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OK, I admit my ignorance - the Marlin 1894 in 44 mag with the octagon barrel has a rate of twist that is 1 in 38. In 45 Colt that rate of twist is i in 16.

Why is that? Which will offer better accuracy at 100+ yards? Anyone have informed opinions on which is better? I am in the process of buying a new one in 44 mag with the 24" octagon barrel, but will switch to 45 if necessary.

MadDog
 

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MadDog I have more than one 1894 in 44mag. I also have a 24" Cowboy in 44mag. that shoots into 1" at 100yds. I all ready had everything for 44mag when I bought my rifles. If I didn't have all that stuff I would have got a 45 Clot. If you handload it's the way to go. Two of my sons have 24" Cowboys in 45 Colt and they shoot just abought the same as my gun but they have a better choice of bullets. I would go for the faster twist and the larger bore of the 45 Colt. I am a 44 fan but I would get the Colt. Reading gun mags. you will get the same vote. >Tombstone
 
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The .44Mag is a much harder hitting, higher energy round than the .45Colt.

For hunting, or for "reach-out-and-touch-'em" issues, I'd think it would be much superior to the .45Colt for ANY application, unless you're using your 1894 for CAS.

Always wondered why fellas liked that .45Colt.

Comfort? Nostalgia?
 

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Hay I am a 44MAG fan. But if you are a handloader you can stomp all over a 44mag. with a 45 Colt. Thats just the way it is. All you have to do is read some loading books. You can load the Colt to be anything you want , pop gun to power house. Check it out. >Tombstone
 

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Hay I am a 44MAG fan. But if you are a handloader you can stomp all over a 44mag. with a 45 Colt. Thats just the way it is. All you have to do is read some loading books. You can load the Colt to be anything you want , pop gun to power house. Check it out. >Tombstone
 

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Well, here's my $.02
I have a Marlin 1894S in 44mag and was wondering about this twist rate as everyone does. I've handloaded both the 44mag and the 45Colt. I had a gunsmith put on a Douglas barrel with a 1-16 twist.
Was it any more accurate: no
Was it more accurate with slower velocity CAS loads: maybe

When you do the Greenhill formula for 44mag with a 240gr bullet and 1500fps, you come up with a twist rate of 1-39. You only want as much twist as needed, so this is ok. I don't think riflemakers would have thought anyone would want to shoot a heavier bullet like the 300gr'er when they decide on the twist rate. The 45colt factory load is much slower then the 44mag so I think it would benefit from a faster twist. The faster twist is better for the heavier bullets too, as the velocity slows down.

Can you load the 45 to stomp on the 44: It's your life. You can do what you want.
Which cartridge cases will last longer: 44mag. Even though case thickness is the same for both rounds, I think the 45 chambers are all a little oversize. Remember, the standard groove diameter for 45 used to be .454 and I think the brass tends to expand too much on the higher pressure loads.

So, if you're shooting CAS exclusively, maybe the 45colt would be your choice. If you want a good hard hitting 100yd hunting round, maybe the 44mag. If you want a 45 that will stomp all over the 44, get a 45-70.

I eventually took off the Douglas 1-16 twist barrel on my 1894S and put on a Marlin Heavy Barrel 22in. 44mag factory barrel (1973) with the 1-38 twist, half magazine and no barrel band. this is the most accurate barrel so far. It shoots both High Velocity and Low Velocity really well- I think the lack of barrel band has more to do with it being accurate then the rate of twist does.

10 years ago we would not be having this discussion. There would have been no debate about which is the better cartridge. But for some reason all are singing the high praises of the 45colt in a rifle. Both are good.
And now everyone is saying how much better the 41mag is over the 44mag! And the 45colt is better then the 44mag, right. SO, which is better now, the 41mag or the 45colt. It's like the 270 winchester, everyone likes to berate it, but it still can do it all.

Again, just my inflated $.02 worth!!!
 

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FWiedner said:
The .44Mag is a much harder hitting, higher energy round than the .45Colt.

For hunting, or for "reach-out-and-touch-'em" issues, I'd think it would be much superior to the .45Colt for ANY application, unless you're using your 1894 for CAS.

Always wondered why fellas liked that .45Colt.

Comfort? Nostalgia?
Because the 45 colt can push a 360 grain bullet 1305 feet per second under 34,000 psi's and a 44 can't.

People chose the 45 Colt because of its performance and it 131 years of character and experience.

David
 

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MadDog Just wanted to give you a little insight on the 44 mag and 45 Colt. I don't care which you buy. I have had many of each and had loaded alot for both. As far as the twist goes Marlin is the only manufacturer still using the 1 in 38 inches. The 444 Marlin had that twist but is now 1 in 20 inches. It's always better to have a little more twist than you need. Ask David Tubs or any rifle target shooter.

Can you load the 45 to stomp on the 44? You bet. And at way less pressure than the 44 mag! Case life has always been the same on both. If you load them hot they don't last as long. I have found the 45 Colt brass lasts longer. It operates on less pressure even when loaded heavy.

As far as the barrel band or forend cap. I have also found with out a barrel band most lever guns shoot better.

Yep 10 years ago they didn't make 45 Colt rifles, too bad. Now they do and you get a chance to choose. Both are good. Get what you like. If you want a 100 yard hard hitting round get a 44 mag.If you want a harder hitting 100 yard round, HAND LOAD a 45 Colt and it wont be as hard on your rifle. You can also load them both down for just fun shooting.

If you spend the money to have a gunsmith put on an expensive Douglas barrel it should be more accurate. I am a target shooter and shoot all tyes of rifles. From target AR service rifles to BPCR in 45-70 with black powder. Never saw a 270 target rifle. Are they any better than a 30-06 at a thousand yards? The 270 and 30-06 are both good.

