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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will be going to the Alaskan bush this summer and will be taking my Marlin 45/70 Guide Gun - not for hunting but for protection against grizzlies and black bears. I want to take my reload bullets, and I am thinking of using Swift A-Frame 350 grain bullets. I talked to a person at Swift and he advised me to use the 350 grain A-Frames which were made for the 45/70 rather than using the 400 grain A-Frames. I am also thinking of using Alliant Reloader 7 powder. The Lyman reloading handbook (49th edition) has a 350 grain bullet with Reloader 7 starting at 43 grains (1720 fps) and a maximum at 46.5 grains (1908 fps). If I use this powder I intend to use at or near maximum loading.

Does anyone have any experience (good, I hope) with 350 grain A-Frames against grizzlies or black bears? Also, what do you think of Reloader 7 powder for this purpose? Do you have any alternate bullet or powder recommendations, and why?

Thanks for any advice you can give.
Bruce
 

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Have never used the 350 grain A-Frames but I do use RL-7 in all my 45-70 loads and recommend it very highly. It is a clean burning powder that will give you less pressure for the velocity then many other powders.

Domenic
 

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If I were going to hand load specifically for brown bear protection then I would use a bullet that will go in one end and out the other regardless of its entry point. I don't think a 350 grain bullet is capable of that at 45-70 velocities. I would select at a minimum a 425 grain hard cast with a wide meplat. The wide meplat will create the largest wound channel possible from a non-expandable bullet and 425 grain has been proven to go clean through charging grizzly. 525 grain would even be a better choice for this task. Beartooth Bullets offers both of these bullets, their piledriver and piledriver jr. http://www.beartoothbullets.com/
 

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I've used the 350gr Hornady on bears with good results, the A frame is tougher still. I'd doubt penetration is a factor with either bullet and I'd want the larger wound channel an expanding bullet offers.

Cheers

Seabass
 

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El Kabong
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I use R-7 in all my 45-70 loads.
I use 45 gr with a Speer 400gr FN
I also use 40gr with 405 cast.
Either one of those loads will knock down anything in north America.
I'd dont mess with anything smaller
 

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The 350 grain A-Frames are a bit "sticky" and gave me more high pressure signs than other 350 grain bullets. I shot them for quite some time and then finally switched to North Fork bullets.
 

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Kay9Cop said:
The 350 grain A-Frames are a bit "sticky" and gave me more high pressure signs than other 350 grain bullets. I shot them for quite some time and then finally switched to North Fork bullets.
What were you shooting them out of and what kind of pressure signs were you getting. I figured you would have to get the pressure pretty high (above 40,000psi) to see very much if shooting out of an 1895 Marlin. The Marlin 450 is about the same rifle but it can safely take up to 40,000psi. Is that just because it is a belted round? I figured it was a belted round more for the purpose of keeping one from putting these magnum rounds in a older version of the 45-70. Isn't that the main reason Marlin came out with the 450 which is just a 45-70 magnum, to be able to produce a round that could be safely used in the modern guns but put a belt on the cartridge so it could not be used in the older guns? ??? ???
 

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findrichard said:
If I were going to hand load specifically for brown bear protection then I would use a bullet that will go in one end and out the other regardless of its entry point. I don't think a 350 grain bullet is capable of that at 45-70 velocities. I would select at a minimum a 425 grain hard cast with a wide meplat. The wide meplat will create the largest wound channel possible from a non-expandable bullet and 425 grain has been proven to go clean through charging grizzly. 525 grain would even be a better choice for this task. Beartooth Bullets offers both of these bullets, their piledriver and piledriver jr. http://www.beartoothbullets.com/
+1

NOAA apparently standardized on Garrett 540 gr hardcast at 1550 fps (22 in barrel) for grizzly protection. This load is reproducible using Beartooth's 525 gr piledriver. I load 'em in winchester brass and LR primers using 40 gr 3031 for my GBL.
 

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I agree with PC, something big and heavy will do the trick, JB Young's 550gr Crater is also up there with the best of 'em.
 

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I used the 350 Aframe in Africa in my guide loaded to 1945 fps. Had pass through on Kudu shoulder at 220 yds. and lengthwise on a 300 lb Gemsbuc. Came home and shot a 400 lb. black bear quartering away and got full pass through on him too. I dont see any problem with this bullet not performing. I will say do not start with full loads for listed 350 grain bullets with this bullet. It definutely is stickier and makes more preasure. I actually backed off on my loads as I didnt like the recoil which took off my ear protection everytime I shot.
 

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That's some excellent results!

