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Thread: Suggestions for a 44 Magnum castbullet shooter

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

    RedHawk357Mag's Avatar
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    Suggestions for a 44 Magnum castbullet shooter

    I have a Henry Big Boy steel in 357 Magnum that is awesome to shoot and load for. Been nothing but happiness. I kinda want a 44 magnum to add to the collection but finding the rifiling twist confusing. I shoot strictly cast bullets after a barrel brake in procedure. I am never tempted to shoot jacketed. My typical molds for 44 are 240 grns to 270 gen. In my shooting I don't think I will ever need a 300 gen mold. So the loading gate is a non issue, jacketed bullet use is a non issue, and 300 grn plus dino rollers are also a non issue. I think Henry, and Chippy would be great. Thanks for any advice or resources you might be able to point me at. Have a great day.

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  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    Given the somewhat spotty record Chiappia has historically I'd go with the Henry between the two. I've heard reports that Remington is getting the Remlin production line back into shape so I'd not rule them out either.
    Wayne the Shrink

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  3. #3
    Boolit Man
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    I recently got a marlin 1894 44 levergun with the 1/38 twist, which my revolvers are 1/20 twist, but it i did a stability test at 100yds with accurate 43-300R and it passed just fine, MV was 1450. they are also too long to cycle so i think anything that fits is generally not a problem for 1/38 twist. i haven't handled other brands but marlin seems fine now. mine i lapped the chamber with 1k grit and 3 micron cause it was being mean to my starline cases, i think their chamber reamer was reaching its lives end or something similar. but now its great, overall fit and finish looks good too.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I once owned a early 80s Win 94 carbine in 44 mag. Shot both jacketed & lead in different grain weights and never got a decent grouping from either with original open sights. So?~~Down the road it went.
    Although in hind site I wish I had bought its brethren __45 colt instead.
    "JUST A OLD DEPLORABLE THAT'S IRREDEEMABLE."

  5. #5
    Boolit Master .45Cole's Avatar
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    JM 1894cb Marlin, the 24" cowboy if they make it in 44. Should appreciate in value as you shoot it. Honestly, a ruger deerfield carbine might be pretty nice, since you have a shorter boolit.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Thanks for sharing experiences. I do appreciate it . Anyone have much success with the 240s with the 1:38 twist; Henry, Marlin? That's a bummer about Chiappa having some spotty reliability issues, just recently came across the Hickock45 video of him shooting one. Thought maybe the 1:20 would be more effective with 240 grns as well as the Win with it's 1:26. Thanks again.

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  7. #7
    Boolit Master Walks's Avatar
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    Overmax,
    I think your memory is playing you false.

    They didn't make 94's in .45COLT until after 1990. The 20" 94's in 44MAG were a single production run for BIG 5 Sporting Goods in the mid 1980's. I don't believe they were sold at any other Retailer. After that the pistol caliber 94's were all 16" Trapper's.

    The first run of the MARLIN 1894CB were all 24" bbl Rifles, in .45COLT.

    MARLIN introduced the 1894CB in .45COLT at END of TRAIL in April 1996.

    Then the .357MAG & .44MAG came out shortly there after. Followed by a short run of .44WCF. Then a limited run of .44WCF with Receivers that were sent to be color-cased in ITALY. The wood was a bit nicer and the buttstock was a curved brass buttplate. There was a Limited run of 20" bbl in .45COLT.
    So many of the 24" rifle's were cut down to 20", that MARLIN changed the std bbl length to 20". The 24" bbl was dropped.
    They made other Limited Edition's, but I can't tell you much about them, as I left the GUN Business in 1999.
    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I have a Marlin and what ever I shoot in my Redhawk, I shoot also in my Marlin with out any problems.I just go .001 over on cast in my Marlin.it group better .I do not shoot hardly any jacket in both guns.It is easyer for me to just cast and not cost me as much to reload.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    Several months ago I bought a Henry Big Boy Steel in 44 magnum. Intent was to shoot cast only. So far I've been pleased. It cycles 240 swc's flawlessly.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    They didn't make 94's in .45COLT until after 1990. I think your memory is playing you false.
    The Trapper 16" I purchased only factory offer _30-30 and 44 Mag. Like you say the 45 colt offer came out in later years. {I would have liked to have bought one of those later models but didn't} As to memory. I think I'm doing pretty good at 73. Computer savvy & I got your number right from the get go. _lol
    "JUST A OLD DEPLORABLE THAT'S IRREDEEMABLE."

