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hello ladies and gents,
New to the forum. Have a question and figured this was the best place to get the best answers. Live in Ohio so never hunted deer here with a rifle. This year we are allowed to use handgun cartridges in rifles so I immediately thought of a Lever action .44 mag. Always dreamed of hunting with one ever since I was kid and now I will be able to. Problem, I am now hearing how bad the "Remlins" are but now I am hearing that the newer ones are pretty good. So, tell me the real scoop. How good are the new Marlins. I really have my heart set on one and hope I hear good news from you guys as I really do not want to carry a 9 pound henry around all day.
 

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Other than saying I would avoid a New Remlin I would say maybe you will get lucky. But I would not purchase unless you can have one in your hands and fully inspect it for not just looks and fit and to make sure simple things like the barrel is straight and not canted along with if possible to carry along a few Dummy Rounds to check Function. If all of the above goes well purchase the said rifle. Or look for a Real Marlin.

But do not expect great accuracy from one. At 100 yards you will be doing good with 2 1/2 to 3" Groups.
 

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Group size is influenced by many variables, not least the shooter's ability. I have witnessed the only two 1894 .44mags that I personally know (one being mine) group better than 2 inches off the bench regularly.

So then John, I suggest you follow your instinct and go forth and find yourself a good Marlin .44. There may well be a better pistol cal dear rifle out there, but don't know what it is.

Cheers,
Mark.
 
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Group size is influenced by many variables, not least the shooter's ability. I have witnessed the only two 1894 .44mags that I personally know (one being mine) group better than 2 inches off the bench regularly.


Mark.
Thats Nice. I can get 3/4 and better Groups from my Marlin 1895 GS with 350Gr Home Cast at around 1950 FPS at 100 yards as well as my Marlin 1894 Pre Safety .357 Mag. So I am Glad if you get that kind of accuracy from your Marlin .44 Mag with Hunting Rounds. But personally I give others this information so they will not be taken by surprise of there lack of accuracy. As I for one will never waste another single kernel of powder on one. But that is just for myself as I am sure many others are happy with what they get.
 

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Hey John,

Welcome to MO.

Try to locate a gently used Marlin 1894. You will be pleasantly surprised, at how well they shoot.

Later, Mark
 
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I had a JM 1894 in 44 mag. I worked with it for almost 6 months and never got better than 5-6" groups at 100 off the bench. It had a constriction in the barrel right under the dovetail for the rear sight and another one right under the front sight dovetail. I ended up trading it off. I also have a JM 1894 CB in 357 mag. If I hold steady, I get consistent 2" or slightly less groups off the bench at 100 yards. This is with a peep rear and bead front sight. The 357 is a little jewel and I have taken two Texas whitetail with it.
 

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Our Marlin 44Mags shoot well enough to have taken many SC deer over the years, it can take time and perseverance to get them where they need to be, but it is a 44Mag, so 3" at a hundred yards, is plenty good enough. Marlin throats there 44Mag rather large and they run there bore size slightly larger, add some restrictions from dovetails and stampings and you can see why they have a reputation for not being accurate. You can smooth out the restrictions with Firelapping, and you can get Hardcast bullets up to .432, or cast your own and try and get .433/.434, I cast my own, and have found the Ranch Dog 265gr bullet about as good as it gets. IIRC Hawk bullets will size there jacketed bullets to .431, that would work great!

A word on the 44Mag on whitetail, I've shot plenty, with lots of different bullets, deer do not drop dead when I double lung them, they will run off at up to 100 yards, I use the double lung shot on all my deer as to not waste any meat, so if you want a DRT deer you better hit the Central Nervous system or use a 444. A Marlin in 44Mag is a joy to use in the woods, and as it says in the description for this forum, and it is true as can be, a 44mag Marlin is a " Utilitarian Arm Supreme" getting one to shoot like they should is indeed a labor of love!
 
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I would hold out for a good used 1894 and don't be afraid of a micro-groove barrel as they will shoot as well or better than a Ballard rifled barrel. Three inch group at 100 yards is fully adequate for deer killing though I suspect you can improve that with proper loads and ensuring the rifle is not binding barrel against magazine tube and barrel bands. The .44 Mag is not a long range cartridge but is way more powerful at 100 yards than most muzzleloading rifles in the field and is at least equal to .30-30 Winchester. Put a want ad on this and any other gun boards you choose. A year ago I was looking for a .32-20, advertised and in 4 days had 9 guns to choose from.
 
