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Thread: Anyone have personal experience ... 450 Marlin--45/70 on Bear frontal effectiveness?

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    Default Anyone have personal experience ... 450 Marlin--45/70 on Bear frontal effectiveness?

    I have posted a few threads in regard to the 450 Marlin and .458 Lott. I am received some good information, but stuff I basically knew already, although I appreciate it anyway. I have years of hunting experience in Colorado, Africa, and Canada. I do not have any experience in Alaska with the brown bear, and there is so much misinformed stuff, rumors, and couch potato advice going on in these posts. I am just looking for honest personal experiences, either direct experience or least as a witness to the facts. Let me tell you what I do believe and what I don't for a start:

    I do believe brown bears are tenacious, tough and very powerful, making them extremely dangerous and deadly.

    I do not believe that they are made of armor, or any tougher than a cape buffalo.

    I do believe that the 45/70 & 450 Marlin warrants respect, and are powerful cartridges.

    I do not believe that the 45/70 is better than a .458 Winchester or a 458 Lott round, as Buffalo Bore company espouses ... I think that their theory, which is based on water and newspaper penetration tests is as wet as the paper. If not the 45/70 or 450 Marlin would have displaced those legends long ago on the Dark Continent.

    I do believe that a brown bear skull is tough.

    I do not believe that high power rounds with good bullets will bounce off of it ... such as the story that I read here about a .454 Casull doing just that.

    I do believe that bear attacks are rare statistically, as are police shootings.

    I do not believe because of such statistics one should be casual or fatalistic in how you go about your business. I can tell you that if you ARE the ONE that is involved in a police shooting, or being charged by a bear ... those stats mean ZERO … ZIP!
    YOU BETTER BE GOOD AND PRACTICE AS SUCH, HOPING THAT YOU NEVER NEED THOSE SKILLS, VERUS, walking through the tulips whistling Dixie! Getting dead is easy; staying alive is the trick under such dire circumstances! I was a cop for almost 30 years, and have a few memories that brought reality to such a philosophy...

    That said, does anyone have experience with the lever gun calibers, 450 Marlin or 45/70 with good bullets using them on a large brownie, frontal shots, preferably a charge, or at least frontal, not calm hunting broadside shots that any 30'06 could do just as well with a properly placed shot?
    Last edited by Proud American; 03-26-2009 at 22:01. Reason: spell check

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    Default Correction

    In my post, it should be Garrett Cartridge Company instead of Buffalo Bore that espouses the theory that the 45/70 out penetrates the .458 Winchester and Lott on game!

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    Default Proud American

    You would be better served to do a search on the 45/70 or Garrett and you'll see multiple threads, just nothing with anyone given first hand knowledge or experience on the 45/70 and a charging brown bear... Why, because I have been asking the same thing for over 3 years. Here is one of the links to start,

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...hlight=garrett

    But to specifically answer your question, I am sure someone has done what your asking but they just haven't written about it. I have taken a few black bears and moose with my 45/70 and on one occasion trailed my buddies brown bear he shot with his bow, but the bear was dead so no real experience with a charging brown bear where I had my gun. Did have a run in with 2 brownies, but only had my pocket knife and my wife... I ended up scaring them off with the smell of my shorts full of poo.

    As for my 45/70 rounds, I have done all my killing with the 400 speer RN. Great results but not killed in there tracks. So I have bought some 405 Kodiak's and then made up my mind on the 540 Hammerheads from Garrett's. Haven't killed anything with it yet, but I am very confident it will do what your asking. Why do I feel this way, well, I shot it through a 36" solid tree plus another 10" to 12" tree then it went into the sand another 8" or so, this said, I am sold that it will do the trick under 100 yards.

    Won't debate the value of a 458 lott because that was going to be my next gun until the 416 Ruger came out. Given stainless and a short action and short gun, I like that for Alaska and bears.

    Anyway, good luck getting your answer, if you get it, let me know but I have been asking for about 3 years so far.

