Marlin Update

Just a quick update on my Marlin 1895GBL, .45-70.  To recap, I bought one, and it was faulty.  The stock was loose and the action was locking up.  I only got a half a box of rounds through it before I had to send it in to Marlin for repair.
It came back from Marlin the other day, repaired and ready for action.  Some nice Freight Damage on the stock now.  Thanks a lot for that, Marlin.  I send you a new gun in and it comes back looking like an old used one.  That’s just SPIFFY, Marlin. Thanks for that, seriously.  THANK YOU.
The good news about it is that the gun function and the stock fits.  It’s now a functional firearm now.  Looks 10 years old, sure, but hey, at least it’s a gun now.  So to celebrate the return of the Guide Gun, I picked up a box of Remington 405 grain Jacketed Soft Points.  A nice heavy slug on a moderate load.  Recoil is mild.  It’s isn’t a kick, but a shove.  The muzzle blast is impressive, especially after dark.  To say it’s fun to shoot is like saying Bacon is Tasty.  No kidding!  One can easily fire multiple rounds in rapid succession, with accuracy.
But man, I love shooting this thing!  It’s a blast!  And the fact that it packs enough punch to knock down Bigfoot, it’s a bonus.
So, I have to give a thank you to the Evil One on WTA, my friend Jim Jones… He’s the one that talked me into getting this gun, and I am very happy he did.

13 thoughts on “Marlin Update”

  1. It suits you, I just connected the dots.
    You were a .45-70 levergunner… you just needed a gentle nudge.
    Or a thunderous slap… if we are talking 430 grain bear Loads. 😀
    I am tickled that you have it back and it is putting the Big Lead downrange.
    We need to all get together and have a .45-70 squad putting enough heavy lead out to make T Rex hide in fear.


  2. Welcome back to the cool kids club! I am do happy that they made it right. I will have to bring mine out next time too for a group shoot.

  3. So when are you going to take it out and give the P dogs a taste of heavy artillery?
    “I’m safe I’m in my hol..Holley shit!”

  4. How does the recoil of the 405 grain compare to your average 165 grain 30-06? Never shot a 45-70 and I’m trying to get an idea. You advised me to go with a .44 mag Rossi in a lever gun, but man….I have an itchin’ for a larger big bore caliber!

    1. Well, not only is the .45-70 Government slug much bigger and heavier… but the meplat diameter is gigantic. That flat face on the slug. A wide meplat, that flat front that provides a slap effect… hydrostatic shock effect and cutting a viscous permanent wound channel. With a good hard cast slug, the .45-70 can shoot through and through – lengthwise – any big game in the North American Continent, tearing up everything in it’s path. .30-06 just can’t do that on the level the Government can.

      1. With the right rounds… the .45-70 performs better than it has the right to.
        It is a very uniquely performing round.


        From Randy Garretts website.
        “The bear (coastal grizzly) had been hit once with a 375 H&H, but wound not go down. When he turn and started running in the opposite direction I hit him in the rump with the 45-70 at about 120 yards. He went only about 30 yards more before stopping. When we skinned him we found the 420 gr Hammerhead had entered on his right side rump, passing though and destroying the pelvis. I recovered the bullet under the skin beyond the right front shoulder (full length penetration). The bear squared 9’6” and had a 25 5/8″ skull. Amazing penetration!”

        – Paul Lenmark, Boise, ID (coastal grizzly guide)

        “Randy Garrett, who has devoted 30 years to building special ammo for only two rounds, the 44 Magnum and 45-70, loads his elephant slaying 540-gr Hammerhead to only 1,550-fps on purpose so that upset does not alter the meplat until the bullet is well into the game. His goal is to “not overwhelm the strength of the bullet.” “My bullet box is a wooden affair with compartments: a half inch plywood entry panel followed by a water-filled balloon, then clay, ending with phone books or wet newspaper. In one demonstration, a 540-gr Garrett Hammerhead drove through 56-inches of wet newspaper. I had just fired a 458 Winchester 500-gr roundnose solid bullet into the same media. It made an impressive penetration channel. But the 458 bullet did not compromise the integrity of the test box. Meanwhile, a 540-gr Garrett Hammerhead exited the box, blowing out the sides.”

