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Can't find accurate 158gr carbine load

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by fourdollarbill, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. fourdollarbill

    fourdollarbill Well-Known Member

    I am trying to find "the best load" for an 1894CS. With 158 and 180 xtp's I can group'em small and it is very accurate, when I load a 158LSWC at 50+ yrds I'm all over the place. I have to hang up extra targets just to hit one. Here are some of my loads.

    * 180XTP, 14.2 Lil'Gun, CCI550 gets super accurate. I have to double check the target for two holes.:D

    Closest LSWC to accurate as I can get.
    * 158LSWC, 8.6 AA#5, CCI500, 1.570". Might keep me on the paper with a few occasional 8" to 10" off target shots.:mad:

    I tried aa#2, H110 and Unique, the bullet will go so far off target it will hit the ground ten feet before the target and the next shot is high left. :banghead:

    Also I have the cleanest bore. I make them look like glass after shooting.

    Admittedly I never loaded for anything above a 7" barrel but "good grief" this should not be this hard.
  2. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Well-Known Member

    How bad is the rifle bore leaded after firing the lead ones? It is possible you're running them too fast and they "strip out" of the rifling, but if that's the case, the leading should be pretty bad.


    Hold on- A Marlin? Does it have a micro-groove barrel?
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2009
  3. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    Handloader Magazine did an in-depth article in issue #100 on accurate loads for the Marlin Carbine. If your rifle is the Cowboy version, then it will have Ballard Rifling.

    I'll PM you with the loads that worked best in the article, since it's my policy to not post data on forums because for one thing, I don't have a ballistics lab. It's also too easy to transpose, mis-type, etc.

    Hope this helps.

  4. fourdollarbill

    fourdollarbill Well-Known Member

    No leading found when I clean it. I clean my guns after every shoot, just a good habit. I don't think it is a "micro groove" it looks like a typical 6 groove ballard to me. I'm not very familiar with the "micro groove" so maybe I don't know for sure.
  5. dave from mesa

    dave from mesa Well-Known Member

    Marlin website says Ballard Rifling like ReloaderFred said.
  6. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Well-Known Member

    My Rossi .357 Lever loves 7.2 grains of Unique under a cheapo bulk Remmie 158 grn. JHP. It's my "go to" load for huntin' Bolwlin' Pins. It also like the 158 XTPs, but I save them for serious huntin' loads.
  7. SASS#23149

    SASS#23149 Well-Known Member

    If I read this right,your problem is always with cast bullets?
    If so,who/where do you get them frm ,what size,how hard,etc ?
    FWIW,my very very old Marlin 30-30 shot cast like that until I REALLLY REALLY got all the jacket mateial out of the bore.Could not even beging to tell where they went until I had a spotter watch the dirt berm for me.
    Get some copper remover,let it do it's job,and then seee what happens.
  8. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Well-Known Member

    and make sure your slug is a tight fit in the bore.
  9. Jubjub

    Jubjub Well-Known Member

    As has been mentioned, you might try a bit larger diameter bullet. Meister bullets makes a 158 grain round nose flat point that can be had in .358 diameter as well as .357. The .358 version works great for me in a plinking load in .35 Remington. Looks kind of funny, shoots fine.
  10. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Well-Known Member

    Have you tried RNFP (or TC) bullets instead of SWC? Maybe you're tearing up the bullet when you chamber it. I know my 1894C doesn't feed SWC's worth a hoot.

    Try 8 grains (max) of Herco, or about 14 grains (not max) of 2400.
  11. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member


    I forgot to mention in my PM that I size all my .38/.357 cast bullets .358" in diameter for both my revolvers and carbines. You might measure those bullets and see what actual diameter they are. Marlins have a tendency to run on the large size for their bores.

    Hope this helps.

  12. fourdollarbill

    fourdollarbill Well-Known Member

    I'm very certain the bore is clean and no copper build in the bore.

    The bullets are Hornady 158gr LSWC and Mastercast 158gr LSWC. I don't know the hardness. Both are .357"

    I will take all of these options and give them a whirl sooner or later. I think I'm going to slug the barrel first.

    Someone mentioned on another post about shooting too light of a load and the bullet will not seal well enough. Is that a sign of needing a .358" or just a heavier charge. I never did try to max out any load data for lead as I cannot stand leading.
  13. fourdollarbill

    fourdollarbill Well-Known Member

    Reloaderfred, i'm starting to lean to the 358 answer pretty quick. My friend knows the proper way to slug a barrel and i'm going to see him this weekend.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2009
  14. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Well-Known Member

    Those Hornady bullets are swaged lead, not cast, so they're pretty soft. I have to keep them under 1,100 fps.
    I've found they are more accurate in my 1894 CP than any cast bullet. My load is just 3.8 grains of Titegroup under a .358 Hornady 140 cowboy flat point (made for leverguns).
  15. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Well-Known Member

    I have a Marlin M336 in .35Rem. It has a micro-groove barrel, and too, dosen't shoot .357-.358" bullet worth a hoot.....

    But, run the same bullet at .360-.361", an voila, accuracy is phenomenal. Ditto the accuracy with Sierra, Speer, or Remington jackets soft points, and even .357" Remington, and Hornady 158gr JSP's and JHP's for revolvers.....

    Very well documented and understood over at www.castboolits.com
    Go there for your cast bullet "issues".....
  16. fourdollarbill

    fourdollarbill Well-Known Member

    Okay, here is what worked. I switched to a .359 tumble lube 158gr and now i'm getting real groups with aa5 and h110. I'm supprised at how the tumble lubed bullet can handle a med load h110 without lead problems. Very good info you all passed on and it worked. Thank you.

    (yes i know the lee mold says 358 but it comes out a strong 359+)

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