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I've heard that Marlin 1895 .45-70's will not feed heavy (405 gr +) bullets due to their longer OAL, is there any truth to this? What is the heaviest bullets you guys have used?
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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My 1895LTD has a decided preference for the 350 gr Hornady RN.

I've loaded Remington 405 gr bullets, crimping at the last ring to assure max OAL and still feed. The "ring" isn't exactly a crimping groove, just the front end of the ogive, however, it does keep the bullet from creeping forward under recoil. My cases are pretty full with powder to base of bullet so being hammered back into the case by base of another cartridge in the magazine tube isn't much of a concern, either.
 

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Son,

SAAMI standard for the .45-70 L.O.A. is 2.550" All bullet moulds I have, which is several, ranging in wt. from 175 gr. to 550 gr. when seated to crimp over the top band come real close to this figure. Weight in itself has nothing to do with LOA. Even the Sierra, Hornady, Remington and Speer bullets designed for .45-70 have the crim cannellure in the proper position to give this LOA. Heavy jacketed bullets designed for .458 Win. or any of the magnums may be too long, but they are too tough to give proper performance on game at .45-70 velocities.

To make a slight correction, the light bullet comes up much shorter than 2.550. All others are or can be seated to this length, some in a crimp groove and some over the top band. Older moulds designed when black powder was still commonly used generally will not have a crimp groove as ths keeps the bullet from being pushed in and the full case loads which must be used with black powder fulfills the same function.

To make a long answer short, heavy bullets are not a problem in the Marlins, regardless of weight, unless the nose to crimp length is significantly longer than .450"
 

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Last answer was right on the money...if the bullet can be seated deep enough to allow the right OAL, it will function. If you take a look at the various offerings by mold-makers, will notice that some 450gr. bullets have a long "nose" and others maintian the short "nose" and have a longer body. the long nosed bullets work best in single shots, where OAL isn't a factor...if you pick the right bullet, can log those heavy weights out of your Marlin.

However, once seated deeply enough to meet the OAL requirments, start running out of powder room while the weight/length of the bullet increases pressure. Can't toss them out very fast.

Will also find the 100yard sight setting will need a good bit of adjustment. Hard to predict with all the other factors at play, but in general, a big bullet moving slower has more barrel time...more time for the rifle to rotate upwards before bullet exit...and even though they are slower , drastically heavier bullets than what youy've sighted in for will often land high at 100yards.
 
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