        – Sam Fadala, Guns & Ammo January 2008

        “Hunting in Argentina, I hit my water buffalo at 70-yds behind the shoulder and it blew straight through exiting his left shoulder. He staggered and turned away from me, so I immediately popped him in the tush. As with my first shot, the Hammerhead passed lengthwise through his body and exited his chest,– GAME OVER! (both 540-gr Hammerheads were last seen headed towards Patagonia in south Argentina). Next year I plan to use your Garrett Hammerheads in Africa for Cape buffalo and hippo.”

        – Bill Hackaday, Dunwoody, GA

        “This grizzly was killed in Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Park in the Eagle Nest Mountain Range of Northern British Columbia. He squared over 8 feet and the skull measured 23 13/16”, which is very good size for an interior mountain grizzly bear. When I shot the bear, he had started a charge from about 70 yards away, and by the time I had a sight on him, he was 40 yards. The 540 Hammerhead hit him right between the front legs, and he did a complete front-wards flip after the bullet hit him. That bullet completely penetrated him lengthwise and exited. I made a follow up shot (which was unnecessary, just instinct) after he rolled which angled through the chest, took out a section of spine, and exited the top of his skull (if you look closely at the photo you can see the exit hole in his head). Very impressive bullet performance.”

        – Tyler Serle, Albuquerque, British Columbia

        “Your 540gr Hammerhead Cartridge hit my American Bison quartering towards me at about 115 yards. The cartridge entered his left front shoulder and exited his right rear ham and sped off into the sunset as my super trophy 2500lb American (Texas) Bison hit the ground dead where he stood!”

        – Vince Lupo

        “Randy Garrett’s 45-70 Hammerhead 540-grain hard-cast at 1550-fps went 55-inches into wet newspaper.” “The 500 Nitro Express with a solid weighing 570-grains penetrated 48-inches into wet newspaper, followed by the 458 Winchester Magnum with a 500-grain solid traveling at a muzzle velocity of 2260-fps and 47-inches of penetration.” Penetration tests conducted at the 2001 Linebaugh seminar.

        – John Taffin, American Handgunner, July / August 2002

        1. Jim, kinda weird, isn’t it?

          Velocity is king as far as penetration on hard targets go. Yet, go to a softer, fairly elastic target, and sometimes more means less. I’ve seen it with my own eyes with 44 magnum loads I have played with.

          The Linebaugh seminars over the years have recorded more than a few results like the exact one you cite above.

          1. I honestly wonder if it is similar to shooting into a pool.
            I have seen a .50 BP muzzle loader go WAY farther into a pool than a .30-06 or .300 mag.
            It is like bullet shape and velocity keep it from shedding energy as fast.


  5. Ayup there was a pro African hunter who set up some test boxes with multiple planks of hard wood and stuff. If I recall correctly he used Buffalo Bore or some other hard cast large meplat rounds. He said the penetration and damage was far greater than what the energy level of the round would lead you to expect. His subsequent testing on game verified the box tests. He made a lever action .45-70 his carry gun for backing up his clients.

  6. Did you contact Marlin about the shipping damage? They should have had shipping insurance on it.

  7. I’ve never faulted a man for getting a 45-70. There’s a hell of a lot of things that can be done with that cartridge.
    Especially when you roll your own. Like I said, I prefer them running out of long-tube breachloaders, but I wouldn’t cry if I had a levergun cut for it.

    Off topic, but have you or any of the readers here, tried those Rackmaster shotgun slugs?

  8. You know, I had a guide gun in .444 that would not hit the broad side of a barn. After figuring out that it was not me (or my high power competitor buddies) who couldn’t aim the thing, I finally sent it to Marlin. They replaced the barrel for free no problem, then when I got it back it would not strike the primers hard enough to make a bang reliably. We all tried the repaired gun out, too, with all kinds of ammo. That cured me of the need for a Marlin. Just saying…

  9. I can’t wait to get mine back from Jesse… so I can send it to Marlin… 🙁 jittery.

    I’m in the process of putting a full length mag tube on it (18″G model) then its off to Marlin for a Big Loop Lever and conversion to a Pistol Grip and then back to me and I’m going to put XS sights on it with the threaded Ghost Ring and peep similar to Jims.

    I’m currently on the look out for another 1895G with Pistol Grip so I can cut it to 16.25″ and put a 5rd tube on it.

    Yeah I’ve got it bad!

    BTW – Garret’s got a bunch of articles about Elephants, Rhino’s and Hippo with the 45-70 as well.

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