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Old 01-09-2017, 12:49 PM
SVT28 SVT28 is offline
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My search for a 16 inch lever gun in 45-70 is over.

After doing a lot of research over the last 3 years on lever guns, I've found out that there aren't many quality options for a factory 16 inch lever gun. It just so happens that Marlin had a limited run with Davidson's with two models, both with production numbers at 501. The 1895SDT was the straight grip version, which had a 16.25 inch barrel, Stainless finish, laminate furniture and fiber optic sights. 2008 production, JM stamped barrel.

I've searched for this model or its pistol grip brethren the 1895STP for almost 2 years and one finally showed up locally on backpage. After a bit of negotiation, the seller and I agreed upon $780. It came with upgraded XS Ghost ring sights, and a good bit of ammo.

2 boxes of PMC Silver +p+ 350gn soft points
1 box of Ten-x +p 405gn round nose hard cast
1 box or Garrett 540gn Hammerheads

The ammo looks older so I'm hesistant to shoot it right now. Some of the ammo like the Garrett is supposed to be top tier hunting ammo. I hope its g2g still. I don't think anything with horns could survive a 540 grain bullet at 1550fps.

I shot 5 rounds of factory new Federal this weekend and it shot excellent. I love the sights. The 16 inch barrel will make it an excellent brush gun here in AZ. Does anyone else have the SDT or STP Davidson's limited editions or a love for the 45-70 government?

SVT28




Last edited by SVT28; 01-09-2017 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 01-09-2017, 01:48 PM
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Nice score, I would have been on that in a heart beat. Here is my ported 1895G 45/70, great gun and a awesome shooter

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Old 01-09-2017, 02:01 PM
SVT28 SVT28 is offline
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Me likey! What kind of glass are you running? Did your rings leverage the taps on top of the receiver?

SVT28
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Old 01-09-2017, 02:39 PM
Charlie Foxtrott Charlie Foxtrott is offline
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Default I have the STP model.

I really like the fiber optic sight setup. It is a well made gun. I do not fire it a lot because it is a beast and way more than what I generally need here in VA but I like it. I bought mine new when they first came out. Nice to see that they are going for more than what I paid for mine.
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Old 01-09-2017, 02:52 PM
SVT28 SVT28 is offline
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Charlie, is your barrel stamped JM or is it a Remlin? What kind of ammo do you use when you do shoot it?

I looked for value on these before I purchased and I could not find a single sold ad in the last 2 years on the net and gunbroker turned up nada. I would value these at $1000+, and if they're not there yet, they will soon be in years to come.
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Old 01-09-2017, 03:12 PM
Neumann Neumann is offline
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For ghost rings, I prefer to use ones made by Skinner. They come as a receiver mount, or replacing the rear blade in the dovetail slot. There's nothing wring with XS sights either. They're just a bit blockier than I prefer.

XS also makes a rail for a Marlin 1895 (round barrel only), which fits between the rear sight dovetail and the receiver, using two of the four threaded holes. I mounted a Leupold "Scout Scope" on the rail, which has a 10" eye clearance. This eliminates the need for a hammer extension, as well as the unpleasant meeting of eye and scope under heavy recoil of the .45-70.

Scout scopes run 2-1/2x to 4x, which is appropriate for the 125 yard or so effective range of the .45-70. You can shoot (much) further, but only with heavy elevation compensation. The drop at 150 yards is about 18".

Last edited by Neumann; 01-09-2017 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 01-09-2017, 03:49 PM
Brian in Oregon Brian in Oregon is offline
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Lucky dawg, the 1895SSDT is a hard gun to find.

Marlin has a propensity for making the guns most desired in the least available quantity. Probably took notes from S&W.
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Old 01-09-2017, 03:53 PM
blackdeuce blackdeuce is offline
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Cool rifle. The laminate and stainless look nice together.

Congrats on the find.
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Old 01-09-2017, 04:04 PM
SVT28 SVT28 is offline
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Neumann, thank you for the feedback. My next move was to get the XS Scout rail as you had mentioned. I was debating putting an optics on it, and was heavily considering a scout scope or a micro red dot (blaspheme I know)

Looks like Leupold/Vortex/Nikon make some good offerings thar I'll need to check out.

What are ya'lls opinion on the ammo?

SVT28
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Old 01-09-2017, 04:21 PM
SilentKnight SilentKnight is offline
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You got an awesome deal. I own a Marlin Guide Gun in 45-70 and it is a shooter. Very pleasant to shoot with 300 grain bullets. Those Hammerheads are incredible. If you shoot one, you might hesitate to shoot a second one. That round is used for the largest and most dangerous animals in Africa and Garrett knows what he is doing. I would like to hear a range report on your experience with them. Congratulations on the excellent find. Enjoy.
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Old 01-09-2017, 04:50 PM
hkcavalier hkcavalier is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVT28 View Post
Neumann, thank you for the feedback. My next move was to get the XS Scout rail as you had mentioned. I was debating putting an optics on it, and was heavily considering a scout scope or a micro red dot (blaspheme I know)

Looks like Leupold/Vortex/Nikon make some good offerings thar I'll need to check out.

What are ya'lls opinion on the ammo?

SVT28
I guess I'm a blasphemer. I find the red dot is great in the woods and the kind of dreary, dark days one usually gets in Western WA during elk season.



I really like that 16". Looks like a great one to thread for a suppressor. 540gr @ 1000fps is no slouch either!
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Old 01-09-2017, 11:01 PM
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Do they come with wheels like other cannons? Very cool thumper!
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Old 01-09-2017, 11:41 PM
amazingflapjack amazingflapjack is offline
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Don't know your experience, but mine tells me to be prepared for pain with those +P+ and +P rounds. A word to the wise...
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Old 01-10-2017, 01:23 AM
hkcavalier hkcavalier is online now
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Don't know your experience, but mine tells me to be prepared for pain with those +P+ and +P rounds. A word to the wise...
A padded cheek rest is a requirement for me, at least at the range, and why take it off when hunting?
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Old 01-10-2017, 02:57 AM
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Originally Posted by SVT28 View Post
Me likey! What kind of glass are you running? Did your rings leverage the taps on top of the receiver?

