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loading for a 44 carbine

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by skeet028, Feb 16, 2015.

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  1. skeet028

    skeet028 Member

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    Going to start loading for a Marlin 1894 Carbine I just got at a gun show yesterday. Never loaded for a rifle and since there are surely some here who have just think I would ask for some guidance. And wondering if the microgroove in the 44 mag Marlin will shoot cast ok.. I can pretty much size to most usable diameter. My 1895 Cowboy shoots cast but the microgroove gun sure wouldn't. I really bought more than I needed to.... again! yippee
     
  2. rondog

    rondog Member

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    One of my loading manuals has separate sections for .44 mag rifle vs .44 mag handgun, either the Lee book or the Lyman. Cast boolits should be OK, might want to cast your own and make 'em fat with gas checks. My Winchester doesn't like the storebought boolits I have, spits 'em all over the place.
     
  3. joneb

    joneb Member

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    Maybe plated could be a option?
     
  4. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Most manuals show recipes for revolver and rifle in .44 mag. Only real difference in them is the velocities produced.
     
  5. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

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    Plated would most likely be a bad idea. In a rifle, unless they are loaded to mousefart pressures, the sealed chamber and long barrel will run them fast enough to strip the plating.

    When that happens, you'll have messy barrel to clean, and rounds on target no more accurately than a smoothbore musket.
     
  6. rg1

    rg1 Member

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    Info I've read is that cast bullets need a brinell hardness of 12 or more, need to be cast to the bore size of the micro-groove barrel which is oversize, and also have gas checks to shoot well in the micro-groove barrel. I'd avoid all the hassle and just shoot Hornady's 240 gr. XTP's which is a fine 44 Mag bullet. Usually a 44 Magnum rifle isn't used for a plinker and shot that much, at least my Winchester Trapper isn't. Hornady's 240 XTP loaded with 23-23.5 grains of Winchester 296 and a CCI 350 Magnum primer is a fine shooting load in 44 Magnum. I'd also read any discussions at the Cast Boolits forum about the micro-groove barrel. I've got a Marlin 357 Magnum with micro-groove but only shoot jacketed bullets in it.
     
  7. VThillman

    VThillman Member

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    Berry's box says 1250 fps max. Pretty easy to exceed that in a rifle. The plating is so smooth that a dose of liquid Alox probably wouldn't help much.
     
  8. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    It appears somebody at Hodgdon is living in Colorado. The Max load pressures given on their site for .44 Mag rifle loads using a cast 240(plated bullets use cast data) are roughly 20,000 CUP higher than the start loads. Mind you, the start loads are a lot lower than the max too. Four plus grains difference.
    The Clays loads seem more normal though.
    Anyway, use cast bullet rifle data and you'll be fine.
     
  9. ssyoumans

    ssyoumans Member

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    I use 2 loads out of my Marlin 1894 (which does not have micro groove).
    For plinking, MBC 240gr Smashers over 10.0gr Unique. Zips along at 1,375 FPS, no leading.
    For full power loads, Hornady 240gr XTP over a stout load of W296 or AA9. Both will push it to around 1700-1800fps. 2400 works well too for full power loads, but I don't use it very much for some reason.
    I couldn't get played bullets to group out of my rifle, I tried downloading to 1,350 FPS, but got horrible accuracy. These were Powerbonds, which have thicker playing than Berrys. I now just use them in the revolver.
    Avoid bullets over 270gr, the Marlin's 1:38 twist won't stabilize them well. I've shot some Speer 270gr at near max charge and they did alright at 50 yards, didn't get a chance to test out to 100.
     
  10. skeet028

    skeet028 Member

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    Thanks for the info. Never loaded for a carbine or rifle. Even though I have a 788 in 44. only shot factory in it. Bought this 1894 for my granddaughter.... looking for a cowboy version for myself. I want to give her a couple hundred loaded rounds for it. So at this point will probably just load some Nosler 200 Gr Hps and a box of 240s. She'll probably be ok with the 200s for target-shooting. I found a cowboy gun but the price is just kinda ridiculous. 2 weeks at the next gun show... Maybe there
     
  11. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    I found that if you keep pressure/velocities within reason, and you use a fat bullet, microgroove will shoot cast just fine.
     
  12. mdo

    mdo Member

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    Occasional lurker here and first time poster. . . .

    I have found that my .44 1894 definitely has preferences in what loads it likes, leading to a few frustrating loading/range sessions. That being said for a target and plinking load it does seem to really like 240 grain lead, coated and plated (not jacketed) bullets over 6.0 grains of Bullseye. I can usually get about 1.5 inch groups at 50 yards with a scoped 1894 and it is a very mild shooter. This load coincidentally shoots pretty well in my Ruger SBH and is pretty much my go to load for plinking in both guns.
     
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