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Thread: 45/70 and 450 Marlin ammo options ... can we change them?

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    Default 45/70 and 450 Marlin ammo options ... can we change them?

    I am disappointed in the options of commercial ammo for the 45/70 and the 450 Marlin. The routine loads for the 45/70 off the shelf from major cartridge companies are too light for proper hunting or defense. The only major commercial loads for the 450 Marlin are the Hornady, which use their in-house made bullets, which are not bonded or otherwise rugged enough to trust under life & death defense situations. They would be great if they even used their own new dangerous game bullets made for the big bolt gun dangerous game calibers, Kodiak or North Folk would be even better.

    The semi-factory custom companies make loads for both, but they are few and far between. This makes the price a bit high for anyone needing to practice or have fun shooting. Plus, the owners of the two calibers would be in trouble if they went out of business.

    I understand that you can hand load, but some do not for various reasons. There are classes of users of the two calibers who may not be real shooters, such as some fishermen, and/or hikers and photographers; they may carry just for protection only and not hunting.

    Has any group in Alaska petitioned the big ammo companies to put out a better product, and use bullets that meet the needs of the caliber and its intended usage?

    If not, can we do so here? Can we demand the product we want to buy?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Proud American View Post

    Has any group in Alaska petitioned the big ammo companies to put out a better product, and use bullets that meet the needs of the caliber and its intended usage?

    If not, can we do so here? Can we demand the product we want to buy?

    Suggest you contact the people of California as they are highly skilled at telling private business how to run there business. Most real men in Alaska have more important things to do......Working, Hunting and Fishing. I have found it is easy to dump a firearm that fails to meet my expectation's.......

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    I think this is where companies such as Buffalo Bore and Garret come in.

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    have to agree with HOPE... rather then demand anything. make your own up... and what part of a 405 grn peice of lead is not? capible of defence of life and proporty with in 100 yards.. if you need defence further then 50 yards your not defending ...( though i would have to say out side of 10yrds is accurate) funny thing is these bullets been nocking stuff down for years. nothing like slamming a boulder into a critter at 1800FPS...
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    Member Hope and Change my *'s Avatar
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    Unless I am given a box of shells, all I buy for my 45/70 is hard cast 405 grain semi wad-cutters. Never had a need for any other kind.

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    I hope so or else this round will never make another 150 years but continue on its quick death of industry poor planning and design

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    Quote Originally Posted by Proud American View Post

    The semi-factory custom companies make loads for both, but they are few and far between. This makes the price a bit high for anyone needing to practice or have fun shooting.

    If not, can we do so here? Can we demand the product we want to buy?
    My 1st suggestion is to begin handloading so you can taylor a load to your needs. It's fun to
    The ammo you say you would like to see (heavy duty) will always be expensive & punishing to shoot (not great fun for sane folks) so it wouldn't be any good for plinking/fun shooting anyway. Handloading is again the answer.

    #2, you can let ammo makers know your desires, but the only thing that will entice them to produce a round is profit (I don't blame them. It's a business for them, not a hobby).
    A better suggestion might be to petition your local suppliers to keep a good supply of the semi custom ammo you mention on the shelf. It's already in production so it shouldn't be a problem.


    I handload for my 450. Don't think I've bought any factory stuff for it.
    Vance in AK.

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    If you can prove the market is there the ammo people will stumble over themselves to satisfy the need. I think the 45/70 folks are settled in and for those few of us Marlin 450 types, I think we are just SOL for now. For those that don’t handload the Marlin 450 is currently a poor choice when compared to the 45/70 – for those that do handload, the Marlin 450 is more expensive than the 45/70 due to the cost of brass. The 45/70 has plenty of commercial options for ammunition anywhere from mild to just under tooth filling removal that will do whatever you need done. I don’t see the 450 Marlin coming close to the 45/70 relative to commercial ammunition offerings any time soon and since I roll my own for everything, I can’t complain about not having “effective” rounds down range when they need to have a little authority behind them. If you currently aren’t set up for reloading, maybe you can find an individual at your local range who can make up a couple boxes of whopass – just visit the Marlin site and they can give you the load data. http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    have to agree with HOPE... rather then demand anything. make your own up... and what part of a 405 grn peice of lead is not? capible of defence of life and proporty with in 100 yards.. if you need defence further then 50 yards your not defending ...( though i would have to say out side of 10yrds is accurate) funny thing is these bullets been nocking stuff down for years. nothing like slamming a boulder into a critter at 1800FPS...
    For a hunting round generally the 45/70 is a sub 100 yrd gun. As I do plan on hunting with mine at some point I have been trying the LeverRevolution stuff in mine. I am very impressed. I can have 3 shots all touching eachother at 100 yrds and sighted it in for 2 inches high at that distance. Going back to the range to see what it does at 200 yrds, but anything beyond that would probably call for something with better ballistics to begin with. But chances are you didn't buy a 45/70 to beyond 200 yrds in the first place.

