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Just picked up a Marlin model 1894 carbine 357mag 18" microgroove barrel made in 1982 and would like to hear your most accurate 38 special or +P loads with a cast 158gr SWC. Mine are from the RCBS and drop 156gr from air cooled wheel weight sized to .358, lubed with 50/50 white label. I'm well aware every gun is unique and that bullet size, lube, alloy, velocity, etc are all significant variables to consider with each gun. I haven't slugged the barrel because I'd prefer to just cast one bullet for my handguns and this rifle; .358 shoot best in the revolvers I own. So far there has been no leading with the loads I've tried from 800fps up to 1100fps. I'm interested to see if there is a particular powder or load or velocity or bullet size that tends to be more accurate in a gun of this configuration, so the more responses the better. FYI my best load so far has been 4gr Titegroup, Winchester brass, CCI primers at 1090fps producing consistent sub 1.5inch five shot groups at 50yds scoped. This is my first Marlin and from what I've read anything under 2inches at 50 yards is considered a decent cast boolit load. Let me hear from you.
 

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Ain't been on here for a while, but I have burned a lot of 231 in 38's at 4.5gr at a time. Shoot them in anything 38 Spec. Might be something better but I haven't looked for it. Use at your discretion. My 686 likes them so I shoot them in eveyrthing else. I don't remember if I shot any in the 1894css as I have shot mostly 357 jacketed in it. Bout skeerd to leave the house with it because of the stupid prices they bring now. Will sanity ever return to the Marlin market? I use the ratty 35 Rem for a hunting gun now. It looks rough but shoots cast boolits very well. Lil'Gun in the 17-18gr range seems to work in 357 mag with 158 jhp's. I have a jug of 300 MP but have not shot any from the 1894css..
 

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My favorite lead bullet load is 5.0 grains of Bullseye, standard small pistol primer, .357 Magnum cases and my own cast Lyman 358477 plain based semi-wad cutter @ 154 grains. I shoot them in my first year production 1894C I bought new in 1979. I size mine to .3593 for both my 1894C and S&W 19-4 with four inch barrel. The handgun velocity with 5.0 grains of Bullseye is 1018 and the 1894C launches them @ 1217. The accuracy is outstanding in both and no sight adjustment is required when sighted in for my high performance load. The same charge of RED DOT powder shoots equally well in both also @ 1028 fps from the 19-4 and 1225 fps from the 1894C. I'm using Bullseye simply because I have more of it on hand. Recoil in the 19-4 is very mild and almost nil from the 1894C. A very economical load to shoot also as a pound of BE or RD will make 1400 rounds using either powder. It is more economical for me to shoot the above cast loads as opposed to .22LR at the cost of them today (plus the non availability factor).

358 Win
 

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My Personal Favorite Lead Load is a Lee 158gr RNFP (As Cast/.359) over 6gr HS-6 w/ Mag Primers.
Same Load Should Work Well with your Boolit. Very Accurate in my 1984 1894C.
For Hunting I Use 158gr XTP-FP w/ 16.7gr Lil' Gun & Mag Primers.
UncleSarge58
 

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I use 3.0 gr of Bullseye in my .38 loads. Very mild & accurate.
GH1:)
 

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My 1894c doesn't feed 38 Special-length loads so I use magnum brass for everything. I've used a lot of bullets and powders over the years (mostly Unique, 4.5 to 6 grains with lead boolits) but the best load I've ever found is 16.2 grains of Lil Gun over whatever 158-grain bullet you and your rifle prefer. Mine loves the Remington 158-JHP (or JSP) with the scalloped jacket. That load runs at 1750 fps from an 18.5" barrel and shoots like crazy, but it's a little hot for lead bullets unless they wear gas checks. Depending on what powders you can find, anything close to the burning rate of AA-5 or Unique should serve you well, five or six grains at a time. Faster is NOT always better.
 
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