Marlin 1894 Range Report


Dave Markowitz
June 24, 2012, 08:15 PM
Today I was able to get to the range and shoot the Marlin 1894 that I traded for last week. This rifle bears a Remington proof mark on the barrel and the serial number on the left side of the receiver, indicating it was made after Remington moved Marlin's production line to Illion, NY.

I setup an IDPA target with a 3" orange dot in the center at 25 yards. Shooting with my arms rested on the bench but the rifle otherwise unsupported, I fired a 5 shot group. It was a few inches low and slightly to the left. Getting the point of impact to coincide with the point of aim required me to raise the rear sight two notches on the rear sight elevator.

To adjust windage you need to drive the rear sight to the side in the dovetail. To move the POI right you drift the rear sight to the right, and vice-versa. This isn't a precise process, and requires you to use a non-marring mallet, or a hammer and a brass or nylon punch. I had a nylon faced mallet and gave the rear sight base a couple taps to the right. I wound up smacking it a little to far and had to drive it a little bit to the left. For now, it's shooting dead on at 25 yards.

I tried two kinds of .44 Magnum ammo in this trip. First was some of the Federal American Eagle 240 grain JHP that I bought when I got the gun. This ammo shoots OK and groups well, but does not feed smoothly. I really had to muscle the action when shooting it, which gave me some cause for concern. Having read some complaints about Marlin's quality since the Remington takeover and move to Illion, NY, I was bit worried that it might need a trip back to the factory.

However, when I switched to some Remington 240 grain JSP loads the Marlin's action worked a lot more smoothly. I figure that the Federal cases vary in some small dimension that the Marlin doesn't like. The ogives of the Remington and Federal bullets are very similar.

I've picked up a good supply of the Remington ammo so I'm set for awhile. I plan to start handloading for the Marlin so I can afford to shoot it. Also, I intend to load down the .44 Mag to .44-40 velocities, which will make it more pleasant to shoot. The Marlin has a rubber butt pad but even so, after 70 rounds of .44 Mag in a 6.5 pound rifle, my shoulder was feeling tenderized.

Overall I'm pleased with the Marlin 1894. The .44 Magnum is a versatile round, the rifle is nice, compact, and quick shooting, and of course it's got an all-American cachet. I will be adding an aperture sight at some point for faster target acquisition and better accuracy.

If you enjoyed reading about "Marlin 1894 Range Report" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
June 24, 2012, 08:32 PM
cool...that oughta make a good deer rifle

Old judge creek
June 24, 2012, 11:41 PM
FWIW, I use the 44 mag as my primary all around utility cartridge on my ranch and when prospecting in the digh desert. I use a 240 grain hard cast bullet loaded to ~925 fps when fired in my 4" handguns. That load also performs very well in my Marlin and Rossi lever rifles.

June 24, 2012, 11:50 PM
I almost got one in stainless at work, my boss beat me to it I have an older one in 357 that I like alot. The only problem is, if I get one in .44......i'll have to get a 44 revolver:)

June 25, 2012, 12:26 AM
You can shoot them farther than that ;)

They really are fun guns. You planning on taking it hunting?

Dave Markowitz
June 25, 2012, 07:06 AM
It may see some time in the deer woods.

June 25, 2012, 08:30 AM
My action did not smooth out till maybe 250 rounds...

That was in the early 90's...

June 25, 2012, 11:14 AM
Dave thanks for the report. I have been looking forward to this since the other thread started.
It seems that they may have ironed out some of the qc issues others have reported. lets hope so.
Sounds like you got a good gun there. Happy shooting.

June 25, 2012, 11:59 AM
The Marlin has a rubber butt pad but even so, after 70 rounds of .44 Mag in a 6.5 pound rifle, my shoulder was feeling tenderized.

OUCH! I cannot imagine firing my 1894 70-rounds at one sitting ... even when I was in my mid-30s when I bought the thing. ;)

June 25, 2012, 05:16 PM
LimbSaver makes a great slip on pad which I use on my 12 gauge slug gun. It takes the pain out of shooting but vicious recoil is still there. I hate that gun with a passion.


June 25, 2012, 11:04 PM
Glad to hear that the new Marlin is working out. I really love Marlin rifles and was a bit heart broke to hear about the QC issues. I have heard that some of the old Marlin employees worked over the equipment pretty good before Remington got it and that they troll the internet and post negative comments to dissuade folks from buying the Remington guns. I look forward to new owners posting more reviews and hope that the new Marlin gets on it feet soon.

I love the .44 and use mine a lot in the deserts and mountains of CA. It is a great companion.

June 26, 2012, 10:22 AM
I love my new Marlin 1894C, 357 magnum lever gun. It has made me a complete convert to lever guns (though they were always a favorite).

It is a Rem built one, purchased new a few months ago. I inspected it carefully before accepting it and have been completely satisfied.

I recently put a Simmons 4x32 ProDiamond scope on it. That proved to be a fantastic combination. Light, sleek and very effective.

Last trip to the range, produced this result. Bulk 38sp, 3 shot group at 25 yards, 4x32 Simmons scope:

357 magnum usually gives me even better groups.

Enjoy yours.



June 26, 2012, 10:42 AM
The action will smooth out nicely with use. You can accelerate the process by de-burring and *lightly* polishing some of the action parts (bolt, carrier, lever), with 600 grit

June 27, 2012, 09:10 PM
The front site can also be adjusted for windage. Have taken to centering the front and rear site on newly purchased levers, before going to the range. Marlin usually doesn't. Then little adj is needed to for POA=POI, and better chance of staying sited in windage wise from 25-100 yds.

Really like the short levers, and one has a cut down stock and limbsaver pad added. Little kids and grandparents can shoot mid level 44 mags that feel like a 22. It is sighted so POI is directly above bead at 25 yards, and bead covers POI at 100 yds.

June 28, 2012, 05:25 AM
I picked up a new one today, according to the mark and the seriel number, i guess mine was one of those still made at the old plant. I shot it a few times this evening and I like it. Looking forward to getting a lot more rounds down range. I recently moved and need to get my press set back up if I want to shoot it that much. I wont be paying for factory ammo every day thats for sure. I load for a lot of other calibers on my dillon, got to get that thing rolling:)

If you enjoyed reading about "Marlin 1894 Range Report" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!