Educational Zone #188 – A Couple of .45-70 Rifles – Lots of Pics

My buddy Ted came to visit and we spent a couple of great days at the range. He had brought a couple of .45-70 rifles that he wanted to play with. I have the dies, so I loaded up some .45-70 ammo and we were set to go. 

Here’s the first rifle. 

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It is imported by Navy Arms Co. and is a Pedersoli Rolling Block action. It is a very nice rifle.

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This is what the action looks like after firing the rifle. 

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You can then cock the hammer.

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You can then insert another cartridge and you are ready to go again.

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The rifle has a nice covered post front sight.

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And a nice adjustable aperture sight on the rear. This sight can be easily adjusted for elevation.

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The barrel is an octagon shape for the first half of the length and then becomes round until the end.

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I really enjoyed shooting this rifle as it was heavy and the recoil wasn’t too bad. But mostly because it shot where I aimed it.

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I was even nice enough to let Ted shoot his own rifle.

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He had also brought a Marlin .45-70 Guide Rifle.

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This lever action has the enlarged lever loop. I honestly do not know what advantage this offers except maybe if you were wearing thick gloves.

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The Marlin action is a good, solid lever action system.

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It has a side extension for the hammer so that if you wanted to install a scope, you could still thumb cock the rifle.

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The front sight is a bead post and the rear sight is the standard buckhorn sight. Very quick to use at close ranges.

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Ted shot it standing on his hind legs, which is how it would most probably be used.

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I shot it mostly from the bench. It kicked pretty hard with heavy loads.

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That brings up an important advantage of loading for a .45-70. You can load any type of load you desire from a light, easy shooting load to a heavy, bone breaking load. 

This day we shot some 405 grain lead bullets at moderate velocities (on the left). We shot some Jacketed Hollow Point 300 grain bullets at high velocity (in the center), and some 515 grain heavy cast bullets (on the right).

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After getting pounded with the light and JHP bullets, Ted was not interested in trying the 515 grain loads in the lever gun. But my experience is that the heavy bullets can often be the most accurate. 

Here is a sample 50 yard target from the Marlin on the left (three shots) and the rolling block on the right (five shots).

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The lighter Guide Rifle has a lot more recoil, regardless of the load. And a heavy load would be punishing to shoot very much. Of course, if a big bear was charging at you, I doubt you would be worried about the recoil.

Oh well, a good day at the range. It’s fun to shoot stuff.

3 Comments on Educational Zone #188 – A Couple of .45-70 Rifles – Lots of Pics

  1. Yep I like my Marlin 1895SS in .45-70
    Great cartridge for, well everything.

  2. The “big loop” lever won’t rap your knuckles in recoil, and the curve more naturally fits the back of your hand when working the lever with alacrity. Hope your friend did a proper “fluff & buff” including rounding the point on the lever [that typically is left sharp from the factory] and eventually eats into the lifter? [sorry, working from memory, & I’ve got a bad case of CRS] forcing replacement. Don’t know if it’s needed with the older JM guns, but all of the newer Remlins [like mine] require it…

  3. william de selover // September 3, 2016 at 11:04 am // Reply

    I first got into 45-70 in the 50’s (1950’s) when I inherited my grandfathers 1886 Deluxe Winchester. I have a Ruger #1 and a Kodiak Double Rifle in 45-70. Great fun and all are heavy guns that tame the recoil, did I mention I also have some .458 African caliber rifles that shoot that wonderful 45 caliber that bullet that inspired the .458 Thanks for the fun article.

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