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I'd like to find a lead bullet that will fire well in my 1894 carbine and my blackhawk. The 1894 is a bit more finicky than the blackhawk. It doesn't like SWC but does find with RN or RNFP or XTP shapped bullets.

I haven't tried a lot of lead in it but I was wondering if someone has a lead bullet style/brand/mould for a 158-180g lead bullet that feeds well and is accurate out of their 1894 in 357. Mine has the ballard rifling.

I have a microgroove in 44 mag that I wouldn't mind giving lead a try too. Any hints about hat would be greatly appreciated too! :D
 

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Wet Dog:

Good luck with that project. I have been trying to find a lead bullet load that will shoot in my 1894CS in .357 with Microgroove. I can't seem to find anything that will shoot where the target doesn't look like it was hit with a load of OO buckshot when I have finished. Horrible results. I have been trying to work up a decent shooting load because they opened up the county I hunt in to rifles this year and I want to take this rifle along with my .243 into the woods. I have been very disappointed in the Marlin in terms of accuracy and have been thinking about getting rid of it for that very reason. UNTIL TODAY! I believe I have found quite literally "the magic bullet" for it. It is not, however, lead. I went to the gunshop yesterday looking to try some heavier bullets because of what I have been reading about them for hunting. My shop had some Sierra 170 gr. JHC on the shelf and I thought that I would give them a try. When I opened them up I could see that they were quite a long bullet and I thought that might be good because it would have a lot of bearing surface with which to engage the rifling. I loaded up 20 of these over 15.0 gr. of W 296 and a CCI 550 primer. At the range, I had begun by shooting some 158 lead swc's that I had loaded and those were the ones that were all over the paper. I then went right to the Sierra loads and shot a couple and the two of them were almost on top of each other. I was impressed, so I kept shooting and they kept going in a very nice tight group like I had never seen with this gun before. These were at 50 yards. These bullet holes were actually touching each other most of the time. At a little over 100 yds, I was hitting bowling pins quite regularly and I would not hesitate to think I could hit a deer in the vitals at that range with this load. This will be my load in this rifle from this point on until I can find something that will even come close in terms of accuracy.

I have read on this forum and others that lead bullets in Microgroove barrels need to be on the fat side for them to shoot well. It seems to me that I read something on the order of .358 or .359 or more. I haven't tried any oversize bullets but have had nothing but poor accuracy with any and all lead bullets from my rifle.

I hope you find something that works for you.
 

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I've been shooting the Hornady 140g Cowboy bullets in my Blackhawk for the last couple weeks. I don't know what kind of performance you're looking for, but I was mainly looking for a nice accurate(preferably quieter) plinking, and hunting load. I was trying to find a mild load for **** sized critters, and get away from the 357 "crack" that rings my ears so hard.

I'm shooting this bullet with 4.7g of Unique, and CCI-550 primers. It's running just under 900 fps, is very accurate, and seems to hit pretty hard. I'm not getting any leading at all so far, and this is after a lot of shooting(more than 300 rounds). It does leave some waxy residue on the cylinder, and frame about like 22 LR rounds do in a revolver, but I'm not worried about that.

I haven't got around to trying this load in my 1894C, but I will soon. I have no doubt it'll be good in it too.

.........................................................................................................................

I had to edit this reply. I first wrote that my 140g Cowboy load was with 5.7 g of Unique, but it's 4.7g of Unique.
 

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Wet Dog,

I agree with Clayshooter56—good-luck with your project!!! Yet, what you are looking for can be accomplished. It took me over 20 years to find the right bullet for the 1894 microgroove and my Security-Six handgun. Still, I did not get the same reload to shoot in each rifle/handgun. That was my original aim (pun intended). Yep, 20 years is what it took. I would work up various loads for the 1894 only to become discouraged since accuracy was not ever acceptable—2 inches or less is O.K. at 100 yards for this lever gun is what my goal was at that time. I would clean the rifle and put it back in the gun rack. As time would go by, I would get it back out and try again, and again, and again…Nothing would work. The Security-Six was never a problem. It was fairly accurate with most anything that was shot down the barrel.

