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Old 04-04-2018, 16:04   #1
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Marlin CBA .45/70

I found another one of these last week. I've really been wanting to shoot it, but have had winter weather since I got back to my Montana place.
These short (18") octagon barrel Cowboys are sure compact and handy for being a powerhouse. Weight is a little over 6 pounds.
A break in the weather today, and I got impatient waiting for the receiver sight I ordered for it. Put on a scope base and used a FastFire dot off of one of my Mini-30's so I could go shoot it.

I have a bunch of Starline brass, and a bunch of Oregon Trail 405 grain bullets, and I want to find a load that will be accurate, not too wimpy but not shoulder punishing either. I had some IMR-4198 left over, and wanted to try A2015 as well. If I could find a load using A2015 that shot well, then I can stock up on it, as I use it for loading the 7.62 x 39 too. My first charge of 32.0 grains of A2015 showed potential, the first 4 of the bullets shot at 50 yards went into 1/2", the 5th round opened the group up to 1 1/4". But it only was getting 1020 fps.
30 grains of IMR-4198 gets 1300 fps. and my 5 shots were in a one inch spread.

Yes, I forgot to buy more targets last time I was in town, so I made some by spray painting a circle and holding my 3 MOA dot inside that. Worked O.K.
Next time out I'll try some more loads with 4198 and A2015.

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Old 04-04-2018, 16:10   #2
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Sweet Sandog. I have a 1895G. Love it. I use mostly AA5744. Is there nothing you can't load with it. I mostly shoot about 300 grains lead or copper. Find that no matter the load, I only have to adjust for elevation and never windage.

I do have some past noted on loading with AA3100 which was a IMR4198 type powder.
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Old 04-04-2018, 19:21   #3
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at 405 grains and that tight a group 1100 fps is plenty powerful/accurate enough!! for anything this hemisphere.
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Old 04-05-2018, 05:10   #4
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Sweet report Sandog!
I too been contemplating getting one but couldn't decide between the CB 26" or CBA 18". I procrastinated and just picked up a Dan Wesson 44v 6" in a box the other day so it be a long while toward late fall now.
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Old 04-05-2018, 05:11   #5
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On a side note I was planning on trying Trail Boss behind soft BP lead bullit.
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Old 04-05-2018, 05:37   #6
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So you got a Dan Wesson 44v 6 and no pics? Hmmmm. I have tried tail boss in the 45-70. It worked. For me its why add another powder to the collection. Give it a shot. Mostly use trail boss for testing 45 Colt, 7x57 with lead bullets, and of course 45-70. In all cases AA5744 would also meet the same need. Except in pistols, since it can leave a lot of unburned stuff. Sandog also makes some very good powder recommendations.
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Old 04-08-2018, 11:32   #7
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You got lucky finding an 18" barreled 1895 CB !!! I'd love to have one but mine is a 26" barrel version.

There is nothing you can do to that gun with 400 gr boolits that won't punish your shoulder. It is just too light.

My go to load is 33 gr of 5744 with a 325 gr boolit (RCBS 45-300 FNGC) it is still peppy running 1550-1600 fps, but will also knock down anything in NA. I can shoot 40 of these in a Silhouette match and not regret doing it. I could not do that with a 6 lb gun.

The reason for this speed was to generate a trajectory that I could live with for shooting from 50 to 200 meters. I am dead on at 100M, 6" low at 150M, and 12" low at 200M These can be easily corrected for on the Lyman 66LA Sight. Which is what I do.

I would try to find a Steel Lyman 66LA for your gun as they are easily adjusted and go back to Mechanical Zero after you are done shooting, and they repeat so you don't have to start over when you change them. Once you establish what load you are going to use you zero the gun and set the stops on the sight. This becomes your Mechanical Zero.

Talk to Venturino, and he can educate you on this. It is the way to go!

I added a Gracoil recoil reducer which doesn't do much of anything but increase the weight of the gun and a 1" thick Pachmayer recoil pad. The gun now weighs 8lb on the nose. I'd rather it weighed 9.

