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Thread: Marlin 1894SS .44 mag?

  1. #1

    Default Marlin 1894SS .44 mag?

    Has anyone had experience with the model 1894SS? I don't normally like lever actions, but that short-barreled stainless one caught my eye. Sounds like it would make a decent deer hunting gun to complement a .44 mag revovler.

    While we're on the topic, what do people think of .44 magnum as bear protection when fired from a rifle? (Think of the scenario as "a bear charges you while you're out hunting with a shiny new lever action.") I've heard they can get muzzle energies of 2400-2500 ft-lbs with 310 gr bullets.

  2. #2

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    I've got the blued version, and it's a dandy. Lots of whop and fast too. It will quickly become your favorite, whether for plinking or hunting.

    As for bear protection, I'd whole lot rather have one than a pistol in ANY caliber, including the 500 Smith. It's got more punch out of that long barrel, and even more important it's bunches easier to shoot well than a pistol. And it's faster too. Better to be putting shots where they belong again and again than chunking hope shots with something bigger.

  3. #3
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    Default little lever

    I agree with BrownBear , it's a potent little rig with stiff handloads , I always felt comfortable carrying it around . I used to give it to my wife and kids when picking berries .

  4. #4

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    I have the blued barrel and I love its light weight. We have a lot of black bears where we live and some of the neighborhood idiots feed them so I always carry it while walking the trails with my wife and kids. If it were just me in the woods a pistol would be fine, but with my 3 girls I want all of the odds in my favor.

    Only one problem with mine...on the lowest back iron sight setting my gun shoots 6 inches high at 50 yards and I would rather be dead on at that range. Any suggestions???

  5. #5

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    Yeah, just put on a shorter front sight. They're cheap.

    I've got a Williams peep on mine, and the front sight was just right. I replaced it with a red fiber optic anyway, and now it's unbelievably fast handling.

  6. #6
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    Default

    [quote=BrownBear;222275]Yeah, just put on a shorter front sight. They're cheap.

    BrownBear don't you mean a higher front sight? I had the same problem and switched to a skinner ghost ring with one of his standard front posts and it fixed my elevation problems.

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    Default Factory Loads?

    I have a older used Marlin with the 22" barrel and have not had a chance to use it. Also I have M-94 in the same caliber and was thinking of a fixed 2.5 power scope for it. I'll get on stick this spring and see which loads each like. The older Marlin seems to be a nice tight action when compared to the Winchester. During this winter during a hunt a friend used the ol-30-30 M-94 and what a nice job the 170 Core-lokts did on a moose. The entrance wound broke the inside scapula and went on through to the other side of the opposite shoulder and at the same time the impact caused the outside knee to break the bone. The lungs were toast! All this was within 40-50 yards and open sites. Impressive to say the least. I have used my ol M-94 which I gave to my 11 year old daughter and had nice success on Caribou. Almost the same circumstance but a frontal shot from about 25-30 yards. The lever is a favorite as I hope to get the .44 out this year on a hunt with some nice factory premium shells.

  8. #8

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    I purchased a new blued 1894 marlin in 44 mag back in 1976. It is the only gun that I use to hunt deer in Missouri with and it has never let me down.

    I just purchased another 1894 that was brand new back in 1977 and it still looks new. I might add a little thank you to Kenneth Doyel in North Pole Alaska for keeping this little gun in perfect shape over the years prior to selling it to me via gunbroker.com.

    I am in firm belief that with the proper hard cast bullet a 44 lever gun will kill anything this continent has to offer. A farmer friend of mine used his to dispatch a rogue black angus bull. The bull was facing him at 25 yards with his head down in a charge position and the old boy was pawing the dirt, bawling, shaking is head and sling snot like he meant real business. The bullet hit him half way up on the neck breaking his neck and then penetrated through the chest cavity, paunch and exited just behind his manhood. If it will penetrate 3/4 of the way through 2 tons of angus bull then I wouldn't expect any less on a big bear!

  9. #9

    Default surenuff

    [QUOTE=CZ_IN_AK;222322]
    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Yeah, just put on a shorter front sight. They're cheap.

    BrownBear don't you mean a higher front sight? I had the same problem and switched to a skinner ghost ring with one of his standard front posts and it fixed my elevation problems.
    You bet, and thanks for catching that. Typing fast and thinking slow.......

