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Hi Guys.

I have always wanted a Marlin lever action, and now I have a legitimate reason to get one. Next spring I am taking my 15yo son on a bear hunt in Manitoba. I believe that the .45/70 would be good black bear medicine, but I have some concerns over recoil and factory ammo. I do not plan on reloading. Just to clarify, this is the gun I will be shooting, not my son. I have hunted whitetails in Iowa for 26 years shooting numerous different slug guns and ammo, in both 12ga. and 20ga.. I have always taken great pride in the accuracy of my slug guns so I am no stranger to shooting these weapons from the bench. I also spent several years thinking that shooting a couple of boxes of 3.5" goose loads per day, for several days in a row, out of a Benelli SBE, at geese was fun. I also spent 10 years shooting about 4,000 12ga rounds on the trap range every summer. Here are my questions: First, without having the ability to shoot an 1895 in .45/70 prior to buying one, do you all think that my prior shooting experience will have conditioned me well enough for the .45/70 cartridge recoil. Second, are there lower recoil factory rounds that would be sufficient for black bear inside 80 yards. Third, is there any different in recoil between the standard 1895 and the shorter barreled guide guns (although I like the looks of the longer standard barrel better). Lastly, what are some factory rounds you might recommend for black bear. Thanks you all in advance. Rick
 

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Howdy Richter and welcome to Marlinowners!

Man.... you better be ready for recoil that'll rock your world! NOT!!! Ha! Just had to mess with ya.

The 45-70 is a pretty amazing caliber. It's been around almost as long as cartridge type ammo has existed and is still going strong. Probably more popular than ever in fact. You can reload anything from 145 grain collar buttons bullets up to 525gr cast lead bullets and vary the powder charge so a 6 year old can handle it easily or where many grown men won't want to shoot more than 2 or 3 rounds.

Factory ammo is quite mild. Even the Leverevolution stuff. My daughter used my 1895 to take her first deer when she was 11. My son tried it with factory ammo when he was 9 and it was a bit much but with the light handloads he did fine. I ended up buying him a Marlin in 35 Remington and he loves it. Handles it well too!

I can tell you for a certainty that 12 gauge slugs kick a LOT more than most 45-70 ammo and that's including handloads of normal power. Maybe not if shot out of a good autoloader but for darned sure when shot out of a pump. I don't forsee you having any problems at all except one....

Once you get that rifle you're gonna want other marlins like a 35 Remington, a 444, a 30-30 etc etc.

Buy the rifle and enjoy!
 

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recoil out of the 45-70 can be stout, but i dont think it's any worse than a magnum slug. the shorter barrel will have more muzzle flip, though not necessarily more recoil.

as far as ammo,
Remington:
Velocity (ft/sec)
Cartridge Type Bullet Muzzle 100 200 300 400 500
Remington® Express® 300 1810 1497 1244 1073 969 895
Remington® Express® 405 1330 1168 1055 977 918 869

Energy (ft-lbs)
Cartridge_Type Bullet Muzzle 100 200 300 400 500
Remington® Express® 300gr 2182 1492 1031 767 625 533
Remington® Express® 405gr 1590 1227 1001 858 758 679

Hornady LeverEvolution 325gr
Muzzle 100 200 300
2050/3032 1729/2158 1450/1516 1225/1083

Shot placement is more essential than brute force, and factory rounds are more than manageable in terms of recoil.

If you're still conserned about all out power, look at buffalo bore.
 

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Richter said:
Hi Guys.

