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Which light weight big bore?

Posted By: R_H_Clark

Which light weight big bore? - 05/20/19

I would like a light weight big bore. I was thinking short barreled 45-70 and maybe Marlin guide gun. I am not much of a lever action guy though and wanted to know if there were other options. I probably won't spend Big Horn 500 S&W money,but wanted to know if anybody else was making a good one or which models to be looking at in the Marlin.

I will likely use peep sights for close range deer under 100 yards or am open to other sight suggestions. I usually don't shoot levers because of the lower comb. I don't usually get a good cheek placement with most scope setups on levers I've tried.and yes,I've mounted real small 2-7 Leupolds as low as possible.
Posted By: Fireball2

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 05/20/19

Savage made some high comb models for scope use in cartridges like the 358 and 284.

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Posted By: JohnnyLoco

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 05/20/19

CVA Scout V2 and a red dot
Posted By: Sevastopol

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 05/20/19

Originally Posted by Fireball2
Savage made some high comb models for scope use in cartridges like the 358 and 284.

[Linked Image]

That's crazy! And those are only your 99s?
Posted By: Dillonbuck

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 05/20/19

Put a leather ammo cuff and comb riser on a Marlin.

surprisingly expensive, those risers don't look that bad on a lever.
Posted By: Fireball2

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 05/20/19

Originally Posted by Sevastopol
Originally Posted by Fireball2
Savage made some high comb models for scope use in cartridges like the 358 and 284.

[Linked Image]

That's crazy! And those are only your 99s?


I'm a Savage nut.
Posted By: WasTexasShooter

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 05/20/19

Find an early (pre-1971) Marlin 444 with the straight monte carlo stock and cut the barrel down to your preferred length. This is a 1970 model with a 19 inch barrel. - T.S.

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Posted By: 1Akshooter

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 05/23/19

I own and have owned Marlin 1895's in 45-70 for about 30 years and my current one that I have had for about ten years is a customized octagon barreled one with a Skinner receiver sight and a 21" barrel. It will probably be my last one. Loaded with a heavy dose of H322 and 400 grain bullets it is surpassed in recoil only by my light weight side by side 12 ga. shooting 600 grain 3" Brenneke Black Magic Slugs. Neither one are much fun to shoot from the bench. I guess true big bores start at .40 caliber and the .33 to .375 are medium bores.

Short barreled 45-70 lever guns look cool and are easy to carry, but the fun stops there since depending on the load they can recoil bunches, especially with the straight stocks many have. Make mine with a pistol grip please.

A friend of mine recently had a Win. made up as a 38-55 and it is no slouch. For hunting East of the big river and down south in thick woods, I would think a good .35 Remington would suffice and be more fun shooting. Especially if it would shoot lighter weight cast or jacketed hand gun bullets ok.

I recently purchased a .356 Win. and when it arrives I will probably end up shooting it more often then my 45-70 because it won't recoil as much and it is new to me.
Posted By: WasTexasShooter

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 05/23/19

The 444 can get your attention too. Especially with Hornady's 265 grain SuperPerformance loads. I often use a much more civilized handload pushing a 240 grain bullet at 2150 fps. My oldest son killed a very nice ten point buck season before last with that load.

I have a 405 grain subsonic load for my chopped Marlin Guide gun that is "cat sneeze" quiet when fired through a suppressor. I load my 375 Winchesters a little hotter than factory.

I started loading my own a few years ago and never looked back. It is fun, therapeutic, economic and allows one to customize loads for their intended purpose and for the desired comfort level. The straight walled cartridges are particularly easy to load.

T.S.
Posted By: R_H_Clark

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 05/23/19

Originally Posted by WasTexasShooter
The 444 can get your attention too. Especially with Hornady's 265 grain SuperPerformance loads. I often use a much more civilized handload pushing a 240 grain bullet at 2150 fps. My oldest son killed a very nice ten point buck season before last with that load.

I have a 405 grain subsonic load for my chopped Marlin Guide gun that is "cat sneeze" quiet when fired through a suppressor. I load my 375 Winchesters a little hotter than factory.

I started loading my own a few years ago and never looked back. It is fun, therapeutic, economic and allows one to customize loads for their intended purpose and for the desired comfort level. The straight walled cartridges are particularly easy to load.

T.S.



Yea,my intention was to go with a 45-70 just to have the capability if I ever went to bear country but for home whitetails I would load a real slow heavy bullet since shots will be more like 50 yards most times. I was thinking full penetration from any angle,no bloodshot meat and short heavy blood trails for thick brush,fast shots on the creek bottoms.

