A lot of shots later ... I have an opinion on my 450 Marlin...
As some of my new Alaska friends know, I have been sorting out a couple of rifles for Alaska duty use. One is my serious work rifle, the other is a light and compact rifle for light duty, primarily for my son who is not experienced enough to handle
the heavy hitters yet. The serious rifle is my .458 Lott, and the light rifle is my Browning 450 Marlin. I have now shot it through a few my training sessions, and I now have an educated opinion in regard to this rifle. Remember, I am only training with it as a protection rifle only, not hunting at this time.
The BLR Lightweight points naturally, which is very important for speed shooting and handling in defensive shooting.
The action is smooth and fast.
Accuracy testing was limited to 50 yards, and for most of speed shooting tests I shot it at defensive ranges of 25 yards or less for now. It is very accurate at those ranges of course. Anything further is not what I consider defensive shooting in most cases. I am confident by what I have seen it will be accurate at all ranges without its scope of efficiency.
Although I have read that it recoils hard, I think that it is not much worse if at all, than a 3-inch mag. 12-gauge slug
a virtual *****cat compared to the Lott.
I was able to shoot full house sessions
4 rounds nonstop
as fast as possible while maintaining control into a 3-inch group at 25 yards. This was not as fast as just jacking rounds without worrying about hitting things, but not much slower either! This is a pleasant rifle to shoot while putting a wall of lead downrange and keeping them on target. This was with the factory Hornady 350 grain loads at this time. These sessions give me confidence that this rifle can give a good accounting of itself up close and personal with nasty things in the dark.
A few negatives:
The stock. For defensive purposes this mirror like stock might be a PLUS, because a bear or a moose will see you coming for miles! Being seen and heard is a good thing in this discipline; for hunting that is not the case. If I were using it primarily for hunting I would have to make a few alterations.
The trigger pull is a little heavy. This can be a negative for hunting, but for protection duty it may be a plus. A nervous rifleman looking down the barrel at a real big, mad and nasty bear up and close and personal does need a light trigger going off early from a frozen and stiff finger. Starting a fight that you may not win is not a good idea unless you are given no choice.
I will be shooting many more rounds to break it in for my intended use. I will be switching later to North Fork softs and one of the hard cast lead, heavy solids for carry rounds, of course after much testing.
Do any of you BLR owners have any experience with North Fork bullets in your rifle, or any problems with the bigger hard cast heavy rounds?
Thanks up front for any information on the subject.
The attached photo was shot by me on Friday. It is my shooting buddy Jerry checking out my BLR...
Last edited by Proud American; 08-25-2009 at 10:46.
Good looking BLR! Is it a takedown or the standard? As you may know I have 2 BLR's and have had very good luck with them. They are both in 308 so I can't be any help with cast loads for your 450. I can tell you that in 308 the BLR kicks like a 3" 12 gage in a very light single shot brake gun, I know all the next day after 20 rounds but nothing like a lott.
Thanks for sharing!
This is a takedown lightweight model 81. This is my first BLR and I am starting to like it. Knowing the nature of the forum, let me say that when I say good things about the Browning, do not take that to mean that I am casting a shadow on the Marlin. I only write about the Browning, because it is what I own, and the current subject of my focus.
To be honest, my favorite rifle of all time is my O3/A3 with issue peeps, and a synthenic stock. I have used it since I was 14, and have not missed any game that I have shot at as far as I can remember. When I lived in Colorado and was checking my bear baits this time of year, I reached for that rifle when I was expecting close quarter problems! I honestly think that I could carry that one up there loaded with 220 grain Woodleighs and be OK for protection... I fear not with that rifle, accuracy and confidence trumps caliber any day of the week!
Last edited by Proud American; 04-24-2009 at 23:09.
Reason: delete two miss-words, it is late!
I never met a gun I didn't like! For me A Winchester model 94 30-30 in my hand and life is great, even if I'm under gunned I know I can poke a bunch of well placed holes in anything fast. As I should be able to since I started packing one at age 9, my first rifle was a Marlin 22 and 2nd a model 94. Today when I head out I always have the S&W 460V but if I need a rifle I usually reach for the Winchester model 88 308. For some reason I love the mix of fetchers form the lever guns and bolt guns that is the model 88. I also love my BLRs and hunted for 15 years with them all over Arizona to great success before I even knew the 88 existed, BLR is a great little gun.