    Enjoy. By the way, once I do get my brown bear, you'll see it here...

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    Thanks for the information. That Garrett sounds like it should break down the skull and spine at least, so if you hit it you should be oK! Garrett doesn't have any 450 Marlin loads, and I own a Browning takedown Model 81 in 450, and a CZ .458 Lott. The Lott holds two more rounds than the Ruger, and shoots .458 Winchester in a pinch, something to think about. The Ruger looks good, and should prove worthy of the task at hand.
    Last edited by Proud American; 03-26-2009 at 22:51. Reason: word added

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    Member jdb3's Avatar
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    Go to the Accurate Reloading http://forums.accuratereloading.com/ forum and ask Phil Shoemaker these questions. He has more experience with big bears and lever action firearms than anyone I can think of. He is on the Alaska forum there under the handle 458Win. Jim

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    Default Ed Stevenson

    Ed Stevenson has much , much more experience than Shoemaker with lever actions , Phil is mostly a bolt guy . I've shot a half dozen bears with a .444 , .45-70 and .44 mag , a big , slow moving slug close up just works .

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I have shot one brown bear stright on at about 75 yards,maybe a little closer.I used a hand loaded 45/70 round with a 350 gr. Hornady RN at 1880 pfs.The bullet entered under the chin and passed out just above the tail takeing some spine with it and the bear dropped at the shot. The same load has worked six other times on through and through shoulder hits but the bears were smaller blacks

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    Thank you! Now that is what I was looking for, real experience with that round. It sounds like it works when done right on the larger bears, and the medium size as well...

    Thanks again...

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    Many years ago I had a 458 x two inch American. (A 458 Winchester case that was trimmed to 2 inches so it would work in shorter actions, and be something like a very hot 45-70 load) That wildcat is ballistically identical and darn near physically the same as a 450 Marlin. The only difference being that MARLIN moved the belt location.

    I hit a large brown bear with a frontal chest shot using a 350 grain round nose loaded to around 2,100 fps. He spun around and stumbled about ten feet before he fell over.
    The shot entered in the center of the chest and exited at an angle by his right hind quarter. The range was around 60 yards.

    But I have also taken Browns with a 7x57mm Mauser , so shot placement is everything. Not to mention the time I belly shot (thru and thru from the side) a wounded Brown with a 458 Win Mag (500 grain SP) and all he did was excellerate to 40 mph as he headed for the thick brush.
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    Ive shot three black bears with a 45-70 handloaded with 400 grain barnes Flat points.None of the bears were moving after that shot. 2 were shot over bait ,one was shot out of a tree.Velocity was about 1800 fps.

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    That is interesting, and informative! I am thinking about using 350 Grain Swift A-Frame loads for the 450 as a soft, and maybe 430 grain hard cast from Buffalo Bore for a solid. This way the Swifts should shoot the same as the factory Hornady rounds which are cheaper to shoot for practice.

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    There is some thing about a heavy hard cast bullet with a large meplat when extreme penitration is required. Just multiply the bullet wieght by the velocity to chose the best for penitration. I understand Garrett keeps the velocity down to insure the hard cast doesn't deform untill deep inside the game if it deforms at all.

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    I shot a big black bear last year with my 450 Marlin from a treestand using factory ammo. The bear never took a step. He was looking up at me when I shot him behind the head down between his shoulders. That bear never knew what hit him.

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    Default My understanding

    Quote Originally Posted by Proud American View Post
    That is interesting, and informative! I am thinking about using 350 Grain Swift A-Frame loads for the 450 as a soft, and maybe 430 grain hard cast from Buffalo Bore for a solid. This way the Swifts should shoot the same as the factory Hornady rounds which are cheaper to shoot for practice.
    It's my understanding that shooting hardcast after gilded metal (jacketed) bullets results in leading and poor accuracy. If I am shooting lead I make sure all copper is out of the bore.
    There are several .458 gilded solids available. Woodleigh has earned a great reputation. I don't have experience with their solids but have used the .338 250gr with excellent results on caribou.

