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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been working with my 1894 in 44 Mag with a 1x4 Leupold scope, and find I cannot get 3-shot groups below 2", and with 5-shot groups I am getting 2 1/2-3 1/2" groups with my best loads. Best loads with WW296 and Sierra 210 and 250 bullets. Tried some Beartooth 265 lead gascheck bullets, (sized .432) with different 296 and IMR 4227 powder, and couldnt get as good accuracy as with the Sierra jacketed bullets (sized.4295). Is this about as good as this gun will do or am I expecting too much? I had hoped for better accuracy. My muzzleloader is more accurate. I am shooting from a concrete bench with front rest and using windflags. Any advice? Thanks, Al.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Al,

Are you trying 100yds or 50? Two inches is good for a 44mag at 100yds. Also, is your barrel well broken in? It took mine a few years to get smooth enough to shoot well with the hard cast lead bullets less gas check. The most accurate load I've found with mine is using a hard cast Lyman #429421 Keith type, plain base, 245grn bullet with LilGun at around 1800fps for 100yds. BM

Bill
 

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Every rifle has its likes and dislikes, you might have to try different powders, cases, primers, etc till you find what it likes. You should slug the barrel to make sure you are .002 over size from the barrel. You can check all your screws and make sure they are snug but not overly tight. Don't forget to check the screws in the sights as well if you have them or make sure the bases are tight in the slots. You can go to the reference forum on this site to get tuning instructions, firelapping instructions, and lots of other good info that make these rifles work at their best. If you are getting flyers then don't forget to check the cases are cut to the same length and the powder weights are the same. Even a slight deviation in the powder can create a flyer that ruins a group.

Let us know if you find something that works.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Accuracy expectations?

I am shooting at 100 yards. I think my reloading and bench practices are OK. I have firelapped factory barrels on varmint guns following the NECO instructions, and found it to be very time consuming, but did smooth out the barrel and made it more accurate (also moved the throat out some). I didnt think I would do it to this gun unless it would create a big improvement. So my question to those of you who have worked with these guns a lot is, "Should I accept 3", 5-shot groups at 100 yds as being about as good as it gets, or should I keep trying for some improvement?" What would you expect from your guns? Thanks, Al in VA.
 

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I recommend reading the Tech Notes...

Beartooth Bullets, as you may already know, has some excellent Tech Notes on many topics including firelapping, especially with the .444 Marlins. I have both the 1894S and 444 leverguns and plan on firelapping BOTH in the future. That is about the best thing you can do according to Marshall's Tech Notes for accuracy. I tend to concur after slugging my 1894S barrel!! When I slugged it, I felt the constrictions just as he stated one would and in the same spots. The ONLY way I can see smoothing that out is to firelap!

Now as to your current accuracy, I haven't been able to attain that kind of success so far! I've been living with 4" accuracy at 100 yards. So to me, your sub-3" shooter looks real good! :) Considering firelapping would probably be beneficial, I could see you dropping it below 2" the way you are going!

Good luck!

Beartooth's Tech Notes on the 444 and firelapping:
http://www.beartoothbullets.com/tech_notes/archive_tech_notes.htm/47
http://www.beartoothbullets.com/tech_notes/archive_tech_notes.htm/17
http://www.beartoothbullets.com/tech_notes/archive_tech_notes.htm/19
http://www.beartoothbullets.com/tech_notes/archive_tech_notes.htm/28
http://www.beartoothbullets.com/tech_notes/archive_tech_notes.htm/44
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That is what I wanted to know

Plainsman, thanks for the info. That is what I wanted to know. I had talked to Marshall Stanton and found him to be knowledgeable and helpful. I was really disappointed that I couldnt get his bullets to shoot as well as the Sierras in my gun. However, if my groups that go from 2 1/2 to 3 1/2" at 100 yds are as good as anyone elses, then I will stop experimenting and go hunting. It seems to me that there was an article in Precision Shooting a couple of years ago by M L Mc Pherson on bench techniques and getting the best accuracy from the Marlin rifles, and if I remember right, he was getting 1" or slightly larger groups. It may be that the 44 Mag is just not that inherently accurate a caliber. Think I may have to go back and try to find that article to see if I can learn anythingnew from it, and I will go thru the links you gave me. But you make me feel better that my groups are not so out of line with what other people are getting. Al in Va.
 

