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Discussion Starter #1
To all and especially Mr. Gates,

I'd like to add a Trapper length .44mag.  to the rack. Mostly for SC hogs and ME deer.  If you look at Ashley Sight's ads, the 1894 pictured is a cut down "S" with a Decelerator pad and no ports (perfect, but for the barrel band and the fat forend wood).

Mr. Gates appears to have found nirvana and written that the "P" is plenty accurate enough and works well.  Good stuff, but what's life like with the ports?  I have friends at the gun club, and would prefer not to cause any shell shock cases or pepper them with unburned 2400.  ("Hey, guys!  This thing shoots great!  guys?... guys!?...")  I guess the same question goes for all "guide guns."

Regards,

- Charlie
 

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Hi Charlie,
I know this is a real "can of worms" question you asked so I'll try my best based on my experience.  First of all, I am not neutral on the topic of porting.  I have ported a bunch of 44 mag handguns, one 375 H&H Mag and have the 1894P & 444 Outfitter that came with porting.  Except for the last 2, all were Magnaports.  No muzzle brakes.  The only place I can say the porting is any louder is under a tin roof.  It's a hazy thing though since everything is louder under a tin roof.  Over the last 15 years, I have never heard any real difference.  

Last week a friend of mine was shooting my 444 Outfitter off the bench and I was spotting about 10 feet away and about even with the end of the barrel.  I anticipated and giant blast like I've felt with the old AR-15 flash suppressors.  Sure, it was loud (I always double muff under a roof) but there was no blast, no unburnt powder and no noise out of character for where I was standing.  If the porting made a noise difference, I cannot tell it from being aside the gun or from the shooting position.  This is such a sensitive topic but I simply cannot tell the difference in noise with or without the porting save but a small amount under a tin roof.  

Muzzle brakes are totally different to my ears.  I never shot a muzzle braked gun but from the side they will blow you off the bench.  

The Marlin 1894p will hardly use the ports except on a hot load with lots of slow burning powder.  Then the recoil drop is very evident.  

James Gates is the master of "balance in loading".  He recommends very effective loads that are not very loud with our without porting... and they take down game.

There are a bunch of smart guys that really dislike porting (I agree with them on every muzzle brake I ever heard), but my own personal experience is very much to favor them.  In any case, the ports on an 1894p will hardly work at all with mid range loads.
Hope this is of some help.

God bless..................... Bill M
 

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Indeed! It is true that I think the Marlin 1894P is about the best light walking/boat/truck rifle going today! It is correct that the only time one notices the ports is exactly when you need them....heavy doses of slow burn powder! There has been a lot of hype about ports, however I like them on the light rifles popular today. As for as accuracy....I have found that the little Marlin groups much better with medium burn powders, like AA5. I have quit using #2400, as I feel that WW296/H110/AA9 is better with 265 gr up bullets. There is less flash/bang and a much cleaner burn. However, on 265 gr, and down, I will use AA5. The Marlin is a firearm that takes so thinking about with that short 16.5" barrel. One does get some barrel flip with the heavies. When shooting off the bench use a very soft rest or place your hand under the forearm. If not you will get vertical stringing, mainly with the 265 gr up. The main thing to remember is not to try to make a cannon out of the "P"! With reasonable comfortable loads it will match, with more accuracy, any of the hand cannon ballistics....and I am told one can kill anything with them.
Best Regards, James
 

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Another observation...

My 1894 predates the "P" version. It is almost identical except for a 16" Micro-Groove rifled barrel instead of Ballard and it has no ports. I find that in this rifle the best accuracy is with properly sized 300g bullets (both jacketed and cast) launched by stiff doses of H110/W296 (on the order of 21.5g and up).

Jack
 

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I have an 1894 with micro-groove rifling, from 1996 and it shoots very well. I also have a 444P And it too is very accurate. I think the ports on the 444P help to   Dampen the muzzle jump quite a bit. To me they are both enjoyable to shoot, and I`m glad I have them both. If you buy a 1894P I bet you`ll like it as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It seems that the ports are ok.  Mr. Gates, you should put together a load Tips page on the "P" for us.  (You might want to elaborate on your thoughts for conservative loading in the P).

I saw Stranger's loadswap for 300gr  at 1660fps(!) out of a 16" 1894.  That would be hotter than factory 45-90 loads...

Thanks.  You guys helped select my Christmas gift...
 

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Charlie:

Just remember that those velocities are for cast not jacketed bullets. Also be sure that the cast bullets are properly sized for your Marlin. In most cases that will be .432".

(Edited by Stranger at 9:34 am on Oct. 11, 2001)
 

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Friends All.....Let me take a moment for some claification on what I consider needed in handguns and short rifles. Hanguns serve a purpose for me unlike a great deal of other shooter/hunters of today.I set my handguns up for close-in and fast hunting on game in the 400 pound class. Under the conditions we hunt in, a 75 yard shot is the extreme, most shots in feet rather than yards! Many times this calls for putting down an animal that can be very dangerous. With this in mind...I have stressed, and will continue to stress, the importance of recoil control over massive foot pounds. I have found that a 240/265 gr hard cast, with at least a .300" (340" better) meplat at velocity of 1200+/- velocity is perfect. On the other hand....The 1894P(or similar short rifles)does for the .44 mag, as the Big Marlin does for the .444 Marlin. The Marlin 1894P shines with the 265/300 gr hard cast BTB bullets. My two favorite bullets in the 1894P are the BTB 265 gr WFN GC and the BTB 300 gr LMN DCG GC, The latter being a real bone crusher! Both of these bullets, loaded to the upper end, offer the heavy cover hunter an outstanding 100 yard load! The BTB 280 gr has some feeding problems in 1894P's without a modified lifter.
Powders...In the hangun, I prefer a good dose of AA5 (4" to 7.5" barrels). In the 16" up barrels, I like AA9, followed by WW296/H110. There are some leaning toward IMR 4227. An outatanding intermediate powder is 800X, which gives some smoke, but outstanding accuracy.
Best Regards to All, James
 

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Don't forget the BTB 300g WFNGC. It's a pinpoint thumper (when driven to high velocities) with a WIDE meplat. And it feeds beautifully though an unaltered 1894 action.
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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James,

The individuals that I have always been jealous of are those that can summarize a situation in a simple and direct manner. They hit to the heart of matter, usually making me wonder why it took me so long to catch on.  And that’s exactly what you do when you emphasize “control”.  One of those terms that I understand, but never really appreciated the real significance and critical nature.  You do us all a service by continuing to remind us of the bottom-line requirement for control, for both hunter and hunted. Nothing beats an experienced hunter that is willing to share and can summarize so nicely. And you do it with a passion that is impressive and obviously heart felt.

Thanks,

Dan
 

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Has anybody used the 325gr .432 WLN in the 1894? I just got a batch for my blackhawk.

I'm thinking about picking up a 1894 to have as a truck gun.

Thanks.
Eric
 

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While we are on the subject of ports, I commonly put a piece of electrical tape over my muzzle to keep out snow or rain while hunting.  What about a strip over the ports of mu guide gun? My impression is it would be fine, any opinions?   KevinNY
 
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