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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys. Tryin to get a lil input on my next rendition of the "perfect gun".
A brief history: Already beentheredonethat with competitive BR, long range antics, big boomers and "modern sporting rifles". I load and cast. Have somewhat matured to the point that a good woods gun is all I want. Currently I'm lugging a lil AAC Handi in BLK loaded to subsonic with 32ACP XTP's anna can along with a 44 revolver. About 8-9#'s worth of firearms. The BLK has proven itself to be plenty capable of killing anything I want kilt in my area even at this load level. But pig infestation makes it wise to carry a repeater of some sort. Those sows can get jiggy when ya trip over a nest.
..So I'm tryin to figger out which lever gun will fit the bill and get me to just carrying the one. Based on experience with my current loadout I'm very confident that either 45C, 44M or 357 would do nicely loaded down to ~1k fps with cast boolits and I'm already outfitted to reload those. I wanna keep it light and short as possible. Ditch the can. Earplugs are lighter. Shots are rarely over 80 yards with ~30-40 yards being the norm in reality.
..I'm stickin to Marlins cause my old eyes need some kindof optic help and a tiny reflex does nicely. I also like to be able to clean from the breech. But at my current shooting volume it's not a deal breaker. Not interested in any bottleneck cartridges.

Questions:
(1)Are the 1894's the best bet for what I'm lookin for? Any other options that meet the requirements?

(2)Are the Remlins that bad? Although from what I've been seeing they're still mighty proud of those on the used market.

(3)I have a 2001 1895CB that's nice. I've thought about cuttin it down to a trapper length in lieu of any other options. But that seems a skosh sacrilegious and it'd pain me to pook out a 405 or 300-somethin grain boolit when I know a MUCH lighter pill will do the job. And it'd still be a big honkin' 45-70.
Thought about mebbe just tradin it, too. Since my elk hunt got "indefinitely postponed".

A lot of my searches brought me here. Figgered I may as well join and check it out..
Thanks for any useful input!! :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Heck, I wouldn't even worry about any leftover money for the right piece. But I could get by with a functional beater. Not that I'm tough on my guns. They def get well used for their intended purpose, tho'. I got the CB a few years ago right before things went all batty if any of the prices I'm seeing online are even remotely realistic.o_O
I just dunno what I'd do with it now that plans have changed.
May still hasta get somethin more suitable to cast for a 44 or 45 if the groove ID is "generous".
That said, I've got plenty of jacketed for either around while I waited on one of the mould outfits ta get somethin out.
Bullets seem to be plentiful now that there's not a lotta powder n primer around ta launch'em. :cool:
 
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The 45colt is also a good caliber for 2 legged or 4 legged critters. Not as flat as a .44 mag but darn the difference within 50—75 yds. Post your 1895 as a trade and maybe you’ll get a bite. You don’t say where you’re located but a pcc AR in 45acp is light [except the Olympic Arms guns] and very handy, easy to put a red dot on, 10plus rds, etc. And welcome from NC.
 

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44 Mag, 357 Mag or 45 Colt are all good to 100 yards. A Camp 9 or 45 are fast and fun but limit shots to 50 yards and avoid shoulder shots.
 

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Welcome to Marlin Owners from NE Indiana.
I like my 1894 in 44 Mag. It is a 2006 with Ballard Rifling. The groove diameter is .4325. My deer load is a Hornaday 240 grain XTP over a near max charge of I 4227. Not something that meets your desire for subsonic though.
It does handle 240 grain Keith SWCs though. I have an older Redfield 1.5x5 TV Screen variable on it and it performs great. I do not think a dot would hurt performance much if any. I have thought of loosing the front band and replacing it with a stud.
Overall I am happy with my rifle. If I was aware of the big bore I would have gone with the .45 Colt instead. I do not cast and finding the correct diameter bullets can be a challenge. I don't how weight compares to the .357 so someone will have to chime in on that.
Another choice would be the 1894 CL in 32-20. That would be a lighter rifle for you and I am sure it could match the ballistics of the BLK with your load. Couple it with little recoil and you would have a fast gun for follow ups. Not the knockdown of a 44 Mag but you would have quicker follow ups.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks much for the replies, fellas..

Baltimoreed- I'm in Rockwell, NC.. Howdy neighbor! :)
I don't think any of the AR platforms would do well with cast from what I've read.
And I'd really like to be able to run my own cast.

Darkcloud- I have confidence in any of those. I checked out a Camp 9 a coupla days ago at Poppie's in Salisbury. Whot a boat anchor for such a little cartridge!! :oops:

Steve_in- Whatchya waitin for? Wade on into the voodoo of casting. Why let me suffer alone? :D
I run the 240 Keith type in my lil Mod 69 S&W farty-far ~950fps over some 231. Ain't seen nothin in my woods that wants any more of that lil popper.
One great thing somebody told me on castboolits board that I've found to be true. Anything over 1100fps or so with big bore and yer just makin a deeper divot in the ground behind yer target.
My lil pearl of wisdom is that cast boolits are like safes. Choose the size ya think ya need, then go 2 sizes bigger.

