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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I followed the posts last fall of Steve E on his .357/44 convert and wanted to open this up for discussion again. I am very intrigued by this project because it actually seems useful. So many of the conversions talked about here just don't appear to be worth the effort, or their safety is questionable (let's not discuss this aspect, please). Now with the .357/44, you can get near .35 rem power, but in a more compact package. I have been dreaming about one of these in "scout" guise. Is this anything a handy, albeit non-gunsmith, could tackle? I know barrel reaming is not rocket science, but what about the rebarreling process? How hard are the 94s to headspace? Does anyone know where this might be outlined on the web?

Steve E: Have you tried to get any more power out of yours yet? In the last info you posted your loads were pretty conservative, and you indicated it was enough for you at the time.

Does anyone know of other resources around the web regarding the kind of velocity one can get out of the .357/44 in a rifle?
Thanks for listening to me ramble. I hope I'm not the only one so interested in this cartridge.
Matt
 

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Matt,

I can readily understand your interest as this is THE practical means of getting .357 Maximum performance in the Marlin 1894.
 

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What about basing this cartridge off of the 445 supermag? Is that too long for the 1894s action? I only have an 1895 and have never really looked closely at an 1894, but what's the reason for not just using the 357 max. Is it too long? If there was room, I might even think about basing it off the 454, which has powder capacity to the 445 supermag, and is shorter. Anything that can make case capacity larger with widely available brass will allow keeping the chamber pressure down, and make it easy to find brass to neck down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Doing a quick search on the 445 supermag, it turns out that Gary Reeder has done just what you suggested. He calls it the 358 GNR. I don't know if it would fit action or not. As to the 357 Max, to the best of my knowledge, it won't fit. I don't know about the 454 either. I guess one could use the .45 colt to get a little more volume, and it wouldn't be any harder to convert. How much capacity would that add? I hadn't thought of that before. I already have a good deal of .44 mag brass, but that certainly wouldn't make my decision. The nice thing about the .357/44 B&D is that as far as wildcats go, it's pretty popular. The dies and reamers aren't too hard to get. Basically, I wouldn't be reinventing the wheel.
Matt
 

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I would probably stick with the documented stuff, too, then. If nothin else, it makes the gun a little easier to sell if/when the time comes that you want to trade it on something else. The 44 mag and 45 colt have the same trim to length (1.280 inches) and the Casull is 1.380 inches. I don't know about the brass, though, it might be thicker and harder to work. I've never reformed a straight wall case to a bottleneck. The 445 supermag was probably not stock if the 357 max is too long, given that the trim to length for the 445 is 1.590 versus 1.600 for the 357 max. Another option is the 475 linebaugh, which had a 1.390 trim to length and holds about 10 grains more than a 44 mag with a 325 grain bullet (which isn't a completely fair comparison, but it gives some idea if you're going to lose some space where you've necked the cartridge down. If I could fit it, and wasn't considering anything else, I'd probably use the 475 linebaugh. Realistically, you could duplcate 35 remington velocities with it given that it will still take a 33.5 grain charge of H110 with a 325 grain bullet. Pushing a 158 or 180 grainer with that much powder would be interesting.

All of this pontification is just from looking at trim-to lengths and powder charges in the hodgdon manual, though. I'm open to criticism as to why it wouldn't work.

Very interesting topic.
 

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The problem with the 357 Max is that it's OAL is too long for the Model 1894s action. When I was looking at reworking a levergun to it, the Wrenchester Model 94 in 357 Mag looked to be the best starting point.

Willy
 

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I was just figuring that the Wrenchester would be easiest conversion. I believe a 336 in 44 Mag would be have more work required.

Willy
 
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44-40 Willy said:
I was just figuring that the Wrenchester would be easiest conversion. I believe a 336 in 44 Mag would be have more work required.

Willy
They already chamber the .35 rem. in the 336 don't they??? ...mic
 

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The .35 Rem can't be rechambered to .357 Max, but the .357 Mag can be, easily.
 

