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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From a Ranger Point Precision Email
Found it straight forward and simple to understand.



Marlin 1895: Myth Versus Reality

The relatively strong 1895 platform (compared to the Springfield “trap door”) could launch some very potent .45-70 govt. loads, and the combination has thrived in the world of big/dangerous game hunting ever since its appearance.

Its prowess is legendary.

The trouble with the legend is that it begins to shroud reality in myth. Back when we were building custom Marlin leverguns, on countless occasions, we fielded this question: “Why don’t you guys chamber such and such cartridges in the 1895? I mean it’s the strongest Marlin action, isn’t it?”
This misconception seems particularly rooted in the idea that the 1895 is unique among its lesser peers, and this is rooted in a misunderstanding of Marlin’s model nomenclature.


It’s important to recognize that Marlin currently makes two centerfire rifle platforms:
  1. the small format 1894, which fires revolver pistol cartridges and always has 1894 in the model designation: and
  2. the large format platform which fires rifle cartridges and has been known by several model designations, among them 308, 338, 336, 444, and 1895. These are all the same receiver.
The 1895 is a more heavily modified 336 action, but not in any way that increases strength. In fact, the 1895 is the weakest 336 action, because a significant amount of material has to be removed to accommodate the large .45-70 cartridge.
In addition, the 1895 is also limited by chamber strength. To accommodate the 45-70's half-inch diameter case body, the barrel's chamber walls are a mere .1” thick, mated to a receiver with lowered hoop strength. While this arrangement is perfectly adequate for the mild .45-70 factory loads for which it was designed, the 1895 should not be seen as tank-like and indestructible, for it is not.
I have it on good authority that more than a few have been destroyed by overzealous hand loaders. So a shout out to all Marlin 1895 owners, be mindful when loading that ammo.

That's Not All Though...

Have you heard of the Marlin 450M? We'll write about this third platform at a later date but suffice it to say the 450M was #MarlinStrong platform. It's too bad Marlin stopped it's production so quickly.
 

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There are numerous reports of M1895s with expanded receivers and threaded sections of the barrel. I remember being derided a decade ago by some know-it-alls when I suggested that the M1895 may not be as strong as some imagined at the time. Seems I was proven right, it’s not just about the receiver’s strength in compression, the barrel matters too.



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I run out of recoil tolerance at 500+ grain bullets and 35.5 Kpsi. If that combo isn't enough, I figure I just need a bigger cartridge. I can get the Beartooth Piledriver to 1530 fps with Starline brass and H322 in my Guide gun, a little faster if I use WW brass at the same pressure. That'll kill anything I'm inclined to hunt with that rifle.

My favorite load for big animals is a Beartooth Piledriver Jr and 28 to 30 Kpsi., that translates to 1650 to 1680 fps in my GG with H322/Starline brass. I've only shot black bear, pigs, and deer with that load, but nothing has stopped a bullet yet. I have no doubt it would work with elk, moose, and big bear. It has a flatter trajectory and slightly less recoil than the 525 grain bullet, too.
 

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I for the life of me can't understand why someone would seek loads hotter than what the 1895 action can handle anyways. Upper end Marlin 95/Win 86 loads are punishing enough.
this is exactly what happened with the trend of inclined and elongated chopper forks & gooseneck frames: at some point there were always those who had to have the most inclined and longest, to the point of creating freak bikes
 

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And this is why I'd really love to see Ruger bring back the ORIGINAL 1895 action. I'm lucky enough to have one in 33CF. With modern steels and metallurgy with proper heat treatment, then you could run high pressure big bore loads. The design already exists, it's simply a scaled up 336.

The 450M and the 338MX are the actions currently to hotrod.
V barrel threads and smaller rims get more meat back in to the action, where it counts.
 

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I received this same email and responded to RPP (Adam Devine) who was kind enough to write back to me in detail.

He knows for certain the Marlin receivers are milled from forgings, which makes them the strongest possible.
I was asking if the Henry version is more sturdy than the Marlin... short answer was "no".

As noted above, the 450M is the ticket for a strong action and hot loads.
Interesting aside: I saw a ballistics article where the 30-06 still delivers more down-range energy with superior B.C. bullets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I guess because a 405g bullet being let loose at 1700+fps MV rattles the brain they think the 45-70 Govt is a High Power Cartridge and the Marlin 1895 as being a High Power Rifle.
 

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I have a Jm Marlin cowboy in 45-70 that handles 405g perfectly.
I recently found a few boxes of Hornady Lever revolution 325g flex tip.
I'm looking forward to trying this ammo out.
 

