I recently picked up a Marlin 1894 Limited in 44 mag with a 24" barrel. I have loaded 44 mag pistol loads for hunting and plinking for years, so I have quite a few good full house loads for hunting. What I need from all you experienced silhouette shooters out there is a few good loads for both PC silhouette and lever action silhouette. I am currently shooting an old 1894 takedown in 25-20 in the PC matches, but thought I would experiment with the 44 mag. I would prefer to use a 180 grain bullet, cast or jacketed, as cost seems to be close for either one.
The PA State NRA Cowboy Silhouette Championship Pistol Cartridge competition was just won by a fellow using a rifle like yours.
His ammunition was loaded with 180 gr. jacketed & 9.0 grs. of Hodgdon Universal.
aka w44wcf (black powder)
aka Jack Christian SASS 11993 "I can do all things through Christ who strenghtens me." Philippians 4:13
aka John Kort
NRA Life Member
.22 WCF, .30WCF, .44WCF cartridge historian
TEAM 39A member #108
TEAM 1894 member #125
TEAM 30-30 member #311
TEAM 45-70 member #563
I'm not as experienced as some. But here's my two cents.
I just used the same rifle for the first time on the CLA (Bigbore) targets. I used one load, chickens through rams, a 200 grain JHP with 17 grains of 2400. I knocked down everything I hit, but some of the rams looked like they were falling over in slow motion. ;-)
I hope that helps some.
GTS, like John said I shoot a .44 mag. and love it. That big old fat bullet got me some hits I would have missed with any lesser caliber this past weekend. As John stated I shoot a 180 grain bullet over 9 grains of Universal. My Dad, Jim did all the Load development a few years ago. I got the gun from him, he had switched over previously to a Marlin CL 32-20. I normally shoot Remington Bulk 180 HP's, but this past weekend I also shot Hornady 180"s. It's pretty mild, and I think I come up about 20-25 total clicks from the CHix to Rams. As far as CLA, I haven't shot it on the Full Size target's, I always use my Marlin 336A .30-30, but I have some 240 gr. Hornady Sil. Bullets that I might try for fun. Before I started shooting this .44, I had a dandy 57m .22 Mag, I shot some real nice scores and got my Grand Slam, but just never fell in love with it. I personaly think probably the ideal caliber is .38/.357, even thought I shoot a .44, but as I said I love the gun, have confidence in it and have shot some great scores, including a 40x40 in an approved match. The only thing is it has just enough recoil, you have to "grab it, pull it in tight, show it who's boss" and follow through. If you can do that hopefully you'll enjoy shooting yours as much as I enjoy shooting mine.
Thanks for the replies. I apologize for not responding sooner. I finally was able to actually take a vacation for the first time in a lot of years, then when I got back things really swarmed on me at work. I appreciate the load info and will certainly try them out. I have been shooting 2400 in my pistol hunting loads for years and have developed a fondness for it. It will be hard to put down the 25-20, as it is a real joy to shoot, but I'll give the 44 mag a try in PC.