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  #1  
Old 03-26-2004, 10:06 AM
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Winchester or Marlin 44 Mag.?


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I have a Winchester 94 TE SRC (circa 1970, no hammer-block safety) carbine chambered for .44 Mag. I've had it for about 5 years and only shot a few hundred rounds through it. I bought it from a friend who is the original owner and had only shot about 50 rounds through it. The gun is in excellent condition.

Recently I picked up a very lightly used Marlin 444P. The action is remarkably smoother than my Winchester 94. Although it has the annoying hammer block safety, I've learned to live with it. I also like the side ejection better than the top ejection of the older Winchester.

I'd like your opinion if I should sell my Winnie and pick up a Marlin .44 Mag? The Winnie's lack of a hammer-block safety seems appealing to many, but the smoothness of the Marlin's action and side ejection are beginning to win me over.

Your thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 03-26-2004, 01:06 PM
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I owned and hunted with a Marlin 44 mag rifle for 23 years. I used the rifle when scouting. I presently own a Winchester 44 mag rifle. The Marlin had more recoil than the Winchester. Both are accurate with jacketed bullets. I plan to use hard cast bullets in the Winchester for hunting. The Marlin had micro-groove rifling, so I never tried hard cast bullets. The action is a little smoother in the Marlin. The Winchester is angle eject and sometimes the shell casing does not flip out of the receiver because I do not work the action hard enough. This was not a problem with the Marlin. Everything considered, they are about equal.
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  #3  
Old 03-26-2004, 07:24 PM
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Go to the gun shop and pick up a Marlin, then pick up a Winchester. You will pick the Marlin, the Winchester is poorly made and "tinny" in comparison.
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  #4  
Old 03-27-2004, 01:57 AM
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I say again. Keep a shooter. The accuracy at the desired target with the desired bullet should be the main consideration for target or game or vermin.

Also, as far as shooting cast. I would try them in any gun no matter what the rifling. I can't get them to shoot in my 44 mag with ballard rifling but the restrictions in the barrel will require fire-lapping and I have had great success with jacketed so far and will probably stick with those a while longer. My problem is , I want to take a deer with this rifle and the 265 gr Hornady round is looking very good. I wounded a deer last year with this gun and the 240 gr. XTP and have lost confidense in that round. Lots of other factors involved but I need my confidense back and I have found I get this on the practice range in April and May.

Last edited by Chief RID; 03-27-2004 at 02:05 AM.
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  #5  
Old 03-27-2004, 04:20 AM
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Question 44mag RIFLE bullets

Have never understood my neither 44 mag in the Win 94 nor Marlin 1894 have never been made available in faster twist rates. They are only available with 1:38" twist. Here's the problem ...

With a typical 20" barrel, a rifle can develop much higher velocity than a 6" revolver.
The original 240gr revolver round uses bullets that expand at 800 to 1200 fps velocities.
Rifle velocities of 1700 to 2000 fps need bullets designed for these higher speeds, certainly not those 240gr pills.
Modern revolvers have much faster twists (Typ. 1:20") than 1:38" and stabilize heavier 44 mag bullets up to ~350gr.
The max weight that can reliably be stabilized by 1:38" is ~270gr.
Why are 44 mag rifle manufacturers missing this picture?
You can safely fire a 1300fps, 305gr load in a modern Revolver.
But, though your Win 94 or Marlin 1894 will cycle such loads, 1:38" twist will not reliably stabilize 305gr bullets.
Frustrating, huh?
That 1300 fps, 305gr should leave a 20" barrel at better than 1700fps then, keyhole as it goes down range.
I know some shooters are going to claim pet loads that stabilize at 305gr in 1:38" but, this is not the rule!


Bill
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  #6  
Old 03-27-2004, 10:34 AM
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1:38 is the old twist for lead in the ballard rifeling. That being said, I am shooting KeithSWC at 250 gr with very good results in my Marlin. I have heard others say they are getting good results with heavier rounds. The biggest problem is that the rounds longer than 1.610 will not always chamber when feed. I have polished my feed ramp and can feed the longer Keith bullet. I have been limted to 9 rounds in the tupe verus 10 with the maller bullets.

In CAS using the 200 gr bullet you will see very good results with the Marlin as that was the original bullet and weight that the rifle was manufatured for. Then again the revolvers also used the dame cartridge.
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  #7  
Old 03-27-2004, 02:46 PM
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While I haven't yet taken any game with my 336 in 44Mag, I do enjoy hunting with it. It is lightweight, has great firepower, and is quick to shoulder with virtually no recoil.
I can tell you that after shooting a 6" young pine tree out of boredom one day from about 25 yards away with a 240gr JSP hot handloaded, I have all the confidence in the world that no deer or bear out to 125+ yards is safe.
The bullet expanded beatifully and nearly went through the entire tree, the thin bark was the only thing not pierced, though it was forced about an inch off the tree.
For what it is worth, my 180gr JHPs hot handloaded actually completely went through 44mag rated bullet proofing material from about 20 yards.

