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Those of you who shoot, or have shot, Hornady's 325-grain 45-70 Marlin LeverEvolution ammunition or higher end reloads with this bullet, please describe its mid-range trajectory or its no-holdover range - that is, ± 4 inches vertically from point of aim - at [fill in the blank] yards.

I ask, having invested a substantial amount of money for Savage Model 99s and beaucoup spare parts to create elk lever actions capable of doing the job at 225 yards, I realized that I may be able to achieve the effective range I want, for elk and mule deer hunting, with my Marlins. This frees up a huge number of dollars for me.

What I'm trying to do is work around needing/wanting a different rifle-cartridge combination. Were the 1895s unable to meet my eastern Montana range stipulation, I'll stay with Savage M99s. They are wonderful machines. But they require [their] purchase (done), parts purchase (done), new dies, different powder, Nosler Partition flat base bullets, bullet mold (for practice and fun shooting), brass. When I do the math, the cost of having 99s is severe - especially when compared with the cost of a few hundred bullets. . . . I can always get at least my investment out of my 99 stuff.
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I have downloaded Hornady's 45-70 and 450 Marlin 325-grain FTX handloading data (and LeverEvolution factory data) for Marlin 1985s. It shows 450 Marlin bullet being propelled significantly faster than the same bullet from a comparable 45-70. On its face, this makes little sense to me.

Anyone who has safely loaded his 45-70 FTXs to emulate 450 Marlin exterior ballistics, please identify loads that do the job.
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As I write, my 1895s shoot only my LFN GC 420-425 grain cast bullets, using standard primers and IMR 3031 and H322 in Starline brass. These combine to several combinations that have a ± 4-inch range of 150 yards. This is fine for Lolo but insufficient for eastern Montana.
 

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[ its no-holdover range - that is, ± 4 inches vertically from point of aim ]

I presume you mean you want to know how far you can shoot, keeping the bullet within (+/-) 4" of the bore C/L - IOW the point blank range.

The table that Hornady publishes would indicate that the Point Blank Range of Hornady .45-70 LE 325gr factory loads is 200yds.

Distance: Muzzle / 100 / 200 / 300
Trajectory:-1.50 / 3.00 / -4.10 / -27.80


http://www.hornady.com/store/45-70-Government-325-gr-FTX-LEVERevolution/



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Shouldn't be a problem to handload a cartridge that will fulfill your ballistic requirements.

I have shot wet newspaper with that bullet from my .450 Marlin and I was sort of disappointed by it's performance. The bullet completely separated jacket and small bits of lead were everywhere.

I would consider the 325 FTX bullet an excellent choice if I was after deer, but IMO, the bullet is too fragile for an elk-sized animal if you see one up close.

Just my opinion. :)
 

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I can't help you with the FTX bullet, I suspect it is a waste in the .45-70, but I do know that hot loads from the likes of Garrett, Cor-Bon, and Buffalo Bore are well able to do as you ask to 225 yards if you can take the pounding of practicing with them. Some years back I took a bull elk down at Decker (I live in eastern Montana, too) at a lasered 260 yards using Garrett ammo. That's a bit far, I would rather stay in the 225 yard area as a maximum distance. If a guy really felt he had to shoot that far I would probably turn my 1895G into a two-bullet gun, one hot pointed bullet in the barrel and one in the tube. (Plus two more ready to load if needed.)
 

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There are alot of ballistic pages on many websites where you can add in all the variables. The one I use has a function for wind and one for elevation. Using a MV of 2050 fps and the bullet mentioned, (bc of .230) you are 4.9" high @ 100 yds, 4.1" high @ 150 yds, dead on @ 200, -8" @ 250 and -21" @ 300 yards.

Keep in mind, with a 20 mph crosswind, your deflection is 4.3" @ 100, 10" @ 150, 18.5" @ 200 yards, 30" @ 250 and a whopping 45" deflection @ 300 yards! That bullet stays in the wind for a long time! I ran this with a 10 mph wind and figure roughly 1/2 the deflection.

