45-70 vs 375 H&H for guiding



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  • 45-70 vs 375 H&H for guiding

    Hey guys,

    I know a few guides frequent this forum, so was hoping I could get some input both from them, as well as the rest of you whom have experience with both these calibers.

    I just bought an 1895 guide gun to use for when I'm guiding for spring bear. I hand load, so am able to use decent loads for it. That being said, I also have a 375 Taylor wildcat built on an FN Mauser CRF action which produces the same numbers as the H&H. I used the 375 for moose guiding last season, but thought maybe I would try this 45-70 guide gun that everyone is raving about.

    So after having bought the rifle, and having some gunsmithing work done to the 1895 like adding an extended mag, new ejector, etc, I still don't know how I feel about this rifle, and if it is just a "cute" lever gun in comparison to my CRF 375, instead of a serious working gun. That being said, that lever gun is pretty handy compared to my 24" barreled bolt gun.

    Anyone here have experience with the Marlin in a guiding situation? Will it work adequately and well for those awkard angle shots, or when it comes down to needing a working gun, is the 1895 45/70 just a novelty, and better left as a hunting rig rather than a backup rifle?

  • #2

    I would never pick a bolt over a lever action. You can work it quicker and smoother if needed.
    I believe it to be the best backup there is. Handles very well and can shoot at any angle. Much like the Winchester model 94(GREAT GUN) If only it came in the 45-70.

    __________________________________________________ ____
    One shot one kill
    One shot one kill


    • #3

      If your clients bear is wounded and 200 yards away which one would you want? The 45-70 Marlin is a neat rifle, I have 2 of them. The .375 is the best known big bear caliber in Alaska, for good reason. With the right bullet it works both near and far!


      • #4
        guide guns

        Hansol you have 2 of the best! you cant go wrong with either! I have been guideing for over 20 years and for the last 5 have been packin the guide gun in 45/70. In my opinion its the best, its light its short and handy and I believe at close range (where you will need it ) it is more effective than the 375. In last months rifle mag. the best bear guide of them all, Phil Shomaker was holding one, thats all that needs said about the guide gun!


        • #5
          The first question should be in a bolt action rifle would I choose 45-70 or .375 H&H. If you would choose the .375 H&H that ends the inquire. If you choose 45-70 now you can debate the relative merits of 45-70 in a bolt action or lever action.

          Here is the reality, it is less about the cartridge, and more about the field stripping of the firearm. Guide guns ain't pretty, regardless of the action type. Dog Salmon river, wind 35 to 55 MPH blowing river dust, and silt packed the actions so solid on both of the "GUIDE" guns, that the two guides had backed all afternoon. They get to camp and neither firearm has an action that will function. So they pour some left over coffee on the two actions, and completely field strip them with no tools, wash the parts in the river, dry them with a dirty tee-shirt, pour some 10-30 motor oil on them, wipe, reassemble.

          Four weeks later on beach at Wide Bay, blowing beach silt packs the action again, this time no old coffee, action so packed with silt and ice it will not open. Had to set the whole firearm in a freshwater creek and use sticks to get enough silt out to allow for field dissemble of bolt which was backed with silt. Again using "NO" tools, swished bolt parts and entire rifle around in the fresh water (The trigger was also full of silt). Reassemble firearm, go to work, repeat whole process again late that afternoon, that night disassemble and use cooking oil for lubricant.

          So what is more important .......what cartridge your using, or if you field strip your action with "NO" tools. If you go to work on August 7'th and work everyday (24 hour a day, no overtime pay) out of a tent on the Alaska Peninsula, till Oct. 24'th you at some point see your pretty firearm as a work tool like the Coleman stove, and the camp shovel. You don't care how pretty the shovel is, only that it do it's JOB........


          • #6
            well put

            hopeak very well said! thats where the old model 70 is hard to beat!


            • #7
              Thanks for the replies so far guys. Believe me when I say I understand a rifle quickly just becomes a tool after about 7 days in moose camp.

              So with that being said, again, I know my bolt gun can handle the elements no problem. But the only experience I have with a lever gun is with my 30-30 deer rifle in a "hunting" situation, where you are afforded the opportunity to diligently clean and oil said rifle. I haven't had a chance to use a Marlin lever gun in a guiding capacity, so I don't have any idea as to how it will hold up.

              Also, generally we don't take shots for clients. The only times we do that is when things go "badly", so to speak. So most shots will be made inside of 40 yards. Hence my asking about how the two cartridges stack up, or if there is much of a difference.

              Thanks again.


              • #8
                During her last trip to Africa my oldest daughter had to borrow a Guide's 375-HH which had been magaported, to make a rather long shot on a Kudo. Later found to be 300 paces. That would have been much harder with a 45-70, particualrly with the distance miscalculation.
                Float-CFI, Photo Guide, Fishing Guide, Remote Kayaking
                Guest Cabin, Flight Reviews, Aerial Tours


                • #9
                  Either one will work, and work well. I have a feeling that too much is being made about the trajectory of the 45/70 here. Even on a long shot, (like 200 yards), any guide should be a good enough shot to hit with it. I've shot targets at 200 yards with mine, and it just is not that hard to hit with it. A bear is a big huge target. If a guide can't hit it, then I'd say they're in the wrong business!
                  I'd say with either one: practice plenty with it so you know it well, and know where to hold...close or far...

                  "I love my country...it's the government I'm scared of"


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