44 Rem Mag vs 44 Mag for Marlin 1894?


May 10, 2003, 10:11 PM
Just took delivery on a new lever gun (Marlin 1894SS) in 44Sp/44Mag and have 2 questions on the gun and caliber.

I noticed that the manual specifies not to use Blazer brand in the gun as it is not recommended as it might not feed properly and may result in a live cartridge being left in the magazine. It specifies to use 44 Rem Magnum and 44 Special in the gun.

Before I took delivery of the gun, I ordered some 44Sp and 44 Mag CCI Blazers from Natchez.

The questions are as follows:
- Is 44 Rem Magnum the same thing as 44 Magnum or is there a difference? I am not sure as this is my first long gun and I do not want to chamber anything that is not suitable for the gun.
- Does anyone who has/had a Marlin 1894 have any experience using Blazers in this gun? Is it an issue where I can use up this ammo I bought but have to be careful to count my rounds to make sure I have expended all live ammo I loaded in the magazine? I cannot return the ammo and have no other use for it if it is in any way unsuitable in this gun.

I will not do anything until I can check this out, but I cannot call Marlin till Monday and I wanted to shoot the gun on Sunday if I could.

Thanks in advance for your help.


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May 10, 2003, 10:23 PM
.44 Magnum and .44 Remington Magnum is the same thing.

Try the Blazers. If they don't feed right, shoot 'em single shot!

May 10, 2003, 10:32 PM
Blazer ammo is suitable for use in all modern firearms. There is not one reason I can think of that Blazer would not feed or leave a live round in the magazine tube.

And the .44 Magnum and .44 Remington Magnum are the same thing. Remington designed the cartridge for S&W and now people just say .44 Magunum. Like .45 Automatic Colt Pistol = .45 ACP = .45 Auto. I bet many people have no idea what ACP stands for. Not the smart folks here of course, but just in general ;)

May 10, 2003, 11:30 PM
Actually, you do need to be careful about shooting Blazer ammo in the Marlin lever-actions. I found this out the hard way!

There are two things that can cause problems. One is a dirty or unlubricated gun. Make sure your barrel, and particularly your chamber, are thoroughly clean before you shoot: and lube the mechanism well.

Second, the extractor can sometimes tear through the aluminum case rim on the Blazer rounds. This tends to happen (in my experience) as the result of two simultaneous problems:

1. The chamber walls get dirty and sticky, causing the aluminum case to "stick" after firing; AND

2. You exert sudden, sharp pressure via the lever-action mechanism, which applies great force to the extractor hook very suddenly, rather than a more gradual build-up of force.

Under these conditions, the "sticking" case can resist the force of the extractor hook just long enough for the case rim to tear.

My solution, apart from cleaning the gun regularly, was to apply gentler, less abrupt force to the lever-action mechanism when reloading. If I tried to do a string of 10 shots as fast as I could work the lever, I sometimes had problems. If I worked the lever more gently, I never had trouble.

(BTW, the problems were only experienced with Blazer ammo. Anything with brass cases worked just fine, dirty or clean, fast or slow cycling of the action.)

Hope this helps.

Al Norris
May 11, 2003, 01:44 AM
I'll second Preachermans experience. Only mine was with the CCI/Blazer 44sp.

Last summer, I was out plinking with some different cowboy loads for my vaquero and I had picked up this box of cheap 44sp. I had thought, what the heck! I've never shoot the stuff before, so I kinda wanted to compare the cowboy loads with the Specials and the Magnum loads.

Long story short. I ended up with a few left over Specials, so I loaded them in my '94s just to get rid of them. Just like it was told by Preacherman. The extractor ripped right through the case!

I can only imagine what a full load magnum might have done. Don't want to find out.

Mike Irwin
May 11, 2003, 02:35 AM
.44 Magnum = .44 Remington Magnum = .44 Smith & Wesson Magnum.

Smith & Wesson owns(ed?) the trademark on the term Magnum as it pertained to handgun rounds. When S&W began development of the .44 Magnum in the 1950s, Remington did the ammo development work for them.

May 11, 2003, 11:33 AM
. I bet many people have no idea what ACP stands for. Not the smart folks here of course, but just in general

ACP, Automatic Colt Pistol

Mike Irwin
May 11, 2003, 03:51 PM
Hey Gob...

Do you know what CAPH stands for?

If you get that one, I'll be suitably impressed. :)

May 11, 2003, 07:21 PM

You've got me stumped! I was actually a bit excited that I could answer Shaggy's question about what the acronym "ACP" meant but you've brought me back to Earth :( So, you gonna tell me?

May 11, 2003, 07:44 PM
Colt Auto Pistol, Hammerless


Mike Irwin
May 11, 2003, 10:19 PM
Larry nailed it.

You'll see that headstamped on some early (pre-WW I, I think) cartridges, and only on .25, .32, and .380, never on .38 ACP or .45 ACP.

