Favorite handgun cartridge for a carbine

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Scearcy posted this 20 June 2017

I have been bitten by the lever gun bug. In part I caught this bug because Marlin currently has rebates on many of their rifles. My question is not about brand, however. Since I have never  owned a rifle in a handgun caliber, my question is actually about caliber. There are rifles available in 45 Colt, 44 mag, 41 mag and 357 mag. I reload for all of these except the 45 and I have several hundred 44 special  and 41 mag cases on hand. This is to be a fun gun and there is very little chance I would use it for deer hunting. Reasonable accuracy is important and small game hunting is certainly a possibility.

I am sure that several of you have much more knowledge than I. What would you recommend?

Jim

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rmrix posted this 20 June 2017

If you are not going to hunt big game - ever, the 357 mag is hands down the way to go.

If I were to buy one based on need and all around usefulness, for me the 44 mag would win.

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45 2.1 posted this 20 June 2017

The 357 Mag is about the best alternative, it is usually very accurate and easy to feed also. I have used all that you specified............ the 41 mag would be next on the list.

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 20 June 2017

I've had the 94 trapper in .44 mag - too LOUD; I have a 94 trapper in .45 Colt - excellent but short fat bullet sometimes has loading issues; I have the Marlin in .357 - EXCELLENT but don't put .38spcl wad cutters in it - it will lock up.  Of the 3 the .357 is my favorite.

What would I do for another one?  Hmmm.  .25-20 or .32-20.

 

 

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GP Idaho posted this 20 June 2017

Good buddy and shooting partner Wes M. owns both the 357 and 41 mag  in lever actions the 41 is a Henry and the 357 a trapper.  Hard to go wrong with either, very fun beverage can rollers.  Judging by the guns I own I'd opt for the 357 as I own five different guns in that caliber and just one 41mag. One of these would be my choice over 44 or 45 calibers. Gp

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Scearcy posted this 20 June 2017

I hunted deer with a couple of 41s for several years. It is a flexible and sometimes under rated caliber. Loading data and molds are a more scarce.

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R. Dupraz posted this 20 June 2017

For the purpose that you describe, .357M without reservation. There has been a "re-introduced" Winchester 1892 .357M carbine around here for a few years now and was brought home for those very reasons. Just a fun little can and clay buster. Some times a steel chicken and pig or two. Likely that it will never see any game.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I use the same load in both my revolvers and  rifle so it's about as convenient as one would want. Just grab a couple of handfuls of bullets out of the ammo can and go to it. Pleasant to shoot and amazingly accurate besides for what it is. 

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mrbill2 posted this 21 June 2017

I killed a lot of silhouettes with my 357 Winchester. Even killed some deer with the S&W pistol in 357. I guess you could say it my favorite?

mrbill2

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BigMan54 posted this 21 June 2017

I've shot many thousands of rounds in COWBOY ACTION SHOOTING. In both the modern Lever gun calibers & the original WCF cartridges.  If you're just looking for a fun gun that's cheap to shoot/plink & good for small game then get a .357mag. Almost all will shoot .38 brass with the correct shaped bullet. And all major mold makers have a bullet designed just for Lever guns. I favor the .44WCF in a Win 1873 clone. The one I use most has stood up to as many a 1200+ rds a month for 20yrs with minimum breakage. That said I've put 2000rds thru a WIN/USRAC 94 IN .44MAG in just one weekend without cleaning, 250grRNFP over 9.5grs Unique.  And the MARLINS that I have from the 1990's have also had hard use in .45colt, .357mag & .44mag.  Never a problem a GOOD CLEANING wouldn't put right. The .44spl feeds well in MARLINS, WINCHESTERS need a LONG NOSE COWBOY BULLET to feed reliably in the WIN 94. Hope I haven't confused ya too much.

Buy what feels good in your hands. Or what ya got dies & brass for.

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 21 June 2017

jim ....  as you wander about the lever action universe ... take a look at an old marlin 336 in >> 35 remington ..... almost a pistol cartridge, and what fun it would be to find it in about a 1957 year marlin !!!   bet it ain't shot out either ... in that cartridge.

if yer gonna get a new one go to a store that has 8 or 10 of them to inspect ... maybe you can pry out the rare good parts of several and assemble a good one ... like _ for a few dollars more _  ... big_grin

ken

 

 

 

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 21 June 2017

Ken - hmmmmm.  I'd forgotten that one.  I have one (with the real rifling) of about that vintage in excellent shape.  OK, time to dig out the rcbs 35-200's.

