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Loading 44 Magnum for lever action rifle

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Shrinkmd, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. Shrinkmd

    Shrinkmd Participating Member

    Jul 1, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I am thinking about the Marlin 1894SS, and I'm curious about how to work up a cast bullet load for it. I've heard you don't want to go too fast to avoid leading (even with hstd cast), issues of slugging the bore, swc vs rnfp feeding issues.

    Any good starting points? This is for plinking and fun, no bears or deer yet.
  2. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Mentor

    Apr 28, 2005
    Oregon Coast
    Most loading manuals have a section under rifle data specifically for loading the .44 Magnum rifles. You'll find that few of them, with some exceptions, will feed SWC bullets well. Overall length can also be important, with each rifle an individual.

    I load for Both Marlin and Winchester lever action rifles in .44 Magnum, and have found that RNFP bullets work the best. I shoot both jacketed and cast bullets through mine, plus bullets that I swage. I also use cast bullets with and without gas checks, but prefer those with gas checks.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Bula

    Bula Active Member

    May 22, 2006
    Scottsdale, AZ
    My 1894 does feed the Lyman 429421 Keith mold, I also shoot the Lee 200g RNFP 9.5g of Unique (mine drops them at 214g)--thats a fun one. Still working on trying to get the heavy 310g Lee GC RNFP to feed. Mine prefers that Keith pushed moderate (9.5g of Unique) as opposed to heavy (20g of 2400) My guess is a gas checked 250-260g RNFP is where I'll end up when I'm done experimenting. I can't imagine much in North America that'll walk away from a well placed 260g bullet at 1600-1700fps inside of 100yds.
  4. mdi

    mdi Participating Member

    Dec 31, 2007
    The Lyman 429421 won't feed in my Puma; a bit too long. I didn't try to shorten the brass or deeper seating 'cause I just went with Ranchdog's 265 gr. FN GC. BTW Ranchdog designed his bullets for use in Marlin rifles. http://www.ranchdogoutdoors.com/
  5. ssyoumans

    ssyoumans Active Member

    Jan 15, 2010
    I bought some of the MBC 240gr Smasher LRNFP bullets. I was pretty pleased with their accuracy and not much leading either. The Marlin 1894 & I both liked them, and they are much more affordable than JHP's.

    Here's my results with Blue Dot, and 1 load with Unique.

    Load Velocity ES
    MBC 240gr Smasher, 12.0gr Blue Dot, 1.566" 1301 10
    MBC 240gr Smasher, 13.0gr Blue Dot, 1.566" 1403 72
    MBC 240gr Smasher, 14.0gr Blue Dot, 1.566" 1518 64
    MBC 240gr Smasher, 14.5gr Blue Dot, 1.566" 1526 19
    MBC 240gr Smasher, 10.3gr Unique, 1.566" 1402 22
    These loads were safe in my gun (Marlin 1894), but be sure to work up your own loads.

    Accuracy at 50 yards was one large ragged hole, guess it helps when your launching a 44 cal bullet.

    10gr of Unique is pretty popular with a 240gr Lead bullet.

    These loads are

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