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OSOK: The SMLE action in 45-70 or 45-90 is simply not as strong as the Marlin 95 and I doubt if it is as strong as the 86.

Those SMLEs can be rebarreled to the 45-70 or the 45-90 but I doubt they will take or survive the hotter loads that can be fired through the Guide Guns or the newer 86s. I would assume, due to the pressure ratings for the British 303, that if you were to obtain one of the SMLEs in the larger calibers that you would be limited to the lower pressure loadings in those calibers.

There was an article recently about a 45-90 conversion and the author made a strong point about pressure comparisons and staying with loads well within those pressures. Even though he used a newer Ishapore manufactured SMLE that was converted from 308, it was still a SMLE action and they will tolerate only so much pressure.

You're right though, they do look like fun guns and are neat lookin', too. I would love to have one if I could find one for the right price. However, even though the SMLE action is one of the fastest bolts ever made I believe the lever action is faster. If you're using the 45-70 for dangerous game that you are eyeball to eyeball with I think I would want the lever for faster 2nd shots. In addition, the new Guide Guns can handle the hotter loads and pressures of some of the newer offerings in 45-70 caliber whereas the converted SMLEs cannot.

A real good resource to ask this of is Coug2Wolfs, the moderator for this forum. He regularly goes eyeball to eyeball with some nasty looking hogs and might have a better perspective on this for you. Hope this helps. Mikey.
 

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Is Enfield No. 4 45-70 as Stong as Marlin M

OSOK
The Lee Enfield might be a fun project if you can do all the work but I do not recommend it for several reasons. Also the result is not likely to have much resale value. I built a Siamese Mauser in 45/70 about 30 years ago.
It made for a nice strong rifle much better than a Lee Enfield. It fed well too. But you can't get Siamese Mauser rifles easily anymore. The Marlin
or almost any other factory 45/70 will be a better deal in the long run.
The life of your brass will be short if you use loads that much hotter than recommended for a Trap door. We all know 45/70 brass does not grow on trees.

Ed
 

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Is Enfield No. 4 45-70 as Stong as Marlin M

OSOK said:
You misunderstood. I'm not doing any of the work. The rifle is a fully completed project by Gibbs Rifle Co. for about $384.50.
I understood but I didn't say there is no way I would spend $400 for anything made out of a #4 Lee Enfield. You need to look at the Gibbs item before you buy one, then decide if it is a better deal than a used or new Marlin. If you did most of the work you might get by for $200 to $250 if you start with a $25 #4 Mark 1. The resale value of the converted rifle will never match the resale value of a Marlin or equivalent.

Ed
 

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SMLE ,Gibbs

OSOK said:
Thanks for your advice. I agree with your assessment. The Marlin 1985 is clearly the better buy.
Just for the record.The Enfield action is as strong or stronger than the Win 86 or Marlin 95,and thats a fact :eek: .The 303 British SAMMI is 48,000psi.The Enfield #4 as been converted to shot 308Win at 63,000psi without fail.The levers will be a better resale item,maybe.But they sure aren't any stronger and can't use spitzer bullets.
 

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Is Enfield No. 4 45-70 as Stong as Marlin M

I maybe wrong but I think the 45/70 Gibbs is made from a No.1 mk 3 Enfield which are not as strong as No. 4"s .
The action on the Enfeilds are most reliable bolt actions and they are the fastest.
The action on the Enfeilds lock up in the rear so there some stretching in the cases , so case life is shorten to maybe 3 reloadings or less!
I"m a big fan of Enfields and have owned lots of them .Iv"e taken several deer and a few wild dogs.(with the .303 round). But I would rather have a Marlin or Win. Just My thoughts ! I may get me one anyway!
 

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Is Enfield No. 4 45-70 as Stong as Marlin M

I'm wrong the Gibbs rifle is built on a #4 action ! Looks sweet !
 

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Is Enfield No. 4 45-70 as Stong as Marlin M

My experiences shooting Mauser carbines have not been "fun" at all. I wouldn't expect an Enfield to be much better, let alone one in .45-70. My shoulder hurts just thinking about it. I love my 1895 and I think you'll be much happier with one.
 

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Is Enfield No. 4 45-70 as Stong as Marlin M

I have a .45-70 made up on a P14 Enfield action. I can load to .458 Winchester magnum range without a hitch. It will take all the pressure the brass can hold (starline). It is a fine rifle and suitable for all types of game.

The No. 4 guns are interesting. I think the problem with the Enfields stretching cases is due in large part to their generous chambers. These are a result of the military wanting a weapon that would function in all conditions. I have set back some Enfield barrels as many as two full threads and they would still chamber a round!!!! With a new .45-70 barrel this should not be an issue as they would be cut to SAAMI specs, much less case stretching. I think it would be a fine gun.

This is the lever action forum and the Marlin is a good gun but bolts are ok too?
 
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