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Thread: Hypothetical Lever Gun Bear Bullet

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Hypothetical Lever Gun Bear Bullet

    As an interesting exercise that may come to fruition, let's suppose that one were to pull an Alaskan Coastal BLACK bear tag. And one wanted to take a Marlin 1895 ( a real one, not the modern imposter), in .45-70, loaded with black of course, what sort of bullet would folks recommend?

    Super heavy is not needed. I have a 480 gr bullet and a 420 gr paper patch. The latter will be strongly considered, but what about a grease groove. Bears are not huge or hard to penetrate. Maybe 400 lbs for a really big one, probably less. But getting them dead on the beach would be far preferable to tracking into the devils club brush. So, I am thinking a big meplate, 325-400 grains maybe, leaving room for more powder. Any Recommendations on a modern made mould (or an old one if someone has one to sell, but I want something that would not be undersized as I have heard some modern bullet moulds tend to be.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Chill Wills's Avatar
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    The old Ideal, and the Lyman 457-193 for that mater is a Marlin design for the very rifle you are talking about. I have a single cavity mold I will send you to try or use or even buy if you want it badly after using it.
    I am willing to part with it because I have more than one. Try it first.
    Chill Wills

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I'm VERY interested in that offer! No hurry but I would love to try that.

    My barrel is modern (not a legal lever silhouette rifle), but I would like to hunt it at least once or twice and black bears on the Alaska coast would seem perfect.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


    rfd's Avatar
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    the accurate 45-405P is also good choice and will drop around 404 grains with a 16:1 slick. it's quite accurate, won a 200yd PPB match with it in 2017. i'll send ya the mold!


  5. #5
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    The 457193 mentioned is by far the most flexible in terms of alloy , powder , and load level .
    For more meplat the M-P 462-420 . I don't know how behaved it will be with BP although my example is a PB/HB version that casts , .460-417 & .380 gr . The BP seems to prefer to be driven fast in upper Marlin loads . 1-16 might make a difference in that respect .
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  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    I have a very old Lee group buy 420gr mold with a very large meplat. If you want some to play with let me know with a PM.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master

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    On Black Bear the old Ideal gould design will work just fine for you and will still groups into 2-3 inches at 100 from a decent bore and this is closest to what the old marlin would have been used with in the day. The 405 would be a good choice also but IMHO the hollow point would be more effective on a small bear.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    Brent, what is the groove dia of that barrel?
    I may have just the ticket for you. A bullet that has harvested a lot of
    game in my (rebuilt) orig '86 Win.
    beltfed/arnie

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    Brent.
    I favor the Lyman 457/121 ph for my 95 Marlin. I don't shoot PP in the leveractions unless I single feed them.
    The Bullet drops out of the Lyman mould a little to small so I sent Tom at accurate moulds a print of a revised 121 to make me a mould that makes it a proper diameter for the .45-70.
    This bullet will work shooting black powder if I want in the lever action and it will shoot the whole tube empty with out a jam.
    I tested this bullet in my Shiloh .45-90 at Baker Mt at the 1020 yard iron and when I got the sights on it hit 6 out of 10 shots is a good breeze.
    I can loan you this mould so you can cast some to try if you like.
    Tom has it in his catalog under Bullet design #46-467L detail
    Kurt

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Arnie, the barrel is a Green Mt. So probably 458/450 but I haven't slugged it.

    Kurt, thanks for the offer, but I think I'm set now. At least enough to test and see what happens. Short of a double rifle, I think the .45 Marlin will be perfect for beach bears in AK.

    Brent

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    I will be heading to the Iowa City VA soon for some tests. If you change your mind let me know and I can pack some bullets or bring the mould.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    Brent,
    My 457483 bullet is 0.459-0.463 dia and weight is 386 gr in 1/4" meplat
    or 371 gr in HP mode- my alloy of 9+1 COWW/Lino. Weight will be about the
    same in 16+1 Pb/Sn.
    This bullet is a GG bullet with LARGE GGs for plenty of lube.
    Note that, though it is a gas check bullet, I have had no problem
    loading it 0ver usual BP with 0.060 LDPE wad.
    Working on loading a pic. Too big at this point.
    beltfed/arnie

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    Another thought:
    Load 500 gr 457125 Govt blunt round nose load
    "up the spout" and follow with the 385 gr FN or HP rounds in the mag.
    My Govt mold casts 0.459-0.461"( too long to feed from Mag.)
    This was Elmer Keith's practice: When he went up into the Black Timber
    after Elk he carried his '86 Win. He figured he might have to do a Texas Heart shot(pardon me, Texans)
    at an Elk "going away" and the 500 gr bullet will go thru lengthwise.
    beltfed/arnie

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Veral Smith said it best when he stated: Meplat better than 70% and hitting speed between 1400 and 1700fps.
    That will give you optimum penetration and secondary cavity (hydrodynamic shock) for any given bullet.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    Brent, here are the bullets I mentioned above
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  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    Left to right
    My 457483 mold modified to change the from RN to 1/4" FP or HP
    457125-500RN Gov't
    457483-386gr 1/4" Flat Meplat
    457483-371 gr HP
    RCBS "300gr" FN -0.300"Flat Meplat- 321 gr
    beltfed/arnie

  17. #17
    Boolit Mold
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    New guy here, but will reply with my thoughts. I would just use the Lee .459-405HB bullet that I have for years. Does the job very well!
    Cory

  18. #18
    Master Tool & Die Maker


    Red River Rick's Avatar
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    FWIW, I bagged this 525 lb. boar 2 years ago in Saskatchewan, using my 86' chambered in 45-70.
    Bullet was a RCBS 45-325-FN, pushed by 70 grs of KIK ffg.

    Shot was taken at 80 yards, nailed him in the neck, just behind his jowl. Found what was left of the bullet in his right eye socket.
    All that was left was 135 grains from a 325 grain bullet.

    I would think that using this same load on any bear would be more than sufficient.

    RRR

    Attachment 251847
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    Last edited by Red River Rick; 11-25-2019 at 11:49 AM.
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  19. #19
    Boolit Master



    cwlongshot's Avatar
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    SO many good bullets and a load of ol favorites!!

    Remember its more important WHERE then with what once you have adequate caliber. (As you do)

    I like the two RD molds 350 & 425 as well as the Gould Express 330g.

    CW
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    NRA Life member REMEMBER, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE its being paid for in BLOOD.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    I would recommend what I use in my 1895 Marlin 45-70, and have used it for years. It is a 457121 Lyman, now frequently called the Parker Hale. Weight is 475 grains at 20-1, has a generous meplat, SEVEN (count "em) grease grooves, feeds like it it greased out of my Marlins and is accurate at long range if needed. 66 grains of 3f black powder, heavily compressed, gives 1250 fps over my Oehler 35P. This gives complete side to side penetration and exit on bison, and end to end penetration with exit on 300 pound hogs. I would use it on any bear in Alaska, black or brown. Good luck on your hunt.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check