There is a used .450 for sale down town. I was going to go for the .45-70 but.........
I have posted this on a couple other sites but was wondering what this crowd thought about the issue. Can a handloaded .450 equal a handloaded .45-70?
I think the difference between handloaded .450's and .45-70's won't be much at all. The old .45-70 loaded to "+P" pressures will always have an ever so slight edge just because it has a bit more case capacity. But in terms of velocity, the two will be nearly identical. I'd say the difference between 300-350 grain loads would be no greater than 50 fps, 400 grain loads even less.
If you can get a good price on the .450, why not give her a go? But I'd stock up on brass just in case the new cartridge luster wears off down the road.
(Edited by Bill Lester at 5:54 pm on Mar. 30, 2001)
Brian Pierce wrote an article thats in this months Handloader. While he didn't come out and say it, the tone of the article says the 450 is waste of time. I tens to agree. Personally, I think the 45-70 is where the smart money is. As Bill said, will this cartridge be around in 5 years?
To the point at hand, none of the cartridges you mentioned do anything better than rounds that came before them. The .41 Magnum, while I personally love it, is the glaring example. Most people who want a big bore want a BIG BORE. Doesn't matter to them that the .41 will do virtually any job a revolver should be asked to perform.
In the case of the .307 and .356, I think the average hunter was a bit smarter than usually given credit. An oft-quoted Internet "gun expert" not withstanding, the ballistic facts are the .307 ain't no .308 nor is the .356 a .358 Winchester. The flat nose slugs required by tubular mags really put a hurting on downrange velocity, energy, and trajectory beyond 200 yards. Why buy a new rifle to gain maybe 50 yards of effective range over a .30-30 and not as good as a Savage 99 in .300, .308, or .358 using spitzer or even roundnose loads?
The .375 Winchester is a real snoozer in my opinion. A "hot" handload shoves a 250 to 260-grain bullet out of the muzzle around 1800 fps. Compare that to a .44 Magnum/265 in a 20" carbine. Less than 200 fps down to the .375, but with a larger meplat and fired in a slightly lighter and shorter weapon. That's with a true handgun cartridge!
(Edited by Bill Lester at 6:00 pm on April 28, 2001)
No - Hornets from California and Japan. The way I look at it you stick to the rifle... .307 is plenty better then a .30 -30 and a .356 is loads better then say a .35 Rem in a 336 Marlin. But I was really curious if this .450 was worth getting since there is one in the used reifle rack.
I weigh the 450 as a sleeper. Just languishing as the 444Marlin did. The fact is a lot of gun owners don't reload, so there is a niche. As long as people are enamored with the big bores, it may hang on. The 307 and 356 are not true big bores and didn't get into the magnumitis category either. I think anyone that spends 񘞑 for a M70 in 450 is one step ahead of the people in the white coats. Delusional! JMHO,FWIW.
Get the .45-70. Brass is way cheaper, and you don't have to worry about whether or not the cartridge is going to "last." If you load both up to the same pressures, the .45-70 will have a slight edge, but not by much. If you want the G in .45-70, contact Kielser's Police Supply in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Get the number from directory assistance, go to retail sales. I was in there yesterday and they had 1895SS, 1895G, 1894 Outfitter, a stainless steel 336 30-30, and a Davidson's special edition Marlin Guide Gun in .35 Remington, ported of course. They will transfer anywhere to an FFL holder.
While the .307 Winchester may appear to be way ahead of the .30-30, it isn't in a practical sense. Yes you can start 150's 300-400 fps faster, but the typical Winchester 94 doesn't provide the accuracy needed to take advantage of that beyond 200 or so yards on antelope and deer. So where is the real world advantage? The deer won't be any deader if hit by a .307/150 than a .30-30/150 within the rifle's 150 yard effective range. In my experience hunters who choose the lever-action over other types are results oriented. They don't trade-in their guns unless the newbie really performs. If the .307 could really do in the field what its paper ballistics said it could the cartridge would've been a raging success. But it doesn't and wasn't.