I have always wanted a Marlin lever action, and now I have a legitimate reason to get one. Next spring I am taking my 15yo son on a bear hunt in Manitoba. I believe that the .45/70 would be good black bear medicine, but I have some concerns over recoil and factory ammo. I do not plan on reloading. Just to clarify, this is the gun I will be shooting, not my son. I have hunted whitetails in Iowa for 26 years shooting numerous different slug guns and ammo, in both 12ga. and 20ga.. I have always taken great pride in the accuracy of my slug guns so I am no stranger to shooting these weapons from the bench. I also spent several years thinking that shooting a couple of boxes of 3.5" goose loads per day, for several days in a row, out of a Benelli SBE, at geese was fun. I also spent 10 years shooting about 4,000 12ga rounds on the trap range every summer. Here are my questions: First, without having the ability to shoot an 1895 in .45/70 prior to buying one, do you all think that my prior shooting experience will have conditioned me well enough for the .45/70 cartridge recoil. Second, are there lower recoil factory rounds that would be sufficient for black bear inside 80 yards. Third, is there any different in recoil between the standard 1895 and the shorter barreled guide guns (although I like the looks of the longer standard barrel better). Lastly, what are some factory rounds you might recommend for black bear. Thanks you all in advance. Rick
Rick--

Where are you located in Iowa ? I have an 1895 CB in 45-70 on it's way to me right now. If we're not to far apart I'd be more than happy to let you shoot mine, I'm on the East Shore--right on the Mississippi river.

Steve
 

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Richter,

Welcome to the site.

If you've been shooting a 12 Ga with 3.5" slugs or even heavy goose loads, you'll have NO problem with a 45-70.

I have two 45-70's. Both are CB's wearing the hard rubber buttplate, and have never even considered them to kick hard. (Hard to me is a Rem 870 with 3" slugs.........I find that to be a little unpleasant).........

I see NO need for a recoil pad and any other recoil reducing feature on my 45-70's.
IMO, the shorter 45-70 may recoil a bit differently due to the short length, but the Marlin 45-70 loaded with std 45-70 ammo,or even loads rated specifically for the Marlin will be no problem for you.

My favorite 45-70 is a shortie that weighs a bit less than 6.25 lbs........I have no problems shooting that rifle off the bench wearing a only a tee shirt for recoil protection..........I only load 300 and 350 gr bullets, not the 405's or the super heavy weight stuff that others like to use, but these loads are traveling at 1800+ FPS, and I think they'll handle Black Bear just fine.

Others may have a different view, but then, everybody is different, too............I'm 5' 7" and 163lbs

Hope this helps in your decision

Tom
 

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The green box remington 405 has very light recoil. It also would be very effective over bait for black bear--- easy choice for the nonreloader.
 

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Tom--

That's good to know--I'm 5'-10" and 175 lbs. so I'm hoping I have the same results as you. I too will be using an 1895CB--waiting for it to get here. Hopefully get to try it out this weekend.

Steve
 

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Here's a comment that many may disagree with but it is in fact the truth. The more you weigh and the more muscle you have the GREATER the felt recoil will be!!!!!When your a lightweight you move with recoil thus feeling less of it if your a heavyweight and absorbing a lot more recoil and not moving as much with it you will definately feel more recoil. FRJ
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you for all of your replies. I am finding them very helpful.

h-bomb, I too am more concerned about shot placement rather than brute force. I had first been considering a 336 in .35 Rem, but the more I researched the more I seemed drawn to the 1895. It just pleases my eye a little more. So that left me with the .444, .450, or .45/70 options. It seemed like the .45/70 had the most options for ammo. Who knows, maybe some day I will decide to reload too.

Here's another question, I have a red dot sight that used to reside on one of those fun 870 slug guns. Has anyone ever tried one of of those on an 1895? Given the distances we might encounter with bear over bait it seems like that might be a good fit, or possibly some type of peep sight. Any thoughts?
 

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personally, i run a Williams peep sight, Skinner makes great sights also.

A lot of people run red dots on thier 1895s with great success..you may consider a peep sight backup with the red dot mouted on an XS lever scout mount. Of the 3 big bores you mentioned, the 45-70 definately has the widest selection of factory loads.

you could also mount the red dot over the reciever and retain the factory irons. the choice is yours and all the options you have mentioned are proven winners.
 

