Good point about the rifling Smitty!
I believe it's an early production run model circa 80s...But I will check the rifling tonight.
Funny thing is it shoots everything else I could locate with good enough to hunt (to my own standards) accuracy. POA = POI out to 50 yds. with approx. 2" drop on average at 100 yds while shooting off hand. I never test off a bench or bags because I never shoot off of a bench or bags. I test how I will shoot & use the gun real world.
Meanwhile the Hornady were consistently shooting right by 3" and low by an inch in same wind as all the other various ammo weights and makes I've tested. I could compensate for it but for as much as that ammo costs at retail I figure there is no point when other fly better (from this gun) and hit nearly as hard.
I'd settled on 405 gr. Remington (R4570G).
Source - 450 Bushmaster
The rifle was loaned to me last fall season toward black bear hunting in MA by my hunting mentor.
After a talk about power levels (energy on target) and accuracy as well as regional terrain conditions he'd suggested I run with .45/70 Govt....Which prior I'd never heard of as my background and knowledge is largely toward modern combat & military purpose cartridges. I ran a bunch of research and numbers on the cartridge as it compares to other large bore and high energy options....And was intrigued. So I said okay where do I get this?
He then offered to loan me his own personal rifle which he uses as a general purpose gun when in dangerous game areas (he's a professional wildlife biologist with the USFWS and travels globally) and said this would stop a black bear easy one shot stop style IF I do my part and maintain accuracy.
The rest was 2 weeks of testing every type of commercial ammo I could get my hands on and time spent at home dry fire training to get the unique lever action method down pat and smooth.
I fell in love with that gun and upon shooting it the cartridge as well.
This thing is a beast!
Far more punch than a slug shotgun and more fun than a pump to run while being MA (bear only...not deer) and most every other state lawful to take game of most any sort.
Also IMHO this would make for an excellent camp/field/cabin security gun, better than a shotgun.
Within 125 yds. (200 with Hornday and a barrel that will shoot them) this thing is God's finger for any being that bleeds.
For really big or tough game such as Grizzly or thick hide African game I'd make a call to Garrett for some of their hard cast boolits and call it a day.
YouTube - 45-70 Marlin vs. Tree
YouTube - Marlin 45-70 Guide Gun First Day
Stupid fun. : )