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Just wondering what you think the better caliber would be on, say, black bears? I have a 45/70 and have killed two bears in Canada and I also know that any of these caliber's will do the job. But is there one that is best? Are they close to the same ballistics?
 
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Just wondering what you think the better caliber would be on, say, black bears? I have a 45/70 and have killed two bears in Canada and I also know that any of these caliber's will do the job. But is there one that is best? Are they close to the same ballistics?
So, do you like to start off every weekend with a war? Your question will probably start the whole Hatfield and McCoy feud up once again!!! LMAOROF
 

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The 450 Marlin factory loads are hotter generally because the 45/70 factory ammunition is kept to low pressure levels in case someone uses it in an old trapdoor springfield. The presence of those old guns from the 1800's means the public must be protected. So to get the higher performance allowed by modern gun designs and materials the Marlin lawyers wanted a 45/70 like cartridge that could not be chambered in a 45/70 rifle. You can hand load them with the same bullets to the same performance levels.

The presence of all those old guns also means that there is a long history with the cartridge so the availability is much better. Lots of .45 rifle bullets to choose from.

The 444 is based initially on the 44 magnum (.429" diameter) bullet. The smaller bullet translates to higher velocity. Shooting pistol bullets at high velocities can be a problem owing to the somewhat less robust construction in many of them. Better bullets are available today but selection is not as broad as with the 45 caliber rifles.

I see no reason for you to replace your existing rifle. There may be good reasons to consider some reloading equipment if the performance of your ammunition is not to your liking.
 

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Their is no such thing as best when comparing the 444/450/45-70, all three of these are far more similar then different in real world use. All three mild to wild, all three are equal in there uses!

Best is only a opinion, what's best for me may not be for you!
 

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As they say at the Drag Strip, Run what ya Brung. Dead is Dead any way you look at it... How much more overkill can each of these generate? They all will go through a bear. I have a 444 and two 45-70's. If it is raining I'll use my 444XLR stainless and leave the 1895 Cowboy at home. So for me it is more what weather condition will I be looking at.

The bears will never know what hit them.

Ken CO
 
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Black bears are pretty easy to kill. Pick the caliber and rifle you have the most confidence in.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thanks for the info. As far as my 45/70 goes, I was just wondering if I was missing out on an obvious difference that I did not know about. My wife bought me my Guide Gun in 45/70 about 10 years ago to kill bears with, and I love it.

Maybe I'll try this... "Hey Honey, the guys on Marlin Owners says I'll need a new gun for some new breed of killer squirrels invading from the south! Wanna go shopping?"
 

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If you reload, the 45-70 is one of the single most versatile cartridges on the planet. Out of the three it also has the least difficult components to acquire under this environment. That being said, I would not trade my .450 for anything, and I'm still looking for a JM .444.
 
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Isn't there a new law requiring you to own all 3? I hope so because I only have a 444s & 45-70ss.

If I could only have one of these three then the 45-70 would be my choice because of component availability. If you don't handload the 45-70 factory ammo is usually easier to find than the 444 or 450M, but it would be really cool to have a belted LG.:biggrin:


BB
 

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Of the three, the 45-70 will have the highest energy, the 444 will have the highest velocity, but just barely, less than 50fps, over the 45-70 higher performing loads. In your case you don't have to be too concerned with pressures from higher performance loads because you own a Marlin 1895, Buffalo Bore, Garrett, HSM, factory loads will all exceed any 450 Marlin loads available, and all are safe to shoot in your Marlin as long as it is a modern or of current manufacture.

The above statements are all based on factory loaded ammunition available.
 

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Of the three, the 45-70 will have the highest energy, the 444 will have the highest velocity, but just barely, less than 50fps, over the 45-70 higher performing loads. In your case you don't have to be too concerned with pressures from higher performance loads because you own a Marlin 1895, Buffalo Bore, Garrett, HSM, factory loads will all exceed any 450 Marlin loads available, and all are safe to shoot in your Marlin as long as it is a modern or of current manufacture.

The above statements are all based on factory loaded ammunition available.
All very true, but the best big bore is of course the 444!
 

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Of the three, the 45-70 will have the highest energy, the 444 will have the highest velocity, but just barely, less than 50fps, over the 45-70 higher performing loads. In your case you don't have to be too concerned with pressures from higher performance loads because you own a Marlin 1895, Buffalo Bore, Garrett, HSM, factory loads will all exceed any 450 Marlin loads available, and all are safe to shoot in your Marlin as long as it is a modern or of current manufacture.

The above statements are all based on factory loaded ammunition available.
Theres factory and then there's custom, in factory ammo the 450 is #1 in energy and the 444 is #2, in custom ammo who knows! If you include custom, then you must include hand loads, so it goes on, and on! The real question is at what cost your will willing to pay with your wallet and shoulder! If either one of those or both is no issue, then all three are so similar in performance, that no game animal or human could tell who was shot with what!
 

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Tis a slippery slope. Started with a 444s, then a 45-70 Classic, then an 1985G. Couldn't stop myself. Had to have the 444P and finally an 1895M. Told the wife "But I NEEED the set!! She usually just shakes her head and laughs. As long as I get her one every now and again. Somewhere along the way an 1984CB slipped in. Decisions, decisions, which one to shoot? Can't afford to shoot them all so some get left out!

Oh, and I don't know which one is best. Like em all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks Joe. I'm glad I didn't ask you "Ford or Chevy". LOL
 

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I guess you could consider Buffalo Bore and Garrett custom loads because of their cost, but they are in fact factory loaded and readily available and produce higher energy than any 450 load available, HSM, costs just about what you would pay for 450 Hornady loads, maybe a little less.
 

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Well since the 444 guy's started it I guess I'll have to stick up for the 45-70 guy's.
45-70 is the the way to go! Nothing against 44 cal but 44 cal is what I use as my back up. Not really that you need a back up with the mighty thunder of the 45-70:biggrin:
20140322_135008.jpg

All joking aside I agree 100% with all that have said that you can go wrong with any of them. Especially when you reload
 
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The difference for the most part is in the factory ammo...a few folks have pointed that out already. I've owned all three and I reload, so I can make them all perform very similarly. I do notice that the 450Marlin cycles better than the 45-70 for the most part, but you wouldn't really notice the difference unless you had the same type of rifle in the different calibers and used them back to back. Since the 450Marlin uses a shorter case you can get it up to pressure faster with less powder than the 45-70, but honestly, I'm knitpicking. They are very close if you reload! I use the same bullets for both, same powder, primers etc. but I do use a different die set! I'd say it's a win win no matter what you choose, and the biggest difference will become finding brass, for that the 45-70 would definitely win out!
 
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