Ideas on the 45-70.
I don't agree with pisgah about muzzle brakes. I have two sons one with a .300 Weatherby
and one with a .340 Weatherby. Both of their guns have muzzle brakes and they really work. The .340 came
that way from the factory and with the .300 we had the brake installed by a gunsmith. Both guns are pussycats
to shoot. The .300 really wacked you before the brake was installed. Now, in your case, you will be taking an
old fashioned gun and putting a brake onto it or a recoil pad and it would really hurt the collector value. Especially the brake.
Not sure of too many folks buy new Marlin 1895s for their possible future collector's value, but you never know... I used an 1895 with the longer early bbl (24") on grizzly and black bears in northern BC, Canada. It turned out to be the
decisive bear stopper given the right loads (see below).
It kicked like heck, so I fitted a Pachmyer recoil pad, and that was a great improvement. A magna-porting option would re-direct some of that energy at the moment of muzzle exit, but it adds considerably to the muzzle blast. Not the best compromise, IMHO.
Thanks! That was what I was looking at in Brownells catalog a few days ago when I also looked at recoil reducers.
I happen to have two boxes of the 350 grain bullets you described by Hornady and some 500 grain bullets from Montana Precision Swaging. Think I'll check out the old loads for the 500's. I suspect that the loads listed for the old Rolling Block Springfield should shoot really mild. Even with a light lever action. After I get the new recoil pad I'll try the heavier loads with the 350 grain jacketed flatpoints.
Problem is the overall cartridge length limitations of the "new" Marlin. (the origi8nal 1895s had, apparently, longer receivers). It generally won't accept anything over a 350 - 400 gr bullet. Even the hot CorBon 45-70 loads have a very squat bullet shape to allow them to just barely fit in there. I once tried 500gr jacketed rounds, but had to remove the lever to get them in, ditto to unload an unfired round. BTW, when I touched off that round, the recoil dislocated the for-end stock piece! Vicious!
It's really too bad that Marllin didn't shorten the 450 Hornady Magnum about 1/8" to allow longer bullets. There still would have been lots of cartridge length. Say; this wouldn't stop anyone from doing that, now would it? A sort of reductionist wildcat? Just trim the case back soz the o/a length would be equivalent to the existing 45-70 limits in the Marlin, then load it up to whatever pressure & velocity you find is safe? I claim the idea: The 45 DownRanger Magnum. Sounds great!
Meantime, I'd stick with 350 - 380 gr jacketed bullets for even the largest bears. PS: I've shot 28 blacks, some of which were on a rampage, and 2 grizz (same sitch), and one polar bear that was after me for brunch. The pb
went down to my 340 Weatherby (which was originally named the 340 Polar Bear by old Roy Weatherby, BTW...); the rest mostly to that Marlin.
Frankly, I have no desire to kill any more bears, but at least I learned, first-hand, what does work....