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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was able to get out and shoot my 32 today. Here are the results:

Marlin 1894 Cowboy
32 H&R Magnum
Leupold 2X7 scope

All loads were shot from the bench, off a rest, using a rear sand bag. I shot at paper targets placed at 100 yards. The temperature was about 80 degrees with almost no wind. All groups were 10 rounds each, fired consecutively, and allowing the barrel to cool completely between groups. Even at 80 degrees, the 32 didn’t get all that warm after 10 rounds. The velocity data is for the 10 round average using my chronograph.

I loaded up two bullets and two powder combinations. I used Alliant Blue Dot and Hodgdon Titegroup along with Hornady 85 grain XTP jacketed hollow points and National Bullet Company 95 grain LSWC which were copper coated. Here are the results:

85 grain Hornady XTP/Titegroup
3.0 grains 935 fps 3 ½” group @ 100
3.5 grains 1144 fps 1 7/8” group @ 100
4.0 grains 1313 fps 2” group @ 100
4.0 grains 1325 fps 2 1/8” group @ 100


85 grain Hornady XTP/Blue Dot
6.0 grains 1210 fps 2 7/8” group @ 100
6.0 grains 1225 fps 3” group @ 100


95 grain NBS LSWC/Titegroup
3.0 grains 1149 fps 5 ¾” group @ 100


95 grain NBS LSWC/5.0 Blue Dot
4.5 grains 1050 fps 4 ¾” group @ 100
5.0 grains 1131 fps 5 5/8” group @ 100


I noted that Blue Dot did not burn completely. I had un-burnt powder flakes in the action, on the bench, and in the barrel after shooting. I probably won’t use Blue Dot in the future.

The lead bullets gave pretty poor accuracy. I’ll have to try other loads to see if I can get them tightened up.

The Hornady XTP jacketed bullets performed very well. Combined with Titegroup powder, they shot well and burned extremely clean. Velocity was high and I’m still not at the maximum book load yet. I’ll continue testing this combination.

I did also shoot at 25 and 50 yards with the rifle. 25 yard groups with pretty much any load ripped one big hole in the target. 50 yard groups were all an inch or less with many shots touching.

Functionally, the rifle performed perfectly. My only gripes are that the trigger is just horrible and the tube feed loading is a real pain. I shot several stings offhand and loaded the tube to capacity. Holding the rifle, the ammo, and trying to fish the rounds into the gate resulted in me fumbling many rounds to the ground.

I think it’s a keeper. When I shoot again, I’ll post more results.
 

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Thanks for the info. I just got one today and took it out right away to shoot. I shot factory Federal 85 gr loads. Boy what a little shooter it is. I shot a target for Ranch Dogs postal match for the heck of it. 50 yards with the factory sights. All the way home from the gun shop I was thinking I should not have done it....all the home from shooting it I was thinking how glad I was that I Got it!!!




I'm thinking with handloads it will tighten up a little more. I will have to pick up some titegroup this weekend. I'm calling Midway tomorrow to get bullets and brass ordered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I ordered mine in Feb04 from a local dealer here in SE Pennsylvania. I finally got it last week. Apparently the 32 CB's are starting to trickle down through the supply lines. I read several forums like this and there seems to be no pattern to where they are appearing. I've seen guys post that they have theirs in States such as California, Michigan, and some in the Northeast. Seems pretty random. I would suspect you'll get yours soon.

Thirties- sent you a PM
 

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The dealer had it on order for over a year and his name was up on the top of the list when it came in. When the dist called he knew better than to "think about it" because the second guy on the list would not have tought about it. I was just lucky enough to have seen it before anyone else did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Went out again today with some more loads and the chrono. Marlin 1894 CB 32 H&R, 2X7 Leupold.

Here are my results, group size is at 100 yards from the bench. All groups are 10 shots.

85 Hornady XTP / Hodgdon Titegroup powder

3.5 grains 1158 FPS 2 1/8"
4.0 grains 1354 FPS 1 7/8"
4.5 grains 1484 FPS 2 1/2"

95 National Bullet Co. LSWC / Hodgdon Titegroup

3.5 grains 1265 FPS 3 1/2"

Sierra 90 gr JHC / Hodgdon Titegroup

3.5 grains 1195 FPS 1 7/8"
4.0 grains 1320 FPS 1 13/16"
4.5 grains 1468 FPS 2 1/8"

The Sierra 90 JHC bullets seem to shoot as well as the 85 XTP's. I have a box of 100 grain XTP's to load up next. I'm not having any luck with lead bullets. Close up the groups are okay but at 100 they are really opening up.



