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Marlin Firearm

Review: Marlin 1895 Lever Action .45-70 Government Rifle

The Ruger Marlin 1895 lever-action rifle represents a significant improvement in the design and functionality of lever-action rifles. The first rifle I ever owned was a Winchester Model 94 chambered in, which I realize is really dated. Winchester, 25–35. My first deer was shot with this gun as well. The point is that I have shot lever-action rifles all my life, having grown up and lived a long life. Lever guns, in my opinion, are a true American shooting sports tradition that go all the way back.

In my opinion, it is only fair that as I enter my senior phase of gun writing and near the end of my lengthy affiliation with these action type rifles, I have the privilege of writing about the brand-new, exquisitely styled Ruger-built Marlin 1895. Cartridge for the 45-70 Government. There aren’t many lever-action rifles available in enormous bore calibers except from Browning Arms and a very small number of other manufacturers. Marlin has always been a pioneer in promoting the lever rifle as the current standard field weapon.

Review: Marlin 1895 Lever Action .45-70 Government Rifle

Marlin 1885 lever-action rifle by Ruger in .45-70

Beginnings again
This Marlin rifles, which was created by the former firm but is now owned and run by Ruger Firearms, has contributed to the release of the Model 1895 Big Bore Rifle. This is primarily due to the fact that Remington, the previous owner of the name, did not significantly alter the rifle as sold by the original Marlin weapons firm.

Sport shooters can get cutting-edge items from Ruger, which is renowned for its ingenuity, adaptability to new production techniques, and high-quality firearms at very competitive costs. Now that Ruger has decided to give this gun to shooters, it has been a wise choice.

Since I’m a long-range expert from western South Dakota, the rifle’s ability to extend my range would seem to be beyond my capabilities. As a result of the small 19-inch carbine-length barrel on this new weapon, it is simply not in the plan to accelerate the.45-70 chambered bullet to extremely high velocities.
Having said that, the.45-70 government has long been a staple in the untamed west where I live. I’ve lived here and written for the last 20 years. With my Sharps.45-70, which is equipped with a set of ladder sights and knowledge of the.45-rainbow 70’s trajectory, I have hunted buffalo and deer. It all comes down to knowing where to hold the gun.

The cartridge’s enormous downrange maintained velocity is a benefit. The.45-70 can fire a lot of energy at a target. Elk, prize mule deer, bear hunters, and even southern pig shooters can all benefit from the knocking power of this rifle cartridge. It is clear why Ruger chose to offer the new Marlin in this quite traditional but powerful lever-action straight-walled cartridge.

LP Brezny loading the Marlin 1885 lever-action rifle with Hornady LEVERevolution ammunition

Marlin Features 1895

Here are the unvarnished facts on what makes this gun unique in comparison to the rifles Marlin produced when it first acquired the name. The old model was initially examined by Ruger in 1895, following which a number of extremely fundamental design modifications were made. This new gun uses extra technology that can precisely cut very intricate parts in addition to CNC production techniques.

The outcome is a seamless action and fit that was carried out under the close supervision of specific professionals who checked for tolerances. When metal components are fitted, this gun maintains both the wood-to-metal fit and the detail fit. A smaller forend has been added to the stock, and the checkering has also been updated with the laminated gray stock.

In terms of sights, the new rifle makes use of a ghost ring rear sight and an HV-type front ramp sight. I would much rather see an all-metal front sight with a white ramp face. However, these sights seem to be the style of the day on many varied new firearms of late.

100-yard paper and steel targets with the author holding his Marlin 1885 lever-action rifle

When climbing trees or entering high artificial stands, rifle muzzles can be placed into saddle scabbards or hung over the back. These are just a few items that can harm a rifle’s muzzle. This rifle was not made to sit on a target bench; it was made for tough field uses.

A minor issue with the ghost ring is that it stands fairly tall and prevents the use of high or even normal scope rings. The new weapon uses a long rail designed after the Weaver rifle. The installation of a scope is simple. It is necessary to switch to an AR-style base and rings setup or a high tactical base ring setup, though.

When attempting to install a scope for testing, I first removed the ghost ring sight. However, I decided that it was an ugly alternative and put back the rear sight. I tried two other ring and base sets, but they didn’t work (again, the mounts couldn’t clear the Ghost ring sight), so I went with a Leupold one-piece base and ring combination as a last resort. In this instance, it appears it was a workable option.

