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Thread: An exercise in futility

  1. #1
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    44man's Avatar
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    An exercise in futility

    I spent 3 days slugging and measuring my Marlin .44 with BALLARD rifling. What a hoax!
    My bore measures .424 to .4243. Groove to groove is .4305 to .431.
    This leaves a paltry .00325 to .00335 deep rifling. No wonder the twist is 1 in 38", don't want to try and spin up a bullet. Leaves me to wonder what boolit will take rifling, maybe a steel jacket!
    I am reading about worse rifles here like the 45-70 posted.
    I want to make a mold that will work in this thing but don't see much hope.
    Seems like Marlin and a few other makers have found a way to keep handloaders from shooting their guns, buy factory loads only.
    Would all of you that have these rifles post your measurements?
    Also the micro groove barrels.
    I bought this rifle for the Ballard rifling and did not expect a smoothbore.
    I know, I know, shoot grossly oversize cast boolits! Who makes a mold unless it is custom?
    I want to know if any of you lucked into deeper rifling. Looks like a micro groove would have more bite.
    No wonder you can't E mail Marlin, they don't want the heat.

  2. #2
    Banned 45 2.1's Avatar
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    There are a lot of rifles in that range from several makers. Paper patch works extremely well for hunting boolits in them, or 50/50 WW/PB alloy water dropped on a GC boolit. Don't give up yet.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I'm with 45 2.1; Find out what your rifle likes before you trade it in.
    My 45-70 was CHEAP, otherwise I would have passed on it. I had second thoughts after measuring it but I've heard very good things from people who own them. I've also owned a couple of garands with really ugly bores that would still group 3 MOA with milsurp.
    I'm planning a trip to the range with my "rifled smooth-bore" and some handloads this weekend. We'll see how it goes......

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy Dr. A's Avatar
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    Just get the smaller Ranch Dog mold. It works great in my my 444, and will make boolits at least .434 with plain wheel weights. I don't have a 44, but have used it in a friends, where it will work just fine. This boolit was designed to work in that slow twist. As to 1 inch groups at 100 yards, I seriously doubt it. Make sure the boolit is at least .432!

    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Bullshop's Avatar
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    Box stock Marlin 45/70
    box stock RCBS 45/300 fngc in acww at 100 yards at 2150 fps
    4x Leaupold

    no worries mate!
    BIC/BS

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    "I spent 3 days slugging and measuring my Marlin .44 with BALLARD rifling. What a hoax! My bore measures .424 to .4243."

    That doesn't sound right!!! Is that a typo?

    Dave

  7. #7
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    No, thats the bore, not groove to groove which is .431. I would dearly love to see a 1 in 20 to 1 in 25 twist with .006" deep rifling for the .44 mag.
    They just changed the .444 to 1 in 20 and the 45-70 does not have the slow twist of the .44 either.
    Will you guys measure the rifling depth for me on your rifles?

  8. #8
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    Dr A, do you have the mold number?

  9. #9
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    44 man;
    Just spent fifteen minutes slugging the bore of the 1894S that has micro-groove rifling.
    Hard to measure as the grooves are not diametrecally opposed, 12 grooves.
    The grooves are about two thirds as wide as the lands. Yes the lands are wider.
    The rifling looks a lot like ballard rifling though there are a lot of them. Not at all like the scratches in a lot of micro-groove barrels I have seen.
    As close as I can measure it is .424 Bore and .430 Groove. It also has 1 in 38 twist. Micro-Groove Grooving? Have had no joy yet with cast in this rifle.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    44, go to Ranch Dog's site and see what he has available.
    He tests them all and will answer an email promptly if he is not flying.
    drinks, NRA life, TSRA life, SAF life, CCRKBA, GOA, JPFO, CBA, Def-Con.

  11. #11
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    An exercise in futility!!!!!!