    Like Vince said 300+ grains at 1800 FPS ought to lay a whallop on anything. Yes you can make up your own 500+ grn rounds, but they ain't fun to shoot or practice with, as a protection round they would be great, but I think there is already good choices for factory hunting rounds. Besides I don't see why a 300+ grain at 1800 fps wouldn't be a good protection round either. Personally I use the 405 grn Alaska Backpackers for protection though.

    You can make the same claim ANY other round from .223 to .416 you can make better than factory rounds handloading, and get that better preformance out of that caliber. But chances are the factory rounds in each caliber is more than likely sufficient when needed.

    I guess I don't understand what you are basing the "too light for proper defense and hunting". When have you found this round to fail in either situtation??? Or are you simply basing these statements on a numbers game rather than actually finding cases where factory rounds lacked??

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    Default Most are missing the point here.

    Most are missing the point here.

    I am talking about bullet construction from factory rounds, and cost. Some do not hand load, nor want to, so that was not an option in my post.

    Factory 45/70 is loaded light (velocity) for use in old trapdoor rifles, and the bullets are inferior to today's bonded bullets.

    I am aware that there are a few special custom companies that load better bullets, but they are expensive, which was my point ... $75.00 for solid lead cast, to $125.00 for Punch bullets. Plus, the smaller special company can go out of business, which would leave zero options for the non-hand loader. Factory rounds could be done at a lower cost due to volume and mass production.

    I am talking PROTECTION and STOPPING, not hunting. I could use my Ought Six on any bear that ever lived when hunting and picking my shot! Bell did OK with his 275 Rigby, while hunting elephants, but he would not use it for stopping a charge I assure you...

    My whole concept was to help you achieve quality rounds at a fair price. The difference in using poor bullet design and the new super tough bullet is great! When your life is on the line, the best only will do!

    As one of the responders so eloquently said, “The Real men of Alaska have better things to do.” Such is so helpful!

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    The point is everything you could want is out there and quaility cost no matter what it is. I don't know of anyone who thinks they need punch bullets for Alaska game.You need to work on the perfect beanfield gun,we are doing fine with our bear supper stompers

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    Bell actually probably did stop charges with his 275 and 303 and 318 as well as his 256 because those were the rifles he chose to carry and he sure wasnt going to use his finger nails so they were the only choice he had.WDM is my hero by the way. And except for the rare angry charging brown bear factory loads for either of the cartridges you speak of are plenty. So if we wnt more we have to go to the small specialty manufacturers as that is what we are asking for, specialty ammo. Animals havent gotten any tougher in the last 150 years so those old loads will still work if you do your part. The big companies wont get in on it because there isnt that much profit in it for them trust me trying to get one of the big guys to do something is like pulling teeth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Proud American View Post
    Most are missing the point here.

    I am talking about bullet construction from factory rounds, and cost. Some do not hand load, nor want to, so that was not an option in my post.

    Factory 45/70 is loaded light (velocity) for use in old trapdoor rifles, and the bullets are inferior to today's bonded bullets.


    I am talking PROTECTION and STOPPING, not hunting.

    Q-
    What are you Stopping? and where... why?

    you mention bears.. i have found the size of the gun directly relates to the fear of the animal...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proud American View Post

    I am disappointed in the options of commercial ammo for the 45/70 and the 450 Marlin. The routine loads for the 45/70 off the shelf from major cartridge companies are too light for proper hunting or defense.

    I am talking PROTECTION and STOPPING, not hunting.
    I'm sorry your inital post suggested that factory rounds are not adquate for hunting as well. You should have stated that.

