94P. What to do with it?

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2ndovc
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94P. What to do with it?

Post by 2ndovc »

I mentioned this carbine in the .44 Magnum thread, but didn't want to drift it off in another direction.

I've had this .44 that I picked up at a show twenty plus years ago and when I had my Bowen SBH worked over. I was hoping they would be the perfect pair. Turns out that my everyday gen. purpose load for my SBH and S&W 29 of 10.5 gr of Unique and a 240 gr. LSWC not only doesn't shoot well, it will actually keyhole and with every cast bullet I've tried. With a 240 XTP or Sierra 250 match ( my S&Ws favorite bullet), the 94 shoots quite well.
It's not that big of an inconvenience, but it really bugs me that it won't shoot cast bullets.
My thoughts are;
Send it to someone to have it rebarreled, maybe just a bit longer for a suppressor? I really dislike the porting anyway.
Sell it. I only paid $250 for it and the last one saw sell was @ $2400!
Or just shoot the jacketed bullets once in a while and stick it back in rear of the safe?
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Re: 94P. What to do with it?

Post by Rockrat »

Whats the diameter of the bullets you are using and what is the groove dia. of the barrel?
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Re: 94P. What to do with it?

Post by 2ndovc »

I'll have to check my notes, but I'm pretty sure I eliminated that as the issue some time ago.

Another issue is it will not feed a wide flat nose bullet like Cast Performance makes.

jb
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Re: 94P. What to do with it?

Post by GunnyMack »

Just a thought, fire lap the bore? Maybe cast is stripping on sharp lands& grooves?
My Henry was terrible with plated bullets- copper fouling up the wahzoo. I didn't fire lap it but I did spend a lot of elbow grease and JB Bore compound. Now it shoots both cast and jacketed very well.
A buddy of mine had/has a Marlin Guide Gun that didn't shoot anything well( a JM gun) and we did some fire lapping with 1200 grit and those groups shrank and shrank until it became a 1" @ 100 gun with just about any load.
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Re: 94P. What to do with it?

Post by AJMD429 »

It would be cool to get it re-barreled with an integrally-suppressed barrel. I’ve seen a couple at gun shows and the magazine tube makes a bit of a double curve so that the end is maybe a half inch lower to accommodate the larger barrel diameter but the guy who had one who I go a chance to talk to it said it fed really well. it was a Marlin. I’ve seen them done on Ruger 96s which of course don’t have the magazine tube issue. I like the integrally-suppressed setups better, because although you lose the ability to swap the suppressor to other firearms, it makes a much more compact firearm without having to do the 'SBR' thing. I put an integrally suppressed barrel on my Ruger 92 22LR version, and it is SO quiet (no semiauto clickety-clack), but unlike the 44 Mag, the 10/22 and 77/22 and 96/22 barrels just attach by a dovetail arrangement with a couple Allen wrenches and 5 minutes of amateur time. So I got the Operative suppressor/barrel for the 10/22 and it works on the 96/22 but you just have to cut a second extractor groove clearance (took 10 minutes with a small file) and you're good to go (the 77/22 takes a different shank-length barrel so needs a different model, and they didn't make one specifically for the 96/22).

The 44 Mag is used in suppressed form by some Animal Control departments as a quiet way to deal with feral animals in urban environments (...maybe that use needs to be expanded a bit in some of the gang-infested cities... :? )

Small Arms Review had an article about suppressed 44's. A Ruger 96/44, Ruger 77/44, and Contender Pistol.

Image

https://smallarmsreview.com/suppressed- ... ohns-guns/
Last edited by AJMD429 on Wed Feb 21, 2024 6:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: 94P. What to do with it?

Post by 4t5 »

Maybe a gas check is in order , or slow them down some , also the 1 :38. Twist may like lighter bullets.
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Re: 94P. What to do with it?

Post by 2ndovc »

4t5 wrote: Wed Feb 21, 2024 6:33 pm Maybe a gas check is in order , or slow them down some , also the 1 :38. Twist may like lighter bullets.
The lighter bullet is an interesting thought. I keep going heavier. The 300 grain bullets weren't any better. I don't think I have anything lighter than 240 in the basement. Will have to shop around a bit. I have tried bullets with gas checks with no noticeable change there, but they were also heavier bullets, 265s I think.

