I don't compete or build benchrest guns, or hunt any more, but I do love experimenting for best accuracy with single shots and lever guns and obsolete military rifles. I have owned and loved a number of old Marlin lever guns but for almost too long I put off buying a 357 mag rifle 'cause I figured they would always be around. Then I started reading about all the problems Marlin was having and found that the Mod 94 had become a scarce and expensive item. I found and paid too much money for a little pre-safety carbine--microgrove bbl. of course. I had an old leupold Compact 6x scope, and mounted it because my eyes are getting too we weak for the bbl sight.
I shot the carbine a few times, no great results, hung it on the wall moved on to another project.. Earlier this year I got 357 in my blood again and took the rifle out to the range. I had to deal with a number of little glitches, including shimming the scope mount to get zero at 100 yds. My experiments so far show:
I cannot get decent accuracy with 38 spl loads. 3-5" or more 5 shots at 100 yds.
I tried what I call a 38/357 load--light 357 load of Universal in 38 case but a 190gr bullet seated out to 357 coal length--about 2-1/2 to 3" groups. About the same results with max 357 loads of H110 or 2400.
Then I had just enough time to try a C.E. Harris load-- A 357 case full of 4198(17 gr) and a 190gr bullet. I shot 5 rounds into about 3". I didn't have any confidence this load would shoot particularly well, but I decided to bear down and try before I packed up to go home. I put the first of a five shot group exactly at point of aim, but at first I couldn't find the second shot on the paper until I saw that it had enlarged the first hole. the next three shots resulted in a clover leaf. A couple more 5 shot groups had 4 shots in a cloverleaf and a 5th opening the group up to less than 1-1/2". I loaded the other rounds 5 shots from the magazine but the 4198 loads were single loaded. I think this is the best shooting I ever did with a lever gun.
This is FUN! Thanks for the load data, Mr. Harris.