45-85 Marlin


#1

I have the book “Cartridges of the World” by Barnes. This cartridge is not listed in the book. Can anyone tell why it is was missed. I have a 1895 Marlin lever action rifle that is chambered for this round. It was chambered in their 1881 rifles & is mentioned in Bill Brophy’s book on Marlin Firearms.


#2

[quote=“jorgy”]I have the book “Cartridges of the World” by Barnes. This cartridge is not listed in the book. Can anyone tell why it is was missed. I
have a 1895 Marlin lever action rifle that is chambered for this round. It was
chambered in their 1881 rifles & is mentioned in Bill Brophy’s book on
Marlin Firearms.[/quote]
Jorgy, C. O. T. W. is at best a basic reference. Many cartridges are not listed in it. Some cartridges are shown with an incorrect picture of that cartridge. So, only use it as a basic work. M. Rea


#3

Jorgy: The .45-85 Marlin used the .45-70 cartridge case with powder charge and bullet specified by the Marlin firm. The brass itself was not dimensionally unique, though as produced by UMC it did use the small primer. JG


#4

Jorgy–The .45-85 Marlin was listed by U.M.C. and Remington-UMC as a seperate load from 1887 to at least 1914 I do not have the 1915-16 catalog, but it is not listed in the 1917 catalog). The main difference between the .45-85 Marlin and the .45-85 Winchester Express and the .45-85 Colt was the bullet weight. The Marlin had a 285 gr. bullet while the Colt was 290 gr., the Winchester Express was 300 gr. and the Winchester was 350 gr. The Colt and Marlin used a 2 1/10 inch case and the 2 Winchester loads used a 2 4/10 inch case. Both the Colt and Marlin use the No. 1 1/2 Brass primer and the Winchester used the No. 2 1/2 Brass. The small primer mentioned by J.Gill was used by E.Remington & Sons, not U.M.C., unless he meant “Small Primer” as opposed to the larger No. 1 Berdan.


#5

Thanks for the info. I purchased this 1895 Marlin 2 days ago serial #242xxx & it is stamped 45-85 on top of the barrel next to the chamber. I thought
I was buying a 45-85 WCF & I tried to chamber a round of 45-90 & the lever
would not lock up the breech. Then I tried a round of 45-70 & it worked fine
& the bolt closed like it should. I was unaware there was a Marlin 45-85
made until I consulted Bill Brophy’s book on Marlin firearms. I have been
collecting Marlins for close to 30 years & I have never seen one stamped
before. This truly must be a one of a kind gun. I am fairly certain I can
shoot 45-70 ammo thru it with no problem. What baffles me is that the
references I had made no mention of the 45-85 Marlin. I believe this
shows the collector how much competition there was around the turn of the
century between Winchester Marlin & Colt.