennial unmarked overrun in 45-70 with a 28 inch barrel. Highest velocity was with 300 grain Hornady HP at 2784 - you read that right - 2784. A No.1-S with 22 inch barrel got 1914 with factory Hornady Lever Rev. ammo and 2566 with 350 grain Speer bullets. The 45-70 is very capable caliber in any rifle.
 

Gav-n-Tn

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 21, 2009
Messages
24
Location
Tennessee
I've had both the 1895G and the 1895M. The .450 is definitely the bigger cannon. I think these guys hit on the main decision maker; ammo availability and options.
 

63November

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 20, 2003
Messages
249
Location
Alaska (63 North, 162 West)
OldRugerMan":2jmk135h said:
A little bit off the subject but I had a Lyman Centennial unmarked overrun in 45-70 with a 28 inch barrel. Highest velocity was with 300 grain Hornady HP at 2784 - you read that right - 2784. A No.1-S with 22 inch barrel got 1914 with factory Hornady Lever Rev. ammo and 2566 with 350 grain Speer bullets. The 45-70 is very capable caliber in any rifle.

Those speeds are exactly what Hodgdon gets with the larger cased 458 Winchester magnum with a 24 inch barrel. And that's at the 50,000 cup level. The even smaller case will only get there by pushing even higher pressures. So obviously, something's fishy. Hopefully it's only the chronograph, or else someone will eventually pay in blood. Literally.
 
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