View Full Version : School me on 45-70 lever actions

06-11-2012, 1:20 PM
I am thinking about getting a Marlin with 18" barrel, or should I go with something else? It will be a fun, plinking gun no plans for hunting with it in the near future. I will be shooting 90% cast boolits. Is there any issues with leading or accuracy with cast bullets in Lever actions? Also I would like to be able to shoot the larger 500-600gr bullets as well. And if anyone has one for sale shoot me a pm. :)

And yes I reload. :D

06-11-2012, 2:06 PM
Only thing I know about them is they are a lot of fun, but hard on your shoulder. Watch the OAL in a lever gun. It should be shorter than a single shot. I don't have the numbers with me, but there are different bullets for the lever.

06-11-2012, 3:20 PM
The Rossi Rio Grande looks nice took with a much nicer price tag! Anyone have one?

tuna quesadilla
06-11-2012, 3:23 PM
Hot loads out of the shorty carbines are a HOOT!

Dutch Henry
06-11-2012, 3:50 PM
18" barrel is mighty short for the 45-70. I shoot a replica Winchester 1886 and it makes me blink when I pull the trigger. I don't shoot hot loads, either. Good luck!

06-11-2012, 3:57 PM
Marlin 1895Cowboy in 45-70 w/Octagonal barrel was my choice.

06-11-2012, 4:01 PM
Very expensive plinker. Over 1$ per round for factory, which are commonly loaded very light compared to what most people are handloading for modern action 45/70's

Factory ammo is easy on the shoulder, at least in my rifle, considering where everyone was saying its a killer on the body. Lighter then slugs through my Mossberg 500 by quite a bit.
Very good round to reload for. Just be aware there are 3 different types of 45/70 reloading Data. Trapdoor/traditional, 1895/Modern lever, Ruger single shot.

And 18" 45/70's are VERY common.

1895 Guide gun anyone?


06-11-2012, 4:30 PM
One gun I wish I never got rid of, Marlin 1895G. It was a blast! Literally! Fun and easy to load for. You could load em hot or powder puff load em! Marlins are one of the best out there for the 45/70 Very capable/ strong receivers!

06-11-2012, 4:33 PM
I have a single-shot break-open H&R "Buffalo rifle" in 45-70/w 30" bbl. It has some external contours similar to that of Sharps rifles.

It has Williams micrometer sights and is very accurate. Fun as hell to shoot.

06-11-2012, 4:44 PM
Love that round. I've shot a guide gun, and LOVED it.

06-11-2012, 4:49 PM
I love my 45-70. One problem that I had with my last reload though is that they ended up shooting about a foot high. Those darn copper bullets can be a tricky one to work with at times.

06-11-2012, 5:10 PM
They shoot a rainbow trajectory. You're good out to about 200 yards on a reasonablly straight plane, after that, you really need a good rangefinder and ballistics chart because the round drops like a brick. They have enough power to do some serious damage out to 1500 yards, but you'll be shooting towards the clouds to get it out there and it will descend at an angle usually reserved for rainfall.

I love my 1895 SBL. It's my favorite firearm, very handy in the woods, and dead on at 100-150 yards with the ghost rings. It's setup for bear and mountain lions as a defensive weapon, but would work really well for anything large at that range. Most guys like to get the 22" or 24" barreled rifles for more traditional shooting.

If you want to get into Marlin rifles, you need to spend some time over at the Marlin Owners Forum. http://www.marlinowners.com/forum/

You'll have every question you could ever ask answered there, and some you never thought to ask.

Marlin 1895 SBL .45-70 Government with 6+1 rounds of hard hitting beat down.



06-11-2012, 5:48 PM
You can wring a little bit more standard aim (PBR) range out of a 24" barrel, but I've never heard a bad word spoken by anyone about the Marlin lever-gun regardless of barrel length. My personal preference is the H&R Buffalo Classic. One buddy reduced his to 24" and added a muzzle break. SWEET shooter. With a BDC reticle it is pretty easy to target for "minute of brisket" out to 300 yds. Past that, you'd better have a good book made for your load and a range-finder too.

06-11-2012, 7:06 PM
It just doesn't really make any kind of sense at all in buying a 45/70 for plinking and range fun??? It is a short range hunting round. I have one, and use it for pigs. Awesome gun, just a waste for what your looking for.

06-11-2012, 8:06 PM
Wild West Guns does some interesting modifications to Marlins. I look at them but haven't been able to talk myself into paying for one.
Expensive but cool:

06-11-2012, 9:44 PM
got an 1895, before they started doing all the cool things to them. i can shoot 500gr, but i have to single load, (too long to feed from the tube). makes a 7mm mag recoil, tame, by comparison.

actually would like to get a ruger #1, and have it rebarreled, to a 34" octagon, and load it for the next county :)

06-11-2012, 9:48 PM
The older Marlins don't have normal (Ballard) rifling, avoid them if you want to shoot the higher pressure loads.

tuna quesadilla
06-11-2012, 10:13 PM
It just doesn't really make any kind of sense at all in buying a 45/70 for plinking and range fun??? It is a short range hunting round. I have one, and use it for pigs. Awesome gun, just a waste for what your looking for.

If he can afford it, why shouldn't he use it for plinking? Last group shoot I was at, somebody passed around his 1895 with some seriously hot handloads. It hurt like a mother to shoot it but it was SO MUCH FUN :D