This is an older thread but it's a .41 Mag thread, so I feel no remorse in resurrecting it!
I've been working with this 1894S for the last cpl months...won it on GB for less than I thought it would go for..only 3 bids which may have been bogus bidders too. $1300 won it. The gun turned out to be better than described with zero wear to the metal, not even blueing wear at the lever joint, and none on the bolt races. The stocks are good as well, with just a pair of 3/4" marks at the grip. All of that means nada to me as I'm a shooter.
With the issue iron sights, and my handloads with Hornady's XTP, I can keep the first 3 or 4 inside two inches at 50 yds from an improvised rest. With the Williams FP mounted, the groups tighten to 1-1/2" at the same distance. I'm 73 now with dimming eyesight and noticed some NE-SW group stretching in most all of my
peep groups so, I've mounted a Leupold Alaskan (the 7/8" dia.one that's so right for any lever gun). This one is 4x and has really tightend things up. 50 yd efforts are now very close to an inch and 100 yds are less than 2". These are 5 shot groups too, shot in 85-90 degree heat so barrel heating effects are minimal for this gun...a wonderful coincidence for sure. The load is: 17.0 gr of Accurate #9 or current production Alliant 2400 with WLP caps in Starline Brass. See appropriate warning below....
In my .41 handguns, (a pair of Rugers and a Smith 57), I've had great success with both Lyman's 410459 @ 0.411" as well as RCBS' 41-215 LSWC at the same dia. I was hoping that the Marlin would throw one or the other into similar sized groups as the Hornady XTP....well, with some research, I found that as usual, Marlins in .41 Mag. have generous leades and one of our long lost members, Felix, recommended as large a cast bullet as the gun would chamber, (0.413" IIRC)
In my case, tho I haven't mic'd the leade, I found that my Lyman 410459 mold, would give me 0.411"-0.412" as cast from ACWW's + 2% tin. As this is my standard alloy for everything I cast, it was a happy day indeed. The Lyman 410459 is a plain based bullet, as you .41 aficionados are sure to know and I was hopeful that the new Marlin's Micro-Goove rifling would handle it without leading. As this is a long bullet and, according to info posted elsewhere and in this forum, too long to feed from the magazine in a Marlin, I chose to buy some Starline .41 Special brass for load workup with cast bullets.
To date leading's not been an issue with light plinking loads (6.0 gr of Unique for an est. 1200 fps from .41 Special brass). It's a great load for the gun, keeping the first three from a cast bullet prepped bbl. inside 2" at 50 yds, scoped. This load came from John Taffin, mentioned in his article on the .41 Special some years past. Feeding through the Marlin's action has been positive for the most part with only an occasional bobble as the bullet's exposed scaping band encounters the top of the bbl. extension. A little 'jiggle' of the lever easily chambers the round however and I'm happy with it at this point. (I've never needed a quick 2nd shot to finish off any of the steel plates or soda cans that are my usual targets.)
But going back to the Hornady 210 XTP, I found that Accurate #9 or 2400 with a 17.0 gr charge would keep 'em all around 2" at 100 yds. These loads, according to Quickload give me close to ~1700 fps. While Sierra's Infinity loading program (using the same Marlin model and bbl. length) gives this first combination 1550 fps, but either will be more than adequate for deer this season in KY's thickets here on our farm.
All in all the gun's a great addition to my addiction to leverguns, and I'm happy with it's performance...plenty of smack with the Hornady XTP for hunting and an economical practice/plinking load for every day use. The saddle ring, BTW, was added to replace the abominable "safety" inflicted on us by Marlin's lawyers.
As always, these loads were worked up for my gun after some serious consultation with published loading sources. If interested, you should check a GOOD, CURRENT manual, then work up your own.
Best Regards and BTW...both of the above combinations are first rate in my handguns as well. Rod