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Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
Picture of 92fstech
posted
I have a new production Marlin (Remington-manufactured) 1895 guide gun in .45-70 that I bought about a year ago. It was kind of an impulse purchase...I had been considering one for a while, went to the LHS to "look around" with money in my pocket...salesman cut me a deal, and it came home with me. My collection lacked any big-bore weapons, I'm intrigued by the history of the cartridge, I love the handiness of a lever gun, and I thought it might make a better deer gun than my .357.

Problem is, I can't hit the broad side of a barn with it. While the action is pretty smooth, the trigger is horrific. It's heavy, gritty, and creepy. I may also be flinching, seeing as with full power loads, it feels like you've been kicked in the shoulder by a donkey every time you send a round downrange.

I was shooting paper plates today at 50 yards, standing unsupported, and after playing with the sites quite a bit (the front site had to be drifted way to the left), I managed to achieve consistent groups of about 4" around the center of the target. This was using some light, trapdoor level Trailboss loads under a 405gr cast projectile. These are chronod at about 1020 fps.

I then switched to a hotter "lever-action" load of a 300gr Sierra JHP over IMR 4198. These are moving pretty quick at just under 2200FPS. I couldn't even get that load on paper...I'm not even sure where it was hitting. Now, my eyes aren't the best, and I'm not so great a rifle shooter that I feel like I should be shooting 1-hole groups at 50 yards standing unsupported, but I darn well ought to be able to hit a paper plate.

So, for those of you more knowledgeable than myself: Is it possible that the POA/POI shifts that much with the difference in projectiles and charge weights at 50 yards, is it possible that my gun hates 300gr bullets, or like I suspect, is it that my shooting is just that bad and the recoil is throwing me off?

I really want to like this gun, but when I have one disappointing range trip with it after another the temptation gets stronger and stronger to trade it in on a .30-30, even if I have to take a loss. Frown
 
Posts: 2587 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Res ipsa loquitur
Picture of BB61
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I have a late manufactured JM SBL that had a horrible trigger, gritty action and was “hit and miss” on the accuracy side. I finally sent it to Ranger Point Precision in Texas for an accuracy and action job including trigger work. Link: http://www.rangerpointprecision.com They did a fanastic job. One interesting thing they found, which may be applicable to you, is that the front sight was not properly indexed. I would suggest you join marlinowners.com. This is an excellent forum for all things Marlin and you should be able to get some expert advice from the members there. Don’t give up. The 45-70 is a great round to shoot. I typically shoot HSM +P Hard Cast Bear Loads. From what you said, I would also consider a different recoil pad or even better buying a slip-on recoil pad. Link: https://www.amazon.com/Shooter...d-Pads/dp/B00081Q7E4 I use one like the ones that are listed on Amazon and have found it makes a big difference when shooting hot loads.

Click on the pictures below to enlarge them so you can see the patterns better. The first picture is the best I could do prior to sending my SBL to Ranger Point Precision. The second is what I did the first time out after getting it back. Same range, same station, similar weather and similar conditions (closed range with just me) using the same ammo (HSM +P hard cast 405 or 420 grain). I had open sights both times but I had RPP replace the original front sight with a red fiber optic one. I blame myself for the second pattern not being tighter. I also knew I had pulled the shot to the right when I made it - flinching or anticipating the recoil. In any event, the SBL can clearly shoot even tighter groups if I would do my part. I was shooting at between 50-60 yards both times too.

[IMG:left] [/IMG]

[IMG:left] [/IMG]


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Posts: 9620 | Registered: October 13, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Do No Harm,
Do Know Harm
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I've got one, pre-remington, but I haven't shot it in several years. It shoots straight though.

I'm not a 45-70 wizard, but there is probably quite a difference in trajectory in those loads.

I think I'd put a peep sight on and shoot at a bigger target. A thousand feet per second difference is probably going to be more than a paper plate's worth of difference.

If your results are the same, there's good advice in the post above.