It's not like I don't have rifles that will do the same job,I just don't have any big bores pushing slow heavy bullets and I wanted to see if I liked them.
Posted By: Gringo Loco

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 05/23/19

Very nice WasTexasShooter. Love the wood on yours. I've got the same model and briefly considered doing the same, but ... am a little loath to cut that original 24" barrel. Actually, mine is a little different. The lever is rounded instead of a straight/squared end like yours. Despite being longer though, these early models seem to handle a little better with their slimmer stocks. I also have a 22" barrel Marlin 444s purchased new in 2005.

Another big bore lever option would be a BLR. They do offer them in the .450 Marlin, and BLRs are light. I have one in .358 Winchester. The pistol gripped version has less drop at comb and heel than the straight grip does. I have a pistol grip like the top pic below.

Browning BLR Rifles in Current Production

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Posted By: WasTexasShooter

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 05/24/19

Thanks Gringo. I have another Marlin 444 with the 24 inch barrel. It's the Centennial model. All told, I have eight Marlin 444s and a Winchester Big Bore in that chambering. Needless to say, I like the 444. I have some 45-70s too.

The 444 is certainly capable of handling the bears. The 444 hits hard.

T.S.
Posted By: 1Akshooter

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 05/28/19

As much as I like Winchester lever guns, I find the Marlin to be easier to disassemble and clean. They also are usually cheaper and their actions are tight and precise. The one thing I don't like as much is the Micro Groove rifling. Which is why I ended up with one that has Ballard rifling. Cast bullets are cheaper to shoot and depending on who you read, may or may not shoot well out of a Micro Groove barrel, ya got me. Many up here use cast bullets because of the bore size of a 45-70 and it is a proven killer for over 100 years with them.

I used 400 grain slugs up until this year and now use 350 grain Kodiak Custom Super Bonded heavy jacketed bullets instead of their 400 grain version. Hawk bullets offer many choices also. H322 has been my go to powder for many years and I just received 100 piece of new brass from Starline and have a thousand WLR primers, life is good.

Big bores are cool and we can always load them up or down to fit our needs, so that is reason enough to own one. On a 45-70, I want a pistol grip and a lever no bigger then the one offered by Ranger Point Precision. Big levers look cool, but I don't think they help in making the rifle shoot faster.

Other then a .22 rimfire, I have never scoped a lever gun that had an exposed hammer and a magazine tube. I always go with a Skinner or XS receiver sight and a flat post up front. I'm just old school, but there is nothing wrong with scoping one and if I hunted with mine it may be a good idea, my old eyes don't shoot 100 yard groups under 2 inches any more, darn it.

I carry my Marlin 45-70 more then any other rifle, but don't hunt with it as I use scoped bolt action rifles. We have big bears around here and the rifle carries easy, is powerful and if I do my part, it will also. When hiking, hanging out fishing on a salmon stream, camping, ATV riding, going for a ride in the truck with my wife, etc. The big 45-70 gets the nod at those times.
Posted By: gerry35

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 05/29/19

Originally Posted by Gringo Loco
Very nice WasTexasShooter. Love the wood on yours. I've got the same model and briefly considered doing the same, but ... am a little loath to cut that original 24" barrel. Actually, mine is a little different. The lever is rounded instead of a straight/squared end like yours. Despite being longer though, these early models seem to handle a little better with their slimmer stocks. I also have a 22" barrel Marlin 444s purchased new in 2005.

Another big bore lever option would be a BLR. They do offer them in the .450 Marlin, and BLRs are light. I have one in .358 Winchester. The pistol gripped version has less drop at comb and heel than the straight grip does. I have a pistol grip like the top pic below.

Browning BLR Rifles in Current Production

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


I know the OP didn't mention BLR's but you may wish to consider them in 358 Win or 450 Marlin. I have a straight grip 358 that is really fun to shoot and carry, I had a pistol grip before in another chambering and slightly prefer it over the straight grip version. They point and handle better than any other lever gun I have ever tried.
Posted By: JohnnyLoco

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 05/29/19

Man up and get the Win 94 450 Marlin
Posted By: JohnnyLoco

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 05/29/19

I have a few too many 444’s too

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Posted By: Sevastopol

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 05/29/19

Originally Posted by JohnnyLoco
Man up and get the Win 94 450 Marlin

Yep. Not sure you can go much lighter than that.
Posted By: Bugger

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 05/31/19

For big bore lever actions, I’ve owned a BLR 358, a 1886 in 45-70, a Marlin 444, a couple 44 Mag Marlins and a light weight Marlin 45-70. Plus a Marlin 35 Remington.