Federal Fusion .45-70 ammunition box with two spent cartridges

The nice people at the sporting goods store took charge and mounted, aligned, and laser-zeroed the new scope mount system for me after I made a mess of the base arrangement. I had always just done my own work in this area, so that was a first for me in terms of fresh experiences.

I decided to use one of my old T/C 39 power units in the scope section. Considering that the scope was made to be used with the T/C Contender, I figured it would be a decent choice. With the sight attached to this carbine-length rifle, the overall package is nice, light, and compact. Fitting this weapon with a gigantic, enormous bell and a long tube-length scope. It is, in my opinion, extremely overdone. 

Lowering the range
The Marlin Model 1895 was often a slow starter when it came to getting hot. Mid-February, when I received the Ruger test rifle, South Dakota was experiencing a mild winter by these standards, but it was still difficult to stay outside due to the brisk winds blowing directly out of the northwest, which drove its icy core across the Big Horn Mountains.

As the weather smashed in around me early in the day, the first day with live ammo turned out to be little more than a brief function check of the entire system.

The second day, however, was not very pleasant either, but it was manageable because I set up a portable benchrest behind a wind wall on our club range and used my truck to deflect the strong winds that gusted from 25 to 30 mph and continued to be a full value against the line of my test bullets to the 100-yard target.

Even with the strong crosswind, I was able to easily splash bullets on 12 by 18-inch steel plate while firing Hornady’s 325-grain LEVERevolution at a muzzle velocity of 2,050 fps. Due to the obvious field circumstances, the test for an accuracy group check was skipped.

What I did come away with over two days with that rifle was that she liked the Hornady fodder, functioned as smooth a glass regarding the rifle action, and at least for the time being, or until better weather could be utilized, it seemed accurate enough as well.

Marlin 1885 and Hornady .45-70 LEVERevloution big game loads resting on a shooting bag

The rifle’s trigger snapped at about three pounds, and it was incredibly sharp and solid. The rifle was simple to manage, and just by the way this open hammer firing control system worked, I could see that nice groups were going down the line.

Balance was perfect at the midway, directly in front of the trigger guard, even when scoped. My left arm rested over the back of the bench behind the pistol grip-style stock of the rifle as I fired my 300-grain Federal jacketed test rounds one-handed thanks to the ample recoil pad. I can say that shooting the rifle is considerably simpler and forgiving than using my Sharps. 45-70. Several people who shoot the.45-70 claim that the recoil must be much less than what is reported regarding other rifle brands chambered in this cartridge.

The 1895 weighs 8.75 pounds when the scope, sling, and one-piece AR type mounts are not attached, although it feels much lighter when raised to the firing position.

In the second week of shooting, just inside 100 yards, accurate groups were generated as the weather improved. I chose to shoot on a shorter, densely wooded shotgun patterning range that had been somewhat enlarged because the open range winds were still gusty. I was able to “walk” my bullet within 12 inch each adjusted shot anywhere on the target when using 300-grain Federal Fusion rounds. I wanted to make some adjustments to what had been accomplished during laser zeroing in order to zero for 200 yards.

I was interested in limiting my shooting ranges on game inside 300 yards because my cartridge, at least as applied to this carbine system, is not a long-range cartridge. My impact point on the 200-yard target was a little low at 3.5 inches because while I was shooting for zero, my rounds were impacting bullets that were 2.5 inches high.

I had to hold over a full 28 inches utilizing Hornady LEVERevolution Bullet drop data when I moved to 300 yards, my maximum range. In a straight head-on shot at a mule deer utilizing the same hold, the bullet would enter the target via a head or chest shot while holding on the animal’s nose with an 18 to 20-inch-high hold, finding the lungs and heart. buffalo and trophy timber whitetail for years by way of my Sharps, I had a good feel for the performance base of this cartridge and paired rifle.The results using 200-yard targets for hog and buffalo were, to put it mildly, effective. The Federal Fusion 300-grain bullets being tested were dropping 11 inches low with a sight picture hold at the upper edge of the picture target’s shoulder, but as previously said, would knock out lungs and hearts. It was challenging to extend the range of the shot to 300 yards using Hornady’s published drop chart. I was able to hit steel in general, but accurate group shooting was simply out of the question due to the persistently high winter winds.Hornady 350-grain bullets produced the best three-round print when shooting for basic groups at 100 yards, placing two bullets in the same hole and the third bullet exactly.966 inch next to the first pair. The fact that the strong winds had shifted the bullet group 3.5 inches to the left of center made this group unique as well.