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Al, don't take this the wrong way, but if you are waiting to go hunting because of your current group size, you're burning up hunting time. At best, you will probably be leaning against a tree when you shoot or shooting offhand. Take your group and make sure it's exactly centered on the target at 100yd and go hunting with it.
 

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Al, mine shoots about 3-4" with open sights. That's good enough for my hunting!
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My 44 will shoot around 2" with iron. I had a lot better luck with 296 when I used standard primers both in the 44 and 357. The mag primers gave me bad groups.
 

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I would expect groups at 100 yards to be of about that size. Eminently usable in the field. It will get better with more shooting. You might try a different bullet just to see what it will do. I.e. like a Hornady 240 gr. XTP. As is such a gun is usable even on groundhogs.
 

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Sight-in Target --- 340gr Buffalo Bore and 330gr Garrett

Before Dave Clay shipped my 1894DRC, he asked Ashley Emerson to sight-in at 50yd using both the new 340gr 44Mag +P+ from Buffalo Bore and a special version of the 330gr Garrett that was supplied with gas checks. As you can see, Ashley is quite a marksman but, Dave's expert work allows Ashley's effort to really come thru.

I posted Ashley's sight-in target at:
http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/richpix2001/detail?.dir=595a&.dnm=433b.jpg&.src=ph

This 1894DRC is described in other posts on this forum.

Bill
 

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Al in Va said:
I have been working with my 1894 in 44 Mag with a 1x4 Leupold scope, and find I cannot get 3-shot groups below 2", and with 5-shot groups I am getting 2 1/2-3 1/2" groups with my best loads. Best loads with WW296 and Sierra 210 and 250 bullets. Tried some Beartooth 265 lead gascheck bullets, (sized .432) with different 296 and IMR 4227 powder, and couldnt get as good accuracy as with the Sierra jacketed bullets (sized.4295). Is this about as good as this gun will do or am I expecting too much? I had hoped for better accuracy. My muzzleloader is more accurate. I am shooting from a concrete bench with front rest and using windflags. Any advice? Thanks, Al.
Al,

I have a 1894S and the only bullet I am able to do under three at one hundred yards is the Hornady 300g XTP. At 50yrds with 5 I will make a big hole grouping between 3/4 and one inch. This is on top a max charge of H110 and Winchester WLP in Rem case. I also use the Lee factory crimp 'hard' with these loads.

I know some say the 300g will not stabilize in the 1-38 twist of the Marlin but mine does .. (was surprised) ... so I go with what works. I limit myself to 75yrds do to the drop of this bullet at 100 yds.
 

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pick,
I know some say the 300g will not stabilize in the 1-38 twist of the Marlin but mine does .. (was surprised) ... so I go with what works. I limit myself to 75yrds do to the drop of this bullet at 100 yds.
Besides your tight Lee Crimp, your particular 1894 may have a good, tight chamber sizing. So, if you have a (or could use someone elses) chronograph, you may find a pretty high velocity. It's the combination of Twist AND Velocity that produces gyroscopic stability. The SpinRPM of your tightly-crimped bullet can be calculated (as is usual) by:

Spin[RPM] = [ 1 / 38" ] x [ 12" ] x Velocity x [ 60 ]

If your Velocity is (say) 1550 fps then, the RPM is:
Spin[RPM] = [ 1 / 38" ] x [ 12" ] x 1550 x [ 60 ]
Spin[RPM] = 29,370 RPM

A typical 240 gr Rem Mag does about 1400fps for a SpinRPM of:
Spin[RPM] = [ 1 / 38" ] x [ 12" ] x 1400 x [ 60 ]
Spin[RPM] = 26,530 RPM

But, in any event, if you have access to a chronograph, you may find your tightly-crimped 300gr load has a higher (or, possibly equal to) Muzzle Velocity as does a standard 240gr Rem.

Bill
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Al,

I've bought and sold 9 leverguns in 3 calibers of 3 different manufacture...
and once again I'm looking for one good one in .44mag.