    To expound further, I Have tried to shoot 240 grain SWC PB fast enough to stabilize and get leading. Shoot slow, 1000 FPS, and get five inch groups at forty yards.
    Has Lyman receiver peep sight. This is not a .44 special rifle, though it says so on the barrel.
    Guess I will have to lay in a supply of boolits with full length gas checks.
    Might should get the Ranch dog mould

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I don't have them anymore, but I used to use cast in a Marlin 45/70 and a .444, both microgroove rifled. I used gas checked boolits and very hard alloy, and both guns would shoot into 2" or less at 100 yards.
    You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Well, your measurements appear about normal judging by mine.

    The bore is drilled and then lapped to a finished diameter so it is pretty stationary as a measurement. I think that if you look at your bore real close, you will see the marks in the grooves from the rifling process that run parallel with the bore. These will shoot out and the groove will pick up another .001 to .0015 that will make your rifling a little taller.

    The faster the twist rate, the taller your rifling needs to be. But you are in the ball game right now with mine So don't feel too bad. Mine shoots quite well with several designs including a 280 Keith PB that works across a wide velocity range. And my GC designs designs will usually come in right at an inch too. You know my stuff is 14 BHN.

    I think that the whole problem is the excess wood located behind the pistol grip myself. Cut the stock off and see if you don't get a new perspective. Either that, or take off the hat.
    Reading can provide limited education because only shooting provides YOUR answers as you tie everything together for THAT gun. The better the gun, the less you have to know / do & the more flexibility you have to achieve success.

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master








    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    i wish i could give you advice pal but my 44p shoots just fine. Maybe its because i didnt measure it!!!!1
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Ricochet's Avatar
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    Smile

    I initially thought that "excess wood behind the pistol grip" comment might be referring to the same phenomenon as "the loose nut behind the buttplate" that afflicts several rifles of mine.
    "A cheerful heart is good medicine."

  16. #16
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    Hey Bass, now you are talking my language!

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Hey, 44Man... I don't know the depth of my riflings in my 1894 Cowboy in .44 is. It sure doesn't look very deep. The bbl. is even bigger than yours though. Mine is a .4315. It shoots jacketed really good. The cast bullet I'm using is the Saeco #431. It drops out at 243 gr. using a Lyman #2 alloy. I size them with the only sizer I have in .44, a .430. I lube with Glenn Larsen's 50/50. When I tried to work up a load with 2400 I got to pressures before I could get good velocities and accuracy was very erratic. But when I tried a stout H110 load it seemed to obturate up and started shooting with no leading whatsoever. Vel. is 1840 FPS at 70 degrees. When I finally got it to work right the accuracy was great, right at an inch at 100 yds. Taking it to the silhouette range it stayed right at MOA all the way to 250 yds. At first I was really upset at Marlin for making a bbl. so far out of spec. But now that I've got it shooting so well, in spite of the fact that it should not, I'm happy with it. I can't shoot any low pressure or slow loads but it shoots at hunting velocities better than I ever expected.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
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    Lovedogs, try 14.5-15.5 BlueDot, and then work down if accuracy does not improve. Slower yet, would be 10-11 4756. I always have these two flavors in stock for mid range pistol cases. ... felix
    Last edited by felix; 01-08-2008 at 11:46 PM.
    felix

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    44man,

    All isn't lost yet. Some of the dedicated muzzleloading slug rifles and scheutzens of old intended for paper patched boolits had rifling as little as .002 deep, probably to make full-depth obturation easy to achieve. I've seen some fellows at Friendship shoot amazingly well with such rifles. A friend of mine has a .44mag Rossi with .427 bore and .434 groove, so boolits soft enough to obturate are on the agenda, some of which will be PP. As soon as he gets off dead center and tries the ammo we've loaded we'll move on to the next step. I'll post any noteworthy results. . . . .

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Hey Felix... did you misunderstand what I was saying? Basically what's happening is that I am really kicking the undersized bullet hard enough to make it obturate into the bore. Once I got enough pressure to do that the accuracy is outstanding. How many .44's of any type shoot MOA? I guess it'd be nice to be able to shoot a few low power loads but most of my shooting with this type of rifle is full power anyway so I'm not really handicapped. Now that I'm getting good (outstanding) accuracy and top velocities I'm really satisfied and see no need to change anything.

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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