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.44 Magnum 1894. Is it worth trying a .430" bullet over a .429" diameter?

Hey guys, I shot my 1894 last Sunday. I was using handloads that have the 240 grain Gold Dot bullet by Speer. The best group I got at 50 yards was with 20 grs. of AA9. About 2 & 3/4 inches, and the spread was horizontal, what I like to see on a day with a cross wind.

I read that the bores on these guns (mine is a Micro-Groove) tend to run a little large, and was wondering if anyone has had better results with the Hornady .430" XTP bulelts.

Thanks,

Greg
 

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Re: .44 Magnum 1894. Is it worth trying a .430" bullet over a .429" diameter?

I have never slugged a micro groove barrel but have read that they are larger than standard and that it is best to shoot larger diameter bullets. Not sure exactly what to do for jacketed but cast would be great at .430" or little larger.
 

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Re: .44 Magnum 1894. Is it worth trying a .430" bullet over a .429" diameter?

Marshall at Beartooth Bullets often recommends a .432 hard cast in the .44 Marlins, but I've gotten great accuracy with his bullets at .430.

You don't have that amount of leeway with jacketed slugs, but the XTP's have proven to be an accurate bullet in everything I've tried them in, regardless of caliber. They are certainly worth a try.

Roe
 

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Re: .44 Magnum 1894. Is it worth trying a .430" bullet over a .429" diameter?

Can't speak to an .44 Mag 1894 with micro-groove rifling, but in my 1894 with the ballard rifling, size does matter.

Regarding jacketed bullets, I consistently get my best groups from Hornady or Remington component bullets (they are 0.430"), and while I get pretty decent groups from Sierra bullets (those are 0.4295"), they aren't quite as good as the two previously mentioned. The Speer bullets are great performers, expansion wise, but also the least consistent with regard to accuracy (they are 0.429").

For cast boolits in my 1894, all I have ever shot are sized to 0.432" and gas-checked, duplicating the powder charges and velocities for my jacketed loads. My pet load is an NEI #252 240 gr SWC-GC (sized to 0.432") over 23.0 gr of W-296, yielding 1,750 fps, and producing 3-shot groups of 2" to 2-1/2" at 100 yards using a skinner receiver peep. Provided I can do my part, of course. ;)
 

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Re: .44 Magnum 1894. Is it worth trying a .430" bullet over a .429" diameter?

Mine shoots the xtp's great, it's the only one I hunt with.
 

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Re: .44 Magnum 1894. Is it worth trying a .430" bullet over a .429" diameter?

My 1894ss is noticeably more accurate with .430 (hornady 300gr, win brass, wlp or cci primers and 296/H110) than all others. The difference is dramatic but and there is always a but, exploring the myriad of brass, powder, primer and projectile possibilities may well find you something very satisfactory with "smaller" dia bullets. I found a good load for my rifle and stuck with it.

For cast bullets next time I order I am going to try some gas checked .432/.433 if I can find some.



Be safe and have fun exploring
Patty
 

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Re: .44 Magnum 1894. Is it worth trying a .430" bullet over a .429" diameter?

achildofthesky said:
...For cast bullets next time I order I am going to try some gas checked .432/.433 if I can find some.



Be safe and have fun exploring
Patty
I don't cast my own either, but I order them from Montana Bullet Works - - that is where I get the NEI #252 240 gr SWC-GC sized to 0.432". Those average right at 252 grains, IIRC. The beauty of the NEI #252 mould is that the nose of SWC has a slight radius, creating a nice ogive. Those boolits feed smoother through my 1894 than grapes through a goose. ;) ;D

Of course, another alternative for cast, gas-checked boolits sized to 0.432" is Beartooth Bullets.

Either place is great to do business with, and very helpful if you call them, but the lead time on boolits from Beartooth is typically longer. I guess that's 'cause they are just busier. ;D
 

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Re: .44 Magnum 1894. Is it worth trying a .430" bullet over a .429" diameter?

If your loading try the Beartooth 250 WFNGC .432 and follow their load data.

My 1894 .44 never shoots anything but. I have the Marlin Groove old lever from 1971.

Very accurate and deadly on critters of almost all sizes.

Good luck

mckmain
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Re: .44 Magnum 1894. Is it worth trying a .430" bullet over a .429" diameter?

I'm going to load some cartridges tonight using varying loads of AA9 and the Hornady 240 gr. XTP.

I hope to shoot the rifle tomorrow. I'll report back in this thread.