 

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Scearcy posted this 21 June 2017

Ken - I believe that Marlin has a rebate on the new 35 Remlins but only for a short time longer. The new ones are microgroove of course and then there is the quality lottery. Old ones are hard to find and more expensive than the new ones --- but probably not more expensive than a new Henry 357. 

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Ed Harris posted this 21 June 2017

While I agree that the .38/.357 is the most logical choice, a .44 Magnum doesn't need to be run with "full charge" loads, and when fed with .44-40 equivalent loads is most enjoyable. BigMan54 I see is an advocate!

I would make your choice based upon availability, price and brass supply, and not worry about the caliber.

Most of my .44 Magnum loads are similar in power to black powder .44-40s, using 200-230 grain bullets with 6-7 grains of Bullseye.  My Marlin 1894 feeds .44 Specials too as long as they are longer than 1.40" OAL 

Pleasant, accurate, economical,  FUN!

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

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Scearcy posted this 21 June 2017

I really appreciate everyones input. While I am a little surprised by the lack of support for the 45 Colt everything else makes sense to me. I believe you guys have redirected my thoughts some. I definitely was leaning 41 mag and that certainly is doable but components are the most limited and the only rifle available is not cheap. If I could get comfortable with the Remlin quality raffle I would certainly go 44 mag as the Marlin 1894 has a $75 rebate at the moment. This would make it over $200 cheaper than the competing brands. $200 will fund a whole bunch of shooting.

On a related note a 35 year old Winchester Model 70 - Ranger youth model just came in at MLGS. 243 Winchester. I weighs under 6# and the metal is very nice. It certainly doesn't look like it has had much use. It would make up into a really nice little light rifle by simply adding a compact scope. I must be able to make it shoot PB bullets, no?

Life is all about choices isn't it?

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M3 Mitch posted this 21 June 2017

Do you have (or plan to get) a revolver in the same caliber as the carbine?  To me, that's "where it's at" with pistol caliber carbines. 

If you don't have a revolver (yet) I tend to agree that the .44 Magnum is popular for good reason.  Both revolvers and I think most carbines have pretty good chamber standardization in this round, it can be loaded up for deer if you ever decide to go that route.  A .357 also has good chamber standardization (I am thinking of making up mass quantities of plinking loads on a Dillon, using a carbide die, and not having to push the lever down all that hard).  And decent brass life.  Both of these are easy to find in new or once fired brass.  The .41 Magnum is less popular and brass less common.  But if you have a good .41 wheelgun already why not do it in a carbine as well?

The .45 Colt is a cool round, but I have read on here some carbines have oversized chambers, and depending if you have older revolvers for this, they may work the brass excessively.  Same can be said for 32-20, although if I can find a good 32-20 carbine to join my Bisley, I will grin and bear with the brass issues.

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Scearcy posted this 22 June 2017

Point taken. I kept my 44 specials but the 44 mags are gone. I still have 41 mags and 357 mags although I only have 100 357 mag cases. I have always shot 38 special brass in my 357s. Actually brass is fairly cheap if you amortize the cost over many loadings.

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delmarskid posted this 22 June 2017

I've had or do have, .44s, 45 colt, .357, and 32-20 in lever guns. The bigger ones kick a little more but the brass is easier to see on the ground. The 38/357 rifle I have now is a real fun gun. Brass is every where, and it lasts till you lose it. The old '89 Marlin is fun because it is old. It's a 32-20. If I find a 327 federal lying in the road I will steal it with no guilt. 

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Scearcy posted this 22 June 2017

It looks like 327 Federal carbines will be available some time this year. They are currently catalogued by Henry and were supposed to be shipped last month. 

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Scearcy posted this 22 June 2017

I just ordered a Henry Big Boy Steel 41 mag. Opted for the shorter barreled version.

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GP Idaho posted this 22 June 2017

Good choice Jim, I've had the chance to shoot one just like yours. NICE rifle. I'm saving up and looking forward to the 327 Federal. Gp

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Scearcy posted this 22 June 2017

Eighteen years ago I had open heart surgery. While I was waiting to go back to work, I reloaded e very piece of handgun brass I had. I still have about 300 41 mags left in storage boxes. I also have 500 bullets I got free from a friend.  I am going to set up the Dillon and wage war on every beverage can I can find.