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By all means, dont count out the Henery in the end. Heavy? Yes but I have one in 357 and it is a pure joy to shoot and carry. That extra weight is in the thick non tapered barrel and it adds a ton of stability to the gun. It is also very accurate. I have seriously thought about a 44 as well in the Henery. It is far better in quality, fit, and finish than the new Marlins or Rossi's. Made in america still and thier customer service is A+ so they say. Havent had to use it yet. Take a closer look at them. You may be surprised.

Hayden.
 

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I too and from Ohio and purchased a used 1894 in .44 mag a couple of years ago that has a manufacture date of 1978. Up until this past weekend, I had not shot it much, maybe 10 rounds to check function and then sat it in my safe. This past weekend I pulled it out in anticipation of rifle hunting with it this year. I fired some factory WW 240 grain flat nose SP rounds in it at 50 yards for a starting point. Those grouped into about 2"-2 1/2" at 50 yards. I then went home and loaded up some 300 grain Hornady XTP's using H110 to fuel them. I started at 18 grains and moved up to 18.5 and then 18.7 and finally 19. This picture was the 18 grain recipe and as the power increased, the group size opened up considerably. I then went home and pulled out some 230 grain Montana's with gas checks sized to .432 and loaded them up. What I found was the lighter bullets liked to be pushed faster and faster. I only got them up to 1500 fps. with my first batch of trial loads and the groups kept shrinking, down to about what the 300's did in this pictrure. I suppose I will stick to the 300 XTP since they are easier to acquire for now but I want to play with some 240 XTP's and see what happens. the XTP bullets are supposed to be .430 whereas most bullet manufactures use .429 bullets.

Moral of the story, if you can reload, you might be able to turn a so so rifle into something your happy with.
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Hello johngwh I bought a remlin 2 yrs ago shot my 1st deer with it 1894 44 mag works just fine as my avatair shows
 

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hello ladies and gents,
New to the forum. Have a question and figured this was the best place to get the best answers. Live in Ohio so never hunted deer here with a rifle. This year we are allowed to use handgun cartridges in rifles so I immediately thought of a Lever action .44 mag. Always dreamed of hunting with one ever since I was kid and now I will be able to. Problem, I am now hearing how bad the "Remlins" are but now I am hearing that the newer ones are pretty good. So, tell me the real scoop. How good are the new Marlins. I really have my heart set on one and hope I hear good news from you guys as I really do not want to carry a 9 pound henry around all day.
I remember when Indiana went to pistol-caliber carbines, you couldn't find anything for 5 states around. So good luck with the quest. I don't believe 1894s are currently in production at Remlington, a new one may be old stock or a "refurb" from someone else's troubles. So a close inspection is in order, starting with the barrel. They've had clocking problems, dovetail fitting problems with the sights, angled barrel holes in the receiver and rifling problems. Look at the crown closely. Look at the wood fit, shouldn't be large gaps, protruding wood over the metal or metal protruding over the wood, should be flush. Hard to do when the stock-making is done in one state and assembly across the country. Operate the action, a tied off one that the seller won't let you operate is grounds for leaving it in the rack. I don't expect a new Remlington will have a smooth action, but you should at least be able to cycle it open and closed a number of times, some of the posters here haven't even been able to do that with Remlingtons. But they can't ALL be bad. Just don't pay a premium for junk. And don't order one up "new" without a right of return if it's a dud. There are a TON of Remlington returns out there floating around, you don't want one. If you buy a Remlin, strip it completely and clean the trash out of it. Will probably need deburring as well. My econo-1894 had burrs as well, so it isn't all just Remlington.

A JM-stamped 1894 is desireable, but you probably won't get one in your area unless you're very lucky(like prying it out of a dead man's hands) or willing to pay a premium on one of the auction sites.

These are NOT benchrest guns, some of the guys seem to have good luck with them on targets, though. You don't get venison from paper targets. I think of the 1894 as a replacement for that 12 ga. slug gun I hauled around for years. The effective range is similar, it's a number of pounds lighter and a lot shorter, though, and the recoil is negligible. The .44 is certainly as effective on deer as the Brenneke slugs I use in the slug gun. Exit hole size is similar. 2-3" groups are certainly good enough at 100 yards to poke holes in deer and make meat. I've done neck shots with mine and scored at 100 yards. Just depends on what the critter is doing and how it's situated. Practice for other shots than just broadside. A 240 gr. jacketed bullet will penetrate completely broadside and most of the way from either end, even after going through bone. Don't see the need for anything heavier on deer.

Handloading is almost a must for the .44 if you do much practicing, so add at least $100+ on top of what you want to pay for the gun. Optics and mounts are another drain on the wallet and another topic for later.

Good luck to you on your search.

Stan S.
 

