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Is it true the Winchester 94 Big Bore rifle has a stronger action than the Marlin action?  I have heard this but I haven't read anything that would substantiate it so I thought I would put it before the learned council.

Bill
 

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Hello from Scotland punkinchucker

Expert i aint ! But keen i are !

And ive been looking into the .444 a lot recently and what ive read and heard is the reverse of what you say.
Over and over i have seen the marlin rated as superior to the Winchester................. Thats why i'm getting a Marlin .444 "outfitter"    

Best regards from across the Pond
 

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I have read a lot about what you are talking about and I don't believe one is strongr than the other mainly because both the 336 and the bigbore were both chambered for the 375 winchester which was designed as a higher pressure round than the 30-30 or 35 remington rounds.
 

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Yes, but you have to remember about the bolt-thrust since they both lock-up in the rear. I have read that in the 444marlin, the 94BB can handle about 5,000psi moer than the marlin. This is from paco kelly's articles which are over on sixgunner.com
 

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It's academic.  The difference is probably insignificant.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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This is a good example of why the Internet is a really crappy place to do research... just because something is found on a web site does not make it true!

I am not trying to start an argument or say anyone is wrong (for the record I don't have the slightest clue whether one rifle is stronger than the other), I am just posting this to caution people from going out and hot-rodding their rifles based on forum hearsay and chit-chat.

When one of the gunpowder or ammunition companies comes out with higher pressure data for one rifle vs. the other (as they've done for 'modern' .45 Colt guns vs. SAA's and replicas), then I think we can draw some firmer conclusions.  It may even exist for this example but haven't seen it in print yet myself.

Until then.... yes it might be fun to speculate, but let's keep in mind that it is, in fact, speculation at this point.
 

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Yes, the big bore is designed to work with cartridges that produce up to 52,000 CUP.  The marlin standard (336) action is stronger than the standard 94 Winchester.  The Marlin is the better choice for most modifications.
 

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THe M94 Win was redesigned to operate at higher pressures in the Big Bore model. With the reciever castings being essentially open on top and bottom, the side walls can and do stretch causing premature action failure with high pressure loads. More steel was added to the Big Bore to obliviate this condition.
The Marlin Lever action is closed on top so its design is stronger from the getgo all things equal. This isn't an endorsement of either for hot loading or modifying to attempt to exceed the design parameters of either. Let common sense prevail.
The Big Bore is designed for higher pressures then the Marlin. This info has been available for years in the public domain.
To think that they share common chamberings makes them equal is proof of nothing. Over a typical equal number of firings with the conditions being equal and common to both, the Winchester Big Bore would be more durable as relates to headspace and safety. The living members of this board couldn't ascertain that I would venture to guess.
 

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Well, I too have both 336's & 1894's in both standard and BigBores. The Marlin actions seem to have thinner sidewalls than the Winchesters. I really don't feel the enclosed top of the Marlin is of much advantage, except when mounting scopes (a felony). Marlin claimed special heat-treating was necessary for their brief runs of .356 & .307 winchester chambered guns.  However, both offer the .444 Marlin currently. Winchester uses their BigBore action, Marlin uses the 336. Things that make you go hmmmm.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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How do they lock up, and how is that strain transmitted to the receiver?  I would think that would be the crux of the question.

If the barrel contains all the pressure of the cartridge, except for the rearward both thrust, the difference in strength would then be the bolt lockup.  It would seem logical to assume similar strength in the barrels of the two different guns, if they are similar diameters (which I don't know).  

So.... the M94 and it's variants have twin vertical lugs at the rear of the receiver.  Could be (my speculation!) why Winchester had to beef up the receiver walls to contain increased bolt thrust.  How does the Marlin lock up though?

The solid top on the Marlin receiver should in fact help keep the receiver more rigid, but whether this is a factor would depend on what part of the gun bears the brunt of the bolt thrust.  Or another way to look at it would be that the Malin could have thinner receiver walls than the Winchester, and still be as rigid.

OK who knows how a Marlin works..... the only Marlin that I have is a M39 (.22), so that's probably not a useful comparison.
 
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