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Murphy - your opinion please - 450 Marlin

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  • Murphy - your opinion please - 450 Marlin

    Murphy, I have something to ask for your opinion. You may remember the discussion about action types, feeding, belted mags vs those without the belt. Recently, I also wrote some comments that at one time, long ago, I wanting to build a 450 Alaskan or Fuller on a Siam Mauser action. Fortunately that didnít happen. I have had three 45-70s over the years, but didn't hang on to them. I had a Ruger #1, an Encore, and a Sharps replica. I like the caliber, but none of the rifles were suitable to me.

    Last Friday, I think I made a deal with a friend, so I now have a Ruger SS 77 MKII in 350 Rem Mag. One of the previous owners has cut the barrel off a couple of inches and crowned it himself. He also chopped about an inch off the butt stock. Although the rifle has been butchered a little, the action seems interesting. I already pulled the barrel, and the action seems good.

    Since I already have a 35 Whelen, I didn't get this rifle for the 350 RM, instead it occurred to me that this may be the making of a rifle equivalent or close to the performance of the 450 Alaskan/Fuller and/or the heavy 45-70, but instead chambered in the 450 Marlin Ė on a SS bolt action Ruger. I have never been a lever action fan anyway.

    I canít find ammo locally to try the feeding, but I suspect it will be OK. I have looked at the load data for the 450 Marlin, and 2000 fps with a 400 gr bullets seems impressive to me. I had a 458 WM once, and shot reduced loads in it, which as I remember were 400 gr at 2000 -2100 fps. Killed a moose with it - one shot - very impressively, but I did not like shooting full factory loads in it.

    What do you think about this Ruger 77 MK II in 450 Marlin project? What barrel length and twist rate do you suggest? For full power loads, I expect the 350 gr bullet is the lightest Iíll shoot, and I may try some of the 430 gr lead GC cast bullets too, but mainly 400 gr jacketed bullets. I may also try some reduced cast bullet loads.

    I was thinking of putting some good iron sights on the rifle, maybe a ghost ring rear sight, or maybe one of the new red dot scopes.

    Interestingly, Buffalo Bore makes hot ammo in this caliber.


  • #2
    I hope you don't mind me butting in. I do know that people have built .458 Americans on .350 mag actions. If you don't know, the .458 American (or .450 American, I can't remember) was a shortened .458 mag case. Shortened to 2" I believe. When the .450 Marlin came out I remember thinking, "Hey! That's just like the .458 American......". Try an internet search on .458 American or .450 American. Certainly .450 Marlin brass easier to find, but you might get a better idea of what a shortened .458 mag can do.
    I may be slow, but I get where I'm going!


    • #3
      450 Marlin bolt action

      Of course I don't mind you butting in, or any one else. I'm happy for any feed back and thoughts and info. I knew a guy who had one of the 458 x 2". It was on one of the Remington actions, but I don't think it was a 700. He liked the rifle, but I never shot it. At the time I didn't have a high opinion of it, but I think it was mostly because I don't like Remington actions.

      I became interested again - this time in the 450 Marlin - only when I discovered, recently, that you could get close to 2000 fps with a 400 gr bullet, and in such a compact cartridge, and using a short action, and it could feed in a bolt action. It has about all the recoil I can stand to shoot anyway, especially since I think the rifle will be a relatively light weight carbine.



      • #4
        450 Marlin in bolt gun.


        Ya' know, with a good strong bolt action, the 450 Marlin round could be loaded to higher pressures than in th 1895 lever. It's performance could be more on the order of 450 grains at 2000 fps when loaded to the 56-60,000 psi level which the rifle and case are easily capable of achieving. You're right the wildcat, any of them as good as they are they are more expensive and at least a little more trouble.

        Now about twist rate. There is a formula, I think it's called the Greenhill Formula that's used to calculate needed twist rate for a given caliber. It is
        T(Twist rate)= 150 * (d/r) . Remember it is the length of the bullet and not the weight that determines the twist needed.

        d=the diameter of the bullet (in this case .458")
        r=the ratio of length to diameter (If the length of the bullet is .916", this r=2.0, as the bullet is 2.0 calibers long)
        The 150 is a factor used for loads where velocity is between 1800- 2800 fps.
        For velocity above 2800 fps the factor is 180.

        This example is a short bullet so would only require a twist rate of about 1:34.
        The 45 caliber rifle is easy to stabilize and a twist rate of 20 would be good for even a 500 grain bullet if a round nose design. I think the 1895 rifles are 1:20" twist, but the 458 WM is 1:14" I once had a 450 Alaskan that was I think 1:24" twist and would shoot 450 grain cast into one hole at 100 yds.
        Also the recoil is less when the twist rate is slower. An added benefit.