Are 1894's the lightest Marlins? Do they clean from the breech?
I know my CB isn't a heavy rifle. Very handy for what it is. It's just loooooong..
A "cheap" beater would actually do nicely. I'd have it cut to a minimum length. Trapperized..
I may hasta post the CB in the classies. Got a pile of powder and primers, too. I'll get it done somehow.. :cool:
 
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I'm on my 4th 1894 44 mag and the two I have now will be with me till death do we part. I have a pre safety 1894 and a JM 1894 Cowboy Limited. They're good to around 150 yards on deer with a little holdover.
Now this will make you wish for the past times. My first one cost me all of $109.95 plus 3% sales tax in 1980!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Now this will make you wish for the past times. My first one cost me all of $109.95 plus 3% sales tax in 1980!
Oh yeah. My first new 35Rem Marlin, from which I still carry the "scope eye", cost around $250 back in 1982 from Carl's Country Gun Shop, IIRC. I remember seeing them sit forever in pawn shop gun racks @ $125.. sigh

The last 44 levergun I had was not too long ago but it was a Henry. It just seemed to be too much ofa boat anchor for that lil revolver cartridge. Sold it for what I had innit. :cool:
 

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If it weren't for the need of optics I'd suggest you look at a recent Rossi M92. I've owned about a half dozen of them through the years and the quality has gotten better through the years. My current one is a Braztech and it's definitely a keeper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If it weren't for the need of optics I'd suggest you look at a recent Rossi M92.
I hefted one of those at the LGS. Felt nice n handy.
But yeah, the lack of an optic option kills it for me.
My old eyes can't use open sights anymore.
Gotta use a reflex. But 'least they're so tiny now they don't jack the handiness like a scope does. :cool:
 
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Hard to beat a trapper length 1894 for woods use. Marlin could have done better with the .44 bore size, but as you cast you should be able to match bullet size to bore.

It would not be good to have a .4325" bore like the guy above, those Hornady bullets he shoots are .002" undersize, and bullets by Speer, Sierra, etc. would be even worse as they are only .429."
My "trapper", an 1894P, has a bore that's .4305" so I stick with Hornady or Magtech bullets (.430").
Cast all I've been able to get so far are .430" but they are gas check so shoot decently. Future purchases will be .431" or .432".

Friend of mine has a Henry .45 Colt, and while I know it's probably only 1 1/2 lbs. heavier than my shorty 1894, it feels like twice as heavy. Action on the Henry is way bigger, almost as big as an 1895 action.

I also have the S&W 69 like the OP, great sixgun.

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
..Love that Trapper(sans ports)! But currently they seem to be hen's teeth. May hafta make something into a Trapper-ish rig unless I can catch someone with one that has a want for the JM 1895CB.

..Sometimes bore and groove diameters get cornfusing. The upthread reference is prolly to the groove ID. Which is what casters are mainly concerned with. The actual bore of the rifle is smaller. Jacketed bullets ride the bore ID and ya don't hafta worry about gas cutting. With cast it's best to fill the whole groove diameter plus .001" or so in general. This greatly helps to avoid gas cutting of cast lead boolits. That's why it's always best to slug the barrel if ya have aspirations to cast. There's a whole lot more voodoo to it, but that's the jist best as this slacker can remember.

..I've toted that 69 on many bloody adventures and have thoroughly enjoyed carrying/using it since ditching factory strength loads. But it's 3# as it sits in my Guide's Choice chest rig. If I can get down to just the short rifle, mebbe with the 22/45 Lite, I'll be better off.

Hard to beat a trapper length 1894 for woods use.
It would not be good to have a .4325" bore like the guy above, those Hornady bullets he shoots are .002" undersize, and bullets by Speer, Sierra, etc. would be even worse as they are only .429." I also have the S&W 69 like the OP, great sixgun.


 

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Built my own Trapper from my wifes unused .45colt carbine. Just cut the barrel and mag, it would have been easier if I had left the nosecap forend on it Instead of the barrel band. Added a saddle ring to eliminate the safety. Very handy.
Air gun Watch Trigger Wood Shotgun
 

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Yes, HawgBonz, I understand which barrel measurement is the important one.
Sometimes I use the word bore when I should say barrel, but I figure most know what I'm trying to say.
A .44 mag with a "bore" diameter of .4325" would have a groove diameter around .434", not very likely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sandog- Apologies, bubba-la-hoosky. Ya know how it is "out here" I'm sure.. :D
And sometimes I just like to praddle on about somethin ta see if I'm geezin.
I'll consider myself "eyerolled" at.. :poop::LOL:

Baltimoreed- Noice!!

Mebbe one-of-these-days I'll get muh 25 meaningful posts and I can put the CB up on the block here. Still curious about how bad the Remlins actually are in reality. But it seems they're mighty proud of those as well. Not a whole lotta dif in them and a JM from what I've seen posted about.
Meanwhile, got cash and the hunt is on!! :cool:
 
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