    Ed

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    You bring up something that I did not consider, mixing two kinds of bullets with different characteristics... I will research such, as that could be a problem. If it were a minor accuracy problem only, then my primary use for the 450 as a bear protection gun would not be compromised, as accuracy at defense ranges is not an issue. If I were hunting with it at long range, it may become an issue. You bring up a good point worth researching further, thank you...

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    There is a lot of good info around about the effectiveness of the 45-70 and of course some not so good. Assuming the 450 Marlin is the equal of the 45-70 when both are loaded to the max for the Marlin rifle, I can speak with experience about the power of your 450.

    The idea that the 45-70 with high SD (heavy for caliber), hard cast bullets will out penetrate the 458 Win/Lott is valid to a certain point. Soft point expanding bullets will not penetrate with a any good solid, regardless of the powder charge behind it, and heavy hard cast bullets are good solids.

    There is also an optimum velocity for maximum penetration for any soft point and the 458 Lott exceeds that easily for just about any expanding soft point.

    We're really dealing with two different concepts here and since the 45-70 in the Marlin rifle is not capable of achieving the velocity of the 458 Lott, it will always be less effective than the 458 Win/Lott with soft point expanding bullets. So it must be considered for the category two, for lack of a name for it, and to give the ancient caliber the utmost in effectiveness at the less than 2000 fps velocity we go to heavy hard cast bullets. It is a mistake to go to lighter bullets in the 45-70 to get close to the velocity of the magnum guns because we lose effectiveness with the caliber. The higher velocity cause more rapid expansion and reduces penetration of the already low momentum, low SD bullet. Well designed bullets (strong) of 350 grains and up can be used but the best bullet would be of 450 grains or more and be a hard cast, flat nosed solid. These bullets are rarely ever recovered because they will penetrate better than any lighter or any soft point, including the Swift A-frame.

    The nice thing about heavy for caliber, hard cast, flat nosed solids is that they don't have to be at max velocity to be effective so we give up velocity for bullet weight to get full penetration. A 540 grain LBT style flat nosed bullet at 1600 will shoot through a 2000 pound Wood Bison length ways. For big browns the 450-500 at about 1700-1800 will get the job done and will make an exit hole. The large meplat, flat nose will leave a massive wound cavity.
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    Will these super heavy cast bullets fit in the magazine of my Browning BLR?

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    I tried loading hard-cast for my Browning 86 and the rifling did not seem to like them much over 1600 fps. They do work fine from my neighbor's newer Marlin Guide gun, but we have to load them shorter to work in the Marlin action.

    Makes me wonder if a gas check would help with the Browning 86.
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    Default 45-70 Penetration and expansion tests

    New Member:

    I have not shot any head of big game with my Marlin Mdl 1895 45-70, however I recently did a fair amount of range testing and some penetration tests on two Buffalo Bore 45-70 loads. I tested the 405 grain JFN (Expander) and the 350 grain JFN (Penetrator) load, with the following results:

    Water filled 1 gallon milk jugs with caps on tight and sitting tight against each other in a straight line at 25 feet from the muzzle.

    405 grain JFN blew up 4 jugs and landed in the bottom of the 5th jug. Expansion was violent, however the core and jacket separated completely, which at least in part explains the lack of penetration.

    350 grain JFN Penetrator load at 2150 fps, blew up 5 jugs, penetrated another 5 and ended up in the bottom of the 10th jug. Out of all bullets and loads I have tested thus far, this is the number #1 hardest hitting, expanision and penetration bullet I have tested. You will be able to watch the videos of these loads on YouTube and on the BLOG in the near future. The 350 grain load was absolutely awsome and would be my #1 choice for hunting the big stuff with a 45-70. It is recommended for game up to 2500 pounds in weight which covers darn near everything.

    Other bullets which did well, but are not in the same class as the 350 grn 45-70 were the 30:06 using 180 grain accubonds and the .338 Federal using 210 grain Nosler partitions.

    Dan

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