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Thread: Marlin 1894 45 Colt

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Marlin 1894 45 Colt

    Do these leverguns in the 45 Colt have fairly tight chambers so that you don't get alot of blow by? I'm going to a gunshow tomorrow and hopefully I'll run into one I can get a decent deal on. In my part of the country there's not a big call for these. I just want one for plinking.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
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    Late issue Winnies do for sure. They will handle 458 boolits, I do think. Never had a mold in that diameter, but 454 boolits are a joke. Keep in mind the typical 45 caliber boolits size down with ease and the lube grooves are fat enough to hold enough lube for a 451 barrel, like on the Winnie I have. However, accuracy cannot be better with ALL boolits used. Late issue Winnies have a 26 twist which is PERFECT for all boolits that will possibly feed. ... felix
    felix

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I was talking strictly Marlin 1894 45 Colt. I don't need another headache with mismatched bore & bullets, etc. I like to try to keep it simple.

  4. #4
    Boolit Man
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    I have noticed that with light loads, I will get soot on the case. I have not witnessed extreme loss of containment or gas in my eyes.

    1Papalote

  5. #5
    Boolit Master NHlever's Avatar
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    I'm afraid that the Marlin chambers are known to be a bit on the generous side too. The one I had worked OK, but did soot up the brass with standart "Colt" loads.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by NHlever View Post
    I'm afraid that the Marlin chambers are known to be a bit on the generous side too. The one I had worked OK, but did soot up the brass with standart "Colt" loads.
    Hmm......I wasn't planning on using anything hotter than 1000 fps handgun load. I use 7.0 of WW-231 with a 255 cast & also Unique but I don't remember the charge right off hand. Both loads are 1000fps or under in my 5-1/2" Blackhawk.I don't really care about the fouling that much as long as the gun is accurate and I don't have to "Hot Load" it to get it to shoot accurately.

  7. #7
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    I'm baaaaaackkkkkkkk !!!! Thanks Ken and thank you for welcome Wiljen.

    Now on to my first post since my exile.

    I have both the Marlin Cowboy and Winchester Trapper in 45 Colt. The Marlin is among the first Cowboys in that caliber. Felix is right, the Winchesters have a very fat chamber, but that's not the concern here. My Marlin has a much tighter chamber then the Winchester. In fact I would say it's a pretty normal chamber. I shoot 9.0 grains of Unique topped with a RCBS 244 SWC. A little on the velocities. That same load out of my Smith 25 with 8 3/8 inch barrel gives me 950 fps. If you're getting a 1000 fps or more out of a 5 1/2 barrel Ruger single action I'd say you are using more Unique then me. I also have a 4 5/8 inch Ruger Blackhawk and with the same load it's slower then the Smith. The Marlin is oneof the most accurate lever actions I've ever owned. The Winchester I have is right there with it. Little on what Felix said about the Winchester. Although they have a fat chamber, as does mine, my groove diameter is dead on .452. Bottom line is if you can grab a Marlin Cowboy in 45 Colt at a very fair price....grab it.

    Joe

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Well here's my 2 cents for what its worth. I have two Winchester 94AE trappers in .45 Colt and the chambers don't seem any bigger than the chamber s on the 5 Marlin .45 Cowboys that I have previously owned. I was never happy with the Marlins and had issues with the one I bought. Marlin ended up sending me 5 different guns before it was all over, and I finally refused shipment of the 6th one and got a refund. Take a bore light with you and look the bore over real good, all the ones they sent me looked like the rifling was cut with a bastard file. Maybe this was just my luck, I don't know. If it were me I'd be looking for a Winchester. Good luck.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
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    Thanks, Ken, for bringing Joe back. I think I dreamt that Joe said he will shoot no more one hole groups unless he is shooting only a hole in one. ... felix
    felix

  10. #10
    Boolit Master carpetman's Avatar
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    Smile

    Welcome back Joe. You were "locked up" a long time---would that be a felony and are you now allowed to own guns? LOL And yes Ken a big thank you.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    You guys lost me on Joe's return. I'm new here. Anyway, I forgot that the velocities I quoted were from the book, not my 5-1/2". I've yet to chrono them. Seems to me I'm shooting around 9 gr. of Unique with the 255 gr.
    Anyway, thanks for all the info! I'll see what, if anything is floating around at the gun show.....

