The Marlin Guide Guns, be they the original JM 1895G's or the newer Remlin 1895 GBL's with the extended magazine tubes, are one of the best carry guns for the African bush. Make no mistake, the Marlins were designed right pretty much from the start and there is very little that needs to be done to them if they are going to make the trip to the dark continent on safari. If you set them up right they are an all rounder capable of taking everything up to elephant and then some.
Having grown up in the Zambian wilderness, I have carried a great many rifles and calibers after the nasty wounded beasts that are intent on doing you harm and I can confidently say that these 45/70 Marlin Guide Guns are suitable to take on an African Safari. Over the last 5 years I have complimented my field arsenal with the new marlin 1895 GBL's and I have found myself carrying them more and more when walking after Buffalo and other game.
What the Marlin Guide Guns brings to the table is exactly what many of us look for in a double rifle - a small light rifle with a huge temperament or "Big Bore" attitude that one can easily get more than one shot out of at a reasonable speed. Now I own a very nice 500 nitro double rifle which shoots pretty well for a double yet I always find myself with the 45/70 Guide Gun in hand on the long walks while my tracker Max carries the heavy double. Although I would have no hesitation going in after a wounded buffalo carrying the Marlin Guide Gun, I have to at least make my clients feel less nervous and take up the heavy double if the situation arises. The same would go for Elephant BUT everything else can be handled by the marlin GBL
In a tight situation the Guide Gun will do the job, one just has to exercise the usual caution with charging beasts, be it with a 600 Nitro or a 45/70 lever gun - make your first shot count and hit the brain. I have seen too many times, the supposed prowess of a massive knock it's teeth off caliber fall short in the face of an oncoming beast, providing a false sense of security to simply hit the target and it will drop dead. Mark my words, I would rather take a Marlin Guide Gun that I know and shoot well in after a wounded Buffalo or Lion than one of those massive calibers everyone including the AR fraternity thinks one needs as a minimum for Africa.
While I have proved that a Cape Buffalo can quite easily succumb to the 45/70 Guide Gun, it is with that most magnificent of cats, the lord of the savannah that the 45/70 and even the 444 Marlin Guide Guns come to the fore. They are the perfect rifle and caliber for taking on the African Lion, and I have carried my standard off the shelf 1895 Marlin GBL in after a number of wounded Lion as well as chosen this over and above my 500 Nitro and .416 Rigby when sitting in a blind waiting for the cats to show.
Overall, the purpose built Marlin Guide guns in 45/70 and the variations thereof by custom makers are useful and effective guns to carry out in the field in Africa.