Jim

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 22 June 2017

jim and gp :: ... sometimes i think their is a re-incarnation of an old west mountain man inside of us that tricks us into buying another gun ... sometimes by allowing us to collect brass and bullets for a gun we don't even have or think we wanted ... hey :: NOT OUR FAULT !! ...  and then somehow colluding with the great spirits to magically march right past our noses :: a chance to acquire a shiny gun in that very same chambering .... my my what a co-incidence ....

remember::  NOT OUR FAULT  ... it is best to play along ... don't want to upset the great spirits ...

... i just remembered :: i have 120 brass and a mold and a new sporter barrel for a 270 winchester ... but no rifle for that ... just something about a 270 winchester i have been thinking lately ...

ken, only a victim ...

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GP Idaho posted this 22 June 2017

Ken; It's the brass fairys, they liberally spread empty casings about at local ranges. Now, because I can't leave their offerings just lay there, I have a whole jug of 380ACP brass and no 380. They never have been at the top of my want list but what am I to do with all this brass? I have to admit that those baby Kimbers are very pretty. Gp

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 23 June 2017

well here is a little incentive for youse thinking about a 35 cal. ... this is a "" lever "" gun ( hah a m85 browning ) .. in 357 max. my friend john . g. has been enjoying .  this would do well on a paper groundhog i bet ...  gc used here .

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PETE posted this 23 June 2017

My choice would be a .44-40. Load it up or down and works well in my Colt SAA and Win. 94 on anything I want to shoot.

Pete

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Scearcy posted this 23 June 2017

Well Ken, maybe we should have a second groundhog match next year for lever actions. As I recall I believe here were only two lever actions entered this year: 38-55 and 30-30.

Jim

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Scearcy posted this 23 June 2017

Pete

I am thinking that a 185 gr bullet and 7.5 gr of unique will make a 41 mag perform an awful lot like a 44-40 or 38-40 for that matter.

Jim

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giorgio the slim one posted this 23 June 2017

Here's a picture with the late  she spaniel Cocò sharing her sofa with a bunch of Marlin leverguns .

Being bitten by the lever bug I presently own a couple of Winchester 92 clones by Armisport Chiappa in 357 and 44M .I did not like the Model 94 Win  in30-30,38/55 and 44M.

i DIDDO NOT 

I've hunted wild boars with success with 45/70 , and 44M and merrily plinked with cast bullets with 444M, 45LC ,357Rem and 38-357 M.

The 44 m/44sp is the more all round caliber ,you can shoot  mouse fart 200 grs  plinkers and  bone breaking  300 grainers  , and all in a very compact & handy  package .having a dozen rounds within your hands . 

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Ed Harris posted this 23 June 2017

Giorgio had problems posting the photo because the file name had punctuation and spaces in it.  He asked me to do it for him, so here are Eight Marlins Of Italy, guarded by the loyal Ammunition Assembly Supervising Spaniel Coco!

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

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GP Idaho posted this 23 June 2017

Jim; My favorite 41mag plinking load is 7gr. of TiteGroup under bullets 200 to 250gr. Makes for very inexpensive rounds. Gp

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BudHyett posted this 23 June 2017

The Marlin 94 in 45 Colt that I own was a disappointment in the twist rate. The twist is 1 in 38 and this is too slow for heavier bullets. I had hoped to have a twist rate to be able to use my 275 grain mold. This mold shot "improved cylinder" with heavier bullets. 

When I talked to Marlin at the Louisville NRA Annual Meeting, the sales people were not cast bullet shooters and tried to duck the question. I did get one person to tell me the .45-90 had  the same slow twist and this was their guide. 

However, it does shoot the 200 grain bullet well. The .44 Magnum also has the same 1 in 38 twist rate and I shoot a 200 grain bullet in it also.

Farm boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

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Scearcy posted this 23 June 2017

Nice collection, Giorgio!

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 24 June 2017

... my rem 788 in 44 mag had a 36 twist ... but surprisingly still shot the lee 44 300 gr. bullet well ... maybe because it is pretty stubby ...  i should have tried it in a hollowpointed lee 300 but have traded it off .

ken

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PETE posted this 24 June 2017

Scearcy,

no doubt your right. Don't know how "hot" you can load a modern 44-40 rifle so have no idea if it's possible to get up to .41 performance. I just like the old calibers so that's what I look for when shopping. Biggest thing I'd shoot here in Iowa would be a Deer, so think the .44-40 would take care of that. .25/20 , .32/20, .32/40, .38/40 .45 Colt, & ,50/90SS are my speed.