Punching in your numbers at http://www.handloads.com/calc/index.html it looks like a 3.5"+ difference at 50 yards. Not quite half a paperplate's worth, but combined with the *ouch* and compounding aggravation, missing a paper plate is within reason, as the center is only 5" from the edge. I'd try what you were doing again, but with a stable surface and a sandbag or such, and aiming at the top of the plate. And maybe some pre-emptive ibuprofen. Wink


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Posts: 9426 | Location: NC | Registered: August 16, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Dry fire that thing till the breaking point is ingrained in your muscle memory. Then pick a load you think you will stick with and Bench it until you get it sighted in. The POI of those two loads you mentioned will definitely have different impact points, even at 50 yards. It’s normal to flinch with the recoil of larger cartridges. Dry firing will help with that. It has certainly helped me.

As already mentioned, join Marlinowners.com. They have a section of the forum dedicated to the 45/70 Marlins.


---------------
Gary
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Posts: 1859 | Location: Oregon | Registered: January 15, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Going from slow heavy bullets to lightweight speedsters, will normally have you shooting low with the speedy bullets. So watch under target for impacts if you're missing compared to the 405's. Yes the POI can be quite a bit different (even at 50 yards) when your are "doubling" (1020fps vs 2200fps) the velocity and dropping the bullet weight by 30% (405gn vs 300gn) from the same rifle.

BTW: there are far better caliber rifles to shoot the <350gn loads than the 45/70 1895G. The ballistic coefficients are pretty poor since the bullet is so fat and short in the lighter bullet weights. My personal favorite for 250-350gn range, but still big bore, is my .444P Marlin, but good luck finding one. Most people with a 45/70 of any type, tend to stick with all heavy loads, or all light loads for normal usage since the POI can vary so much. Yes you can have large bullet weight variations in other calibers, but very few are going to offer a 550+gn to 250gn range, and most people like these rifles for the "thump" of heavy bullets over light and fast bullets that perform far better from other calibers. You can go small and fast, but you just can't go back and forth between heavy and slow bullets and expect the POI/trajectory to be anywhere near each other.
 
Posts: 3846 | Location: Boise, ID USA | Registered: February 14, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I agree with the others. It depends on the bullet and load. You need to experiment with oter loads.




Rolan Kraps
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Gainesville, Georgia.
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Posts: 21760 | Location: Gainesville, GA | Registered: October 11, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
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Thanks guys. I guess I should try and work up something a little warmer using the 405gr bullets before I give up on the gun altogether. I don't need it to be a screamer, but something a little more potent than trailboss would make the gun a more effective as a hunting tool, imo. I'll also do some dry firing...hopefully that will help me learn the trigger, and maybe smooth it up some.
 
Posts: 2587 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I load 31.5gr of 4198 in my 405s.

These run right around 1325ft/sec and out of my 1895SBL they are just right for me. They do have a thump to them as you would expect, but its really not bad at all for me and I don't care for recoil at all. I shoot them from the bench and standing without an issue.

You might also consider putting a scope on it. I put a Leupold scout scope on mine that I really like. It's small, with a good amount of relief, and my accuracy has improved dramatically. Of course, sticking with one load/weight helps as well.

I hope you get things worked out. I just love mine. Next to my Sharps, this is my favorite rifle to play with. I whacked a coyote with it the other day at just under 100 yards and all could do was giggle. Big Grin


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Posts: 13336 | Location: Montana | Registered: November 01, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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When I bought my Guide Gun years ago (before I shortened it) I had to have Marlin send me another sight because the one that came on the gun just wouldn't work with the loads I was shooting. (I don't recall if it was taller or shorter, but my loads were a lot hotter than factory stuff, at the time I was shooting fast 300's. Unimpressed with how the preformed at a deer (shot several times) I switched to 405's)

My question for you would be... what's wrong with 400grs @ 1000 fps? That will shoot through anything short of a car lengthwise.

"Modern shooters" will say it has a rainbow trajectory and drops like a rock. But how far are you going to shoot it? People have been whacking things with slow 45-70's out farther than you can see for well over a century. Don't take the advice of experts who need a 338 Lapua with a 36x mildot scope, a laser range finder and a ballistics program on their phone to hit anything past 200 yards. Wink


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Posts: 14690 | Location: A little box of pine on the 7:29 | Registered: May 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by cas:
My question for you would be... what's wrong with 400grs @ 1000 fps? That will shoot through anything short of a car lengthwise.