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The 1894 in .44 Mag is a great little gun that will handle all of your deer hunting needs inside 150 yards. I bought one for my son when he was 9 years old. He is 15 now and has killed 26 deer with this rifle. It whacks them good and hard. They don't go far when shot if any at all. Winchester 240 grain white box, handloaded Speer 270 grain Gold Dot soft points (H322) and Beartooth 250 grain WFNGC (H322) all shoot sub 2 inch groups at 100 yards. This is a stock rifle except for fire lapping the barrel.
 

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Thats Nice. I can get 3/4 and better Groups from my Marlin 1895 GS with 350Gr Home Cast at around 1950 FPS at 100 yards as well as my Marlin 1894 Pre Safety .357 Mag. So I am Glad if you get that kind of accuracy from your Marlin .44 Mag with Hunting Rounds. But personally I give others this information so they will not be taken by surprise of there lack of accuracy. As I for one will never waste another single kernel of powder on one. But that is just for myself as I am sure many others are happy with what they get.
3/4" groups at 100 yards- dime sized (yup! dig out a dime and measure it). I guess I'm wasting time with a heavy-barrelled .308 and need to tune up my Marlin:)
 

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3/4" groups at 100 yards- dime sized (yup! dig out a dime and measure it). I guess I'm wasting time with a heavy-barrelled .308 and need to tune up my Marlin:)
I would have been the first to not expect that kind of accuracy from any Lever Gun. But my Marlin 1895 GS in 45-70 with a Scope at 100 yards will group 3/4" or less at 100 yards with the Ranch Dog 350Gr RNFP/GC sized .460 in Remington Brass with 52.0Gr of H-322 powder and a Fed LRP.

And My 1894 Marlin Pre Safety .357 Mag with a scope and with a Hornady 180GR HP/XTP with 13.0Gr of W-296 and a CCI Magnum PP did the same simply Amazed me.

I would never say you are wasting time with a .308 Winchester as it is one heck of a good round and also a good base for many other wildcats such as the .358 Winchester that have proven themselves capable as well. But not to sell some lever guns short. But as I mentioned there are a few I would not waste a single kernel of powder on.

The only way I would ever spend the time and money on a Marlin 1894 .44 Mag again would be if I got one for almost free and replaced the barrel with a good custom barrel with correctly sized rifling as well as twist and then I would have something. :) But again that is just ME. :) But I am new to this as I have only been shooting for some 45 or so years.
 

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I saw something in the news about Ohio allowing pistol caliber rifles to be used for deer hunting and thought it's about time. The 1894 .44mag is an outstanding choice. I have one myself that is JM stamped and fell in love with this rifle. It's light and fast handling. At 50 yards it will shoot 1" groups easily using the stock buckhorn sights. I am using factory ammo JFN 240 grain. My intended use is for hogs and deer here in Florida and Georgia. I did do some work to the trigger to reduce the trigger pull from 6.0# to 3.5#. That is all I did to it. Cycles like butter and a sweet shooting rifle. I may add a recoil pad to it because the pull length seems a bit short to me, but that's my personal preference. Wish they had allowed these rifles when I lived in Ohio back in 1983-1988. There are some huge bucks in Ohio. I harvested several while I lived there including a nice 11 point in SE Ohio. Get one. You'll love it.
 

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I bought an older JM stamped 1894 44 mag on Christmas eve past. I reloaded 50 rounds of hornady 240 grain xtp over top of 21 grains of reloader 19. Starline brass, cci large pistol primer. I did this just to get it banging. Not expecting much. Well, I was surprised. This thing was lights out. 2 inch or smaller groups at 70 yards. We were shooting cattail stems in two with it. Shooting the seed puffs on top at 60 yards. If you held it, it hit what you were shooting at. Period. This was with factory open sights as well. Every gun has it's preferences. If someone can't get one to shoot it may likely have been a dud. But, I haven't experienced that yet. As I'm pretty certain most haven't in these JM made guns.

On a side note, besides being accurate, they are just a blast to shoot. God Bless
 

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I've never shot mine further than 50 yds with irons but it seems accurate. Now I'm tempted to scope it and see what's going on.
 

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Group size is influenced by many variables, not least the shooter's ability. I have witnessed the only two 1894 .44mags that I personally know (one being mine) group better than 2 inches off the bench regularly.

So then John, I suggest you follow your instinct and go forth and find yourself a good Marlin .44. There may well be a better pistol cal dear rifle out there, but don't know what it is.



Cheers,
Mark.

Hey Mark.... i could enlighten you ... its a .45LC !! :) :marchmellow:
 
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Hey Mark.... i could enlighten you ... its a .45LC !! :) :marchmellow:
That's funny, I'm pretty sure you meant to say .41 Magnum! :biggrin:
 
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