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Hobie said:
The .35 Rem can't be rechambered to .357 Max, but the .357 Mag can be, easily.
Yep, and the Wrenchester 94 already comes in .357 Mag :wink: . Plan A was to just have to extend the chamber length to 357 Max specs and fiddle with the action a bit to allow the longer cartridge to feed through it. Plan B was to rechamber an existing single shot rifle or carbine in 357 Mag. The Uberti rolling block was my prime candidate there.

Those were the plans anyway. Then I got off into 44-40s and they both got shelved. :roll:

Willy
 

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I had a 357/44 Bain & Davis in a 10" Contender. The pistol was quite accurate, however I found the short neck on the cartridge could be a real problem. It took quite a bit of care, if you planned to use pistol bullets. On the other hand, the 180 FP Speer worked quite well. Just something to keep in mind. If there is another cartridge of similar design with a longer neck, I'd be inclined to go to that based on my earlier experiences with this cartridge.
 

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My gun smithing buddy built a 366 in 357 max for himself and shot and functioned well. I do not know what the original chambering was all I can remember was that he did rebarrel it.
 

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FWIW


Gents,
Here's a link to a thread over on another board for you cast boolit fans.
and some research and development of necked pistol cartridges.
http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=947&page=1&pp=20

And here's a link to a thread of what I've already done with a Marlin CB in 45 Colt, and no, no safety comments please.
http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=748

Here's the cartridge I'm debating getting a reamer for. Expensive as a Wildcat, but I might be able to case form with a 38-45ACP Clarke die.

Cheers,
R*2
 

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kneer

Haven't checked in for a while, I haven't pushed it very much farther with the load data, Lil'Gun seems to be the powder for the 357/44 B&D at least in all my guns. 180 gr bullets can be pushed to 1849 fps in my Marlin with any of the "standard" signs of pressure.
My favorite load in 16 grs. of Lil'Gun under 180 gr. XTP HP at an average speed of 1713 fps, this averages .5 at 100 yds. off the bench.
Win 296 is a good powder but in my Marlin it works better with the lighter bullets (125 gr and 158 gr) and has turned in some blazing speeds of 2387fps with the 125 Jhp's. Consistent hits on the 330yd gong with the 125 gr bullets were fairly easy, I had a 4x scope on for load development at the time.
The Lil'Gun gets more speed than Win 296 with the 180's but is just about as accurate.
Accuracy seems to pick up mid load levels up to maximum in my Marlin.
Jim Brockmans Guns did my conversion. I sent him my Marlin1894 in 44 Mag and a new Marlin 357 Magnum barrel(Micro Groove) I wanted a Ballard rifling barrel but couldn't find one and didn't want to go custom(too expensive).
It basically consisted in a rebarrel and rechamber job.
Probably could squeeze a few more fps out of it but it is the only one I have and don't plan on abusing it as it will me my sons first deer gun one day. In the mean time I'll get to use it for deer till he can. I am going to use it on a few Yotes back home also. I am very happy with it and wished I had done it sooner. I am now looking for a Uberti Baby Rolling Block rifle for conversion to 357/44 B&D.
This thing is a ball to shoot.

Steve E.........
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the update, Steve. This definitely still sounds like a good idea. Those groups with the 180grn are awesome. I thought I might have a .357 converted to a cowboy, and then use that bbl on the .44 for the B&D.

Rrusse11: alot of good info you linked to as well. I'm not sure if it makes this any easier though! :p
Matt
 
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Like I said there is probably some room for a little more powder but I don't want to hotrod it so my son can still hunt with it. I got in on the group buy for the Lee 180 GC bullet that just came up, I hope to work up a load with it when the Mould comes in. It seems the key to getting accuracy in the Microgroove barrels is doubly important on bullet sizing. Bear in mind the groups shot with my Marlin were with a 4x scope and off the bench with sandbags. I just might stick with the 180 gr XTP HP. Take care and go for it, you'll love it.

Steve E..........
 

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Found this old thread and thought I would update some info. I am now having a Ruger 77/44 rebarreled in 357 x 44 Bain & Davis. Should be finished in about a month.

Steve E..............
 
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All kinds. Enamored of their mechanisms!
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Does anyone know if Marlin barrel threads clock into position or do the have to be fitted from action to action? AC
 

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I was told they have to be fitted to each action.

Steve E...........
 
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