Pete

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delmarskid posted this 25 June 2017

When I take the 32-20 out I never bring in loaded ammunition.

 

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Scearcy posted this 25 June 2017

It is apparent  that the only reasonable course of action is to try to get one of each. I would expect the new Henry 327 Federal to sell very well.  Its not an oldie but it should be hard to tell the difference when you pull the trigger.

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BigMan54 posted this 25 June 2017

Searcy,

Since you've made the choice of. 41Mag.  I have this to say..................

I haven't had  a .41Mag in about 30years. Got one of the last MARLIN .41Mags made in the 80's.  Shot like crapola, dumped it before I wasted more than 500rds. I understand the henry's have conventional rifling,  so you shouldn't have microgroove problems.  Every microgroove rifle is a law unto itself.  My Daughter's MARLIN 1894CS shoots great with everything & it's got microgroove rifling. 

I think SAECO still makes the perfect 220gr. ? RNFP for that caliber. Sorry I can't remember the powder charge. 

And for those of you looking for  a great  .44MAG combo load for handgun/rifle,  I would suggest  a popular COWBOY ACTION SHOOTING load that I got from the old HODGDON COWBOY ACTION Reloading pamphlet.

.44MAG case, 5.5grs TITEGROUP &  a 240gr RNFP.  FED 150 of Win LP primer. GREAT LOAD, I've loaded about 3000rds a year for the last 15+yrs. All shot by my Chiropractor.

 Good Luck with your New rifle.  I'd be interested in hearing about load development.  

 

 

 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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SierraHunter posted this 25 June 2017

I've had 357 (Marlin), 44 mag (Marlin and Rossi) and 45 colt (Marlin coyboy) my favorite is the big notes, 44 mag is pretty potent out of a carbine.

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SierraHunter posted this 25 June 2017

I had a Marlin in 25/20 and really really liked it, but gave it to my dad a few years ago. My grandfather had given one to my dad, who had sold it before my grandfather passed away. He really kicked himself after and when I got mine I have it to him. He shoots it pretty much daily, and it may be his most used rifle.

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SierraHunter posted this 25 June 2017

jim ....  as you wander about the lever action universe ... take a look at an old marlin 336 in >> 35 remington ..... almost a pistol cartridge, and what fun it would be to find it in about a 1957 year marlin !!!   bet it ain't shot out either ... in that cartridge.

if yer gonna get a new one go to a store that has 8 or 10 of them to inspect ... maybe you can pry out the rare good parts of several and assemble a good one ... like _ for a few dollars more _  ... big_grin

ken

 

 

 

I have a 1956 Marlin in 35 Remington that I have had since I was 10 years old. Killed my first big game with it (Alaskan Moose). The first winter I had it I was shooting it when ever I got the chance practicing up for moose season and when the snow melted in the spring we found more then 2 coffee cans of bullets in the snow been. The problem with the 35 Remington is brass availability. It's getting pretty scarce. Last year, I picked up a newer micro groove 336 that someone scratched out to 358 win. Much easier to get brass for for, and I have not touched the old 35 Remington since.

One thing that makes the pistol caliber carbines so much fun, it the shorter lever stroke.

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BigMan54 posted this 25 June 2017

BHyett,

I had the opposite luck with my MARLIN COWBOY in .45Colt.  I got one of the very early ones with a 24" barrel. The RCBS 45-270-SAA fed kinda flaky until Dave of ANDERSEN'S GUNSMITHING worked it over. Now it will feed anything.  My plinking load of that bullet cast of LYMAN #2 mixed with bit of extra lead dropped bullets that weighed  282grs over 9.0grs of UNIQUE would put 5 shots into an 1 1/2" at 75yds.  Never liked the extra heavy bullets in revolver loads. Always figured if I needed a that much power I'd pick up a Rifle CHAMBERED in a Rifle Cartridge. 

I shot 5grs of CLAYS over a 230gr TC for rifle/revolver load in COWBOY ACTION SHOOTING. There were no molds/bullets specifically designed for COWBOY SHOOTING back then. In fact there were no .45Colt Lever Rifles until about  1992. That 230gr TC made a great plinking load , accurate as the day is long. Got a great story about that load in an early VAQUERO.  But nobody would believe it.  

