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I bought a new 1894 in 44 mag about 9 months ago, ballard rifling and 1:38 twist rate. Changed the barrel out to a 45 Colt with Micro Groove rifling and a 1:20 twist rate. Couldn't be happier.. ;D
 

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BobinIL said:
Is states in the specs on the Marlin website that the 1894 44 mag has Ballard rifling. Has anybody seen one to confirm this? When did this change come about? I thought all of the non-cowboy models were microgroove cut rifling.

http://www.marlinfirearms.com/Firearms/1894Centerfire/1894.asp
I think the jump was made to Ballard rifling in 1997 or so in the 1894. Mine was made in 2007 and is ballard rifling. The only barrels currently being manufactured with Micro-Groove are in .30-30 and .35 Remington, and only on the 336 series of rifles. I think the XLR's are ballard.

Somebody feel free to correct me if I am wrong - - and that seems to be often enough. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So these ballard cut barrels should be good to go with cast 200grn and 240grn RNFP bullets?
 

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BobinIL said:
So these ballard cut barrels should be good to go with cast 200grn and 240grn RNFP bullets?
Mine did, but you should really slug the barrel and then go .002 oversize. I ended up using .432 when mine was a 44 mag.
 

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Contrary to popular myth, microgroove rifling works well with cast bullets too. Just have to make sure your bullet diameter is larger than your groove diameter.
 

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Like others have pointed out, oversize when using cast is a good thing. My 1894 slugged at 0.430" and I use 0.432" diameter cast bullets with good success. I have settled on an NEI #252 240 grain SWC-GC, and with H-110/W-296 or Li'l Gun, I can push them to 1,740 to 1,750 fps with good accuracy. For critters, that is about my favorite load. I haven't messed with any bullets lighter than 240 grains in my 1894, and bullets heavier than 240 grains didn't give me quite as much accuracy (in mine). Maybe I just didn't find the sweet spot with those heavier bullets, but I don't think there is much the heavier bullets will do that the 240's won't do just as well.

If it turns out that I need a heavier bullet than a good, cast 240 gr with a muzzle velocity of 1,740 or 1,750 fps for the sake of better penetration, then I probably brought the wrong rifle.

The only micro-groove barrel I have is on a 336C in .35 Remington, and it shoots cast bullets just as well as my ballard rifled barrels.
 

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eaglesnest said:
I bought a new 1894 in 44 mag about 9 months ago, ballard rifling and 1:38 twist rate. Changed the barrel out to a 45 Colt with Micro Groove rifling and a 1:20 twist rate. Couldn't be happier.. ;D
Question for Ballard barrel 45LC owners,...is your twist rate the 1:20 or the 1:38 in the spec lit???? ???
 
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