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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was shooting up some OLD handloads in my 1894C a couple of weeks ago, and from a box of questionable ammo, I fired one too many. The blast was horrendous, recoil was twice normal, and I knew right away something had gone terribly wrong. The lever refused to open, so I took it home and managed to get the case out of the chamber, by pushing it out from the muzzle end with a rod. I cleaned it carefully, and the barrel was fine, so it wasn't a bullet lodged in the barrel, it was just a massive overload. But when I took it out today, extraction was stiff and iffy, several shells refused to move more than a quarter-inch out of the chamber before they jammed. I shot enough rounds to see that they were expanded way beyond normal, so now I know the chamber is bulged, and ruined.

I know I can have it rebarrelled, but are there any other options that come to mind? One is to rechamber it for something else like a .256 Winchester, which would be cool. (A .357 case necked to .257 caliber.) I thought briefly about a .357 Bain & Davis, a 44 Mag necked to 357, but I doubt the chamber is designed for that kind of pressure. But then again, it might be, but I'd have to modify the bolt face to fit the larger rim.

Any thoughts? I'm just sick about this, the gun is two years old but wasn't even broken in yet, hadn't been shot much. One guy said to just dump it and get what I can out of it, but that doesn't feel right, I don't operate that way. I'd like to salvage the gun, but I can't spend much on it right now, I've been laid off for two weeks and I'm watching every penny. Help!

Papajohn
 

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I guess if I were in the same situation, I'd probably take the opportunity to fix things and shorten my 1894C at the same time by seeing if I couldn't scare up (like from GPC) a .357 barrel and cut 'er down to 16-1/4" for a "trapper." I don't know if you could have a smith lop off the bulged chamber and fix it that way, because - IIRC - doing the threading and the cuts on the breech end of a Marlin are a bit involved, and maybe you'd end up a tad thin in spots.
 

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How about a 357 Maximum? Could still shoot the 357's that way.
 

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papajohn said:
I shot enough rounds to see that they were expanded way beyond normal, so now I know the chamber is bulged, and ruined.
Papajohn
Unfortunately, this will preclude chambering for anything with the same case body diameter......

I wouldn't give up yet - give the fellers here a few minutes to chew on it and I bet they have a doable solution shortly.............

Shum8
 

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I assumed you would be relining the chamber. If not then the 41 or 44 come to mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I thought about the 357 Max, but getting a Marlin to feed something that long would take a magician, in an 1894. And while I still like the 256 idea, it would cost lots more than a new barrel. The Bain & Davis round is the only solution that I can see working, to clean up the damaged chamber walls. I could easily load it down to safer levels, but the idea of putting my face next to thinned-out metal isn't real appealing.

Papajohn
 

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The .357 Max is NOT an option for a rebarrel as the cartridge is too long without massive changes in the action. The ONE fellow I know of who has done this is absolutely against the conversion.

In your situation I think it best that you send it to Marlin for a rebarrel. They can also check the action to ensure that you've no other issues. You could also send to somebody like Nonneman or McPherson to do up exactly as you'd like.
 

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1894C

I agree with Hobie 100%. It would probably be the cheapest route to go, too.
 

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1894C

Ooops!
 

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I think Hobie's right. It might also be the cheapest.
 

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Papajohn

Hobie is right about having it checked out, the 357x44 B&D is an easy conversion. On a 357 gun you have to rechamber to the B&D and either open up the bolt face or go with a 44/45 bolt(last time I looked they were the same bolt), you might also have to tweek the feeding a little. On a 44/45 gun they require a 357 barrel and cutting the B&D chamber and that should be all. Since I got my 94 Marlin 44 Mag changed to 357 B&D I have helped do 2 others and they were a breeze, now the next one we try we might have to crawl inside it with both feet to get it to work. It'll sling 125 gr hp's out at about 2249 fps. I can't wait to try them on some Yotes back home. 170's and 180's run out about 1500 to 1700 fps. I saw an article several years ago where one gun scribe had some pressure data on the B&D worked up and it was on par with the 357 Mag and 44 Mag, a little less on some loadings if I remember right.
Bottom line is make sure everything is OK before changing anything.

Steve E.........
 

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Papajohn,
my 357x44 B&D isnt a marlin but a take down win 94 with a matching caliber Ruger NMBH I've never regretted the conversion.
from a 6.1/2 " Ruger, Hornady FPXTP 158 gr 1750fps
from a 4.5/8 bbl 1660 fps
Win 20" the same load 2225 fps and shoots FLAT out to 190 yds.
The velocity range for the FP-XTP is in excess of 2300fps per the tag that Hornady included in the box also the Nosler sp bullets work great (have to put crimp groove in bulllet)

If you go for the B&D I dont think you will regret it.
My loads are at max pressure but show no signs of excessive primer flattening, extraction is ok, no sticking below 95 deg F ambient temp In reference to Steve E I believe the articles were written by Paco Kelly of http://www.leverguns.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I like the idea of a 357/44 B&D, but then I have to have the bolt/face modified. I think I'd be more inclined to try a .256 Winchester if I was going to try something exotic, but I'll probably just have Marlin rebarrel it in .357, to keep it simple. I just wish I knew where that hairbrained reload came from, it had to be REALLY old. I check all my powder charges and have for at least ten years. Now I remember why I think it's such a good idea, one fifteen cent bullet ruined a new rifle! :evil:


PJ
 

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The .357 B&D comes close to the .357 Max and is the way to go if that level of performance is your goal. I think I'd like to do one but already have a .357 Max. Contender.
 

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I would get it rebarreled. Marlin will "Cowboy" it for about $275 last time I talked to them.
 

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Not really all that familiar with this, so I may be way out of my league here, but wouldn't a bulged chamber necesarely mean a bulge on the outside of the threaded portion.? And if so, wouldn't that spell a need for a new receiver? If it bulged, the metal must have gone somewhere, didn't it? Distorted threads and so on? :(

I surely hope your problem can be fixed with a new barrell, but would somebody explain it to me. :?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
There is no outward sign of a problem, I wasn't sure it was damaged until I shot it a week later, and the fired brass didn't want to extract. Three cases out of thirty split down the side, the rest are deformed above the web. I guess if you miked it from stem to stern you might find some differences, but nothing that's obvious to the naked eye. Of course, my vision sucks up close anyway... :roll:

PJ
 

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DON'T mess around with the damaged parts, a careful inspection,using micrometers and knowledgable visual inspection is in order.eg; the bolt, reciever and barrel and possibly even the locking bolt should be carefully inspected.I would say a trip to marlin for a rebarreling with an explanation of what happened is in order ,they will tell you for certain what needs to be done to return the rifle to a safe condition so that it's safe to shoot. They may be the only reliable source for this testing and inspection.They may even do this at a real good price.Shootrj2003
 

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I would worry that not only did the barrel metal get smashed, but how can you be sure the RECEIVER didn't also get damaged? The bulge on the inside of the barrel (at the chamber) means metal was displaced outwards, and some of that probably translated into deformation of the threads to fill the small spaces between receiver threads and barrel threads, but I wouldn't be surprised if the receiver is slightly opened up as well.

Might not be so much as to not be tight against threads of a new barrel, and I don't know to what degree the receiver needs to 'support' the barrel, rather than just keep the locking lug and face of the barrel snugly the proper distance, but I wouldn't use that receiver for any 'hot' re-barreling project! At least the .357 Magnum is likely not pushing any limits (except with THOSE reloads :oops: ) for that receiver, as there is fairly generous metal around the chamber, compared to say, a .44 Magnum.
 
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