I gave up on a Marlin 1894...


Staff member
My Marlin CB in 45 Colt shoots very well for me. So does my 32/20. The 357 and 44 mag are both miserable.
Now Marlin rifle caliber guns,mine all shoot well with many loads. 30-30, 444, and 45-70, all are simple to load for.


Staff member
Had a Marlin 357 Cowboy that would stack them on 100 meter metal targets. Sadly the key word there is . . . Had. :sigh:

Rick H

Well-Known Member
The problem with the "large bore" is it is in spec. For some reason SAMMI calls for bigger barrels for rifles than pistols. .429" for handguns and .431" for rifles. That makes if pretty hard to have the same ammo do well in both platforms.


The problem with the "large bore" is it is in spec. For some reason SAMMI calls for bigger barrels for rifles than pistols. .429" for handguns and .431" for rifles. That makes if pretty hard to have the same ammo do well in both platforms.
Yes, and this is exactly what I was hoping for. My buddy has a couple of Rossi lever actions in 357/38 and they shoot like a dream with all of his pistol ammo. Mine shot like a bad dream with everything!



Official forum enigma
Somewhere out there in the ether there exists a 44 Magnum revolver or rifle with .429" throating and/or groove diameter. I have never had the privilege of owning such an example, though. .430"-.431" is more typical, and a few years ago Glen Dye (AKA Gopher Slayer) and I took some pin gauges to 6 different S&W Model 29 and 629 examples listed for sale. I still recall the findings from those 36 throats........one was .432", two were .434", and the rest were .433". Diametric poetry should be EXPECTED in 44 Magnum.


Staff member
Not sure I have ever seen a .429 throated 44 mag. Maybe an FA?

My Marlin 44 mag was given .431, .432, and .433 bullets. Didn’t see any differences.


West Central AR
I had , and will get back one day too soon , a 38/357 JM 1894C that shot what I was feeding the the Sec 6 into the same groups at twice the range 400 fps faster MV .

My Rosschester 92's have that stupid 1-32 twist , 350s will stabilize , but the drop through supersonic upsets all of the 45 Colts traditional bullets between 78-82 yd with 1200 fps MV . The choice is easy with them , keep them subsonic or or don't shoot past 75 yd . Size isn't an issue , the groove is only .450 x .446 .

The .429/.431/.426 thing is among the reasons I don't have a 44 that isn't .426×.440 ..... Gotta love some Cap and Ball .

If you need a really fat bullet I have a 429421 that is opened to drop .448 , it's great paper patched for .451/2 .


NC Minnesota
These are some of the targets I have laying around the shop from a cold weather test I did on my rifles and Ben's lube. All were shot out in my driveaway at 25 yards and temps from -10 to-17. The 1894 in .44 was pretty spread out but I was shivering by that time. LOL All started with clean barrels, but I left them outside on a table before I shot them, just to get the gun the same temp, as if I were carrying it on the trapline. The mould for the .44's drops at .433 with 2% tin added to acww. Every Marlin I own seems to favor the Dimple Point version of my RG4 moulds, and like fat bullets, the one exception to that is the Ballard rifled 336, which shoots most anything well, cast or jacketed.
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North Central Arkansas
Marlin 1894 at 100 yards. Accurate moulds 210 RNFP (.433) bullet, using 2400.

Accurate's 210 RF.JPG

With NOE's 265 RNFP (.433 diameter) and 16 grains of 2400, shot off a tripod at 60 yards.


RCBS 300 SWC (.4325) does pretty well at 60 yards off tripod. Rick loaned me the mould, which was hollow pointed by Eric.

300 HP (2).JPG

Marlin lever 44's have a preference for fat bullets. Lately, I've been using RCBS Cowboy dies and only neck sizing the brass.

This little carbine is my main deer hunting firearm................ if and when, I hunt during modern gun season. Wears a Leopold 1.5 x 5 with lighted reticle. Developed this load in 2018 but haven't shot a deer with it yet. Mainly, because I usually fill the freezer during the archery season. Gun season started last Saturday and I hunt out my back door.............haven't been out with the Marlin. Only a camera.

Charles Graff

Moderator Emeritus
I have on of those and it does very well with 200-210 grain cast GC bullets over 10 grains of Unique. Marlin just took the old 44-40 rifling twist and chambered the rifle for the 44 Mag round. They seldom do well with full snort magnum loads with nominal weight 44 Mag bullets. Load it like a 44-40 and it will perform like a show pony. A 200-210 GC bullet going 1,100 - 1,200 fps is a deer killing load. My bullets are .432

L Ross

Well-Known Member
If, and this is a big if, if my Marlin had looked like an old Marlin, (it was a late 70's), with a slender, sexy forearm instead of a sow bellied hunk of walnut missing only the faucets, and a clunky butt stock, that goofy white circle with a black dot, I may have devoted enough time and attention to it to make a shooter out of it. Yeah yeah, I know Micro-Wave or Micro Groove can be made to shoot, but when it wouldn't even group jacketed for my brother, well it just wasn't worth the angst. It didn't last 15 minutes on a gun show table.
If I want to play short cartridge lever guns vs. white tails I have a Model 92 octagon barrel rifle in .38 w.c.f. and it is all sighted in and it looks like a rifle should from 1910.