Does anyone have data from a book for H110 loads? My Hodgdon book lists H4227 and Lil'Gun but not H110. I have some H110 on hand I'd like to try.

This 32 is sure a fun rifle to shoot. 25 and 50 yard groups are real tight. One ragged hole at 25 and many shots touching at 50. No recoil and very minimal noise. I would compare the report to about that of a 22 Mag but more of a sharp "Pop" than a "Crack." When I get settled on a good load, I'll have a go at some groundhogs.
 

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GLC<
Are you thoroughly cleaning the bore between the jacketed and lead bullet loads? Most lead bullets will not shoot well from a bore that is fouled with jacketed bullets. That cleaning and a trigger job (and some bore break-in) will probably help your Marlin shoot cast bullets a lot better than what you've experinced so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I do clean between groups, especially when going from lead to jacketed or vice versa. I have been brushing and using Hoppe's #9 and patches between groups. The barrel shows no signs of leading and no copper deposits, particularly at the relatively low velocities of of the 32. When I'm done for the day, I scrub the barrel thoroughly with JB Bore paste which shines things up nicely. The barrel is very smooth looking and feeling inside.

25 and 50 yard lead groups are not too bad, pretty much a ragged hole at 25 and 1" to 2" with some shots touching at 50 yards. The lead loads just aren't doing well at 100. I guess this would be okay for the Cowboy Shooting crowd since I don't think they shoot any further than 25 or 50 yards.

I think the rifle shoots jacketed bullets pretty good for 100 yards considering the caliber. I have no interest in CAS shooting so really don't plan on shooting much lead. I just picked up the NBC copper coated lead bullets since they are cheap and good for close up plinking. I will probably try some plain lead bullets, possibly from a different caster. The NBC bullets I have are copper coated. Don't know if this is a factor in the poor accuracy but I'll try some plain lead soon.

I have 339 rounds through the H&R to date. It should be pretty well broke in by now.

Good shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My latest data for the 32 H&R 1894 Cowboy.

2X7 Leupold, 10 shot groups shot from the bench at 100 yards shot on 6/22/05.


WARNING! These loads were not found in any published book. I could not find published data for H110 in the 32 H&R and was experimenting with charges between those listed for H4227 and Lil’Gun. According to Hodgdon’s manual, H110’s burning rate falls between these two powders. I chose to experiment with H110 since I had a bunch on hand and it generally performs well in magnum loads. The loads I shot in my 32 H&R showed no signs of pressure and were safe in MY rifle. Your results may vary. Use your own good sense and caution.

They are not Cowboy loads, but full power loads making the most of the cartridge and barrel length using jacketed bullets. I think they would be excellent for small game out to 100 yards, possibly further.

Here is what I found.

H110 and Hornady 100 grain XTP bullet:

9.0 grains 1240 fps 1 7/8” @ 100 yards
10.0 grains 1376 fps 1/3/4” @ 100 yards
11.0 grains 1550 fps 2” @ 100 yards

H110 and Sierra 90 grain JHC bullet

11.0 grains 1602 fps 2 1/8” @ 100 yards

H110 and Hornady 85 grain XTP bullet

10.0 grains 1507 fps 2” @ 100 yards
11.0 grains 1583 fps 2” @ 100 yards
12.0 grains 1720 fps 1 7/8” @ 100 yards

I’ve got about 400 rounds through my 32H&R now. My rifle seems to shoot any jacketed bullet into about 2” at 100 yards no matter what load I use. This seems to be the capability of the rifle and my shooting ability. It leads me to believe that the rifle is, at least, remarkably consistent. Velocity is really getting high for some loads, but I saw no signs of pressure. Primers were not flattened at all and there were no split cases, leakage at the primer, etc. Even so, I don’t see any reason to push the velocity anymore.

I have had no problems with the rifle at all. It functions well and the appearance of the rifle is one of the best I’ve ever had from Marlin. It really is a joy to shoot. No recoil to speak of, mild report, and decent performance. Handloading the 32 is very simple as well.

I’m really interested to see if the 1894 32 H&R gets tested and reported on in any magazines. I’d like to see what results they show.

Good shooting.
 
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