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Thread: Marlin Lever Gun in .357 and cast bullets

  1. #21
    Boolit Man
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    I have an early Marlin 1894C. It was purchased used in the mid 80s. I shoot the SAECO 180 grain RFGC. I cast them out of linotype and shoot them lubed with Blue Angel, but unsized. I run them through a .360 sizer die which only lubes them. I use CCI450 primers and a stout charge of surplus WCC820. They feed perfectly through my carbine.

    Bill

  2. #22

    Thanks for getting back about the bullets...

    Quote Originally Posted by shortlegs View Post
    Lee 158 gr swc and magnus 158 gr swc. The magnus boolits are from the 80's and the original maguns if that makes any difference. Both boolits look similar and shoot/function well. My marlin is an 80's model.
    I've seen the magnus boolits around. Interesting that your rifle liked SWCs.

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Walks View Post
    Sorry, I should have offered to make up some dummies to try. You REALLY SHOULD BUY THE MARLIN OVER the so called "henry". Had a COWBOY SHOOTING BUDDY that bought one. He couldn't get shut of that piece of junk fast enough. With the MARLIN, you are getting a rifle made of STEEL, not pot metal.
    And GEEZ, they are fun. The Best Gun for woods walking. With a good AMERICAN REVOLVER holstered, and a belt full of cartridges. Makes a great day for walking, thinking and watching. Have always preferred it to .44MAG for that.
    You may have opened a can of worms with your rifle comparison. If I went Henry, it would be the BBS - and I hear it has a better trigger but I've never handled one and the Marlin can be upgraded with the WWG Happy Trigger.

    This is going to sound a little crazy but Marlin gets the nod because the front sight has a shroud that attaches below the dovetail. That and the new 1894CS has the ballard type rifling. I could just see myself out on a walk, getting distracted, and whacking the front sight against something hard. With the Marlin I'd more than likely still be sighted in after I did that.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by ReloaderFred View Post
    Marlin .357 Magnum rifles and carbines require an overall loaded length of at least 1.480" to feed reliably, and won't generally feed a cartridge that has an OAL in excess of 1.590".

    If you do get the mold, and like the bullet, you can always seat to the OAL that feeds well and then just crimp into the side of the bullet and ignore the crimping groove, if it's not in the right location. I've loaded well over 80,000 rounds for my wife's and my .357 Marlins and revolvers over the years for SASS, and none of those rounds were crimped into a lube groove.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
    Thanks, Fred. It sounds like good advice. I don't think Burroughs gets quoted much by the SASS crowd. But he did say a few smart things - and maybe a few totally crazy things, too.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by barkerwc4362 View Post
    I have an early Marlin 1894C. It was purchased used in the mid 80s. I shoot the SAECO 180 grain RFGC. I cast them out of linotype and shoot them lubed with Blue Angel, but unsized. I run them through a .360 sizer die which only lubes them. I use CCI450 primers and a stout charge of surplus WCC820. They feed perfectly through my carbine.

    Bill
    Thanks, Barkerwc4362. I check out that SAECO mold.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master Walks's Avatar
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    Jun 2016
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    I was at the range back in March. Shooting my HANDI-RIFLE, MARLIN 1895CB & Trapdoor Carbine in .45-70 with light cast loads.
    There was a young man farther down the line shooting a "henry" lever gun in .45-70. He was shooting REMINGTON 405GR factory loads trying to get sighted in for the HORNADY Mono-Flex load. Couldn't quite understand that reasoning. But he was shooting the REMINGTON ammo because the HORNADY Mono-Flex wouldn't feed out of the magazine of his "henry".
    I offered him some of my light .45-70 loads to try, but he refused.
    Apparently when he called "henry" they told him to just put a 100 rounds thru the gun to smooth it out. They also told him to never shoot any lead ammo as that would damage the rifle.
    I couldn't decide if this young man was gun naive or just slow.
    I convinced him to try cycling his HORNADY MONO-FLEX ammo in my MARLIN 1895CB. It functioned/fed/ejected without a hitch.
    He had bought the "henry" for pig hunting here in CA, where we are limited to "lead-free" ammo. He left after his 3rd 20rd box of REM ammo & 3 rounds of HORNADY to check POA for his "single shot".
    HORNADY even says in their 2018 that some rifle may need modification to feed LeveRevolution & Mono-Flex ammo. You would have thought "henry" would have mentioned that to this nice young man.
    Incidentally this was his first NON-black gun.

