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Marlin 1894 .44 magnum lever action

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by jsmosby, Nov 23, 2008.

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  1. jsmosby

    jsmosby Member

    Nov 11, 2006
    The West
    I'm thinking of buying either the Marlin 1894 or 1894 Cowboy in either .45 Long Colt or .44 Magnum.

    I'm hoping that you can advise me on the following two issues with respect to the .44 Magnum.

    1) How loud is the .44 Magnum rifle (20" barrel) without hearing protection?

    2) How bad is the lead fouling problem in the chamber if .44 Special rounds are used? Does the Marlin .45 LC have the same problem?
  2. Z71

    Z71 Member

    Sep 2, 2007
    I inherited a Marlin 1894 Cowboy in .45 Colt. Has "Ballard" rifling(fancy name for regular rifling). Was somewhat leaded from some gunshow cowboy reloads that had soft bullets. I cleaned the lead out, and Just use commercial cowboy ammo with no leading issues.

    The ,44 magnum version will likely have the micro groove rifling, and is supposidly subject to leading problems.

    Don't deceive yourself about hearing protection! Always were it with any firearm! Possible exceptions would be hunting or selfdefense.

    If you don't, you will soon have a permanant ringing in your ears!
  3. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

    Aug 6, 2007
    East Texas
    always wear some form of hearing protection. I'd get a 44 mag and load it however you want. I don't have problems with lead fouling. ballard and microgroove both shoot lead minute of bottle at 100yds.
  4. JustsayMo

    JustsayMo Member

    Oct 20, 2004
    the Evergreen State
    I've owned both calibers in Marlin 1894's. Both are excellent rifles.

    With factory ammo I'd say the 44 mag is louder and both will make your ears ring. Using "cowboy" loads they have a more rimfire-like report, meaning they still need hearing protection.

    The fouling issue is less of a problem than feeding. My 44 & 357 marlins both were finicky about bullet length and shape. My 45 colt 1894 will eat anything.

    Microgroove rifling will shoot cast bullets very well. Another advantage is that it is easier to clean afterwords too. A vast majority of my shooting is with cast bullets and the MG rifles shoot them equally if not better in some cases. It is a myth that just won't die. I have 336's with both styles of rifling and the MG shoots cast better than the ballard. The Ballard 336CB shoots jacketed better than the MG 336's...

    The key with cast bullets is to have the correct size regardless of the rifling type. I have an 1895 45-70 with Ballard rifling that will keyhole cast bullets if undersized by 0.002". Both types shoot better with slightly oversized cast bullets ( .001" - .002")
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