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Hello fellow Marlin owners, i look forward to joining the club.

I am currently looking at buying an 1894 44 mag for deer hunting in Indiana. I like to hunt from a stand and will be taking more precise shots (head shots so i can preserve the meat) up to 100 yds. i plan on putting a good scope on the gun. I am looking at various options, and like several of the variations Marlin offers. More specifically, I like the looks of the 1894 PG, and the 1894 cowboy/octogon barrel. The PG is offered in a 20" barrel, and the Cowboy is offered in both the 20" or 24" barrel on the online auctions. (I realize both are becoming harder to come by, since only so many were made.)

Can any of you please offer input on whether or not the 24" barrel or 20" barrel would be better for that type of use? Does it matter? Would any of you chose one of those three options over the other for this use? (20" PG vs. 20" CB vs. 24" CB). I know these guns are getting a little crazy on price recently, but i've been saving up and don't mind getting something i want that will last.

Thanks!
 

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Hey, Cardfan11,

Welcome to MarlinOwners.com.........

Re: your questions.......

Personally speaking,.................. I think any of your three choices will work well for you out of, or off of a stand......

The PG 1894 44Mag will be the hardest to find, and may command the higher price........Not many were made, and they were only made for about a year............

The CB 1894 44Mag / 24" will be the next hardest to find............They have terrific forward balance and hang like a good Skeet gun........People that have them just don't seem to sell them.

The 24" inch would be my favorite choice, and I think the 24's will be a better investment for the future.............Also, the 24's will be more comfortable offhand with Irons or receiver sights due to the longer sight radius.

I myself own a Cresent butted 1894CB 24" 44Mag..........No, its NOT for sale, yet!

The 1894CB 20" is no slouch, either.................It may be more comfortable to hunt with, out of a treestand or in thick brush..........

The 24's will all be North Haven Marlins with the coveted JM proof stamp.............As will the 1894PG's.

The 1894 20" CB's may be either North Haven or Ilion....................

Personally, I'd steer clear of the Ilion NY 1894 CB's.............but others have them and like them..........

All will have 1:38" rifling..Older ones may be Micro Groove.........Newer ones, cut Ballard...........Both will shoot 240-265 Grain Jacketed bullets well, both will handle cast bullets well, as long as the bullet is sized correctly for the Bore..........

None of your choices are any more reliable than the others.........

Scopes on 94's are a personal thing.............I prefer receiver sights on 94's, but I don't hunt with 94's, either...........preferring a 336/35, 336ER, a Model 375 or a 45-70 for use in VT.

Good Luck in your search............

Tom
 

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Hello fellow Marlin owners, i look forward to joining the club.

I am currently looking at buying an 1894 44 mag for deer hunting in Indiana. I like to hunt from a stand and will be taking more precise shots (head shots so i can preserve the meat) up to 100 yds. i plan on putting a good scope on the gun........
Welcome to the MO.

Don't take this wrong but you might want to consider choosing the right tool for the job ... and a 44 mag levergun is not the right tool for attempting to make head shots on whitetails at 100 yards.

I mean, when I was reading what you typed above I was like, "what?" A whitetail's head is in constant motion - it's head and it's tail almost never stop moving, they are in perpetual motion. Very few shooters can make a head shot, sic: brainshot, on a whitetail at 100 yards with a precision bolty. But you're looking to make a head shot with a pistol caliber out of a scoped levergun and do it humanely?

IMHO you're going to end-up wounding animals in a most horrific fashion, blowing snouts off, blowing jaws off ... I just wish you wouldn't even consider attempting such a thing.

Heart and lungs, heart and lungs.

You live in Tennessee but are going to hunt in Indiana? West Tennessee, Memphis area, Millington, Jackson, Humbold, Paris, Dyersburg, Union City? You're a Cardinals fan, so I'm thinking one of those, up near the border probably.

Help me to understand please, because I'm a deep thinker ... why would you ever consider trying something like this? I'm trying to understand the mindset of the younger generation.

Have you ever even hunted with a levergun before? How many whitetails have you taken over the years and with what sort of firearm?

A heart and lung shot, properly placed, will not cost you that much meat with the right ammo. That's how we hunt whitetails with pistol caliber leverguns friend.
 