The light weight Marlin 45-70 is a rifle that I don’t care to load to heavily as it can become unpleasant for me to shoot.

If I were to own just one rifle and it had to be a lever action that BLR 358 would be a good choice for me. Or if I had to have a rifle in a scabbard that 358 would be a good choice.

I like my Marlins and I think the new Remington Marlins are as good as the older Marlins. But the one thing I don’t like about the Marlin 45-70 and 44 Mag is the inability to feed the cast bullets that I like.

The 1886 is too heavy.

There’s pluses and minuses for each.

If I were to have only one lever gun (keeping my bolt guns) it wouldn’t be any if the above. It would either be my ‘94 in 32 Win or my ‘92.

I really like that 32! I would like to try a 38-55 in a pre-64.
Posted By: Sevastopol

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 05/31/19

Originally Posted by Bugger
For big bore lever actions, I’ve owned a BLR 358, a 1886 in 45-70, a Marlin 444, a couple 44 Mag Marlins and a light weight Marlin 45-70. Plus a Marlin 35 Remington.

The light weight Marlin 45-70 is a rifle that I don’t care to load to heavily as it can become unpleasant for me to shoot.

If I were to own just one rifle and it had to be a lever action that BLR 358 would be a good choice for me. Or if I had to have a rifle in a scabbard that 358 would be a good choice.

I like my Marlins and I think the new Remington Marlins are as good as the older Marlins. But the one thing I don’t like about the Marlin 45-70 and 44 Mag is the inability to feed the cast bullets that I like.

The 1886 is too heavy.

There’s pluses and minuses for each.

If I were to have only one lever gun (keeping my bolt guns) it wouldn’t be any if the above. It would either be my ‘94 in 32 Win or my ‘92.

I really like that 32! I would like to try a 38-55 in a pre-64.

How about in a 'big bore'? ;-)
Posted By: Gringo Loco

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 05/31/19

Originally Posted by 1Akshooter
As much as I like Winchester lever guns, I find the Marlin to be easier to disassemble and clean. They also are usually cheaper and their actions are tight and precise. The one thing I don't like as much is the Micro Groove rifling. Which is why I ended up with one that has Ballard rifling. Cast bullets are cheaper to shoot and depending on who you read, may or may not shoot well out of a Micro Groove barrel, ya got me. Many up here use cast bullets because of the bore size of a 45-70 and it is a proven killer for over 100 years with them.

Microgroove will shoot cast bullets fine provided they are sized a little over what is typical for caliber. Marshall Stanton of Beartooth Bullets is THE last word on the subject.

Quote
Bullet fit is probably the biggest culprit when cast bullet accuracy is elusive in Micro-Groove barrels. The bullets MUST be at least .0005" over maximum groove diameter! When slugging the barrels of these guns (as well as the Rossi Lever action M92's), most people get a real surprise. Click here for the average dimensions we have encountered over the years in various Marlin barrels, not only our own, but those of hundreds of our customers, followed by our recommended bullet diameters for each application. Keep in mind that throat dimensions play an integral part in the bullet-fit equation. (This whole subject is covered at length in our Beartooth Bullets Technical Guide in the Bullet Fit chapter).


Beartooth Bullets FAQ - Microgroove Bullet Diameter

shootersforum - Does Size Matter?

Originally Posted by Marshall Stanton
Indeed size DOES matter, in fact when it comes to acheiving superb cast bullet accuracy there are three things that are crucial:

1. Bullet fit.
2. Bullet fit.
3. Bullet fit.

That is why we offer custom sizing options for virtually all our bullets. While there are a few "rules of thumb" there are always unexpected exceptions. This is why slugging the bore/throats of your firearms are heartily encouraged in all our literature.

Here are a few of those "rules of thumb" for sizing options.

Marlin 30A/336's in .30-30:
Older pre-crossbolt safety models .311"
post cross-bolt models .310"

Winchester M94 .30-30's almost universally .310"

Winchester and Marlin .32 Special: .323"

.348 Win. in original 71's and Brownchester 71's: .349"-.350"

Winchester 94's in .357 Mag: .358"
Marlin 1894's, Brownchester 92's, Rossi 92 clones in .357 Mag.: .359"

Winchester 94BB .375 Win and Marlin 375's: .377"

Marlin 1894's in .41 Mag: .411"

.44 Mags in Winchester 94's, Brownchester 92's, Marlin 1894's, Rossi 92 clones, Ruger Deerfield, Ruger lever actions, Remington 788's: .432"

.444 Marlin chambered in Marlin and Winchester variations: .432"

.45-70 in Marlin 1895's (all variations), Original Winchester 86's, Brownchester 86's, NEF/H&R, Brownchester 1885's, Ruger No.1 & No.3's, C.Sharps and Pedersoli made Sharps replicas: .460"

.450 Marlin: .460"

Not only does sizing matter, but it can mean the difference between a tack driver and a modified choke shooter! Too, the issues of leading the bore become virtually non-existant with properly sized bullets. Too, the need for bullets to "bump-up", or obturate under pressure to "fill the bore" is eliminated, along with most issues which cause finicky load development. When bullet sizing is correct, all other aspects of cast bullet load development become very straight forward.

