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Thread: 454 casull lever gun VS 45-70 lever gun

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    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default 454 casull lever gun VS 45-70 lever gun

    I have been thinking about the 16 1/4" marlin 45-70. Just not sure if the barrel length is to short and losing to much velocity. The 454 casull with a similar barrel also has my attention. If I get another revolver it might be a 454casull.

    Will the .454 casull measure up to the 45-70 both shooting 400gr hardcast factory loads in the short barrels? Are handgun powders burning that much faster compared to a rifle cartridge?

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    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    I don't know if the 454 measures up or not as I've never had one. But I can tell you from experience, that a 16in barreled 45-70, while it may lose some velocity, still crushes game. I have used mine on deer, hogs, and a brown bear, and none of them could have been any deader had I been using even a 30in barrel. I would also choose the 45-70 because you can get it in the Marlin 1895, which I beleive is a higher quality firearm than the Puma.

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    The 45/70 will give a little better velocity especially with bullets much over 300grs as you run out of room for powder when using heavy bullets in the 454. The velocity difference is not great but it is there. Test fire both if you can as there is a difference in how they feel and handel and you will probably like one better that the other. The pistol powders burn quite a bit faster than the powders used in the 45/70. The 454 Puma operates at about 65,000psi while the better built Marlin operates at a max of about 45,000psi. But you should check them both for yourself to see what you like. I don't think you would ever wear out either one. Using the same ammo in a pistol and a rifle would be a nice touch but not a big deal. I shoot the Lee 300gr cast (really 317gr) from my puma 20" at about 1950fps. I have only shot 1 Blacktail with it with no bullet recovery.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    My S&W 500 is more powerful that than the 454. My 45-70 is much more powerful than my 500. That puts the 454 clearly in the back of the pack. Not saying it isn't sufficient for the task at hand, but I am saying it is far away from hot S&W 500 and 45-70 loads. Go over to Buffalo Bore and compare the 454, S&W 500, and 45-70 loads. Look at the faster offerings with hardcast bullets when comparing these three as I assume that is what you would be feeding them. But I do see where you are coming from. It would be of great utility to have one round work in both sidearm and rifle. Perhaps a S&W 500 on your hip, and a WWG 50 Alaskan on the sling. Not interchangable, but both 50's. Ha ha... All BS aside, my buddy has a 454 Ruger Alaskan. That paired with a lever gun running the same ammo should keep you at the top of the food chain anywhere you go. I hope.


    From Buffalo Bore's website...

    454 Casull Ammo - 360 gr. L.B.T. - L.W.N. (1,425 fps/M.E. 1,623 ft. lbs.) -

    500 Smith & Wesson Ammo - 440 gr. L.F.N.-G.C.(1,625fps/M.E.2579ft.lbs.) -

    45-70 Magnum - Lever Gun Ammo - 430 gr. L.B.T.-L.F.N.(1,925fps/M.E.3,537 ft.lbs.)


    -Dan
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Dan
    It looks like your comparing 454 pistol ballistics against 45/70 rifle ballistics. My 454 Puma will shoot the 360gr in the 1900 fps area. That is still not a 45/70 Magnum load but I believe it will work. And if you put the 500 S&W in a 16in nonported barrel I suspect the numbers wouldn't look much different than the 45/70 as it should gain about 300fps. The point here is that all three in a 16" rifle barrel should be enough for close encounters with Yogi.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Thanks for correcting me. Too much coffee, not enough sleep
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Default puma

    I have the marlin guide gun and love it, my son has the puma 454. No doubt IMO the marlin is built better. My son has had some problems with his puma. I watched him shoot a young bull moose with it a couple of years ago at about 30 yards.... I wasnt impressed it certainly isnt a 45/70. I have heard since the 454 operates at such a high pressure its hard on the 92 action??

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    Default 454

    If Marlin had a good lever in 454 it would sale.......but the Rossi is not my cup of tea!

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Kid View Post
    I don't know if the 454 measures up or not as I've never had one. But I can tell you from experience, that a 16in barreled 45-70, while it may lose some velocity, still crushes game. I have used mine on deer, hogs, and a brown bear, and none of them could have been any deader had I been using even a 30in barrel. I would also choose the 45-70 because you can get it in the Marlin 1895, which I beleive is a higher quality firearm than the Puma.

    Is there many still available? I hear they were like a 500 count run made?

    Thanks all for your info. Just something to ponder on for a bit. The Marlin would be cool. Could share ammo with my dad that way too.

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    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Just checked DT's site. Didn't think of it before. But he now loads a 400gr WFNGC in 45-70 @ 1810fps out of a 22" marlin. The 454 400gr WFNGC out of a Legacy sports puma 20"bbl @ 1675fps. His 45-70 is a new load. Just bought my dad the 405jsp, wanted a hardcast but he didn't have it out yet.

    So next ? is, how many makers of the Puma are out there? Any one of them stronger than the rest? I assume the puma's would be lighter than a 1895 marlin? Obviously I would want a gun to last forever and to handle the big boy rounds. I can already tell the marlin is gonna get your votes. I haven't been out shopping yet, as I don't know what I want yet. Don't want to buy something and regret it. Plus not sure if I even need it, yet.

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    First, full pwer 45-70 loads are in a very different class than full power 454 loads, when both are fired out of a rifle. The BB 360gr. 454 load runs 1425 fps out of a 6 inch Freedom Arms revolver and about 1800 fps out of my 20 inch Puma. On the other hand, the 430gr. BB 45-70 magnum load runs about 1875 FPS out of an 18.5 inch Marlin.