To a lesser degree the same applies to the .356, but many hunters are willing to give up desires for long-range shooting to gain some extra oomph when bear, elk or moose are in season. That the .356 provides. But most people hunt whitetails, so in this case we're faced with excessive power for most consumers. A few serious elk hunters can't buy enough ammo and guns to make the cartridge financially viable for Winchester to keep it in production.
Thank you for your kind words on the .30-30. Dead is dead and the .30 twice has been doing it for 106 years. If it had'nt worked so well, it would have died a long time ago. But at 106 years of age, she's still going strong!
Paper ballistics are just that. A friend of mine who has hunted deer for over 50 years decided to try a .308 because his buddy said he should ... more powerful, etc. Funny, he said, that .308 does'nt always drop deer in their tracks like the good old .30-30!
A flat nosed bullet with plenty of lead exposed, kills all out of porportion to what paper ballistics would have the reader believe!
John I think you're spot-on regarding the situation. Within the .30 WCF's range limitations it is even better today than at its birth. That "range limitation" really isn't much for a dedicated hunter, as opposed to those roonies afflicted with magnumitus and dreams of 500 yard kills. This goes for any number of cartridges- .250 Savage, .270 Winchester, 7X57mm Mauser, .30-06, and yes our beloved .444 and .45-70. All have sort of taken it on the chin from those who believe velocity is everything. Velocity is nice, but I believe it is the least important variable in the cartridge performance equation. Bullet weight, construction suited to the game, and accurate placement are all far more important.
If limited to just one rifle, the .30-30 wouldn't be my first choice. But it sure as heck wouldn't be anywhere near the bottom of the list either!
Bill, I have to respectfully disagree with your assessments of the 307 and 356 Win. being marginally better than the 30-30 and 35 Rem.
First, its a bit unfair to compare the performance of a true tube feed lever cartridge held below 52,000 C.U.P. with magazine fed 308 and 358 Win cartridges lit up to 65,000 C.U.P., which are intended for use in bolt actions or magazine fed locking bolt levers.
The 307 loaded with 180 grain speer can be spit out of the pipe at around 2450 fps and carry much greater downrange energy at 150 yards than the 30-30 with 170 grain bullet. I wouldn't hesitate to take deer with the 30-30, however it is questionable for black bear and big hogs, and certainly does not qualify for elk in my opinion. The 307 Win can move into all of those arenas very nicely, and in my mind is one of the finest tube feed lever action timber carbines for deer ever created.
The 356 Win takes it up another notch loaded with 180 grain or 220 grain speer bullets at 2500 fps plus and 2350 fps. There is no comparison between the 35 Rem and the 356 Win., the latter is in a league by itself as far as use on black bear, hogs, and certainly taking elk.
Both chamberings are capable 200 yard guns and the accuracy out of them is plenty good to match that range for big game hunting. Many 94 AE XTRs chambered in 307 Win turned in 1.5 - 2.25 inch MOA.
If you are a true tube feed lever action fan, these are by far two of the best that ever came down the pike. I believe their popularity is on the rise again as more hunters discuss their abilities on these forums.
What I refer to is a common belief that they are ballistic twins. Far from it. The flat nose bullets required by tubular magazines limit the long-range potential of any cartridge. Yes the .307 starts out much faster than the .30-30, as does the .356 compared to the .35, but when you extend that comparison to beyond 200 yards the real world shows the increase to be nominal at best.
Let's compare apples to apples. If the Speer 170-grain FN is loaded to 2100 fps in a .30-30 and 2400 fps in a .307, loads that are warm for each cartridge, we have the following exterior ballistics with a 100 yard zero:
So you can easily see that as range increases, the .307's initial advantage quickly dwindles. Certainly it is always there ballistically, but to what end? Furthermore I would be well impressed by the shooter who can hold a Winchester 94 to that 8.5" difference at 300 paces. He would be a very rare fellow indeed, as would be his rifle. Regarding energy at the same distance, you have a difference equal to a .38 Special. I doubt there is an animal on four feet that will know the difference.