"Modern shooters" will say it has a rainbow trajectory and drops like a rock. But how far are you going to shoot it? People have been whacking things with slow 45-70's out farther than you can see for well over a century. Don't take the advice of experts who need a 338 Lapua with a 36x mildot scope, a laser range finder and a ballistics program on their phone to hit anything past 200 yards. Wink

^^^Couldn't agree more.

Had this conversation with a fella while out shooting just last week. He saw what I was shooting and stated that he knows a guy who loads up 405s at 2000+ and it hurt to shoot. I had two replies for him. The first was "no shit, I wonder why?", and the second was why was he loading them that hot? There's really no reason to. Load them down until they are comfortable and pretty much regardless of range it'll still be comparable to being hit by a train. Yes, it'll have a rainbow trajectory, but so what. As long as you know what that trajectory is, what's the issue?


________________________________________________________

"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy." Winston Churchill
 
Posts: 13336 | Location: Montana | Registered: November 01, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sorry to hear about your difficulties. I have had an older Marlin '95 for years and it has never performed like you describe....regardless of load.

Considering the recent problems that Remington/Marlins have been reported to have....This is what I'd do if it were my gun:
1. Buy a box of factory ammo (...not hot , not wimpy )
2. Take an experienced friend shooting with you . Shoot it off a rest of some sort..If you are both getting such lousy groups....send it back to Marlin ! It's not right...let them fix it.
3. For a reference ,my old 45-70 has a mild trigger job...not lighter , just cleaner break. A peep sight ... I usually get 2-4" groups at 100 yrds with just about any ammo.
4. I would stay away from any of the hotter loads until I had a lot of experience with this gun. It doesn't need to be loaded at all "hot" to kill any deer on this continent....It worked fine on buffalo in the 1870's, I hear !

PS: I love my old 45-70, I trade guns a bit...but never that one !
 
Posts: 687 | Location: Idaho | Registered: October 21, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
silence is acceptance
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I’ve got the same gun and get great groups at 100 yards with Hornady 350 grain round nose over 47 grains of reloder 7 powder
 
Posts: 1921 | Location: Massillon, OH | Registered: January 22, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Equal Opportunity Mocker
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Lever guns can be funny. One will shoot right out of the box, the next one will end up being sent to be accurized. I know you probably already know this, but the (non) free floating forearm, along with the forearm band, tend to pinch the barrel enough to disrupt harmonics of the barrel even with changing the anchor points when holding the gun. Sometimes it's easier to just punt it to a good gunsmith and get the trigger done and an accurizing job done and call it good. I'm sure several of our cowboy shooters know folks who are virtually magicians on levers (Rolan, I'm lookin' at you, brother) and can point you in a helpful direction.


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Posts: 4424 | Location: Mogadishu on the Mississippi | Registered: February 26, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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let someone else shoot it





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Posts: 44920 | Location: Henry County , Il | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by bendable:
let someone else shoot it


That might be a good idea. I'd also shoot it off a bench and try a few different bullet weights.
 
Posts: 408 | Location: WV | Registered: May 30, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of 3/4Flap
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quote:
Originally posted by cas:
My question for you would be... what's wrong with 400grs @ 1000 fps? That will shoot through anything short of a car lengthwise.


First, if it's a deer load, there may be a lot wrong with it.

A 400 grain .45 bullet at 1000 is often going to show zero expansion and just a hole which while the shot might be lethal, may require a lot of tracking. Depends on the bullet and if you can get any expansion out of it.

We have killed a lot of game and range stock with our Marlin using 402 grain cast bullets at 1640 fps and 300 grain JHP's at 2100 fps. They are VERY effective, with the former giving very deep penetration and a good wound track caused by the HP portion blowing off and the 300 grain shaft continuing on. the latter is a bomb on smaller black bear.

OP, one way to find out he answer to your question is simply to walk closer to the target. Shoot from 10 or 20 yards. Fire a group of your 400's and then a group of your 300's. Compare POI's. If there is a very large disparity you'll see it as at least the shots will be on the paper. We HAVE found that varying loads in the Marlin may show very great differences in POI.

While I and my son have appreciated the Marlin for our work, I can't say I am a big fan of the Marlin for most folks. Ours is a fantastic gun and a real killer, and we have some great loads for it, but many guys flinch badly with heavy loads in the Marlin, and would be far better served with a rifle in the .308/7x57/6.5x55 etc class.

If it turns out you just can't shoot it without flinching, you are better off with something you can shoot.