If you sight in 3.5" high @ 100, you're dead on @ 175 and 3" low @ 200. At 250 yards the drop is almost 12"

When I hunt with a handgun, I keep these kinds of numbers on a laminated card. Since you have a laser rangefinder, you should be able to dial everything in just fine. Gotta get me one of those!!
 

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The 450 Marlin has more case capacity and is a belted case. Also, 450 pressures on loads
I've seen are like 42,000 + cup vs 27,000 for the 45-70. I don't think you can load the 45-70 that hot for a lever gun.
 

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I don't have the CUP measurements handy but the .450 Marlin vs. .45-70 debate has been going on for years and its pretty well accepted by now that good actions like the Marlins handle far more pressure than standard factory ammunition in the .45-70, making it basically a ballistic twin to the .450.
 

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The 450 Marlin has more case capacity and is a belted case. Also, 450 pressures on loads
I've seen are like 42,000 + cup vs 27,000 for the 45-70. I don't think you can load the 45-70 that hot for a lever gun.
Yes you can. Please check previous threads on this topic. And as the previous post stated, this is a well settled issue.
 

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You might want to try out the Barnes original 300g on the job you've mentioned, or a good hard-cast bullet. The BC on the 325 Hornady bullet is about .230, and the Barnes is .227...which isn't much of a difference at all. Some people think that the Hornady LeverEvolution ammo flies a whole lot better because of the better BC produced by the pointy bullet, but I dissagree. The BCs are almost identical, as you can see above. The reason that Hornady factory loads are faster than other factory ammo isn't because of the pointy bullet, but because of a special powder that Hornady ammo uses in the LeverEvolution (they also use it in their Superfoormance ammo). If you are handloading, you're not going to have this magic powder, so the benefit really isn't there. The one problem however is that you'll have less case capacity with the pointy bullets, since the cases are shorter, which makes you slower.

Compare the velocity on the 300g Barnes load:
http://www.barnesbullets.com/images/45-70Marlin1895Web.pdf

Out of a 24 inch barrel, you should have a 221 yard point-blank range with a zero at 191 yards with that load. If you are shooting a 22 inch, it would be about 215 yards for the point-blank range with a 185 yard zero.

If you are handloading the 325G flex-tip, then your numbers are going to look like this: 200 yard maximum point-blank range (which is the same as the no hold-over range you mention by the way) with a zero at 170, if you're shooting out of a 22 inch barrel; 205 and 175 if you are shooting out of a 24 inch barrel.

The bullet from Barnes is a deep penetrator, and sticks together well. I don't think you'll find anyone here who doesn't think it will handle Elk. Personally, I'd go for a 300g or a 325g hard cast. The 300g would even be faster than the Barnes if you have a gas check, and the 325 maybe too, and they would penetrate well. Just make sure you have a good safe load for the hardcast.

Either way, with both loads mentioned above, you are getting close to factory 45-70 muzzel velocities at 200 yards. I'd want a tough bullet (Barnes, Cast, or GS Custum), if I was hitting an Elk.
 

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Bullet manufacturer web sites post the data for their factory loads. That data is as good as it gets from their test barrel. Your barrel may be shorter, so the results will be slightly different, but only slightly. The max range for your desire to keep the bullet impact no more than +/- 4" can be thusly obtained, and then verified at the range, and the range adjusted accordingly to calibrate for you specific rifle.

You can also buy ballistics software, or even get a no frills version like PointBlank.exe. Here you enter bullet specs, case specs, powder specs, primer, barrel length, temp & alt., scope height (if used), etc., and this software calculates the bullet path well past typical distances for the average shooter. Such software gives you almost exactly the same info as the manufacture, but allows you to tailor it to your specific rifle. However, barrels, chambers, crowns, bore consistence, etc., differ, even of the same make, model, and year. So you still have to take your rifle to the range and either validate the calculated information (will be close anyway), or modify the +/- calculations based on exactly how your specific rifle performs. Even then, your buddy's exact same rifle, that was bought together on the same day at the same shop, may very well not produce the exact same results.

If your chosen bullet can't give you the desired +/- at the range you desire, even with handloads, then you have two choices: 1) choose a different bullet that should perform as you desire, or 2) choose a different rifle.
 