Yep, size DOES matter! I hope this has been of help to you, and others.

God bless,


shootersforum - Big Bore Lever Guns - 45-70 Marlin microgroove & cast bullets

Originally Posted by Marshall Stanton
In reference to using cast bullets in that Marlin, provided you shoot cast bullets at .460" diameter, it will shoot so well as to amaze you! Use hard, gas-checked bullets and attaining accuracy will be like falling off a log, you'll have to do something REALLY wrong for them not to shoot well with any reasonable load, and be entirely free of lead fouling in the bore.

However, if you shoot bullets in smaller diameter, you are likely to become supremely frustrated due to finicky load preferences, mediocre accuracy and persistent barrel leading!

Bearthooth Bullets - 45 Caliber Rifle Bullet Selection

Enjoy your new rifle!
God bless,



Posted By: rem141r

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 05/31/19

Originally Posted by Sevastopol
Originally Posted by JohnnyLoco
Man up and get the Win 94 450 Marlin

Yep. Not sure you can go much lighter than that.


i have one. it is indeed light as a feather. can't be more than 6 lbs. it kicks like a mule though and you better be wearing ear protection. i like it but its going to go down the road one of these days.
Posted By: Sevastopol

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 06/01/19

Originally Posted by rem141r
Originally Posted by Sevastopol
Originally Posted by JohnnyLoco
Man up and get the Win 94 450 Marlin

Yep. Not sure you can go much lighter than that.


i have one. it is indeed light as a feather. can't be more than 6 lbs. it kicks like a mule though and you better be wearing ear protection. i like it but its going to go down the road one of these days.

Does yours have the butt pad? I can't imagine shooting it w/o one.
Posted By: rem141r

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 06/02/19

Originally Posted by Sevastopol
Originally Posted by rem141r
Originally Posted by Sevastopol
Originally Posted by JohnnyLoco
Man up and get the Win 94 450 Marlin

Yep. Not sure you can go much lighter than that.


i have one. it is indeed light as a feather. can't be more than 6 lbs. it kicks like a mule though and you better be wearing ear protection. i like it but its going to go down the road one of these days.

Does yours have the butt pad? I can't imagine shooting it w/o one.


yes it has the factory limbsaver or whatever it is. doesn't really do much. this thing smacks you in the face even with a good cheek weld.
Posted By: Gringo Loco

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 06/02/19

Originally Posted by R_H_Clark
I would like a light weight big bore. I was thinking short barreled 45-70 and maybe Marlin guide gun. I am not much of a lever action guy though and wanted to know if there were other options. I probably won't spend Big Horn 500 S&W money,but wanted to know if anybody else was making a good one or which models to be looking at in the Marlin.

I will likely use peep sights for close range deer under 100 yards or am open to other sight suggestions. I usually don't shoot levers because of the lower comb. I don't usually get a good cheek placement with most scope setups on levers I've tried.and yes,I've mounted real small 2-7 Leupolds as low as possible.

Still another option you might consider is to modify or replace the butt stock on a levergun that accommodates you with a higher comb. Possibly a monte carlo like pictured on WasTexasShooter's 444. It might even be a fun do-it-yourself project.
Posted By: JMR40

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 06/02/19

Marlin levers ain't light. My 30-30 weighs more than my 300 WSM, quite a bit more than my other bolt guns. The Winchester 94's in 30-30 tend to be about 1/2-3/4 lb lighter than Marlin, but I've never owned one of their big bores. If you're not really a big lever action fan then look at either the Ruger American or Scout rifle in 450 Bushmaster.

https://ruger.com/products/scoutRifle/specSheets/6837.html

https://ruger.com/products/americanRifleRanch/specSheets/16950.html
Posted By: 44mc

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 06/02/19

I have the win. timber carbine in 444 I think it weights 6 I/4 lbs. un loaded no scope
Posted By: Dantheman

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 06/03/19

Another Browning BLR owner here...358 Winchester. Light, handy and accurate.