The 44mag is a fantastic hunting cartridge that was never meant to be a long range varminter. It will cleanly take anything that has a face on this continent out to at least 125 yards, and I would not be surprised if it reached further cleanly as well.
As far as the rifles are concerned, I have never been able to develop a liking for the top or angle ejects, so the only Winnie levergun I have in my collection is a model 88.
Get the Marlin and enjoy.
Ranger
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  #8  
Old 03-27-2004, 04:05 PM
SFT SFT is offline
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Marlin; hands down better.
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  #9  
Old 03-28-2004, 01:32 PM
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The "Marlin is preferred" crowd notwithstanding, I'ms really thinking about selling the Marlin FOR a '94 Trapper.

Reasons? For one, that darn tiny little trigger with the sharp edges annoys me about Marlins. I 'could' get a blob of weld on there to lengthen all but 1/4-3/8", then reshape it and reblue it, but at what cost? The Winnie is SO much more comfortable OTB, particularly with the strait-stock guns. While Marlin has the superior of the two brands cross-bolt safeties, I've now had the chance to fondle several new Winnies with tang safeties. Hands-down, that's the preferred set-up. While I've read of some 94AEs being finicky about cartridge length, I've not heard of "The Winchester Jam". While I know that's easily rectified in a Marlin, it's nice to not have the thought hovering around me in the first place.


Taylor, can you elaborate on how your Marlin felt like it had more recoil? Are you speaking of apples-to-apples, with each lever having the same relative barrel length and weight? I feel like the Marlin 16" has a LOT of recoil with maggies, though it's a dear with Specials.
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  #10  
Old 03-29-2004, 09:00 AM
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The Marlin 44 was the standard 20 inch barrel with a full length tuble. It had a walnut stock and forearm. I put a 2 to 7 power scope on it. The Winchester 44 has a black synthitic stock and forearm. It has a 20 inch barrel and full length tube also. It is fairly new. It has a scope on it also. I shoot a 240 grain hunting load. The same load that I shoot in my handgun. It is not maxed out, but it is no baby either. I recommend a recoil pad for either gun. I shot 40 rounds with the Winchester at the range and was not black and blue. With the Marlin, I would have been bruised. The Marlin was well built, smooth operating, accurate and never had any loading problems. It just punished you and was not fun to shot. I have a 41 Marlin. There is all the difference in the world. It is pleasant to shoot, but I have not found an accurate load yet. If I do, the 44 Winchester will get traded for a 20 ga. shotgun before dove season. I have put a lot of thought into this thread. I can not recommend anyone purchase a 44 rifle. There are just too many other chooses to accept a hard kicking short range rifle. There is hardly any difference in weight between a 30-30 or 35 Marlin. A 444P is about the same weight as a 44 Marlin and has a lot more firer power with very little more recoil, if any. If you want a light weight carry gun, try a 357 or a 41 Marlin. I did not mean to get long winded, but you asked.
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  #11  
Old 03-29-2004, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
I did not mean to get long winded, but you asked.
No problem! That's exactly the sort of elaboration I was hoping for, and I appreciate it.

After I posted yesterday, I found Trappers on sale at the local Big-5 for $299. So, I went and put one on hold. If I don't get the Marlin sold at the show this weekend, I'll have both to compare for myself. In any case, I'm feeling OK with my decision.
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  #12  
Old 03-29-2004, 05:23 PM
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I am a Winchester man. Although, I plan to buy a Marlin in .35 Remington since Winchester does not make a .35 caliber.
I wish somebody would make a .356 Winchester. I am sadd that the big bores are no longer made. Except in .450 Marlin and .444 Marlin 45/70 Govt. etc.
I wish Winchester or Marlin would make either a .356 or a .348.
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  #13  
Old 03-29-2004, 06:36 PM
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Thanks to everyone for the replies. There is some really good comparative information here.

I haven't shot the Winchester too much (around 300 rounds)but I have put factory 210gr, and 240gr rounds through it as well as some hunting-power 240 gr LSWC reloads. The Winchester does not have a recoil pad but I didn't feel it to be very heafty in the recoil department. It doesn't even come close to the .444 recoil-wise.

Taylor,

I'm still a bit curoius why the Marlin seems to recoil more. Are they both straight-stocked? Any difference in the surface area of the buttplates?