    And I picked up his brass after he left, 60rd REM once-fired .45-70 & 218 FC .223 G.I.

    I really felt sorry for him. But he sure liked my MARLIN 1895CB. It was a bit muzzle heavy for him. But then after 4yrs in the ARMY humping that tiny M4 what rifle wouldn't. And of course that was the 1st gun he bought when he finished his enlistment.
    Last edited by Walks; 08-07-2018 at 10:54 PM.
    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    I have no experience with new 357 levers. I had a couple Marlins and a Puma. I shot 158 RN of
    Lyman or RCBS, I forget but still have the mold. Cast straight WWs. They fed slick as a whistle &
    were accurate with moderate loading.

    I have also found Marlins don't like SWC bullets from 39s with Yellow Jackets to the big bores.
    I have also found that if single loaded the Marlin will do well with most any bullet you have. The
    357s aren't near as finicky as 44s on bullet dia.

  8. #28
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    AL
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    I told you wrong about the Lee boolit, it is the 158gr rf 'cowboy' boolit. That eliminates the shaving of the fullsize driving band when chambering the rounds. The cowboy boolit feeds slick!

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by shortlegs View Post
    I told you wrong about the Lee boolit, it is the 158gr rf 'cowboy' boolit. That eliminates the shaving of the fullsize driving band when chambering the rounds. The cowboy boolit feeds slick!

    Yep. That’s the one I did a test round with. I think he will like that bullet.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master mattw's Avatar
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    I have got to say, my old 1894C will eat SWC's all day long in either 38 or 357 cases. The microgrove really prefers the 180 grain cast bullets, they are more accurate. I do use a stout load of canister H110 data powder and could not be happier with it. When the kids shoot it, they shoot mid-velocity 158's and the little Lee 105 in 38's sized to .359. She has been shot enough that it does not lead even with the 105.

  11. #31
    Boolit Mold
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    Jan 2008
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    Central Arkansas
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    I recently bought a 1894CS made an 1995 and made up some loads for it. I wanted to stick with using .357 cases for both light and full power loads. My light load is 3.5 grains of W231 with a RCBS 28-150 SWC (900 FPS). As seated and crimped in the crimp groove the round wouldn't feed. It was too long and would interfere with the carrier lifting it up. The OAL was 1.613, just slightly over the 1.590 that the marlin needs. I filed the carrier shell stop back .05 and the rifle now feeds my rounds like a fat kid eating M&Ms.
    All that is neccessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.

    Edmund Burke

  12. #32
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    To me, the Lee 358-125-RF and 358-158-RF are the gold standard boolits for the 1894C. My 1982 example with micro groove shoots 'em great. The latter slug will take a gas check just fine too.
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, .30 WCF, .45-70 Gov't.

  13. #33
    Boolit Buddy
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    I encountered a feeding issue with my '94 .357 Marlin accepting 200gr. boolits in .357 cases. I remedied the problem by trimming .357 cases back until the dummy rounds were reliably cycling through the action. I still had sufficient volume to reload to magnum velocities using faster powders.

  14. #34
    Boolit Master mattw's Avatar
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    @wildwilly... what 200 are you shooting? I have tried may times to go to 200 or over. Someone gave me a handful of 220 SWC at some point, they worked great in 357 cases, would cycle and shoot. But, I could never find the mould and the bullets came from a random vendor at a gun show. I need to look to see if I kept one to further the search, but that was 15 years ago.

  15. #35
    Boolit Buddy


    cwlongshot's Avatar
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    I don't know how much 2400 and Unique I have burned up thru my pistol levers thru the years... I can say that I never really "wanted" for anything else with a lead bullet...

    CW
    NRA Life member NRA Certified Pistol & Shotgun Instructor NRA Certified Rifle Coach Certified Range Officer Reloading Instructor
    REMEMBER, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check