The only thing I've shot so far out of my 1894c were some 125 grain Win. JHPs (didn't shoot well at all) and some 158 grain Speer Gold Dots (2.5" five shot groups at 100 yards with 18 grains of Lil`Gun @ 1906 fps).
I just ordered some 158 grain and 180 grain XTPs. Are the 180 grainers likely to shoot better or worse than the 158s?
I just shot the Hornady 180 XTP in my 1894ss yesterday and they shot about 1 1/2 inches at 50 yards looking through a Leopold 3X scope. My load was 14.5 on Hodgdons Lilgun.
I had a few sticking cases so I will back off 1/2 grain for the next loads. With the added velocity of the short carbine barrel a 180 gr bullet in my thinking just makes sense.
I prefer the 158 gr Hornady XTP either JHP or JFP over 16.5 H110. Shoots great in my 686 and my sons 1894. Packs a heck of a punch too.
Depends on what you're doing with them. Personally, the 158s are about as big as I go for hunting.
Marlins in 44-40. Whacking varmits since 1888
You might try a can of 2400. I use both 13.0 grains of 2400 and 16.2 grains of L'il Gun behind 158 grainers because those recipes have the same point of impact and presumably the same velocity; the 2400 gives very slightly better accuracy (it's detectable, but not by much) than the L'il Gun load. I use 158s exclusively because I don't like making sight adjustments from my standard loads for 125s and 180s; I've killed 2 Misssouri whitetails and dozens of coyotes using those loads with perfect satisfaction.
With factory irons or aperture sights a 2 inch 100 yard group is a fine group with ANY rifle, IME.
This information is worth exactly what you paid for it.
"Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder." - George W. Washington, 17 August 1779, letter to Major-General Robert Howe
IMO (and that's worth what it is) a 357 just works best in 158. Smith fixed sight pistols are regulated with this load and every 357 rifle and pistol I have shot does well with these. You can play with the powder and the loadings but 158 is a great round for both personal defense and hunting.
This is a 3 1/2 old 8 pt that weighed in at 200lbs. Shot with a S&W Mod 19 w/ 4" barrel (no scope just stock sights) and 158 gr Hornady. 1 shot at the base of his neck at 30yds. He dropped in his tracks.
Team 45-70 #535
Team 1894 #194
Team 35 #313
336 35 Rem
Smith & Wesson 4" fanatic
Opinions may vary, but I reload for my 357 carbine with the 158 Remington. Using Lilgun powder is produces speeds in the 1900fps range, so not much under a 30-30 and with a similar weight bullet.