Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 28

Thread: 45/70 Just For Bear Protection, or Dedicated Bear Gun?

  1. #1
    Member NDTerminator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Devils Lake ND
    Posts
    262

    Default 45/70 Just For Bear Protection, or Dedicated Bear Gun?

    The Bear Charge Survey thread raised this question for me, and I didn't want to go too far off topic there.

    Is a 45/70 reserved for use as a Bear Protection gun, or is it also used up there as an all around bear/moose gun (within it's appropriate range in close-moderate cover)?

    I've had a couple of Marlins (the 1895 as well as a couple Guide Guns) because I enjoy loading & shooting the 45/70. May have to pick up a Stainless Guide Gun if I can find one this weekend...

  2. #2

    Default 45-70

    With the proper load/bullet, within it's appropriate range, the 45-70 would work just fine for bear/moose, not just for bear protection.

  3. #3

    Red face

    I hope it works, cause thats what I use, and I'm happy.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Interior Alaska
    Posts
    893

    Default

    NDTerminator,

    The Marlin .45-70 will take considerable chamber/breech pressures, in contrast to the less-adept .444, as you're likely aware.

    With the right bullet and load, the .45-70 is an excellent moose and bear gun, and with the sheer size of it, it's less affected by small brush than some of the faster, sleeker calibres.

    It's a 'brush buster' that can aquire some decent range when loaded properly.

    Just my opinion.

    ruffle

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,293

    Default

    I haven't shot the new ballistic bullets yet, but I'm sure they increase range. I have a 45/70 and absolutely love it. I didn't shot a moose last year (my partner did) but that is what I was planning on using. Made the butchering a little easier on my mind too.

  6. #6
    Member nibenza's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    167

    Thumbs up 45/70

    I have hunted here most of my life. Except for a couple of mountain trips we have always hunted the rivers and calling where the shots are rarely over 150 yards. That's why I bought a Guide Gun. I didn't get a chance to hunt last year but will this. I love the way it handles and shoots. If they are alittle out of range you just got to bring them in a little closer. I also feel a little safer walking around in tight areas sounding like dinner.

  7. #7

    Default .45-70

    The .45-70 is a tried and true thumper in it's own right. With the right bullets, it is up to the challenge on any animal walking. The only limiting drawback is it's range, and as has already been said, if it is too far, just get closer. The one thing to remember is to use a stout bullet and NEVER a hollowpoint, as you want good penetration. And, don't try to make it something it isn't, such as loading it to .458 Win Mag pressures, because it isn't necessary and it may hurt you more than what it's pointed at. I have a Guide gun and just love it. Had an older 1895 and like a dummy, I traded it. I sure like this cartridge for up here. It's a thumper.

    If that's all you have or want, you will be in good company up here. You will take a backseat to no one.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Kenai
    Posts
    1,888

    Default

    Ruffle, I am a 45-70 fan, but disagree that the .444 takes a back seat in the power dept. The advantage to the 45-70 is the 350+ gr bullets available.
    Here's what Corbon has to say about the .444 Marlin with their ammo.

    "While the 444 Marlin may not be as common as its cousin the 45-70Govt, it has a definite edge on power. The overwhelming popularity of the new lever action carbines has generated a explosive interest in this caliber. This is a powerhouse, capable of thumping the nastiest of bears or the biggest moose. Cor-Bon helps it keep the edge with two energy packed loads. Don't underestimate the compact power delivered by these loads. This is as good as it gets! ".
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  9. #9

    Talking Vance

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance in AK View Post
    Ruffle, I am a 45-70 fan, but disagree that the .444 takes a back seat in the power dept. The advantage to the 45-70 is the 350+ gr bullets available.
    Here's what Corbon has to say about the .444 Marlin with their ammo.

    "While the 444 Marlin may not be as common as its cousin the 45-70Govt, it has a definite edge on power. The overwhelming popularity of the new lever action carbines has generated a explosive interest in this caliber. This is a powerhouse, capable of thumping the nastiest of bears or the biggest moose. Cor-Bon helps it keep the edge with two energy packed loads. Don't underestimate the compact power delivered by these loads. This is as good as it gets! ".
    I just looked at the Hodgdon manual, and it shows that the 45-70 bottom load for the trapdoor is 200fps faster than the 444 w/300 grain jacketed bullets. The middle load (marlin) is 400fps, and the top load is 500 fps. I don't know what cor-bon is loading for the 444(modern guns) but loads for modern 45-70 really over powers it, and that's not even getting into the Rugers, brownings and hi-walls. I know this is all moot...they're all powerful. Thanks.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Interior Alaska
    Posts
    893

    Default

    Hi Vance,

    I've taken smaller black bear with a .444 Marlin carbine, and with two shots, from the side (the bear had just crawled up a tree after raiding my fish smoker many years ago). The blasts literally cleanly removed well over 3" of spinal column, at a distance of less than 10 yards.