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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SierraHunter posted this 25 June 2017

The Marlin 94 in 45 Colt that I own was a disappointment in the twist rate. The twist is 1 in 38 and this is too slow for heavier bullets. I had hoped to have a twist rate to be able to use my 275 grain mold. This mold shot "improved cylinder" with heavier bullets. 

When I talked to Marlin at the Louisville NRA Annual Meeting, the sales people were not cast bullet shooters and tried to duck the question. I did get one person to tell me the .45-90 had  the same slow twist and this was their guide. 

However, it does shoot the 200 grain bullet well. The .44 Magnum also has the same 1 in 38 twist rate and I shoot a 200 grain bullet in it also.

 

The early 444s had a disappointingly slow twist, which Marlin fixed after they got enough complaints, and I can't help but wonder if they put a faster twist in the 94 rifles as well since my cowboy 45 colt will stabilize bullets well in excess of 300 grain.

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M3 Mitch posted this 22 March 2018

I would think a .44 Magnum carbine would also feed 44 Specials, at least handloads with the bullet loaded a bit "long".

Does anyone know if a typical 44 Magnum carbine can share ammo with a .44 Special revolver?  Probably it depends on which rifle and which revolver, likely some will work and some won't.

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BudHyett posted this 22 March 2018

Marlin 94 Carbines, .44 Magnum  (2) and .45 Colt (1). I jumped on the bandwagon too soon and have the rifles with the slow twist. This limits me to 200 grain bullets and high velocity to get any hope of accuracy. 

All rifles have Micro-Groove rifling. Frank Marshall called it Micro-Pope and reminded us of the accuracy of Pope barrels with shallow rifling. The biggest accuracy problem is large chamber throats, I size in a .432 die that barely touches and only lubes.

For the question of sharing between carbines and handguns, the rifles and handguns shoot interchangeably. The overall length is the determining factor for the lifter on the Marin, I load to that length for all handgun and carbine cartridge maximum length. 

The one unexpected benefit is shot capsules for rattlesnakes. These carbines shoot like a .410 shotgun with modified choke for this usage. They have to be single loaded as the plastic  capsule will break tryog to feed it out of the magazine. . 

Farm boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

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BigMan54 posted this 23 March 2018

I dumped that MARLIN on a friend just before COWBOY SHOOTING took off. Then about 10-15 yrs later they made the 1894FG model in .41MAG for one year. Guess it didn't sell. My friend that bought my 1894C model, I loaded an old LYMAN 1cav small block mold that cast a 41cal 220gr RNFP.  Long before the design came out for COWBOY SHOOTING. 

He put a scope on it and got sub 2" groups at 50yds. I think sub 3" groups at 100yards from the bench. He got the mold too.

Marlin made a 1894 in .32 H&R for couple of years. Used the "direct loading into mag tube" the .22 tube fed rifles like the MARLIN 39 & WIN 9422.  Just not popular enough.

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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Scearcy posted this 23 March 2018

My FFL dealer lives on a very rural farm. When my Henry 41 mag arrived we unboxed it and  proceeded to shoot several targets from his back porch. Pretty soon our groups opened up and shortly thereafter we started missing the paper. I have never owned another rifle that leaded this badly. I took it home and cleaned it up. Everything looks fine through a bore scope. I took a box of ammo loaded with a different style bullet and headed off to the range. It was same song, second verse. Obviously there is a serious fit problem. To be honest, I really haven't felt like taking this problem on during the winter weather. The ammo I tried has MV at or under 850 fps. Some of the bullets were 410 and some were 411 but they were all fairly hard alloy. I am quite sure that I need to go soft, fat and slow to set things right but I must say the severity of the leading was discouraging. My existing moulds are too small and will need to be replaced. It probably makes sense to order a gas check mold so I have that option as I go forward.

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OU812 posted this 23 March 2018

Without a doubt it would be the .357 Magnum. The RCBS 158gr Cowboy bullet shoots very well, along with the much overlooked RCBS  9MM-147-FN. The newer RCBS 9mm HAS A WIDER NOSE THAN THE OLDER.

SORRY FOR YELLING.

