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Author Topic: 45-70 barrel length  (Read 366 times)

Offline magnanimous_j

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45-70 barrel length
« on: July 01, 2018, 02:54:08 PM »
I've always had a thing for lever guns, but I've never owned one. My brother in law just picked up a rossi in .45lc and its a really fun gun to shoot. So now I really want one.

I'm thinking that 45-70 is a more interesting round than the 30-30. I'm leaning toward a Marlin 1895. I'll use it for Western Washington, thick woods, short ranges with iron sights. Deer being the primary game.

My question is whether to get the 18.5" guide gun version, or the 22" standard version. It's not so much about range, I understand that this is not a 800yd bolt rifle with scope. I just want to make sure the shorter barrel won't lose too much hp at moderate ranges. As I understand it, the guide gun concept was developed to dispatch angry charging bears at extremely close range at the salmon river.

I know this might seem like a silly question, but I'm a "small and fast round" kind of guy usually and I don't understand how these older, big slug rounds work.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2018, 03:26:27 PM by magnanimous_j »

Online Bob33

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Re: 45-70 barrel length
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2018, 03:23:58 PM »
I would choose the 22", and not for velocity considerations. A very short, lighter barrel can be more difficult to accurately shoot offhand. It will likely generate more muzzle blast and jump. A 22" barrel is still short enough to handle easily.
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Offline jasnt

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Re: 45-70 barrel length
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2018, 03:35:30 PM »
I would choose the 22", and not for velocity considerations. A very short, lighter barrel can be more difficult to accurately shoot offhand. It will likely generate more muzzle blast and jump. A 22" barrel is still short enough to handle easily.

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Offline MeatMissile

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Re: 45-70 barrel length
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2018, 04:24:30 PM »
I have a Winchester 1886 lightweight with a 22 inch barrel.  It makes for a pretty quick handling levergun.  If you were looking for a truck gun, I’d go 18.  If you’re like me and like to set out for a day and wander around, go 22.

I also have an 1885 with a 28 inch barrel in 45-70.  Seems like I like that cartridge!

Offline BigGoonTuna

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Re: 45-70 barrel length
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2018, 04:43:54 PM »
I've got a standard 1985 marlin with the 22" barrel.  Its about 2 or 3" shorter than my 22" holt actions overall. I don't find myself wanting for less weight, and i like the pistol grip better than the straight stock for a heavy kicker.
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Offline yorketransport

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Re: 45-70 barrel length
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2018, 10:11:54 PM »
18.5” barrel all day long! You won’t miss the velocity out to 150 yards but you’ll definitely notice a 4” shorter gun. I’ve had guide guns in 444, 45-70 and 450 with the 18.5” barrels and they’re a dream to carry while hunting.

Bigbore rounds kill more like a muzzle loader than a high velocity round so just pick a good bullet and don’t worry about the velocity.
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Offline Tjkride

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Re: 45-70 barrel length
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2018, 10:25:16 PM »
Ive had both and killed plenty of deer and 1 black bear with each. In all honesty I didnt notice much of a difference between the 2 accuracy or recoil wise. The 18.5 did have a noticibly louder muzzle blast with hot handloads.
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Offline Fl0und3rz

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Re: 45-70 barrel length
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2018, 10:51:33 PM »
Are you going to hunt with it?

If so, 18.5".  Really easy carrying brush gun in the Marlin 1895 guide gun.

With 2000 fps 300 grain, you'll get about 150-175 of usable open sight trajectory.  But they are not real fun for plinking or shooting from a bench.

If not, get whatever floats your boat.  A heavier gun would make shooting lots of modern loads more pleasant.

Online nwwanderer

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Re: 45-70 barrel length
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2018, 05:54:03 AM »
Read O'Connor and Keith for your little/big bore education and point them both.  Which one gets you on target faster?

Offline Biggerhammer

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Re: 45-70 barrel length
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2018, 07:21:26 AM »
18.5”👍 With a saw and a crowning tool you may be able to get it to a perfect 16” length.
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Offline idaho guy

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Re: 45-70 barrel length
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2018, 07:35:45 AM »
18.5” barrel all day long! You won’t miss the velocity out to 150 yards but you’ll definitely notice a 4” shorter gun. I’ve had guide guns in 444, 45-70 and 450 with the 18.5” barrels and they’re a dream to carry while hunting.

Bigbore rounds kill more like a muzzle loader than a high velocity round so just pick a good bullet and don’t worry about the velocity.




 :yeah:I have marlin 22” and wish I had the guide gun with the shorter barrel I have used it exclusively for hound hunting bears and lions so lots of crawling through brush and close range shots 100 or less has knocked everything down 1 shot I love it for bears but wish I would have bought the shorter barrel

Online kselkhunter

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Re: 45-70 barrel length
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2018, 07:46:07 AM »
If you're going Marlin, I'd get one of the stainless models.
1895GS and 1895SBL are both 18.5" barrels.  The SBL is a pound heavier due to the stock and sight setup, and I'd go with that over the GS.

There's also the 16.5" barrel Trapper series 1895.  That is the ultimate in fast handling.  But expect some muzzle blast and recoil in that smaller, lighter rifle if you're shooting modern 45/70 loadings.

If you're just using it for deer, also consider the Browning BLR.  Lots of caliber options there.  20" and 22" barrels.  I'd probably go 358win in a BLR.  For big bore, Browning does 450 Marlin instead of 45/70, but practically the same thing with modern loaded 45/70.   I like the BLR lightweight stainless take-down models the most. 

Offline Mongo Hunter

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Re: 45-70 barrel length
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2018, 07:54:41 AM »
If its for hunting I say do the 18.5". Over the years my hunting rifles have gotten lighter and shorter, hell my rifle Im using this year is a 14.5" 300BO  :chuckle:. I just have discovered I prefer the light handy guns for hunting and in just about every case the shorter barrels are just fine. I have a 7mm rem mag that's a 24" or 26" and all I discovered with it is that its heavy, gets caught on brush and just blows through both sides of the deer like its nobody's business, just don't really need it for most of the hunting I do.

18.5" with some Hornady Leverlution and I think you'll be just fine.
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Offline Ziptie

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Re: 45-70 barrel length
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2018, 11:23:08 AM »
I have hunted with a 45-70 Guide gun for years.  I have been tempted to cut it down to 16".  Currently it shoots great with the 18.5" I would take a 300yd shot at game.  With the weight and balance of the 18.5" I do not think there is a benefit to going to a longer barrel for velocity or accuracy.  I use a scout scope that retains 0 with quick release rings.  I have the option to pull the scope and put in my pack running the iron sights if needed.  In western wa there will be times a scope will work against you in the thick stuff.  Just my .02 good luck. 

Also the 45-70 is a amazing round, the versatility of it blows my mind.  You can shoot soft stuff to knock your teeth out hot stuff and if you reload there is even more versatility.  Also look at a 444 marlin check this info but i think it can run 410 shot shells through it.  Nice grouse/small game option.  (you can hand load 45-70 shot shells too ;) 
« Last Edit: July 07, 2018, 11:29:05 AM by Ziptie »
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