BTW, I put a pair of digital calipers on the good group I shot last weekend and it was 2.25". It looked bigger than that judging by the eye. I guess it was the big .44 cal. holes that made the group look larger.
 

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Re: .44 Magnum 1894. Is it worth trying a .430" bullet over a .429" diameter?

Worse accuracy I've found with many different .44 mags is bullets under 240gn wgt. Marlins groove size is known for being oversized. Most I've tested shot best with heavier wgt gas checked bullets in .432 dia.
 

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Re: .44 Magnum 1894. Is it worth trying a .430" bullet over a .429" diameter?

The Hornady .430's group better in this gun. I loaded 10 each of 19 grs of AA9, 19.5, and 20.

The 19.5 gr. load with the Hornady 240 XTP with a CCI 350 magnum primer shot a 1.52" 5 shot group at 50 yards, using stock sights. I can live with that for now. I'm going to put the peep sight back on it that came with the gun and see if that improves things.

The 19.5 gr. group had mostly vertical dispersion in it. It was hot today, about 98 degrees. I don't know if mirage had any influence, maybe.

I'll post target pics tomorrow.

One thing I found odd was the sensitivity to powder charge. Neither the 19 or 20 gr. loads were as good. A marked difference. I wouldn't have thought this gun to be that picky.
 

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Re: .44 Magnum 1894. Is it worth trying a .430" bullet over a .429" diameter?

swany said:
Worse accuracy I've found with many different .44 mags is bullets under 240gn wgt. Marlins groove size is known for being oversized. Most I've tested shot best with heavier wgt gas checked bullets in .432 dia.
This has been my experience also re lighter bullets. The loading manuals show some pretty good velocities for 180s and 200s, neither weight does any grouping at all in my gun. Lightest I can go is 220-225. Best accuracy is with 24.0 gr H110 and a 240 gr Nosler HP. I used XTPs until I found them virtually evaporating inside the deer, jacket going one way and core fragments going another. Cutting up was like picking shot out of small game, keep looking for core fragments. Don't have that with Noslers. Usually a .44 hole in and about an inch one going out. I still use the XTPs in the revolvers, they work well at the reduced velocities.

Even a couple of inch group at 75 or 100 yards is still good enough to collect a critter. You probably aren't going to be making too many shots over that distance, at least with an 1894.

Stan S.
 

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Re: .44 Magnum 1894. Is it worth trying a .430" bullet over a .429" diameter?

The 240 Gold Dot with 20 grs. of AA9.....50 yards open sights......






...and the Hornady 240 XTP 19.5 gr. of AA9. (The 5 shot group in the green)

 

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Re: .44 Magnum 1894. Is it worth trying a .430" bullet over a .429" diameter?

That's looking good!
 

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Re: .44 Magnum 1894. Is it worth trying a .430" bullet over a .429" diameter?

My 1894ss has Ballard rifling and definitely shoots .431 inch bullets better. It also does well with XTP bullets, even the 180 gr. XTPs that I bought by mistake one time. I have not loaded any .432 bullets but plan to do so when I can get some.
 

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Re: .44 Magnum 1894. Is it worth trying a .430" bullet over a .429" diameter?

Put the tang peep sight back on, but it forced me to change the way I grip the gun (the sight being right where my thumb lays over the tang). Also didn't like the fact it did not allow for windage adjustment. So I found a Williams peep sight, and have it on the gun. The screws that came with it did not fit (thread size was too small), so I ended up drilling and tapping the receiver for 10-32 screws. It's on very solid with those big screws.

Groups to follow this Sunday hopefully.
 

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Re: .44 Magnum 1894. Is it worth trying a .430" bullet over a .429" diameter?

I like the Williams peep sight better. Easier to get on target.

Here's a 6 shot group. It was the first group I fired, and I shot it on a target someone left hanging that was shooting an AR15 it looks like.

The group measures about .900" center to center.

 

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Re: .44 Magnum 1894. Is it worth trying a .430" bullet over a .429" diameter?

In CAS I use a .44 Rossi.

I shoot this loaded with BP.

Accurate enough for this sport so here goes my specs

200gn projectile at .430 ( as dropped from the mould) in 20:1 lead\tin mix
25 gns FFg with semolina on top for compression

Smells abit like a bakery but I have made shots with this load that the others here with their modern rounds have trouble doing.

Clay pigeons at 80 meters being one.

For long range lever rifle all I do is forgo the semolina filler and use about 30 gns of FFG in the .44 mag case. Works well and impressively.

Chris
 
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