Marlin 1894 FG (41 mag)

JayinAZ
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Marlin 1894 FG (41 mag)

Post by JayinAZ » Tue Mar 04, 2008 1:54 pm

Howdy,

I've been playing with your mold design page trying to design a .41 mag bullet that will work well in both my Marlin 1894 FG and my S&W 57 mountain gun. I'm shooting for around 265 grains and would like a shape that feeds well in the Marlin. Looking at the drawings it seems the Tangential ogive is the way to go. Do you think shrinking the meplat from the default of 70% would offer any advantage as far as feeding goes? Say to around 60%. I thought I'd go with brass too. I haven't attempted to take any measurements yet in either gun but I'm getting decent accuracy in both with commercial cast bullets sized .410 or .411. I thought I'd make it a gas check design too, just to be on the safe side. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks,

Jay

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mtngun
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Re: Marlin 1894 FG

Post by mtngun » Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:58 pm

Jay, I wish I had your "problem." A Marlin in 41 mag is on my wish list. It's encouraging to hear that you are already getting decent results with cast bullets.

A 41 mag rifle would be plenty for big game at short distances, and IMHO it is just the right size case for the Marlin 1894. I've always felt that the 44 mag and 45LC were a bit much for the petite action.

Anyway, I'd guess that your rifle has a SAAMI chamber, because Marlin seldom strays far from SAAMI specs, though sometimes I wish they would, as in the case of the 38-55. Which means that there is probably an oversize funnel in front of the case. The SAAMI chamber may not be ideal for accuracy, but the good news is that it should swallow most bullet designs, providing they cycle through the action.

A tuned 1894 will feed an 80% meplat, but as it comes from the factory it's another story. My 357 1894 wouldn't feed squat until it was tuned, mainly because of a knife edge at the chamber entrance. You'll have to use your own judgment there. Certainly, all other things being equal, a 60% meplat would be more likely to feed reliably.

I agree with the GC. I've had better luck with GC bullets at rifle velocities.

You surely already know this, but the overall cartridge length (COL) is critical for cycling. I don't remember the Marlin's max COL off the top of my head -- 1.59" ???? A little action tweaking may stretch that slightly -- I use a 1.605" COL in the 357 -- but use your own judgment, as always.

A 265 grainer should cast extremely well with WW in a brass 2-cavity mold.

A tangential ogive nose would probably work fine. Another alternative is to add a short bore riding section, as I did with my 357 bullet. The bore riding nose is more complicated, but if it fits well, support and alignment are improved.

JayinAZ
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Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Marlin 1894 FG

Post by JayinAZ » Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:03 pm

Thanks for reminding me of COL! I knew this was an issue but I was just ignoring it while on the bullet design page. Tonight I made up a dummy round using a plated SWC. I seated it out as long as would go in the revolver, which was 1.715. It almost fed in the Marlin. When I bumped it back to 1.710 it fed like butter. Maybe Marlin has been listening to their customers? This is a 2006 production gun.

So if I'm doing the arithmetic correctly, the default nose length value of .400 added to the max cartridge length of 1.290 = 1.690 and should feed with ease in my particular Marlin. The SAAMI max COL for .41 is 1.590.

Anyway I went with that with a 65% meplat, bore riding tangential ogive with step shank for Hornady checks. Will I need a custom nose punch or will something else work? One other question for you, since I've never used a brass mold, only Lyman. Does brass need drop out spray?

Thanks!

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mtngun
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Re: Marlin 1894 FG

Post by mtngun » Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:25 pm

Thanks for using a dummy to test the COL. That's good information.

You may have a similar nose punch laying around that would work. It doesn't have to be an exact fit.

Note that some customers report trouble sizing the 416 Hornady checks down to 41. It's effortless in a good die -- one having a smooth, gently tapered entrance -- but it is a common problem with the many not-so-good dies out there.

I don't use release spray on any of my molds. Nor should smoke be necessary with this particular combination. I'd be surprised if this combination of brass mold and 265 gr. WW didn't cast very nicely.

38 wcf
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Re: Marlin 1894 FG (41 mag)

Post by 38 wcf » Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:46 pm

I once had a Marlin 1894 in 41 Mag. and I had incrediblely good luck with the 295 grain SSK bullet designed by J.D.Jones. Remember that the M 1894 Marlin in this caliber has Micro Groove rifleing. It seemed to me that long, heavy for caliber cast bullets were the way to go in that rifle. I could achieve 1400 fps with that bullet and it was jack rabbit accurate to 200 yards with a little hold over.
Hope this info. helps.

JayinAZ
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Re: Marlin 1894 FG (41 mag)

Post by JayinAZ » Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:43 pm

Thanks for the tips. I'm hoping to get around 1500 fps or so with this 265gr bullet and H110. I've got a Williams receiver sight on it now so that will help with the accuracy testing. I also have the gas checks and sizing die standing by for when the mold gets here. Getting way ahead of myself here, I know :)

cooksey
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Re: Marlin 1894 FG (41 mag)

Post by cooksey » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:01 am

I have shot a dozen or better different commercial cast bullets in the Marlin 41 mag with a micro-groove barrel and I have been able to get about any nose design to go into the chamber, but many will not feed properly from the magazine tube. Semi-wad cutters, even with a short, small nose, are "catchy" at best. Without any gunsmithing though, I will say that any TC, Secant, or Tang. Og. will cycle just fine as long as the OAL isn't much over sami specs. LFN or LWN LBT or similar designs are too long and catch. The problem is that I just can't get a cast bullet to shoot worth a darn. The twist is 1 in 20" if I remember right, and even with a gas check, 250 grain bullets shoot mediocre at best. I have shot many whistle pigs and a couple rabbits with 210-215 grain cast bullets, but always within 25 yards or so. At 100 yards, with a Weaver K-2.5 scope and a good sandbag rest, I can't keep a bullet to stay on target; it's more of a pattern than a group. On the same token, with my Contender, S&W and Ruger, I have found a fairly definitive bullet weight for what will and won't shoot. I can get up to a 220 to shoot at about any velocity very well with a variety of powders. A 230 will shoot well if pushed 1,000+ fps, and anything heavier is just dissapointing at any velocity. Smith uses a 1-18.5" twist, Ruger a 19" and the Contender a 20" so that explains it. The only company that puts out a faster twist for shooting heavy bullets in the 41 is Freedom Arms with a 1 in 14" twist. So for anyone wanting to shoot bullets up to and including 300s, that's the route we'll have to go when ever we hit the lottery and can afford to buy one. Another way to go is Shilen sells a .411 barrel that a competent smith could install on a revolver. With jacketed bullets, from Sierra's 170 JHC, to Hornady's 210 XTP, to Speer's old 220 semi jacketed soft point, they all stay inside a couple inches at 100; 85 yards with open sights. The only thing I haven't tried, and I'm embarrassed to say, is my Mtn. Molds 230 TC GC mold. Just haven't had a lot of time to set up and put in a proper casting session. I'm hoping cast hard and pushed fast they'll get me close to a couple inches at 100. As it is, I had to resort to using my 210 XTP load with 22.2 grains of Lil' Gun at 1,845 fps out of the 20" bbl to kill my deer this year. It was a forked horn that I stocked withing 75 yrds or so and was given a pretty ideal broadside shot. To be fair though, the XTP performed suprisingly well going through the shoulder, the lungs, and breaking through the ribs just behind the shoulder on the opposite side; he only ran about 40 yards or so down hill. Will let you know about the 230 TC GC if you want.

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