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Thread: .45-70 vs .450 Marlin

  1. #1
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    Default .45-70 vs .450 Marlin

    I read that the .450 Marlin is a belted cartridge but the .45-70 is rimmed cartridge, but I can't find any information on the dimensions of each cartridge. I was trying to think of a way to make the .45-70 work in a rifle chambered for .450 Marlin. If this was possible, it would make the .450 Marlin more versatile. I'm sure headspacing would be an issue. I was just brainstorming and I thought I would run this through the brain trust on this site.

    I want to buy a .450, but it would be nice to be able to run heavy and light loads like .357/.38. What do you think?
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    Power wise there is little if any difference between the 45-70 and the 450 Marlin. If anything i would give the edge to the 45-70 because more companies load for it.
    I seriously doubt your rifle can be converted to handle both rounds since one has a belt and the other does not.
    If you are in search of a heavy/light load just reload what you want for the same cartridge.
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  3. #3

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    The two rounds are completely different dimensionaly. They aren't interchangable and they can't be made to be interchangable. They are both great rounds and pretty much duplicate each other in terms of killing power.

    This is just a suggestion but if you are after a rifle with the kind of thump that these two will offer but you also would like to shoot cheap lighter loads in the same gun....then look at the Puma 92 from Legacy sports in a 454 Casull. This gun will not only shoot the touted 454 round but also will handle 45 long colt ammo like a dream. I have one and love it!

  4. #4

    Default 450 Marlin "plinkers"

    I don't have a 450 Marlin, but I've had several 45-70s over the years. The 45-70 can be loaded with a variety of loadings from "plinkers" with fast burning pistol powders and light bullets to heavy duty, teeth-rattling rounds (medium-fast burning powders and heavy bullets). I would imagine that the 450 can be loaded similarly. Have you checked with Lyman for possible cast bullet loads?

    The 450 Marlin is very similar to the 458x2" American cartridge, which is a shortened version of the 458 Winchester Mag. You might do comparisons with that cartridge. http://www.reloadbench.com/cartridges/w458x2.html and http://www.reloadbench.com/cartspec.html.

    Also, just try "Googling" 450 Marlin and 458X2" American.

    Good Luck.

  5. #5
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    Default 45/450 marlin...

    The 45-70 and the 450 Marlin are not even close in dimensions and cannot ever be interchangable. You can buy factory ammo for the 45-70 that is for mice or moose. Therefore it is much more versatile than the 450.

    The 450 has a belt similar to the other belted magnums but much thicker, or longer, (back to front dimension is greater) than the belt of a 458 WM. The 458 2" has the same belt as the 458 WM and cannot be used in the 450 Marlin but can be fired in the 458 WM. It can also be fired in a 8mm RM or 7mm STW with extremely dangerous results, that's the reason for the thicker belt on the 450. The 450 marlin is the only one of it's kind and was meant to duplicate high performance 45-70 round. It would seem to have been designed to work through a bolt gun and not a lever.

    If you handload you can make either of these rounds suit your purposes but if not the 45-70 would be the best choice for light, medium or heavy loads.

    We have the Marlin 1895 rifle built for the 450 Marlin, what do you think of necking the 450 down to 416 and make a longer reaching stopping rifle? Are there any 416 bullets suitable for a tubular magazine? Or, how about necking to .410 and use the 300 grain 405 Win bullets? Hey, it will fit the rifle.
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    Thanks for the replies. I'm not a reloader, but I am a tinkerer and I was looking for a project. Sounds like the .45-70 is the way to go for versatility. I'm looking real close at the stainless Marlin guide rifle. I wish they made it with the gray laminate stock that they put on their new XLR rifle.

    I'm also looking closely at the Puma 92 in .454 as elmerkeithclone suggested. The Puma rifle comes in stainless and I'll bet it would go real nice with one of those new Ruger Alaskan revolvers in .454 Casull. I like the idea of having a rifle and handgun that shoot the same ammo.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. - Henry David Thoreau

  7. #7

    Default Murphy

    If you neck the 45-70 down to 416 , there is already a wildcat designed for that round. Meant for use in an 1895. There is also a .348 necked up to 416 for use in a M71. The Styer Co. now builds an ugly bolt gun for the .450 also.It looks kind of like a bolt action shotgun.

  8. #8

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    "We have the Marlin 1895 rifle built for the 450 Marlin, what do you think of necking the 450 down to 416 and make a longer reaching stopping rifle? Are there any 416 bullets suitable for a tubular magazine? Or, how about necking to .410 and use the 300 grain 405 Win bullets? Hey, it will fit the rifle."

    That was the thinking behind my wildcat pushing a .429 bullet out of the straightened 45-70 case. It's a dandy, kind of a super version of the 444 Marlin, or as I like to say, what the 444 wishes it could be.

