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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just purchases an old model 94 made in 1905. the rifle has an octagon barrel on top of which 38-40 is stamped. My question is this, and I haven't been able to find out is this a black powder gun or a smokeless powder gun? I have been told even is it is a black powder gun it would be safe to shoot 180gr Ultramax rounds thru it. Any help would be great.
 

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The factory loaded rounds you are asking about are safe in the model 94 Marlin. I do not own any 38-40 rifles, but do have Marlin 94's in 44-40 from 1895 and 1911 both are safe with 44-40 loads and 18.5gr of A2400 or about 1300 -1600 fps. I'd stick with cast bullets and not use jacketed bullets, but others may disagree with that. Do you show a velocity for the ammunition you want to use in your 94 38-40 ? The question should be is YOUR Marlin 94 safe to shoot? Chamber and bore condition. Action? Have you slugged the bore?
 

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The 1894 barrels were standard with soft steel (black powder) and not stamped, you could order smokeless steel and they were stamped, they are scarce. The cartridges in the 1894 were not that hot and there was no need for harder steel
 

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The 1894 barrels were standard with soft steel (black powder) and not stamped, you could order smokeless steel and they were stamped, they are scarce. The cartridges in the 1894 were not that hot and there was no need for harder steel
Cj does that mean the Model 1889's were the same steel as the 1894's?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I shot the rifle yesterday, and I think I have a new favorite. The Ultramax 180gr rounds were awesome, and I would recommend them to anyone with the same concerns. The load on the rounds seems very light, and after the first shot it was just fun.
 

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I have a 1894 44-40 built in 1903. It shoots smokeless jacketed handloads very well. The 48th and 49th edition of Lyman shows loads in 2 categories. Group 1 is standard blackpowder equivalent loads and group 2 lists higher velocity and pressure loads they claim are safe in 1894 Marlins and 1892 Winchester. Like others have said, just make sure your rifle is in good condition. I can shoot high velocity loads in my rifle but I don't try to turn it into a 44 Magnum.
 
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