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  #1  
Old 07-06-2006, 06:54 PM
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1894 .45 colt accuracy


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Just wondering what kind of 100 yard 5 shot groups are possible with a 1894 in .45 colt with cast bullets. I'm currently playing around with 300gr FP with Unique, and also Alliant 2400 at 1100 to 1200 fps. So far a good group for me is about 3".
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  #2  
Old 07-21-2006, 07:39 AM
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I too would be interested in folk's results. Also, what size bullet do most folks shoot with the 1894 Cowboy.
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  #3  
Old 08-24-2006, 02:21 PM
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Farmboy,

I would say that if you are getting 3" groups @ 100 yards, that's pretty good, especially if you are doing it with the standard sights.

I have a receiver sight on my 1894 Marlin Cowboy and my average group size is pretty close to 3". I have fired smaller groups closer to the 2" range, but those are the exceptions rather than the rule.

I have also found that the heavier bullets 300-350 gr. will shoot better groups than 250 gr. bullets.

I size my bullets .454" - .457" depending on the mold.

Have fun!

John
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  #4  
Old 08-25-2006, 03:46 PM
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I just noticed, there is not a .45 colt entry in the postal match. That seems strange. Must not be a lot of folks that use that pistol-rifle combo that know about the match. We need to do something about that.
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  #5  
Old 08-26-2006, 01:27 AM
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I stand corrected. There are entries over there. It provides some good info in this area. Go into the lever gun topic and look for Ranch Dog Postal Match thread to get the web site where the results are posted. Join in next year, as this match is over the end of this month.
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  #6  
Old 09-09-2006, 01:51 PM
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I have done more load development but still can't improve my group size, If anything they have got worse. I believe much of the problem is due to the very heavy trigger on my rifle. Hopefully I can get an aftermarket trigger, or trigger job this winter. I should mention I'm using a 3-9 scope and shooting from a home made bench.
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  #7  
Old 09-09-2006, 05:28 PM
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I don't have a .45 Colt, but I do shoot a .45-70. With medium heavy loads I get 3-4 inch groups at 100 yards, but with peep sights. I put a scope on it (2 1/2 X) to see if there was any difference and the scope cut about an inch off the group. These groups were fired with cast bullets.
The accuracy you are getting could be due to a number of factors. One of which is the ability to shoot off a bench - it is not as easy as it seems. If the bench is home made and has any wobble it will make it more difficult to get consistent small groups.
The rifle and bullets are also factors. As an example, have you cleaned the barrel periodically to make sure that there is no build up of lead? You sound like you are using cast bullets. The quality of them, whether you make them yourself or buy them, will obviously make a difference. I have started to weigh my .45-70 bullets, after I visually sort them, to make sure that there are no discrepancies. Every once in a while I will find a bullet that looks like the others, but weighs more, or less.
Has someone else fired your rifle and got the same sort of accuracy?
Good luck. It is a good feeling when you can get those big bullets to make those large holes in the target.
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  #8  
Old 09-11-2006, 06:55 PM
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Good points al_sway, the bench is a bit wiggly. I'm going to get my brother to shoot a few groups to see how he makes out with it. I do clean the barrel every 20-30 shots. And I'm going to weigh out a number of bullets just to see if that could be some of the problem. I have to point the barrel up and carefully lower it before I shoot, or the groups really open up. So I would like to try some powder that fills the case better.
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  #9  
Old 09-15-2006, 04:47 PM
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I can get 1.5" groups using standard sights (albiet a Winchester) in .45 Colt.

With cheap plinkin ammo I'm all over the paper.

But with handloaded lead/tin alloy .454 cast bullets with a full case of BP, I can (thats the key word) get 1.5 to 2" groups.

More often than not it opens up to 5" or 6" groups. Probably once out of 4 or 5 I can get a magic grouping like that.