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I have a Jm Marlin cowboy in 45-70 that handles 405g perfectly.
I recently found a few boxes of Hornady Lever revolution 325g flex tip.
I'm looking forward to trying this ammo out.
I like the flex tips. But be prepared for it to shoot a little high till you dial it in

Sent from my KFKAWI using Tapatalk
 

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Personally I feel where the FTX bullets really come into their own is the 308MX, and the 338MX.
Enough length and boattails to really stretch out the range, check out the BCs at Hornady. In the 45cal the bullet itself is just to short and stubby, it's a shorter range heavy hitter. The smaller calibers are now genuine 300yd lever action cartridges. I doubt if Hornady will do an FTX in 38-55, perhaps the recent surge in popularity of the cartrige/caliber will prod them in to development of a long range .378 bullet. The cowboy shooters are already hitting gongs with 'em at half a mile. I've got one of the modern CBs that you could crank up a bit with a 240gr bullet. Ya' gotta' love those straight walled cartridges for accuracy and ease of loading.

Been working up my newly acquired 32-20CL, got to the range last week for the first time. Still dialing in the scope, and got some lead bullets in today for it. I'll have to try the FTX 110gr that Hornady has. I'm hoping it's not too long in the nose for COAL restrictions in the short 1894 action. Paco Kelly and others have some pretty warm "express" loads for a strong rifle. Be a nice lightweight deer cartridge with proper placement. With a BC of .340, should reach out pretty good, and Hornady rates it as a "medium" game rifle bullet, up to 300#s.
 

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If you want 458 win power. get a 458. 45-70 can be warmed up some. but use common sense.
Ruger #1 or Magnum Bolt Gun if you need 458 win, 460 weatherby performance. Black Powder in a 45-70 with 400+ gr soft cast bullets has taken most things on 4 legs all over the North American continent.

A 300 - 325 gr bullet at higher velocities is a great round. Expect a lot of blood shot meet though.

I have learned that most things work best when used in the lane they were designed for.

If you want to push the 45-70 or 45-90, consider a Winchester 1886. The modern Miroku made 1886 is a work horse. The 1895 is a riding horse by comparison. Just pick one up and you will immediately understand the structural differences.

I shoot a 350 and 540 gr paper patch 40-1 alloy at velocities less than 1,500 fps using smokeless powder in my 1886. Because the action will handle 45-90 OAL length, I can seat a bore ride bullet longer if needed. With 40-1 alloy, expansion and penetration are guaranteed. 5744 is truly gold dust in original BP cartridge rifle cases. BP is what 5744 was originally designed to replace!

Sometimes we just need to look back at the notes from those that came before us left to find what we are looking for!
 

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I fired some 5477 loads yesterday. They weren't quite a BP emulation load, but close enough to let me know that it may be something to look into. The bullet was a little lighter at 367 grains.

A 405 grain cast bullet at 1350 fps is going to be much more pleasant to shoot than what I normally fire frim my GG.. I guess heavier bullets at 1650+ fps has its place, but shooting <150 lb deer at 50 yards is not it.

5744 has made life pleasant in one little part of my world.
 

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I fired some 5477 loads yesterday. They weren't quite a BP emulation load, but close enough to let me know that it may be something to look into. The bullet was a little lighter at 367 grains.

A 405 grain cast bullet at 1350 fps is going to be much more pleasant to shoot than what I normally fire frim my GG.. I guess heavier bullets at 1650+ fps has its place, but shooting <150 lb deer at 50 yards is not it.

5744 has made life pleasant in one little part of my world.

Vic,

I also have a 260 gr mold for the 45-70. It looks like a scaled up 45 Colt Cowboy design. I use 15 gr +/- a few thousandths of Herco and push that light plain base bullet to 1,600 fps using 25-1 alloy. Plenty for White Tail. Turn your 45-70 into a 44 mag! Good medium game and great practice low cost round.

BTW: One other good powder choice for cast bullets is 4198.
 

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I for the life of me can't understand why someone would seek loads hotter than what the 1895 action can handle anyways. Upper end Marlin 95/Win 86 loads are punishing enough.
Yup - recoil gets rough - and dang - with published 45-70 Marlin load data, even the big bears & such can be taken.

Some folks seem to think they're buying a lever action 458 Win Mag... :)

Guy
 

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I tried 5744 with 275 gr LFP and Hornady 300 gr JHP (#4500) up to 40 gr. Same powder with a CP 405 gr PB. Accuracy in my Trapper was mediocre at 50 yards (no scope, XS sights). Tried H 322 with similar results. Tried IMR 4198 at 45 gr and presto, .750" or less at 50 yards. Alas finding more of it now is impossible, but I DO have 4 pounds of Trailboss to plink with while I wait for more 4198.
 
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