Marlin 1894 vs Win 94AE for a .44 mag Reloader


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dubious
November 9, 2007, 02:07 PM
Hey folks... I'm a .44 mag reloader and I'm interested in a lever action carbine to supplement my revolver. From what I can tell, in the moderate price range, the choice is a tossup between the 1894 Marlin and Winchester 94AE. I want to have a wide choice of ammo possibilities, but in all truth, don't live in grizzly country.

Here's what I hear From what I hear, from Buffalo Bore Ammunition regarding the Marlin 1894:

Marlin (for an unknown, not well thought out reason) is using a very slow rate of twist (1/38 inches) on their 1894 chambered in 44 mag. Because of this slow rate of twist, the heaviest bullet that the factory Marlin will stabilize is about 270grs. Other firearm makers that chamber for the 44 mag all use a much faster rate of twist so that their guns will stabilize and therefore accurately shoot bullets over 300grs.

They go on to say that you can get your barrel rebored to a different twist, which would improve heavy bullet accuracy. Does anyone know how much that would cost?

So I'm in a conumdrum... I overall like the look and feel of the Marlin a bit better, plus they are supposedly easier to clean. But the Winchester can handle all the ammo I could wish to reload.

Do I really need to shoot 310 grain bullets out of my lever carbine anyway? It sounds like fun, but I might now even want to shoot huge hunks of lead in practice.

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rcmodel
November 9, 2007, 02:17 PM
They go on to say that you can get your barrel rebored to a different twist, which would improve heavy bullet accuracy. Does anyone know how much that would cost?It is impossible to change the rifling twist of a .44 Mag barrel, by re-boring / re-rifling.

In order to rebore and re-rifle a barrel, you have to move up in caliber enough to drill / ream out all traces of the old rifling.

For instance, you might be able to re-bore / re-rifle a .357 Mag barrel and make it into a .44 Mag with a different twist.

But you can't bore out a .44 barrel and make it a different twist .44 barrel.

IMO: 310 grain bullets in the .44 Mag are kind of a bad idea anyway.

I have loaded 300 grainers in my Marlin 1894P, and while accuracy was fine, power was not. The longer real heavy bullets take up too much powder space in the small pistol case for my tastes.
They can't be seated long to make room (in the lever-actions) like they can in a revolver, or they won't feed.

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rcmodel

Jackal
November 9, 2007, 02:33 PM
IMHO, the Marlin is just a better gun. Winchesters just rattle too much.

dubious
November 9, 2007, 02:33 PM
IMO: 310 grain bullets in the .44 Mag are kind of a bad idea anyway.

I have loaded 300 grainers in my Marlin 1894P, and while accuracy was fine, power was not. The longer real heavy bullets take up too much powder space in the small pistol case for my tastes.
They can't be seated long to make room (in the lever-actions) like they can in a revolver, or they won't feed.

That's exactly the sort of technical answer I'm looking for, RC. Does anyone else agree with that or have any other input?

larryw
November 9, 2007, 02:41 PM
Ditto.

I've shot 300gr XTPs and LFP bullets with fine accuracy at 100 yards, but the trajectory was like a football.

The 240XTP powered by 24gr of H110 is a great load for the 94 Marlin; chronys at 1800fps, accurate and hits hard.

Marlins are the lever action equivalent of Ruger revolvers: super tough.

chunk
November 9, 2007, 04:51 PM
i have the marlin ,i load 270 grn speer gd sp with 21gr of h4227 ,it works great on hogs & deer. accurate mild recoil.

Ratshooter
November 9, 2007, 05:16 PM
I have read that the Marlin will stabilise the 300 gr. LarryW had it right, the bullet path is loopy. The 240 gr load mentioned is perfect. I also shoot 200 gr Hornady xtp with 24 gr 2400 for 2000 fps. That matches the 35 Remington load.

tkcomer
November 9, 2007, 05:35 PM
Have you even looked at the Puma line? I just got one in 357. Here's the price on some of them: http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/index.php/cPath/36_372 This place can order any Puma that you want and they're great guns. Just a thought.

byf43
November 9, 2007, 07:05 PM
The choice for rifle: Marlin 1894 or 1894CB (Cowboy). There's something about the octagonal barrel. It draws me like a magnet.

My old 1894S in .44 magnum loves the 240 gr. JHP bullets from Hornady, pushed by 19.5 grains of 2400.
Accuracy is great out to 100 yds (never tried farther) and the power is tolerable.

I bought some 300 grain JHPs to load, but never did. The 240 JHP is all that I really need.

rcmodel
November 9, 2007, 08:53 PM
Another thing to consider:

The Marlin 1894 was designed from the ground up for pistol size rounds.

The 1894 Winchester on the otherhand, is a converted 30-30 length action.

The 92 Winchester is the equivlent action of the Marlin 94.
Not the Win 94.

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rcmodel

wanderinwalker
November 9, 2007, 10:08 PM
Get the Marlin. It will stabilize the 300gr WFNs, but trajectory IS awful. The 240-270gr range will really do all that needs to be done with a .44 levergun, IMO.

My 1894PG lives 10-months of the year on a diet of 231 and a 200gr RNFP I buy cheap locally. Way fun plinker round, even if the trajectory is worse than the 300s were. Come deer season I break out the 240gr Hornady XTP backed by a stiff dose of W-W 296. (See above H110 load.) Haven't gotten to use it yet, but that's not the gun's fault. :rolleyes:

Macchina
November 9, 2007, 10:31 PM
Get the marlin. Great feeling (and looking) gun. I just got a 1984 in .44 Mag. The only thing I've shot is 240 grain XTP's. Here's the thing: no matter what bullet you shoot out of the .44, it's going to make a .44" hole in whatever you are shooting at. I'd rather have the extra speed and shoot the light (if you can consider 240 grains to be light) bullets at a flatter trajectory. The biggest thing I will be shooting at is deer though. Don't be twarted by the power hogs, 270 grains of lead is a lot.

Walkalong
November 9, 2007, 10:35 PM
I have a 94 in .44 Mag. It is a little bit finicky feeding if you don't rack it all the way smoothly, both ways, but not too bad. It shoots Speers 270 Gr. Gold Dots just fine and that is as heavy as I want to go anyway. I bought it cheap years ago. I would like a Marlin and think it is a better gun.

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