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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How does the .44 version of the Marlin do with standard 240 - 250 gr jacketed and cast ammo?

Reasonable accuracy at 50 - 150 yards for hunting purposes?

Thanks, Guy
 

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M700,
All I have shot in my .44 caliber 1894 are factory loads in 240gn. It shoots them very well with one hole, three shot groups at 25 yards, 1-11/2 inches at 50 yards and under 2 inches at 100 yards with a few "one holers". This is shooting from a bench with a steady rest at the range. When I take it hog hunting the ranges are usually closer, 25-30 yards and I will use a rest if I can find one or use a hasty sling. I have recently started back to hand loading and I will work up a round for it. In the mean time I have used Remington, Winchester, PMC and Magtech. All shoot well with the Winchester being the best and the Magtech being not so good because it will always produce a good group with an inexplicable flyer of up to 2-4inches from the rest of the group. Semper Fi.
 

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M700,

My 1894 will shoot 2" to 2-1/2" at 100 yards with my loads using a skinner receiver peep and a 0.050" aperture. The rifle may do better than that, but like PJ says, I am the weak link. It has shot well with the H'dy 240 gr HP/XTP, the Rem 240 gr JSP component bullet, and an NEI #252 SWC-GC hard cast heat treated bullet. It didn't do so well with an LBT 300 gr LFN-GC hard cast heat treated bullet. So far, W-296, H-110, Li'l Gun have all worked pretty well. My most accurate loadings are with 240 grain bullets running 1,740 to 1,750 (chrono'd) using those powders. Loads with 2400 didn't get me up in that velocity range, nor were they as accurate as the other powders.

Overall, it seems like my 1894 has a penchant for the 240 gr bullets as opposed to the heavier bullets, and powders a bit on the slow side of the spectrum for the .44 Mag. Playing with different primers didn't make much of a difference, so long as I kept the velocity in that 1750 fps neighborhood.

I haven't played with bullets lighter than 240 grains -- yet, but have been toying with that idea. Seems like the 240 gr bullets have worked so well that I don't have much motivation to change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good info guys. Thanks.

DWB - I think that's why I typically stick with 240 or 250 gr bullets for my .44 mag handgun. I've shot the 300's with good results, but the 240's or 250's seem to do everything I ask of them. The 180's are fast, no doubt, but they don't really shoot as well as the 240's for me, from my revolver. Still, I bet they'd crank up some interesting speeds from the rifle barrel.

Seems like you guys have some fine hunting rifles with your 1894's.

Regards, Guy
 

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Guy,

I've gotten as much as 1,820 fps with a 240 gr bullet (can't remember which one though), but the accuracy went out the window. I dropped the charge weights back (23.0 gr of H-110/W-296 using a magnum primer and 23.5 gr of H-110/W-296 with a standard pistol primer) to get back into that 1,740 -1,750 fps neighborhood, and the nice groups came back in for me.

I can't remember the charge weights I tried using Li'l Gun, but keeping the velocity in that same neighborhood produced good accuracy. Have had quite a bit of difficulty getting Li'l Gun around here (I suppose because it is a pretty popular powder), so all of my heavy loads have been using W-296 lately.

After the last component shortage, all I was able to find for primers were the Winchester Large Pistol "for Standard or Magnum Loads" so have been using those since. Didn't really hurt my velocity or my accuracy much at all, and the reloads go bang in everything from -10*F to 80*F without pressure indications (in the warm weather). IIRC, I keep the charge weight of W-296 at 23.5 gr with those primers, and so far -- no worries.

Seems like I remember trying some 300 gr bullets at anywhere from 1,450 on up to 1,600 fps, but nothing was very impressive in the accuracy department from my 1894. Like you said, the 240's should do everything I need them to do and then some, and if it turns out I need more penetration than I can get from a 240 gr running 1,750 fps at the muzzle, then I guess I brought the wrong rifle. ;) ;D
 

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Its pretty easy to break 2" @ 100 yards with a .44 Marlin. I have 4 that will all do it. Now that I've gotten older it is a WHOLE lot easier with my scoped Cowboy....... ;D

I've taken deer and elk both out to 150 yards fairly easily.

44
 

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Mine really liked 240 grain jacketed anything over a max charge of 2400.

Cast bullets all needed to be .431" or bigger to shoot as well as the jacketed.
 

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My '94 is a 2" or so rifle at 100 yards. Nothing to brag about but plenty accurate for deer/bear/hog hunting.

Winchester white box 240 grain soft points shoot about as good as any other ammo. The 44mag is a real powerhouse out of the rifle.

Corbi
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks all. Reading here, and exploring other 1894 threads on Marlin Owners, has rekindled my interest in a nice 1894 - the little carbines sure handle well and look great.

Seems to me that with standard weight jacketed bullets, or slightly oversized cast, it shoots pretty doggone well! Wet Dog, thanks for the photos of the targets. 44LVR - you're taking elk with it too? Terrific!