Another option is to shoot a soft 300 JHP and run it at about 1500 fps. that load will equal the old black powder 300 gr load in velocity with much less recoil if you use smokeless powder. Such loads are easy to find in the books. The 300 at 2200 fps has a lot more recoil.

Grab the gun like you mean it and practice with it if you want to defeat the flinching. Or shoot lighter loads r a different caliber.

Best.


**********************
"For certainly no legislation can be supposed more wholesome and necessary in the founding of a free, self-governing commonwealth, fit to take rank as one of the coordinate States of the Union, than that which seeks to establish it on the basis of the idea of the family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one woman in the holy estate of matrimony"; United States Supreme Court Ruling, Murphy v. Ramsey 1885.
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Posts: 4788 | Location: Idaho, USA | Registered: May 20, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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One other suggestion:
The factory sights suck. The first thing I do with any Marlin is scrap the stock sights and install a Williams receiver sight. The difference in group size is immediate and often shrinks groups by half. Some models of the Williams sights offer target knobs which enable quick adjustments for different loads.


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Posts: 5567 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of 3/4Flap
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quote:
Originally posted by YooperSigs:
One other suggestion:
The factory sights suck. The first thing I do with any Marlin is scrap the stock sights and install a Williams receiver sight. The difference in group size is immediate and often shrinks groups by half. Some models of the Williams sights offer target knobs which enable quick adjustments for different loads.


I'll pile on. The factory sights are terrible.

I've tried receiver sights on the gun and have a base on the rear as a backup {with zero'd slide removed} but we have gone a different route. I replaced the front with a Winchester Trapper front sight and then filed it to a thick square, taking down the sides as well.

In the rear, I squared off the top of the factory and then cut a wide notch that gives plenty of light to the sides of the front in the leaf. Roughly speaking, the sight picture is like that of a defense pistol. Very fast, and easy to acquire. The sights are precise enough that we are able to shoot our annual qualification with it, which is 5 shots in the "invisible" 30 cm circle of the Norwegian government reindeer silhouette target, the Marlin is only used for bear now and the shots are usually quite close. Sometimes a bayonet might suffice!


**********************
"For certainly no legislation can be supposed more wholesome and necessary in the founding of a free, self-governing commonwealth, fit to take rank as one of the coordinate States of the Union, than that which seeks to establish it on the basis of the idea of the family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one woman in the holy estate of matrimony"; United States Supreme Court Ruling, Murphy v. Ramsey 1885.
The hardest trail leads to the highest peak.
"A liberal is a person whose immediate interests are not at stake."
 
Posts: 4788 | Location: Idaho, USA | Registered: May 20, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of cas
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quote:
Originally posted by 3/4Flap:

A 400 grain .45 bullet at 1000 is often going to show zero expansion...


Do much handgun hunting? Zero expansion is what many people are after. Break em down.


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Posts: 14690 | Location: A little box of pine on the 7:29 | Registered: May 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Jimbo54
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quote:
Originally posted by Gustofer:
I load 31.5gr of 4198 in my 405s.

These run right around 1325ft/sec and out of my 1895SBL they are just right for me. They do have a thump to them as you would expect, but its really not bad at all for me and I don't care for recoil at all. I shoot them from the bench and standing without an issue.

You might also consider putting a scope on it. I put a Leupold scout scope on mine that I really like. It's small, with a good amount of relief, and my accuracy has improved dramatically. Of course, sticking with one load/weight helps as well.

I hope you get things worked out. I just love mine. Next to my Sharps, this is my favorite rifle to play with. I whacked a coyote with it the other day at just under 100 yards and all could do was giggle. Big Grin


I agree with this regarding the scout scope. I put on a 2-7 Redfield on mine and it's just too long and with high power loads it will bite you. I'll be looking at the Leupold as well.

Another thing that I'll add regarding the rough trigger. I dry fired mine hundreds of times when I first got the rifle and that smoothed out the pull and take off a lot. It made a huge difference.

As has already been mentioned, just get closer to your target with different loads. It will take the frustration out of sighting in the rifle with different loads.

I really love this rifle and it will never be traded or sold as long as I'm still on the green side of the ground.

Jim

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Jimbo54,


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Posts: 5946 | Location: The right side of Washington State | Registered: September 14, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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