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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 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!
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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