I got into casting my own bullets about ½ dozen years ago—why I didn’t cast my own bullets 35 years again remains a mystery to me! Regardless, I purchased a Lyman 358429 bullet mould. It is the Keith-style bullet that weighs in at 173 grains when cast from an alloy of 2-1 (WW-#2). I shoot them “as cast” at a diameter of 0.3585” and lubed with Lee Liquid Alox. The best powders for the rifle have been 2400 and SR-4759, with the latter have ever so slightly the edge. Velocities are right at the 1550 fps—not blistering velocity, but very accurate. I have shoot one inch groups at 100 yards from a very good bench rest at my shooting range. The little rifle is topped with a 4x-12x ‘scope. If you can’t see the target, you can’t shoot good groups. 12x is a bit powerful for this little lever gun, but it is what helped to get the accuracy I was seeking. The handgun favored AL-8, WC-820, and H-110. Velocities ranged from 1050 to 1250 fps. From my bench, I can hit a 5”x11” steel pendulum at 50 yards using the open sights—more than good enough for me.

And, one other inconvenience, the case must be trimmed back shorter than recommended trim length so as to allow the bullet to be crimped in the crimp groove and still allow the loaded round to cycle from the tube to the chamber—always something it seems!

Well, there you go. It sure wasn’t an easy process, and it still has quarks that make reloading it a bit of a chore, but it will rattle 16-ounce aluminum beverage cans filled with water at 100 yards most of the day long. Good-luck…BCB
 

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Cast lead bullets for the 1894

I have been wondering what everyone else has used. I've been thinking of getting and 94 in either 357 or 44 mag. I've been looking at the Saeco number 354. It is a RNFP of 180 grains that takes a gas check. Have been looking for a set off used handles by Saeco. I have also been looking at the Lyman 358156, and the Lyman 358430. The latter is not a gas check bullet, but it is supposed to cast at about 195 grains. It has an olfashioned half-sphere nose, and might be short and still feed well. The lower velosity that it would produce might well make the gas check unnecessary. If anyone has some experience let us all know about it.
 

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Hmmm, took my .357 out today....and using some factory S&B 158 jacketed...it shot straight and high, with a decnt group at 50 like it should. Switched to the .38 SWC's I use for handgun practice and @#%#$#!!! All over, and shooting to the SIDE!! Guess I need to play with different loads from what I read here. Do any of you guys have good luck with .38 loads overall??? Or do these guns need the "hotter stuff" to perfom???
 

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Hankster said:
Hmmm, took my .357 out today....and using some factory S&B 158 jacketed...it shot straight and high, with a decnt group at 50 like it should. Switched to the .38 SWC's I use for handgun practice and @#%#$#!!! All over, and shooting to the SIDE!! Guess I need to play with different loads from what I read here. Do any of you guys have good luck with .38 loads overall??? Or do these guns need the "hotter stuff" to perfom???
I answered your post over on Grey Beards about this.
 

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lead

Micro grooved barrels shoot lead bullets good as long as it's gas checked.

When I first started casting I had a .44 'shotgun', but then my uncle itroduced me to gas checks, after that, I had alot of dead deer. And 1-1.5 moa.

This was with a .44, 310 gc LRNFP from Lee.

Good luck,

J
 

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JL...got it, Thanks.
Gas checks...hmmmmmmm
 

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My hubby does the reloading, but he isn't registered on this site so I'm posting this for him.

He has a 1894C carbine with ballard rifling. His "pet" loads (all using Rem 5.5 primers and winchester brass) for this are:

Oregon Trail RNFP, 158gr bullet
HS6, 6.8gr powder
Ave velocity is 1158fps

Same bullet as above
Greendot 5.9gr powder
Ave velocity 1308fps

same bullet as above
Bluedot 10.0gr powder
Ave velocity 1495fsp

All of the above give excellent accuracy (he tried at least 20 other recipies that he didn't like)

The one that turned out to be a real tack driver is
Remington JSP 158gr bullet
HS6 8.7gr powder
Ave velocity is 1319fsp

Result - 1 ragged hole at 40 yds (five shot group)
:D

However, he has not found one that he likes in both this carbine and our .357 revolvers. (S&W and Barretta Stampede).

He's still working on developing pet loads for the revolvers and my 1894CB (that rifle does not appear to like what the 1894C likes, they are both ballard rifling and same length barrel).

Reloading is so fun - and it keeps my husband out of my hair.

Cathy
 
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