Marlin .45 ACP Conversion

  • 15K Views
  • Last Post 22 March 2017
Ed Harris posted this 12 December 2006

About 25 years ago Wayne Schwartz modified a Marlin 1894 .44 Magnum to .45 ACP for me and this worked really well.  I let Wayne talk me out of the rifle when I left Ruger and have regretted it ever since, so I've had another done.  This time I took a .45 Colt Cowboy II and sent it to John Taylor who set the .45 Colt barrel and magazine tube back, rechambered the barrel, fitted a new extractor, and reworked the lifter.  Conversion cost was $300 plus sights and return FedEx. 

It holds twelve rounds in the magazine tube, as finished with 22-1/2” barrel), is 39” overall and weighs 6 lbs. 12 ozs. I'll be using this with 230-gr. lead FN  Cowboy slugs and JHPs.  A charge of 5 grs. of Bullseye and 230-gr. LFN gives about 1000 f.p.s. in a rifle, vs. 830 in an M1911 pistol. Given the limited powder capacity and faster powders used in the .45 ACP you only get modest velocity gains in a longer at permissible chamber pressures (20,000 cup max.)  I'm not interested in seeing how hot I can load .45 ACP in a rifle, because that defeats the whole purpose of the gun, to use my handgun ammo in it, and vice-versa.  I won't load or shoot anything in this rifle that .45 ACP revolvers or an M1911 can't handle.  

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • Pepe Ray
Order By: Standard | Newest | Votes
Chuck 100 yd posted this 19 December 2006

Ed , I am going in the oposite direction with the Marlin 1894. The manual for my Marlin 1894 ss and Cowboy ltd. 44 mag. state that the cartridge overall length is 1.610 Maximum. I have found that they will feed reliably with loads as long as 1.705 . The lyman 250 gr Kieth bullet feeds well in both of my marlins when crimped in the crimp groove and C.O.L. is 1.700 . The marlin can be made to feed much shorter cartridges than the factory suggests as you know. Have fun,keep us posted.

Attached Files

Ed Harris posted this 20 December 2006

Main issue with shorter overall length cartridges is the position of the cartridge stop on the lifter, you need to ensure that the rifle cannot double feed two rounds at once and jam the lifter. Clearing requires disassembly, which can be a pain at the range. This will happen if you try to load more than one .38 Spl. wadcutter in the mag tube of the 1894C, for example. but they feed fine as long as you use the rifle as a two-shooter, inserting one round directly into the chamber, and only one through the loading gate into the magazine tube at a time, then just shoot and shove another through the gate each time you work the lever.   

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

Attached Files

w30wcf posted this 25 December 2006

Ed,

Adirondack Jack has designed the .45 Special, a rimmed cartridge that duplicates the case capacity of the .45 ACP.  As you indicated, rifles need to be modified to shoot this shorter round.

 http://www.cowboy45special.com/cowboy45brass.html>http://www.cowboy45special.com/cowboy45brass.html

w30wcf

Attached Files

Ramslammer posted this 29 December 2006

G'Day All

             Ed I'm going to disagree with you about the win92. A Winchester collector here in Tasmania(a long way from US) has in his collection a 92 chambered for 45acp. These where done and stamped for the Western Pacific railway. I've held it and had a good gekko at it and it looks no different than a normal 92. I have to go to the mainland for a while but when I return I'll try to find out more about it.

Juddy

Attached Files

Ed Harris posted this 02 January 2007

Please do, I've never seen a 92 feed rimless cartridges successfully, and would like to know more.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

Attached Files

Daryl S posted this 03 February 2007

Ed- when I was shooting .45 ACP in competition, I played somewhat with some bear loads. I found a 260gr. flat nose (jacketed, unfortunatly) with 11.9gr. W630 powder to develope 960fps. With a cast bullet, this powder might run around the 1,100fps rang ein the rifle and make a good close range deer and black bear hunting rifle.

: When doing some bear control around the prison I worked at, I got to try 7 different guns on them.  One nice black bear, I took with that .45 ACP and 260gr. load. 1 shot was all it took.  From the 1911 with 5” Wilson barrel, it ran 1-1/2” at 50 yards off the bench.  That may be a good powder for the lever gun.

Attached Files

Ed Harris posted this 08 March 2007

I got a call from John Taylor that my .45 ACP conversion on the Marlin 1894 Cowboy rifle is done. Total cost of the conversion, setting back and rechambering the .45 Colt barrel, reworking the extractor and lifter, installing the AO ghost ring peep sights and ammo used in test firing is about $400. I should expect it soon after he gets my check. Stay tuned!  Update 3-16-07 - I just picked up the rifle at the Post Office, got it home and cycled some dumies through it.  Works like a champ.  Range Night!

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

Attached Files

Ed Harris posted this 17 May 2007

I just realized that I hadn't given an update since I received the rifle and shot it a bit.

