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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been recently thinking that a lever action 45-70, it looks like a fun gun. Can someone tell me if it is? And what about reloading it, is it cheaper than commercial ammo? Is it a good gun to cast your own bullets? Just a over all thought of the gun, and reloading it. I was thinking about a Marlin or Henry.
 

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First off, yup-it is a fun gun.
Completely different from BR stuff I normally like to shoot but tossing a huge chunk of lead downrange is truly different.
I have a Marlin 1895 - quite accurate with a red dot or holographic sight-I found out early on that my old eyes were not capable of seeing the deer+front sight + rear sight all at the same time:( , so I put on an inexpensive red dot and all is right in the world.

It is extremely effective on deer-I have taken several using a 300 gr. Hornady HP over 50 gr. of Varget and never had one run past 25 feet. Limit my shots to 100 yards but that is just my limits with the gun (and non magnified sights).

Yes, it likes lead bullets and I cast my own-my rifle is NOT the micro-groove. I have read that there may be some problems with lead and Marlin's micro-groove but I am no expert-suggest you got to Marlin forum for better advice there.

I tend to keep either the bullet weight and/or velocity down as it is a light gun and my surgically repaired shoulder really does not appreciate a steady pounding from 450+ gr. bullets being pushed fast-I changed the recoil pad to a Pachmyer Decelerator and it helps but you cannot get past the laws of physics.

Get yourself 100 Starline cases, a couple of pounds of either 3031 or Varget and the appropriate bullet and have fun-I am up to 5 reloads on the cases and expect them to outlast me (although I don't load "hot" and I do anneal the case mouths - yes, bad case of OCD)

Gary
 

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Reloading can be quite cheaper, or more expensive, depending on what type of materials go into its construction.

If you go with gary0529 advice and get a Marlin, try to find an older piece. The newer Remlins (Remington owns Marlin now) go from mix to very poor in quality and fit n' finish.

I've heard that the Henrys are mixed in quality as well, but that's just hearsay so I don't know for fact. What I do know is that the Henry loads near the muzzle. Unlike the Marlin that loads at the receiver.

Personally, I would try find an older Marlin.
 

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45-70 loads do have heavy recoil, are in somewhat light guns, and some have metal or plastic butt plates. All this can make the recoil to the shoulder excessive. Shooting with a slip on the gun pad, a shooting jacket with Sorbene pad, or using one of those slip on shooting Sorbene pads you wear, all help quite a bit.

Reloading:

Be sure to study the manuals because several have two different reloading levels for 45-70. The lower level is for old single shot Springfields and lever guns and the higher level is for the Ruger No 1 or 3. Don't mix them up! I shoot a 300 grain JHP Remington bulk bullet over 37 grains of IMR4227 at about 1800 FPS, a published load in reloading manuals of years ago. It has the advantage of being less expensive to shoot but is still accurate.

Rifles:

Now, we all have life experiences that sculpt our behavior and mine is that after having a couple of Marlins and helping friends with their Marlins I'll not own one again. Not accurate enough for ME. The Henrys have never impressed me... all glitz and suspect build quality. But you can still have a lever 45-70 but it will take some looking on the used market.

During the 1980's and 90's Browning sold clones of Winchester lever guns made in Japan by Miroku, who makes guns for both Browning and Winchester today. These are beautifully made, had superb fit and finish and were accurate. The one to have is the Browning 1886 in 45-70. There were both a rifle and a carbine. I have several of these Brownings including the 1886. Great guns.

LDBennett
 

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As Gary said, it is fun to shoot. Reloading is cheaper than store bought ammo. But remember that you are reloading a big bullet, and that reload is about the most expensive reload you will do. Lots of brass, lots of lead, and lots of powder! It is easy to reload, and the reloading is fun, as well as shooting the gun. I don't have one myself, but my brother does, and he reloads for it. I shot it too, and of course I reload what ammo I shoot up of his.
 

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Love my 1895 Guide Gun....short,ported barrel,outstanding in tight woods,swamps.I cast my own 405 and 450s....450gr with 3031 at 1400fps-never had anything run after being thumped with that....Tried the 325FTX-they will rock your world-but it's a firm shove.Brass is expensive but I was lucky,I was given 500 in 95 and been using them since.Really a fun round and it's cool to hit the 400yd gong using it like a mortar:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Alright sounds good thanks for the info. I think I'm gunna start shopping. Will the 45-70 go thru a bullet proof vest if need be? Lol.
 

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I have a Browning Mdl. 1886 SRC 45-70. They are great and fun to shoot or hunt with. I cast 350 grs. bullets from WW metal and load light fun plinking loads with Trail Boss Powder. The cost for shooting light loads is very cheap.:)
 

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Its only fun if you think getting hit in the shoulder with a baseball bat is fun. IMO, leverguns are far too light to enjoy shooting the .45/70 round. But thats just my opinion. I had a rolling block that weighed 14 pounds and it still hurt. but I was lobbing 500 gr bullets with that monster.

If you do get a Leveraction .45/70 and it isnt an 1886 winchester (big rifle) grab a dead mule recoil reducer for the buttstock. Itll help alot.
 

