View Full Version : .45-70 marlin lever

02-28-2009, 11:30 PM
I saw a used marlin .45-70 lever that looked really, really, pretty. What kind of catridge is this? I've had levers in 30-30 and .44, but don't have either gun now. I am kind of looking for another level brush gun for some of the places that I deer, elk hunt.

03-01-2009, 05:42 PM
Heres some info on the 45-70. I know its a big round and can take care of most game in North America.


03-01-2009, 06:36 PM
Does anyone have personal experience with this cartridge. Would it have a lot of recoil shooting standing and from the shoulder at game under 100 yards? Some of the places where I hunt are so wooded and brushy that a scope is a waste of time, and walking slowly is a good way to get a quick shot. Perfect for a lever gun of this size, only a 30-30 isn't a great choice for an elk or a black bear. So I was thinking 45-70 might be better, if I could aim it without getting knocked off target by the recoil.

03-01-2009, 10:45 PM
I dont have any experience with the 45-70.

My older brother has a Marlin .444 Lever action. I think it kicks less than the Russian 7.62x54R, follow up shots on targets are not that hard under 100 meters

Here is a bunch of videos from youtube on with people shooting 45-70's this might help?



03-02-2009, 08:41 PM
Cool a thread I have a little knowledge to share!

I have a Marlin 1895 lever in 45-70 Govt. It has a 22" barrel and weighs ~ 7.5lbs. My only modification is a Williams rear peep sight that replaced the original one.

First, I'll say the 45-70 is best utilized by someone that reloads their own ammo. You must realize the cartridge was introduced in 1873 and there are still rifles around made back then. Those older rifles may not be as strong as that Marlin is and thus can't handle the pressure like the Marlin.
For that reason most manufacturers load factory ammo light mainly for legal reasons. There are some ammo manufacturers making stronger loads that can be used in the Marlin and take any game animal in the US.

Course, there is no free lunch. Those heavy loads do kick. I recall a range day I was 'testing' a 460 grain lead bullet leaving the barrel ~ 1600fps which gives ~ 2600ft-lbs muzzle energy. I didn't think it would kick that hard and the scope smacked me *right above my eye and chipped the rear piece of glass. Ouch!

On the other hand a 300grain hollow point ~ 1700 to 1800fps will take most deer if placed properly. Course, I wouldn't hunt at distances over 150yds with that load. But that .458" diameter hole going in and that much or more coming out should make for a good blood trail if that deer doesn't drop in sight. Ratchet up to say a 350 grain @ ~ 1700 to 1900 if elk or moose are on the menu. Again about a 150yd load.

Recoil? Many 30-06 Springfield factory loads generate 20ft-lbs or less recoil (those light or heavy magnum loads may be more). That 300g load at 1800 has 23ft-lbs and the 350g load at 1800fps has 30ft-lbs.
So they kick some, course if you reload you can start witth light loads and work up to 'hunting' loads. I just work up until I find a bullet/powder/velocity combo that gives good accuracy and call it a day.
Course Limbsaver and others make prefit recoil pads that are supposed to be very good at reducing the 'felt' or 'preceived' recoil - they can't actually reduce recoil as that's a matter of physics. Something about "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction".

Oh yea, I may decide to take the 45-70 deer hunting this year. Something about a 130+ year old cartridge throwing a heavy bullet at a relatively slow speed just seems right.

Hope this helps.


03-02-2009, 09:02 PM
Yeah as it happens I got a new student (I teach) today, and more students mean more money to buy guns, and the shop I go to happens to have a used 45-70 I'm going to take a look at tommorrow morning. ;D