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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Since I cast my own lead bullets this information is also posted over at Castboolits for my neighbors there. Thanks.

Hello,


Today I started the DROS on my new Marlin 1894C in .357 magnum. I bought it online from Kentucky Gun Co for $620. They were very nice and shipped very fast. I will buy from them again.


I am in California so today was the start of my 10 day waiting period before I can take it home. But I have an FFL that is very cool.

I use The Gun Range here in North Highlands California. I have no business connection with them. But I shoot there at least once a week. They have a terrific indoor range out to 25 yards. The staff is friendly and professional. If you are in the area you should drop in and say hi. They have rental guns available (you must bring a gun of your own) and I have tried many guns there first before I bought one.

One of the nice things about The Gun Range is that, if you are DROSing a gun with them, you can shoot the gun they are holding for you at any time on their range.

So I took all of my stuff with me and after doing the paperwork I took my new Marlin to the 25 yard line. What follows is my first impressions and some range results.

My initial reaction was very positive. The rifle looks very nice. The sights are straight and not canted, the wood has a nice grain, the bluing on the barrel is very dark and shiny. The bluing on the receiver is also nice but the metal was not as nicely polished. Not a show gun but a solid hunting and field finish. The action is a little stiff but positive. No flopping or binding in the handle. No gaps in the wood to metal fit. I am still on the fence about the checkering. As a rule I don't like it and I may sand it off and refinish the wood.

Gun Firearm Rifle Trigger Shotgun



When I first looked down the bore I thought that I saw some tooling marks. This rifle has Ballard rifling as opposed to Microgroove and a very fast twist of 1-16". I couldn't quite capture a photo of the bore with my camera, sorry.

I removed the lever and the bolt and cleaned the bore with #9 and oiled it. The bore looked a little better so maybe it was shipping grease. I took a photo of the bolt face. The face is recessed like my JM Marlin and the extractor looks like it is installed at the 9 o'clock position. I had heard that Remington had made some changes to the new bolts but they look the same to me. I didn't think of it but I should have taken my JM bolt with me for comparison.


Trigger Revolver



I lubed the parts with white lithium grease and reassembled them. This helped a lot with the stiffness.

To break in the barrel I fired 50 rounds of jacketed 38 spl reloads. I cleaned the bore every 10 shots. I then fired 50 38 spl reloads with LSWC boolits sized at .358" and lubed with BLL. All 100 rounds were loaded with 4.5 gr of HP-38. The rifle cycled both JSP and LSWC 38 spl's without a hitch. The trigger is heavy, I would guess 5-6 lbs. But absolutely no creep. It is solid and breaks at the same place every time. I will lighten it up though.

I then cleaned the bore again thoroughly with #9. All the small imperfections were gone and the bore looked smooth as glass. I slugged the bore and it came out to just under .356"

Tool Carabiner Clamp


I then went to the accuracy portion of my testing. All loads fired were my own reloads. As a starting point I took the loads with me that work in my Rossi '92 in 357. It is as good a place to start as any. I removed the hood on the front sight because I find indoor ranges to be dark and the sights more difficult to see than outdoors. What follows is my target with ten groups. The groups are numbered from the top left to top right 1 thru 3 then 4-6. Then target 8 then finally the bottom row 10-12. Following the target photo is a table with the load info for each target.

Red Orange Coquelicot Games Art



Load table by target, all groups 5 shots:

1: 38 Spl 158 gr LSWC PB .358" BLL 4.5 gr HP-38
2: 357 mag Lee 158 RF .358" BLL 7.1 gr A#5
3. 357 mag Lee 158 RF .358" BLL 12.5 gr 2400
4. 357 mag RCBS 162 gr LSWC GC .358" TAC-X 12.5 gr 2400
5: 357 mag Lee 125 gr RF .358" BLL 12.5 gr 2400
6: 357 mag 158 gr Zero JSP 13.1 gr A #9
8: 357 mag NOE 180 gr WFN GC .360" BLL 12.5 gr 2400
10. 357 mag Accurate 158 RF .360" BLL 4.0 gr Bullseye
11. 357 mag NOE 180 gr WFN PB .360" 8.5 gr A #7
12. 357 mag RCBS 162 gr LSWC GC .360" BLL

I did notice that on each group the first three shots were much tighter but shots 4 and 5 opened up the groups. Maybe the barrel was overheating or I need to relieve some pressure points. But there was no vertical stringing, just larger groups than I wanted.

