Need help...Looking for info on Marlin 94 in 45LC

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CalvinMD
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Need help...Looking for info on Marlin 94 in 45LC

#1 Post by CalvinMD » Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:19 pm

Hi guys n gals....I'm thinking I would like to have a Marlin 94 in 45LC but need to ge an idea what year range to look within that I know I will be getting a 1-20" twist gun..preferrably Ballard and octagon barrel but the twist is most important as I plan on nothing smaller than 300grains going down the pipe...thanks in advance :wink:

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Re: Need help...Looking for info on Marlin 94 in 45LC

#2 Post by adirondakjack » Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:25 pm

The .45s are all "ballard" aka conventional, and they are ALL 1 in 38 twist. The Marlin CATALOG was wrong for many years (I thought mine were 1 in 20 until I did the "tightly patched cleaning rod test). Then I personally contacted the superintendent at Remington's Ilion plant to ask that it be corrected and it was.

Not to worry, they shoot well and stabilize bullets of at least 320 grains just fine.
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Re: Need help...Looking for info on Marlin 94 in 45LC

#3 Post by Griff » Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:45 pm

I just did a search in GunBroker for "Marlin Cowboy .45 Colt" and came up with four prospects. I wonder how the "Cowboy Limited" differs from the "Cowboy Competition" it sez on my barrel? I just tested my barrel and came up with about 1:38, or about a half turn in my 17" barrel.
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Re: Need help...Looking for info on Marlin 94 in 45LC

#4 Post by O.S.O.K. » Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:52 pm

Just get the cowboy and no worries. I think the competition version has an action job.

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Re: Need help...Looking for info on Marlin 94 in 45LC

#5 Post by CBinNH » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:03 pm

I only shot 250-255 grain bullets in mine. Shot them fine. 24" barrel, points nice. It is one of the Cowboy's listed on Gunbroker. We can work something out if you are interested.

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Re: Need help...Looking for info on Marlin 94 in 45LC

#6 Post by Sixgun » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:10 pm

Why fool with a 45 LC if you only want to shoot 300+ grainers? You can't load 'em too hot as the 45 brass is not strong enough. Ain't much space left for powder. Getting a 45-70 will give 'ya lots more versatality. --------------------Sixgun
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Re: Need help...Looking for info on Marlin 94 in 45LC

#7 Post by CalvinMD » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:55 pm

Thanks guys....since I have a 45-70 I'll just stick to that

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Re: Need help...Looking for info on Marlin 94 in 45LC

#8 Post by J Miller » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:09 am

What was said about the strength of the 45 Colt brass not being strong enough is bogus. It's just as strong as 44 mag brass. This old legend comes from eons ago when the ammo was loaded in balloon head cases. It's been loaded in modern strong cases for over 50 years now.

As for the ability of the .45 Colt to launch heavy bullets to decent velocities you can duplicate the old 45-90 300 gr bullet load easily. Just use the right amount of H110.

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Re: Need help...Looking for info on Marlin 94 in 45LC

#9 Post by AJMD429 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:26 am

adirondakjack wrote:The .45s are all "ballard" aka conventional, and they are ALL 1 in 38 twist. The Marlin CATALOG was wrong for many years (I thought mine were 1 in 20 until I did the "tightly patched cleaning rod test). Then I personally contacted the superintendent at Remington's Ilion plant to ask that it be corrected and it was.
Very interesting...!

I always was glad I had a Ruger 96 lever action in .44 Mag, due to the (real) 1:20 twist and box magazine (though I still just shoot 240 grainers mostly), but regretted not just going with .45 Colt so I could get that fast twist with a traditional Marlin levergun.

In the end, it seems not to matter, the 'equations' that predict such stability are not entirely telling the story. I believe there is a "Dell" equation that is somewhat more reliable in telling whether a given bullet, velocity, and twist, will work - I think I read about it on LASC or in one of Fryxell's articles...
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Re: Need help...Looking for info on Marlin 94 in 45LC

#10 Post by adirondakjack » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:37 am

Griff wrote:I just did a search in GunBroker for "Marlin Cowboy .45 Colt" and came up with four prospects. I wonder how the "Cowboy Limited" differs from the "Cowboy Competition" it sez on my barrel? I just tested my barrel and came up with about 1:38, or about a half turn in my 17" barrel.
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The cowboy Limited (I have two, spanning the turn of this last century) was simply the fancy pressed checkered wood as well as 24" octagon barrel. They went to plain wood and the shorter 20" barrel for the subsequent "cowboy" model.

