I recentlly got a Marlin 1895SS 45/70 with a micro groove barrel and was wondering about shooting cast bullets out of it. Will cast bullets shoot good out of this barrel? What about loads at the upper pressures?
Any info will be appreciated.
Yes, cast bullets will shoot well from the microgroove barrel, with one caveat; they must fully fill the grooves, which tend to run a little over size on these barrels. People use up to .460 (or maybe larger) diameter cast bullets. Slugging your bore will tell you what size you need. The cast bullet should be about .001" over groove diameter. Read the tech notes, tips and comments, etc. on this site to get more info about success with cast bullets. It is very educational. I am no cast bullet expert, having only started using them seriously a few months ago, but so far I've had good success due to the info provided on this site and by the members here.
Check out LoadSwap (also on this site) for loading data. I don't have a 45-70 so can't recommend any good loads. Good luck and let us know what happens!
Indeed those Micro-Groove barreled 1895's shoot like gangbusters with cast bullets provided a few things.
<ul><li> Bore is properly cleaned of any copper fouling.
<li> Bullet is of proper diameter for bore (in your case .460")
<li> Bullet is of sufficient hardness for velocity (BHN 16-21 for faster loads)
<li> Generally a gas-checked bullet will perform best.
<li> Powder selection is critical for higher velocity loads (.45-70 use H335, H322, RL-7, AA 2015 and IMR 4198)</ul>
Too, constrictions in the bore can raise hob with accurate shooting of cast bullets in these barrels. Please read the section of barrel constrictions and lapping in .444 Marlin- America's Most Versatile Big-Bore
in our Tech Notes section of the website. Although the article is about the .444 Marlin, the principles that apply to the Micro-Groove .444 Model rifles and cast bullets are also imminently applicable to the 1895 model Marlin Micro-Groove .45-70's such as yours.
Hopefully this will clear up some questions you have on using cast in your Micro-Groove .45-70!
When MarlinTalk had its postal match this last summer(officially RanchDog's Postal Match) - the "winning" 4570 lead groups were just under 1 MOA - they were from mg 1895's and .459" hardcast.... nuf said?
do shoot straight,
To read a good discussion of the characteristics and peculiarities of micro Groove barrels and their ability to shoot cast bullets, go to your local library and see if they have back issues of the American Rifleman. C. E. Harris (who posts occasionally on this Board) wrote what is probably the definitive article on Micro groove barrels and cast bullets for the July 1982 issue. The article is "Marlins Micro-Groove Barrels Will Perform". One of the characteristics of Micro Groove barrels is that they have bores somewhat larger than those with more conventional rifling do. Groove diameters are about the same. Bullets that fill the throat will give good accuracy with little tendency toward barrel leading. Tight spots can be a problem in Marlin bores. Running a tight patch through your bore will help identify them. My Guide gun had three. One where the word Marlin was stamped, one at the rear sight dovetail and one where the front sight ramp was mounted.
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