I still like my 44 magnum guns. And I also like 45 Colts.

MadDog Buy what you want. Have fun. Be safe.
Good Luck >>Tombstone
 

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Tombstone. I can agree, get what ya want. Be Happy. The reason I took off the Douglas barrel was it didn't have the Marlin feed ramp built into it. If you look at a factory 44 or 45 barrel, part of the barrel on the top comes over the bolt, and helps hold the bolt as well as acting as feed ramp guiding the nose of the cartridge coming up on the carrier into the barrel. Smith didn't cut this into the barrel as factory ones are. Fed just OK. Would not feed SWCs. Was not happy. Smith was....Bain&Davis! Picked up a 22in heavy Factory barrel from gun-parts made in 1973. Brand New, covered in cosmos. Feeds SWCs. It's now a shooter. Have fun and be safe.
 

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D Harry I have never seen a 22" 44mag. heavy barrel by Marlin. It sounds cool. All the ones I have had were light round barrels except the 24" oct. Cowboy. I assume (Ha ) it is a microgrove ? I shoot a lot of cast bullets. I enjoy the fun of making,sizing and lubing my own bullets. What do you shoot in your 44 cast or jacked ? Well I will have to be on the look out for one of those heavy barrels. >thanks for the info >Tombstone
 

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Thanks MadDog but I know . The only Marlins left with microgrove rifling are the 30-30 and the 35rem. The 30-30 Cowboy had Ballard rifling but they don't make it any more. To bad it's a nice rifle. I have one and like all the Ballard barreled guns it shoots cast bullets very well. They also shoot jacked just as well. O ya I think the 41mag is still microgrove. I think they should just make all the centerfire guns Ballard rifled.
Thanks >>Tombstone
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Tombstone,
I am not surprised that Microgroove rifling is being phased out, if it is. I would love to find a Marlin Cowboy in 30-30, which is probably my favorite rifle/carbine cartridge for overall utility.

Regarding the faster rate of twist found in the .45 Colt Marlin rifles, being intended for a slower moving cartridge, what would be the net effects of hotter loads (magnum pressures) on the barrel and accuracy?

In closing, I goota ask: You ever been to Tombstone, the town?

Regards,

MadDog
 

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The 22in. heavy barrel 44mag was made in 1973 and was availble in the 1894 44mag. Only 1498 guns with this barrel were made. No ramp front sight, just a dove tail. I happened to see one on e-gun-parts and bought it for $60. Had a gunsmith mount it for $40. My 1894s frame is from 1993 with the crossbolt safety. Hardest part was fitting the wood forearm. Had to buy an end cap and dove tail mount for a 444mag tube from Marlin and then I cut my mag tube down on a lathe to fit. 2/3 mag tube. The barrel is the same weight as the 22in. 444 but says on it "44mag microgroove" and the usually Marlin address without the safety warning stuff. 12 lands and grooves and a perfect .429 groove size. Mostly I'm shooting lead RNFP with 10gr Unique, but I also have the Lyman 245gr SWC keith mold and it shoots this the best. The heavy barrel makes it a mild shooter. I also took off the rubber recoil pad that came with the 1894s and fitted on a standard Marlin hard rubber black plate to the stock. I never did like the red rubber recoil pad because it seemed to hang up on my clothes as I would shoulder the rifle. 44-41-45......those big pieces of lead can hit hard. As long as it's over 40 caliber. Boom.........Whop!
 

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Tombstone, these guys will get you going. Do it the easy way, buy one of each. I have a 41mag, 44mag, and my 45short rifle will be here soon. They are all fun, they are easy to reload so you can take them where you want to. Life is too short to worry and if you get both whichever turns out to be your favorite the other will be a great backup.
 

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No MadDog I have never been to Tombstone. I wish id did. I have a shirt from there that my son got for me when he was there. Tombstone is part of my SASS name. When you join you have to give them three names and they pick one for you to use aka. I am the Tombstone Buzzard. Like I said befour I do all kinds of shooting. Its all for fun.

MadDog in 30-30 I never had really good luck with cast bullets with microgroove but my Cowboy shoots very well. I have allways liked 30cal. cast bullets and the 30-30 case is just right. I had C-Sharps build me a rifle in 30-30, Badger barrel 30", 1 in 10" twist and I love it. 1" all the time at 100yds. with tang sights.
As far as twist goes I have only had a problem if it wasn't fast enought. I remember shooting 520gr. cast bullets in my 458win. with light loads and the bullets went through the target sideways !! Boy did that look cool . Not very good groups eather.

D Harry that 44 sounds like something I would like. If you ever run across one and don't want it let me know.

Sure-Shot Thanks but I think these guys are OK

A Cowboy with a AR and a 458??? >>Tombstone
 

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8) Great thread here. I noticed a post listing the fact that the .45 Colt has
been with us for 93 years. Let's give credit where credit is due. This great
round has been with us since 1873. That adds up to 131 years we've had
this round, although the brass we have today is the reason we're able to
do things - safely - with the .45 Colt that they couldn't dream about back
in the old days.

1873 was a great year for new cartridges. The modern cowboy shooters
got their .44-40 that year, we got the venerable .45-70 that year, and of
course, the classic .45 Colt. Not a bad year, eh? :D - DixieBoy
 

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yep Dixie boy, thanks for corecting me. I do not know what I was thinking about. I kew it was 1873. Not sure why I said 93 years, must have been a long day that day. I must have had the 1911 on my mind.

My 2 favorite cartridges were developed in 1873 -- the 45-70 govt. and the 45 Colt.

David
 

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:wink: David - Me too, followed very closely by the .45 acp. round.
Funny how the oldies remain goodies, after all these years. - DixieBoy
 
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