Another question I've wanted to ask you guys who live it, how many use & hunt with the 45-70 Marlin 1895 or Guide Gun?
I've had three over the years, an 1895 and two Guide Guns, one blued & poprted (Ouch!) & one SS with a big loop. I never had a rifle that killed deer so hard up close ! Found out I didn't need all I could get out of them down here, so settled on a medium level load using a 350 grain Hornaday Round Nose at 1800FPS from a Guide Guns's 18.5 " barrel. I'm not particularly recoil sensitive but even at that, 10 rounds of that from the bench was enough for Excedrin Headache #4570. Shooting offhand I had to wrap my support hand all the way around the barrel or it would twist out of my hand and with heavy loads it was a real bear, almost as heavy recoiling as the unbraked 300 RUM. Still, using my medium load I was able to empty it into a milk jug at 25 yards in a couple seconds and retain a tight group.
A couple years ago I received medical advice advising me to quit shooting the heavy recoiling stuff. So being the Guide Gun, 300 Win Mag, 300 & 7MM RUMs got traded in. The only big bore I kept was my braked 338 Mag. I will stop shooting 12 gauge (about 1000 rounds a year on average, most 3" steel) when I die off.
I really missed that handy Guide Gun package and just about left scratch marks getting in the local sporting goods store to order when they came out with the 336BL. I call it the Baby Guide Gun. It is a 336 30-30 with 18.5" barrel, full length tube, laminated wood, and factory big loop lever. With the 160 grain Leverevolution ammo, it's no 45-70 Guide Gun but is pretty OK for medium stuff and fun to shoot.
So the question remains is the Guide Gun in 45-70 (or 450 Marlin) a truly viable general use Alaskan gun, is it more a tool for the pro big bear guide, or is it an idea sold to us in the Lower 48 that has little use up there?
I'm going to guess the Baby GG in 30-30 although a handy carry package and capable of 200 yard shots with 160 grain Leverevolution ammo, lacks the stopping power to be a viable full time carry Alaskan rifle?