Mike Irwin
May 12, 2003, 10:59 AM
Oh, I forgot to mention...

You'll also see some early headstamps marked CAP for Colt Automatic Pistol.

Jim Watson
May 12, 2003, 12:06 PM
I have seen warnings - but not seen in person - that Blazers shot in a lever action can give head separations because if there is any excess headspace or slack in the breeching, that the case will stretch more than aluminum can handle. Seems like it would take a pretty loose gun, but there it is.

SAP headstamp?

May 19, 2003, 05:58 PM
I finally got the gun out to the range Sunday. Mindful of the posts here, I tried some of the Blazer 44SP in the gun. First 3 rounds, cycled smoothly with no problem.

The next round would not come out of the magazine. I cycled the lever action smoothly and slowly and then aggressively and quickly a few times, but no go. The cartidge was in the magazine and would not come out. It seemed like it was laying in there and would not come out onto the feeder.

I tried to shake it out but realized the spring in the magazine would not give me enough play to do so. I then removed the magazine spring plug, let the spring out and shook the remaining cartidge out of the magazine.

I then shot some brass cased PMC Magnums and had no problem. I looked at the 44 SP cartridge and found a tiny bit of burring on the edge of the rim.

What happened? Why did some work and this one did not? Why did it not even come out of the magazine? I had no problems ejecting the ones I shot.

I hate to give up on 500 rounds of Blazer and I hate loading them one at a time too.

In any case, is any one interested in buying 5 boxes of Blazer 44SP and 5 boxes of Blazer 44 Mag for a real good price for their guns that can use the ammo? I cannot return them anywhere as Natchez and the stores are not allowed to take in ammo once it has gone out the door. Let me know and I'll make someone a good deal.


May 20, 2003, 09:15 PM
That's a new one on me... I've never had any round fail to exit the magazine tube. I wonder if the burr on the rim had anything to do with it? Was it there before you put the round in the chamber? It might be worth checking out a few rounds (making sure they're not burred or deformed in any way), loading them into the magazine, and cycling them through the action a few times. If they feed fine every time, you can blame that one round. If there are further problems, then perhaps your rifle may need some adjustment - internal smoothing of the magazine tube or follower, or the shell lifter, or something like that.

Play with it awhile and let us know how it works out.

May 22, 2003, 02:23 PM
I called Marlin yesterday and they told me that their problem with Blazers was not feeding or extraction. The man on the phone said the problem was with cases splitting on the aluminum cases.

Funny, but the manual specifically referred to a live round being left in the magazine.

I asked the Marlin man why it did not feed and he said it should feed, but I should check the overall length of the cartridge to make sure it was the right length. He told me if I had a problem to send the gun in.

It's been raining the past few days so no chance to get to the range to check out the gun. I am going home now to cycle some rounds in the basement (Safety On) and to measure the ammo and see if it doesn't measure up. I will let you know if they cycle and if it was the one round or whether other rounds in the boxes appear to be burred or deformed.



May 22, 2003, 04:57 PM
O.K. I checked out the allowable overall cartridge length according to the manual and the 44SP came out a tad short. I have a metric caliper so I did the math in metric.

Marlin manual says in 44 caliber, the maximum length is 1.610" (or 4.09cm) and the minimum is 1.535" (or 3.8989cm). The 44 SP from Blazer was 3.765cm, so it is short. The 44Mag Blazer is about 4.01cm and the PMC Magnums are about 4.02cm. Both are within range.

Knowing this, I cycled some Blazer Magnums through the gun. The first 2-3 rounds cycled fine. The 4th one had the same problem; just lay in the magazine tube. I removed it and tried some PMC Magnums. This time they did not even cycle and sat in the magazine.

I called up my smith in PA and I am taking the gun over tomorrow a.m. He told me it might be the interruptor out of timing (if I got that right over the phone). It's easier to drive an hour (and maybe learn something watching him work on the gun) and possibly have my gun back the same day, than to pack and ship the gun to Marlin.

More on what I learn as soon as I learn it. Thanks.


May 23, 2003, 02:46 PM
I got to the bottom of the problem. I took the gun over to the smith this a.m. and we took the gun apart to see where the failure to feed originated. We took the magazine off and in the receiver, in between the magazine and the feeder, there is a hole that the magazine pushes the shells through into the feeder.

In that hole there was a burr that someone at Marlin was too lazy to remove when they finished off the casting part. It was pretty significant (I do not know how many thousandths of an inch it was but eyeballing it, it seemed to be about 1.0-1.5mm).

He polished it out and we reassembled the gun and now everything I put in there today (Blazer 44SP's and Mags and PMC Mags) cycled reliably.

I still might not buy Blazers anymore as I guess I might be concerned about case splitting (although I run Blazers in all my other (hand)guns and no problem).

Anyone know the cheapest place to buy 44SP and 44Mag ammo on the internet?

Thanks again to all for all your past help and input.


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