Dan
Posted By: pete53

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 06/04/19

i would prefer a SAVAGE 99 but i also like the Browning BLR`s they do have a magazine clip , both the Savage 99 and the BLR`S are very accurate . if i was buying new it would be a Browning BLR , Savage 99`s are getting hard to find used anymore and are no longer made.good luck,Pete53 >> who ever reads this post >i am still look`n for a decent Savage 99 in a 358 Win. ?
Posted By: pabucktail

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 06/05/19

I'd recommend getting whatever sub-species of Marlin 336 .30-30 that suits your fancy and then send it off to JES reboring for conversion to .38-55, .375 win, .356 win, or .444. I had him convert a .30-30 to .444 for me this past winter, you can see it here:

https://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/topics/13697449/1

My gun ended up at a smidge over 6lbs and carries great. I think this sort of conversion is the best way to get a light bigger bore rifle. The marlin .44/.45 barrels are chubbier than they need to be in my opinion.
Posted By: mogwai

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 06/05/19

My marlin outfitter was nearly 8 lb loaded with a low power scope. Not handy
Posted By: pabucktail

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 06/05/19

Correct! They’ve put out some real dogs, but it’s what some people want. Marlins with all the extra meat in barrels and laminated stocks, big loop levers, tactical rails, and who knows what else are heavy. It’s all extra crap people either like the looks of or think they need. For many of us it’s just weight that adds up and clunkiness that feels poorly in the hand. Some variations like the TK or the Texan are really done right. Others can be made that way with a little work. Just thinning the forend on a Marlin makes a difference. If you get a chance to handle any of the things old 1800/1900s guns you’re bound to notice the differences with the modern ones.

I’d also recommend checking out the .45 colt versions of the 1894. They’re pretty handy and will likely cover the ballistic needs described by the OP.
Posted By: mogwai

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 06/30/19

Originally Posted by pete53
i would prefer a SAVAGE 99 <<< >> who ever reads this post >i am still look`n for a decent Savage 99 in a 358 Win. ?

Same here Pete53. I looked for 30 years but I never found one when I had money in my pocket. Have settled on a BLR and have quit looking for that 99
Posted By: Judman

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 07/01/19

Got a 94 bit bore the old man gave me, 375 win, light and handy, love it.
Posted By: Beaglemaster

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 07/23/19

If you don't like levers you might consider a ruger american in 450 bushmaster. Light weight bolt action, throws a big ol bullet and you can load it down to take some of the kick out of it.
Posted By: micky

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 07/23/19

Browning used to make a 450 Marlin BLR.
Posted By: CaveTrout

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 07/23/19

How about a BLR in .308? Light, fast handling,capable of handling a longer poke if needed,
and a .308 with good bullets will tackle anything in the lower 48 with confidence. Just another option that hasn't been mentioned yet. Good luck!
Posted By: pete53

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 07/24/19

Originally Posted by CaveTrout
How about a BLR in .308? Light, fast handling,capable of handling a longer poke if needed,
and a .308 with good bullets will tackle anything in the lower 48 with confidence. Just another option that hasn't been mentioned yet. Good luck!


Yep a 308 Win. in a BLR is another great choice too ! i just purchased a takedown BLR in 30-06 S.S.takedown and this rifle is very accurate too.
Posted By: Greyghost

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 07/25/19

For a big bore lever they don't get any nicer than the Marlin 450 MR, the MR is scarce with a 22" non ported barrel. They didn't make all that many and you very seldom see one for sale, when you do they usually go for 1k or more.

I like the 45-70 and I have a couple, but when push come to shove, I'd much rather have the 450 Marlin.

Put Talley bases and rings on it (with the rear base milled for their Peep Sight) along with a fixed 6x scope, and you'd have one heck of a rig (like mine) grin

I have a couple of their Scouts also but don't much care for the ported.


Phil
Posted By: Angus1895

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 07/25/19

I just skimmed this deal.

I didn't notice the Ruger # 3?mentioned

Or the 348 Winchester 71 carbine.

My favorite is the 356 win in a 336 with a custom glove( big loop) or a 1895 P custom big loop in 45/70 I use detachable rings for the scopes. With peep sights if possible. Ghost ring.

U can load a 35 R.E.M. In 336 mighty warm if on a budget.
Posted By: Rodell

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 07/25/19

Originally Posted by micky
Browning used to make a 450 Marlin BLR.


I've got one, accurate with handloads or factory rounds. Makes nice big holes.
Posted By: Mr_Harry

Re: Which light weight big bore? - 07/25/19

Couple people mentioned the Savage 99. If you like them (I do), I still see plenty of .308’s around. 358’s def not so much, and big money. But you could grab a .308 and re bore it to .358. Think a lot of the savage guys do this.
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