SVT28
The scope is a Leupold VX1 2 x 7 x 33mm, its actually a shotgun scope, works great.
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Old 01-10-2017, 03:04 PM
Charlie Foxtrott Charlie Foxtrott is offline
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Originally Posted by SVT28 View Post
Charlie, is your barrel stamped JM or is it a Remlin? What kind of ammo do you use when you do shoot it?

I looked for value on these before I purchased and I could not find a single sold ad in the last 2 years on the net and gunbroker turned up nada. I would value these at $1000+, and if they're not there yet, they will soon be in years to come.
I started out shooting Beartooth bullets pile drivers out of it. These were tough. I have since found a much reduced load using Hornady XTP bullets that I like a lot better. I roll my own. As I recall I was out the door with mine brand new for less than six bills.
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Old 01-10-2017, 03:15 PM
Brian in Oregon Brian in Oregon is offline
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Quote:
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The scope is a Leupold VX1 2 x 7 x 33mm, its actually a shotgun scope, works great.
I recently swapped my ancient Leupold M8 3x scope on an early 1895 to a Leupold 2x7. Had the 2x7 on a rimfire and hated it because of severe parallax problems at lower magnification. On the 1895 the parallax issue is inconsequential for big game.
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Old 01-10-2017, 07:00 PM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
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I have a Guide Gun from the first year. In 45-70 they are no longer ported, factory ammo is so light recoil that porting is unnecessary. I had shot 45-70 for years, but never factory. A friend at a gun store gave me a broken box of 7, 405 grain Remington soft points. From the ported Guide Gun the recoil was less than factory 44Mag from a '92. From my 26" octagon barrel 1886 it was almost un-feelable!

Most 1895's won't take the 540 grain bullet without opening things up a little (I have the mold and bullets, I just never tried)

My "Save my Butt" ammo is a hard cast 400 flat point with gas check at 2200 feet per second. The porting helps some (only some)! For a test; set up a grapefruit sized target at 50 yards. Load 4 +1 of you hottest ammo. From the offhand position, fire into target as fast as you can. If they all hit; YOU WIN! If they all miss; YOU LOOSE! I use a Sightron 34mm red dot scope, my personal best is 2.5 seconds, all hit in a clover leaf group. In a T-shirt, I shot 2 back to back groups at dad's farm. The bruise took 2 days to surface and a week to go away and went from the base of my neck to my elbow. I used a shooting coat after that!

Ivan
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:16 PM
SVT28 SVT28 is offline
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So I'm turning 30 this month so I may have a little more youth still in me, and I didn't find any of the rounds I've shot thus far as being too violent in regards to recoil. Granted, I haven't shot any of the Garrett rounds yet...

I just picked up 4 boxes of 325 grain leverevolution and 2 boxes of Winchester JHP. I'll be shooting some of this ammo tomorrow I've also avoided buying the tools to reload for at least half a decade and I think I'm about to break and get into it. I want to roll my own. I also have overy 10 different calibers, 8 that can be reloaded, in my collection.

What's the cost like to get into reloading nowadays and is it worth it? I shoot a lot. Like A LOT.

SVT28
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Old 01-10-2017, 09:14 PM
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Now, THERE is your bear gun!
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Old 01-10-2017, 11:09 PM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
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Reloading is a lot like driving cars. You can have the entry level "used VW beetle" or you can go with a pretty nice Pick-up truck or you could go with a top of the line Formula 1 car by Ferrari. A very basic Lee Loader can do only one cartridge, e.g. 45-70, and come with everything you need (except hammer) to do a basic load with the powder they tell you, with the bullet weight they tell you and it will be slow about 30 per hour. You can expand on that with a powder scale and loading manual and you can the make any load in the book, at about 30 per hour. I started with this in 303 Brit. and have several as a back up system.

Up one level of magnitude: A single stage press and dies with scoop set will do 45-60 per hour with the added bonus of being full length sized. (Lee makes kits like this). Add a powder drop and you go to 75 to 100 per hour. There are several steps at this same level of technology/Price making better ammo at each step but still at about 75-250 per hour. Note you only need one press but additional die sets for each cartridge. I have several set ups at the same time, but you only have to have 1 press!

The next major step is progressive loading presses. They usually (but not all of them) use the dies you already have. There are major differences in model and brands. These generate opinions like butt holes, everybody has one, but you don't want to be in its presence! You can find production levels from 300 to 1200 per hour and you pay lots of money for any higher production level over 300. I have a common one at 500-600 per hour, call that middle production level and below middle cost level. I have had mine since the mid 80's and don't really have any need for better production levels. Quality of system, that costs too!

I have kept Brand Name and prices out of this, to allow you to look at what you need and want to spend. I have bought 50% or more of my dies and presses used, that saves money, and costs interchangeability and time.

Whatever it costs now, will cost more next year, so postponing will cost money for the same stuff!

Have fun trying to get the balance.

Ivan

Midway and Sinclair International both carry the widest range of stuff (except for a few brands of progressives)and you can see new pricing at each level. Used is on line, at gun shops and shows, and even at garage sales!

Warning: The quest for better and more ammo is addictive and expensive. (but it is a great and legal addiction!)

Ivan the Butcher, loading since 1978 and still getting better! (better is a code word for spending money)

Last edited by Ivan the Butcher; 01-10-2017 at 11:13 PM.
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