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M3 Mitch posted this 23 March 2018

I would think that finding out the diameter you need, then going with Accurate or other custom makers, is going to be your best bet to get a bullet that fits in minimum time and expense.  Yeah, you pay a little more, and you wait a few weeks, but when you get the mold, you should have exactly what you need.

More and more my understanding is that leading is caused by a too-small, and possibly too hard, bullet.

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OU812 posted this 24 March 2018

The RCBS 9mm bullet will cast @ .358 diameter. Lots or Cowboy shooters used this older version bullet because it worked best (good accuracy) before the RCBS Cowboy version came out. The RCBS Cowboy 158gr has a slightly wider nose. 

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loophole posted this 27 March 2018

I have owned lever guns and single shots in .357, .44mag, .32-40 and a few other rounds. My vote for the best carbine calibre goes to the .44mag.  I can load it to .44spl level to avoid recoil and noise, but I do not find the old Elmer Keith .44mag load uncomfortable in a carbine.  I find that even the milder loads are usually more accurate in .44mag cases than .44spl. cases in a rifle because of less bullet "jump", but but my marlin, my Japanese Winchester,  and my Mikuru low wall shoot .44spl  pretty well.

One of my favorite loads is a starline case almost full  of FFFg a little compression, a cardboard wad, and a 300 gr Lee bullet cast about 30-1 shot in the low wall.

Steve K

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fg   

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Dale53 posted this 29 March 2018

I just got my digital copy of the new Rifle magazine (May-June 2018), today. Brian Pearce has a full review of the NEW Marlin 1894CS .357 Magnum. Brian gave the new rifle high marks.

If I was in the market for a new lever action rifle, this one really looks good. Apparently, the problems of the recent past have been addressed.

However, in truth, I would be a bit concerned knowing that the parent company, Remington, just filed for Bankruptcy...

FWIW,

Dale53

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 30 March 2018

I have the 'old' Marlin 1894CS in .357 Mag -- love it!

 

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BigMan54 posted this 30 March 2018

I would take anything brian pearce said with a big grain of salt. If ya read enough of his stories, you begin to wonder. How does a working rancher have the time to write 4 columns a month for at least 2 different Publisher's?  Plus additional stories. How many deer & bears are you legally allowed to take per year in Wyoming. When does he have time to cast so many different bullets and load ammo with them. How does he even afford all that factory ammo ? And he seems to have a least 1 of every gun made in the last 100yrs ? 

I AM NOT SPEAKING AGAINST MARLIN. Or the new REMLIN 1894CS.  I've owned an old one for 30yrs. I just can't respect his attitude towards us City Folks. I spent 2 summers working a Ranch in the late 1960's. It was 14 hours a day 6 1/2 days a week.  At night you worked in the Barn/Out buildings fixing farm equipment. I just wonder where he finds the time to sleep.

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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Ed Harris posted this 31 March 2018

Like BigMan54 I also had a Marlin Cowboy II in .45 Colt with 24" barrel, and the chamber was so sloppy that powder gases leaking past the case made a mess of the gun every time I shot it Accuracy was inferior to my .44 Mags or .357s.  So I sent the rifle off to John Taylor and had him set back and rechamber the barrel to .45 ACP, rework the extractor and lifter and it now feeds anything in a .45 ACP case from 1.2" to 1.4" long, which gives me good flexibility to fool with various bullets.  The rig is a wonderful companion to my .45 ACP Ruger Blackhawk and most of the time we just run H&G#68 200-grain semi-wadcutters with 5 grains of Bullseye to ring the gongs and have fun.  A .45 ACP levergun is about as much fun as a fellow can have with his clothes on...

 

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

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RicinYakima posted this 31 March 2018

A couple of years ago I bought a 1990's Winchester Model 94 Trapper, the cheap one with birch stocks (Marauder?), in 45 Colt. So far I have not shot up the 500 rounds of brass loaded with Cowboy loads of 200 grain Lazercast round flat nose and 5 grains of Titegroup. Every time I shoot 25 rounds, it takes me two days to clean the lead out of the barrel. Someday I hope to make a real carbine out of it.

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OU812 posted this 31 March 2018

Ricin, Have you  tried softer alloy like 20/1.

