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Well today I was teasing the wife that I was gonna go buy a new gun. I told her I really had the itch to start on my .22 project and she said if I could find one for $200 or less I could have it. Indeed I could as I'd already spotted a Marlin 925 for $179 and 925M for $199 at my local mom and pop.

But...

I have been in a major quandary with two of my favorite guns. My 1895G and 1895CB. At $36/box for factory ammo the G barely gets shot any more and the CB has barely been shot since new. It just gets damned expensive. I had the G out at the range Friday and I got to thinking that I either need to get serious about reloading or sell these things as it is a shame to have two fine North Haven Marlins just sit. The thought of selling them did not sit well with me... :p

Sometime ago, I went in thirds with a couple family members on a bunch of reloading stuff, more or less everything we'd need save for specific dies. Well, all of that equipment is still sitting in a basement gathering dust and for a variety of reasons, sadly, it has never worked out. I kept hoping the situation would change so I have put off buying anything. It hasn't and I am tired of waiting.

So I put on my shoes and headed out the door. Gun or reloading stuff? Gun or reloading stuff? I kept asking myself as I drove.

Reloading was the obvious choice and the one I made.

Now, I got a Lee Kit and I know it is not as good as the RCBS and other stuff but the entire kit was on sale for $100. If the thing turns into dust in a couple years it will still pay for itself and no more than I'm likely to do on it it should serve me alright, at least to get started. Did I mention $36 PER BOX for factory ammo???!!! ;D

I'd already started gathering up other stuff so now, along with this fine thread of info http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php/topic,71787.0.html, I think I have the bare essentials covered. I picked up a cheapy set of digital calipers at China Freight.

I'm nervous as hell but excited as can be. I owe thanks to a lot of folks for giving me input and advice on this for some time now but many thanks to Rowdy who has been quietly pushing me to get started for a while now. If by no other means than just letting me shoot his relaods and showing me just how cool it is.

So, here's what I got...






I picked up some copper cleaner that I'll use on the barrels but I have to shoot up three boxes of factory ammo first. I'll run them through the G as it has over a decade of jacket in it already whereas the CB has about 40 rounds.
 

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Good for you buddy, can't wait till you get started. I hadn't reloaded for over thirty years when I just started about one year ago now. In fact it will be a year in two weeks.

You're gunna love the reloading. It is almost as much fun as shooting (almost).
 

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1895Gunner said:
Good for you buddy, can't wait till you get started. I hadn't reloaded for over thirty years when I just started about one year ago now. In fact it will be a year in two weeks.

You're gunna love the reloading. It is almost as much fun as shooting (almost).
Thanks Scott. Like I said, I'm nervous but excited. I love the idea of shooting cast in my 45-70's and of finding loads/rounds they like. :)
 

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I remember my first handled. I was so nervous. Almost wanted to close my eyes and pray for it not to blow up. It's addicting. Have fun, pay attention, and take notes
 

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Well Erik you will be shooting more often now. You will be enjoying the gun rather than looking at it in the rack! No more $40 per box! ;D I know I don't shoot as much as some, but since I got my Lee press...also $100 for the set up ive probably fired 700 rounds of 45-70 alone! 44 mags aren't cheap either and I have been shooting the 44 like some shoot .22's! ;) Yeah I spend money on bullets, powder and primers, but I really enjoy a good day at the range. Growing up it was 3 shots in the bull before hunting season and then 1 or 2 during the season. If you wanted to shoot it was the .22 cal. Heck I want to shoot my 45-70...and lots! ;D For Christmas and birthdays ask for components! ;) Enjoy buddy and BE CAREFUL! ;)
 

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Eli Chaps said:
It's tripping the trigger on the first that I reckon will have me squinting! ;D
Oh ya, I remember how I felt pullin the trigger on my first 45/70 load. Made sure somebody was within yellen distance before I did. ::)
 

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My experience with loading my own has been that it hasn't worked out cheaper. I just shoot a whole lot more.
 

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Congrats erik. I see you have some of that hornady unique case lube, I love that stuff.

I remember shooting my first handloads... I was shaking like a leaf loading them and I was shaking like a leaf shooting them. My first cartridge was 45 long colt, and I started right when you couldn't get any powder right. So the only thing left for me was 250gr. hornady XTP's and win296. Being so used to the poodle shooter 45 long colt out of a rifle I had no idea what 296 would give me. The load was 25.7grs and that sounded awful high, but hodgdon said so and birds the word so I loaded it. I get to the range and I load 1 up, my dad behind me re-assuring me that everything would go right. So I aim at the target real quick and jerk the trigger. I feel a painful wallop on my shoulder from the plastic butt plate and the magnum load, and a VERY loud report. Any second from there while my eyes were closed I was expecting to feel a sharp pain come from my fingers because I thought I had just blew the gun up and took my fingers off... but everything was ok and from there on out I realized that 296 and a 250gr. XTP out of the 45LC is not for the faint of heart! ;D
 

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Eli Chaps said:
I picked up some copper cleaner that I'll use on the barrels but I have to shoot up three boxes of factory ammo first. I'll run them through the G as it has over a decade of jacket in it already whereas the CB has about 40 rounds.
One thing I didn't see in that kit was a kenetic bullet puller (hammer style) which is very useful. You can use it to pull those factory loads, save the bullets, dump the powder, and use the primed case for your cast bullet loads. I use a the blue ones that Midway sells.

