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Federal / American Eagle .45 Colt Accuracy in Marlin 1894

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Old Stumpy, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    So, I bought a box of the 225 grain JSP which is rated at 860 FPS from a 7 1/2" barrelled revolver.
    By comparison with my Lyman 48th Edition loading manual, I think that I can expect about 1070 FPS from my Marlin Cowboy 20" barrel.
    That's pretty slow for a 1:38" twist, I know, but I wanted a baseline to compare to my handloads.
    I haven't owned the gun long.
    Has anybody shot this ammo from their Marlin 1894, and if so, what kind of results did you get with regards to accuracy?
    In particular, has anyone targeted this ammo at 100 yards?
    How about other brands of standard velocity ammo in the 225 to 255 grain range?
    Do groups open up a lot?

    I'll know when I get out to shoot, but I'm interested in the experiences of others.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  2. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    That was my thought.
     
  3. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    Well I went shooting today and realized that my aging eyes and open sights agree less and less. Nevertheless, I was able to shoot some good 50 yard groups from my Marlin Cowboy at 50 yards with this ammo. I needed to adjust the small insert in the Marbles rear sight to the top of the tiny slot that it slides in. Any higher and the corners of the insert would be visible between the buck horns. But it looks fine in this position
    and the sight elevator now has an adequate range of adjustment without going too far past the middle notches.
    The best two groups that I was able to shoot were about 1" wide and 1 1/2" in vertical spread. Considering my eyes, the fuzzy sights, and the rather heavy trigger pull, that's good. I'm sure that young eyes could have put them all into one inch.
    So, the American Eagle 225 grain is quite accurate at 50 yards, and the rifle is as well.
    After I adjust the rear sight for windage some, I will see how it shoots at 100 yards. (had the brass punch - forgot the hammer :mad:)
     
  4. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    It'll handle stiffer ammo than that, but sounds like you've got a real solid general purpose factory load.
     
  5. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I had an older Marlin .45 Colt, I wasn't aware of the slow twist and loaded up some 255grn cast over a pretty sedate charge of Unique. The results were abysmal... I thought there was something wrong with the rifle. After talking with a few people about it, we came to the conclusion that speed is necessary to stabilize the heavy bullets, and I'd probably be better off with something in the 225'ish range, maybe over a much healthier charge of Unique or, better, 2400 or IMR4227. I never got to try that, however... I traded it to a friend of mine. Hindsight being 20/20, I wish I would have kept it and worked with it a bit... I never had those problems with my brother's Winchester Trapper in .45 Colt, that's why it took me so much by surprise.
     
  6. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    That 225 gr JSP AE load is my favorite factory .45 Colt product. I use it in my 1892 Miroku button mag carbine and my 625 Mountain Gun for general purpose defensive purposes.
     
  7. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

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    I tried some 250 grain hard cast RNFP in this rifle with 8.5 grains of Universal on the previous trip. The results were groups of around 3 1/2" at 50 yards. However, these bullets had been sized to .452" and the bore also slugs out to .452". Normally a .454" bullet is needed, but I didn't have any, so I gave them a try. Jacketed bullets work fine at groove diameter.
    As you say more velocity (up to a point) is best for a 1:38 twist than what these standard velocity rounds offer.
    But, perhaps the 225 grain weight is helping some.
    My goal is to see if these factory 225 grain JSP rounds are accurate at 100 yards. Velocity is going to drop off a fair bit and I suspect that the groups will open up some. But, as a baseline for cast bullet reloading they have already told me that good accuracy is quite possible.
    I plan to get an Accurate custom mold made and size to .454" and load to a velocity of 1300 FPS.
     
    Charlie98 likes this.
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