    Those hot loads are NOT fun to shoot and pratice with and many DO NOT regularly run them through their guns other than a couple times to make sure it still shoots those rounds reasonably close. Most of the time those protection rounds just live in the tube of the lever gun and never get used as real world needs for protection is VERY minimal. Thus the quantity sold of those super hot loaded rounds is minimal. I also don't forsee the cost of quality bonded 45/70 factory loads being minimal. Look at other caliber high quality factory loads...NOT CHEAP and I have no reason to believe that if 45/70 was mass produced in factory hot loads like other high quality factory rounds that it would be cheap either.

    I am still confused on where you are getting your data to support that factory 405 grn loads are inadquate for protection?? Again just basing it off number and not real world experience??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_Lanche View Post

    I am still confused on where you are getting your data to support that factory 405 grn loads are inadquate for protection?? Again just basing it off number and not real world experience??
    I am basing that on my vast experience with bullets in the field, here, in Africa, and Canada. The soft nose bullets of yesteryear do not penetrate well without falling apart, with few exceptions such as the Woodleigh, etc. I believe most of the factory rounds for 45/70 use the 405 softs, Remington etc. This is why they came up with the 450 Marlin in the first place! They wanted a factory round with a little pop to it... Physics does not change in Alaska from other places in the world.

    Yes I am talking about bears, since cape buffalo are rare in the wild there. Using Punch bullets for Protection from a charge is valid, and yes I know they will sit in the rifle forever in most guns, but, for protection duty that is a good thing. Punch bullets in a handgun gives it a whole new level of value for protection. I am going to load up my 500 S&W with them. There is no such thing as TOO MUCH penetration for Stopping a charge of any kind, be it a bear, a buff, or a lion...

    The owner of Woodleigh bullets does not think much of a 45/70 for stopping brownies at all. Here is his response to a request for solids:

    You are correct, it is simply listed as a flat nose. The photo in our catalogue clearly shows it is a soft nose. We overlooked this detail in the description. Will correct it in the next brochure.
    Sorry, we do not make a solid in this configuration.
    We have not had any feedback regarding this bullet on brown bears.
    I do not consider 45/70 or 450 Marlin to be adequate for the backup you describe.
    Our 405gr 45/70 is mostly used here on Sambar deer and buffalo, but not for backup.
    Regards,
    Geoff McDonald.

    Woodleigh Bullets
    PO Box 15, Murrabit, VIC, 3579, Australia
    Ph. 61 3 5457 2226
    Fax. 61 3 5457 2339
    Email zedfield@iinet.net.au
    Web www.woodleighbullets.com.au


    I guess he does not know anything about stopping animals as well!

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    Also he openly admited he has no feed back on brownies anyways. Yes there is no such thing as over kill for many. He also doesn't reccomend the 45/70 or 450 calibers at all for backup protection. Meaning I guess go 50 BMG?? Those soft nose bullets of yesteryear make you wonder how anything ever got killed.
    Vast experience in Canada??? What in Canada have you shot in Canada with your 45/70 that causes you to beleive factory loads out of a 45/70 are not sufficient for protection?

    Still waiting to see examples of standard factory loads out of a 45/70 failing on brown bears. Like I stated before those heavy loads simple will not sell enough due to people not likely to shoot them frequently and even if they were they would NOT be cheap, just like premium bullets on other calibers are also not cheap.

    I will admit it would be cool to have more factory options for the 45/70. But I don't see them being any cheaper than Buffalo Bore, Garrett, etc which I believe is what you are trying to advocate for. I can tell this is a cause you believe in, in which case, go for it. I feel that most here just don't see the need and neither to the ammo makers to mass produce these hot loads with premium bullets.

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    A 405gr lead bullet at 45/70 velocities won't come apart because it doesn't have the speed to tear it up. It isn't likely the majors are going to hop it up as there are still to many trap doors out there. Even some repro's. The 450 Marlin isn't exactly a velocity king either. It just doesn't take a solid to stay together and penetrate at under 2000fps. If the ammo for those rounds doesn't make them elephant guns, it's because they are not elephant guns. There is no cheap cartrdge gun combo for stopping charging Brown bears in their tracks. It takes a big bullet with a lot of powder behind it to get the kind of performance your looking for. I personally would not feel under gunned with a lever gun in 45/70 with 405s at 1300 or so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_Lanche View Post
    Also he openly admited he has no feed back on brownies anyways. Yes there is no such thing as over kill for many. He also doesn't reccomend the 45/70 or 450 calibers at all for backup protection. Meaning I guess go 50 BMG?? Those soft nose bullets of yesteryear make you wonder how anything ever got killed.
    Vast experience in Canada??? What in Canada have you shot in Canada with your 45/70 that causes you to beleive factory loads out of a 45/70 are not sufficient for protection?

