My Bee
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Thread: My Bee



  1. #1
    Tinhorn
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    My Bee

    Some months ago I posted my purchase of my first Marlin, a 1894CL in 218 Bee. Since then I have been acquiring a scope, reloading dies and an assortment of bullets, powder and brass. Having loaded a half-dozen test loads, it was time to actually shoot the rifle. I first adjusted the scope at 50 yards at my local range (max length of practice shooting cell) using Winchester factory rounds. These seven rounds were my introduction to this Marlin. First was the mild report and recoil. Second was the terrible trigger. Very little creep and sharp release but it took pounds to get there. I swear Marlin must have used old Dodge truck leaf springs for the rifle. I have always considered Ruger triggers to be stout but they have nothing on this Marlin. I plan to do some research on what can be done to improve the trigger pull. My four-round groups were nothing to brag about but the rifle appears to perform better with heaver powder loads and heaver bullets. The best groups were using IMR 4227 pushing a 53 gr Sierra HP and a Speer 46 gr SPFN. I also found point of impact to change moderately as the barrel warmed. I really think the analysis of this little gun will be a long term project but that is no concern. Have all the time the good Lord has provided and many combinations of powder and bullet to test. IMG_0091.jpg Not quite sure why the picture posts in its current position but expanding it showed me I had forgotten to reinstall the covers on the scope adjustments. That has now been done.
    Last edited by Spencer; 05-14-2019 at 02:14 PM. Reason: bullet correction

  2. #2
    Distinguished Master
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    there is one thing not to over look when loading for the hornet and bee. I have had several hornets, and over the years I have had mixed results with all of them. they are always finicky! I had always heard to use pistol primers and you get better results, I did and it didn't help. then I read the reason why to use pistol primers. it was because a rifle primer is a lot hotter and the flame will jump the powder charge and start the projectile out of the case before the powder ignites! then it made sense to me. the rem. 6 1/2 primer is the only one to use! they were in fact made for the hornet and bee. when I went to them problem solved! the groups shrank and stayed constant. try those I think you will be amazed. as the hip crowed says,,,,,, just sayin,,,,,
    I have never harvested an animal but I have KILLED QUITE A FEW !

    I would rather have a gun in my hand than a cop on the phone,,,,,,,,,

  3. #3
    Wrangler
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    That is one sexy little shooter. It's very nice. My uncle has a Bee and I'd love to get my hands on it....unfortunately, I have two cousins that hunt and likely will end up in their hands.

    redhawk
    vt4ster likes this.
    The only stupid question...is the unasked one.

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  5. #4
    Wrangler
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    Improving the trigger is no big problem there are 2 after market triggers available. One I haven't used but have heard nothing but good reports on this forum. The other just came out and I haven't heard any first hand reports yet but everything I have used from them is top quality. The other option is to do a trigger job yourself. There is a lot of good info on this forum about how to do it. I chose to do it myself and have been happy with all of them and if you mess it up you can still buy one of the aftermarket ones.

    I have have polished the insides of my barrel bands that is supposed to help with keeping zero and accuracy. I don't know for sure because I did this with some other work also so I am not sure how much it helped. Have a good time shooting it.

  6. #5
    Gun Wizard
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    Beautiful bee. Enjoy.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by OLSKOOL View Post
    there is one thing not to over look when loading for the hornet and bee. I have had several hornets, and over the years I have had mixed results with all of them. they are always finicky! I had always heard to use pistol primers and you get better results, I did and it didn't help. then I read the reason why to use pistol primers. it was because a rifle primer is a lot hotter and the flame will jump the powder charge and start the projectile out of the case before the powder ignites! then it made sense to me. the rem. 6 1/2 primer is the only one to use! they were in fact made for the hornet and bee. when I went to them problem solved! the groups shrank and stayed constant. try those I think you will be amazed. as the hip crowed says,,,,,, just sayin,,,,,
    Normally, I agree with you when it comes to handloading, but not in this case. I have four Bee's and a Hornet. All shoot extremely well with CCI BR4 primers. My Bee's in Browning 65, Win 43, and Marlin 1894 shoot 3/4" at 50 yards with open sights with BR4's or Federal SR primers. The scoped Ruger No.1B will shoot 1/2" groups at 100 yards all day long with BR4's. Never attempted a Federal in that gun. My hornet will also shoot under 3/4" groups at a hundred yards with BR4's or Federal SR primers.

    John Barness has written many times about the myth of the Rem 6 1/2 primers in the Bee and Hornet. He claims best accuracy with a small rifle Magmum primer. He tried this to dispell the myth about the 6 1/2 Rem primers and came up with best accuracy with a Magnum small rifle primer. Now, I have never needed a Mag small rifle primer to get great accuracy in any firearm. So, I guess I disagree with him too. These are my findings. Like the young kids are saying....:"just sayin".
    M1Riflenut likes this.

  8. #7
    Gunfighter
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    Nice rifle!
    I bought a used 1894CL in .25-20 and the trigger on mine seemed fine.
    Now I need to take it back to the range to 'refresh' my memory!

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bassetman1974 View Post
    Normally, I agree with you when it comes to handloading, but not in this case. I have four Bee's and a Hornet. All shoot extremely well with CCI BR4 primers. My Bee's in Browning 65, Win 43, and Marlin 1894 shoot 3/4" at 50 yards with open sights with BR4's or Federal SR primers. The scoped Ruger No.1B will shoot 1/2" groups at 100 yards all day long with BR4's. Never attempted a Federal in that gun. My hornet will also shoot under 3/4" groups at a hundred yards with BR4's or Federal SR primers.

    John Barness has written many times about the myth of the Rem 6 1/2 primers in the Bee and Hornet. He claims best accuracy with a small rifle Magmum primer. He tried this to dispell the myth about the 6 1/2 Rem primers and came up with best accuracy with a Magnum small rifle primer. Now, I have never needed a Mag small rifle primer to get great accuracy in any firearm. So, I guess I disagree with him too. These are my findings. Like the young kids are saying....:"just sayin".
    hey to each his own, all I can say is it defiantly worked for me. I wonder why rem. went to all the expense to make and develop them for just two calibers if it wasn't necessary,,,,,,,,,,,,
    M1Riflenut likes this.
    I have never harvested an animal but I have KILLED QUITE A FEW !

    I would rather have a gun in my hand than a cop on the phone,,,,,,,,,

  10. #9
    Gunfighter
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    That is a beautiful 1894CL Bee.
    Team Marlin 1895 CB 45/70 # 1869, Team Browning # 148
    Team Marlin 336W 30/30 # 1392,
    Team Shotgun # 124
    Team Wheelguns # 109,
    Team Semi Auto # 73,Team Old Pharts # 378
    Team Rossi 92 .44 Mag 38 Spl/357 Mag. # 83 Team 60 # 477
    Team Henry GB .22 LR # 134,Team Henry .22 Mag # 175


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