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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
NOT THE NEWS I WAS HOPING FOR :

Text Metal
( click then click again on pic to zoom in)

I took my time this week--cleaned and scrubbed and cleaned and scrubbed the barrel--let it soak over night twice then spent some time with Lead Away patches and I'm confident there is absolutely no leading in this barrel--had a very small trace of blue color once ( copper) and that was it. Barrel, groove and bore look like new, no pitting anywhere that I can see.

Had some .41 mag brass so used it to make my slugs ( a full .410 dia.), they are 1 1/8" long with plenty of surface area--#2 Lyman lead.

Bore was pretty consistent at .395-.396 on all three slugs------groove ran from .4085-.409 on all three.

I guess I shouldn't complain, I've been very fortunate with these older guns but it would seem it's my turn to get burned a little. It's hard for me to believe the dimensions I came up with on this barrel. By looks of the interior of this barrel I almost wonder if someone didn't have it re-bored to accept 41 mag. (.410 dia.). I've tried and tried to take pics of the bore to show you but the camera I have now just can't handle it.

Maybe this is just the result of to many jacketed bullets down this ol' girl.

Lou---

Looks as if I need your guidance and recipe on this one. I wish John ( 30 WCF) would chime in here with his knowledge. Any ideas Folks, short of a reline ?-----
:shot:

Steve
 

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Steve,
Thank you for the pm. That is a nice vintage Marlin you have. :biggrin: I would bet that the barrel is just as it left the factory. Your rifle was made just prior to the advent of smokeless powder / metal patched (jacketed) bulleted ammunition and thus, the barrels produced had wider tolerances .....some of which, like yours were better adapted to the black powder / soft lead bulleted ammunition of the day.

If it were my rifle, I would load up some b.p. ammo with soft lead bullets and give it a try. Based on my experience with my '73 .44 W.C.F. and it's .009" oversized barrel, I would expect the results to be good. If you would like to try some b.p. ammo, let me know and I'll load a dozen or so cartridges and send them to you.

Buffalo Arms offers .38-40 b.p. ammo but I think that the bullets are likely a bit too hard to bump up to totally fill the groove.
Ammunition|Buffalo Arms Company

If your .3095" slugs will fit into a fired case (crimp removed), then you could try bullets of that size (.41 Mag).
If not, what is the approx inside diameter of fired cases?

For smokeless, using PSB may be pretty much your only other option with the possible exception of using Trail Boss with a soft, almost pure lead bullet.
Trail Boss has a pressure spike a bit faster than b.p. although the total push would be less. Might be something to try......

w30wcf
 

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"Maybe this is the result of too many jacketed bullets going down the barrel of this old girl."

Steve,
Since a .38-40 jacketed bullet checks at .401" there is no way that would make the barrel any larger than the bullet diameter.

w30wcf
 
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Steve,

Don't lose heart! I'm sure you can get it to shoot decently as my most recent 1894 adventure with a much newer and poorer condition shows. http://www.marlinowners.com/forum/1894/105759-1894-basket-case.html

I think your bore was just oversize from the factory. I've heard the 38-40 was particularly bad about that, even in pistols. That's probably why the bore was in such good shape. It may not have even been shot very much since accuracy was so iffy with factory ammo it would have been an exercise in frustration. I would suggest a chamber casting and if the chamber will handle it, try a .410 or .411 cast bullet.

Mike Venterino had some interesting articles on various leverguns and gets in to tweaking the ammo for over-sized bores.

Chin up! I'm sure it will shoot eventually!
 

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Steve, go with PSB and A2400 it will save you a lot of time and trouble. I'm no expert, but you are not going to be able to fill that groove diameter with just using larger bullets. You'll run into chambering issues. With rifling that is that deep, I have had success with two different approaches at this issue in my 1894 44-40. One is the above mentioned PSB, the other was Swiss black powder, SPL lube and 5-7 BHN lead bullets. Both work well for me. And the more information I gather and read the more I think the deep rifling is fairly common on the pre smokeless era rifles. Just another reason why hand-loading is a big benefit for matching the components that work best with each particular firearm. At one time I thought I'd be able to load two 44-40 round, one rifle and one pistol. Boy was I wrong. In hind sight if someone wanted simple and just one loading I'd go with 32-20 a Colt SAA and a Marlin 1894CL. both can handle the 10gr of A2400 and both like the 115gr. bullets. But simple is not as fun or educational. Happy loading!

Have a great Holiday weekend,
 

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I picked up a first year 1894 in 38-40, but misplaced my slugs, and I forget how much over it was. I will slug it again tonight, and see what I get. I do know that it is over, and was planing on going with .403 bullets and the shotgun buffer route.
 

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I have found bore dimensions that were what I was expecting, but the groove diameters are what caused all the chaos. The .010" deep grooves are a challenge to bump up and fill. The .003" to .004" grooves are a lot easier to fit bullets to. Rifles I have from 1895 to 1911 all in 44-40 and all four have different groove diameters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Steve,
Thank you for the pm. That is a nice vintage Marlin you have. :biggrin: I would bet that the barrel is just as it left the factory. Your rifle was made just prior to the advent of smokeless powder / metal patched (jacketed) bulleted ammunition and thus, the barrels produced had wider tolerances .....some of which, like yours were better adapted to the black powder / soft lead bulleted ammunition of the day.

If it were my rifle, I would load up some b.p. ammo with soft lead bullets and give it a try. Based on my experience with my '73 .44 W.C.F. and it's .009" oversized barrel, I would expect the results to be good. If you would like to try some b.p. ammo, let me know and I'll load a dozen or so cartridges and send them to you.