    Still waiting to see examples of standard factory loads out of a 45/70 failing on brown bears. Like I stated before those heavy loads simple will not sell enough due to people not likely to shoot them frequently and even if they were they would NOT be cheap, just like premium bullets on other calibers are also not cheap.

    I will admit it would be cool to have more factory options for the 45/70. But I don't see them being any cheaper than Buffalo Bore, Garrett, etc which I believe is what you are trying to advocate for. I can tell this is a cause you believe in, in which case, go for it. I feel that most here just don't see the need and neither to the ammo makers to mass produce these hot loads with premium bullets.
    I have no personal knowledge of failures on Brown bear as you state; that is true. I have tried to collect information on what has worked with what in other threads, but apparently not many folks have ever faced a charge and successfully defended themselves to get any information at all at the moment. I have read many accounts and been told of many when I was in Africa of failures of similar styles of bullets though. Some of the game in Africa was not as durable and dangerous as the big Browns, such as Wildebeest, and some were more durable and as dangerous, such as the Buff.

    I am not trying to be the expert here, I am trying to learn but not many up there are experts either in actual charges ... apparently that is too rare to have much information on. All I want to do is find a nice load that "should" work in the rare event of a charge or other situations such as a predatory bear stalking. Since a protection situation would be at very close range, the load does not need to have a flat trajectory, just penetrate first, and do as much damage to incapacitate the offending animal.

    I believe the bonded softs and/or the quality solids will work. Quality solids mean ones that won't shave off if hitting the spine length ways, etc. This is what the punch bullet is good for, busting through anything and going straight. I will not plink with them, or practice much with them; they are for serious business only. Not unlike my duty gun on the streets, it will most likely be a weight to carry for years without use, but, if the odds go sour and I actually need it, I want the best. This is how I see it...

    I am not trying to offend and seem like an Alaskan expert, you guys are that. I am trying to find out information to have to base my decisions on. To be honest, I am hoping the stats and you are right and I never see a bear up close in a hostile situation. I would like to see some for photographic opportunity, and enjoy the trip…

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    Quote Originally Posted by Proud American View Post
    I will not plink with them, or practice much with them; they are for serious business only. Not unlike my duty gun on the streets, it will most likely be a weight to carry for years without use, but, if the odds go sour and I actually need it, I want the best. This is how I see it
    And for this reason ammo companies more than likely do not find it worth their while to mass produce these rounds you wish they would. This is because most would do exactly as you suggested above, buy just a box or two of these protection rounds and that will likely last time a lifetime.
    Not trying to rain on your parade and I applaud your effort in this undertaking. I'm just trying to show that it doesn't make good business sense for these companies to produce these bullets as they already exist through buffalo bore, garret, or even alaska backpacker and they'll keep making the plinking rounds that folks run through far more often as they will no doubt sell a lot more of these type of rounds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_Lanche View Post
    And for this reason ammo companies more than likely do not find it worth their while to mass produce these rounds you wish they would. This is because most would do exactly as you suggested above, buy just a box or two of these protection rounds and that will likely last time a lifetime.
    Not trying to rain on your parade and I applaud your effort in this undertaking. I'm just trying to show that it doesn't make good business sense for these companies to produce these bullets as they already exist through buffalo bore, garret, or even alaska backpacker and they'll keep making the plinking rounds that folks run through far more often as they will no doubt sell a lot more of these type of rounds.
    Probably so in most folks case, but not mine. I always replaced my carry duty rounds every few months or so if they were out in inclement weather a lot, etc. This would probably be an issue in Alaska ... inclement weather. If so you should change out your carry ammo, shoot what you carried to keep everything in order, and buy new stuff once or twice a year. This is how I do it. Remember, I am talking about protection scenarios. For hunting I may use them longer; a misfire there may(?) not be such a safety issue, unless you hunt up close and personal with the big boys...

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