 

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RicinYakima posted this 31 March 2018

 OU812, No, it is so far down on the shooting priority list that I haven't loaded a single round for it, just shooting the ammo that came with it. I have a NEF 45 Colt handi-rifle that had a bad chamber that I redid to 45/70 case. Still refining a load for it, so the Winchester just has to wait for now. Ric

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OU812 posted this 31 March 2018

I remember my first awful experience shooting hard ready cast bullets. These hard bullets would lead my Ruger Blackhawk 45 LC so badly I could not hit the broad side of a barn. When cleaning barrel I could push strips of lead out of barrel.

Then the author Mike Venturino introduced me to 20-1 alloy, quicker powders and lower velocity. Problem solved.

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Brodie posted this 31 March 2018

I looked onto the cowboy action shooting about 20yrs ago, while it looked like fun, I figured I would need $5,000 to really play the game.  So much for that idea.

I have a 44mag marlin that shoots rather well, and a 44mag redhawk to match, but personally I think that now I prefer my Ruger 10/22 and my S&w 22 combat.  About all I am going to shoot is rabbits, p-dogs , and ground squirrels anyway.  Ok maybe a charging tin can or two.

 

B.E.Brickey

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OU812 posted this 31 March 2018

My poor imagination never let me venture into such. Some people liked watching WWF wrestling on TV also, but my lack of imagination has again failed me.

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Scearcy posted this 31 March 2018

I haven't made any really soft bullets in years but sometime in the next month I am going to make 100 and see if that solves my leading problem.

Jim

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 01 April 2018

groove sized bullets are made for rifles with groove sized throats ..... unfortunately there are not very many of those ....

ken

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M3 Mitch posted this 13 September 2018

I am as sure as I can be about a problem that I have not looked at in person, that the issue with the 41 Mag leading is that it needs a bigger diameter and/or softer bullet.  My own experience, and what I read on here and in FS, tells me you need a bigger and/or softer bullet.  A "better" lube (whatever "better means) might help in a minor way as well.

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BigMan54 posted this 13 September 2018

Since M3 open up this post, I'll kick in a couple of pennies. 

Old Coot,

I don't know WHERE you looked into COWBOY ACTION SHOOTING. But I know lots of folks started on a shoe string. In the plethora of clubs in SoCal, 20yrs ago you could shoot 7 times on Sat/Sun in every month. 

You could show up at almost any club on shoot day and folks would outfit you with guns and ammo and lead you by hand through every stage. 

We don't have that many Clubs anymore, age, death, retirement, moving away from this blasted nanny state. And all the young folks want to shoot the modern 3-Gun matches. Which actually grew out of COWBOY ACTION SHOOTING. 

I started in Oct 1987, I had 2 COLTS, A SAVAGE 311R in 12ga and I borrowed a rifle until I could afford my own. I bought a cartridge belt by MAIL ORDER (WOW) from EL PASO Saddlery,  made my own holsters & Shotgun slide.

I've always had a pair of Cowboy Boots and a Cowboy Hat as long as I can remember. Add jeans and a long sleeve workshirt, and you were in business.

I knew a lot of guys who started the same way. The ROSSI 44/357 Model 92 carbine was less then $200. Stoeger SXS Coach gun was also about $200. And you could get A low end Italian SA Clone for about $225-250. A Holster/Cartridge belt rig was about  $140-150. In fact EL PASO SADDLERY offered a Cartridge belt with 2 Holsters for $140 for most of the 1990's . Shotgun slides were about $10-12 bucks. In fact we didn't start actually carrying a 2nd Revolver until about mid 1988.

On the subject of softer alloy, I've shot COWW for low velocity plinking loads in Revolvers all my life, Linotype was for auto-loading pistols and full power rifle loads. Most any revolver bullet pushed past 1000fps was cast of #2.  1/20 was reserved for Trapdoor loads and pouring HB Wadcutters for my Dad's COLT .38SPL Target loads.

I've been rethinking about softer alloys in some of my loads. I've shot some .45COLT Loads in my MARLIN 1894CB recently that were cast of straight COWW by mistake. I got some better then expected groups. I'm going to try some Heavy Target .357MAG loads cast with COWW. Just to see accuracy and leading results. 

 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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Brodie posted this 13 September 2018

I looked into the Cowboy Action shooting in the mid 90's when I lived in Long Beach, Ca.  At the time the only place that I was aware of that offered the shoots was Raahagies in Norco, and I did not want to drive that far already having done so to shoot sporting clays and other stuff there.  I would of needed to purchase a new revolver, rifle, and shot gun.  What really put me off was the dress up for the competition shoots.  I passed that stage a long time ago, and when the probable cost was quoted to me as what it would cost to be competitive I balked.  Don't take it so personally Big guy, it wasn't meant that way.  Just for me, it seemed like it was not my thing, I am sure that you had a good time doing it, and I hope that you continue to do so.  As an added incentive an MD I personally could not stand shot out at Raahagies' and I did not want to be around him with a loaded weapon in my possession.  Discretion seemed a good idea.