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I've got the Henry BB Steel in 44 mag and I love that gun.

    I have a nice Accurate mold that is 240 A / AG (pb/gc) and it cycles them perfectly. I put a Skinner sight on it and it is pretty darn accurate.

    The other thing I really like about it is that it likes the same loads that my Redhawk likes. So, I can cast/load the same boolits for my revolver and my lever gun.

    I did have some cylcling issues with some S&B 240 grain bullets that I would shoot in a pinch, but I'm out of them, so... I just shoot my 240's.

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub
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    I’ve had a couple of the Marlin 1894 cowboy models in .44 and they are great cast bullet shooters. They seem to hold their value well too.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    Awesome. That does give some better feelings about the Henry and Marlins. Appreciate it folks. And yes I thoroughly understand that each gun can be a rule onto itself. But it makes putting my card on the counter a lot easier knowing others are having acceptable results.

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  14. #14
    Boolit Master 6pt-sika's Avatar
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    I've owned no less then four Marlin's in 44 MAG . Two were circa 1967 336-44's , one was a 1894CB 24" and the last was an 1894P 16 1/2" . I shot cast in ALL of them up to and including 325 grainers . I will say at 100 yards the 325's were starting to yaw as they went thru the target paper . Now with that being said I would still shoot a deer out to 100-125 with that 325 grainer and with that being said most places I'd carry a 44 MAG rifle the shots will be 75 yards or less .

    The 1894CB 24" I had did very nicely at 200 yards shooting silhouettes , but for that I was usually shooting 240-265 grainers .

    In the 1894P I had I liked the Ranch Dog 432-265GC pushed a tad stout with H-110 or W296 .

    I tried heavier with the two 336-44 rifles . By no means were they benchrest marvels but they shot well enough for deer at 100 yards .
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  15. #15
    Boolit Man
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    I don't know if twist stability calculators apply properly, assuming they do 240gr in a 38 twist rifle gives a stability factor of 3.4 which over 1.5 is "comfortably stable" it claims

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    The Marlin 1894 in 45 colt use to have a faster twist when Marlin was building them.
    Now the twist is the same as the 44 magnum.
    Remington will never get me to buy a Marlin rifle with a round ball twist.


    From the Marlin website.

    Features:
    45 Colt
    10-shot tubular magazine
    Lever action with squared finger lever; side ejection; deeply blued metal surfaces; solid-top receiver; hammer block safety
    American black walnut straight-grip stock; cut checkering; rubber rifle butt pad; tough Mar-Shield finish. Blued steel fore-end cap; swivel studs
    20” barrel with deep-cut Ballard-type rifling (6 grooves)
    1:38” twist rate
    Adjustable semi-buckhorn folding rear sight, ramp front sight with brass bead and Wide-Scan hood. Solid-top receiver tapped for scope mount.
    38 1/2" long
    13 3/8” length of pull
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  17. #17
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    The 1:38 twist rate is a left over from the .44-40 with 200 gr boolits.

    In the Marlins it performs OK mainly due to the velocity of the .44 Magnum which is routinely in the 1600-1800+fps range. Versus the .44-40 at 1200 fps.

    Many people, including myself, have been trying for years to get Remington to change the twist to 1:20 or even faster. No luck yet. Really in the .44 Mag. Not that much to be gained other than the ability to use 320-350 gr boolits.

    One thing you can do that makes a big difference in the way the gun runs and allows you to use Keith SWC boolits is to put a .040-.050 chamfer on the chamber mouth. I shoot strictly 429244 SWC's and 429421's in my gun and they are 1.680 OAL and run just fine, because the sharp edge of the chamber that would normally stop them is gone.. I have posted this pic 25 times here but one more won't hurt.

    The new Marlins (last 3 years) are far better guns than anything ever made by JM ! The fit and finish is excellent even on the pickup truck guns with the cheesy wood. They have premium guns in the $1400 range that are NICE! Then Dakota Arms Custom Shop which is owned by Rem. will make you a custom Marlin starting at $3500. They are as good or better than any Levergun ever made at any time. I've seen a couple and the wood, metalwork, and engraving was spectacular. Lots of hand work put into those guns,,, which is reflected in the price.

    Randy
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    If you can find one, I’ve been pretty happy with my Rossi R92 16” carbine. Shoots everything from 200gr rnfp 44 special level loads up to barn burner 310gr rnfp loads perfectly. It’s got a 1:30 twist rate. The steel crescent butt plate gets your attention fast with heavy loads though.

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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