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Unless you intend to shoot dead soft lead, I don't think there's an advantage one way or the other.

Marlin, of course, used Microgroove because it was a less expensive way to rifle a barrel. More shallow grooves vs fewer deeper ones. No significant accuracy advantages to either one. Nothing beyond the reasonably expected variation between one rifle or another. Maybe a bit easier to clean the shallower grooves?

I'm satisfied with the accuracy of my MG 1895 and cast bullets. It's better with jacketed but that's nearly always the case.

Good luck.





Microgroove should be easier to clean
 

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From my experience, the bigger calibers (some soft lead in lesser calibers) have been the cartridge that have had the issues with micro-groove, the 444 in particular. It can take a lot of energy to get the mass spinning on fast bullets. If the bores were kept .005-.010" or so smaller I don't think it would have been a problem. But yes, I would choose Ballard if all else was equal.
 

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Ballard over MG all day every day. IIRC, Ruger is killing the MG which is good news to me. Hope to see 1:20 twist for the 1894 44MAG!

Jack
 

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Just wondering the consensus. I guess the proof of the pudding is... if you had two rifles to choose from, identical except one Ballard and one Micro-groove, which do you choose?
Doesn't matter to me as long as it shoots accurately. Besides, I don't reload cast bullets for rifle loads. The few cast bullets I do load are used for 45 acp or 38 special loads, and nothing else. I have, pretty much, gone the way of FMJ's or plated for handguns.
 

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I prefer the Ballard simply because I shoot lead slugs most of the time. I have both and the microgroove is better for jacketed boolits. My CB rifles all have ballard.
 

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I shoot cas and have 2 1894s, the 24 inch has ballard rifling while the 20 inch carbine [now a 16.5 inch Trapper] has micro groove and I am able to run either just as fast with no misses. This is with hard lead 225-255 gr .45 boolits. One of these days I need to put them on paper but honestly I don’t see a difference. But coming from the muzzleloading fraternity I would lean towards the ballard.
Air gun Watch Trigger Wood Shotgun
 

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All kinds. Enamored of their mechanisms! Worked as an engineering
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I worked for several years where we made barrels, forged, and cut rifling with WWII machines. The cut rifling barrels were more more accurate, the forged, more durable, Cut rifling is soothing to watch, forging is like being in the heat of battle. We were able to forge barrels with an intentional bore taper as well.

AC
 

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When it comes to shooting lead bullets in Microgroove barrel, bullet size and hardness rule. Case in point: I was shooting a marlin 336 30-30 at the range with 170 gr. lead bullets and getting 1.5" groups on average. Guy next to me was shooting his Marlin 336 and getting shotgun patterns. I talked with him a bit and asked if his barrel was getting a lot of leading. He didn't know. I checked and it was. Well I scrubbed his barrel for him and while doing the clean up I asked him what the BHN level was for his bullets and what did he size them to? Well he didn't know how hard his bullets were but he sized them at .308" to fit the bore, his words. I asked if I could shot my loads in his rifle and he said OK. Shot two groups, one was 1.5" the other 1.25" IIRC. I told him my bullets were 12 on the BHN scale and the bullets sized to .310". I gave him five rounds to try and he was shocked that he got a 2" group and the patterns from his loads. I told him how to harden his lead and to get a .310" sizing die, then go out and have fun.
So, yes Microgroove barrels will shoot cast bullets but it may take some tinkering to stop leading. I wouldn't use an alloy softer that 11 which is what I prefer for targets and hunting. Sized to .310" has worked well in my 336 and several Winchesters, M94, 64 and 54. Works for me.
Paul B.
 
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