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RANGE REPORT I took two different 44 Remington Magnum handloads out to the range today to test in my Marlin 1894. The 240gr Montana Gold Jacketed Soft Points and a 200g Hornaday hollow point. Sunny 78* day, light breeze at my back, 1976 vintage Marlin 1894 with 20" microgroove barrel, 44 Remington Magnum.

The Montana Gold 240g JSP bullet was impressive. 5 shot group at 50 yards was 1-5/8" with OPEN sights that my 40+ year old eyes hate. The shots hit point of aim at 50 yards with the rear sight set at on it's lowest notch.

I loaded the suggested 240 jsp load on Alliant's website for 2400 powder. Once fired R-P cases, CCI 350 primers, COL 1.600" estimated 1500 fps.

The Hornaday load was the 1800fps load from their manual (older edition) for 2400. I did get a three shot group that was 1-9/16" at 50 meters but only shot 3 shot groups with this load. The largest was 2". Not bad either. It shot 4" above my point of aim at the lowest sight setting.

All and all I am very pleased with the performance. For the price of the Montana Gold bullets, $8/100 I was extra satified. I'm going to load some more and see how it does tomorrow. I wonder if this bullet would be suitable to hunt with?

I also took my Marlin 1894C, 18" ballard groove barrel in 357. I used Fedral 180 gr HI-SHOK jacketed hollow points factory ammo. Best group was 2-1/4" but had a 4 shot 1-1/4" group... Point of aim at 50 yards with sights set on lowest notch. I'm going to load some 158 gr XTP and see how it does with handloads.
 

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Range Report 2

Range Report 2

I only had enough time to reload 29 more rounds in 44 but here are the results. Same gun, Sunny, 83* and a wind quarting from the rear Left to right that varied from slight-to strong enough to straighten a 3x5' flag. Only the 240g Montana Gold JSP this time.

WARNING: Loads were taken from published data and proved to be safe in MY gun. Use at your own risk!

50 yards forarm rested on hand resting on top of padded block unless otherwise noted. NO rear rest.

-18.7g 2400, estimated* velocity ~1500fps. First (fowling) shot went 2" right of center bull at exactly 3 o'clock (wind? flinch?). The next 4 shots centered on the bull 1-3/8". 7 minutes to shoot the group.

-20g 2400, ~1600 fps estimated* velocity. 5 shot group opened up to 2-1/2" and 2" higher on target. Brass & primers look good.

-21.5 g, ~1700 fps estimated* velocity. 5 shot 2-1/2"(vertical)x 1" (wide) vertically strung group. It was 3" higher and slightly right of center. Possibly the wind pushed this group. Increased recoil was noticeable with this load. Brass & primers look just like the other two loads.

-18.7 g load again, this time NO rest only an elbow on the table. I was hoping to shoot a group worthy of Ranch Dog's Postal Match (open sight, hunter class)so I tried to take my time and really bear down. First two shots inner circle, almost perfect. I checked it out with binoculars and then felt a little pressure... Next shot wide 1-3/4" to the right, not wind, I pulled it and knew it. Dissappointed but willing to live with it I focused on the next shot. Again, inside inner ring touching the other group. I have a 7/8" 3 shot group with an ugly flier... Last shot and I really want to stay inside the group. I spend too much time looking over the sights and don't manage to squeeze off the shot when it was centered on the bull. I know it went left off and hoped (imediately started to pray...) it didn't stray far. Look though the binoculars and dang-it(!!!!) ~3" left @ 10 o'clock. UGLY!

-18.7g at 100 yards, rested on sandbags and I have both elbows on the table. Pretty steady. The wind is blowing pretty good now left to right. The group centers 4.5" low @ 4 o'clock. it's 4" wide and 2-1/2" top to bottom.


*=the velocity someone else published for their Marlin 1894 using the same load.
 
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