B.E.Brickey

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Brodie posted this 13 September 2018

As for what I would like in a carbine my vote goes to the .327, or .38, 357 category.  Big game here in AZ is often too hard to get close to with a short range pistol cartridge, but we have a plethora ((a whole heaping bunch) of Jack Rabbits.  You can jump shoot em at under 25yd in the brush and have a heck of a lot of fun.

I do have a Marlin (circa late 70's early 80's) in 44 mag.  Like Ed said it will work with specials, and shoots ok even if it has that scratch micro-groove rifling.  Hard bullets sized as large as will chamber, or soft and slow work well.  The beauty of loading our own is we can tailor the round to suit us.

B.E.Brickey

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harleyrock posted this 14 September 2018

I had both 38Spl (K38) and 44 Mag pistols when I addressed the same question the OP proposed: What caliber for my lever action carbine?

I chose a Miroku-Winchester 1892 in 38/357 because I liked shooting the S&W K38 better than the S&W 629.  Even when downloading in 44Spl brass and loads.

Some other reasons I favored 38/357:  Less recoil,  less expenditure of lead and powder, brass less costly and readily available, and it won't matter as much if you lose some brass along the way.

I intend to mostly plink with my carbine, but given the right circumstances a 357 load with a 180-190gr bullet on these small Florida deer should do just fine.

Tom Stone

Lifetime NRA since 1956, NRA Benefactor, USN Member, CBA Member

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Danny posted this 14 September 2018

I love my Henry chambered in .44 mag and have only run my cast loads in it. It is very accurate with the bullet from the Lee 429-200-RF mold but that is the only bullet I've tested in it. With the factory sights I had no problem hitting the little squirrel paper targets at 25 yards. I intend to try other bullets in it but that one in my mind is a keeper. Got to love an accurate lever gun.

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DBW posted this 16 November 2018

I am currently playing around with a new Henry in 327 mag. So far I have been trying 90 gr. and 115 gr. bullets with loads for pistol in the Lyman Cast bullet Handbook 4th edition. several loads have given me five shot groups  of little over 1" @ 50 yds. I got it because I could not find a good 32-20 and the 327 duplicates anything the 32-20 can do plus it has strong modern brass. It loads like a 22 tube magazine which I was not too pleased about at first but now I actually prefer it to jamming bullets into the loading gate of  my marlin 357 which is a very sweet versatile lever gun. If I could only have two lever guns I would choose  my marlin that I had Jess rebore to a 38-55 and a Henry 327 mag. I have several Savage 99s and if I could have three rifles I would pick one of those too.

DBW

 

           Lefties rule

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BigMan54 posted this 16 November 2018

 

 

 

 

Sorry, thought the reply would just go straight to Brodie.

Brodie,

This popped back up and I read it through. I can understand your cost misgivings.

But only about maybe 10-12% of Shooters care to be truely competitive. The rest are just there to shoot steel, hang out and shoot bull with their buddies. Most of use grew up on playing Cowboys & Indians as kids, watching WESTERNS on TV.

So we finally got to Play Cowboys & Indians with real guns, and Real Rigs.

Cowboy Action Shooting needs a lot of room. So you had to be away, far away. And there was no traffic to speak of on Sat & Sun.

I know of the M.D. you speak off. Stayed away from him myself. He lived near me and busted the Great old STAG GRIPS I had on my M1917S&W, at the old LAPD Harbor Range. Lied about it too. You could always avoid folks you didn't care for by picking another posse. 

You missed out on a Great Deal of Good Comradeship.  And Good Seegars.

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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Brodie posted this 18 November 2018

Yeah, I suspect that I did by not doing the Cowboy Action stuff.  I just got frightened off by the quoted cost.  That particular MD was an Ass.

  The first time I saw him he started in on me about my weight, and I asked him when was the last time he saw his shoes while they were on his feet.  He got pretty steamed about that.  I don't know why he got so mad I could barely see his shoes.

B.E.Brickey

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