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buckeyeshooter said:
The green box remington 405 has very light recoil. It also would be very effective over bait for black bear--- easy choice for the nonreloader.
Good choice!.Black bears are not that tough if you place your shot right...I have taken 7 of them over bait with 30-06 7MM Rem mag 338 WM and 12 gauge with 00 buck...all were about 50 yds, except 12 gauge, about 20 yds while baiting..DRT..Im sure anything in the 300 gr. or 405 well drop the bear like a stone, hope this helps....Lou
 

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Welcome to the forum.

The 45-70 is a great round. Recoil wise, you won't have any issues with the factory loads.

JD338
 

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I just picked up my first 1895, and I don't find recoil to be an issue at all with the factory ammo I have shot so far (Hornady LE 325 gr). Noticeable, by no means unpleasant. I'm looking forward to some different loads.

I have a nuisance black bear where I live, quite large. The Rem 870 remains loaded with magnum 00, and the 1895 is now on the other side of the bed.

Here's a recent pic from my front yard:

 

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JD338 said:
Welcome to the forum.

The 45-70 is a great round. Recoil wise, you won't have any issues with the factory loads.

JD338
X2...I love this rifle, I plan to use it for moose this year!...My first choice (here in Canada) was win pt golds (can't get any)..barnes vor-tex 2nd and federal 300 gr hot cor..also win dual bond would get the nod!..too bad all the other good stuff can't be shipped here?.either way, you well do just fine ;)
 

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Welcome Richter :) You gonna get the strait grip or pistol grip... Not gonna matter you will love it and the Rem 405 gr are mild.
 

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I don't think recoil will be an issue if you've been a hard core shot gunner for years. I don't know if your in Canada or USA but factory ammo does differ. Regardless, Remington 405gr factory load would be a great load for bb and easier recoil than the 300hp @ 1800 (win/rem). If you get into handloads, the old 45/70 can really shine, and be fantastic BB medicine.
 

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The 1895 in .45-70 is great black bear medicine. You won't be dissapointed. I have taken 3 nice bears over the past year with a std cowboy and a shortened, (18.5 in.), cowboy at 165yds, 70 yds, and about 25yds. One DRT, and niether of the others went 10 yards. My load is Randy Garrett's hard cast, gas checked, 420grain Hammerhead, at 1850fps. This is a stout custom loaded round, and while it can be a little unconfortable to shoot off the bench while sighting in, it is no problem whatsoever in the field.
While black bears are not any tougher than any other animal to kill with a heart lung shot, I would still recomend hard hitting, heavy, non expanding bullets and low power optics with illumination, as there are two things that make them more difficult to put down and/or recover in the field.
First, precise shot placement can be problematic, particularly with iron sights, due to their black color, and the amount of fat and hair that to some extent camoflages their body outline.
Second the same fat and hair absorbs blood and closes wounds, so there is little blood trail to follow. Many mortally wounded bears are not recovered every year.
With a hard, good penetrating round, you can aim right at the shoulder, eliminating the guess work involved with a behind the shoulder shot. You will get full penetration, breaking both shoulders so the bear can't run far, still hit the vitals with both your bullet and bone frags, and leave an entrance AND and exit wound to bleed.
Hit the shoulder, or any heavy bone, with an expanding lightweight, or a low power round and your results are more of a crapshoot. with those bullets the behind the shoulder shot is better, but the point of aim problems mentioned above remain. Not saying a lot of bears haven't been taken with the lighter stuff, but if you can handle the slightly increased recoil, why not have the insurance policy.
 

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Any factory ammo will work well for black bears,i hand load but have tried some factory ammo and the Winchester 300 grain bullets are very accurate in both my 45/70's try a few different brands and use what shoots best you might want to try federal they i believe use the speer uni core 300 grain in there blue box and they also load the 45/70 in there fusion line. if you do not want heavy recoil factory loads then for now stay away from buffalo bore and grizzly ammo. good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks again for all of teh feedback guys.

me - I haven't made up my mind yet on the model or grip yet.
winky - Nice looking gun and bears.

New question, I will be traveling into Canada for this bear hunt. I believe their regulations require a minimum barrel length of 18.5". Has anyone had any trouble taking a guide length 1895 into Canada?

Thanks again for all the great information!
 
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