I like the A-Frame, but never took any game with it. Here's a photo of the A-Frame and the Hornady FNSP before, and after being slammed into the water-filled one-gallon milk jugs at nearly 2100 fps. The Swift is on the left:





I was using Hodgdon's H4198, and it's a mighty fine powder for high velocity loads with the .45/70 Marlin. Check out the data avail on Hodgdon's web site:

http://www.hodgdon.com/

The A-Frame really impressed me with the way it managed to hang tough. Both the Swift and the Hornady are good bullets, but obviously the Swift hangs together better - as it should for the price. Penetrates a little deeper too:

350 gr Swift bonded A-frame 2046 fps, 7th jug, 345gr, .71"

350 gr Hornady FNSP 2086 fps, 6th jug, 296gr, .846"

Here's a link to the thread we had on this in 2008: http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php/topic,29839.0.html

Regards, Guy
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everybody - I'm now thinking of a heavier bullet at fairly low speeds. I'm going to try Beartooth Piledriver 525 grain bullets. I spoke with Marshall of Beartooth and he suggested trying 24 grains of Alliant 2400 which should drive these bullets at around 1300 fps. He also said that a maximum load of 29 grains would drive these bullets at around 1600 fps, but the recoil would be considerably increased. Both he and I agreed that the extra 300 fps wouldn't make a whole lot of difference in stopping power. He said that recoil is relatively mild with this load which should allow a quicker 2nd shot if need be. I also think that the mild recoil will allow me extra practice shots, although I am not particularly bothered by recoil.

Again, thanks to everybody who replied to my post. If you have any suggestions about heavier, slower bullets, like the 525 grain Beartooth Piledrivers, I would appreciate your comments.

Bruce Lutz
 

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A very interesting recommendation from Marshall. A lot of folks who have experience are telling us that we don't have to drive
a good cast bullet at the highest achievable velocity possible for it to be effective. I haven't used 2400 for years, but I am struck by the
prospect that I could use this one powder in 45 Colt, 45-70 and in my 25-20. My main concern is that with the 45-70 I like using
powders like H4895 or IMR3031 where accidental double charges are obviated. Of course the 45 Colt presents the same problem and
one lives with that with the various powders one frequently uses. I reload with great care, but have learned how easy it is for screw ups to occur!
The possibility though of only having to keep one kind of powder on hand!
ET
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
ET
Thanks for your comments. I, too, load for the 45 Colt (Ruger Blackhawk) and I hadn't thought about using Allient 2400 for it also - I'll have to try t out. In response to your concerns about double charges, in addition to weighing almost every charge, I have a flexible headed light strapped to my press and I position the head to shine into the cases. Its pretty easy to tell if a charge looks aberrant.
Bruce Lutz
 

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The 350gr A frame out of a levergun smashes grizzly bears. And that A frame is one tough cookie, the boss shot one into a Grizzly at about 30 yds. Result instant dead bear, and rightly so, hard quartering angle allowed him to drive it through the shoulder and smash 3 or 4 vertebrae to bits. We've been using the Swift in our ammo for a couple years now and haven't had any bad reports from the feild.

While your out there you ought to by a black bear tag. Seasons open year round most places and you don't need a guide to hunt them.
 

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A friend gave me 3 boxs of the Swift 350 grain. I have worked up some loads but not tested them yet due to the lovely Wyomng winter which means a lot of wind. There is not published load data for the Swift 350 grain. Becuase of the A-frame design, you CANNOT use load data for other 350 grain loads and be safe. I called Swift and talked with a tech who gave me specific load data for the 45-70 for their bullets. You can get Swift's telephone number off their web sight. They were very helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
IBK 454
Thanks for the info - I'll call Swift later this week to find out what powder/loads they recommend for the 350 grain A-Frame bullets. As I said in an earlier post, I am leaning to a heavier bullet at lower velocities - specifically a 525 grain Beartooth Piledriver pushed at around 1350 fps by 24 grains of Allient 2400. I see 2 advantages with this: (1) less recoil hence more practice shots, and (2) less recoil hence a faster recovery for a 2nd shot if needed.
Bruce Lutz
 

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Common lead 405's driven from 1200fps and up work great on large herbivores that can be several times the size of a grizzly. I think your lead bulllet idea is great. Don't be too suprised to find that is one bullet size larger than you need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Back to square one. Allient emailed me concerning my inquiry about using Allient 2400 with Beartooth's 525 grain Piledriver bullets. They said that because of excessive airspace in the case they did not recommend using 2400. They suggested instead that I use Reloader 7. That's fine with me except I can only find one recipe for Reloader 7 with a 525 grain bullet. That recipe is on Beartooth's website and it says to use 44.3 grains of Reloader 7, but to back it down by 10% and work up from there. With 44.3 grains Beartooth lists the velocity at 1648 out of a 20-inch barrel.

As soon as I get the Beartooth bullets that I ordered, I'll try this recipe starting at 40 grains of Reloader 7 (90% of 44.3 grains) and work up from there. But this may negate my wanting to use Allient 2400 since I wanted a slow (read, less recoil) large bullet to get a second shot off if need be. Maybe backing down Reloader 7 to 40 grains will give me this. Wish I had a chronograph so that I could tell the speed.

Besides this recipe does anyone have another recipe that I could try using Reloader 7, and 525 grain bullet that has a low recoil? Or, if not Reloader 7, any other powder that will give me low recoil with a slow (about 1300 fps) 525 grain bullet.

Bruce Lutz
 
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