The marked cleaning rod test is how I figured out mine was 1:38 as well. But if you have a gun you know to be 1:20 or 1:16, just eyeball the twist and compare that to your Marlin .45. They are easily distinguished visually. Eyeballing my rolling block's new Douglas barrel in .45 got me curious enough to TEST the Marlin....

Now, it might be well to remember that the formulas used to predict the heaviest bullet stabilized ASSUME a certain (often low) muzzle velocity (and therefore RPMs the bullet will spin. BC and stability are DYNAMIC concepts very much dependent on velocity.

I ran some 300 grain (nominal, they actually weighed 318 grains) Lee GC bullets cast HARD and quenched through mine at 1500 fps and got touching pairs at 50 yards (I also scratched my brand new glasses with the marbles peep sight). FWIW such
loads turn a sweet little lightweight rifle into a nasty little sucker to shoot off a rest. And no, .45 Colt brass doesn't wilt under such loads. It didn't even drag on extraction.
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Re: Need help...Looking for info on Marlin 94 in 45LC

#11 Post by w30wcf » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:08 am

Calvin,
I've owned a '94 Marlin Cowboy in 45 LC since 1997. It is one sweet rifle. As was indicated, they are all 1/38" twist. Apparently there was a typo in Marlin catalogs that indicated a faster twist.

None the less, I found that the 1/38" twist will stabilize bullets up tp 365 grs in weight just fine as long as the velocity is kept above 1,300 f.p.s.

I have pushed 300 gr. cast bullets (g.c.) easily to over 1,700 f.p.s. with narry a problem. The brass practically fell out of the chamber. It shoots the heavier bullets quite well. :D :D

Speaking of the 45-70, it will easily duplicate the performance of the original ballistics. One of my favorite loads is 45-20-350 which develops 1,385 f.p.s. and replicates the old 45-70-350 cartridge ballistics. (20 grs 296 - 350 gr cast bullet).

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Re: Need help...Looking for info on Marlin 94 in 45LC

#12 Post by Griff » Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:23 pm

Since my loads will probably stay south of 1100fps and weigh not more'n 225 grains... the twist is of little concern.
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Re: Need help...Looking for info on Marlin 94 in 45LC

#13 Post by kimwcook » Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:33 pm

Love mine. And, I see that Ole Italian finally posted something. Guess he's doing okay.
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Re: Need help...Looking for info on Marlin 94 in 45LC

#14 Post by CalvinMD » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:09 pm

Considering what I'd like to accomplish with the gun I may just send one of my 44mags to be rebored to 45LC and request the twist I want...but thanks to all for setting me straight..the reason I've been wanting one is my awesome shooting freedom arms with the 45 cylinder installed shoots so wonderful I wanted a rifle to share cartridges with as a match pair for woods work

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Re: Need help...Looking for info on Marlin 94 in 45LC

#15 Post by Griff » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:15 am

kimwcook wrote:And, I see that Ole Italian finally posted something. Guess he's doing okay.
He knows he owes us an explanation... I suspect he's trying to compose something believeable... :P :twisted: :roll:
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Re: Need help...Looking for info on Marlin 94 in 45LC

#16 Post by adirondakjack » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:14 am

CalvinMD wrote:Considering what I'd like to accomplish with the gun I may just send one of my 44mags to be rebored to 45LC and request the twist I want...but thanks to all for setting me straight..the reason I've been wanting one is my awesome shooting freedom arms with the 45 cylinder installed shoots so wonderful I wanted a rifle to share cartridges with as a match pair for woods work
If you're not afraid to spend money, you can get about anything you want. I had a rolling block built up in Cowboy .45 Special using a Douglas barrel at 1 in 16 twist. I haven't really wrung it out yet (shot it with a rough stock tacked on with epoxy) but it parked some 268 grain LONG ogive HB bullets all in one splash on steel at 50 yards even at a mild 800 fps.
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Re: Need help...Looking for info on Marlin 94 in 45LC

#17 Post by Les Staley » Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:18 pm

I've got a Shilen blank squirreled away for my retirement.. 429 groove 1x20 twist.. hope to get a new lathe and chew it down to size ..It otta shoot any weight/length 44 mag I could come up with...
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Re: Need help...Looking for info on Marlin 94 in 45LC

#18 Post by CalvinMD » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:37 pm

I will probably still get myself a cowboy 45LC just to have one but have to sell off a nice sporting clays scattergun to finance the deal first :cry:

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