    I'm not sure about the availability of suitable 416 bullets, but along the lines of my own wildcat, there are a whole bunch of .410 pistol bullets. Whether or not they are heavy enough or tough enough for heavy game at higher velocities is another question, but it would step around the hassle of finding FN bullets while opening the door to cheaper pistol bullets for plinking.

    I weighed all the factors and decided to go for it, recognizing that even in a "serious" hunting gun 99% of my shooting was going to be plinking.

    Still deciding if it was worth the expense though, after paying for barrel, gunsmithing and custom dies. It's a joy to own and shoot, but I don't know that I could look anyone in the eye and tell them they needed one, too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    "We have the Marlin 1895 rifle built for the 450 Marlin, what do you think of necking the 450 down to 416 and make a longer reaching stopping rifle? Are there any 416 bullets suitable for a tubular magazine? Or, how about necking to .410 and use the 300 grain 405 Win bullets? Hey, it will fit the rifle."

    That was the thinking behind my wildcat pushing a .429 bullet out of the straightened 45-70 case. It's a dandy, kind of a super version of the 444 Marlin, or as I like to say, what the 444 wishes it could be.


    The 45-70 straight walled is 47 caliber, hence the 475 JDJ and whatnot.


    Murphy the 335 grain 416 Bullet that I had Marshall build for my 416/350 Rem. Magnum wildcat will work in a lever guns tubular magazine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    ...... It would seem to have been designed to work through a bolt gun and not a lever.......
    I have a .450M built on a Ruger 77 action and it feeds really slick. There's never any problem with it through my levers either , but the way it runs through the bolt does make one think it was designed for it.
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by WinMag_300 View Post
    I'm looking real close at the stainless Marlin guide rifle. I wish they made it with the gray laminate stock that they put on their new XLR rifle.
    Actually, they do. Well, they did. It is a limited production (500) .45/70 stainless with a gray laminate stock very similar to the XLR. It has fiber-optic sights and a straight grip as opposed to the pistol grip on the XLR. If you lived in Anchorage you could pick one up for $730. I couldn't find one on Gunbroker. I'd also agree with everyone above in recommending the .45/70 over the .450. In my mind, the .450 was a solution to a problem that didn't exist.

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    The BLR was also made in .450M in a grayish laminate and stainless limited edition.

    Also, as far as the .450M/45-70 debate goes. I'm wondering why there has to be "a problem that exists" before someone can/should come out with a new caliber. Who cares! More is better I say.
    The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps! (Eleanor Roosevelt, 1945)

  13. #13

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    Hey Allen,

    Agreed that the 45-70 is 47 cal when straightened. That's why the case on mine is bottlenecked to accept the .429 bullets.

    It looks kinda like a smaller version of PO's improved 450 Alaskan. Though I haven't measured it, there's a pretty fair increase in powder capacity over the tapered original case, and a heck of a jump over the 444. My point in the whole exercize was to try making room for larger charges of slower powders behind heavy .429 bullets. It worked out extremely well in that regard, but as I said before, I'm not sure the expense would be worth it for many people.

  14. #14

    Default 45-70/44

    BrownBear; Could you list some load info and chronograph results on this round? Sounds interesting as heck! Kind of like a King Kong version of the 44/357 Baines and Davis......a round that I messed with several years ago!

    Sorry to hijack the thread but inquiring minds need to know!

  15. #15

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    The 444 will push a 300 grn bullet to right at 2000fps out of a 24" barrel, and the 450 Marlin gets 2200 or so with the same weight from an 18.5" barrel. Some folks get that from their 45-70 GGs, but I've never pushed mine that hard, getting just under 2100 with my hottest load.

    My 44 Kodiak has a 20" ported barrel, and I pretty easily pushes a 300gn bullet past 2200 with quite a few powders and reasonable "pressure signs" from miking, watching primers, etc (all the usual handloader techniques used when you don't have a pressure barrel). I've never hotrodded it much past 2300, though braver souls than me would probably do so. Good riddance to them! I'm perfectly content with the way it's shooting now, and if a 300 grain bullet at close to 2300 isn't enough, I'll go play golf.

    My top loads, both for accuracy and velocity are either 58 gr of RL-7 or 62 gr of 3031 for 2280-2290 fps. There's room for more in terms of capacity and probably pressure, but it won't happen in my gun. 4895 and 4064 are a bit too slow, but if I found a really heavy bullet in the 320-350 gr range they might come up roses. Compare my 58 gr RL-7 charge with the max of 41.3 grains Hornady lists for RL-7 and you get an indicator of the increase in powder capacity, while producing very similar pressure signs and an extra 300 fps.