  10. #10
    Member jdb3's Avatar
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    Default

    I really like the Speer 270 grain bullet with a healthy load of Lilgun. I'm getting 1780fps out of mine. Jim

  11. #11

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    It looks like Buffalo Bore also has some 270 gr ammo, and it says something on their website about how unmodified Marlins aren't very good at shooting anything heavier than that. Has anyone tried shooting 300 gr bullets out of theirs? (Not that 240-270 grain doesn't already carry plenty of oomph...)

    It sounds like a fun little gun. I'm going to see if my local dealer can order one, hopefully sometime before the elections.

  12. #12

    Default ha!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfeye View Post
    It looks like Buffalo Bore also has some 270 gr ammo, and it says something on their website about how unmodified Marlins aren't very good at shooting anything heavier than that. Has anyone tried shooting 300 gr bullets out of theirs? (Not that 240-270 grain doesn't already carry plenty of oomph...)

    It sounds like a fun little gun. I'm going to see if my local dealer can order one, hopefully sometime before the elections.
    Evidently my stock 94 doesn't read well enough to understand what Buffalo Bore says. I push the 300 grain Hornady and Speer out of mine all the time. I'd chalk that claim up to a sales pitch- call it another Buffalo Bore moment- cuzz my gun loves the heavies.

  13. #13

    Default

    I think if bear protection is one of your goals, and you are buying a new rifle either way, you would be far better served to buy either a .45-70 or a .450 Marlin. If, on the other hand, you already had the .44 rifle, then discussing how it can make do has merit. But if you haven't spent your money yet, better to get something that you know has the horsepower to do the job.

  14. #14

    Default What

    If we apply that logic then what sense is there to buy a 45-70 or 450 why not just go ahead and buy a .375 On the other hand the 44 mag is extremly light, can hold lots of bb's, is inexpensive to practice with and it gets even cheaper when you practice with 44 spl rounds.

  15. #15

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    The .45-70 is also pretty **** light, and the lever action makes for a faster follow up shot than you are liable to make with your 375 bolt gun. It's just the best all around compromise for the original poster's specified use. It has most of the advantages of the .44 magnum lever action, and he won't have to wonder if he is carrying enough gun for the job. The only things it lacks are the magazine capacity, which is of dubious value in this application, and cost to shoot. "Yeah, I got mauled by a bear, but I saved a bunch of money on ammo." Which is about all I have to say about that.

  16. #16

    Default lol

    I am thinking about putting a lymans tang peep on mine...has anyone tried on of those?

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Netpackrat View Post
    "Yeah, I got mauled by a bear, but I saved a bunch of money on ammo."
    That sure got me laughing!

    I fully realize that .44 mag, even in a long gun, isn't the best choice for bear protection; I'm mostly enamored with the concept of a .44 levergun (especially since I'm a fan of .44 revolvers), and am curious what the .44 is capable of in a rifle format. For me, the 1894's potency as bear protection is situational: is it powerful enough to carry on a hunt without needing to bring a huge handgun as backup? Or, let's say I'm on a picnic, my buddy's got a 12 ga., my gf has pepper spray-- would I feel safe carrying a .44 levergun instead of something heavier? I think I would, though I'd hedge my bet by loading it with something heavy. The .45-70 is definitely worth considering, though.

  18. #18

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    Clearly, you need one of each.

  19. #19
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    Default peep sights

    daubie; I had peep sights on a 10/22 ruger and it was a good way to practice as the ammo was cheap. I grew up however useing the standard front blade and a small v-notch and because of that it was pretty difficult to make the adjustment to a peep sight. Now if you have a ruger 10/22 target shooting may be easier on the wallet with it rather than a .44 levergun. I missed a chance last spring on a ruger lever .22 but found a inexpensive henry lever .22 and you got me thinking if it is possible to put a peep sight on it and practice and see if it might be worth putting a peep sight on the .44 levergun. Well, it is something to think about.

  20. #20
    Member jdb3's Avatar
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    Default

    I have the Lyman on all three of my Marlins and love them. I believe they are more robust than the Wiliams sights. While the 44 is not ideal for taking big bears, I would use it. I hunt deer here in Southeast with an 1894 and we do run into big black bears and I have not had to dispatch one yet. That said, I'd pull the trigger on one if I had to and I'm still not carrying my 1895 even though there are more and more reports annually about brown bears on Mitkof Island. Jim

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