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Gallo Pazzesco, Thank you for your comments and concern with the deer. I 100% agree, but i'd like to explain. I am originally from Indiana and is where i do most of my deer hunting - family land and all that. In Indiana they do not allow for most of the standard rifles that you are probably accustomed to (we can't use .270, .308, 30-30, etc.). We have a limit to only using pistol cartriges in firearms, bigger than .357 and casing between ~ 1.16" and 1.80". (or shotguns) That only leaves a select number of calibers that are worth shooting accurately at 50-100 yards. That is why i'm looking for a .44 mag - it's been pretty uniform with most people in Indiana that it is about the best that a 'rifle' has to offer in that state. If i could use a more accurate rifle, i would.

Now to address the kill shots. I also agree with you on particular shot placement on a deer. I get furious when i hear of people wounding animals because of their haphazard hunting ways. However, i may disagree with you slightly that 'heart and lung' is the only way. I have run into enough bozos spraying fire all over the woods hoping their 12 guage slug might happen to hit a part of the deer as its racing through the woods. I'm sure they were also aiming for the heart and lung, only to blast off the back leg, front hoof, or a random gut shot that doesn't kill the deer for weeks. I have even harvested a deer that didn't have a front leg from the knee down - it pisses me off. With the options i have, i would say a clean well placed shot from a .44 mag is as good an option as any. To further my point, i have several brothers, uncles, and friends who currently hunt with a .44 mag in Indiana for this very reason. Most of them now take head shots less than 80 yards and have a much higher kill percentage than those taking body shots. The deer drops immediately, the bullet doesnt bounce around the chest cavity, and it is more of an all or nothing shot. I'd say the percentage of head shots that kill the deer instantly is higher than the percentage of heart and lung shots. So if i miss a head shot, i miss it completely. If i miss a heart and lung shot, i still wound the deer. I am 33 years old and have probably harvested over 30 deer, keeping every one of them to eat. ...I appreciate your concern, and just thought i'd explain my reasoning as i share your desire for clean humane harvesting. thanks.
 

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Double lung shot wastes very little meat, but you will have a hundred yard tracking job, I've killed lots with the 44Mag this way!
 

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45 colt cowboy X 24" is easier to find. Fantastic gun. Check my thread in the cowboy section. Critters just plain give up when my cowboy barks. Accurate too. I neck shoot within proper distances and monotonously break clays at 120 yards off the bench. Good luck in your search

Papalote
 

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Welcome Cardfan11 from suburban Ari, In. Have you considered the .35 Rem? Guys are trimming the case to 1.8 and loading to the factory OAL. They are a lot more common and lot less money. I also have a source for new (re)loaded ammo. Just another thought. Some are also trimming .444 and 45-70 too.
My 44 mag is accurate but I would NEVER try a head shot at 100, 80, 50, 30, or even 20 with it. I have found you can about double the group size you get at the range when you are hunting. YMMV. Most places where I set up I can't even see 100.
 

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There is nothing wrong with going for a head or neck shot *IF* you have the range time practice to back it up and your gun is capable of MOA (or very near MOA) accuracy.

My Marlin 1894P (.44 mag) shoots MOA or a smidge under with WWB ammo, and if a good head shot presented itself, I would not hesitate to take it. Especially at ranges of <80yds.

Regarding the OP, just be sure to vet whatever hunting round you choose. Try a half dozen different loads and see what shoots best out of your particular rifle. There is NO increase in accuracy regarding barrel length UNLESS you're hunting with iron sights, in which case, the greater the length between the sights, the better your accuracy will be. Assuming you're going to use a scope, just pick something that has good glass, and make sure it's sighted in properly with the ammo you'll be using.

Luis

ps. Personally, I like short barrels. They're just a lot handier in either a blind, or when walking through thick woods.
 

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I have the 20" in the 44 mag and gotta say, there is a lot of muzzle whip. Sure makes it nice to carry, but if you're going to be shooting from a stand, the 24" might be a little easier to shoot with the kind of accuracy you want. A little more weight out front might be a good thing.
 