It is not as accurate as my best loads in the .357 lever, but it met my original intent as a camp gun and plinker which is sure fun. Shooting iron sights, 230-gr. cast cowboy slugs and 4.5 grains of Bullseye it is consistent 1-1/2” at 25 yards and in proportion farther out. Front sight covers the 6” gong at 100 yards. I've zeroed the gun to hit about 3” over the top of the front sight at 50 yards, and under the sight when I blot out the target at 100. For 200 yards you need to raise the front sight in the AO ghost ring so that the horizontal front sight base rests in the bottom of the ghost ring, then blot out the target with the front sight. Groups to 100 yards are about the same as my M1911NM GI hardball gun ca. 1968, but with the peep sights and longer sight radius it is must easier to ring the gong with. With correct hold-over it stays on the 12” gong at 200 yards every time. The bullet's time of flight is long enough for the gun report to fade away as you hear the bullet strike “ding!” against the steel like the Scheutzen troll swinging his little ball peen hammer each time.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • M3 Mitch
Ramslammer posted this 17 May 2007

G'Day Ed

             Sorry I didn't get back to you. The rifle I was talking about wasn't a factory model( my mistake), but they were converted in England for the border patrol. This is the info that I was given. Also there were some converted to cycle .30M1 rounds again for the border patrol. The bloke sold the rifle to a fellow called Peter Thurley here in Tasmania. Peter is a dealer and collector but I don't know if he'll be parting with this one. Again sorry I didn't respond sooner.

Attached Files

Ed Harris posted this 17 May 2007

Thanks for the reply. If you could find out more I'd still be curious. Would be nice to post a few pictures if you could manage.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

Attached Files

Pepe Ray posted this 04 June 2007

Mr Harris; I've been anxiously waiting to converse with you on this subject (Lever action .45ACP). From various documentation, you've commissioned 3 (at least)of these project rifles on Marlin actions. Snapp, Schwatz and Taylor being the smiths involved. Will you confirm this? Will you discuss your ideas and impressions with me? TIA ,Pepe Ray

Only in His name.

Attached Files

Palmtree posted this 02 August 2007

Great info on your 45 acp conversion Ed. I shoot mostly 200 grain Lead SWC's in my 1911's, with this bullet be safe to shoot in a 1894 Marlin 45 acp conversion like yours? Thanks for your time.

Attached Files

Ed Harris posted this 02 August 2007

Yes, any LFN. SWC or JHP load suitable for an M1911 works fine in the rifle. I also shoot 255 SWCs in mine.

...and for Pepe Ray, Snapp's work was first class, top drawer, but I'm sure he is retiredd now. Believe Wayne Schwartz is retiredd too, but you might try contacting him c/o the CBA, as he is a member and may take the work. I've had John Taylor do three project rifles for me in the last few years and have been quite satisfied.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

Attached Files

Palmtree posted this 02 August 2007

Thanks for the quick reply Ed, I was just wondering about the shape of the SWC lined up in the mag tube. I am going to have it chambered 45 ACP and cut the tube down to 16 1/2". Can't wait to shoot my lever after a round of IDPA with the same load. Five grains of Bullseye over a 200 SWC.

Attached Files

jebb45 posted this 11 August 2007

;}  This just for thought....HAS ANYONE TRIED 45 AUTO RIM AMMO IN ANY OF THE 45 COLT CHAMBERED RIFLES?????    And if they have what is the results?????

Just curious!!!!

jebb45

Attached Files

Pepe Ray posted this 11 August 2007

I don't think that anyone familiar with the dimensions of the two ctgs. would even bother. The AR rim is so much thicker that if it fit the Colt chamber, IE. action closed, that would indicate massive headspace problems in the arm. I understand that there has been developed a shorter 45 case for the CAS market. This may be usefull in a Colt chambered carbine, or at least worth investigating. This will NOT, however, satisfy my desire for a 45ACP chambered LA carb. Pepe Ray

Only in His name.

Attached Files

Palmtree posted this 25 November 2007

Ed, I wanted to let you know that I dropped my Marlin 1894 off at DRC Custom a few weeks ago for a 45 ACP conversion. David Clay is going to put his takedown conversion on it and cut the barrel to 16". I have always wanted to shoot 45 ACP rounds out of a leveraction. Thank you for all the inspiration and help.

Attached Files

CR posted this 01 June 2008

hello to all you guy ,im new guy one here i like this sight,now where can i get the 45 acp conversion ,i just picked up marlin 94 in 44mag ,but i have more 45acp then 44mag/44spl  and how much is the cost and how long for this conversion thanks :)

Attached Files

Ed Harris posted this 03 June 2008

CR wrote: hello to all you guy ,im new guy one here i like this sight,now where can i get the 45 acp conversion ,i just picked up marlin 94 in 44mag ,but i have more 45acp then 44mag/44spl  and how much is the cost and how long for this conversion thanks :) New contact number for John Taylor Machine is 235-445-4073. They just moved to a different part of the state, and are updating the website soon.   Contact him for current cost and delivery estimates.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

Attached Files

aeroplane posted this 03 January 2009

I've been looking over the net for 45 acp conversion.  Have you used this gun to just target practice?   I'm looking to deer hunt with a conversion.

I live in the Left coast and hunt deer at 25 yards, can't see any further than that.

Thanks

aeroplane

Attached Files

Show More Posts
Close