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SMLE - 45/70

3865 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Lawyerman
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

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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