405 gr boolits at 12-1300 fps killed everything on this planet by 1900 so you don't need to go much more. But you can certainly go less. Lighter boolits are the key.

I also went with XS White Line Front Sights for both guns and they are much easier to see in failing light than a brass bead or plain black sight blade.

Here's some pics of mine I also have a 1894 CB 24" in .44 Magnum.

Randy
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Marlin CBA .45/70-100464006.jpg   Marlin CBA .45/70-100464021.jpg   Marlin CBA .45/70-100464140.jpg   Marlin CBA .45/70-100464141.jpg   Marlin CBA .45/70-100464142.jpg  
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Last edited by W.R.Buchanan; 04-08-2018 at 11:59.
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Old 04-08-2018, 12:06   #8
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Tony: You should also have one of these so that you can work up loads at the range.

Goto www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

Randy
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Old 04-09-2018, 04:29   #9
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Originally Posted by dh1633pm View Post
So you got a Dan Wesson 44v 6 and no pics? Hmmmm. I have tried tail boss in the 45-70. It worked. For me its why add another powder to the collection. Give it a shot. Mostly use trail boss for testing 45 Colt, 7x57 with lead bullets, and of course 45-70. In all cases AA5744 would also meet the same need. Except in pistols, since it can leave a lot of unburned stuff. Sandog also makes some very good powder recommendations.
Yeah I know but when I posted I only had a few minute before I had get to work as its been crazy busy. Will get it up in the day or so.
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Old 04-09-2018, 15:43   #10
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I removed my fore arm wood, and tapered the ends down better, re stained it and did it in a satin spray poly. Now it matches the butt stock better, looks and feels better in the hand.
I also stripped down the receiver and deburred the inside, then polished the locking block and sides/ends of the cartridge lifter. But the main thing I wanted to do while inside the Marlin was smooth the edges of the loading gate. The gate, and the inside of the frame around the gate are never smooth enough as they come from the factory, mine was pretty sharp, so I fixed that as well.
I settled on 27.2 grains of IMR-4198 as my "light" plinking load, at least until my supply of IMR runs out, then I might go to H-4198 or something else.


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Old 04-10-2018, 04:16   #11
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Sandog which stain did you use? That is so much better looking than the factory porked version by a long mile!
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Old 04-10-2018, 05:18   #12
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I used Watco medium walnut. When I first stained the forearm wood, it didn't look dark enough, so I put on a second coat of stain. Almost got it too dark.
I'd like to keep this one more traditional/original. Except for the square bolt/round bolt difference, these Marlins are very similar to the ones made in the 1890's.
Although technically these .45/70's made since the 1970's are Marlin's 336 action, they have more similarities than differences.
When viewed from the left side, they really look like the old 1895's.
I've seen some examples of guys that do color case hardening and the results are nice, maybe not quite as nice as sending your receiver, lever, hammer, and bottom metal to Doug Turnbull, but close, and for much less money. The price I saw quoted was $240-$275 for large lever gun parts.
The Marlin would look awesome with the receiver and the other 3 parts done that way.
danthegunman.com - Color Case Hardening
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Old 04-10-2018, 05:18   #13
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Double Post

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Old 04-11-2018, 04:26   #14
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Thanks you Sandog. Many forerms on Marlins are lighter in color than the butstock and for that it didnt make any sense why Marlin doesn't usr the same wood.
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Old 04-16-2018, 16:29   #15
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I bought some Hornady 350 gr. jacketed Flat Nose bullets to work up a hunting load.
These were brought out for the 450 Marlin cartridge, but work well in the .45/70 too.
They can be driven at 2000 fps., but out of a 6 1/4 pound carbine with no recoil pad it would be brutal.
I wanted to see if I could find an accurate load around 1600 to 1700 fps.
I started out testing and got up to 40 grains, which gave 1600 fps., before rain halted the testing.
Recoil off the sandbags was not so bad back against my shoulder, but the gun jumped straight up off the bags when I shot.
I can tell the difference though, between a 1600 fps. load with a 405 grain bullet, and a 1600 fps. load with a 350 grain bullet.
The 350 grainers are still long enough to give better penetration than the stubby 300 grainers, but more pleasant to shoot out of light guns than the 400 grain selections.
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Old 04-19-2018, 16:47   #16
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Tony: I wouldn't worry too much about penetration. Any of those boolits will go clean thru any a game animal you would choose to shoot at 1300 fps. Anything more will just push the bullets deeper into the dirt on the back side of the animal.