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I have a lot of older guns that have a heavy recoil, mostly because of no recoil pad and what works for me is:

http://www.midwayusa.com/brand/past

It is a recoil pad (Past) you wear made of recoil absorbing foam (commonly called Sorbene by others). It makes shooting those old heavy recoiling guns fun to shoot. There is also slip on recoil pads for the gun itself but the better ones also use a form of that Sorbene rubber. The only downer is the rubber in the pads you wear is not forever. A Past pad I have had for over 15 years finally had to be thrown out as the rubber eventually got hard. No problem. I just bought another.

LDBennett
 

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The Guide Gun comes with a pretty good recoil pad and I use slings anyway to shoot,which helps.........but if you've ever made the "mistake" of shooting a 378 or 460 weatherby.....45/70 is'nt much:)
 

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Now, if you want to talk about recoil try a 50 BMG in a bolt gun. That's recoil. It pushes your shoulder back about 12 inches. It doesn't hurt if you do it right and is just a very big push.

But it can be handled by the Past pad on your body and a Sorbene slip on recoil on the AR lower on our BOHICA. The other daunting thing about the 50BMG is the noise. You have to double up the ear protection (buds in the ear and earmuffs) at least on the side of your body where the gunstock is.

I know, some people are more prone to recoil than others and so far it doesn't bother me all that much if I can keep the rifle stock from digging in to the shoulder. The worst I ever got hurt was by a 30/30 in a
Thopmson Contender rifle that I shot all afternoon (at least a 100 shots). I didn't feel it until after packing up and driving away, then it hit me. It took many days before all was right.

LDBennett
 

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45-70 Caliber Long Guns are More Fun than a Box of Lab Pups
Over the years I have played with some different rifles. Never had a Lever Gun all of mine are and were Single Shot Long Guns
Started with a Uberti Sharps Calvery Model. I still do not understand how the Calvery Shot this thing from Horseback and stayed in the Saddle. .
Next was a Uberti High Wall with a Creedmore Sight and 32 In Barrel.Hunted with this one for a few years. Took a few Dear at over 200 Yds with this one.
(New experience , waiting for the Bullet Hit after pulling the Trigger at 200 yds)
Even used some Home Made Black Rounds with this one, but brought the yardage down to 100 Yds or Less when Hunting.
After years of Chirpractor visits and Horse Liniment due to my Recoil HAbit I have gotten wiser as I have gotten older.
Currently I only shot a 22In Barrel H&R 45-70 HandiRifle with a Morgan and a Mule. Shooting Cowboy Action with Low Recoil Black Reloads .

Reloading is usually cheaper and since the 45-70 is a Straight Wall Case the Reloading is not difficult.
 

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and if you do indulge in BP loads, and you should, they are quite enjoyable.. Do yourself a favor and use REAL BP. Its so much better than the subs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I went to Henry and marlin web sites and was looking at the lever action guns. They look pretty nice. Browning is out of my price range. I see one by Rossi, does anyone give Rossi a thumbs up. It's made in brazil. I see they come in different calibers too, 30 30, 44, 30 06, even 357. I want some thing big, something that's loud, you know a head turner at the range. Gotta wait till after Xmas. Then I'll get serious. Thanks for all the input.
 

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get a Marlin levergun in .450 marlin. Its somewhere between .45/70 and /458 win mag in power and recoil. Definitely a loudenboomer of a levergun cartridge.
 

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VERY TRUE ABOUT THE "DEAD MULE". HAY, I HAVE A REMINGTON ROLLING BLOCK (7mm) THAT IS GOING TO GET A 45/70 FACE LIFT.. I HAVE A BARREL WITH A 1-14 TWIST RATE. I PLAN TO SHOOT SLOW (I'M OLDER NOW..) MID WEIGHT BULLETS. WILL THIS FAST TWIST REALLY DE-STABILIZE THE LITTLE SHORT ONES (300 GR) ? I KNOW WHAT ALL THE BOOKS SAY, I'M LOOKING FOR SOME KNOWLEDGE / EXPERIANCE.. ANYONE ?

THANKS - TIM.
 

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No. Accuracy isnt the best when overspun but they wont destabilize. 14 twist, Id shoot 500+ grainers.
 

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THEGUNDOC:

Over stabilization (as defined as shooting bullets that are not right at the minimum Greenhill stabilization but are a shorter bullet for the twist of the barrel) is not bad unless the rate of spin developed by the twist is so high that the bullets were not designed for that high rotation rate and literally fly apart. You can overcome that usually by shooting the bullets slower since the RPM is not only a function of the twist but the velocity of the bullet through the twist of the barrel. Also better bullets can sometimes handle the RPM's, but the choices in 45-70 are not that great. Fortunately you plan to shoot them at lower velocities.

I saw the bullets in my 223 not make it to the target and explode part way there. I was using 52 gr hunting bullets in a barrel meant for 69 gr and heavier. It really is not a stabilization problem but too high of a spin RPM for the bullet design. I could shoot varmint lighter bullets without the problem but the accuracy was not there until I went to 75 gr bullets.

I shoot the 300 gr Remington bulk bullets in my Browning 1886 lever and interestingly they shoot better than the more premium Sierras. I also keep the velocities down at 1800 FPS using H4227 (or IMR 4227).

LDBennett
 

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THANKS, I GUESS THE REAL QUESTION, IS, AM I GOING TO BE DISAPOINTED IN THE ACCURACY OF THE 1-14 BARREL (300 TO 500 GR'S) ? OR SHOULD I JUST START WITH A NEW BARRLE, 1-18 ? ? ?

TIM.
 
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