View Full Version : 45/70 or 450Marlin? What's the difference

01-09-2005, 04:40 PM
Here's a question for everyone. What's the big difference with the 450 Marlin and the 45/70? I know one is belted and one isn't, and I have no idea about what being belted does anyway. Does being belted make it more accurate or less? More power or less? I just don't know and I was kinda curious about it.

Thanks for you help with this random question.

Daryl (deceased)
01-09-2005, 05:11 PM
Well, here's my thoughts.

I believe that the 450 marlin was designed because of all the folks who are handloading the 45/70 heavier than the factory loads that are available. Factory 45/70 ammo is loaded to the older black powder pressures. Older firearms won't stand the pressure of these hopped up loads, but modern rifles will handle the heavy loads pretty well. Since the older firearms won't handle the pressure, the best way to safely provide heavier factory loads was to come up with a new cartridge for it.

In handloaded ammo, using a modern, strong built rifle in good condition, you should be able to nearly duplicate the 450 Marlin factory ammo. Normal care should be exercized in loading the ammo to avoid problems, as is always the case when loading your own. However, if you're stuck shooting factory fodder and want heavy loads, you might be better off with the 450.

Mi dos centavos.


Jay Edward (deceased)
01-09-2005, 05:29 PM
Az hit the nail on the head t12b...and I applaud Marlin for producing this rifle/cartridge combination. I am, however, hoping that they will produce a .50-100-450 clone at some point in time. I'd have one of those in a flash...providing they didn't price it for visiting princes.

Here is the 'data' out of the COTW for the two you're interested in:

01-09-2005, 07:11 PM
Thanks for the first bit of info.

Here's part two of the post. Let's just say that a 150 gr bullet has 1000ft-lbs of energy at 100 yards. I'm just trying to use simple numbers to get the point across. In this we are also assuming they are both the same dimensions and bulet shape. Now if a 350 gr bullet has 1000ft-lbs of energy at the same distance, is the weight difference taken into account and the two would equal out? I'm having a hard time trying to describe what I'm after.

Still wondering about the difference between belted and non belted too.

Daryl (deceased)
01-09-2005, 08:04 PM

Ft lbs of energy can give you some idea of what a cartridge is capable of, but it's actually a poor identifier when it comes right down to it.

For equal amounts of energy out of a 150 and a 300 grain bullet, the 300 grain bullet would have to be traveling a lot slower at the point of impact. Velocity is an ever decreasing factor, and since velocity partly determines energy, energy is also an ever decreasing factor.

Heavier bullets (in similar/same calibers) won't loose their velocity (and therefore their energy) as fast as lighter bullets will, but lighter bullets start out faster in similar cartridges. Heavier bullets also tend not to loose their momentum in solid mass as fast as lighter bullets do, so no matter what the energy, the heavier bullets tend to penetrate deeper. Since the bullet doesn't stop as easily as a lighter bullet, it oft-times deposits less actual energy on target (when it exits), but tends to penetrate more and destroy more organs and tissue.

Lighter bullets travel faster if you consider equal energy levels, and the bullet travels in a flatter trajectory (at least at moderate ranges) as a result. As mentioned above, the lighter bullet WILL loose it's velocity faster than heavier bullets do usually, including in a solid mass such as body tissue. As a result, the lighter bullet will oft-times "dump" more of it's energy into an animal, since more of it's energy is dependent on the velocity that it's quickly loosing, and the shock affect will often drop an animal in it's tracks.

As an example, a 55 grain .22 caliber bullet at 3600 fps from a 22-250 has 1587 ft lbs of energy. That load would kill most deer with proper bullet placement at 100 yards, but would be considered a relatively small cartridge and the bullet would have trouble penetrating shoulder bones. This bullet would likely not exit a deer and so would dump all of it's energy into the animal. OTOH, a 240 grain bullet from a .44 Mag rifle at 1700 fps has 1540 ft lbs of energy, and would be considered a fine cartridge by many for shooting deer at 100 yards. The bullet would have little trouble breaking shoulder blades and such, and would most likely exit a deer and dump less of it's energy into the animal. At longer ranges, the heavier .44 cal bullet looses enough of what velocity it has so that it drops too much to be considered a long range rifle, even though the bullet may still be capable of killing a deer if the bullet actually hit it right. The .22 caliber bullet, since it starts out with more velocity to loose and a flatter trajectory, is still fine at longer ranges for hunting smaller animals.

Two entirely different concepts that almost contradict one another, yet each works fairly well when applied in a cartridge suitable to the game hunted. I doubt that I've explained this well, but this can be a very lengthy, argumentative, and even interesting subject.

I look forward to being corrected! :D


drinksgin (deceased)
01-09-2005, 08:12 PM

There are basically 3 ways to head space a cartridge, that is, place it at the correct place in the chamber for the firing pin to hit the primer properly and for the case to expand and seal the chamber properly upon firing.
These are ; rimmed , the case headspaces on the rim, rimless, the case headspaces on the shoulder or mouth of the case , the mouth is for straight cases such as .45acp and 9mm and belted, the case headspaces on the belt, which is really a rim in front of the extractor groove, rather than behind the groove like the real rim.
The matter of energy is a function of both weight and velocity, big , heavy bullets develop a lot of energy at low speeds, lighter bullets need more velocity to develop the same amount of energy.
Don't forget, the more energy, the more recoil.
Don :cool:

Jay Edward (deceased)
01-09-2005, 10:13 PM
Illustration for Don's explanation:

01-10-2005, 03:23 AM

Lets just throw in one more spanner in the "energy" argument. The calculation of energy uses the weight of the bullet multiplied by the square of the velocity. There is a large school of thought that this emphasis on velocity is what makes energy figures suspect. Some believe that using momentum (which is the weight times the velocity) is a better comparison figure.

The people who support the "energy is everything" approach, believe the bullet should transfer its energy to the target. To do this completely, the bullet should not exit.

The opposite school are the people who believe "penetration is everything". A large exit wound is preferred because the animal will bleed more. Also deep penetration will ensure an abscence of the problem of "failure to penetrate" (where the bullet stops before reaching the vitals).

Penetration is optimised with a slow heavy bullet. Energy transfer is optimised with a light fast bullet. The light fast bullet is also more likely to break up causing secondary wound channels (which are effective as long as they occur in the vitals i.e. not if you take an adverse raking shot).

I will not express a preference for any one approach. I believe both have their advantages and disadvantages as well as their specific applications. I have both a 357 Magnum (158gr @ 1680ft/s) and a 220 Swift (40gr @ 4270ft/s) and have faith in both in their respective environments.



Tool Dude
01-14-2005, 07:36 PM

I have never heard such a complete explanation and answer to that question. Thank you:D
I understand that many of these types of questions are based on hypothetical properties, but I think you made sense to me.........Congratulations, my friend!
Would you think I was a little off my rocker if I still chose the .458 dia. slug to nail the critter?
Thanks buddy,