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The .450M is a proprietary round that offers no advantage over the tried and true .45-70. Remember, the cartridges are fired from the same 1895(336) action. Nothing "new" there. Belted case? Why? If the action can handle 40K PSI from the .450, it surely ought to be able to with the .45-70. Much to-do about nothing.
 

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Others indicate that there is a difference in the 450 Marlin. Perhaps someone here with first-hand knowledge can articulate the facts. CUP & PSI specs for the 450M are higher than the .45-70, so there is a reason for that difference. There are no factory 450M rounds loaded to trapdoor velocities and/or pressures. The .45-70 weakness isn't the action, it's the type of barrel-to-receiver thread cuts. As I recall, the difference is that the 450M thread cuts have been changed to correct that weakness. The .45-70 can be loaded to greater than 450M factory loads, as long as pressures remain with specs., but that's because of the .45-70's slightly greater case capacity. The .45-70 isn't unsafe at the higher velocities, provided that pressures are within specs (look at Randy Garrett's 500 gr. solids at 35K CUP), but factory 450M rounds can be bought off the shelf with hot performance, without fear of exceeding specs. Equal or greater ballistics from a .45-70 does not mean that the pressure handling parts are the same as the 450M.
 

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The .450M is a proprietary round that offers no advantage over the tried and true .45-70. Remember, the cartridges are fired from the same 1895(336) action. Nothing "new" there. Belted case? Why? If the action can handle 40K PSI from the .450, it surely ought to be able to with the .45-70. Much to-do about nothing.
Do not forget that the new stronger cased .450 Marlin is also chambered in the fine BLR action which is rated to 65,000+ PSI. Yup, there are loads for the 45-70 that are only for Ruger #1 and Browning 1885 actions. But I don't know if those actions are any stronger than the BLR action which is also loaded in such chamberings as .300WSM, .300WM, 7mm mag and .325WSM (perhaps the most powerful production lever rifle??). I'd be very interested in seeing research with alternate powders that could/would be safe in the BLR/.450 alone (not also restricted to the Marlin in .450)
 

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Others indicate that there is a difference in the 450 Marlin. Perhaps someone here with first-hand knowledge can articulate the facts. CUP & PSI specs for the 450M are higher than the .45-70, so there is a reason for that difference. There are no factory 450M rounds loaded to trapdoor velocities and/or pressures. The .45-70 weakness isn't the action, it's the type of barrel-to-receiver thread cuts. As I recall, the difference is that the 450M thread cuts have been changed to correct that weakness. The .45-70 can be loaded to greater than 450M factory loads, as long as pressures remain with specs., but that's because of the .45-70's slightly greater case capacity. The .45-70 isn't unsafe at the higher velocities, provided that pressures are within specs (look at Randy Garrett's 500 gr. solids at 35K CUP), but factory 450M rounds can be bought off the shelf with hot performance, without fear of exceeding specs. Equal or greater ballistics from a .45-70 does not mean that the pressure handling parts are the same as the 450M.

I think even Hornady settled this question with the statement that the 1895 marlin in 45-70 is the same basic action as the 450 marlin and list loads for the 45-70 up to 40k cup. the belted case of the 450 marlin was utilized to prevent those rounds from being chambered in older 45-70 rifles like the trapdoor models. case closed.
 

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I think even Hornady settled this question with the statement that the 1895 marlin in 45-70 is the same basic action as the 450 marlin and list loads for the 45-70 up to 40k cup. the belted case of the 450 marlin was utilized to prevent those rounds from being chambered in older 45-70 rifles like the trapdoor models. case closed.
Sorry, but I don't see where that closes anything. A basic action doesn't address a barrel threading difference. The chambering is the only obvious difference that's relevant to the public. Maybe the diagrams I saw were bogus, and maybe the description of the gunsmith enabled fixes are bogus, but the diagrams clearly showed & defined the weakness in the .45-70 barrel threading, concerning differences between v & square threading that yielded less strength, as well as the fixes a competent gunsmith could do to strengthen it. True or not, the .45-70 has design specs and that's the limit of its factory offerings, with high risk to reloaders who violate specs, same for the 450M. Anything outside the specs for either offering is not safe.

