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  #1  
Old 02-16-2008, 09:04 AM
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1894 45 Colt range report with accuracy questions.


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CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.

I finally got a chance to shoot my new Marlin 1894 45 Colt! After much consultation of load data and practical advice, I was able to begin working up a good hunting load:

CCI 300, WW brass (once fired), trimmed to 1.275", 265 Gr. WFN gas-checked bullets. Powder was 2400.

I started at 18.5 gr and worked up in .3 gr. steps to 20 gr. It was about 70F outside. Velocity 10' from muzzle ranged from 1400fps to 1500fps, with 19.7 and 20 grains yeilding very little change in velocity, so I will go no further.

Happily, 19.1gr gave nice 100yd groups (4" maximum distance between holes), as well as the lowest ES and SD for velocity. 100 yd groups ranged from 3.5 to 5 inches measured from outside edge to outside edge of the two holes that are the maximum spread for the 5 shot group. The forearm was rested on a rolled up towel as I leaned across the hood of my truck, and I used a cheap 6X scope, which i will remove after I'm done testing and put the Skinner on.

The dispersion in the groups is mostly vertical.

All the brass looks fine, with no pressure signs in the primers, but I'd be surprised to see any with this cartridge. 19 grains gave 1175 fps from my Ruger Blackhawk, so I'm very pleased with these initial results.

No fire-lapping done although I have Marshall's kit.


What do you think? is this reasonalbe accuracy (this is my first levergun)? I think it's sufficient for hunting use, and I'd like to figure out the vertical stringing.
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  #2  
Old 02-16-2008, 05:34 PM
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I shoot a very similar load in my marlin .45 colt. I use Alliant 2400, Starline brass WLP primer and BTB 265 gr WFNGC, at 1350 - 1400 FPS. I get groups pretty much the same as the ones you have described. Most of my problem is vertical stringing. I'm going to try different powder to see if that helps, maybe XMP 5744 or AA#5.
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  #3  
Old 02-16-2008, 05:59 PM
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I would say it is the way you are handling recoil that is causing the stringing. It works that way for me. These are pretty light rifles and they push us around on the benc a bit.
If you are resting the forwarm or front of the reciever on the front bag try holding the forearm and place a small bag or rolled up coat under the heal of the butt. When shooting the Gould bullet in my wife's Trapper I shot the big bullet well with lighter load and strung them up and down with heavier loads.
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:17 AM
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From shooting Buffalo Bore's heavy .45 LC ammo I can tell you that such velocities haven't had any ill effects on my 1894 CBC. One does have to realize that the recoil is stout, as well as that the heavier the bullet the more drop it's going to have and thus your max effective range goes down.
The 325 grainers at 1325 fps will shoot through very large critters, and that velocity is taken from an appropriately stout revolver. Even so, I find the effective range within 75 yards using iron sights.

Last edited by SFT; 02-19-2008 at 07:56 PM.
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  #5  
Old 02-18-2008, 11:31 AM
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SFT
I'll have to look at my data- I like the 325 gr bullets in my Legacy 94! Shoot very well out to 125 yds, If I remember correctly I'm getting 1575-1600FPS with these using CCI350 and W296/H110 21.5gr? I'll check tonight and post the actual data! Thumpers for sure-anything you hit with these will not go to far!
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  #6  
Old 02-19-2008, 06:13 AM
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GunNut 45/454

I've been shooting Marshalls 340 grain LFN-GC , .45 Colt out of my Marlin Cowboy 24" w/18.0 grains of W#296 with CCI 350 MAG Primers and Starline Brass ,

I have not run em across the Chrono yet but they are sure accurate at 50 and 100 yds , and of course, recoil is there ,

but I would bet one could shoot thru most any large game in North America with the 340's or the 325 grains
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  #7  
Old 02-19-2008, 07:28 PM
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Thanks for the replies gents! I've got some good ideas to try, so I'll keep you posted.

I did some penetration testing with my 45 Colt Ruger Blackhawk a while before I got the Marlin.

A 255gr Kieth style SWC at 1200fps (chronographed) penetrated 10 1 gallon milk jugs full of water and made a hole in the 11th, causing it to leak! 60 inches of water and plastic

Other than being engraved by the barrel, it was not deformed in any way.

I don't think you should worry about penetration with 300+ gr bullets.

