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The gun that was ported last year that I missed out on was over in Spokane. On my way back home to Nebraska I missed out on another in Missoula Montana because my wife was shopping late and the pawn shop had just closed by the time we got there. Called ahead to Billings Montana to another shop and found a 1895 XLR for $1000. Got the OK from my wife reluctantly and talked the guy down to $850 out the door. The next month later I showed my wife a couple of same guns that just sold for $1400. Now she gets it. Buy low and if you have the will power to sell you can always at minimum break even.
 
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I wanted a factory ported Guide Gun and one without ports, so I acquired both. I haven't fired either, so I can't comment on the noise or muzzle rise comparison. Every discussion I've read about ported .45-70 Marlins has indicated they are deafening when fired under a shooting range roof or from any other enclosure; I think thats very true, especially for people close to the muzzle blast.

I think ports are fine in the open woods. I also think they must provide some real benefit or the concept would have disappeared years ago. They do add an interesting visual feature to the mighty Guide Gun.

 

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Mine has ports and I don't shoot at a range so I don't care if it spooks the birds when I shoot it. I wear hearing protection when shooting targets and almost always hunting too. If it's not too windy they don't bother me and keep my ears warm.
 

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I once shot a round of trap using a bucket of reloads that I just put shells into when I only had a few left in the box.
Some were mag. loads & some trap loads. I was using them just to shoot them up & have them gone. I was using a Rem 1100 with a cutts compensator & muzzle brake on it.
My friend told me each time I hollered pull the shooter on either side of me would kind of tuck their head into their shoulders & flinch.
Now & then I think of that day & kind of chuckle.
I don't recall the gun being any milder to shoot than my plain bbl guns.
 
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