Image Alt

Marlin Firearm

The lever-action rifle

I enjoy reviewing lever-action rifles and have done so frequently.
They bring to mind the time of the American settlers who cleared the land for our country.
Lever guns were crucial at that time for self-defense. A farmer might not live very long if he doesn’t have a good weapon. Cattle were herded by men and women across wide, frequently hostile plains. They could be helpless in a crisis without a Henry or Winchester because it was frequently risky.
The lever rifle is not just a curious relic from the past. It is healthy and alive. They are ideal for farmers, hunters, and anybody searching for a fun range gun because of its capacity and simplicity of usage.
Lever action rifles are also encouraged to be used in cowboy shooting events.

I once owned an excellent Winchester 92 (actually made by Winchester). It was well-built and easy-handling. Over the years, I have had many lever action rifles. I have a Henry Big Boy .44 Magnum in my gun safe. We shot it yesterday – my sons had a blast.

You can spend hundreds of dollars on a lever action rifle. You can buy a plain Jane .22 LR at the low end, or an Italian-made replica of the Winchester 1873s and 1892, at the high end.

The Marlin 1895 is in the middle of these two extremes, and it is a doozy.

Marlin Repeating Rifle historical ad

Marlin’s focus became civilian firearms after the war. In 1917, The Hopkins & Allen Arms Company was bought by Marlin for this purpose. By the 1980s, Marlin was producing more rifles than Winchester.

What was Marlin’s advantage over Winchester?

The “side-ejection system” used by Marlin’s rifles ejected spent bullet casings from the side. This was significant since a Marlin could now be mounted with a scope without obstruction. Angle-eject system by Winchester wasn’t as well known. Marlin’s sales increased at the same time that the optics market was flourishing.

Later, Marlin expanded its compatibility to heavier calibers than Winchester

rifles. An illustration of such is this Marlin 1895.45-70.

You have a sizable library once you include their handgun caliber rifles (in.357,.41, and.44 Magnums).

Of the top five makers of lever action rifles, Marlin ranks at the top. The other four are Winchester, Henry Rifles, Mossberg, and Browning.

The “Guide Gun,” a Marlin 1895.45-70
Marlin’s.45-70 family of rifles is the basis for our Marlin 1895 Guide Gun 1985.

Eight different.45-70s and two.410 lever-action shotguns may be found if we include all models from 1895. Henry also produces lever.410s, thus this weapon appears to be well-liked.

There are many variations for barrel length, ranging from 16.5 to 26 inches.

The length of the barrel on this rifle seems to be the “sweet spot.” Since our weapon is a “Guide Gun,” its 18.5-inch barrel is midlength.

I believe Marlin markets this gun to anyone searching for a versatile.45-70. one with a shorter barrel than the 22-and 26-inch models for ease of handling, but not as short as the 16.5-inch tube on their Trapper model.

Marlin 1895 .45-70 Specs

Model:70462, 1895G
Overall Length:37″
Length of Pull:13 3/8”
Weight:7 pounds
Trigger Pull:4.0 pounds, measured
Barrel:18.5″, stainless steel, Ballard rifling; 1:20 twist
Capacity:4-round tubular magazine
Sights:Adjustable semi-buckhorn folding rear sight, ramp front sight with brass bead and hood. Solid-top receiver tapped for scope mount; offset hammer spur (right or left hand) for scope use.
Stock:Walnut, with recoil pad and sling swivels
Other Features:Hammer-block safety; side ejection; loading gate in receiver
MSRP:$1199 (approximate. MSRP not published)
“Real-World” Price:$850-$1200

Shooting the Marlin 1895 Guide Gun

I positioned a target in the center at a distance of 50 yards and started firing 1,620 grains of hard-cast lead bullets. Four 405-grain bullets total. This ammunition shortage is something, but even with the six I had available to me, I was able to complete my task with these four “buffalo-load-equivalent” cartridges.

The target shows that I have three holes. I took another shot after one of my initial three somehow missed the target. In any case, the rifle is significantly more accurate than I am, and it would be adequate as a deer-stomper out past 100 yards if you just adjusted for trajectory.

Deer aren’t a problem because, in the 19th century, the.45/70 killed thousands of buffalo.

Finding reloading dies and a bullet mold would be the first thing I would do if the pistol were mine. The group would then be center-positioned on the paper after I had laid in a supply of handloads. I’d be prepared when hunting season arrived at that time.

For me, not a bad target. But, oh, look at that recoil! I don’t spend a lot of time at the rifle bench because I generally shoot handguns, so I haven’t really gotten used to being belted like I was today. I was certainly drawn to it!

There are numerous.

There are currently 45-70 rounds available, ranging from Hornady’s LeveRevolution to specialty rounds. You will not have trouble finding what you need, once ammo starts its comeback.

If you are very recoil-sensitive, I’d recommend you steer clear of this cigar-sized round. But, if you have the need, go for it!

Are There Any Other .45-70 Lever Guns Out There?

Marlin has a good claim in this market but there is one other similar gun that I know about – the Henry .45-70. Henry builds a heck of a gun. We shot my .44 Magnum Big Boy yesterday and it impressed my sons – and is in direct competition with Marlin.Henry Big Boy 44 Magnum rifle title photo

Featuring side loading and ejection and a large loop, the Henry is one great option. I like my Henry, but would be happy with this Marlin as well. The main difference that I see, at a glance, is that the Henry’s stock is made of a better grade of walnut and the blueing is a touch darker. These are subjective, of course, but if pressed that’s what I would mention.

Is the Marlin a viable option? Sure. Plus, you might be able to save a few bucks when you buy it. You could pick up this Marlin for a bit less than the Henry, when you can find it in stores or online. You could do worse than adding this to your collection. It’s a very nice example of a .45-70 lever gun that is accurate and reliable.