Reloading for the new Marlin 1894 .44--or .357 .41 mag. in Winchesters etc.

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Cholo

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I was just a little bummed when I saw that Marlin recommends a max. OAL of 1.610 for their new 1894 in 44 mag. My SWC loads measure 1.690 I havn't seen much about handloading for the new Marlin, just the older ones. The Marlin Forum said SWC's are iffy at best and you'd probably have to have it worked on :( I really didn't want to shoot jacketed bullets.

Anyway, it's still unfired by me so I cleaned it yesterday and the bore was filthy with black soot. I wonder what ammo Marlin uses and how many rounds they fire before shipping it off?

Even at 1.690 the entire SWC nose of the bullet fits down the bore of the barrel all the way to the driving band so it's impossible for it to touch the lands in the chamber end. Now for the test to see if it would chamber 1.590 44 Special SWC's. I held my breath and it went in like the gun was built for them! I really want to use 44 mag. brass so here we go. Chambered glass smooth 2x 😲 Have I said I'm loving this rifle? :)

Anyone here load for any 1894 44 Magnum? I don't hunt anymore so all my 44 mag. loads are lubed 240-263 gr. SWC's with either 9 or 10 grs. of Unique. I used 8 grs. for years but they were just a little too weak and I have one SBH that shot them a little high even with the rear sight bottomed out.

Here are my questions:

1) Is there any reason why I shouldn't use these SWC's at that velocity? The last thing I want is leading. They don't lead my handguns.

2) Should I spring for powder coated SWC's just in case?

3) Should I run 1-200 jacketed bullets thru it before I start shooting the lead SWC's?

Thanks...
 

contender

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I don't have one of the new Marlins,, but I do have an older JM in .44 mag.

Just to assist in smoothing out any POTENTIAL rough bore spots,, I'd shoot some jacketed bullets first.

I've pretty much quit using any cast bullets that aren't powder coated. I still have several types of lubed ones,, but when they are gone,, they are gone. Powder coated all the way.

You didn't list a velocity. BUT,,, after the break-in period of using some jacketed bullets,, I'd shoot a "sample" of about 20 or so and check for leading after every 5th round. Only then will you know if you'll have a problem with lubed SWC's.
 

Cholo

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Thanks, contender! (y) It seems flat based SWC's are getting harder and harder to find. Even fewer on my list powder coat even the bevel bases SWC's. BB "For ease of reloading" my *** LOL

Velocity with 9-10 grs. of Unique run about 1,000-1,050 or so out of a 7 1/2" revolver. Some manuals have higher velocities. I should probably take my old chronograph to the range this winter. I'm assuming somewhat higher velocities out of a 20" barrel.

I thought I was going have to horse trade for some new Starline brass, but it's in stock and already paid for. Lots of popular brass is showing in stock and ready to ship.

Listen up: Things are going to get scarce in 2024, so if you need new pistol brass, now is the time to buy.

 

Seabeeken

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Recently bought a new Henry 357 Mag. It had the worst bore Ive ever seen on a new factory rifle. It went back to the factory for a new one and came back with an awesome bore. Looked like someone shot a handful of nails thru it.. Its a tack driver now.
 

jgt

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Most leading comes from cast bullets with too small of a diameter. Bevel based bullets always leaded my guns so I use flat based or gas checked. Slug your bore and size your cast bullets one thousands larger and you should be fine.
SWC shaped bullet are not the culprit. It's the Keith type with the driving band that seems to not function in the Marlin I have. The SWC bullets designed by LBT, JDJ, or any one of the other SWC bullets without the Keith type driving band should function ok.
I like to use slow burning powder in the rifle to take advantage of the longer barrel to burn the powder. I have been using H4227 but 680 or 1680 could probably be used to get good velocity without a lot of pressure and recoil. The lyman book give a max load of 24 gr of 4227 with a 240 grain bullet. That load was awful stout and kicks like a mule. It may be safe in the rifle but if I load some more I'm going to cut back to 22 grns for my loads. The 10 grn Unique load you mentioned should be fine even for deer in a rifle. I have seen people that used 200 grn xtp bullets in their rifles for hunting but I like to stay between 240 and 290 for bullet weight in my 44 caliber guns for most typical applications.
 

Cholo

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I'm looking to just sling lead for fun so no thumpers. My rifle seems to feed the SWC's with a sharp driving band just fine in the few times I tried it. Whether that will continues as the rifle gets dirty remains to be seen.

I wish I could find flat base coated SWC's.
 

rotor

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Recently bought a new Henry 357 Mag. It had the worst bore Ive ever seen on a new factory rifle. It went back to the factory for a new one and came back with an awesome bore. Looked like someone shot a handful of nails thru it.. Its a tack driver now.
Do you have pictures? Would like to see bad versus good bore.
 

Seabeeken

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Do you have pictures? Would like to see bad versus good bore.
I did but deleted them but was able to get the before pic from a post I made on another site
 

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GasGuzzler

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RNFP is a better profile for defense/hunting and even accuracy in some cases. They also feed better in levers. Leave the SWC bullets for revolvers. My '92 copy is an old Rossi and people with newer ones cannot always cycle short .38s up to long .357s. Mine cycles SWC and even better, RNFP bullets all the way to 1.6135" (very long for a .357).

You'll never catch me loading a magnum pistol caliber with Unique but use what works for you.

Powder coat the bullets yourself. Are you casting already? If so, PC is actually less trouble than casting. Get a cheap toaster oven and a remote temperature probe, some HD non-stick foil, appropriate plastic bins, stainless tweezers, and powder from the guy at Cast Boolits. He'll even tell you what supplies to get. Buying all new stuff you can still PC your first several thousand bullets for less than $100.

10 grains of Unique in a 250 grain .44 magnum in no way needs a gas check so PC is for looks and in place of lube.

No need to run jacketed bullets through a cast bullet gun ever. Same goes for any single action or lever in .45, .44, .41, .357.
 

Cholo

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I don't cast.

Yes, there's no real need to shoot jacketed bullets thru it. I have 76 jacketed rounds left I loaded in '04 for hunting with my SBH. They'll get shot first. I'll load up a few more then it's all lead.

Thanks for all the responses! :)
 
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