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I'm a shorty bbl lover and own/owned Both 1894CB 24" 44mag and 1894P. For what you want to achieve I suggest the 24". It will be a little more muzzle heavy and that will be nice for your needs/wants IMO.
The 44mag is absolutely a deadly caliber and has proven itself the world over in a handgun tp be capable of taking any game (given the right circumstances) animal that walks, crawls, hops, claws n bites! If you use the right bullet placed in the right spot, you have a full freezer.....
If you do your part it will hold up its end of the bargain.... YMMV

Good Luck. Let us know what you decide...

BloodGroove4570

PS
I've shot plenty of deer, and with smaller & larger calibers than the 44, and I'm sure now that I'll stick with the heart/lung or high shoulder shot. If you use a good cast (CAST BOOLITS are the Bomb) in the 44 you wont lose Any meat worth mentioning (eat right up to the hole). It's a higher percentage shot and if you're confident in a headshot than a H/L or high shoulder should be a cake walk... Leave that headshot alone.... Unless absolutely certain and close!
 

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Hey Jmarriott

Those are BOTH Dandy's..!!!! :congrats:

You have a huntin story to go with those antlers? :biggrin: and maybe a gun description :questionmark:

I got time to read'em, if you got the time to type'em!!! :congrats:


BloodGroove4570
 

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The deer made the Hoosier book as a typical but not by much has 17 inches of deductions but scored 144. Still hunting shot at 90 yards. One of my farthest shots taken. Hit it in the heart and thought I missed shot 3
More times and connected again on the last on in the spine when it was facing me. I believe he was ready to go down already but I feel bad shooting more than once.

The gun I bought from my local gun pusher. He had all three calibers 357 45
And 44 mag. I should have broke out the credit card and bought all 3. I remember they were under 600 each with tax. Only 251 of each were made in stainless with 16 inch barrels and black/pepper stocks. I scout scoped it and like it but I might switch out to a normal style scope at some time. The scout does well in the field offhand and carries well but on the longer shots or right at dusk dawn it is just advanced iron sights.
 

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.

A deer's brain is about the size of a baseball and is always moving. Hang a baseball on a string and get it swinging. Now shoot that at 100 yards and hit it every time. A near miss is a wounded animal that you claim to hate? To us old timers you sound like one who has read much and hunted little. Gallo Pazzesco has hit it right on the button.
 

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I have an 1894S in .44mag 20" barrel and it shoots quarter size groups at 50 yards using stock buckhorn sights from a bench rest. I am using 240 JFN factory ammo. This rifle is deadly accurate if you do your part. I am not an advocate of head shots on deer. The .44 mag is plenty powerful to take out deer, hogs or any other medium size big game. In a pinch it will work for larger game also, but other calibers that are better suited would be preferred.
 

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Appreciate all the replies! Found a good deal on the 24" 44 mag and snagged it up. Can't wait to put it to action this fall.
Thanks!
Glad you got one! :congrats:
 

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I killed a doe with its lower jaw shot off a day after season and called Michigan DNR about it. There were no problems. I seldom take a head shot, but I killed a doe a few years ago with a shot between the eyes with a .308 at about 80 yards. I disagree with the constant movement of the head. A deer will raise its head and look in any given direction for several seconds. I've had them look at me trying to figure out what I was for minutes. I generally look for a high shoulder shot, low enough not to blow out the front end of the backstrap.

The .44 Mag is a PISTOL caliber. If you're shooting factory ammo, a 16 inch barrel will burn all the powder and give you all the velocity and accuracy you need. If you're reloading, you can tailor your powder burn rate to your barrels length for a complete burn. My .44 ain't a .44, but a .445 and it's a Handi and not a Marlin, and it is 16.5 inches, sighted in for 200 yards. It is a tack driving deer devastator. I use a .433 cast, gas checked, 240 gr. bullet over 1680 running just under 2000
fps. Remember, this is for the.445, not the .44.

I believe the Thompson Center's 14 inch barrels in .44 Mag will produce equal or better accuracy and velocity than a Marlin 20 plus inch barrel. I have read articles that stated longer pistol caliber barrels slowed the bullet down due to drag and powder burn rate.

I have a whole house full of shorties from 20 to 16.5 inches and I love them all. There's at least a dozen of them.

Pete
 
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