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.44 Mag or .45-70?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by -RAVSKIN-, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. -RAVSKIN-

    -RAVSKIN-

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    May be a stupid question, but I'm asking anyway.....

    I have my heart set on a new lever action rifle. I have my Mossy for home defense, Kimber RCP for carry, and a M&P 15-22 for plinking and small critters. Now I need one rifle/carbine to fill the need of a wilderness defense/hunting rifle. I'm not a hunter, but I want something that will fill that need if it should arise. I would like to be able to take medium sized game like whitetail without completely obliterating any usable meat, but also have enough stopping power to drop a brown bear when I'm fishing in Northern ID.

    * The two options that I'm looking at right now are the Henry Big Boy .44 Mag, which holds 10+1.

    * The other is the Marlin 1895SBL .45-70, and holds 6+1.

    I've read that the .45-70 doesn't kick as hard as you might think, and that the 300 grain loads make it a relatively comfortable gun to shoot.

    Any thoughts, reviews, experiences, etc, with these two guns? Given the needs that I would be asking it to fill, which would you choose? Pros/Cons of either? If you were to find yourself in a do-or-die situation against a Brown, would you feel confident in 10 rounds of .44 Mag to stop it, or would you rather take the 6 rounds of .45-70? Thanks in advance for your input.......
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
  2. DustyJacket

    DustyJacket Directiv 10-289

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    I love the .45-70 cartridge.
    I had a Ruger #1 and a TC Contender in that loading.

    I prefer the heavier/slower loads (Remington 405gr JSP or Lead 500gr handloads).

    Some of the 300 grain commercial loads can kick very hard.

    (.45-70 was my short-range (up to 150 yards) hunting load, with a scoped .270 for a flatter shooting long distance load)
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010

  3. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

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    I own both the calibers.

    in 45-70, a Marlin 1895G, bought just for bear defense. The Alaskans say its unparalleled bear stopper, especially close in.

    A 44 mag will work, in both pistol and rifle, but ammo is KEY. The ticket is harcast lead. In both calibers.

    In 44 mag, a 240gr HP people eater won't get it done, except maybe on a small blackie.

    If you do not reload, google Garrett ammo. They specialize in only 44mag and 4570.

    If you reload, use Cast Performance.

    If you have a 240-300gr hardcast lead in a Ruger redhawk 44m, you should be relatively safe.

    If you have a MArlin 1894 in 44m, the twist in the barrels will only stabilze up to 270 grains. But, with a 240-250gr hardcast, you will move the velocity up to 1900FPS from pistol. And youve got 10.

    Even in the 4570 guide gun, use hardcast. You need it to bean the bear in the skull and crack him good. use at least a 405gr.

    I would rather be stuck in AK with a 357mag with hardcast, than a 44mag with HP's. Again, its the ammo thats the difference.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
  4. -RAVSKIN-

    -RAVSKIN-

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    Thanks for your input - which reinforces everything I've read to this point: For Browns, you need maximum penetration, and the HP's will typically barely penetrate through the fatty outer layer, if at all. I've read several accounts of Browns being taken, and having multiple healed .44 Mag HP wounds found embedded superficially in the fatty layer.

    I like the idea of the .45-70, but having 10+1 rounds would be comforting as well.

    How will the .45-70 do against Whitetail? As I said, I'm not a hunter, but I'd like to have the ability should the need arise, and I don't want to nuke a potential meal. .45-70 = overkill?

    So, as far as Browns go, either gun will suffice, provided that the load is appropriately accounted for.
     
  5. -RAVSKIN-

    -RAVSKIN-

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    Thanks for you input as well....
     
  6. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

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    I have an 1894 Marlin / .44 mag, and it's a great gun for this stretch of the Rockies, but I think the magic words in your OP were "brown bear". I'd go .45-70.
     
  7. -RAVSKIN-

    -RAVSKIN-

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    But that leads me to the other part of the equation - would the .45-70 be overkill for Whitetail? I'd like to be able to salvage enough meat to justify dropping the creature.
     
  8. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

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    You won't ruin too much meat if you're putting the round where it's supposed to go. There's a huge range you'll have available to you, particularly if you handload. You can push a 300 grain bullet 1,500 fps (trapdoor springfield data) on up to 2,200 fps if you're loading for Marlin data. There's even another tier up for falling block actions if you had one of those (like a Ruger #1).
     
  9. -RAVSKIN-

    -RAVSKIN-

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    Awesome - Thanks for the input!
     
  10. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

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    It's more than necessary for a white tail, but then again, so is a .30-06.
     
  11. K.Kiser

    K.Kiser

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    I'd pick the 45-70, it is by far the superior round especially if you ever decide to reload because that's where it shines... Although you can get away with less on whitetail at reasonable distances, I don't think you ruin a whole lot of meat... The 45-70 doesn't really have a void to fill with deer with it's more than ample energy, yet poor trajectory it's not a real player in the deer world but I could see it having a valuable job in bear country where a heavy hitter at close range is important... Hi velocity rounds that deliver a bunch of shock to the animal ruins meat more than anything... The worst damage to a whitetail that I've seen came for a 7mm/120 grain bullet traveling at the speed of infinity, and I've seen them hit with everything from a .220 swift to a 416 Remington mag and a considerable amount of wildcat cartridges in between... That being said, we don't have any bears around here and I'd still like a 45-70 just for the helluvit...
     
  12. gruntmedik

    gruntmedik Honk Honk CLM

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    I have taken a few deer with a 45-70, and there was no more bloodshot meat than with my 308. The last 2 were with the LeveRevolution ammo.
     
  13. vafish

    vafish

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    I love the .44 mag, have used it a lot in handguns to kill deer and even one small black bear.

    But if big brown bears are a possibility I'd carry the .45-70 in a heartbeat.
     
  14. -RAVSKIN-

    -RAVSKIN-

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    Thanks for all of the input fellas - I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.

    I'll likely be looking for a deal on the Marlin .45-70 in the near future. I'm not a big fan of the checkering, but otherwise, I think she's beautiful...
    [​IMG]
     
  15. K.Kiser

    K.Kiser

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    Excellent choice for moderate pressure rounds and quick follow-up shots...
     
  16. K.Kiser

    K.Kiser

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    I'm not trying to be a nagging thorn, but I am curious if you are set on a lever action vs. bolt action..?
     
  17. -RAVSKIN-

    -RAVSKIN-

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    I am set on a lever action. Why? At the core, it's probably just because I grew up on some good westerns. I do like the "feel" though - something just feels right about it.
     
  18. K.Kiser

    K.Kiser

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    Absolutely nothing wrong with that, I like the levers myself for certain things... If ever for some reason you'd like to look around, you can find some bolt guns that will handle more case pressure than a lever and are offered in some real deal game stopping cartridges and a bolt gun still has some nice follow-up shot speed... Again, I'm not knocking your choice at all because it is a very nice rifle that will do it's job when needed...
     
  19. noway

    noway

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    Thank you, so true.


    On how much you damage is going to be determine by distance, location shot and more or so the bullet used. A 45-70 is not needed for WT-deer imho.
     
  20. paidfor

    paidfor

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    I have been hunting for 50 years now. I started with a lever 3030 and have shot every caliber up and down from the 30 caliber. I am in my mid 60's now, and about 5 years ago, I went back to the 3030 lever. I have a 44 lever that I shot for a few years but I still like the 3030. Light to carry. Kills any whitetail I want to shoot. Of course there are no bears in Texas, but if there were, I would be hunting with a 45/70.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2010