        There are so many 458 diameter bullets that perform so well at the 1800-2200 fps range. The Hawk, Kodiak, Barnes Original, Woodleigh. and more, and were made for the lever guns so will be RN/FN style and will be easy to stabilize. If you plan to shoot 400 grain spitzers, you might want a twist of about 1:16", otherwise the 1:20" would be adequate. Also, this would perform well with a 20" barrel and would load easily with RL-7.

        You really should plan on 400 to 450 grain bullets. Any lighter would have low SD and not penetrate very well. The 400 grain is about .272 so that's about the minimum for my tastes. This would be a good project and it seems you have a good platform to build upon. Good luck and good shootin'.

        Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


        • #5
          Win 71-450AK

          I have a Johnson Rifle in 450 AK that John Bumiller made the barrel for a 20" and the twist is 1:20" I shoot 350 Hardcast FNGC with 69.0 of IMR 3031. Sweet liitle load!


          • #6
            450 marlin conversion

            Jim Clark Jr. of Clark Custom Guns 318 949 9884 in Princeton, La. was doing the 450 Marlin conversions on Remington 700s and Ruger M77s with quite good results quality work and accurate guns at reasonable prices I don't know if he is still doing them anymore but you could give him a call, remember 3 hour time difference. Hope this is of some help good shooting..Ronnie


            • #7
              Clark Custom 450 conversion

              Thanks for the info. I called Clark Custom and their reply was that they don't do those conversions anymore. I asked why, and the answer I got was they just didn't have time with all the other things they do. The demand just isn' t there. Apparantly they like to do several at a time.

              It's good info though because they apparantly thought it was a good enough idea to try the market one time.

              I already spoke to my regular gunsmith about this and he likes the idea, which is good enough for me. I usually do business with Pac-Nor, and I see they have the 450 Marlin reamer on their list, and they offer stainless .458 barrels in 20" and 18" and other twist rates. It's no problem to get the barrel installed, and my gunsmith says the Hogue stock with the full aluminum bedding block should stand any recoil the 450 could produce and hold just fine without any additional recoil lug on the barrel, as some have recommended. He has a set of sights taken off my old Encore barrel, the ones with the fiber optic inserts, and thinks these will fit onto a #5 contour just fine. Anyway, I shouldn't have too much into it when finished. I just hope I can be shooting it before the season is over.

              Good shooting


              • #8
                Clarks 450 marlin

                Sorry to hear Clarks no longer makes that conversion but the information your gunsmith up there is right on the money pac nor makes a very good barrel and the hogue stocks are great I have one on my Rem. 870 riot and one on a rem. 700 7mm mag that I really like if they have any downside to them they are a little heavy but should be just right on your 450.They are no heavier than wood and tough as nails I think you will be pleased with your new rifle and please let me know how it comes out as I have been thinking I might just have to have one it would make a heck of a good hog gun for down here. Good Shooting....Ronnie


                • #9

                  I just read this article and thought it was very good reading. Should be a confidence booster concerning the 450 Marlin cartridge when compared to the faster 458s. Anything that applies to the 45-70 as far as penetration could also be said of the 450 Marlin.



                  • #10
                    I have to pipe up and say how happy this line of thinking makes me. I've never been a fan of hotrodding the original 45-70, and see the search for a little more velocity as the best reason for the Marlin or the American. I'm content to let the 45-70 be what it was originally intended to be without stressing my firearms, instead reaching for other cases and arms when I want more.

                    Currently or once owning most of the rounds and actions being discussed, all I can do is encourage you. Even with the extra poop of the Marlin however, don't overlook it's potential as a cast bullet round. With a 400-450 grain bullet at around 1200 fps, it's more fun to shoot than you can possibly imagine. In an bolt action American anyway, that ballistic combo shoots ragged holes at 100 yards and is a stone killer on deer. Pretty cool for splattering ptarmigan heads, too.
                    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
                    Merle Haggard


                    • #11
                      I have one of Clark's .450M's built on the Ruger 77 and love it. It's quite a bit more enjoyable to shoot compared to the GG or BLR I have because of its heavier weight. I've been wanting to work up some "heavy" loads for it, but just can't seem to find the time to get around to it. I used the 350 gr. Hornady's out of it last fall on kudu in Namibia with good results.
                      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)


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