    This all started because I have an original 450 Alaskan based on the 348 case, but it's simply too fine a rifle to use for brush busting any more. I started to build another when Browning released their version of the Model 71, but was having trouble catching up with one. Marlins are easy to come by, and I started comparing sectional densities and ballistic coefficients of .458 and .429 bullets, and the idea for the 44 Kodiak dawned as a scaled down "cousin" of the 450 Alaskan that would let me shoot cheap pistol bullets for my persistent plinking, even while it stepped up for serious uses when fed heavy premium bullets. Add in the fact that I've always been frustrated with the case capacity limits of the 444 for heavy bullets and slower powders.

    Just for the record, Hornady lists their .429 300gr with a SD of 0.232 and a BC of 0.245. Their .458 300gr comes in at SD=0.204 and BC=0.197. Their .458 350-grain bullet lists SD=0.238 and BC=0.195. Others may disagree, but when I wave my magic wand over those numbers my SD & BC are much better than the .458 300-grainer, and maybe better than the 350-grain 458. A 45-70 isn't going to top 2000 by much with a 350-grainer in most people's Marlins and isn't listed higher than 2200fps for a Ruger #1, but the 44 Kodiak is pushing a similar BC/SD to almost 2300fps. Some folks believe in BC/SD and some don't. I happen to believe and have proven it to my satisfaction at the range, so I was willing to pony up the funds for the rifle.

    Is a 300 fps gain worth all the expense. I doubt it, but I sure had fun and am really happy with the rifle. And truth be known, if I have to play the penetration game "for real" some day, I've got a lot more confidence in a heavily built 300gn .429 than in a 300gn .458 at the same velocity because of the jump in SD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akav8r View Post
    Actually, they do. Well, they did. It is a limited production (500) .45/70 stainless with a gray laminate stock very similar to the XLR. It has fiber-optic sights and a straight grip as opposed to the pistol grip on the XLR. If you lived in Anchorage you could pick one up for $730. I couldn't find one on Gunbroker. I'd also agree with everyone above in recommending the .45/70 over the .450. In my mind, the .450 was a solution to a problem that didn't exist.
    Thanks, I actually found one on gunbroker.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. - Henry David Thoreau

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    If I were you BrownBear I would be switching powders for that 44 Kodiak. The 444 Marlin will push a 325 grain cast bullet to your velocities and at very safe pressures with 7-10 grains less powder if you were using AA2015 or H322.


    My number 1 powder of choice for my 45-70 and 430 JDJ loads has always been H322. It's real hard to get too much in the case. That's the reason Randy Garrett uses it in his custom loads. Good velocity at safe pressures.

  18. #18

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    Thanks Allen! I did my initial tests with powders on hand and quit when I was happy with the loads. I've run through most of the last batch of 200 rounds I loaded, so it's time to get back to the bench, this time with some new powders. I've been looking at the 325's as a way to get more weight, and it would be interesting to see what would happen with 4064 and 4895. Still have mountains of both around from the days I bought 8-pound cannisters, so that would be really economical compared to buying (and storing) even more.

    I'm really startled to hear that the 444 will push a 325gn bullet to 2300. Has anyone ever measured pressures on those loads? By that reconning, it would seem I should be able to top 2500 with the same bullet, though I don't think I would want to subject my shoulder or my gun to the effects.

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    Default Professional opinion on an odd idea...

    Greetings all! I have experience with firearms, but mainly just shooting them, and not with the engineering and physics behind design. As such, here is my situation:

    I have come into possession of a .410/.45 LC Thunder Five, a shotgun revolver with a cylinder capable of accepting up to 3-inch long cartridges (yes, yes, I know most experts regard it as a silly gun). A version of this revolver comes with an unfluted .45-70 cylinder. The frame for both versions is identical.

    Normally the .410/.45 LC version has a fluted cylinder, but my particular weapon is an earlier version with an unfluted cylinder, just like the .45-70, but with untapered chambers for .410/.45 LC.

    From what I gather, a .45-70 cartridge is too fat at the back to fit into the .410 cylinder. My question is, knowing this revolver is tough enough to stand up to .45-70, is there an untapered cartridge out there that will fit in the .410 chamber, and can be fired safely? I'd really like to take advantage of that extra power, if I can.

    I haven't physically examined any cartridges yet, but some of the ones I was thinking of are .444 Marlin, or .450 Marlin. I have heard second-hand from one person that .454 Casull is probably too hot. Thoughts?

  20. #20

    Default ABOUT .450 Marlin vs. 45-70

    Steyr Mannlicher Big Bore .450 Marlin_1.jpg

    Steyr Mannlicher Big Bore_3.jpg

    Why to compare apples to oranges - both tastes good! I have allways been a big fan for the both of these fine cartridges, allthough the .450 is pretty new one. The one and only reason I chose .450 is the simple fact that it works in bolt actions. Now I have the honour to present two pics of my new"favourite"rifle. I have had classical 9,3 mm european calibers and now I am expecting less or none meat damage.

    KTo

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