The funniest part is I have my rear sight on maximum elevation and it hits dead on at 100 yards. Takes that fat old bullet a long noticeable time to reach the target.
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  #10  
Old 09-21-2006, 08:43 PM
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Most cowboy loads are either 200 or 250 grain RNFP, and my CBC .45 will shoot either just about as well. 1 inch groups are possible at 100 yards, but thinking about the amount of energy the bullet still carries after 100 yards, the kill zone of your game animal, bullet drop, type of sights, 2-3 inch groups are more than acceptable.
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  #11  
Old 09-21-2006, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farmboy
Just wondering what kind of 100 yard 5 shot groups are possible with a 1894 in .45 colt with cast bullets. I'm currently playing around with 300gr FP with Unique, and also Alliant 2400 at 1100 to 1200 fps. So far a good group for me is about 3".
PS- the faster twist of the .45 compared to Marlin's standard for the .44 mag. makes the .45 much better able to handle 300+ grain bullets more accurately (1:20 vs. 1:38), but drop is much greater the heavier you go. Have you thought about using 250-290 or so weights?
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  #12  
Old 09-21-2006, 09:03 PM
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well, the .45 colt is superior at handling 300+ bullets than the .44 mag anyway because of lower pressure needed to push the projectile.
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  #13  
Old 09-22-2006, 03:47 PM
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My 1894cl is a 2005 and has the 1-38 twist rate unfortunately. I was under the impression that it was a 1-20 when I bought it. Just bought some IMR 4227 to try, it should fill the case a bit more which might help.
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  #14  
Old 09-22-2006, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Army GI
well, the .45 colt is superior at handling 300+ bullets than the .44 mag anyway because of lower pressure needed to push the projectile.
I read somewhere that Marlin's decision to retain the 1:38 twist rate in .44 mag was to keep the pressure of the magnum pistol round down in a long rifle barrel, since the original powder charges had been designed to push the bullet out of pistol barrels.
There are several well known specialty gunsmiths that will re-barrel or reline the barrel to better handle 300+ grain bullets, although sometimes other modifications are required to handle longer than normal ammo.
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  #15  
Old 09-22-2006, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farmboy
My 1894cl is a 2005 and has the 1-38 twist rate unfortunately. I was under the impression that it was a 1-20 when I bought it. Just bought some IMR 4227 to try, it should fill the case a bit more which might help.
Marlin lists the 1894cl with a 1:20; 32-20 cal correct? Was this changed in 06?
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  #16  
Old 09-23-2006, 04:28 AM
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SFT, I gave the wrong model it's a 1894 Cowboy Limited model 1894cb. My mistake.
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  #17  
Old 09-23-2006, 05:27 PM
SFT SFT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farmboy
SFT, I gave the wrong model it's a 1894 Cowboy Limited model 1894cb. My mistake.
Ah, I see. I had one as well, .44 mag CB Limited II., 24 inch octagonal barrel, checkered stock, great shooter, good looker too. Traded it for a .45 CBC; dumb, dumb, dumb. SWhould have kept it and just saved my money for the .45 later.
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  #18  
Old 10-04-2006, 02:37 PM
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Farm Boy,
My '94 Cowboy .45 Colt also has the 38" twist and it shoots bullets up to 350 grs. AOK. With 4227 and 250 gr. bullets, I found that the best groups came with 24-26 grs.

Had 1 group @ 100 yards that measured 1 3/4" using 4227 and bullets I made from a Lee 250 gr. RNFP mold.

Good luck.
JOhn
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  #19  
Old 10-04-2006, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Kort
Farm Boy,
My '94 Cowboy .45 Colt also has the 38" twist and it shoots bullets up to 350 grs. AOK. With 4227 and 250 gr. bullets, I found that the best groups came with 24-26 grs.

Had 1 group @ 100 yards that measured 1 3/4" using 4227 and bullets I made from a Lee 250 gr. RNFP mold.

Good luck.
JOhn
When did Marlin change the twist rate in their .45 LC chambered rifles to the current 1:16?

Last edited by SFT; 10-05-2006 at 11:56 AM.
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  #20  
Old 10-05-2006, 09:18 AM
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SFT,
I am not sure but I am thinking it was within the past few years. I bought my rifle in 1997.

John
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