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Marlin 45-70 - What Do I need to Know Before I Buy?

This is a discussion on Marlin 45-70 - What Do I need to Know Before I Buy? within the Lever Action forums, part of the Gun Forum category; Originally Posted by gyrsriddle I bought the 1895 longer barreled version years ago. Made 400 grain bullets from salvaged wheel weights. Dependable, accurate and every ...


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Old July 22nd, 2016, 09:46 AM   #16
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I bought the 1895 longer barreled version years ago. Made 400 grain bullets from salvaged wheel weights. Dependable, accurate and every deer I shot with it never took a single step.
Likewise, I have the full size 1895 in .45-70. Got in the late 1970's....... You will like it - and it is relatively easy to hand load for. With the .45-70, large flat nose bullets are your friend. The best way to generate horse-power and knock-down, knock-out - with a .45-70 is with large (400 gr +) cast flat nose bullets at modest velocity.
My gun can easily shoot through a deer length-ways.......
One caution as you begin to reload - you will run out of shoulder before you run out of gun.

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Old July 22nd, 2016, 09:55 AM   #17
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One caution as you begin to reload - you will run out of shoulder before you run out of gun.
I know what that is all about. I went shooting on a Sunday morning and ran through some 65-70 rounds. Tuesday morning I had a physical scheduled, I took off my shirt off and the doctor asked what happen to my shoulder. I asked him what was he talking about and then I had seen the discoloration around my right should. It looked as if a mule had stomped on my shoulder... Steel butt plates do that, I added a pad after that on the outside of my shirts.

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Old July 22nd, 2016, 09:56 AM   #18
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Bought mine from a guy at work back in the late '70s. Rifle was made in '76. Have never regretted it. I did put a Williams peep sight on it and made and it made a big improvement on accuracy for me. Like Doc said, you will run out of shoulder before you run out of gun. Definitely will leave a mark!!! -Lloyd

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Old July 22nd, 2016, 12:06 PM   #19
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Is yours a newer production Marlin (post Remington takeover)?

I'm just wondering since I've seen a lot of YouTube and forum posts where guys are complaining about QC issues with those guns and that you should by a JM stamped rifle or else the world will end.

The rifle that I looked at last night seems fine in terms of fit and finish, so maybe they've gotten past those issues. The action seemed acceptably smooth, so I'd be willing to bet that this gun would function fine


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No, mine is a "JM" that I purchased in the early 90's. I had the pleasure of using a friend's initial production back in 1973/4 when I was a "yute", and had wanted one ever since. I finally bought mine in 1992, and have never regretted it.

As far as the "RemLins", the early production was horrible, but they seem to have improved steadily through the years since the merger. I still prefer the earlier "JM"'s, and will pay the premium for one, but then I feel the same way about Smith revolvers too.

Quite frankly, I'm at a point in my life where I will and can pay for those, especially as neither will be made to the same standard in the future, and they aren't getting any less expensive. I won't pan the "RemLins" but I prefer the "JM" product.

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Old July 22nd, 2016, 12:17 PM   #20
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When I was hand loading for my 45.70's I would sit at the rifle range with a Lee hand-loader set and test out different powder loads vs. bullets weights to find the right combination that worked the best with each rifle I used. Then at home I could start the mass loading with my Dillon station. So yes.

This. The Lee loader is probably the first one that many of us had back in the day when we were mowing lawns for extra money-I know that it was for me. I still have mine in .45 ACP. That said, both Lee and Lyman make a "nutcracker" style loader, that is portable and relatively easy to use. The Lee uses regular 7/8x14 dies IIRC, and the Lyman has dies made for that particular tool.

https://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog...roductId/10284

https://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog...productId/7718

https://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog...productId/8062

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Old July 22nd, 2016, 12:22 PM   #21
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No, mine is a "JM" that I purchased in the early 90's. I had the pleasure of using a friend's initial production back in 1973/4 when I was a "yute", and had wanted one ever since. I finally bought mine in 1992, and have never regretted it.



As far as the "RemLins", the early production was horrible, but they seem to have improved steadily through the years since the merger. I still prefer the earlier "JM"'s, and will pay the premium for one, but then I feel the same way about Smith revolvers too.



Quite frankly, I'm at a point in my life where I will and can pay for those, especially as neither will be made to the same standard in the future, and they aren't getting any less expensive. I won't pan the "RemLins" but I prefer the "JM" product.


I was just reading that a lot of the issues with the early Remlins was supposedly caused by very old machinery that was moved to the Remington plant coupled with training issues.

I've shot a JM stamped 30-30 in the past and there's no argument that the fit and finish on that one was a step above what I see on this gun (the quality of the wood being the most notable). I'd love to find an older Guide Gun but I'm not sure that I have the willpower to hold off on buying this new gun in order to search for one.


