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Wildcats on the .450 Marlin? And...

5850 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  alyeska338
Hi, I'm not a wildcatter or even (I hate to admit it) a handloader, but it seems to me that the .450 Marlin has a lot of possibilities as a parent case. With the belt to control headspace, it would be ideal for a neck down to .400-.416 (it is my understanding that headspace is a concern on the .400 Whelen). Also it seems to me the case would be ideal for a short bolt rifle for those who don't care for lever rifles. I think about the Gibbs Enfield in 45-70 and wonder if it would handle the .450, advantage would be not worrying about someone stuffing your hot 45-70 handloads in a Trapdoor Springfield or original black powder lever rifle. Besides, wouldn't a short woods rifle on the Model Seven or a Featherweight or Ruger Ultra light be cool?
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I would rather have a 450 wildcat that could be called the 450/45, which is simply .458 necked down to .451. This opens the door to all of the 45 ACP, 45 Colt and 454 Casull bullets to the handloader, as well as 45/40 and 45 358 sabots currently used in black powder rifles.

Without the sabots, we are talking 155 to 400 grain bullets right off the shelf, and 90 to 200 in the .355 and .400 caliber application with sabots.

I have done all this with my 454 Casull, and it works fine. With the 450 case capacity in an 18 to 22 inch bbl, we could hunt varmints to bear, and have some great plinking rounds.
Fireplug -

The 450/45 I have in mind is simply the 450 Marlin necked or tapered to accept .451/.452 caliber bullets, so the very heavy bullets could be lead. For lever guns, we should hold it to the 450 pressure and length specs, but move up to a 1 in 16 inch twist rate to stabilize the heavy bullets and sabot loads.

This simple change allows the 450 to shoot all .451/.452 pistol bullets, similar to the 444 and .429/.430, but 2 currently available sabots as well. Both the 45/.40 and 45/.357 black powder sabots are .451 caliber, and no one makes .458s.

We would need to do a little research to modify the feed ramp to handle the sabots smoothly, and the chamber should be smooth all the way to the lands - no case mouth groove.

The sabot capability is important, as it allows the rifle to shoot all 9MM, .357, .358, and .40 caliber bullets. My very trusty computer says we can shoot Hornady 200 gr .358 PSPs at 2700 fps at under 38,000 CUP from an 18 inch bbl with 5 different powders. That's a whole new ball game for a Guide Gun. We can also shoot Beartooth 45 cal 365s at 2100 fps - need I say more. Basically, its the 358 Win and 450 Marlin rolled into one rifle.

As for fun shooting, all of the neat 45 Long Colt loads could be easily duplicated, or one could pop groundhogs with 115 gr 9MM XTPs at 3000 fps at 34,000 CUP.
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