    The only advantage I can see to shooting a Puma in 454, is that it is a very light and nimble little carbine and the one I have is accurate and reliable. I prefer the 45-70 magnum in a Marlin Guide Gun and that Guide Gun is a long ways from being bulky or cumbersome, while it is not quite as svelt as the Puma.

    The 360gr. 454 out of a Puma will lay serious hurt on any NA game animal, but it simply is not as formidable as the BB 430gr. 45-70 load.

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    I prefer the Puma or Rossi 92 myself because I like the Winchester actions function better than Marlin action. The Puma and Rossi are very well made and every bit as good as a Marlin in fit and finish just not American made so many people run them down without ever handling one. Comparing 454 and 45-70 the bigger case with the bigger bore almost always wins and if power is your deciding factor then 45-70 Marlin is it and case closed.

    However the model 92 in 454 has some cool things going for it the 45-70 does not. Same ammo as a side arm, Freedom Arms dose make a 45-70 revolver but I don't think it's practical. You can shoot 45 Colt in a 92 which makes it more versatile than a 45-70. 92 is a tad lighter and thinner yet has almost the power of the Marlin, but like Tim said the Marlin isn't exactly big ether.

    So it all comes down to a personal choice, your tastes, and what you are looking for the gun to do.

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    Default Guide-Gun, 1894 or SBL!

    I personally prefer the guide-gun in 45-70, yes it is a little heavier and thicker to tote around, but I will not shoot apart like I've heard about the legacy 92 with Full-house high-pressure loads. The 92 is a strong action, but Ihave heard too many bad things on this forum and others concerning their reliability problems. I know there are plenty of guys out there that have had no problems with them, but I just prefer the extra power and versatility the guide-gun provides. The other option would be having a Marlin 1894 blown-out to .454, I thin WW will do that too. There are a lot more sighting options available for the Marlins, Mine's got a WW peep-sight in the rear and a pinned fire-sight with a skeletonized-hood on the front. The 1895 SBL already has the scout-rail and a peep-sight, where you would have pay extra to have them mounted-up on a 92 or a guide-gun. I love the WW sights on my guide-gun, they are worth every-penny. I went with the XS Lever-scout rail and a leupold 2.5 scout-scope in quick-detach rings for a quick-change to open sights if I need to go into the alders following a blood-trail. Luckily with the power and accuracy of the Marlin 45-70 with the scout-scope I haven't had to follow any wounded animals into the brush yet, but I love having the option to change quickly to open sights if need be.
    Best of luck,
    -J
    Last edited by jay51; 03-21-2010 at 12:51. Reason: spellin'

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    Default U can keep the 454

    A friend brought his out for me to play with and I shot 3 of the rounds - unloaded the others and put it away - I did not enjoy that recoil at ALL!
    I cannot imagine me trusting my life to that in an emergency if I did not feel it was an extension of my hands and eyes.
    I am no wuss, shoot 41 mag a lot but the 454 was totally uncomfortable to me, size and recoil. No brainier . I'd rather pack a 44 Redhawk if I had to carry a sidearm than that thing.
    my 2 cents...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    Freedom Arms dose make a 45-70 revolver but I don't think it's practical.
    I think you meant BFR has a 45-70 revolver, not Freedom Arms--and I agree the giant 45-70 revolvers are about as practical as that goofey X frame S&W.

    I also have a Puma in 480 Ruger. All I did with it was some test firing several years ago and it is just sitting there, but someday, I'll get around to using it. With heavy loads, it ought to be a NA dangerous game rifle.

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    [QUOTE=Tim Sundles;693738]I think you meant BFR has a 45-70 revolver, not Freedom Arms--and I agree the giant 45-70 revolvers are about as practical as that goofey X frame S&W.
    QUOTE]
    Yes you are right, I meant BFR. I do love my X frame 460 though, I hunt everything from bunnies and hens all the way to moose with it. I find I use it more than any other gun I have, even the 22s, I didnít expect it to be half as versatile as it is.

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    I think that if I were to buy a Puma lever action it would be in 480 Ruger instead of 454 Casull. You would still be able to match it up with a sidearm if you wish, but the velocity boost would turn it into a 475 Linebaugh. That's one of the hardest hitting handgun cartridges around. Having a handy carbine that would be easier to shoot, that my wife or kid could shoot with some degree of accuracy if necessary would make the package a desirable one for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akrstabout View Post
    Is there many still available? I hear they were like a 500 count run made?

    Thanks all for your info. Just something to ponder on for a bit. The Marlin would be cool. Could share ammo with my dad that way too.
    I don't know if there is any 16in factory Marlins left, but we have a whole boatload of snazzy new SS laminate guns with 18in barrels, and a cut and crown isn't too expensive.

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    When the Puma first came out in 454 it was found that the method used to attach the mag tube was not good enough and that was changed to a screw in type tube. Also some front stocks cracked from recoil. Another change and since then there doesn't seem to be problems with them. Many people have shot many a lot of rounds through them without problems. Still the 45/70 has the advantage in power. The newest Pumas have an available barrel mount scope base and there is a rear peep sight that replaces the funky safety. Although they are similar guns, each has it's better points. The Marlin has the power edge and a rear scope mount position. The Puma uses a pistol round and is more slim and trim and holds 10 rounds in the 20" and can be unloaded without cycling rounds through the action. The Puma was less expensive than the Marlin but I haven't seen prices lately. But mostly I think it's what you like. Try them both if you can and make an educated judgement. I have the Puma 454. I didn't check to see where you live, but if in the Anchorage area I would be glad to let you shoot my 454 Puma.

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