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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have had this for a few years, but have not fired it. I bought it from my local gunshow as a "two fer": this and an 1889 (I think) in 38-40. Sold the 38-40 a while back (which is why I don't recall for sure which model it was). Anyway, I've been thinking about it recently and want to get it out to the range. One reason I have not fired it is that I have read conflicting reports about shooting smokeless powder ammo in it. Today I have caught up on some threads here and I've seen it said that "modern" factory-level ammo should be no problem, but should probably avoid "Rifle Only" ammo from days past. Does that sound about right? The bore is a little rough, but not too bad (IIRC, I sold the 38-40 because its bore was much rougher).

The serial number indicates that it was made in 1895 [edited typo of 1885], if I'm reading the charts correctly. It has mostly gone to brown and patina, but no active rust or pitting on the rifle. The rear sight is a Marbles replacement and it looks like it has a bit of rust that needs to be dealt with. Probably better for shooting with this sight rather than the original wide buckhorn which I believe was on there originally. The wood is sound and doesn't have any major issues. 24" rifle barrel, crescent butt with steel plate.

I do reload and have loaded 32-20 for a S&W I used to have and a Colt Police Positive I still have (and I'm in the market for a SAA clone to go with). What load was this rifle originally designed for? 90 gr or the heavier 100 or 110 grain bullets?

Firearm Gun Trigger Gun accessory Shotgun
Revolver Metal
Shotgun
Material property Woodwind instrument Flute
Shotgun Pipe Trigger Muffler Metal


Any and all comments are welcome. Thanks!

Rob
 

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Teddydog - While I no longer have a 32-20 I believe you will get better results from the heavier bullet. As you know I would suggest you slug your bore prior to loading some ammunition. I'd keep the initial loading light enough you can use them in your Colt just in case. Hope your rifle and pistol come near a match in bore diameter, they can make a real enjoyable pair. Very nice looking rifle. Shenandoah
 

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Hey there Td -- Your rifle was made in 1895. Maybe you had a typo with the 1885! You might look to Missouri Bullet Company (.com) for a good cast bullet. They do a 120 grainer, and with 4.5 to 5 grains of Unique, the loads should play well in both a handgun and your rifle.

I would guess the rear sight presently sitting on the rifle is of later manufacture. A Marbles or Lyman tang sight would fit the factory drilled and tapped holes and would be a good choice. I like a little more on mine...

View attachment 106843

Good thinkin' on the SAA... http://www.marlinowners.com/forum/3...alibers/146389-mini-hyphens-get-sidekick.html

Hope this helps. Best regards. Wind
 

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Nice 1894, I have a 38-40, and to later 1894's in 45LC.
I picked up a 1889 Deluxe, in 32-20 recently, and bought some 115gr .313 lead bullets, from Desperado Cowboy Bullets, but I will probably try those 120gr from Missouri next.
I would like to try some Unique, or Bullseye, but I could probably find a Unicorn first. :biggrin:
I am loading up some loads this weekend, with IMR-4227, AA1680, AA5744, and maybe RedDot. Because that is all I can find around here.
 

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Your rifle is of the smokeless era. Marlin bore sizes are all over the place. As Shenandoah suggested I would slug the bore first and use a bullet that size to one or two thousands larger. If your bore is close to spec then some factory ammo may work well. Most vintage Marlins will benefit from hand loading! Good luck!
 

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Goods advice here already for you. Keep smokeless loads to blackpowder velocities (under 1300 f.p.s.) and Alliant's 2400 is another good powder. Try to get hold of a good reloading manual such as Ken Watter's 'pet loads'. The Lyman manuals work too. Lots on this forum as to reloading this fine calibre. The modern Marbles tang sight will fit the Model of 1894.
 
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Your rifle is of the smokeless era. Marlin bore sizes are all over the place. As Shenandoah suggested I would slug the bore first and use a bullet that size to one or two thousands larger. If your bore is close to spec then some factory ammo may work well. Most vintage Marlins will benefit from hand loading! Good luck!
I've got the same issues with an 1889 from 1893. Would someone please go through a step by step of "slugging the bore"? Especially what slug to start with. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey there Td -- Your rifle was made in 1895. Maybe you had a typo with the 1885!
Yup...typo has been corrected. Thanks.

Good suggestion on slugging, guys. Should have thought of that myself. I need to take it all down for a full cleaning and inspection, so I should be able to slug it from the breech while the bolt is out.

I do already have some 115 gr .313's from Liberty (no longer making bullets, sadly, as they were nice folks and always at the local shows) and cases.

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Went gunshop-hopping today hoping to find a 32-20 handgun to go with. No joy. But I did find and secure what I think was a good deal on a Ruger Single Six Magnum 32 H&R. Very good condition with a couple of scratches in the trigger guard area but otherwise pretty nice. A little lead in the 4 5/8" bore. No box or papers, though. Was $301 out the door.

Rob
 
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