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.45-70 or something else?

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.45-70 or something else?

Old 12-26-2019, 02:32 PM
  #11  
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My 2 cents, for what it’s worth! Go with the 45-70......especially if you hand load. You can load up or down, plus you have a huge variety of bullets to custom taylor to your specific needs/wants. You can easily load it down to .375 Win levels......but, you could “never” bring the .375 Win. up to the potential levels of the 45-70! memtb
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Old 12-26-2019, 02:53 PM
  #12  
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The 450 marlin is in essence a 45/70 loaded to top level with a belt so it can't be chambered in a Springfield or other weaker actions. the 444 fires a 429 diameter bullet which is a pistol bullet, versatile if you reload its just a magnum 44 magnum if ya don't.
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Old 12-26-2019, 03:05 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Bocajnala View Post
A few years back I sold my .45-70 to partially fund a Savage 99 in .375 Winchester. I've taken three deer with that .375 and just haven't fallen in love with it. On game performance has been excellent, but I want to go back to a Marlin lever gun.

This will be for my primary Ohio (straight walled only) deer rifle, PA bear, and a walking gun for PA deer.

Should I be looking at anything else other than the .45-70? I do handload. Others that I was thinking of was .444, .450 Marlin. Any reason to go one of those routes over the .45-70?

Right now I'm 95% sure on the .45-70 but wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything. By selling the 99 I can pick up a Marlin lever as well as a youth rifle for the kids. Let's hear your thoughts.
-Jake
what ya want for the 375? when I bought my 99 the guy had 3, a 375, a 358, and the 7mm/08, I already had 7mm/08 dies.
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Old 12-26-2019, 03:17 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Cub Slayer View Post
Pissy, aren't we?
No we are not, anyone who knows anything about guns knows the savage 99's were chambered in short action cartridges, the only short action 375 at the time of the 99's production was the 375 win. basically a straight walled 30/30 case firing a 200-220 gr flat point bullet. the 375 H&H is a full length magnum belted case designed for hunting large game, for years considered the minimum for hunting Africa's "big 5". pay attention and you could learn something here.
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Old 12-26-2019, 03:44 PM
  #15  
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Jake, I cannot even begin to say how much I like my Marlin 45-70. I have killed about 15 deer with it and 10 wild hogs. I love the way it puts them down and how little damage it does to the meat compared to my .308 despite having a projectile that is over twice as heavy. I also too, a Bison with it. Am I an expert on calibers and ballistics? No. Do I know what works and does a good job under the circumstances that I hunt with over 50 years of experience? I think I do.
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Old 12-26-2019, 04:14 PM
  #16  
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I used a marlin 45/70 for several decades, it was and is an excellent choice,
I used mostly 350-400 grain hard cast gas check bullets and RL7 or IMR 4198 or IMR 3031 powders and,
all were capable of 2" or less 3 shot groups at 100 yards off a good bench rest, with a 4x scope.
about 20 years back I swapped to a browning BLR in 450 marlin,
personally I don,t regret the swap and yes the browning IS a marginally more accurate rifle in my experience,
but theres nothing youll hunt with either rifle or caliber that will know the difference.
if you prefer the marlin,or the BLR youll be well armed, especially if hand load and use the 350-405 grain bullets,
either jacketed or hard cast
if I buy a new marlin 45/70 it will be the cowboy version

Last edited by hardcastonly; 12-27-2019 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 12-26-2019, 04:19 PM
  #17  
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btw I briefly owned a ruger single shot in 375 win, it was very accurate ,
but like your experience I just never grew overly fond of the cartridge and when I was offered considerably more cash for the rifle,
and 300 empty cases and several bullet molds it changed owners, its present owner is thrilled, so we are both happy.
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Old 12-26-2019, 04:46 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by Bocajnala View Post
No mercy

Is there any reason to look at anything other then the 45-70 in that class of rifle? The .450 or .444?

-Jake
None of those 3 (4 including the 375) are a wrong answer, but I personally opine the 45-70 to have the upper hand. The .450 Marlin is what a modern 45-80 should be, in terms of power, but its not as popular, and typically I have seen more Marlin only .45-70 factory loads on the shelf than I have 450 Marlin loads. For hunting whitetails, SAAMI compliant, low pressure standard .45-70 ammo will do whatever you could need of it, with lower recoil and lower cost. So the 450 matches the top end capabilities, without the common availability of low end, practice ammo.

And of course, it aint a .45-70.

The 444 Marlin is a cartridge I really want to love, but tend to come up short. Im about as big of fan of .44 mag as anyone, and ~15-20yrs ago when I was pushing Marlin 1894s with little 44mag cases to their max, the 444marlin was a welcomed option. Less recoil and less powder than the Marlin only 45-70 loads (very similar recoil comparing SAAMI loads in similar weights), but less factory ammo and brass availability, less bullet weight, and less viable 44cal bullets available. Without my own 44-ophilia, I cant say I think theres any reason to grab a 444 over a 44mag unless you were a dedicated hardcast bulletmaker who wanted to port the same pills in your rifle as your revolver. I suppose a guy could almost make a case to support the 444 Marin is a unique combination of less recoil, less powder, less lead, but the same effective range on the same game in the field. Almost.

But, of course, it aint a .45-70.

Almost arbitrarily, I like the 444 more than the 450, just for my bias for all things 44 cal, but given the 3 standing beside each other in the rack, and enjoying dating all of the above, the .45-70 is the one Id marry if I could only pick one.

In a Marlin levergun, Im not sure Id venture farther than those 3 options, and I know Id personally land on a 45-70 1895. There are a handful of other chamberings out there in the Marlin, including the .375 Winchester and the chamber-mate .38-55, or the more modernized 35 rem (a hunters combination if there ever was one).

Might be worth your while to dig around for a Marlin in .375 win to compliment the old Savage, and better justify the ammunition supply on hand. Looks like there are a couple on Gunbroker at relatively reasonable prices right now.
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Old 12-26-2019, 06:16 PM
  #19  
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If you want to really have a blast, track down a bp cartridge sharps 45/70 and go to town. I've been a bp fanatic most of my life and absolutely love all the little foibles in bp shooting, weather they be in bp cartridge or muzzle loading. If an original bp sharps is out of your price range, which it really can be out of a lot of folks, there are several really good repro models out there that shoot fantastic. But, if you have little imagination and want all this modern stuff, the marlin 45/70 is a great shooting little rifle and carries well. Recoil is mild, to me anyway, and there's not an animal on this continent I wouldn't face it down with. I have little experience with the 450 and the .444 marlin is a really good white tail round. But I find it a bit limited for black bear being it uses pistol bullets. Will it work? Yes. Would it be a better choice than a 45/70? Not just no but HECK no.
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Old 12-26-2019, 06:49 PM
  #20  
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Rr, no mercy has me just about convinced to hold onto it. It isn't hurting anything there in the safe, and it certainly won't lose value.

No mercy, thanks for the thorough response. I
hadn't even considered looking for a matching Marlin. But I've seen them sell for not much more than a .45-70. That would get me back into a Marlin but still be unique and something different.

It sounds like for my needs the .45-70 is still the way to go between those three options listed.

I have no issues with the .375 win performance. Three deer is a small sample size, but it's been two bang flops and the third left a 30 yard blood trail that was easy to follow.

-Jake
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