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Old July 22nd, 2016, 12:23 PM   #22
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This. The Lee loader is probably the first one that many of us had back in the day when we were mowing lawns for extra money-I know that it was for me. I still have mine in .45 ACP. That said, both Lee and Lyman make a "nutcracker" style loader, that is portable and relatively easy to use. The Lee uses regular 7/8x14 dies IIRC, and the Lyman has dies made for that particular tool.



https://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog...roductId/10284



https://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog...productId/7718



https://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog...productId/8062


Thanks - I've bookmarked those links


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Old July 22nd, 2016, 01:15 PM   #23
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I was just reading that a lot of the issues with the early Remlins was supposedly caused by very old machinery that was moved to the Remington plant coupled with training issues.

I've shot a JM stamped 30-30 in the past and there's no argument that the fit and finish on that one was a step above what I see on this gun (the quality of the wood being the most notable). I'd love to find an older Guide Gun but I'm not sure that I have the willpower to hold off on buying this new gun in order to search for one.


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How long has the GG been at the dealer? If awhile, you might want to wait and find an older "JM" version, but if not, then go ahead and get the newer version. It may be uglier, but I'm sure that it will function fine.

Besides, the more you shoot it, the smoother it will get.

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Old July 22nd, 2016, 02:10 PM   #24
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My favorite rifle is a 2015 Marlin 1895 SBL in 45-70. It's an absolutely amazing tack driver that I use for Grizzley defense. I've also started learned to hand load - quite easily on a single stage RCBS, and I find the 45-70 very forgiving.

As has been said, Remington took 6+ years to figure things out after taking over Marlin in 2008. Some of the older Marlin purists won't touch the new guns because of how bad they got.

Check fit and finish, check for canted sights, binding in the action, trigger creep, machining and tooling marks inside the receiver.

Many of the rifles lately are great. That price is an excellent one, so approach cautiously.

Careful, You could fall into the Marlin Owners forum and never escape.

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Old July 22nd, 2016, 02:36 PM   #25
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Okay, I've been looking at a Marlin 1895GBL or 1895SBL for some time to go with my custom Ruger #2 in 45/70, so that's how I come to this place and time.

You want to Google "marlin 1895 cracking" and then start reading.

Problems with receivers started to appear about the time Remington bought out Marlin - don't have that date at hand. Appears that disgruntled employees started getting sloppy. Then Remington moved everything from Conn. to Colorado and had a difficult start up of the new production line. Again, dates not at fingertips.

What others have said before: "JM" stamp on barrel indicates production by Marlin people in Conn, generally well before the takeover. Appears 2013 and later production falls into the "Remlin" early period as it is being called on various Marlin forums - more research is indicated.

Unless you can disassemble the weapon and clearly see that there IS or IS NOT a crack in the receiver I would avoid the weapon. This is NOT something even an above average gun smith can repair, and why would they? A new weapon is supposed to be covered by a warranty and not have defects to begin with. There are PLENTY of pictures of the problem when you do the Googling, above.

Just exactly when Remington's production settled down and became 'dependable' is another date not at my fingertips. I'm going to do my research and write down this info to go in the wallet for the next gun show.

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Old July 22nd, 2016, 02:36 PM   #26
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How long has the GG been at the dealer? If awhile, you might want to wait and find an older "JM" version, but if not, then go ahead and get the newer version. It may be uglier, but I'm sure that it will function fine.



Besides, the more you shoot it, the smoother it will get.


It's been there for a little more than a week. Apparently, the guy that ordered it backed out of the sale before completing the transfer (seconds thoughts maybe). I have to check with the FFL to see if he's going to ship it back to the distributor soon or if he plans on holding it for a bit to see if someone (like me) might pick it up. I doubt that there's a high demand for 45-70 guns in my area so I wouldn't be surprised if he wants to ship it back sooner rather than later.




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Old July 22nd, 2016, 06:27 PM   #27
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Make sure it has the deeper Ballard rifling otherwise you'll be flinging the lead bullets down the range. How do I know? Wasn't a happy father's day when my Dad and I went shooting at the outdoor range with his newly acquired mint Marlin 45-70 from a local lady whose deceased husband had. He forgot to check the rifling and his had the shallower rifling for FMJ's and then found out his favorite lead bullets 300 gr were hitting all over the place.

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Old July 22nd, 2016, 06:46 PM   #28
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What other tools would I need besides this kit in order to get started with reloading 45-70? I'd invest in a press down the road but this seems like a good starting point to get an understanding of the process

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/224...-70-government


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Old July 22nd, 2016, 08:51 PM   #29
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What other tools would I need besides this kit in order to get started with reloading 45-70? I'd invest in a press down the road but this seems like a good starting point to get an understanding of the process

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/224...-70-government


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One of the remarkable things about the 45-70 cartridge is how it has been able to sustain and improve into modern powders, primers and bullets. I happen to shoot the RCBS 405 cast bullet, cast hard with copper enhancement (see Castboolits.com), gas check with either WC844 ball powder at modern pressures and velocities (in a Ruger falling block), and the same bullet with Unique (14 grains) to get a soft black powder equivalent.

Very few cartridges have this range, and the Lee system in your URL will have trouble giving you the kind of control you need to fully grasp the potential of this cartridge.

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Old July 22nd, 2016, 08:56 PM   #30
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When I first started reloading I didn't even use a press for the 45-70, just the Lyman 310 tool. Worked great.

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