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by kooz View Post
    Well here's my 2 cents for what its worth. I have two Winchester 94AE trappers in .45 Colt and the chambers don't seem any bigger than the chamber s on the 5 Marlin .45 Cowboys that I have previously owned. I was never happy with the Marlins and had issues with the one I bought. Marlin ended up sending me 5 different guns before it was all over, and I finally refused shipment of the 6th one and got a refund. Take a bore light with you and look the bore over real good, all the ones they sent me looked like the rifling was cut with a bastard file. Maybe this was just my luck, I don't know. If it were me I'd be looking for a Winchester. Good luck.
    Kooz,

    I don't doubt what you say one bit. It must be and up and down time issue. Both companies make some good ones, then make some bad ones. My brass out of the Winchester is really swollen whereas the brass from the Marlin is not. I can put a fired case from the Marlin in the Winnie chamber, but not visa versa. The Winchester does shoot superbly as does the Marlin. I like them both. I've shot plenty of groundhogs with the Winchester in fact and not all close shots. I'll have to say that 255 SWC really whacked them good. I took a deer with the Winchester too. The Winchester had more recoil then the Marlin, but the Marlin is heavier and I might add quieter with that 24 inch barrel. There are things to like about both of them.

    Joe

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Yea, I don't know what the deal was with the .45 Marlins. I have had other Marlin levers in the past that were great guns and made very well. I guess it was just a bad run of luck.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master August's Avatar
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    I owned, and shot a recent model Marlin in .45 Colt's cartridge. I got rid of it because I got tired of getting a face full of burning powder every time I pulled the trigger. YMMV.
    That I could be wrong is an eventuality that has not escaped me. I just painted the pictures as I saw them. I do not know how to do anything else. (Saint Elmer, 1955)

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Four Fingers of Death's Avatar
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    I've never had a 45Colt Rifle, but have still have four revolvers in tha calibre. Every rpund I have fired out of every 45Colt has sooted up the case. If you just want to plink, you can get Adironic Jack to re-chamber it to 45 cowboy, prob solved apparently.
    "I'll help you down the trail and proud to!" Rooster Cogburn.

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  16. #16
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    Any straight walled case will have some blow back. That's the nature of the beast. I don't know how many posting's I've seen latley on this subject but it's a lot. We just finished a long one on CAS City. If you don't want blow back then buy a 44-40 or some other necked cartridge. I shoot 45 Colt in CAS in the Frontier Cartridge class. I load my cases full of 2F and put a 250 grain bullit in front and have very little blow back "BUT" I do have some and the cases clean up fine. Blow Back is from the gas and pressure of the load. Some powders produce a lot of grunge and others a little but as long as you shoot a straight walled case and that includes the 45 Cowboy you will some form of blow back. I dont care what the brand of rifle is.
    Shooter of the "HOLY BLACK" SASS 81802 AKA FAIRSHAKE; NRA ; BOLD; WARTHOG;Deadwood Marshal;Bayou Bounty Hunter; So That his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat

  17. #17
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    Who let the Cat back in? ... ...

    Welcome back Joe ...
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatMarlin View Post
    Who let the Cat back in? ... ...

    Welcome back Joe ...
    Meoooww !!! Thank Pat.

    Joe

  19. #19
    Boolit Master leadeye's Avatar
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    Other than some blowback with my 8 grain Unique RCBS 250RNFP load I have no problem with 45 lc in my Henry. It eats the same ammo as the Rugers. I have a 44 mag Marlin and prefer shooting the Henry because of the added weight. Have never shot a 45lc Marlin but I would like to someday.
    Where's the Kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth shattering Kaboom.

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  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    To Date I have either owned or shot about 30 rifles in 45 Colt. I owned or own now a Henry, a 73, a 92, a 92 trapper, A Lightning, a Marlin and a Spencer. Now as to blow by... You have two factors, the rifle chamber and the brass. Starline brass seems to be the hardest and gives the most blowby. Old Remington brass was the thinnest and the softest and gives a lot less blow by. As to rifles I currently shoot a Charles daly take down M92 and it had the tightes chamber I ever had on a 45 Colt rifle. I rarel get a sooty case with any load. The worst rifle was a Navy Arms and the brass came out egg shaped and bulged at the base. The oter rifles are in between. By the same token i have a 357 Rossi made in the early 70's that has never shown any blowby even with wadcutters. My cuurrent plinking and fun load for the 45 Colt is 8.0 grains of PB and a 454190 bullet. As long as I use either annealed or softer brass I have little problems in any of my rifles. I had a Marlin M94 in 45 Colt and as lon as I used soft brass cases i had only a little blowby, but in a Taurus Lighhtning I had to use stout loads or I got my face sprayed regularly.

    Now the problem it seems to me is that most of the rifle makers want to have a rifle that feeds smoothly and they accomplish this most quickly by having the chambers oversize. You dont see this in 44-40 because the bottleneck cases always feed.

    I don't know if it is the low pressures involved or what but no one mentioned blow by much when we were shooting 357 and 44 mag lever guns. I have done a lot of trading and if I found a 45 colt that was SMOKLESS I try to hang on to it.

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