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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Question for the masses....

What bullets have you all found to work best for the 20 inch barreled 1894's in .357, ballard or micro-groove?

I really like medium to heavy SWC's for this caliber but understand they do not work well in this rifle:hmmmm:
 

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158gr RN or RNFP ran great for me, but that was shooting CAS.
 

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I shoot 158g Hornady XTPs when I hunt and bulk 158g Winchester JHPs for plinking (got a screaming deal on a flat...cheaper than lead, so what the heck.) Both shoot as well as I could ever need them to when loaded over 16-18 grains of Lilgun. Ive use other weights, but these seem to be the sweetspot for my 1894cs. I did pick up some buffalo bore 180g hardcast loads last fall. Havent shot any yet, but they should be real thumpers. Im anxious to see where they hit in relation to the 158g handloads.
 

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Hard Cast (50/50 WW & Lino) Lee 158gr RNFP Tumble Lubed w/ Lee Liquid Alox.
For General Use, I use 6gr HS-6. For Plinking I use 3.8gr Trail Boss.
My Hunting Load is 17gr Lil Gun & 158gr Hornady XTP-FP.
In All I use Rem SP Mag Primers.
UncleSarge58
 
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I use Dardas cast RNFP in my Ballard bore, sized @ .359". The RNFP seems to be more accurate than the SWC and although the SWC feeds OK, the RNFP feeds much better.
GH1:)
 

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All kinds. Enamored of their mechanisms! Worked as an engineering
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My first year 1894 .357 Carbine gobbles SWC's without a hitch in it's original factory condition. You may just be a very few thousandths of an inch of chamber mouth polishing from reliability. AC
 

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I like the 158 gr in the 357 mag, 180 in the 357 Max. Bullet of choice depends on what brand the rifle prefers. LilGun powder will get the most with 158 and heavier bullets that the 357 mag will offer. DP
 
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I shoot the Lyman 358-156GC bullet, 15.5 gr. W296 powder, CCI 350 primer in mixed 357 Mag. cases. I use this load in my Marlin 1894 rifle, Ruger Blackhawk, Colt Python and S&W model 586 with good results in all.
For a lighter plinking load, I have been shooting the Lee 358-158RF bullet, 4.9 gr, Universal Clays powder, various standard small pistol primers in mixed 38 Special cases in all the above guns.

Jack
 

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You didn't specifly jacketed or cast.

I've had excellent results with just about anything jacketed in mine. For a while I was trying to get a load that would chronograph 2000 fps with 158 grain jacketed LFP or HP. Got really close, 1950+ and there are published loads for 158s that promise 2000+. Accuracy and terminal results were excellent

I've not tried cast bullets beyond what I have bought commercially loaded. But they shot well also. My 1894 is from 1980 and is a microgroove.
 

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I also use the Lyman 358156 gas check semi-wadcutter boolit.Mine are hollow point and I am now using the NOE version in a 4 cavity HP mold.My powder of choice is H-110 and standared small pistol primers in mixed 357 cases.
My plinking load is the Lee 358158 round flat nose boolit in mixed 38 special cases using 3.5 grs. of Bullseye.Both loads shoot very close to the same point of aim out to 50 yards or so.
All boolits are cast from wheel weights. The 358156 are sized at .359 and lubed with BAC. The Lee boolit is shot as cast and tumble lube with 45-45-10.
My 94C has the Ballard barrel and I get zero leading. I very seldom even clean the rifle,I just shoot it and have fun...
 

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Question for the masses....

What bullets have you all found to work best for the 20 inch barreled 1894's in .357, ballard or micro-groove?

I really like medium to heavy SWC's for this caliber but understand they do not work well in this rifle:hmmmm:
The RCBS 358-150-SWC feeds very well. Excellent bullet design, variations of it have been tested for decades as its probably the closest to the original 357 magnum bullet. The Lee 158-SWC doesnt feed nearly as good and Im suspicious its due to its straight angled nose while the RCBS is radiused.

Molds a little pricey but worth it.
 

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Speer 158GDHP has given me the best accuracy out of my micro grooved marlin. moa groups aren't unusual.
Just got a NOE mould 180gr WFP GC shows real promise first lot of testing produced around 2moa and velocity up to 1550fps.
105SWC lee feeds in mine and with loads around 1100fps shots about 3 moa, great plinker and small game.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I shoot the Lyman 358-156GC bullet, 15.5 gr. W296 powder, CCI 350 primer in mixed 357 Mag. cases. I use this load in my Marlin 1894 rifle, Ruger Blackhawk, Colt Python and S&W model 586 with good results in all.
For a lighter plinking load, I have been shooting the Lee 358-158RF bullet, 4.9 gr, Universal Clays powder, various standard small pistol primers in mixed 38 Special cases in all the above guns.

Jack
This is the bullet I use the most in my revolvers and was going to try for first if I picked one of these up.
 

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Any recommendations with commercial ammo? Plinking vs hunting?
Commercial ammo? What's that? I haven't seen any for what seems like years.

If you can find it, I would think any of the 158 gr. JHP or JSP factory .357 ammo would work well for hunting things up to deer-size animals. Keep the range under that which you can keep all your shots on a paper plate, offhand.

For plinking, again, if you can find any, .38 Special ammo will work well. It's like a big-bullet .22. Very little recoil or muzzle blast.
 

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I use cast bullets from Oregon Trails (LaserCast), either 158 gr RNFP or 158 gr Keith SWC. RNFP bullets work very well, but unlike the Marlin .44 Mag, Keith style bullets seem to feed well in .357 Mag. There is no leading up to about 1800 fps, which is tops for maximum handbook loads. Hornady XTP bullets feed well too. Polymer tipped bullets require shorter cases, which ruins them for general reloading. The polymer tip does nothing for ballistics in this caliber, but keeps the hollow point from clogging with clothing, which causes overpenetration in self defense situations.

I mostly use Alliant 2400 for magnum pistol rounds, consistent with the Lyman 59th Ed handbook.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Commercial ammo? What's that? I haven't seen any for what seems like years.

If you can find it, I would think any of the 158 gr. JHP or JSP factory .357 ammo would work well for hunting things up to deer-size animals. Keep the range under that which you can keep all your shots on a paper plate, offhand.

200 yards, wow that is more potent than I thought :biggrin: :biggrin:
 
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