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Several years age I purchased a like new model 94 Ranger in 44 magnum at a gun show. This rifle was and is mint but may have been fired. I don't know the year of mfg., but it is pre-safety.

After several years of sitting in my safe without being fired, I decided to take it to the range.
Accuracy is so poor, I can't keep my shots on a paper plate at 25 yds. The ammo I tried was 240gr. & 200gr. jacketed hollow points in factory ammo. (Remington, Federal., & Winchester.)

All shot badly. I am a steady shooter and spend my hours at our local range. The fault is not mine in this case.

The bore is clean, bright & shiney. The muzzel looks fine. The only thing I did was measure the head space. It showed me that the bullet has to make a 1/8th inch jump before engaging the rifling. It seems a bit much but Im not sure.

I do handload but have not tried longer OAL rounds.

Suggestion anyone? Thanks for your response.
 

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First of all, Trapper-xx, welcome to ShootersForum! Rules are simple, be nice and join in.

That really is some terrible accuracy from your 44Mag. I've shot two of those particular rifles before and remember hitting the obligatory paper plate at 50 paces with no trouble at all. If you tried 3 or 4 different factory ammo combinations, I would say there is something else wrong with the gun and you might take it to a 'smith to see what they can find. Maybe some of our lever-gun nuts will have more to offer on the problem.
 

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I am wondering about the chamber's throat, which might be the fault here being rough. Also might be a bad place in the rifling midway up the barrel. ANY .44 Magnum rifle should shoot & group better than your Ranger.
 

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I would start by using a good copper remover and brush thoroughly in the barrel. It can appear clean, but still have alot of polished residue left behind. Are you initially shooting from a well padded bench rest?
Do you normally shoot with open sights? alot of folks who primarily shoot scopes have alot of problems with open. Make sure you use a six oclock hold, and do not cover your target with the front sight. aim at the smallest discernable point at the bottom of the black. Aim small, miss small. Remember your follow through, especially from a rest. I am sure you are a fine shot, but it always helps to have another proven shooter try a few rounds.
 

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Welcome. Interesting question. I get variable results from different leverguns. Some do well, some...not so. Ammo might or might not help. I'm not sure the freebore is the problem - if you seat the bullets further out, you may have feeding problems? (That would be a little ironic with a .44 Mag load in a 94 action, but I've never taken a hard look at how the 94s in pistol calibers really deal with the short (compared to the .30-30 family it was designed for) pistol-length cartridges.)

I glass-bedded the tang of one of my 94s and it made a big difference, fwiw.

Also, there is a good book by a gentleman who's name I'm recalling only as "Mac" on accurizing leverguns. One of the themes is eliminating pressure on the barrel related to the forearm, mag tube and barrel band.
 

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Ahh, found the book - and some other good info - in this post here. The McPherson book is the one I was thinking of. I have a copy and it's a good purchase if you love traditional leverguns.

Who was asking for articles on accurizing a lever-action rifle? I cannot find the thread. Your question is a good one as there are few articles which truly answer your question.

One of the best articles on accurizing the lever-action rifles are: Lever Action Rifles by C. H. Helbig and P. B. Cain from the 19th edition of the Gun Digest, 1965. This is a good article with specific recommendations and accuracy results. The Winchester Model 94, 88, Savage model 99 and the Marlin 336 were used for the article.

M. L. McPherson book: Accurizing the Factory Rifle is a good read and will give you many hours of enjoyable reading and dreaming.

Bob Heiderick wrote: How To tune Leveraction Rifles for the June 1977 issue of Shooting Times Magazine and it is worth looking for but not worth the price asked by some used magazine dealers.

If you are working with a Marlin and Microgroove rifling you need Beartooth forum member C. E. Harris article: Marlins Micro Groove Barrels Will Perform from the July 1982 issue of the American Rifleman. This is the most informative of several articles on microgroove rifling and is worth looking for. All articles which followed this one have little that is new or different so this is the article to look for.

A good article with a realistic discussion of accuracy is: The Model 94 and the 30-30 by Sam Fadala for the 40th Edition of the Gun Digest, 1986.

For articles on loading for and shooting the lever-action rifles and the 30-30 cartridge specifically - there are many such articles around - you only really need to hunt up a few.

Dave Scovill wrote: Loading and Shooting Lever-actions, What Makes Them Tick for the October 1998 issue of Handloader and he gives some very good advice.

Wayne Blackwell wrote: Cast Bullet Accuracy With a Bolt Action 30-30 for Handloader October 1976. This article is worth looking for.

Upgrading the 30-30 by Frank Marshal in the 9th Edition of the Handloaders Digest, 1982, is worth looking for also.

H.V. Stent wrote: The Winchester Model 94 for the 34th Edition of the Gun Digest, 1980 and it has a good bit of information on loading accurate cartridges for the lever-action rifles.

Ron Carmichal wrote: Cast Bullets at Full Speed for the August 1995 issue of Handloader magazine and this is probably one of the best articles written about wringing the best performance from the 30-30 cartridge using cast bullets in a lever-action rifle.

R. H. Vandenberg Jr. wrote: Heavy bullets in the 30-30 Winchester for the 18th Edition of the Handloaders Digest. This is a pretty good article with information on using the 180-grain Speer Grand Slam bullet in the 30-30.
 

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Several years age I purchased a like new model 94 Ranger in 44 magnum at a gun show. This rifle was and is mint but may have been fired. I don't know the year of mfg., but it is pre-safety.

After several years of sitting in my safe without being fired, I decided to take it to the range.
Accuracy is so poor, I can't keep my shots on a paper plate at 25 yds. The ammo I tried was 240gr. & 200gr. jacketed hollow points in factory ammo. (Remington, Federal., & Winchester.)

All shot badly. I am a steady shooter and spend my hours at our local range. The fault is not mine in this case.

The bore is clean, bright & shiney. The muzzel looks fine. The only thing I did was measure the head space. It showed me that the bullet has to make a 1/8th inch jump before engaging the rifling. It seems a bit much but Im not sure.

I do handload but have not tried longer OAL rounds.

Suggestion anyone? Thanks for your response.

Sounds like mine!!!

I have the same 'ranger' and my 4"Redhawk with spank it! Just purchased a trapper 16" that shoots nice groups. It must be the "Ranger".

Does yours say "Ranger"on the barrel? They say the only thing different is the wood.
 

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Yes, mine also says "Ranger" on the barrel. I took the front end apart and with the barrel bands and all, it seems there are various points of stress that are naturally built into a lever action. The next thing I'm going to do is slug the barrel as mentioned above. I'm sure the barrel is clean because I also suspected fouling that I could not see, so I have tried all the popular lead and copper removers. Sooner or later I'll find out if something is wrong or if it is just one of those inheritally poor shooters.
 

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.

I have seen 94s with the wrong caliber stamping on the barrel but I doubt that is you case.

I would remove the barrel bands, mag tube, and fore end. Then shoot it off the bench and see how it does. If it still sprays the countryside reassemble it and find it a new home. If it shoot well then reassemble by adding one part at a time and shooting until until you find the offending part. Once the cause is found the solution to the poor shooting will be much easier.

.
 

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I have 2 Winny M94 AE .44 Mag's 16" rifles NIB . I have thought of trying one , but wish to preserve their value .

Bought a few years ago when Big 5 was selling them on sale . And Marlins , also .

Should have bought more of every caliber .

My .44 Marlin shoots OK , but the accuracy is not spectacular .

God bless
Wyr
 
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