Lots of the Cast Boolit Makers like Beartooth, and Oregon Trail and Montana bullets have variations of these bullets that will work great in your gun.. The key is to have the 2.550 OAL there, so the gun will feed reliably and most bullets designed for the .45-70 have the crimp groove in the same place with respect to the front of the bullet so that occurs.

With the RCBS .45-300, .45-405 and .45-500 the noses are all exactly same down to the crimp groove. The lengths of the boolits are longer behind the crimp groove with more driving bands and lube grooves to add the extra weight.

For my type of shooting with my .45-70 the RCBS .45-300 is what I will shoot most 99% of the time. My mould drops them at 325-330 gr. Then they get a gas check, and in the future they will get powder coated.

I could see a possible use to the .45-405 If I got to go Moose or Elk Hunting even though the 325 gr boolits would probably be more than adequate.

The only other bullet I would consider is the Belt Mountain Punch Solid which is turned out of solid Brass. These would be in the very remote case of me getting someone to pay for my trip to Africa and including a Cape Buffalo Hunt. :>)

I don't know if I'm on anyone's list yet, but I am available. I can be ready in less than one hour and can load on the fly with my Hand Press.

Incidentally the best group I have gotten with my rifle was 1 3/4" at 100 yards with the Lyman Rear sight.

Another tip: the fore end on your gun needs to have a few thou clearance fore and aft so it is not hard up, it should move slightly. Also when shooting off a rest you grip the fore end with your support hand and lay your hand on top of the rest. That controls the muzzle jump a little better.

Also one final thing. If you don't want to permanently attach a decent recoil pad you can get a Limbsaver Slip On one at Walmart for @$20, and they work really well. I have several on guns I didn't want to modify and they take the bite out of most any gun.

Randy
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Old 04-20-2018, 06:04   #17
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I don't think penetration will be a problem. The 350 is known to be a stout bullet, Hornady lists the velocity range as from 1600 to 2900 fps.
So I don't think I'll get any expansion at impact velocities of say, 1300 fps, as I'm only starting them at 1600.
We have had moose on the lower river sections the last few years now. Last fall there were 5 bulls, didn't see many cows. No one has put in for a tag yet, I might have to change that.
On the one upper section of pasture, I saw a herd of elk last year, so they are close, but most people here drive 60 miles or so to their favorite elk spot. At the bottom of that upper section is where I have my shooting range.
I'm aware of the slip on pads. I have one that I used on my first short Marlin Cowboy. Here it is in use. It helps, but I eventually fit a Remington Super Cell pad to that Marlin. I think for this new Cowboy, I'll get a Kick Killer pad that is nice leather and laces on, it would fit right in.
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Old 04-20-2018, 16:30   #18
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I want that antique grind-stone.....lol
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Old 04-23-2018, 10:31   #19
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I agree that a fitted pad is best. I do all mine and if you get the little jig from Midway it is a piece o cake to do a first rate install.

Even if you don't get any expansion you will still be poking a 1/2" hole clean thru whatever you shoot so I don't see anything lasting too long after that.

Remember that the .45-70 took everything on earth with Cast Boolits at 1300 fps before 1900 and they seldom expand very much if at all unless they hit a big bone or something solid.

Good Luck on that Moose/Elk hunt, send me some meat!

Randy
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