“Bear Proof” 45-70 by Turnbull Restorations and VintageGunScopes.com

Marlin 1895 in 45-70

Marlin 1895 in 45-70

Sometimes the best way to find a bear is to not be looking for one.  Here in Montana the spring bear season overlaps the elk antler drop, spring snow crawling and early fishing season.

If you go out and search for a bear in western Montana you’ll probably find one, but it might not really be a shooter.  On the other hand, if you just go out and enjoy the spring with fishing, antler hunting, snow crawling or four wheeling as many days as you can possibly be out there, you’ll end up in great shape and eventually you’ll either bump into a bear, or sign of one that is worth spending some time on.

With all that said, carrying your 26” barreled 300 Win mag with the 4x-16x 50mm scope and bipod over all those miles all spring just doesn’t sound like much fun.  This spring I decided to make myself a nice, compact bear gun that could go with me anywhere, all spring.


We started with a Marlin 1895 chambered in 45-70.  This particular 1895 was refinished by Turnbull Restorations to include their iconic color case hardening on the receiver and lever.  Next, we added a Weaver 63B base and our color case hardened Weaver 1” detachable top mount rings.

For the scope I decided on one of our fully restored early K4’s with color case hardened accents, polished brass retainer rings and the non-centered reticule.  The four-power gives me everything I need to make a clean shot at normal bear distances yet its not too much for when I have a bona fide close encounter.   And, with the 45-70 and Hornady LEVERevolution ammo’s 250gr. Monoflex bullet, it delivers plenty of wallop for any Montana black bear.


“Bear Proof” is available now with detachable top mount, or pivot rings for $1995.  Scope and mounts only, $599.00.

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James Brion