Buffalo Arms offers .38-40 b.p. ammo but I think that the bullets are likely a bit too hard to bump up to totally fill the groove.
Ammunition|Buffalo Arms Company

If your .3095" slugs will fit into a fired case (crimp removed), then you could try bullets of that size (.41 Mag).
If not, what is the approx inside diameter of fired cases?

For smokeless, using PSB may be pretty much your only other option with the possible exception of using Trail Boss with a soft, almost pure lead bullet.
Trail Boss has a pressure spike a bit faster than b.p. although the total push would be less. Might be something to try......

w30wcf
w30wcf---

Thanks John-----I ordered some softer bullets from Desperado bullets based on a recommendation from Leveraddict ( Lou) and they arrived today. New bullets are sized at .403 and are a bhn of 8-9, 20-1 alloy. I'm shooting Black Hills ammo now so we know they won't bump up----they are .401. Inside dia. of case mouth is .4015. I do have Trail Boss here so that is another option also.

I have a couple of ideas I'd like to try before going the PSB route. First is to pull the .401 bullets from The Black Hills ammo and reinsert the new .403 ammo in it's place and try that. I doubt this will get me where I need to be but would like to eliminate all possibilities first. Second thought would be to hollow base the bottom of the .403 bullets and use Trail Boss and see if they would then bump up and seal. What are your thoughts on trying that ?

I do not have PSB here and I'm sure there's non available locally---where do you get yours, from Midway ? Is there a formula or do and don'ts with the PSB ?

Thanks for all the help and info.---it is appreciated.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Steve,

Don't lose heart! I'm sure you can get it to shoot decently as my most recent 1894 adventure with a much newer and poorer condition shows. http://www.marlinowners.com/forum/1894/105759-1894-basket-case.html

I think your bore was just oversize from the factory. I've heard the 38-40 was particularly bad about that, even in pistols. That's probably why the bore was in such good shape. It may not have even been shot very much since accuracy was so iffy with factory ammo it would have been an exercise in frustration. I would suggest a chamber casting and if the chamber will handle it, try a .410 or .411 cast bullet.

Mike Venterino had some interesting articles on various leverguns and gets in to tweaking the ammo for over-sized bores.

Chin up! I'm sure it will shoot eventually!
SC--

Thanks--I won't give up---just a little detour I guess. Great job on your 1894 basket case by the way. Hope fully it will shoot as good as the bore looks once we can figure it all out.

Steve
 

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Midway is were I got mine, but you can also order it direct. I would have to look up there sight. There in Minnesota, not far from me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Steve, go with PSB and A2400 it will save you a lot of time and trouble. I'm no expert, but you are not going to be able to fill that groove diameter with just using larger bullets. You'll run into chambering issues. With rifling that is that deep, I have had success with two different approaches at this issue in my 1894 44-40. One is the above mentioned PSB, the other was Swiss black powder, SPL lube and 5-7 BHN lead bullets. Both work well for me. And the more information I gather and read the more I think the deep rifling is fairly common on the pre smokeless era rifles. Just another reason why hand-loading is a big benefit for matching the components that work best with each particular firearm. At one time I thought I'd be able to load two 44-40 round, one rifle and one pistol. Boy was I wrong. In hind sight if someone wanted simple and just one loading I'd go with 32-20 a Colt SAA and a Marlin 1894CL. both can handle the 10gr of A2400 and both like the 115gr. bullets. But simple is not as fun or educational. Happy loading!

Have a great Holiday weekend,
Thanks David---

I have 2400 here but no PSB----I would never have guessed this barrel could have come from the factory like it is. Good to know. If at all possible I'm going to stay away from BP for now. I new at this reloading stuff and want to stay as close to basics as I possibly can. Have a great weekend my friend.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Midway is were I got mine, but you can also order it direct. I would have to look up there sight. There in Minnesota, not far from me.
Thanks Schtoolee---

I was hoping you'd see this--if you find the magic potion before I do please let me know and I'll do the same for you. Good Luck with yours.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
I have found bore dimensions that were what I was expecting, but the groove diameters are what caused all the chaos. The .010" deep grooves are a challenge to bump up and fill. The .003" to .004" grooves are a lot easier to fit bullets to. Rifles I have from 1895 to 1911 all in 44-40 and all four have different groove diameters.



Thanks David--

I was really, really hoping to avoid that if possible---oh well.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
Midway is were I got mine, but you can also order it direct. I would have to look up there sight. There in Minnesota, not far from me.
Midway it is--Thank you. I won't be able to do anything with it until after the weekend. We'll have kids and grandkids here all weekend---I do get to go and shoot with my son-----just he and I ---should be fun.

Steve
 

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Steve,
A hollow based bullet would sure help. It's too bad noone makes one for the .38-40 that I know of.

There is one other possible solution..... a .060" polyethylene disc under the bullet. That will also act as a g.c. and help allow the undersized bullet to to center itself and transverse the barrel undisturbed by the powder gases. The downside is that the case neck would have to be sized back far enough to hold the disc in the case neck.

If you would like some PSB (Original BPI type) to try, I would be happy to send you a small qty to experiment with. Also I think I have a punch to cut the discs and if I do, I would be happy to send some along to you as well.

w30wcf
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
Steve,
There is one other possible solution..... a .060" polyethylene disc under the bullet. That will also act as a g.c. and help allow the undersized bullet to to center itself and transverse the barrel undisturbed by the powder gases. The downside is that the case neck would have to be sized back far enough to hold the disc in the case neck.

If you would like some PSB (Original BPI type) to try, I would be happy to send you a small qty to experiment with. Also I think I have a punch to cut the discs and if I do, I would be happy to send some along to you as well.

w30wcf
30wcf--

Thank you again sir. I think I'll just order some tomorrow---as much as I like to play with these old things it would probably be smart to have some on hand. What do you think of my hollow based bullet idea ?

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
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