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Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

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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.
 

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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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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. :tee:
 

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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. :laugh:

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. :biggrin: - T.S.

 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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The Grizzly I had to shoot I used a shorter barrel (18") Marlin 45-70 loaded with heavy Buffalo Bore ammo. I had already shot it with 3 rounds of 300 WSM and it was still moving toward our camp where we had guests. It was going to die from two of those shots. One round of the 45-70 stopped and likely killed it. I don't know as by that time I moved to the side and put one more insurance round into him. Most important by far was shot placement as noted earlier and a great dog that kept distracting the bear as it was trained to do.

Hunting one? I have never done that but friends who are guides to a person (One is a classic Alaska skilled, tough, sharp woman.) hate ported, braked rifles. LOUD and end the ability to hear at an awkward moment. General rule is learn to safely, smoothly work a rifle of suitable power for animal hunted. If it requires a port or brake find another rifle or practice more.

You have a great rifle in the Marlin 45-70. Properly loaded and used they are power tools for anything in North America to hunt.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Officer29, reloading is on the horizon, just on the distant horizon...for now, I rely on BB, Hornady and HSM to get me through days at the range. Any cast boolit makers you recommend?
 

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Officer29, reloading is on the horizon, just on the distant horizon...for now, I rely on BB, Hornady and HSM to get me through days at the range. Any cast boolit makers you recommend?
If your going to use commercial ammo to start with for hunting HSM makes a fine round and also Cor Bon makes a great round for hunting. Sorry about info for cast boolit makers. I cast my own 405gr with a GC and also a 465gr with a GC. I'm sure someone here on the forum buys their cast boolits and can steer you in the right direction. I believe HSM and Cor Bon both make the 430gr cast with a large meplat and that round will take anything you hunt or come across including dino's. Also that is a fine looking rifle. You done well. :top:
 

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Number 1 rule I learn when bear hunting is to hunt with someone slower than you. And hey now, I know some of y'all thunk that so dont lie.
 

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i have back up shot numerous black bears with a marauder carbine in 30-30 170 grain and a homemade 375 marlin marauder carbine in 250 grain, im new to the 45-70 it seems like most of what you here on this forum is hunting with a 45-70 shoots 400 plus grain bullets do the 300,325 weight bullets not perform decent out of a 45-70 my neighbor shoots federal 300 grain soft points on bear and swears by them ,any input would be appreciated
 

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No to porting. Between 1350-1700 you should need it. Spend the money on a good Marlin specific pad, have the rifle/pad fitted for you. Practice! Walk the woods with confidence.
 
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Back up, your talking about a .357 for back up when you have a 45/70 in your hands, no offense meant or intended, but give me a break!

Always and forever, the most effective medicine for something like a bear with a bad attitude is the rifle in your hand!

A handgun is better then a sharp stick, but not by much and not at all when compared to your rifle.

Then, Beartooth Bullets or Laser Cast among others can supply you good Wide Flat Nose (WFN) bullets, the best being those of 400 or more grains in weight.

Forget the term "hard cast" unless it also comes with measured hardness figures. The term has NO established hardness measurement by which to judge that hardness, so simply forget the term as it basically means nothing. Harder then what, softer the what. The term means little to nothing.

Take a 400+ WFN at a velocity of 1400 - 1700fps - forget light for caliber bullets and warp velocities!! - and it will take care of any situation you may find yourself in, PROVIDING your shots are well placed. A poorly placed shot from a 505 Gibbs is still a poorly placed shot.

The Wide Flat Nose cast bullet is nothing less the AWESOME in the results department.. Loooong penetration, good wound channel and great results on game.

As said, forget warp velocities as anything much above 1700fps with the 400+ grain WFN gives nothing but diminishing returns including decreased penetration.

Image shown is of a before and after of a 465gr WFN with a muzzle velocity of 1650fps. Probably the only one I'll ever find and taken from a big cow elk after a quartering shot.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot

005.JPG
 

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Crusty Deary Ol Coot;2395592 Forget the term "hard cast" unless it also comes with measured hardness figures. The term has NO established hardness measurement by which to judge that hardness said:
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Crusty,
This is taken from Buffalo Bore's website and it will give the definition of the term "hard cast ' as they use it. Like many things it is a relative term.

"Differences Between 'Lead' & 'Hard Cast' Bullets Untitled Document The Differences between 'Lead' Bullets and 'Hard Cast' BulletsMany gun owners refer to hard cast bullets as 'lead' bullets. In most cases, they do not understand the drastic differences or they would not use such an inaccurate generalization. This generalization is as inaccurate a generalization as referring to all motorized vehicles as Volkswagens.
Hard cast bullets may contain some lead and be grey in color, but that is where the similarities stop. Hard cast bullets can be formulated of numerous alloy mixes (antimony, silver, tin, etc) containing some lead, but the alloys make the bullet much harder than pure lead. Pure lead has a Brinell hardness # of about 4. Most hard cast bullets will have a Brinell hardness # of 11 to 30 and as such are several times harder than lead.
Generally speaking, a properly designed, sized and lubed hard cast bullet will not leave lead alloy deposits in a rifled barrel, but pure lead bullets will almost always foul a barrel to the point of a total loss of accuracy (with very few rounds fired) and perhaps to the point that the barrel will split or worse. ( see my essay on 'Dangerous Pure Lead Cowboy Ammunition' ) I am employing many abstractions here, as there are a number of ways to make a hard cast bullet foul your barrel and make a pure lead bullet not foul, but on the whole, what I have written in this paragraph is accurate.
Depending on certain variables, in many instances and for many uses, hard cast bullets will not deform or 'mushroom' when they impact living mammal tissues, but lead bullets will deform or 'mushroom' at very low impact speeds. Lead bullets will deform and have much less penetration while hard cast bullets will maintain their shape and penetrate deeply however, this requires using sufficiently hard alloy mixes, matched with intended impact speeds on the intended medium.
Hard cast bullets can be alloyed and designed for hunting large and dangerous game where deep penetration is needed - a lead bullet cannot be used this way. I shudder every time a customer refers to our beautiful hard cast hunting bullets as 'lead' bullets. It happens almost daily.
This short essay could not cover all the variables of/and the differences between hard cast and lead bullets - it would take a large book to do that, but hopefully it sheds some light on the on the general/gross differences." Buffalo Bore

I pulled out my Lee Hardness Testing Kit and tested 5 different bullets. This is what I found, Cast Performance LBT Style Heat Treated Solid 405 gr. WLFNGC = 22.3 BHN. Buffalo Arms CO #457125.459 = 14.3 BHN. A paper patch bullet I cast in 20 to 1 = 9.8 BHN. The bullets I cast in 30 to 1 and swaged pure lead bullets my tester doesn't have on it's spec sheet.

I would call the bullet you picture "Hard Cast" Because it certainly did not mushroom, and I believe most bullet makers will provide their customers with the BHN and or alloy content of their bullets.

Jake
 
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