I cleaned the bore again and it was glass smooth. No leading with either the .358" bullets or the .360" bullets.

Final thoughts:

A solid rifle. Great so far. I want to put some Skinner sights on it or maybe a low power scope. I had to raise the rear sight all the way. I'm sure that it needs a shorter front sight for my style of aiming. No complaints yet. It cycled every time and as the range session went on it got noticeably smoother. Still up in the air about the checkering. Maybe it will grow on me. I do like the added sling points, a great touch. And the rubber recoil pad made it stay firmly in place even when I started sweating.

So far I am very happy. It needs more breaking in but I think Marlin has a keeper here.

Please don't hesitate to ask me questions. And if you are around my area come and shoot it before you buy your own.


Steve in N CA





 

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Steve, thanks so much for your sharing your impressions. I put one of these on layaway at KyGunCo. I am late to the lever gun game and after looking unsuccessfully for over a year for a JM model, I decided to take a risk. Your writeup gives me hope that I'll also get a keeper. Thanks again!
 

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Well done! :congrats::congrats: And Congratulations! I'm curious if they had the forethought to fix the one thing almost every .357 '94 suffers from. That's the snail of the lever wearing a groove in the carrier and mucking up the timing. :dontknow:

I think it's a very nice looking rifle, but also not fond of the checkering I've seen. I handled an 1894 44 magnum last week, and the checkering is better than that half-arsed pressed checkering we've been seeing. But then again, I just not a big fan of it on my lever guns period. It would not stop me from buying a rifle if I liked it otherwise though.

Again, well done report from a gun range enviroment. That "use while you wait" benifit would be nice, if you have to wait that is. Thanks for sharing it with us!
 

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Great report! Thanks for taking the time to put it together and share it with us. I too would like to see Remington get their act together and again start putting out quality products. From your report, and other's recent reports, it sounds like they may be turning the corner; it's been a long wait.

Congratulations on your new rifle, it's a looker and a shooter. Thanks again for the report.
 

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I will have to compare the pic of your Remlin 1894C bolt with my JM 1894C bolt. I know that Ranger Point Precision found some differences in the 44 Mag 1894 Remlin/JM bolts a couple years back.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Steve, thanks so much for your sharing your impressions. I put one of these on layaway at KyGunCo. I am late to the lever gun game and after looking unsuccessfully for over a year for a JM model, I decided to take a risk. Your writeup gives me hope that I'll also get a keeper. Thanks again!

Good for you and welcome to leverguns. They are my favorite.

Don't expect too much accuracy from any new rifle until you break in the barrel. Fire at least 50 rounds, preferably 100, before you start judging it.

I am sure that you will like your new rifle. Please keep us posted.


Steve in N CA
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Glad you're pleased so far and good report. I have a JM but I might consider one of these if there are no quality issues.

You are right. I also have several JM rifles myself. But I am building a collection for my grandkids. I thought that I would take a chance on a new Remington built Marlin.

So far so good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I will have to compare the pic of your Remlin 1894C bolt with my JM 1894C bolt. I know that Ranger Point Precision found some differences in the 44 Mag 1894 Remlin/JM bolts a couple years back.
Okay, that explains it.

I remember reading something about the bolts but I couldn't remember where. Thank you.

That is why I took a photo of the bolt face.

When I get it home I will remove the bolt and compare it to one of my JM's.


Steve in N CA
 

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Congratulations on your purchase and thanks for the review.
KY Gun Co is about 30 min from me & I shop there often. Nice folks.
GH1😀
Howdy neighbor! Hardin County here! I went there last Friday to see if they had any of the 357's on the floor to fondle. (no luck) They must be selling everyone they get. I did find some 22 LR ammo for 3-1/2 cents a round, bought 1,100 rounds, and going back for more soon.
 
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Thanks for the report. Like many others, I've been waiting to see if the 1894C would really appear and, more importantly, what would its quality and performance be like. Your report is very encouraging. Thanks again for taking the time to present your first impression.
 
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