Thanks for all of the suggestions! That's some interesting stuff, Doc!

I've noticed that no one as said "sell it".
Here's the only one I've found this afternoon for sale
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/1036558197

jb 8)
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Re: 94P. What to do with it?

Post by Walt »

Jason, are you casting your own bullets? If shooting something like Lyman's 429215 (215 gr GC) at higher velocity doesn't solve the problem, I would try sizing your bullets larger to maybe .431 to start. Shooting undersized bullets will sure cause keyholing. Good luck!
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Re: 94P. What to do with it?

Post by horsesoldier03 »

I have a 94 in .44 mag with the 20" barrel. I shoots store bought, as well as my reloads to include CAST just fine. I did go to a .431 on some of the cast but my top grain is 240. I have heard going over the 265 grain bullet brings out several issues with the marlin.
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Re: 94P. What to do with it?

Post by 2ndovc »

Thanks again, Guys!

Walt, I haven't gotten good enough at casting to do anything more that round balls. Hoping to chance that this spring/ summer if things stay quiet like they have for the last few months.

I have some lighter bullets with gas checks and another batch of SWCs that are sized to .431 on the way. We'll see if that helps. Also thinking of trying Gunny's suggestion of fire lapping, though I've never done that before.

Worst case, I just stick to the jacketed bullets and be happy with it. It's a neat little carbine and shoots my heavy 296 loads quite well.

Planning on adding to the .44 collection anyway. I keep looking at the 4" Redhawk and I just saw that Ruger has reintroduced the Model 77/44 that I'd wished I'd bought one of the early ones before they were discontinued.

jb 8)
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Re: 94P. What to do with it?

Post by Bronco »

I had a similar problem with my 24" JM Marlin! Would not stabilize bullets unless driven hard. Sent it to Regan Nonnemann to change barrels. Put a Douglas premium barrel with a .429 bore and a 1:16 twist. Now it shoot 300grgc cast from everything from cat sneeze loads to the hot ones very well. I get about 2 1/2" groups at a hundred yards. Not great but I am okay with that! Very happy with his work.
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Re: 94P. What to do with it?

Post by AJMD429 »

.
"...I had a similar problem with my 24" JM Marlin! Would not stabilize bullets unless driven hard. Sent it to Regan Nonnemann to change barrels. Put a Douglas premium barrel with a .429 bore and a 1:16 twist..."

THAT sounds perfect...

I rebarreled a 44 Mag 1894 to 45 Colt, but it was just a 'barrel swap' since I got a factory barrel, and since the cartridge headspaces on the rim and no parts other than barrel are different between the two cartridges in the 1894 Marlin. I wonder if Douglas sells barrels pre-cut to an 1894 Marlin cofiguration and threaded an so on. I'm betting not, so that would be a big job.
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Re: 94P. What to do with it?

Post by Walt »

Jason, I believe the problem lies in the low velocities at which you're shooting. Your 1:38" twist is simply not stabilizing your bullets. Even from a rifle your cast bullets are probably doing less than 1200 fps and the jacketed bullets are going even slower. The idea behind the long twist was to stabilize 240 gr jacketed bullets at factory velocities. Shooting lighter bullets at somewhat higher velocities will solve the problem. BTW, I'm surprised that your super-light loads of H-110/296 haven't resulted in squibs. I have seen a few instances of bullets stuck in the barrel and unburned powder wadded up in a clump in the receiver when the action is opened. It makes a mess. The loading manuals all warn against loading to less than their published minimums of those two powders and they always show use of magnum primers.
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Re: 94P. What to do with it?

Post by Bronco »

I did order a barrel blank and Regan cut the flats to make it octagonal! I also had him cut the barrel with no taper. He said he had never done that but when he was finished he liked the way it hung. I like the heavier muzzle!
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Re: 94P. What to do with it?

