View Full Version : Marlin 45/70 "Shotgun"

11-27-2011, 8:57 PM
I thought some folks would get a kick out of this, I suppose it also is a reminder to check the basics.

A friend of mine in Oregon bought a new (from FFL) Marlin 45/70 rifle about 5 years back. Bought some factory ammo, took it to the range and at 50 yards the thing keyholed horribly. As in sideways silhouette, it looked like Munchkins were tossing their version of a 50 gallon drum through the target. Absolutely sideways. Tried some different bullets, all factory loads. Same result. I visit 3 or 4 times a year, he's a hunter and not a "gun enthusiast" per se so every once in a while he'd take it out, get disappointed and swear and stash the thing away. Every once in a while I'd take an interest and before you know it, 4 or 5 years go by.

I just spent Thanksgiving up there, decided to look the rifle over and pay special attention to the crown as a nick may be the culprit. Keeping in mind that a 45/70 has a pretty big bore I examined the crown, took a long careful look at it and saw no nick. It then occured to me I also didn't see something else - rifling. :confused:

Broke out the bore light, examined the heck out of it and sure enough, not a scratch of rifling in the whole damn bore. A check on line with the Marlin forum folks and a few searches show that Marlin also from time to time made an 1895 410 shotgun in 2.5" chambering. And despite the barrel stamp of 45/70 this thing was chambered for and carried a shotgun barrel.

So we're figuring having a smoothbore shotgun barrel on the "45/70" is responsible for the keyholing ..... ;)

11-27-2011, 9:13 PM
Haha! That's pretty funny right there.

11-27-2011, 9:29 PM
Wow I wonder if Marlin will fix that? ( whaddya' think the first thing I'll check when my new 1895 sbl shows up ?....)

11-27-2011, 11:55 PM
Wow I wonder if Marlin will fix that?

I don't know about fixing it - a Marlin lever shotgun would be a pretty neat gun to have.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to check gunbroker. ;)

-- Michael

11-28-2011, 8:26 AM
Ok so the next question is, can you fire 410 shells from a 45-70 chambered rifle?????

11-28-2011, 8:42 AM
Sounds like a collectors item! It's stamped 45/70, and has a smooth bore. That's pretty cool!

11-28-2011, 8:42 AM
Ok so the next question is, can you fire 410 shells from a 45-70 chambered rifle?????

LOL second that, that would be pretty awesome.

11-28-2011, 11:06 AM
I have the 45/70 Guide Gun, checked with some 2.5" 410 shells and they don't quite make it. So his gun is chambered for the 410, good thing it didn't come with a 16" barrel, eh?

The conventional wisdom is Marlin will replace the barrel. Just guessing but I suspect the mis-stamped gun doesn't have extra value. If anyone knows for certain (or would like to pay lots of extra money for the thing) let me know .....

I'm wondering if there is legal liability for Marlin or the owner should it be sold as is. I've no idea if the 410 1895 will hold up to Buffalo Bore or "1895 level" 45/70 handloads.