Not worth the extras, because the answer to the original post is that .45-70 handloads can safely (within specs) equal and exceed 450M factory or handloads, as well as some factory offerings.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
. . .

Not worth the extras, because the answer to the original post is that .45-70 handloads can safely (within specs) equal and exceed 450M factory or handloads, as well as some factory offerings.
Ahh, back toward my question. What handloads for the FTX matches or exceeds exterior ballistics Hornady shows 450 Marlin FTX reloads capable of achieving (via 22-inch barrels??)? I would anticipate a little fudging in either direction for XLR's 24-inch barrel and Guide Gun's 18.5-incher.
 

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From the links that Need Medicine posted, it looks like several loads exceeded their .450 Marlin loads by 50 fps. Hmm. Take that back. They were comparing an 18.5" Guide Gun to a 22" 1895.

LATER: I used QuickLOAD to run 40KPSI loads of several powder with a 350 grain Hornady flat nose bullet (don't have the FTX there; I need to add it in and make up a shortened case definition for it). The powders were 1680, H4198, RL10X, RL7. RL10X was the velocity winner by 50 fps over RL7 and 90 fps over the other two. With remarkable consistency, the velocity difference between 18.5" and 22" ranged from 3.19% to 3.33%, with 3.28% being average. This means you will see about 67 fps difference due to that 3.5" of barrel. This may be a little less than you expected, but the quicker the powder making a given peak pressure, the lower the muzzle pressure, so the less difference added barrel length makes.

The bottom line is the 2150 fps loads Hornady lists for the 22" barrel will be within 20 fps of the 450 Marlin loads at 2100 fps. Less than round-to-round velocity extreme spread is likely to be and less than gun-to-gun real velocity difference is likely to be. As far as trajectory and knock-down goes, they are the same.

A word of caution. QuickLOAD was unable to get quite as much velocity (about 50 fps less) as Hornady claims. Hornady used production guns rather than a pressure barrel for testing, so YMMV.​

Regarding pressure specs, it is pretty clear from the manuals that, at least for current production, most folks recognize that the cartridge does not alone define pressure limits. The gun does, too. Currently, the .45-70, possibly just because of its age, seems to have four separate pressure ranges recommended today. Trapdoor, SAAMI, modern lever action, and single shot rifle. The 1895 is very strong, as lever guns go, and M. L. McPherson has loaded them up until the cases start to stretch more than normal, which is a pressure sign you don't generally see in other types of guns.

I've not heard of the barrel threading giving out, but never say never. Certainly Acme threads, having no sharp corners, will tend to be harder to start a crack with. I think that's why J. C. Garand chose them for his rifle. But Harold Vaughn's book, Rifle Accuracy Facts, shows a couple of other thread forms that are stronger because they distribute the load among the turns more evenly, where all the conventional thread forms load the first turn most, while subsequent turns are progressively unloaded by stretching over the threaded length of the steel.
 

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I haven't heard of any Marlin 336 failures in .450M, but there have been a number of them in .45-70 chambered Marlins. I fear that there will be catastrophic failures in the .450 in the future. The simple fact remains that the 336 action was designed for .30-30-.35 Remington class cartridges, not the .45-70, and certainly not the .450M. This is the very reason why I choose to own 1886 Winchesters, an immensely strong action that was designed for the .45-70 nearly 125 years ago. I would feel better about Marlin if they considered bringing back the REAL 1895, a much stouter, and consequently heavier, rifle that was built for the larger cartridges.
 

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Nick I think the issue is not the form of the .45-70 threads vs. the form of the .450 threads, but just the diameters. I have a Marlin barrel and the minor diameter of the thread is about .710" or so. That is only going to leave .1" or so to contain the pressure in a .45-70, plus ahead of the receiver there is a groove for the magazine which doesn't help.

The .450 could gain a little strength both by increasing the major diameter of the barrel shank, and then going to a fine 'v' form. Just eyeballing it, seems like Marlin could gain somewhere between 25 and 50%.

Of course the barrel shank threads derive some support from the receiver, but in a mass-produced gun the fit would have to have a little tolerance. On a custom barrel job, it could be a close as a person had time or money to pay for.
 
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