    That said, a good friend took out a 9' 10" Interior grizzly that had been pacing back and forth near my moose stand. He took that bear at fairly close range, starting with five rapid shots from a .45-70 Marlin, 3 of which were 'hot' home-loads, 2 of which were factory, all of which were well over 400 grains in weight. And all of which hit vital mass in the bear's chest, at a relatively close distance of 15-20 yards (+/-), making all rounds into the bullseye in a mere handful of seconds.. He finished the big feller off with 2 shots from a S&W .500 Mag, 8-3/8", with Cor-Bon 440 hard cast, before the thing ceased trying to get back up.

    (Yes, I do believe that my friend was in need of some clean shorts...)

    The fellow who processed that particular hyde had done many bears, and he reportedly swore up and down that it HAD to be a Kodiak Brown, and even then, of good size. It was the biggest bear that I've ever personally seen in the Interior. Period.

    I'm not saying that the .444 is completely gutless. I've seen a different truth there with my own shooting (at very close range).

    But if it had been -me- facing off with that beast my friend took down, especially at that range, I know which one of the two rifles I'd prefer to be emptying into its chest area. ;^>)

    Factory loads for either one can be quite disappointing, unless a person gets into the premium stuff. But I've literally bbl-sighted/bore-sighted my old Marlin .444 when shooting across to one Island from another down-river from Circle, on the Yukon River about 22 years ago, and I could literally watch my bullet's path, shooting medium large projectiles, (eye-sight was a tad bit beter then), and the factory loads nearly always fell shy of their mark, on a target that to my vision, didn't look too awful distant.

    Granted, I didn't experiment with home-loads with that particular gun, as I've always relied on friends and acquaintances, and am hoping to get into reloading soon. So this is mostly my subjective opinion, with mildly greater experience with the .45-70's tolerances than the .444's.

    But Maydog's post seems to corroborate my somewhat subjective personal experience with, and observation of, the two guns.

    ruffle

  11. #11
    Member NDTerminator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Devils Lake ND
    Posts
    262

    Default

    Thanks guys, appreciate the opinions & experiences. I have a new Stainless Guide Gun being held for me over at Grand Forks (kind of the ND version of Fairbanks); I'll drive over and pick it up tomorrow. I love picking up new rifles...

    My everyday handload for the 45-70 is 56.0 of H335 and a 350 grain Hornady RNSP, 1900FPS from my past Guide Guns. I can bump this up a fair bit, but it's fairly livable to shoot a lot and hits way out of proportion to what one would expect.

    I took a couple deer (20 yards and 50 yards) with this load and it killed them a lot. The 20 yarder was a big bodied prairie buck that I hit in the center of the chest. He went up and back, his hind legs flew forward, and he landed flat on his back facing the other way, stone dead. That big Hornady bullet cored him from one end to the other. It was the most impressive and instantaneous kill either I or my wife had ever seen in a couple long lifetimes of hunting.

    I just can't help but think a 45-70 (particularly stainless) would be a mighty handy rifle to have in Alaska...
    Last edited by NDTerminator; 04-26-2007 at 05:31.

  12. #12

    Default

    I have for a couple of years carried only the 1895 as it can be loaded many ways. In hunting Sitka Blacktail in PWS a relitively mild 350gr is way over kill but very effective with careful placement. Great for the Blackies one might get lucky on too. Not need to carry two guns ever.
    It is also the standard in the plane (Along with an AR-7) great for packing around fishing holes and hiking and capable of the Bears we have all over 16B. I have loaded a number of different rounds from the 350-500gr and have found what seems to be some truth in the Micro-groove liking jacketed bullets. I have a 336 in .35 Rem too and have become a real fan of lever guns, fast and a natural pointer.
    Would always appreciate some additional resources for loading info though.

  13. #13

    Default rufle

    I sent you a PM

  14. #14
    Member NDTerminator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Devils Lake ND
    Posts
    262

    Default

    I found that Hornady 350 grainer is a tough bullet and doesn't expand to speak of, even when fired into wet sand or dirt. Very accurate too.

    I also have fiddled with the Oregon Trail Laser Cast .459" 350 grain Flat Point. This is a very hard cast bullet that is garuantee'ed not to lead at jacketed velocities. Bought 500 of these at some point. Haven't put in the effort to develop a tight load yet, but now maybe now I will. For sure they are a mighty hard bullet...

  15. #15
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    11,415

    Default

    I am thinking about a marlin Guide with a VXIII 1.5-5X20. It looks like ~ 850 new wonder how much it would be used? My cousin usualy backs me up with an old 375 lever but it would be nice to have my own "brush buster" to back him up from time to time.
    Last edited by LuJon; 12-14-2008 at 13:03.