When the vast majority of game taken in the United States are deer under 200 lbs. live weight, what's all the fuss about?
My point regarding the .307 and .356 is that for them to have been commercial successes, they had to show a substantial improvement over what hunters already had. For the practical-minded, lever-action deer and black bear hunter the difference was not enough to warrant the purchase of a new weapon, handloading gear and ammunition. What they already had in a .30-30 or .35 Remington was more than sufficient for those animals and many others. Sure if you're just starting out, why not get the .307 or .356? But the small number of new hunters each year can't keep guns and cartridges commercially viable.
Also your charge of comparing "...a true tube feed lever cartridge held below 52,000 CUP with magazine fed .308 and .358 Win. cartridges lit up to 65,000 CUP..." is grossly incorrect. The SAAMI-specification for both the .308 and .358 Winchester cartridges is the same 52,000 CUP as for the .307 and .356 Winchesters.
Good, fair, and factual points Bill, I guess I never really looked at it that way. I just assessed them ballisticly. Sorry about the 65K, I was thinking 55K. I was under the impression that the 308 was rated at higher pressure. Thanks for the info.
Bill, I am a 444 Marlin owner, and I have a question regarding the comparison of the 444 Marlin and the 45-70. It deals with internal and external pressures. It has been said to me that the inherent performance potential in loading the 444 Marlin is greater than that of the 45-70 regarding both internal and external pressures because of its more modern hull. I'm not really sure how it would gain internally, one has a slight edge on volume capacity, but not much. The head design is smaller on the 444 Marlin and I assume the external surface area pressure exerted at the head by the 444 Marlin would always be less since its surface area is less than that of the 45-70. This I can see is a good thing for the action. Please can you tell me if there are these type of benefits in the 444 Marlin? And what other tidbits as far as internal and external pressures benefit one or the other.
Thanks and Take Care ~rossi~
(Edited by rossi at 6<!--emo&:0--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':0'><!--endemo-->6 pm on April 27, 2001)
No need to apologize, I've been known to make a brain flatulation now and then as well. What you've done is superimpose pressure rated in CUP with that measured in PSI. The two scales rarely if ever coincide for a given cartridge.
When the 444 is compared with the .45-70, if loads are comparable in external performance then internal pressures will be slightly less in the larger cartridge. This would be comparing something like a 270-grain @ 2100 fps in the Triple Four to a 350-grainer @ 1900 fps.
Both loads would perform quite similarly on game and there would be slightly less pressure in the .45 Government loading to do it.
As far as bolt thrust goes things shift back in favor of the 444. If everything else, including pressure, is equal the .45-70 will smack the bolt face somewhat harder than the 444. Contrary to what an oft-quoted "Internet gun expert" claims, the pressure acting against the bolt face is not diminished because of a larger surface. The pressure is equal throughout. If it weren't, you would get head separations, torn rims, etc., with virtually every shot.
Now how great is the difference? Minimal at best, particularly at the relatively low pressure thresholds we're talking about in handheld firearms. Move on to tank guns or naval rifles and you have to concern yourself in such small details, but at our level it isn't something to worry about in any modern sporting arm.
In short, it's a wash on the question of long-term durability between the 444 and hot-loaded .45-70.
Heres a question for you astute gentelman. I have an old 444 Marlin that shoots well. Do I need or want to make this into a 50 alaskan? I do live near big bear country(cody wy). I'm not sure the 1000 dollars is neccesary. I could sure buy a lot of bullets from Marshall and enjoy shooting them. I already have a 450 Alaskan on a model 71 that really to nice to use every day. I shot a 5.5 pound 50 the other day and was impressed. But am I impressed enough to spend a thousand hard earned dollars to convert? Please help, gunitis is a terrible affliction to have.
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