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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm fully aware that, for the most part, individual rifles like to ingest specific powders to provide the best accuracy, and what may work for you might not do crap for me............but............................

I've got an 1894C Cowboy Ltd..............that I absolutely love to shoot. Most any powder I feed it produces "minute of coyote" accuracy at 100 yards, so I've no complaint there. But the perfectionist in me strives for 3 shot, 1 hole groups at 50 yards. No matter which I've tried, I have yet to find a powder that will do that. I test my powders off a lead sled and my other rifles provide just what I'm looking for. I've a 10 shot, .45-70 group at 50 yards, off the lead sled, that is .500" center to center. I just want to do the same with the 1894C. I shoot a 158gr RNFP lead bullet and use .357 Starline cases in the 1894C.

So what powder/powders seem to work best for you.
 

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Well I’m sure you have already done so but since it seems to be will any powder you try, did you slug the barrel for proper bullet sizing and the most important one is double check the crown for minor imperfections? Even just slightly off square or minor imperfection at the crown can drive ya crazy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes to all of the above.
 

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Does your 1894c shoot jacketed bullets any more accurately than cast?

You want to find the rifle's potential accuracy. If it shoots jacketed better, then you know that you need to work on the cast bullet loads, velocity, bullet diameter, powder, seating depth, etc. It should be possible to make it shoot cast as accurately as jacketed, but it may be more work.

I don't mean to suggest that jacketed bullets are more accurate, but generally with jacketed at .358 you have eliminated variations in the cast bullet, lube, and bullet diameter as variables.

My .357 1894 carbine will shoot jacketed bullets into a cloverleaf at 50 yards. Yours may or may not. I've not tried mine with cast bullets.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
To be quite honest, I don't know because I never shoot jacketed bullets in my Marlins...........and don't really want to, but maybe that might be a good starting point. Have some .357 Magnum rounds loaded for "special" occasions, but don't shoot them. Also, I don't shoot at magnum velocities. 1100/1500fps is fine with me.
 

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.

Hey Chris,

As we have said before, there is absolutely no reason to shoot jacketed bullets that cost two to three time what cast bullets cost and do absolutely nothing that a cast bullet cannot.

Anyway, I shoot Unique in my 357 rifles, 2400 works well in some rifles but I cannot get the best results in my own guns that others do. Other powders include H-110 which should be loaded near max. Also LaserCast recommends AA9, H4227, HS-7, and Titegroup.

Lyman's 45th Edition shows the most accurate load as 15.0 grs. of 2400 under a 158 gr, bullet.

JB
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, Jim. I know you, and many others, use Unique successfully.............but it gives me "softball" sized groups at 50 yards off a rest. I've used H-110...........but don't like to push lead that fast, and groups with it weren't much different. I don't have, and haven't seen locally for sale, any AA9, H4227, HS-7 or Titegroup. I've some 2400 and might give that a try. Also thought I'd try some Trail Boss that I have.
 

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Chris, you might want to check into using Hodgen's Clays or Universal Clays powder. They are great powders to use in .38and .357 loads. Both powders meter well and are clean burning. Check the Hodgen web site for loads and other info. Take care, John.
 
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Thanks, Jim. I know you, and many others, use Unique successfully.............but it gives me "softball" sized groups at 50 yards off a rest. I've used H-110...........but don't like to push lead that fast, and groups with it weren't much different. I don't have, and haven't seen locally for sale, any AA9, H4227, HS-7 or Titegroup. I've some 2400 and might give that a try. Also thought I'd try some Trail Boss that I have.
Hey Chris,

Due to the fire, you will not locate any HS 6, which is a stellar performer.

You may want to try Power Pistol, which is similar to Unique/Universal Clays, in burn rate.

Another one to try would be Winchester Auto Comp. Similar to HS 6.

Later, Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Chris, you might want to check into using Hodgen's Clays or Universal Clays powder. They are great powders to use in .38and .357 loads. Both powders meter well and are clean burning. Check the Hodgen web site for loads and other info. Take care, John.
No Clays available around here. Do know where I might get Universal Clays.

.

Universal is an excellent powder except it's not available since a fire shut down production. Hodgdon says maybe production will restart in the fall or early winter.
Good to know, Jim, thanks.

Hey Chris,

Due to the fire, you will not locate any HS 6, which is a stellar performer.

You may want to try Power Pistol, which is similar to Unique/Universal Clays, in burn rate.

Another one to try would be Winchester Auto Comp. Similar to HS 6.

Later, Mark
Mark, I have HS6 in my inventory. I'll put it on my list to try. Thanks. I've never seen Power Pistol around here........nor Winchester Auto Comp.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Presently loading up tests for Trail Boss, HS6 and 2400. I'll report on the results in case anyone is interested.
 
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If they don't work out Chris I'm just a 20mi drive away Chris... We can measure some out to take with you if you want. I've got Ebola though... you can look at that two ways: don't come til I'm no longer contagious, or come now before I die.
 

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2400 for lead and bluedot for jackets.
 
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The only time I have ever gotten to a inch or below shooting lead from my 1894C at 50 yards was with a 192 grain gas checked LBT cast ahead of a max load of Lil'Gun. This load and bullet will shoot 1/2 inch groups at 50 yards all day. Other than that I've gotten to 1.25" and 1.35" on occasions with some powders and bullets but only after a lot of trial and effort. I don't know if it is the gun, shooter, or caliber but the Marlin 357 mag I own just isn't a moa shooter for the most part. I do seem to get the best accuracy using 2400 and H110 on bullets with other than the 192 grain I mentioned. On the other hand, jacketed bullets of all weights and styles shoot much tighter groups than casts in my gun. I have a H&R 357 magnum and it is pretty much the same story. If you find that magic combination please let us know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Okay, I'm all loaded up and waiting for a nice day. Think tomorrow might be it. I'll be sure to report my findings.
 

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NOE 360-180 wfngc over 14.5 grains of lil gun. Alloy is 97:2:1 PbSbSn water dropped sized to .360 homemade 50:50 moly grease beeswax and aluminum gas check.

My go to load. I can hit a paper plate all day long standing, fast paced shooting and iron sights 100 yards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
NOE 360-180 wfngc over 14.5 grains of lil gun. Alloy is 97:2:1 PbSbSn water dropped sized to .360 homemade 50:50 moly grease beeswax and aluminum gas check.
I'm new to reloading, so 90% of what you posted here is Greek to me!
 

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I'm new to reloading, so 90% of what you posted here is Greek to me!
Chris.. now that is funny right there. Most of what was Greek to you was related to casting. I know you got the Mold (NOE is a maker); the ratios were Lead/Tin/Antimony; water dropped speaks to hardness; the rest is lube concoction and the kind of material his gas checks are made from.

I wanna shoot fast paced at the plate. Now that there sounds fun!!
 

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Chris, what he said was he is shooting a 180 grain wide flat nose bullet cast from a NOE mold with a gas check attached and sized to .360 inch diameter. His alloy is 97% lead, 2% Antimony, and 1% tin which sounds like wheel weights to me. Dropped into cold water from the mold probable gives him 18-19 BHN. With 14.5 grains of Lil'Gun powder he is probable getting somewhere between 1600 to 1700 feed per second (FPS). He lubes his bullets with a homemade mixture of moly grease and beeswax.

Off hand he is able to hit a 8" paper plate at 100 yards with open sights. I think your goal is little more than that....:biggrin:

I should have mentioned that 192 grain cast I mentioned is from a Ranch Dog mold, originally designed for the 35 Remington and I have a 170 grain Ranch Dog mold designed for the 357 magnum that casts from it will do just as well as the the former.
 
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