  16. #16
    Member NDTerminator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Devils Lake ND
    Posts
    262

    Default

    Just got home with the new Stainless Guide Gun. Pretty sweet! Excuse me while I go out into the yard and stun a few chickens with muzzle blast...

  17. #17
    Member tzieli22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Eagle River AK
    Posts
    589

    Default just an update

    I was just looking around the site for an update on the 45/70 and looked at this thread and thought I would throw my 2 cents in. The reason I am looking is I am trying to find 400 grain speer FN bullets and am finding nothing in town. Looks like I need to order from natchez for them.

    But as it relates to this thread and the value of my SS 1895 guide gun I have, it is about all I use now. While I have a 338, 375h&h 30/06 etc. I have taken 3 moose (1 of them was a 54") and a 7' black bear all with 400 grain speer's and 2 shots or less. It's just an awesome gun period. I am really curious what it will do with a nice grizzly but haven't found out yet.

    Good hunting.

  18. #18
    Member steelguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wrangell/NJ
    Posts
    216

    Question opinion please?

    As I have mentioned before on this forum, I am most definitely not a hunter, but just a lowly fisherman. A few years ago I bought a Benelli 12g Nova H2O Pump Tactical and load it with Brenneke Black Magic Magnum 12 / 3" for bear protection. I do go to the range quite often and at 100 yards consistantly get grouping within 6". Any time I see a thread here regarding bear protection, I read it with interest, but honestly don't know what to think, if I've made the right choice or not. So, if any of you guys can help set me straight, I would greatly appreciated it. Oh, by the way, I consider myself fortunate in not having found myself in a situation that I have had to use it (yet!).

    Thanks, steelguy

    Below are the specs on the load I use that I copied from Brenneke's website:

    Weight: 1 3/8 oz.
    Product code: 120 27 26
    Symbol: SL-123BMM
    Barrel: all types
    Range: up to 100 yards
    Game: large / dangerous

    * Original BRENNEKE “Black Magic” Slug with newly developed unique, patented B.E.T.® wad
    * PowerWad results in greater accuracy
    * tremendous knockdown power up to 100 yards
    * life insurance against dangerous big game and predators at close range
    * new, specially developed CleanSpeed™ Coating reduces lead fouling inside the barrel, and to zero at the muzzle
    * one of the heaviest slugs on the market (600 grains / 1 3/8 oz)
    * very accurate: 2” groups at 50 yards and 3” groups at 100 yards with smoothbore barrels

    Distance Velocity Energy Bullet Path
    (yards) (feet/sec.) (ft. lbs.) (inch)

    25 1,502 3,014 -2.0
    50 1,295 2,241 +0.4
    75 1,136 1,724 +1.6
    100 955 1,219 -1.5

  19. #19
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,162

    Default Interesting comparison...Steelguy's question

    Optimized 45/70 v 12ga; factory loads only. What do you think comparing only the high performance Brenneke 12 ga ammo to one of the new hot 45/70 factory loads? Is there agreement on any, one tie-breaking discrimminator between the 2 setups?

    Define "optimized": Modern guns shooting modern, high performance factory ammo for each. The 12 ga setup described by Steelguy seems a good 12 ga setup. Comparing his setup to an optimized setup in 45/70, with newer factory loads (Buffalo Bore, Garrett), seems to be a draw when you ask enough folks. Out of 12 guys (or gals), half might choose Steelguy's setup while half like the modern production Marlin (or other) 45/70 with new, hot 45/70 factory ammo (see Taffin article below).
    A Guns&Ammo (Dec'08) feature on the interia-cycled Benelli M2 12 ga might just freshen the debate too (or not).

    Interesting John Taffin article re: newer factory loads: (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...g=artBody;col1) but the point is even those who don't reload, can find honestly capable ammo for this purpose (brown bear defense, remote field use by folks whose primary purpose is not hunting). Here's an excerpt from the article:

    "Randy Garrett and Garrett Cartridges have long offered the 415 gr. hard cast bulleted load for .45-70 leverguns, which has an excellent reputation in game fields all over the world. Now comes the ultimate Hammerhead load from Garrett, a 530 gr. hard cast, gas checked bullet rated at 1550 fps".

    12ga or 45/70 for remote fishing (nonhunting) brown (bad) bear protection using factory (only) ammo? Should Steelguy sell me his Pump Tactical and put a Guide gun on his Christmas list?

    [PS: This is not a question about bear spray- ]

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    porcupine creek
    Posts
    225

    Default Buffalo Bore loads

    Buffalo Bore .45-70 ammo can't be beat . A 400 gr slug at around 2,000 f.p.s. should be able to take anything , all other .45-70 factory ammo can be beat with handloads . I have a .458 that I built for myself and it fits like a glove but there is a " recovery period " after you launch a 500 gr. slug where with a slicked up Marlin you hang on the target better and I think the 400 can do everything the 500 does close up , at least with our game .

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •