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Big-Game Calibers

We’ve gotten a tremendous response from our gun reviews at the SHOT Show. Here, our gear editor, John Snow, talks about the pros and cons of two big-game calibers, the .45-70 and the .450 Marlin in response to one commenter's question. Look for an exclusive gear blog to launch soon with plenty of gun reviews.

"I'm planing to buy a 45-70 or a .450 Marlin, but I can't decide. I was wondering, can you shoot the new LeverEvolution ammo in a regular 45-70 and can you shoot regular 45-70 ammo in the new Marlin XLR?"

Lever Action Ammo

The .45-70 and .450 Marlin are both hard-thumping big game killers. It would be difficult to definitively recommend one over the other. The two calibers are kissing cousins, in regards to ballistics. They use the same bullets, though the .450 Marlin does have about a 100-200 fps edge in velocity for any given factory load. I doubt any animal would be able to tell the difference. Truth is, you won't go wrong with either.

You can put your mind at ease about using the new ammo in older lever actions or older ammo in the new XLRs - all those combinations will work together just fine. In theory you should see a slight advantage in the accuracy of the XLRs when shooting the LeverEvolution ammunition. At least that's what Marlin's engineers had in mind when they gave the XLR rifle barrels a slightly faster rate of twist. But as with any rifle you buy you should make a point of shooting as many different types of ammo through it as you can. The different levels of accuracy you'll see may surprise you.

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