Porting For Bear
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  1. #1
    Tenderfoot
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    Porting For Bear

    As you can tell, I am relatively new to this site and to the 45/70 world. I originally purchased my 1895SS, both because the cartridge is incredibly versatile and because I hope to eventually take a black and/or brown bear with it. I grew up on the 12 gauge, so I consider recoil as nothing but a reminder that there's a gun in my hands. With that said, I have never hunted for bear before, so I'm not sure what to expect after sending a 400+ grain bullet its way. How much real world gain in follow up shots should I expect from porting? Or is it so minor that anything gained would be negligible? I'm just not sure how much time I should expect to have after the first shot, before Mr. Grizz is in my face.

    Also, what does everyone carry as a back up? I've read a properly loaded .357 with decent shot placement is enough, but I would like to hear from those that know first hand.

  2. #2
    Gunfighter
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    My Grandma told me that my Grandpa (both on my Mom's side of the family) killed a 300 pound black bear with a 22lr. That was the only gun he had at the time. This was when he had been home from WW1 a few years. I'm going to guess maybe mid 1920s. In the 1970s I hunted a lot with a guy that carried an M-1 Carbine. I helped carry out 2 Black Bears he shot.

    I got my 1895 in 45-70 in response to our state of Tennessee letting the feds release Grizzly Bears about 100 miles from where I live. Not that far from where we go hiking and camping.

    But overall I'm going to say shot placement is 99% of the final result.

    ps I didn't port mine.
    Victor NRA Life Member
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  3. #3
    Distinguished Master
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    Porting generally provides nominal effect for both muzzle climb and recoil control. A brake is better for both but is generally thought to give it's greatest benefit from the prone position to both reduce recoil and help spot your shots. Shooting from the prone with a lever action usually requires you to come off the gun a little bit to cycle the action. I tend to think that most lever actions would benefit most from just a good recoil pad and then practice shooting and cycling the rifle from the shoulder rather than dropping it to a 45 degree angle and bringing it up again. I have a ported 444 and as far as the porting goes, I can take it or leave it.

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  5. #4
    Site Contributor Contributing Member
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    I don't hunt bear but my bear protection while out in the woods is a can of bear spray and a Ruger Alaskan in .454.
    AlaskaDawg and gunscrewguy like this.
    Team .45/70 #375

  6. #5
    Gun Wizard
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    I agree with Mike. The difference in porting your gun is going to be minimal difference. If you practice shooting your gun and cycling the action quickly that should make the difference in your follow up shot. With this gun and the right bullet and you finding the sweet spot your shot placement is the key. Using a 400gr or a little up with a wide meplat will take any North American game. If you reload slug your barrel and then go a couple thousandths over in size on the bullet. The bullet is most effective between 1400 and 1700fps for penetration. Start your reload low velocity and go up till you find the most accurate load. That is half the fun in owning one of these big bores. If your going after griz the minimum I would carry is a 44mag as a backup handgun. Also and just as important, don't go alone. Welcome to the forum and also pics of your newfound big bore is almost a requirement. We all enjoy looking at others new love.
    Bill
    Team 45-70 #1569


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  7. #6
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    Like Mike338 said. Personally, I don't think you will gain anything by porting your 1895. Recoil is not that bad and the noise is abominable. Loading a fresh round in a shooting position is a good skill to learn although I doubt you will find yourself needing a semi-auto - speed follow up shot.

    I killed my first bear with a Marlin 1895 Guide Gun. And, that was before I was bitten by the Marlinitis bug. I had the rifle fitted with a XS Ghost ring set up. Since then, I have used my Steyrs in 376 Steyr and my Remington in 338 RUM. The only bears I have had drop at the shot were when I was using the 338 RUM. That rifle hammered the bears and me too (although I never feel the recoil when shooting at game). I've got a pic somewhere with a bear and me with blood running down my face. It was a running shot in the mountains of British Columbia and I apparently didn't hold quite right. I had a skinned spot on top of my nose.

    The bears shot with the 45-70 and my 376 Steyrs roll when hit and then high tail it into the brush. A few minutes later, I hear the death moan and know he's done. Then I follow the blood trail.

    Your un-ported 1895 will serve you well. Here is a black bear I took with the 376 in northern Alberta. He now watches over me when I sleep. - T.S.

    NRA Endowment Member, Texas State Rifle Association Life Member, Firearms Accumulator, Native Texan, Team 99 #29

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    If you want, I know I've watched video before on YouTube showing comparisons between ported and non-ported rifles, in slow motion as well, and pretty sure they were 45-70's. From what I recall, the muzzle jump, recoil, etc. showed quite a bit of difference between them actually. How much a factor that plays into your Bear hunting probably depends, lol. My 444P model is ported and I like it, but haven't done a side by side comparison myself as far as that goes. Anyway, maybe you can find the videos, and good luck to you.
    Oh.. and no Grizz here, just Black Bears, but I keep a 44mag handy in camp... my son often has the same on his hip.
    Texas Shooter and Victor N TN like this.
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  9. #8
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    What you have is more than enough. Shooting a ported gun without hearing protection, which is next to impossible to do, while hunting will really damage your ears. 180 grn hard cast .357 will work just about as good as anything in a BACK UP role, it's easier to hit with and the recovery time from shot to shot will be superior.
    Victor N TN and Tatersoup like this.

  10. #9
    Tenderfoot
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    Sorry, where are my manners....I need to fire my photographer though!



    1895.jpg

  11. #10
    Wrangler
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeverBoomStick View Post
    Sorry, where are my manners....I need to fire my photographer though!



    1895.jpg
    You chose wisely, very nice setup for your intended use. Enjoy!

    Ray
    LeverBoomStick likes this.
    2007 Marlin 1895 XLR .45/70 - COAL 2.73” Customized, Accurized, & Lever-Tuned by M.L.McPherson

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