Thanks
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  #14  
Old 03-30-2004, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meh92
Thanks to everyone for the replies. There is some really good comparative information here.

I haven't shot the Winchester too much (around 300 rounds)but I have put factory 210gr, and 240gr rounds through it as well as some hunting-power 240 gr LSWC reloads. The Winchester does not have a recoil pad but I didn't feel it to be very heafty in the recoil department. It doesn't even come close to the .444 recoil-wise.

Taylor,

I'm still a bit curoius why the Marlin seems to recoil more. Are they both straight-stocked? Any difference in the surface area of the buttplates?

Thanks
I scoffed at 44 mag recoil for a long time, then I loaded some H-110. The recoil everyone talked about, suddenly was there.
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  #15  
Old 03-30-2004, 11:34 AM
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Recoil Issue

Well Guys:

I can only concur with the issue of felt recoil being higher in the Marlin .44's than the Winnies, and I'm not particularly recoil sensitive. I am however a short rotund Irishman with short arms.

My guess is that stock fit is probably the culprit.

I've owned 2 Marlins in .44 mag and they both kicked the snot out of me on the bench with factory ammo. The first one was 336 Texan that I purchased new in 1964, and the second was a 1894 Marlin. They both had the traditional straight grip stock. I've gottem rid of both of 'em. (Shoulda kept the Texan)

I'got a 336 in 30-30 with the pistol grip stock and it's pleasant to shoot with stout loads.

I've got 3 Winnies: a 1940 30-30 with the Eastern carbine stock: a late model 94 top tang sagety in 30-30 and top tang safety in .357 mag. all are extremely pleasnt to shoot. Even the Eastern Carbine with a steel butt plate is a joy.

I've done custom stocks for over 40 years now. And my guess is that the drop at the heel of that Marlin straight grip stock is probably more than Winnies. Also the pitch of the Marlin stock is probably greater than the Winnie. Pitch is the angle/distance that the tip of the barrel makes when you stand the rifle on a floor against a wall or door. not enuf pitch and the toe of the butstock will dig into your shoulder.

I don't have a straight grip Marlin in the shop now to measure, but when I do. I'll report back
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  #16  
Old 03-30-2004, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
one was 336 Texan that I purchased new in
1964, and the second was a 1894 Marlin. They both had the traditional straight
grip stock..... I'got a 336 in 30-30 with the pistol grip stock and it's pleasant to shoot
At first, you had me thinking maybe the straight-stock was the culprit, as the pistol-gripped 336 was OK for you. Then, you mention later that you've got a straight(I assume?) Winnie also in .30-30 which is also OK.

How does one measure 'pitch'?
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  #17  
Old 03-30-2004, 02:55 PM
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I'd definitely be interested in the diffeence in stocks. I went to the local Gander Mountain today and they didn't have a straight-gripped Marlin 1894 in stock to compare.
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  #18  
Old 03-31-2004, 12:37 PM
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Vic:

I did say that the two Marlin .44's, with the straight grip, perceived/felt recoil was more than than any of the Winnies that I own, including the .44 Trapper that I shot.

I went on to say that in comparison my pistol gripped 336 was quite comfortable

My suspicion is that there MAYBE a difference in the drop/pitch between the Marlin and Winchester straight grip buttstocks. I dont have a straight grip Marlin to measure

Felt recoil, aside from cartridge considerations, i.e. .458 Lott Vs a .22 longrifle, is usually a function of stock fit/design. Too much drop at the heel will cause muzzle jump. Zero or negative pitch, much like the old muzzleloaders that used crescent shaped buttplates, will cause the toe of the stock to dig into the shoulder.

How does one measure 'pitch'?

Take the rifle and stand it upright on the floor. Push the receiver against a wall with the buttstock facing straight out. For my own use, the tip of the barrel should be about an 1.25" from the wall on 22" barrel. An inch or so for a 20" tube....less for a 16" tube. It's not real critical so long as you have some positive pitch. Obviously you will have to take the scope off and receiver sight if it has one, to measure correctly.
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  #19  
Old 04-01-2004, 10:53 AM
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I'm not really clear on this, so forgive me for exasperating you a bit. You position the receiver against the wall. Then, do you allow the gun to rock forward down onto its butt? IOW, however far away from the wall it 'pitches' forward, then take the muzzle measurement?
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  #20  
Old 04-01-2004, 12:03 PM
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Vic:

Yup !! Set the buttplate/recoil pad flat on the floor, with the top of receiver against the wall. The tip of the barrel should 'pitch' away from the wall some. The dimensions I gave work for me. Everybody is physically built differently. The object is to get the stock snugly settled into the pocket of your shoulder such the neither the heel nor the toe of the stock nails you during recoil.
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