Post by 2ndovc »

Walt wrote: Thu Feb 22, 2024 8:38 am Jason, I believe the problem lies in the low velocities at which you're shooting. Your 1:38" twist is simply not stabilizing your bullets. Even from a rifle your cast bullets are probably doing less than 1200 fps and the jacketed bullets are going even slower. The idea behind the long twist was to stabilize 240 gr jacketed bullets at factory velocities. Shooting lighter bullets at somewhat higher velocities will solve the problem. BTW, I'm surprised that your super-light loads of H-110/296 haven't resulted in squibs. I have seen a few instances of bullets stuck in the barrel and unburned powder wadded up in a clump in the receiver when the action is opened. It makes a mess. The loading manuals all warn against loading to less than their published minimums of those two powders and they always show use of magnum primers.
Walt,

You are correct, that is a light load for 296, but I use it because it's proven to be very accurate with my revolvers. I do end up with a little unburnt powder, but so far, nothing that would cause any problems.

jb 8)
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Re: 94P. What to do with it?

Post by Paladin »

GunnyMack wrote: Wed Feb 21, 2024 4:32 pm Just a thought, fire lap the bore? Maybe cast is stripping on sharp lands& grooves?
My Henry was terrible with plated bullets- copper fouling up the wahzoo. I didn't fire lap it but I did spend a lot of elbow grease and JB Bore compound. Now it shoots both cast and jacketed very well.
A buddy of mine had/has a Marlin Guide Gun that didn't shoot anything well( a JM gun) and we did some fire lapping with 1200 grit and those groups shrank and shrank until it became a 1" @ 100 gun with just about any load.
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Re: 94P. What to do with it?

Post by 2ndovc »

Paladin wrote: Sun Feb 25, 2024 11:32 pm
GunnyMack wrote: Wed Feb 21, 2024 4:32 pm Just a thought, fire lap the bore? Maybe cast is stripping on sharp lands& grooves?
My Henry was terrible with plated bullets- copper fouling up the wahzoo. I didn't fire lap it but I did spend a lot of elbow grease and JB Bore compound. Now it shoots both cast and jacketed very well.
A buddy of mine had/has a Marlin Guide Gun that didn't shoot anything well( a JM gun) and we did some fire lapping with 1200 grit and those groups shrank and shrank until it became a 1" @ 100 gun with just about any load.
This
Just ordered a kit.
This will be interesting, I've never done one before. :shock:
Also have some cast .431 bullets ordered as well.

Appreciate all of the suggestions guys!

jb 8)
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Re: 94P. What to do with it?

Post by Grizz »

If it groups factory white box 240Gr JSP, Because if it does, then it's OK. If it groups 296Gr it's a gem. Ours would not group 300Gr jacketed. It's the twist rate issue. It was designed to shoot one load at one velocity. My pistol's 405Gr would not cycle, but single loaded it went sideways by the time it was 10 feet from the muzzle. Hope the fire lapping works out.

That gun is a fantastic deer gun, ours made a lot of meat, hope yours does too.
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Re: 94P. What to do with it?

Post by JFE »

If you review the SAAMI spec for the 44 mag in a rifle and compare them to the SAAMI spec for the 44 mag in pistol you will find they are virtually two different cartridges. Different barrel and chamber dimensions. The pistols have a tighter barrel diameter and twist whereas the rifles have significantly looser diameter and slow twist.

Your poor performance with cast in the rifle is most likely down to the bullet diameter. I have a B-92 in 44 mag and I didn’t achieve decent accuracy with cast until I used bullets that were 0.432/0.433” in diameter. The other issue with the B-92 was it had shallow multi groove rifling somewhat similar to Marlin’s microgroove rifling. The larger diameter cast bullet achieves several things. It helps centralise the cartridge in the chamber, assists in providing greater grip and seals the bore. With larger diameter cast pills my 1 in 38” twist stabilises 300gr pills.

The other issue is bullet design. SWC styles were designed for revolvers. Apart from potential OAL issues a lot of leverguns have trouble feeding that style bullet. The best styles for leverguns IMO are either RNFP or TC designs. Make sure the crimp groove location is correct for cycling in your rifle.
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Re: 94P. What to do with it?

Post by 2ndovc »

Grizz,

I haven't hunted anything with it other than varmints. I'd always shot jacketed bullets after first sighted it in with the new Brockman sights installed. It wasn't until I ran into a porcupine that was a little too close to our cabin for comfort. I usually don't bother them, but with the dogs, I don't want them too close. Anyway, the porcupine wasn't that far away, maybe 30 yds., and I would either miss completely or just graze him. After a few shots, I walked up and finished him with a 9mm. Felt bad about torturing the little guy and put the Marlin away for awhile. Other than those targets I shot with the keyholing bullets, and saw the problem, but just haven't had to to work on it.
The insurance world has been quiet lately so I thought it was time to get back to it.

jb 8)
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Re: 94P. What to do with it?