Thanks Again, Guy
 

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M700 said:
44LVR - you're taking elk with it too? Terrific!
More than you would believe for the past 35 years ;) And these aren't those pesky little ones you have on the dry side of the cascades. These are the BIG yahoo's on the Left(ist) side of the hill ;D

In my own defense, years ago no one told me that a .44 wouldn't kill an elk. It had killed all the deer and bear I wanted like a bolt of lightening. So it never occured to me that it may not be the 'optimum' caliber to handle elk :eek: It wasn't until I had taken about a dozen with .44 revolvers when I noticed folks were surpised that was what I was using. So I went out and killed a 1/2 dozen more with big magnum rifles and noticed they were about the same amount of dead. Back to 44's, 444's, 38-55's, 45-70's, etc and never looked back.

I better also make mention of the elk tracks out in my front lawn where a herd came through and tore things up the other day. Really made a mess of things. Tough to keep roses around and the fruit trees have to be fenced......sheesh its tough to live in elk country....but the hunting's good.. ;D ;D
44
 

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Don't have any elk to shoot at here in the Piedmont of North Carolina but some big black bears do trek through here on their way from the Blue Ridge Mountains over to the Atlantic Coast. The follow the Neuse River out there. Anyway - I don't hunt, just a paper shooter so I prefer FMJ and shoot Winchester, Remington, PMC or whatever is the best buy. But when I want the best accuracy the Hornady 225gr Leverevolution a hard to beat.

The best of both worlds - my 1894SS .44 Magnum and my Ruger Super Redhawk .44 Magnum - great fun to shoot and both super accurate.


GB45
 

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Who needs accuracy when yuo've got all that wallop. Last boar I killed wit the .44, I was aimin at his ear and hit 'im in the left hind toe nail, and he droped on the spot. :p True story I tell ya. ;)

Mark.
 

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I guess pictures are worth a whole buncha words...

This is my first time out with my 1894, WWB 240's, standard sights, 50 yards. The cluster of three just to the right of the bull was me testing, the other shots scattered about were my oldest boy learning.



This is my sight in target from a few seasons ago with 240g XTP's over a top end load of A2400. Runs 1740 fps. I had a Weaver 2.5x20mm on it by then. I like how they walked right in.



I've worked out 240g XTPs and 240 Magtech SJSP's with A2400, I get the same accuracy with either but they shoot to a different POI. I also worked out the Speer 210g with A2400 to 1850 fps, but liked the heavier bullets. All are similarly accurate, under 2" all the time at 100 and under 3" at 165 (that's the range of the convenient berm where I shoot).

I've worked up two loads in cast, .431 RNFP 200 & 240g with Unique. I push the 200g 1440 and the 240g 1390 with the same charge of powder. Both are under 2" (consistently) at 100 so I haven't messed around with what works.

I really like my 1895G but for comfort and just feeling like I can hit with it the 1894 has edged into being my favourite.
 

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m700

For a long time I had 2 model 336-44's that would shoot lights out with the 240 Rem HP and 24 grains of H110. After getting rid of them I acquired a ruger bolt 44 mag and it did the same thing with the 240 Rem HP's and H110. Now I have a marlin limited with 16 1/4 inch barrel and it shoots the Beartooth cast 290 grain with 20.5 grains of H110 and it is minute of deer at 100 yards. I have been playing with the 240 grain fusion factory load and it shoots them pretty good. I like the way this round looks. Those 336-44's spoiled me.

Regards
Horseshoe
 

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I would be willing to bet that any 1894 will shoot an 1-1/2" group at 100 yrds, with good factory ammo and probably less with a good worked up handload.

I say this because my 357 has a good tang mounted peep and I get 1-1/2" groups with it. My sons 44 mag easily shoots 2-1/2-3" groups with factory ammo at 100yrds with the crappy stock sights.

My bet is that his gun would benifit from better sights and some forend work as well as a little better trigger. My 357 has had all tree improved. I honestly believe that any of these guns is capable of 1-1/2" groups and possibly less. If those handgaurds rattle or your shooting style doesn't take into account the forces you can put on the barrell while trying to hold it steady the groups will easily open up.
 

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DWB said:
Playing with different primers didn't make much of a difference, so long as I kept the velocity in that 1750 fps neighborhood.
It seems that my most accurate Marlin loads were also right around 1750 fps, in both 357 and 44 Mag. Now and then I try different powders, but always with the intent on duplicating that velocity. Must be something to it, it seems to work pretty well.

The other velocity range that seems to shoot really well is just under 1000 fps. Again, that's in both the 357 and 44 Marlins.
 

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papajohn said:
It seems that my most accurate Marlin loads were also right around 1750 fps, in both 357 and 44 Mag. Now and then I try different powders, but always with the intent on duplicating that velocity. Must be something to it, it seems to work pretty well.

The other velocity range that seems to shoot really well is just under 1000 fps. Again, that's in both the 357 and 44 Marlins.
That "other velocity range" works well for the .45s also.

Jon
 

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44LVR said:
I better also make mention of the elk tracks out in my front lawn where a herd came through and tore things up the other day. Really made a mess of things. Tough to keep roses around and the fruit trees have to be fenced......sheesh its tough to live in elk country....but the hunting's good.. ;D ;D
44
You're not exactly developing any sympathy for your roses with this kind of "complainin'"! ;D


For the OP, my Marlin 1894SS shoots 1.5" - 2.0" groups all day long with 240gr jacketed up through 285gr Lead. My main load is my custom 270gr heavy-weight Keith bullet. Some Marlins won't eat those long-nosed Keith SWCs, but some will. I'm lucky with mine.
 
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