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This is my first post here. I recently picked up a Ruger 44 carbine and during my customary celebration of our independance at the range,met a fella with a 1894 CB in 45LC. The 44 carbine is my first "big bore" rifle and after hearing bullet impacting the target at 100yrds,I'm hooked! The 1894 got my attention also. The action was the smoothest lever gun I have ever cycled. I don't know if he had the action worked but when I see him again I'll find out. I want to stay with the 44 mag because I already have the reloading equipment ,brass,ect for it. Most of my hunting is for deer in heavy woods (50yrds is about as far as you can see) What are your opinion's of the 1894 line of rifle's? I was leaning towards the 20" rifle and can land a new one for &#36389 at a local discount store. Can you point me toward's a smith that knows marlin actions well? Whar does a "action job" for these rifle's go for. I'm new to this (lever guns) and want to plan this purchase out correctly. Thanks for your help.

Rugerfan
 

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Rugerfan- To be quite honest with you, if I knew then what I know now, I would have passed on my 1894 Marlin and bought a Winchester. I cast my own bullets, almost all of them, and my Marlin just doesn't have the action length for what I want to do. Mine is an older model-no safety, and for some reason, the lifter assy seems to be different and I can't modify it without screwing it up. Mines also a micro-groove, which doesn't really make a difference, except that it needs big bullets. The Marlin also seems heavier than my Winchester. The new Marlins may be different. Maybe I just like my Winchesters better, I don't know for sure. Try them both, and see what you think, that's what's important here.
 

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Thanks for the info pourboy. How does the rifle shoot standard factory ammo? Beside's it not meeting your personal needs,how does the rifle perform? I take it,your loading your rounds for use in several different firearms? Also, I read in another post that a good article was written about the 44 Mag (rifle?). If you know what article I'm refering to,can you point me to it? I would like to read some info on 44 rifle's. Thanks.

Rugerfan
 

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Hi Ruger Fan,
I think you will really like your 1894.  I got my first one just last fall.  Though it is the runt version of yours with a 16" barrel, it is an absolute pleasure to shoot and to carry.  If anything, your longer barrel is a better balanced arm with a bit better ballistics.  I put a set of Ashley Ghost Ring sights on it and there is no looking back.  

You asked about gunsmiths and an action job.  Unless you want the action just abslolutely perfert, I think you will find that simply shooting the rifle a few hundred times will do a nice job of slicking up the action.  I have had a few Marlin lever actions over the years and they were all self tuning.  Typically, their triggers are excellent too after a few hundred firings.  None of this is for certain but I have found it to be typical.  In any case, get the rifle and give it a good season of shooting before you decide to fix what may fix itself (unless you have a more specific problem).  

So where do you live in MD?  I live in Hershey PA but was raised in Annapolis.  

What bullet/loads do you plan to hunt with in the 1894?  

God bless..................  Bill M
 

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Bill,

I went thru your neck of the woods a couple month's ago on my way to Wilke's Barre to pick up a custom recurve I had built. I live in Laurel,smack dead between Balt and DC. The aftermarket sight's are a concern that I missed in my original post. I consider a scope out of place on a lever rifle and like the idea of a peep sight on these rifle's. I will be using the 1894 for hunting and paper punching. Are the "goast ring" sight's a good rig for hunting? Good to hear that the Marlin's action's self tune themselve's. The more I think about it,the rifle I shot must have had a action job because moving that lever was like sliding 2 piece's of glass together. Thanks for the info.

Rugerfan
 

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Rugerfan,

As far as I'm concerned you could not go wrong with the Marlin 1894. They are a tremendous value and excellent sub-100 yard deer gun. I truly, truly regret selling my .41 Magnum. Beyond that gem I've shot a couple others and all have shot exceedingly well. As for sights, while the Ashleys are as rugged as sights could be, I prefer the lower cost, ease of installation, and adjustment of the Williams receiver sight. It also sits low enough that you can mount a scope and retain the receiver sight as backup if one would so desire. See Marshall's latest article in Tech Notes on the .444 for more info on this sighting system.
 

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Ruger Fan, just had to put my two cents in. I recently bought a 1894s and had problems with it feeding longer than standard shells.  A fellow user of this forum told me about a article that Marshall wrote about this feeding problem. After carfully following His instructions it feeds the longer shells fine. The article is under the Tips and Comments section on this website. My Marlin is sweety. Going to have fun this fall.
 

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Having owned a gunshop for several years, it afforded me the opportunity to shoot and enjoy just about anything I could imagine that goes bang!  I've owned many Marlin's and Winchester's over the years in many different guises.  I'll tell you up-front that I am biased, but the bias comes from practical field experience and use of the guns.

I simply prefer the Marlin 1894 for the handgun cartridges to the Winchester offering for several reasons:<ul>
<li> The Marlin is designed for the shorter handgun cartridges- the Winchester was designed for .30-30 and .38-55 class cartridges and was "adapted" to shoot the shorter handgun cartridges when they discontinued their excellent model 92 which was truly designed for the shorter rounds.  Consequently, the Marlin is designed for the handgun cartridges, whereas the Winchester 94 was designed for a much longer cartridge.
<li> The Marlin has fewer moving parts and field strips with the removal of only the lever screw.  The Winchester is quite a project to strip down in the same fashion removing the bolt.  Consequently it's a snap to clean the Marlin from the breech end as a rifle should be cleaned.
<li> The Marlin cartridge carrier lifts the cartridge into position for the bolt to pick it up on the up-stroke of the lever.  The Winchester cartridge carrier lifts the cartridge into position on the last part of the down-stroke of the lever.  A short stroked lever on the Winchester can result in a missed chambering whereas the Marlin is far less prone to this malfunction.
<li> The solid flat top of the Marlin lends itself quite naturally to scope mounting and particularly to the new Ashley Ghost Ring sights which are so superb.  The top opening bolt of the Winchester, while now sporting "angle ejection" still doesn't have the solid receiver top of the Marlin.
<li> The Marlin can be carried through the woods, even at a jog silently.  Try jogging with a Winchester 94 and it rattles and jingles like a tamborine!
<li> As Bill M. pointed out, the Marlin action actually improves with use, getting slicker and smoother.  The Winchester simply gets looser and noisier!</ul>
Outside of these very few subtle differences perhaps choosing the Marlin 1894 is only biased preference!:smile:

Go for the Marlin!

Just my totally unbiased, objective view you understand!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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I have a Marlin 1894S in .44 mag, a Winchester 94 in .45 Colt and a Winchester 92 in .45 Colt.

Between the 94s I greatly prefer the Marlin. Marshall hit the reasons right on the head in his previous post.

My Marlin does feed some longish loads, it enjoys the RCBS 250 K in magnum brass but these slip in with very little clearance. (The Lyman 275GC is also a favorite.)
I put a Lyman receiver sight on mine and changed the front front sight to a smaller bead for better precision.

It is a super shooter that really does everything you could ask a pistol cartridge carbine to do. I spent last Sunday shooting it at a rock that was 145 paces. (160 yds ?) The rock was about the size of a car battery but after 20 rounds that rock was gravel.

Perhaps the ultimate rifle for these cartridges would be the super strong 92 action tweaked to handle longer rounds but that may not be feasible. My Win92 won't chamber anything much over 1.6".

My advice? Buy the Marlin, stick a reciever sight on it and shoot the daylights out of it.

have fun
 

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I own to Marlin 1894 rifles in 44 magnum.Both are excellent guns,accurate and totally reliable.I will never be without at least one 1894 rifle.
 
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