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Thread: Marlin 1895 question

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    Default Marlin 1895 question

    Hi, I have a Marlin 1895 45-70 with the micro groove barrel. I want to start casting bullets and shoot hard cast in this caliber. I understand that the mircro groove barrel is for jacketed bullets. Is is possible or worth it to have the rifle rebarreled? It is a stock 1895 and I was considering having Wild West do a guide gun conversion on it. Any thoughts and suggestions? Thanks-

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    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
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    skeeter; i have shot marlin lever's for years, using mostly cast bullets, and have found micro-groove barrels satisfactory but not with all bullets or bullet designs. of course the newer ballard rifling is better and would be your best solution. understand, marlins are pretty much a meat & potato's type of rifle, and don't sell for a lot of money. this means by rebarreling it may not be cost effective (unless your replacemant barrel is cheap), and actually cheaper to swap your rifle for the type you want. as another suggestion this rifle has taken two elk with two shots using hornady leverevolution ammunition. thie first at 248 lazer measured yards...the second at 217 yards.
    this is a 35 remington guide gun, hardly a long range proposition, but it is a solid performer for me.
    happy trails.
    jh

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    I'd sure give it a try with cast bullets before making the decision. It might be just fine. LEE molds work really well, and they're only around $20 including handles. Heck, you can't buy a box of factory loads for that. Scroll down here for a gander at their 45-70 bullets. I don't have a micro-groove 45-70 at the moment, but the last couple I owned really liked that C457-500-F cast fairly soft with Lyman #2 alloy and a gas check. Never got around to trying it hard cast, so someone else will have to pipe up on that count.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZSkeeter View Post
    Hi, I have a Marlin 1895 45-70 with the micro groove barrel. I want to start casting bullets and shoot hard cast in this caliber. I understand that the mircro groove barrel is for jacketed bullets. Is is possible or worth it to have the rifle rebarreled? It is a stock 1895 and I was considering having Wild West do a guide gun conversion on it. Any thoughts and suggestions? Thanks-
    The best way to get an understanding is to give it a try. I've owned two micro-grooved Marlin 1895s and both produce as much accuracy with cast loads as I need. I've heard others say that their micro-groove rifles will not shoot accurately, but that has not been my experience. The only way to know for certain is to give it a try. WWG has always done excellent work for me and I've been most impressed with their service.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Maybe you can find some more info here.
    http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php

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    my 45/70 has the ballard rifling however I have a 30/30 and 375 Win with the microgroove rifling and they both shoot just as good with cast bullets as they do with jacketed. One thing that I have seen with the Marlins that can have a negitive effect on accuracy is a very slight barrel constriction in the two areas were dove tails have been cut into the barrel. One under the rear sight and the other above the forarm hangar. This is generaly not a problem with jacketed bullets for some reason, but with cast bullets it seems to have more of an effect. To see if you have a constriction you have to slug you barrel with a lubed soft lead ball and if you feel the additional "drag" as you push the slug past the dove tails you will know....

    Even if you find that your barrel does in fact have a slight constriction dont freak out as it is easily corrected by fire lapping the barrel with very low pressure rounds. In my case it took about 60 rounds thru the 375 Win to smooth things up and improve the accuracy. 20 rounds of each progressively finer abrasive grit embeded in lead bullets drive to about 1000 fps with a small charge and some filler. Just look for a reduced load and use that, being cautious and atentive to the possibility that you may get a stuck bullet at those low pressures.

    good luck
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    good point Alangaq, you know your marlins, not many shooters know that about the dovetails. I have good success with micro groove and cast in my wifes 444. No matter what you do be sure and get the WW trigger and ejector. It will give you the best trigger of any lever gun youve ever seen !

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    Thanks for the great advice! I just got back from Ak last night, and made a stop at Wildwest guns. Before I left, I ended up trading my micro-groove barrel inn, and placed an order for the co-pilot. Their products and workmanship got my attention. Got a good deal on 45-70 ammo as well. The guy with the hair said that they would likely turn my old gun into a .50 alaskan. Didnt get his name, but a funny guy, they got my buisness!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZSkeeter View Post
    Thanks for the great advice! I just got back from Ak last night, and made a stop at Wildwest guns. Before I left, I ended up trading my micro-groove barrel inn, and placed an order for the co-pilot. Their products and workmanship got my attention. Got a good deal on 45-70 ammo as well. The guy with the hair said that they would likely turn my old gun into a .50 alaskan. Didnt get his name, but a funny guy, they got my buisness!!!!
    I think you made the right choice! No second guessing now!

    Alangaq that is good information to know. I never heared tell of it! Can you see it looking down the bore or is it not pronounced?

    Concerning my 375 Marlin; I have one bullet mold and it is .379 and if I remember right 264? grains. It's not a gas checkable mold but shouldn't need to be at the velocity you speak of. Would no. 2 alloy /wheel weights be ok and what do you use for an abrasive in lead? I've read where one can use 10-12 grains of Blue Dot without a filler to get velocities like what your talking about. 10-12 grains isn't going to look like much in the 375 case..do you think it's doable without a filler?

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    Sorry for the delay elmerkeithclone…. I am in the middle of a huge house project and my computer time has been rather limited.

    Regarding the slight constriction created by the dove tails, no you cannot distinguish it by eye… at least I cant. I have no way of accurately measuring it, but I would have to guess that it is no more than a thousandth of an inch or two. You can feel it though when you slug your barrel but not really even with a really tight patch on a jag.

    No you don’t “need” gas checks at 375 win velocities but for the hotter loads were you are driving them above 2000 fps you are getting into pressures that could gas cut the heal of the bullets and lead your bore. A lot depends on the alloy used and size of the bullet. The easiest thing is to just try them. If you end up with a ton of lead in the barrel then you will know! In my experience when a barrel leads up from gas cutting it tends to be really pronounced… lots of lead. Like chunks and slivers of the stuff coming out with the bronze brush. You can also usually see it if you look from the chamber towards the muzzle with a good light source.

    Regarding the reduced load, I am always a bit concerned with small amounts of powder in relatively large cases and always use a filler. I don’t think I would try a reduced load with out it, unless of course the reloading data specified that no filler was needed. My boys got carried away pummeling each other with a big stuffed toy bunny a couple years ago and tore its guts open so I pretty much have a life time supply of “filler” for reduced loads.

    Wheel weights are perfectly fine for cast bullets and probably make up for at least 90% of the home cast bullets that get shot every year. For the fire lapping I just ordered the abrasive kit from Midway USA. It comes with three little tubs of abrasives and a couple of steel plates. You just spooge some abrasive goop on the plates and then sandwich a bullet in there and work the plates back and forth to imbed some of the abrasive grit into the lead bullet. Pretty simple stuff really, but a bit messy. Obviously you will want to lube and size your bullets prior to embedding the abrasives in them. Wouldn’t want to ruin your sizing die by shoving a really gritty bullet down there. And I did use wheel weight alloy for the fire lapping.

    About 20 rounds of each grit with lots and lots of cleaning seemed to do the trick on my Marlin. I think I cleaned the barrel every 5th shot… so if your at Rabbit Creek range, you can pretty much figure on a few hours as you have to contend with the cease fires and all.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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