.44 mag 1894 Marlin accuracy


Ranger J
December 20, 2006, 04:07 PM
Does anyone have anything either good or bad to say about the accuracy of the present production Marlin 1894 .44mag with Ballard rifling? I would be happy with 2” in 50’. I am interested only in the accuracy of the gun not whether it will cycle certain bullets. I had a Handi in .44 by the same company as make the Marlin and am wondering if Marlin barrels are also oversized. The Handi barrel turned out to be an endless, forlorn search for that magic load that would looks like a group not a pattern. I finally sold it. I have an 1894C in 357 and it shoots well, but also supposedly do the .357 Handi barrels. Can any one give me first hand advise, as I am planning on getting a Marlin 1894 or a Ruger lever gun in .44 mag. Yes, the Ruger is ugly but has the same barrel as my Deerfield and I know that barrel will shoot well. I really would like the Marlin but not if they don’t shoot well.

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December 20, 2006, 05:03 PM
Admittedly, I have no first-hand experience with that particular model, but from what I've seen of my own Marlins and read about Marlins in general, I'd probably wager 2" in 50 would be pretty easy.

December 20, 2006, 05:24 PM
I can do 2" at that range with iron sights on my 1894SS using Hornady 300 grain XTP factory loaded ammo.

Otherguy Overby
December 20, 2006, 05:41 PM
I've done about an inch shooting off a bench and paying VERY good attention to sight picture...

December 20, 2006, 08:50 PM
My old 1894S will easily shoot 2" @ 50 yds. Heck, It'll shoot 2" @ 100 yds.

Now, I have to say that this is off of a bench (Bulls Bag) and I have a Williams Peep sight on the back.

Handloads. Hornady 240 gr. JHP and Alliant (Hercules) 2400 powder and Winchester primer and Winchester brass.

EDIT: Like a fool, I recently sold this rifle to a friend that had a bad case of the 'got to have that' disease.

December 20, 2006, 08:57 PM
I know for a fact you can hit a snuff can full of talc at 75 yards off hand. Off a bench, a little better.

I didn't shoot the cowboy model but it did have ballard rifling.

December 20, 2006, 10:41 PM
Are the barrels really made by the same company in the same facility? I have to wonder.

Anyway, my Marlin 1894PG .44 would likely do 2" or so off of a rest at 50 yards. Trouble is, I don't shoot it that way. I shoot it offhand, fast, against silhouette and reactive things. It's fun. That's why I have it, just to shoot.

Best accuracy seems to be with 240gr jacketed bullets at full-tilt-boogie speeds. My favorite bullet for this use is the Hornady XTP. Utter confidence and faith in this bullet in this caliber.

Of course, loaded with lower-power lead rounds, it makes a great way to spend an afternoon. Loaded with full-power ammo, I like to limit myself to only a box and a half or so. That narrow buttplate bothers me; YMMV, as always.

December 20, 2006, 11:23 PM
The gun will do better than that if you do your part. I have the 1894ss and the 1895gs (45-70), they both shoot very strait.

December 21, 2006, 09:47 AM
I had a Handi in .44 by the same company as make the Marlin :scrutiny: You sure? I think the Handi-Rifles are made by NEF (and formerly by H & R), and not Marlin. My 1894C in .44 will hold less than 2" at 50yds off the bench. Did it the day after Thanksgiving.

December 21, 2006, 10:08 AM
I have Winchester 94. I had trouble finding ammo that would group decently. I finally got to some MagTech 240 grain stuff that would get me onto a pie plate at 100 yards fairly consistent. I haven't found any Hornady or other brands around here, maybe next time I am in Houston.

When I asked about accuracy a few months ago, I got the comments that you just have to find the load and bullets that work in that rifle.

Ranger J
December 21, 2006, 10:10 AM
'Fraid so, NEF is owned by Marlin. Thanks to everyone for the positive reports. I own Marlins in .357 and 45/70 but was a little lery of the .44 barrel. As soon as the fog lifts I'll probably go down and order one in the 20" barrel. Thanks again

December 21, 2006, 10:16 AM
Yeah Marlin bought NEF/H&R.

I havent owned a .44 handi mainly because of the issues that I have read about it. Apparently it was an oversized bore and accuracy has suffered. I have a .243 handi that shoots great. Just sent the receiver off for a .357 and .223 barrels.

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