On the copper solvent, the most effective one I have used is the BoreTech Eliminator. It gets all of the copper out so you don't layer any lead over copper traces.
 

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Tom in Arizona said:
One thing I didn't see in that kit was a kenetic bullet puller (hammer style) which is very useful. You can use it to pull those factory loads, save the bullets, dump the powder, and use the primed case for your cast bullet loads. I use a the blue ones that Midway sells.

On the copper solvent, the most effective one I have used is the BoreTech Eliminator. It gets all of the copper out so you don't layer any lead over copper traces.
Got one, it's in the picture behind the powder. The orange package.
 

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44-40 Willy said:
My experience with loading my own has been that it hasn't worked out cheaper. I just shoot a whole lot more.
Yep I started to load my own to.save money and ended up shooting more. Now I'm getting into casting to shoot even more.
 

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44-40 Willy said:
My experience with loading my own has been that it hasn't worked out cheaper. I just shoot a whole lot more.
A bunch of years ago when I was stationed in Alaska I encountered my first Marlin 1895. It had been well worked over, complete with shortened barrel. The man who owned it was the base range master and an accomplished gunsmith in his own right. He'd re-chambered to something I can't remember any more. We were in Anchorage and I believe I recall that he'd done most of the work but had WWG do the re-chambering. This was before the factory 1895G.

Being a life long old west fan I was smitten to say the least. And oh the size of that big straight-walled case. I was completely enamored. I can still see me sitting across from his desk (the Combat Arms guys always had a personal gun or two about) holding that carbine and looking at that fat cartridge and him telling me, "...When I hit that moose it sounded like a slap on a fat lady's wet bottom." Then he smacked his hands together.

I was hooked.

Ironically, it wasn't until I left AK that I got my first Marlin lever gun. A 2000 1895G. I felt like I'd found the gun of my dreams. Totally enamored and the feeling never left, only grew into the Marlinitis we all know so well. I've never shot a living thing with my G but it has been a constant companion with me in the woods. Be it camping or wood cutting trips it has been there.

The 1895CB was a gun I never thought I'd own. A lot of money for paper shooter (the most I'd likely do with it). But man oh man did I want one. My wife surprised me last Valentine's day and bought me one. It is an amazing gun and I adore it.

Back when I got my 95G ammo was $19.95 a box and remember thinking that was pretty steep. 30-30 was $7.99/box. Today I can still get 30-30 for eleven bucks but as I said the 45-70 is nearly double. And obviously choices are limited.

So maybe this venture won't ultimately save me money when all things are considered, but if it means I shoot these beautiful guns more, then I'm okay with that.

Besides, it is the next logical step on my promise to get to know my guns more and one I should have taken a long time ago.

:)
 

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This is great news buddy. You will do well as you have shown diligence in your rifle projects. I think you will find this will enhance your enjoyment and appreciation for the guns you own. Enjoy the journey Erik and if there is anything I can do to help in any way, let me know.


bjm
 

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Congrats Erik, (money well spent...wisely spent too...$36 a box :eek:)

You may already know this...but when the time comes, just use ChoreBoy to get that copper out of the barrels. And when/if you decide to "get a lil more" out of the 45-70...look into H322, RL 10x, and RL 7 powders. I've experimented with primers a little lately...searching for the most consistent, CCI BR2's won, which is what I was using to begin with.

A recent discovery of mine...Starline brass is the way to go, its far more consistent than Rem or Win.

There are lots of good boolit makers out there... Beartooth, The Bull Shop (they offer RD designs), Cast Performance, and others.

And last but not least, I have no experience with reduced loads yet (I'm workin on it)...but if you have any questions about anything I am familiar with (the warmer loads, using mostly H322)...I'll be happy to help :)

P.S. Ya gotta watch that Rowdy...next he'll have you casting boolits ;)
 

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Welcome to the world of reloading :D I still remember chambering my first loads thinking, Here goes nothing. Was so excited that they actually worked, and my hands were intact too. I you haven't already; you may want to look into getting one of these too.
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=212586
My Lee scale was a good 5 grains off when I checked it.
 
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