Graybeard Outdoors banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I live in Indiana where they recently approved the use of "Pistol Caliber Rifles" such as the .44 lever-action rifles. My friend just bought a Marlin .44 lever-action. We went out shooting this weekend. He took his new rifle and I took an old Rossi .44 lever-action that I've had for a few years but hadn't shot yet.
We were shooting some 240-grain handloads that shoot great from our Smith & Wesson revolvers but they were grouping TERRIBLY- About 10" groups at 25 yards. Quite a few of the rounds were even hitting sideways in the target.
Before I go out and start buying different loads to try out, I thought I'd check to see if anyone had any suggestions on what bullet weight or brand of ammo that might shoot well in these two guns. I'd appreciate any advice that I can get.
Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,035 Posts
Some will tell you that a Micro-groove barrel will not shoot lead bullets accurately.
More knowledgeable .... or maybe just those with more time on their hands.... will tell you lead bullets properly sized for the Micro-groove barrel will shoot accurately
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,321 Posts
Check your load data. If you are under a listed max load, try increasing the powder charge, still staying below what the book says. What powder are you using?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
The handload that we tried initially was a PMC Starfire 240-grain jacketed hollow point in PMC brass with 12.0 grains of Vihtavuori N350 powder loaded to an overall length of 1.600". It shoots 3" groups at 50 yards out of a Smith & Wesson 629 with a 6" barrel at 1168 to 1186 feet per second through an Oehler chronograph with an average velocity of 1180 fps. The load does great on deer through our revolvers.
It SUCKS through these lever rifles though. We haven't tried to chrono the loads through the rifles yet.
My buddy has since tried several different brands of factory ammo through his Marlin and is still getting terrible accuracy. He called Marlin and they offered no assistance or suggestions. They didn't tell him to return the gun to be checked and he didn't ask but I've told him that he should call back and ask about returning the gun to be checked. I assume they would do that under warranty.
He also tried thoroughly cleaning the gun and he said that made the groups worse. (If you can even call it a "group"; it's actually more of a "pattern" )
I am just trying to see if anyone else has had such bad luck with one of these rifles and, if so, what round they used to fix it or what trick they used to fix it. Please offer advice or help if you can. Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
989 Posts
My 1894 has a 'generious' size bore. It does not do well with .429 (factory) size bullets or indeed any low powered bullets. On the other hand with any size Hornady XTP and a full (check your loading manual) load of H110 the accuracy is great and will shoot cloverleafs at 50 yards. The Hornadys are size 430 and the jolt that the H110 gives the bullet seems to cause the bullet to engage the rifleings well.

RJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Ranger J, I have to admit that I didn't know there were different sizes of .44 bullets (.429 vs .430). I thought all .44 bullets were .429". I will probably try some of these and will boost up up our loads to the "hot" end of the spectrum. I appreciate the advice and I'll let you all know how it works out. Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
989 Posts
You might even 'slug' your barrel. This involves driving a soft lead sinker down the barrel and then actually measuring the size of the sinker, and thus the barrel with a set of calipers. I had a Handi rifle that measured out at .432 and even with special size bullets of that size I was never able to get it to shoot accurately. I finally sold it to someone who was going to have it bored out to .445 Super mag. My 1894 is less than a year old and shoots well with the Hornady 240 gr. xtp H110 combination. My wife will be using it to deer hunt with in about two weeks. It is my job this weekend to take it to the range and do the final sighting in of it with the before named bullets. She doesn't like to shoot it a lot with these full power rounds even though I have had a Limbsaver recoil pad put on it.. She is using it only because her 1894C .357 is out of action and being sent back to Marlin for repair. The more I shoot the .44 the more I like it.

RJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,461 Posts
Not sure if your still using the original iron sights, but if you scoped the rifle, you might want to double check to make sure it's tight, or hasn't gone haywire. Sometimes even the iron sights can wiggle around. Double check them too. gypsyman
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
787 Posts
I have a Rossi Puma in 44 Magnum and I slugged the barrel and got .431". I got fair accuracy at short ranges with .430" bullets, but it could be better. So, my next loads will be with Beartooth 250 gr WFNPB bullets to see how accurate the .431" slugs shoot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
989 Posts
You might want to go to the size .432s Beartooth as cast bullets usually are.001 larger than jacketed. I went all the way to the .432s for the before mentioned Handi and still couldn't get acceptable accuracy. I took the Marlin 1894 out today with some .240 Hornady XTPs/H110 and got nice groups at 50 yards about where the deer will be come this season.

RJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Guys: I too have trouble with a Puma in 44 mag.. mine slugs .4325.. I was told about a fellow in Wyoming who sold me some 250gr Kieth bullets sized at .433.. helped a lot.. still not a target gun, but okay for hunting.. Mt Baldy Custom Cast Bullets, P.O.box 835, Cody, Wy, 82414.. 307-754-5255 Hope this helps.. Les
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,598 Posts
If you already handload lead bullets, it's not a stretch, to get the proper point-forming die to "bump up" those slugs to the proper diameter for your barrel. Just be sure to slug the barrel/measure it first, then get all the dies honed to the proper sizes & keep them with that gun forever & ever, amen.

http://www.corbins.com/pf.htm

An alternative, after slugging, etc, is to order a special-sized mold and cast your own slugs.

http://lbtmoulds.com/moulds.shtml
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,048 Posts
My Browning '92 measures .433", and I have finally got it to shoot using the 265 gr. Ranch Dog mould, water dropped and loaded over all the H110 it will hold. It will not shoot bullets this heavy slow though, it needs to be pushed hard. For light loads I use a custom big lube 180 gr. bullet at .433", over either a little Red Dot or Titegroup, or preferably a case full of FFFg Goex. With the slow twist and big bore, these 44 rifles can be a challenge to get to work well. But if you feed them right they'll perform.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top