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  #1  
Old 03-16-2008, 10:03 AM
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Ammo recommendations 357 & 38spl


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While I'm waiting for the approval from the war department (aka the wife) to purchase my 1894C, I'd like to start stocking up on some ammo. I'll be using the 1894C mostly for plinking with my son (40 yds) and target shooting at 50 yds. I'm not reloading yet so I'll be purchasing ammo off the shelf.

What's your recommendation for good, cheap 38 special for plinking and accurate 357 ammunition for target shooting?
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  #2  
Old 03-16-2008, 11:00 AM
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As far as what's accurate in your rifle can only be determined by firing it in your rifle. You should try several different brands and bullet weights until you are satisfied and then stay with it. So as far as stocking up before the rifle is purchased just buy all the different brands you can find and be ready to test.
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:36 AM
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I would buy some boxes of American Eagle, Blazer brass, and Winchester white box (old reliable lol) if ya want cheap, and they seem to be reasonably accurate out to the distances you want to shoot. I guess it's mostly a trial and error deal where you just have to go to the range and find out what works best. By the way, from my experience 38spl ammo tends to be a pain in the rear to clean from my .357 rifles. Not sure of the reason, it just seems to leave a mess in the barrel.

Tough job, but someones gotta do it . . . . . . . .
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Last edited by Good_Steward; 03-16-2008 at 11:49 AM. Reason: addition
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  #4  
Old 03-16-2008, 08:34 PM
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I appreciate the specific recommendations. As rrider said, I will certaintly try several differnt types but I could really use some giudance on what works best from experience.

Looking forward to more recommendations.
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  #5  
Old 04-06-2008, 07:58 PM
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Tried the following:
CCI Blazer Ammunition 357 Magnum 158 Grain Jacketed Hollow Point
Cheap, fun to shoot. Okay accuracy. Non-reloadable. Wouldn't buy any more

Magtech Ammunition 38 Special 125 Grain Full Metal Jacket Flat Point
Had a hard time chambering these. Shot fine out to 100 yrds!

Magtech Ammunition 357 Magnum 158 Grain Semi-Jacketed Soft Point
2nd best. Great 357 for $17.79 (dealer price). No complaints.

Magtech Cowboy Action Ammunition 357 Magnum 158 Grain Lead Flat Nose
So far this is my prefered factory round so far. Accurate, predictable. Real good out to 100 yards.
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  #6  
Old 04-07-2008, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creeker View Post
While I'm waiting for the approval from the war department (aka the wife) to purchase my 1894C, I'd like to start stocking up on some ammo. I'll be using the 1894C mostly for plinking with my son (40 yds) and target shooting at 50 yds. I'm not reloading yet so I'll be purchasing ammo off the shelf.

What's your recommendation for good, cheap 38 special for plinking and accurate 357 ammunition for target shooting?
My limited experience with hand gun calibers , in lever guns , indicates that a Round Nose Lead or Round Nose Flat Point has a better chance of feeding OK .

As to what brand , I do not know . I cast my own bullets & reload .

Why not put that money in a " cookey jar " and when you get the rifle , buy one box at a time and find out what works best for you ?

God bless
Wyr
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  #7  
Old 04-08-2008, 08:26 PM
SFT SFT is offline
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Wink

RNFP bullet like those used by Magtech are designed from the get go to feed and cycle in a levergun w/out problems. Even if you don't reload, always save your brass, as you may be able to work out a deal with someone who does at some point in the future, or you can always sell them to someone shooting SASS matches.

Cabelas has the RNFP cowboy bullets in 250, 500, and 1000 round buckets, and are usually cheaper than buying a box a 50 factory loads. Now, since you're already burning up them bullets and punching that paper, give your rifle a really good cleaning about once a year, to included swabbing out the magazine tube. Pull the lever and give it a normal cleaning after a couple hundred round or after every trip to the range.

There are all sorts of goodies to go along with your Marlin, like ejectors, one piece firing pinds and springs, but all that is up to you and not necessary
if you're satisfied with how it handles right now. Do yourself a favor and take the sharp edge off the snail shaped cam on the lever so it will not notch the carrier and cause feeding problems later on. It's called "fixing then Marlin jam", and while it only occurs in the 1894 designs, it will happen but only after thousands of rounds. It is a quick and easy fix only requiring a popsicle stick and 800 grit wet/dry sandpaper. Don't worry about it until you are comfortable with removing the lever and polishing it a little.

Good shooting to you and let us know what kind of Marlin you get next. Marlinitus sets in rather quick, so don't fight it, just go with the flow.
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  #8  
Old 04-09-2008, 08:12 AM
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Creeker
Your going to love it!!! I have a Marlin 20" CBL and its been a very accurate fun gun to shoot! It absolutely loves 158gr Cast SWC's, Shoots 180gr XTP to under 2" at 100 yards open sights . I've gots some 110 gr XTPs that will not shoot for beans in my pistols so I'm going to give them a try in the Marlin.
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  #9  
Old 04-09-2008, 02:34 PM
SFT SFT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnut45/454 View Post
Creeker
Your going to love it!!! I have a Marlin 20" CBL and its been a very accurate fun gun to shoot! It absolutely loves 158gr Cast SWC's, Shoots 180gr XTP to under 2" at 100 yards open sights . I've gots some 110 gr XTPs that will not shoot for beans in my pistols so I'm going to give them a try in the Marlin.
The light weight .357 rounds, 110-125 grain, do not have much of a bearing surface, so they may or may not group well out of the rifle barrel. As is always the case, you'll just have to see if yours likes the lower weight bullets or not.
For the most part, the Marlin's seem to do the best with 150 and up bullet weights, and for some real power, check out what Buffalo Bore does with hot loading the .357. It brings new meaning to .357 Magnum.

Good shooting.
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  #10  
Old 04-09-2008, 06:20 PM
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Thanks for all of the excellent information. I've starting to experience some of the things you are mentioning here, like how 158gr is more accurate in my rifle than the lighter loads (now I know about the smaller bearing surface thanks to SFT).

Quote:
Originally Posted by SFT View Post
...check out what Buffalo Bore does with hot loading the .357. It brings new meaning to .357 Magnum.
SFT, when you mention Buffalo Bore and .357, are you talking about these rounds?
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  #11  
Old 04-09-2008, 07:36 PM
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As a recommendation, Independence Ammo, Blue and White box 357 Mag JSP. The first runs were made by Magtech in Brazil, now its made in the US, everyone on the net says it is made by CCI. My friend bought 100 rounds to shoot in his 686, now I have more .357 brass to reload.
I am sure the ammo you linked to is what SFT was talking about. IMHO the .357 is really worth reloading for.
Andy

Last edited by andy; 04-09-2008 at 07:41 PM.
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  #12  
Old 04-09-2008, 07:53 PM
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5. 18.5 inch Marlin 1894
a. Item 19A/20-180gr. Hard Cast = 1851 fps
b. Item 19B/20-170gr. JHC = 1860 fps
c. Item 19C/20-158gr. Speer Uni Core = 2153 fps---- Can you believe this?!!!
d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Speer Uni Core = 2298 fps---- Or this?!!!

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  #13  
Old 04-11-2008, 06:18 PM
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Be very, very careful with Blazer aluminum case ammo! When I first got my 1894 in .357 mag I jammed the gun up really well by getting one of the Blazer cartridges bent when I put it in through the loading port. Had to carefully disassemble the whole cotton picking gun.
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