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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, last post before I have to get back to work! I have been thinking of trading one of my bolt actions for a little lever gun companion to my revolvers ( dang it I'm hooked! ) and I can't decide which caliber.
    On the .357 side, it's cheaper to shoot, recoils less and is adequate for deer. As for the .44 it can be used for bigger game should the need or desire arise.
    My concern is the slower twist of the .44. Why do they do that? I know we've discussed it before but I'd like to gather personal experiences. Who has one or both of these and how accurately does it shoot, REALLY! As someone (maybe Townsend Whelen) once said, the only interesting rifle is an accurate rifle! Thanks for any comments.   ID
 

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I have an old 1894 in 44 mag.  I worked up a max load for it using W296 powder, CCI primers, and Hornady 240 JHP XTP bullets.  Accuracy is very good, and velocity is 1845 f.p.s.  Were I you I believe that I would go with the 44, as it is a better round for hunting, if you choose to use it for that.  Just my 2 cents.
 

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IDShooter-

Your probably going to end up with both in the end:D but as always it depends what you plan on doing with it. I think I would go with the .357 for the reasons you already state. If noise is a consideration it is quieter as well especially when using light plinking loads.

As for twist in the .44 I can't say. I've only shot it with 240gr jacketed bullets and it and the accuracy is fine, afaic. It will put three rounds into an inch and one half at 50 yards.

In either case you will not be dissappointed. They are a couple of terrific little rifles.

God bless
Kevin
 

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I have a good friend that has the 357 and you could not get it away from him. He has killed many deer with it and it is by far his favorite gun. He is very accurate with it but he is an excellent shot anyway.

I have the 44 and love it. I have not had it long and have not hunted with it yet but I can't wait. I can hit an 8 inch target with a snap shot from 40 yds consistantly and I shoot it pretty good at 50.
 

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Lets see, I started with the 44 Mag, then the 357 Mag, then the 45 Colt, and then the - - - - - -

and so it goes

oldpete
 

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I would get the 44 mag and never look back. Very fine accuracy and many bullet wts. to choose from. It hits pretty hard too, all in all what more could you want.
 

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ID,
  As some one already mentioned above, just pick the one that is most appealing to you now, as sooner or later, the other one will follow you home. I know, once the Marlin levergun bug bites, it won't let go till all tradeable guns and rainy day money dries up. But boy, are they fun to shoot!

  As to the 1 in 38" twist rate, don't fret. I shoot 330 gr LBT LFNDCGC in mine with outstanding results over 20-22 grs. H110. Groups hover around 1" at 50 yds., with Lyman 66LA peep attached. Good enough for any deer, blackbear, or hog. Velocity is around 1600 fps with the above loads.

  Funny thing is, the .357 1894 is next on my wish list. Gotta stop reading this website! I already have a Saeco 180 gr. FNGC mold, and have been getting excellent accuracy with it in my Marlin .35 Rem.'s. Like I said, those Marlins have a tendency to breed if you're not careful.

  ID, I feel your pain. Isn't  it fun commiserating over such tough decisions <!--emo&;)--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=';)'><!--endemo-->. Anxious to know what you decide.

                       Jeff
 

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I just brought home an 1894C last night. The car wouldn't go past the range so I had to stop in...

The .357 in an 18.5 inch model 1894 is sweet. The rifle is very light and comes to the shoulder like it was growing there. The .357 cartridge is very pleasant to shoot and inexpensive as well. The action and trigger on my new rifle were both excellent, it fed both 125 and 158 grain bullets without flaw. Heck, it even had nice figure in the wood.

Buy one... you won't be sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey guys,
    I took some dummy rounds of my loads to the gun shop and guess what? They won't feed in the Marlin 1894. It's just a 158gr cast SWC (of which I have about a gazillion) but it won't feed. So I guess it's a moot point.
    Besides, if you checked my handgun thread you'll see I'm about sick of the GP anyway. Oh well. I'm thinking of taking up a different hobby. I wish I could find one as interesting but less costly. IDShooter
 

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ID.  I know the 44 is not suppose to cycle SWC. That is the only round that is mentioned in the book, not to use, besides spires of coarse.

I have not tryed anything but XTPs in mine yet. I thought the 357 might cycle the SWC but I guess not and the book probably says it will not. The other limitation on leavers is COL. Mine will cycle out to 1.61 but that is with the XTP and that is as far out as I have tried.
 

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All,

I have the Marlin 1894cp .357 Mag. and it will feed any jacketed bullet, semi-waddcutters, wadcutters and the 180gr Cast Performance WFNCG, all without a hitch.

oldpete
 

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ID,
  If you're determined to use those 158 gr. SWC, and the feeding problem is caused by COL(cartridge overall length), there is a way to modify the cartridge lifter in the Marlin levers to maximize COL. Look in Marshall's tip section on cartridge lifter modification. The hardest part is disassembling the gun, to get to the cartridge lifter, so you can file the cartridge stop(the part of the lifter the cartridge head rests against. Jack Monteith wrote a good article on Marlin lever gun disassembly, that is easy to follow. With all these home projects you're tackling, you'll be a certified gunsmith in no time( or certifiable <!--emo&:D--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':D'><!--endemo--> ) I've done several of my guns this way with happy results. My 1894s will now feed RCBS Keith SWC without a hitch. Just something to think about.

                           Jeff

P.S. I've overlooked the obvious. You can always use .38 brasss for your plink/main load and .357 brass with another cast bullet of choice with a shorter crimp to nose length. Saeco 180 gr FNGC measure 1.60" when crimped in their crimp goove with magnum brass and should feed just fine in the 1894c. Food for thought.(and you won't have to modify anything on the gun)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
At this point I'm very reluctant to buy anything that I immediately need to work on in order to get it to do what I want. So I guess this idea goes back on the back burner.
    Oldpete - is your 1894 an older model? We tried two of them, a standard model and the "guide gun" type and neither one would work with the Keith style SWC seated to the crimping groove. Maybe the older ones were different somehow.     ID

Edit - I just reread your post Oldpete, you have the 1894cp. That's the guide gun model isn't it? In which case it can't be that old.  Spacin' in Ideeho!



<!--EDIT|IDShooter|May 24 2002,21:59-->
 

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I have the Marlin Cowboy in 44mag. This gun also will not feed swc bullets but you can find plenty of bullets that will feed perfectly.
The BTB 250 gr fngc will feed perfectly as will the other weights with the same nose profile. I also use the 320 gr wlngc and it will feed perfectly by tweeaking the overall length a little.
For practice, I use a cowboy bullet of 200 gr with a rnfp and 9 gr of unique. Using a 24x target scope, you can watch the bullets cloverleaf at 50 yds.
Regarding the 38" twist of the 44 cal., the original 44-40 was set up with a 200 gr bullet. This twist is well suited to the velocity possible with black powder in such a small case. Also the slow twist does not build up fouling with black as fast as a quick twist.
The 357 is also a usefull cartridge in the levergun.
Get both just for fun.
 
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