Interestingly, from the same distance, my 30-06 sent a 200gr Nosler Accubond at 2500fps through only 6 jugs (36"). It performed well, expanding to about 60 cal and retaining 75% mass.
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Old 02-19-2008, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffalo George View Post
GunNut 45/454

I've been shooting Marshalls 340 grain LFN-GC , .45 Colt out of my Marlin Cowboy 24" w/18.0 grains of W#296 with CCI 350 MAG Primers and Starline Brass ,

I have not run em across the Chrono yet but they are sure accurate at 50 and 100 yds , and of course, recoil is there ,

but I would bet one could shoot thru most any large game in North America with the 340's or the 325 grains
Buffalo Bore rates these for game up to 1000 pounds, so that's enough power for anything I'm likely to hunt. You'll get a little more velocity than I can get out of my Marlin Cowboy Comp.'s 20 inch barrel, and there is quick a "push" when the round goes off. I may have already mentioned that I killed two hogs with one of these bullets one time. Not on purpose but still got my limit that day nonetheless!

Last edited by SFT; 02-19-2008 at 07:52 PM.
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  #9  
Old 02-20-2008, 05:28 AM
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SFT

Very Cool, a TwoFer,

Big Bullets work just great on game, I found out that you dont have to get them going that fast for them to work well.

I shot a cow bison in South Dakota in 04 with a 45-90 Browning Hi Wall w/500 grain Steve Brooks Cast FN, behind 80 grains of GOEX FFg,

they bullet never stopped on the way thru , punched a hole in the off side as big as a half dollar, the ole girl was DRT( dead right there)

Thanks

George
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  #10  
Old 02-20-2008, 06:10 AM
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Congrats on that buff! Yea, it's nice to know that a good hard cast bullet is something you can rely on.
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  #11  
Old 02-21-2008, 03:20 PM
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Im shooting Winchester Trapper & 265 grain SWC at the 1080-1150 fps range getting one inch 5 shot groups at 25 yards. Thats with Universal , Unique at the 7.8-8.5 grain range. That should take care of most everything I need. I will test it out at the 50 and 100 yds range but I would think 2" at 50 and 4 inches at 100yds should be where it falls.
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  #12  
Old 02-22-2008, 05:40 AM
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CVARCHER ,

Those groups are real good, you'll be making bacon with them.

I have a box of BTB 280 gr WFN I am going to load up this weekend for my Marlin Cowboy (24 " Tube) and my NBHawk, 4 5/8" , I dont know just what the starting load is going to be yet.

George
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  #13  
Old 02-22-2008, 10:45 AM
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http://www.leverguns.com/articles/pa...ltlevergun.htm

The above link is to an article by a gent who is a big fan of 2400 in magnum pistol cases, even in leverguns. The pressures range higher than many are comfortable with, but the data is solid.
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  #14  
Old 02-22-2008, 03:40 PM
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Kanuct,

Ah PACO Kelly,

I cut every thing back by four grains or five grains and pray !!

Thats a great article too!!

Paco is a neat Guy,

Thanks

George
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  #15  
Old 02-23-2008, 06:27 AM
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CVArcher: That's the type of performance I'm getting with my 1894, but I was wondering what I should expect.

Buffalo George: Ask Marshall for load data, he'll be happy to help!
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Last edited by kount_zer0; 02-23-2008 at 06:30 AM.
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  #16  
Old 02-23-2008, 07:01 AM
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Talking

Hey Kount_Zero

Thanks, I found and downloaded Marshall's 280WFN-GCg, Mid-weight Sledgehammer Article ,

Being that I have a pound of WW296, and some CCI#350 P's, and new Starline Brass, I will give that a try , starting around 24.0 grains.

Going to use them in my New Black Hawk 4 5/8" and the Marlin Cow Bow.

Thanks

George
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  #17  
Old 02-23-2008, 07:06 AM
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Hey Kount_Zero

I found Marshalls article on the .45Colt, Mid-Weight Sledgehammer for the 280g, WFN-GC .

Being I have a pound of WW#296, I will give that a try starting around 23.0 or 24.0 grains.

Thanks

George
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  #18  
Old 02-23-2008, 09:20 AM
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Please let me know how that goes. I had problems getting the WW brass to seal in the 1894, resulting in black streaks down the case and inconsistent ignition with W296. I was using lighter bullets, though (265gr) and LP primers (CCI300).

I found much more consistent results with 2400.

Most advised comments with my problems with W296 were: use a heavier bullet, and or more powder and try mag primers.

Also see:
http://www.shootersforum.com/showthr...ighlight=280gr

I think you just MUST push W296/H110 to maximum loads to get good results.
I just don't need that kind of muzzle blast in the revolver.
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  #19  
Old 02-24-2008, 04:58 AM
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Kount_Zero ,

I loaded up twenty of the 280 WFN-GC's using 24.0 grain of WW#296,

with a moderate roll crimp,

I am shooting once fire Starline Brass, I will try to get out to the range this mid week, and take the Crono ,

I will load another ten rounds up with 25.8 or 26.0 grains of WW#296, and check them out also .

Thanks and have a good weekend

George
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  #20  
Old 02-25-2008, 06:41 PM
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Thanks George. Please post your results or PM me. I'm very interested in this bullet.
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