hi all i'm new to this group but not new to marlins. i have a 336 in 35 rem and a 1894 44 mag and am planning to buy an 1894 in 45 long colt. i have a couple of questions (1) can the 1894 handle the hand loads in the ruger contender only part of the manual. (2) i've heard differing opinions on rifeling ballerd vs micro groove but am still wondering which one is better for both cast and jacketed bullrts. any thoughts or opinions will be welcomed.
manny816, hello from west central Mo. and welcome to the MO site. Now for your question, err on the side of caution stay with the loads NOT designed for the Contender. There are actions in the Marlin line-up that can take those kinds of pressure day in and day out, the 1894 is not one of those actions, in my opinion. Should you want more velocity/energy than you can get with these loads get yourself a .444, 45/70 or 450 Marlin. These are built to take the pressures of max loads. Enjoy yourself here and take care, John.
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I totally disagree that the Marlin 94 will not take TC/Ruger pressures with the 45 Colt. TC/Ruger loads are all I shoot in mine. The 94 is chambered in 357 magnum (pressure spec SAAMI: 35,000 PSI) and also the 44 magnum (pressure spec SAAMI: 36,000 PSI (40,000 CUP). So with all things being equal, as far as bullet weight and powder charge, the 45 colt having a larger case diameter and a larger case head for back thrust will do what the 44 magnum does with less pressure. There is no question the TC is a stronger action because it will handle high pressure rifle loads but that doesn't make the loads in the 94 any less safer with 45 Colt loads.
Here is a read by Paco Kelly where he discusses the 45 Colt in lever action rifles. About 2/3 down the page he gets to the 94's and he does place a limit on the 94's which makes sense. http://www.leverguns.com/articles/pa...ltlevergun.htm
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thanks for the info. was just wondering if i could share my pet load for my ruger old model vaquareo with the marlin but will stick with the liter loads if not safe. are the liter loads enough for deer at say out to 100 yards , i have the 336 in 35 rem and the 1894 in 44 mag and know they will get job done at 1oo yds.both the 1894 44 and the 336 35 rem have micro groove rifeling and are very acurate in the 44 i use 240 grain xtp s ahead of 23.7 gr of 296 this load stays with in 2in at 50 yds thru williams peep sights, in the 336 35 rem i use 200 grain hornady ahead of 36.5 gr of imr 4895 this load will shoot 3 shot clover leafs about 1 and a quarter in thru the 3x9 variable. any thoughts on ballard vs micro groove, will the ballard rifeling give better acuracy with lead bullets and still be acurate with jacketed really, want to shoot cast. i have shot cast in the 44 240 gr hard cast semi wad cutters no gas check, i don't remember the exact load only that it was mid range seemed to get alot of lead fouling and acuracy started to fall off after 10 to 15 rounds will the ballard rifeling be better or should i use gas checks or will the 45 with its slower rounds be worrying about nothing. enjoying the forum and look forward to others opinions thanks
I don't do it often, but when I hunt with my 45LC I shoot buffalo bore ammo out of it. That is one of the hottest factory loadings on the market for that round. I have never had any problems with shooting those rounds.
Guns with Ballard or Microgroove rifling will shoot jacked and lead cast just fine with equal accuracy. The thing about casts with both types of rifling and especially with Microgroove is good bullet to bore fit. The standard for 45 Colt groove diameters is .451 but some run a little larger and Marlin seems to be one of those at a usual .4515, but the only way to be sure is to slug the barrel. I suspect the reason you were getting leading after 15 rounds through your 44 is either the bullets were to small in diameter or to hard or a combination of both. If your bullets were to small then, gas would escape around the base and lead the barrel. If they were also to hard then the speeds you were shooting did not build enough pressure to bump the bullet up in the throat and seal the bore, resulting in leading. This is always a problem when shooting hard casts which takes more pressure to bump up than softer casts. Gas checks do work in these situations but are not the total answer.
I cast my own and size to .454 even for the Ballard rifles I have. I don't shoot hard cast as all my loads are at 12-13 BHN hardness, not the typical 20 plus from bullet venders one buys from. I generally don't shoot plain base bullets as I prefer gas checked designs but that is mostly because my hunting loads are around 300 grains and I run them at top speeds. One of my favorites is the Ranch Dog 290 grain gas checked design that runs at 1628 fps. It's a real thumper on both ends.
Bottom line is, the Ballard is a little more forgiving on cast loads but the Microgroove will shoot just as well with a little attention paid to bullet to bore fit which really is a requirement of both types of barrel designs..
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thanks for the info the cast bullets i was using in the 44 mag are super hard cast comercial bullets . guess i will try softer bullets with gas check to see if this works better. question how do you go about slugging the barrel.i have been loading for a long time but mostly jacketed, my thoughts on the hard cast are bullet base melt at 44 mag pressure. the 45 colt i have on layaway has the ballard rifeling i bought it primaraly thinking of shooting cast and would like to start casting my own and tinkering with that to see what works and what doe'nt but would welcome any help and thoughts thanks to all for thoughts and opinions
One of the misconceptions of gas checks is it keeps the base of the bullet from melting. A bullet base will not melt. It is not in the barrel long enough for the lead to melt. High pressure can deform the base of a bullet and I suspect that's where some get their notion that the base melted. The function of the gas check is to help seal the bore and keep high pressure from deforming the bullet base. Leading of the barrel is a result of hot gasses from the burning powder blowing around and past the base of the bullet and attacking the ridges (lube grooves) on the cast bullet. When this happens the edges become soft enough that the rifling will strip off lead.
As mentioned before, a over sized bullet of .002-.003 will accomplish the same thing until one gets into really high pressure loads and then a gas check is a must. Like most reloaders I don't have a means of checking pressure so I use FPS as a indicator. Up to around 1300-1400 fps I'll go plain base at times. Past that speed I shoot only gas checked bullets just to be on the safe side.
On slugging s barrel, go to youtube and type in slugging a rifle barrel and you'll find all kinds of methods people use. Truth is I've only slugged a few of my rifles as I know over sized simply works. My marlin 45 Colt and the H&R BC 45 Colt have never been slugged. The .454 casts I use work just fine.
Last edited by Gohon; 11-10-2011 at 07:46 AM.
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thanks Gohon that clears things up alot the loads i was useing in the 44 were close to 1600fps and like i said i don't have much experiance loading cast. i think i'll try softer bullets with gas checks. this brings up another question or two (1) will i be able to push the cast to full power loads ( as fast as jacketed) (2)will the softer lead expand or do i look for a wide flat meplat.
The Ruger/TC loads listed in reloading manuals do not exceed the pressures of the 44 mag or 357 mag. They are quite safe to run in your new Marlin. Find one that is accurate and enjoy. DP
TEAM 444 #187, Team 35 #7, Two Marlin 1894Cs, Remlin 1894C, 1894-44mag, 1952 Marlin 30-30, 1966 Texan 30-30. Glenfield 36G & two 30A's 30-30, 30-30 XLR, , five- 35rem. 1951 SC, 1952 SC, 1957, 1975 and 2008, 38-55 CB, M-375, 308 MX, 338MXLR, 444P, 444SS, , XS-7 22-250, XS-7 7mm-08 AI,