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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been on the lookout for a .44 Magnum carbine lately since I got a .44 Handgun and am loading again for that caliber.
The handgun is a S&W Model 69, a-smaller-than-an-N-frame 5 shot .44 mag built on the L frame.
They have a lower bore to hand axis than the N frames, recoil with the lighter M69 is much more tolerable to me, it doesn't slam back against the web of my hand like an N frame or Redhawk does.
The revolver just jumps mostly straight up when fired.

Big gun show this weekend in Phoenix, so I went down with high hopes of finding a Marlin .44 mag.
I've owned them in the past, my first deer was shot with a Marlin .44 mag.
Most of my hunting was in the Northern Rockies so I used Model 1895's, but the pistol cartridges found in the 1894 would have been plenty for the river bottom whitetail we had.

I spotted this 1894P, I'm a sucker for short barrels and Cowboy-type stocks. As far as the porting, I owned ported Shields in a couple different calibers, so I don't fall for the "It will blind you", "It will burn off all of your clothes", " It is twice as loud as an unported gun", etc.
When I shot it today the report was no worse thru my earplugs than an unported gun.

The recoil pad is a nice touch, but a solid brown or red pad would look better than the ventilated black one, IMO.
Between the pad and the porting, this was a pussycat to shoot.

It falls into the era when Marlin stopped tapping the side of the receiver for a peep, so I couldn't use the Williams FP I have on hand. I'll have to order a Skinner or RPP one, but for today I mounted a Burris Fastfire dot on it, as the carbine came with one scope base attached.

Someone did a nice job wrapping the lever with leather as well. Since this one came with sling swivels installed ( I believe that was a factory thing on some models) I have a nice buffalo hide sling I'll put on it.

I don't think this 2001 made 1894 was shot much, if at all. Like new condition, no box.
These sure are handy little leverguns, mine has some decent wood on it too !
Most of the loads I have on hand are heavier, 240 to 270 grain, but my revolver load of a Hornady 240 XTP with 8.0 grains of Universal shot well at 50 yards, and my loads with a 260 WFNGC with 9.0 of Universal grouped even better.
The WFN tipped cartridges fed like butter through the 1894P, the WFN rounds fed better than the two jacketed rounds I tried.
The only load the Marlin did not like was the Speer 270 grain Gold Dot with 12.0 grains of HS-6.

With the slower twist of these Marlin .44's I might have to try lighter bullets like 180 to 210 gr. for better accuracy.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The 69 is 4.2". When it came out in 2014, all people could say was I wish it came in a snubbie length. It does come in a 2.75" now, but I would rather have a longer barrel in a .44.
At least it fits it holsters meant for a 4 inch L frame (barely).
 

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Congrats on your 1894P. I have had mine for about 7 years and that little rifle makes one heck of a racket--LOL! The shooters around me at the LGS range definitely notice it but the muzzle blast isn't bad.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the compliments. I am very happy with the rifle, but was sorely tempted by other Marlin 1894's I saw at the gun show.
There were two different 1894s in .22 Magnum, a 218 Bee CL, a .32/20 CL and two Cowboys, one .38/357 and one in .44 mag.
Both the .22 Mags had an asking price of $1000. All of the centerfire ones were for sale by a guy from the Lake Havasu/Bullhead City area and he has them on Arizona Armslist and will ship to a dealer, if anyone is interested. He had them priced from $1200 to $1400 but seemed like he'd drop a couple hundred to sell them.
He also had a couple 1895s, and all of the ones he was selling were JM's.

I looked at RPP sights and the Skinner Reliable, but they look short and stubby to me.
I liked the looks of the long Express, the base goes all the way across the top of the receiver and blends nicely into it.
So I ordered one of those.

I took the FastFire red dot off and will shoot the factory irons till the Skinner gets here. Looking forward to doing some plinking with the .44 in the next few days.
 

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I think you chose the 'pick of the litter'!
I would be interested in the .32-20 since I already have a 'P' in .44 Mag.
But it sounds like I would have wanted more than one of his rifles!

It's hard to beat a 16" .44 magnum - very capable and a pretty good magazine capacity for the size it is,
and pairs so well with that Model 69 too.
 

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That is a very nice set up, hoping to do the same with my .357 Mag combo (686-6 / 1894C). The 1894C is a 1980 production and it will need a new barrel at some boint as one of the previous owners did NOT take care of it at all and it has pitting. I have a barrel on order to replace it but need to find a Marlin Gunsmith to handle the work, was considering going the extra mile and converting it into a takedown. I love how the 39A's break down for easy transport, why not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I took a pic of both .44s on the tailgate after I did some shooting today.
I can't say enough good about these two. I was reluctant to get back into the .44 Magnum, I remembered the N frame revolvers slamming into my hand, and the 5 1/2 - 6 lb. lever guns with stout .44 and .45 Colt loads in them thump you good too. Of course then I was being manly and didn't want to ruin the lines of my lever guns with recoil pads.
( I did have pads on my 1895's ! , I wasn't that manly I guess).

The Smith 69 is slimmer and lighter than a Model 29 or 629 but you lose one round. The bore is lower in relation to your hand than the N frames, not much, but the difference is noticeable when it comes to recoil.
It doesn't slam against the web of your hand like the N frames do. Recoil is a lot more up than back.
Another nice thing to console us about losing one round, is that on the 5 shot cylinder, the cut for the cylinder bolt isn't right over the chamber like it is on a 6 shot N frame. The cut is located between each chamber. No thin spots on the 69's cylinder.

The Model P Marlin is another surprise. I find it to be much more pleasant to shoot than other 1894s in .44 and .45 caliber I owned and others I got to try out. Those didn't have a recoil pad (or the ports).
One thing about shooting heavier loads in these light carbines is the gun rises during recoil, I find this P to stay pretty level, no stock slamming your cheek. And the pad they came with from the factory helps with the backward inertia.

Funny when reading back through old threads, from back in 2005 onward when the 1894P and 1894CP were only a few years old and some were still NOS on shelves, the opinions of guys that bought them run the whole gamut.
A few that said "that carbine really beat me up", or the few that said that it was TWICE as loud as an unported Marlin and that they couldn't hear for days after shooting it.

But the majority said they couldn't imagine a better close in carbine for hogs, deer and such, and most also said they couldn't really tell that it was any louder.
I suppose it would be noticeable on an indoor range, like Not Getting Any Younger mentioned above.
Glad I don't have to shoot at an indoor range, I live in rural Arizona and can shoot year around on millions of acres of BLM and Forest land.

I took the hood off the front sight. I didn't like the flat top look and being almost touching the factory bead.
It was distracting to me, and the front sight always looked like it was in a dark alley.
And when I get the Skinner Express in a couple days, that front bead will have to come off as I'll likely need a taller one. I'll save the bead and hood to keep with the carbine, but I like the 1/16" white sights from Marble.
I bought a half dozen in various heights last spring so I could have a stock to pick from if I needed a different height on a new rifle.

Closer in to see the caliber markings.
 
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