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Thread: 45/70 and the Kodiak 350 grain bullet

  1. #1
    Member tzieli22's Avatar
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    Default 45/70 and the Kodiak 350 grain bullet

    I like many others have my 45/70 guide gun and truly love it. My general load that has been proven on moose (x3) and black bear is the Speer 400 FN with 50 grns of 3031, it’s a hot load, but well under the 40k cup. The problem is or maybe not, is that it always only leaves one hole.

    I had WW Guns do some sight, trigger, and ejector work. Jim West, (great guy and a lot of knowledge) almost had me talked into his 457 WW Mag, but after reviewing all the spec’s I just can’t see spending the money to get close to a 458 win mag but not be there. So I am back to my standard 45/70.

    Now my question (or questions), I keep hearing that the 350 grn bullet from Kodiak (457 WW mag preferred grizzly bullet) will do all the damage needed to bring down or stop a brown bear, and it is safely loaded for the 1895 Marlin. My problem is, I cannot find any loading data for this bullet in the 1895 marlin.

    So, does anyone have firsthand knowledge or experience loading this round, and secondly, have you had the pleasure of using in on a brown bear? Would really appreciate your input. Thanks. Tony

  2. #2

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    My memory has failed me before, but I think Murph posted data for that combo in the last few months. You might search back through the threads here and in the shooting section. I never met a Kodiak bullet I didn't like, so I don't think you're far wrong in your interest.

  3. #3
    Member alaskanmoosehunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tzieli22 View Post
    I The problem is or maybe not, is that it always only leaves one hole.
    Actually, I don't see a problem with one hole. Evidently your current load has proven capable of doing what it's suppose to do.....Kill effectively and put critters in the freezer.

    One can look at it two ways:

    1. Your bullet doesn't have enough horsepower to drive threw a moose in and out like the .30 cal magnums. or.................

    2. Your bullet is a huge .458 dia cannon and when that bullet stops in that animal it is actually delivering it's full knock down power inside of the animals cavity.

    My thoughts are as long as you put the bullet in the proper place and the bullet retains it's weight along with good expansion. I wouldn't change a thing.

    JMO, I've been shooting moose and bears with my 45-70 guide gun for almost 10 years now. The 300 only seems to come out caribou hunting.

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    Member jdb3's Avatar
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    I could not agree more with what as been said. I too have used the 400 grain Speer driven by 50 grains of 3031. It is, to date, the most accurate load I have used in the 45/70. I killed my largest white-tail with that load. While two holes are nice they are not always necessary. I would shoot a bear with that load too. So long as you keep the Speer bullet under 1900 fps you will find it will do everything you want done. That being said, I do use the 350 grain Kodiak bullet. I have migrated that way after trying all the 300 grain bullets. My Marlin is one of the older 1895S models, which I have been shooting since the very early 80's. It does not stabilize the cast bullets or I would be using the 430 grain LBT. It is not necessary but nice to have a little flatter trajectory when hunting caribou, thus the lighter bullet weight. If memory serves I use IMR 4198 at 50 to 51 grains. But check that to make sure. 51 grains is right at the high end so work up to it. Some books stop at 47 grains and some of the gun scribes (Brian Pease, Mike Venturino) seem to think that is plenty. Jim

  5. #5

    Default Try this

    You should be fine with 56 grains of H322. I have shot a lot of the 400 grain Kodiak bullets with 54 grains of H322 at paper targets. I use Winchester brass and a standard rifle primer. I hear the 350 grain bullet comes in 2 varieties. One has a thicker jacket. Is it better then the 400 grain Kodiak where moose and bear are on the menu, I don't know. Is one hole or 2 holes better? I prefer 2 holes. I also believe any bullet put in the right spot, with enough penetration to damage the vitals and every thing else on the way works. Whether it makes 2 wholes or not. For some reason I have never seen a lot of information on this forum from folks who have shot many big game animals with the 45-70 so many of us like.

  6. #6
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up 45-70

    Speer 400 FN is one softest bullets you could use in the 45-70.

    The 350 Hornady FN or RN is excellent with Reloader 7 for large game at 52.0 grains in the Marlin
    Alaska

  7. #7
    Member tzieli22's Avatar
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    Default I appreciate the replies

    Well, all good advice and info. I know that one hole is not bad and I have moose and black bear to show for it, like I said with the 400 grain Speer and 50 grains of 3031 I can attest that with 2 shots nothing has gone further than 10 to 20 yards.

    Specific to the 350 Kodiak heavy jacketed bullet though, I keep hearing this is a much better brown bear load in the 45/70 1895 and was wondering if anyone had firsthand knowledge of a good load for it, and more importantly, firsthand knowledge on brown bears. Even more detailed, what I would love to know is, would this round go through one shoulder on a brown bear (I would think it would) but then have enough tail to at least break the other shoulder if not go through. Taking out the running gear of any brown bear is going to calm my nerves a whole bunch.

    Lastly, my SS 1985 45/70 is a great all around gun and is my first choice for moose, black bear, and (I hope brown bear.) I don’t hunt these animals any further than 100 yards so this gun is awesome for this range. Caribou, sheep and elk, I think I will go with my 338, 375H&H, or 30/06. Maybe after this spring and fall, I can provide firsthand experience of the performance of the 350 grain Kodiak heavy jacketed bullet on a brown bear. Safe shooting and hunting… Tony

  8. #8
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up 350 Speer FN

    The good ole 350 Speer FN @ 2000 FPS is another good bullet in the 45-70.

    Very tough made for the 458 Win

    Crimp @ 2.567 using Lee Factory Crimp Die

    45-70 Marlin 1895
    H322 @ 56.0
    Vel 2058 FPS
    Alaska

  9. #9
    Member tzieli22's Avatar
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    Default Just an update

    Well my son and I went to the range today and tried out my loads. I ended up loading 53 grains of 3031 with the 350 grain heavy jacketed Kodiak bullets. These along with the standard 400 speer's and they both shot very similar. With iron sites, I could not tell the difference and I was hitting softball size groups at both 50 yards and 100 yards. So on paper, I very pleased. Now the time and test will be this spring with I hope brown bear to test it on. 1 hole or two, we'll see. I'll let you know how it turns out.

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