Post by GunnyMack »

Porcupines are neat critters- until they are chewing through the walls of the cabin OR the dogs find them!

Follow the instructions on the fire lap kit! Fine line between just right and oh poo!
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Re: 94P. What to do with it?

Post by Grizz »

JFE wrote: Mon Feb 26, 2024 11:19 am If you review the SAAMI spec for the 44 mag in a rifle and compare them to the SAAMI spec for the 44 mag in pistol you will find they are virtually two different cartridges. Different barrel and chamber dimensions. The pistols have a tighter barrel diameter and twist whereas the rifles have significantly looser diameter and slow twist.

Your poor performance with cast in the rifle is most likely down to the bullet diameter. I have a B-92 in 44 mag and I didn’t achieve decent accuracy with cast until I used bullets that were 0.432/0.433” in diameter. The other issue with the B-92 was it had shallow multi groove rifling somewhat similar to Marlin’s microgroove rifling. The larger diameter cast bullet achieves several things. It helps centralise the cartridge in the chamber, assists in providing greater grip and seals the bore. With larger diameter cast pills my 1 in 38” twist stabilises 300gr pills.

The other issue is bullet design. SWC styles were designed for revolvers. Apart from potential OAL issues a lot of leverguns have trouble feeding that style bullet. The best styles for leverguns IMO are either RNFP or TC designs. Make sure the crimp groove location is correct for cycling in your rifle.
this is interesting, news to me. our 1894 shot winchester 240s as accurately as my sbh shot them. my sbh stabilizes 300 gr, the 94 does not. i have a B-92 project gun that had a badly bulged barrel and shot 240s just fine before I sawed the barrel off . . . I wound up shooting 325gr cast from the sbh, it was hopeless from the marlin 94. AND THAT'S ALL I KNOW ABOUT. I missed out on the bore differences all those years! thanks for the info . . .

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Re: 94P. What to do with it?

Post by GunnyMack »

My Ruger carbine shoots 300 xtps fairly well and it's a 38 twist. Don't remember shooting it past about 50 yds as i only used them on a pig hunt, only need 1 shot. Being gas operated I never ran any cast through it.
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Re: 94P. What to do with it?

Post by JFE »

Grizz wrote: Mon Feb 26, 2024 12:28 pm I have a B-92 project gun that had a badly bulged barrel and shot 240s just fine before I sawed the barrel off . . .
Assuming you rebuild your B-92 in 44 mag I’d be tempted to use a pistol spec barrel with a tighter bore and faster twist. Rifle chamber reamers in 44 mag also include a long throat, it’s about 0.22” long. I’d be looking to ream the chamber with a reamer that had a much shorter throat to improve accuracy.

However, if that were my project gun I’d be tempted to build a 45LC with a tight chamber. Most 45LC rifles have sloppy chamber specs. Again, refer to SAMMI specs for the 45LC and compare them to 454 specs.
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Re: 94P. What to do with it?

Post by Grizz »

JFE wrote: Mon Feb 26, 2024 3:15 pm
Grizz wrote: Mon Feb 26, 2024 12:28 pm I have a B-92 project gun that had a badly bulged barrel and shot 240s just fine before I sawed the barrel off . . .
Assuming you rebuild your B-92 in 44 mag I’d be tempted to use a pistol spec barrel with a tighter bore and faster twist. Rifle chamber reamers in 44 mag also include a long throat, it’s about 0.22” long. I’d be looking to ream the chamber with a reamer that had a much shorter throat to improve accuracy.

However, if that were my project gun I’d be tempted to build a 45LC with a tight chamber. Most 45LC rifles have sloppy chamber specs. Again, refer to SAMMI specs for the 45LC and compare them to 454 specs.
Thanks, 45..that's a good idea. At the time I hunted with 44 mag and liked the carbine combo, I might be inclined to go with 45 now so I can share loads with the 1911. But when I wander down this trail the Guide gun says, "what about me" and I realize I already have a 45!
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