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View Full Version : Need advice on a lever action .45-70 Govt.



Rspires
03-21-2019, 10:01 AM
I'm in the market for a lever action (https://gunandshooter.com/best-lever-action-rifle/) .45-70 Govt. I'm thinking of getting a Marlin since I don't see Winchesters for sale anymore. Any advice of anyone is appreciated...

blastjv
03-21-2019, 10:42 AM
My dad loves his Marlin .45-70. I'm not certain which specific model he has. No issues that I'm aware of. It's a thumper for sure!

IANative
03-21-2019, 11:52 AM
I bought two new Marlins last year, a 336BL in 30-30 and an 1895GBL in 45-70. Both have been "zero issues" guns. The newer Marlins (what folks call "Remlins," since Remington bought Marlin) had a bad rep for many years, and rightfully so from the sound of things. However, quality seems to have improved in recent years. My 45-70 (bottom rifle in the pic below) will drop 325gr Hornady FTX into a coffee cup at 100 yds all day long... if you really wanted to shoot it that much, lol.

57581

Dorkface
03-21-2019, 02:42 PM
Marlins have a lot to offer. Easy to mount optics on as the receiver is already tapped for it, good after market support and they have very strong actions. They can handle very hot loads except for the ones reserved for bolt action 45-70s.

Redneck Zen
03-21-2019, 04:34 PM
I have three Marlins and a fourth on layaway. My .44 Trapper is a 1970s vintage, slick and easy to shoot. My 45-70 Guide Gun and .357 carbine are later models, not sure what year, with the cross-bolt safety; they are stiffer, not as good a trigger and not as smoothly finished as the older gun. I got the 45-70 for deer hunting, which I have yet to do, and I had the .357 threaded for my suppressors, which is one of the best things I've ever done with a gun. Despite a stiffer trigger than my older .44, it's a quiet and reliable tack driver with 130 grain .38 Special FMJ.


57586

But you're asking about a 45-70. I'm sure there are other options out there, but my preference is obvious. The good news is that, just as Ian says, the new Marlins are a huge improvement, harkening back to the good old days. I read about it, but then I found out the hard way. Having one .357 carbine, I did not need another, but when I saw the new stainless rendition at my local shop -- actually, when I held it -- I had to succumb to temptation. The action is slick and smooth, the fit and finish is first rate. It has, like Ian's, the larger but not too large loop, plus the XS full length Picatinny rail. It feels like my old .44 -- a gun that I adore -- but looks like the future. It hit me pretty hard in the pocketbook, but my shop is lenient in their layaway for us old timers. I don't know if I'm gonna thread it, too (I am <sigh>) but if it shoots as good as it looks, I expect it to be my new favorite.

57587

I hear good things about other lever guns, especially Henry and Cimarron, but I have no experience with them. I recommend going to a shop with new guns and going through them to see how they feel in your hands.

I just remembered, my son has two Marlins, a .357 Trapper (which is slick like my old .44) and a 45-70 with a 26 inch octagonal which is pretty nice. The longer barrel is really nice, it balances quite well and is fun to shoot.

57588

He's also got a Rossi Mare's Leg, but that -- in my humble opinion -- is a novelty item.

You might wanna ask yourself how long a barrel, do you want an optic, what's your purpose, the usual questions we ask when we seek to purchase any weapon. My .44, for instance, has old school William peep sights and will never have an optic. My 45-70 has XS sights. My .357 with the suppressor currently has a red dot on an XS scout rail but will most likely end up with a 2x scout style scope. The new .357 I dunno yet. Red dots work well, but I'm thinking about a 2x and an RMR, just for the fun of it. We'll see.

The question is, what do you want?

IANative
03-21-2019, 05:27 PM
Excellent, detailed post, RZ. Hard to beat a Marlin for 45-70, and they're offered in several different models. I know it's off-topic, but I really want a Marlin 1894 CST for the suppressed .357 goodness RZ mentions above. I have a Winchester 94 Trapper in .357- and a Model 94 carbine in 30-30- but I prefer to keep them in their traditional, iron-sight configuration. As Dorkface mentioned, the Marlin is a great gun for accessorizing. I think a suppressed 1894 CST w/ a red dot would be a perfect expression of a modern, pistol-caliber, short lever gun.

Redneck Zen
03-22-2019, 04:36 PM
Excellent, detailed post, RZ. Hard to beat a Marlin for 45-70, and they're offered in several different models. I know it's off-topic, but I really want a Marlin 1894 CST for the suppressed .357 goodness RZ mentions above. I have a Winchester 94 Trapper in .357- and a Model 94 carbine in 30-30- but I prefer to keep them in their traditional, iron-sight configuration. As Dorkface mentioned, the Marlin is a great gun for accessorizing. I think a suppressed 1894 CST w/ a red dot would be a perfect expression of a modern, pistol-caliber, short lever gun.