NEF says their .44mag handi-rifle will shoot 3 1/2" groups at 100 yards, but many will do a little bit better.

Henry says their 44 big boy will shoot 3" groups at 100 yds with 240 XTP's, and they're quite proud to say so.

Fox (the T/C custom shop) will guarantee 1 1/2" groups at 50 yds w/the 44 mag.

A custom barrel-maker for the T/C in Idaho (iirc, their website) guarantees 1" groups at 100yds, but you have to use the load they find will work (if you can't find it).

I'm told at every turn that jacketed 240 XTPs will outshoot cast lead all seven days.

That's what I've collected so far for data- pretty much agrees with the wizards' advice above.

Still haven't got the nerve up to buy another one of these kit guns, but don't want any other style...

Good shootin', :)

1x2
 

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Go back to the drawing board and try some of the old standbys like 2400 and if you want better accuracy and the fps of ww296 switch to h110 and back off the crimping that you have to use with the ww296. Mangling the bullet never did help the groups when I used 296 in my model 94, it did however make it go bang and decreased my case life a lot. Just some thoughts on your problems. I did get 1 inch groups at 100yds from the 2400 and h110. Some of the slower powders I did try were H4227 and H4198 both done fair in my rifle with standard rifle primers. Some of the problems with the 296 I do feel may have been taken care of with hotter primers ask the good members how many use rifle primers with their 44s. They may have more insight to share on this subject. Take care and have fun. Swany
 

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I must be lucky with all of the Marlin rifles that I have owned over the last thirty-two years! My current CB Limited in .44 magnum eats 240 gr. Speer soft points like there is no tomorrow and here is the .44 magnum load that I have used during that time in both rifle and revolver;
Win. or Rem. cases
240 grain Sierra or Speer bullet (hp/sp doesn't seem to matter)
24.5 grains of W/W 296
CCI 350 LP primer
* seat in one step, heavy roll-crimp as a separate step.

I experience 1.5 inch groups or a bit better at 100 yards consistently shooting from sand bags @ 100 yards. I have been shooting a 2 pound trigger and take extra care to make absolutely certain that I am not milking the grip nor canting the rifle while shooting. The sights that I use are the original gold bead front and a Williams "fool-proof" rear.

The .44 magnum cartridge itself is historically one of the very best "accurate" cartridges and has been since Elmer brought it to us.
 

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Hey, Buckskinnner, how are you doing? Any luck yet on your "quest" out in the mountains??

Hope all is well.

L.W.
 

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Swany,

You are aware that W296 is the same powder as H110 (different lots and packaging only), aren't you? There can be variations lot-to-lot with it and I work up again when changing lots.

Al,

The .44 Mag is very accurate when properly loaded and depending on the launch platform. While my old 1894 (microgroove) would cut cloverleafs with some ammo, it would spread out to 6" with the "wrong" ammo. I would expect a rifle with Ballard rifling to need 200-1000 rounds of jacketed ammo and a good thorough cleaning before the best possible accuracy with cast bullets. I'm sure you know this, but fit and lube is critical. In the Marlins I don't think I'd use a bullet of more than 270 gr. weight. For hunting there is no reason that you MUST use a heavier bullet and absolutely not required for paper targets.
 

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Leanwolf,
Its good to see you still out and on the prowel. Things have been pretty good for me out in the piney woods, especially last summer! For reasons that I cannot fully understand, I had an off-and-on encounter that started while attempting to bait in predators to photograph in March and had my last confirmed contact in August. 16 inch tracks with a 74 inch stride and the tracks were a mere 5 minutes old. It had followed us down a dead-end logging road where I took a few minutes to change guns and holsters and head back to town and my son and I discovered the tracks where it had walked over our passengers side tire tracks for 50 yards before leaving the road. Unfortunately though, the terrain in that area did not allow for accurate tracking and my son was less than excited about attempting to folow IT! :)

Weather has gotten pretty cold here and I am in the process of re-entering my gunsmithing hobby as a part time bussiness which is taking up alot of my weekend time and will well into the future. I will make the time to continue my work in the above area and report what I find.

Take care.
 
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