You will not be disappointed. With the Osprey the 130 grain .38 rounds sound no different than silenced .22 rimfire. Well, that's a lie. The "thunk" of the slugs hitting the berm have much more authority.

Speaking of which, you can successfully suppress a 45-70. An acquaintance fitted his SilencerCo Hybrid to a Marlin Guide Gun. He handloads subsonic rounds and has taken a few deer with them and regular hunting ammo. I have not fired it nor heard it myself, but he says it is remarkably quiet. He's happy with how it sounds with supersonic rounds as well.

The guy who threaded my rifle removed the barrel from the receiver. I've since learned there are a couple of companies that can thread a levergun without removing the barrel, which is preferable. Removing the barrel requires reinstalling the barrel -- duh! -- and that requires re-zeroing the irons -- double duh. I don't mind that so much, but the windage on mine is off a bit more than I would like; the barrel is off a gnat's hair and thus the rear aperture sight isn't perfectly centered. Again, not a big problem, it still shoots great, but you know ... OCD and all.

And yes, I know, if you have the regular buckhorn sights that's not an issue, but I don't. So there.

KarlinPhoenix
03-22-2019, 06:05 PM
I had a nice shooting Marlin 1895 with the 22" barrel (with half-magazine) and have taken several deer with it when I lived in Georgia. The kills were one-shots, whether with the factory 300 grain Hornady or the Remington 405 grain soft point. Accuracy was pretty amazing really. When I initially zeroed at 100 yards with the iron sights off the bench I fired two shots touching at the center of the target and the third shot fired off-hand touched the other two. I recommend this rifle, mine did not have the cross-bolt safety.

Mushinto
06-16-2019, 07:21 AM
I bought a Marlin 45-70 Trapper several years ago, inspired by some Jurassic Park movie. It shot okay. Standard loads were mild and the Hornaday as I recall was a real Thumper.

Weapon failed to eject about 20% of the time, leaving very empty case in the chamber. I sold it as is. In my experience the new Marlins are junk.

I have a Rossi 454 Casull Trapper. It works every time. I consider it about 80% of a 45-70. Is also much lighter than the Marlin. Another advantage is it also handles 45 Colt.

-- ML

Gabriel Suarez
06-16-2019, 08:04 AM
As I have said at least now a dozen times...nothing mass produced today will be as good as it can be. Reasons? American labor is expensive and if we were to make a Marlin of the 1950s today, I doubt Bubba Bumpfire and Danny Once-a-year-hunter would pay up the $2000 to buy one..."too spensiv...dontchaknow"

Which is why companies like Grizzly Customs and Wild West Guns have made a living making Marlins what they should have been...and companies like us do so for Glocks and Remingtons.

Me...I will probably get one of the new 16" 45-70s because I want one...and if its not 100% out of the box will get it tuned by Shop Monkey. I don't expect unreasonable excellence out of the box for under a couple of grand. That is modern reality...like t or not...complain online about it or not.

barnetmill
06-16-2019, 08:49 AM
I bought a Marlin 45-70 Trapper several years ago, inspired by some Jurassic Park movie. It shot okay. Standard loads were mild and the Hornaday as I recall was a real Thumper.

Weapon failed to eject about 20% of the time, leaving very empty case in the chamber. I sold it as is. In my experience the new Marlins are junk.

I have a Rossi 454 Casull Trapper. It works every time. I consider it about 80% of a 45-70. Is also much lighter than the Marlin. Another advantage is it also handles 45 Colt.

-- ML

When Remington bought out Marlin, they apparently also moved the production facility and apparently did not get the proper documents and maybe fixtures needed to set up production correctly. Apparently more than blue prints are needed to make a rifle with functioning parts. There is debate on the internet if the Remington Marlins now coming off the line are now better relative to functioning and shooting to where the sights point than was the case when new production began.
I would not buy a remington marlin without an opportunity to first shoot it to see if it functions and if it can be sighted in.
Pre-remington marlins are what I would recommend from the used gunrack. I might also add that some of the big box stores do not sell .35 Remington ammunition anymore which was a big selling point of the 336 marlin rifle.

barnetmill
06-16-2019, 11:32 AM
The lever guns made by henry repeating arms have an excellent reputation. Main drawback is that only recently have they started putting side gate loading on them. So if it does not have a side gate then is not so good for combat loading.