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UPDATE: Marlin 1894 - Push Comes to Shove: .44 Monster Mag Project

January 31, 2015

 

 

Hi friends,

 

For those of you who read my previous post on the .44 monster mag, and have been awaiting more news, here's a brief update. As you may recall, we took a Marlin 1894, stretched the action capacity to be able to run a COL of 1.75" (I think I may have mis-typed that length as 1.71" last entry?) and began experimenting with 300gr XTP bullets seated to the first cannelure. This was a first step in building a short (16.5" bbl) ultra light guide gun capable of taking all NA game, as an alternative to the heavier big bore platforms like the 444 and 1895. Currently our test mule weighs a mere 5lbs, and as of the last writing we had pushed 300 XTP's to 1700fps and 300gr cast boolits to 1800fps. In my last entry I promised to do more testing with different powders, and to clock some Buffalo Bore 305gr loads for comparison.

 

Last weekend. I made another trip to our top secret test facility called "The Farm" (it's so secret the cows have trouble coming home to it) to see if there was anything left for the .44 rem mag case left to give. In a nutshell, there is not. Regardless of powder burn rate, the case capacity is at its limit (we're talking heavily compressed loads) when 300gr velocities hit 1700fps. Realistically, for long term safety, the practical limit is 1650fps with jacketed bullets. This is not bad at all when you consider that an equally short 444 barrel can only deliver another 150fps with the same bullet, and nearly twice the case capacity!

 

Also, for those of you wondering, we did remember to bring along the B-Bore 305gr loads, and were not at all surprised to find that through our chrony they clocked an average of 1590fps. While this is pretty respectable for a slightly over-long .44 cartridge, it is nowhere near the 1779fps the company claims for this load from a carbine. Given my recent exeriments with really long .44 loads, it would seem unrealistic to expect nearly 1800fps out of the BB rounds. Has anyone else on this forum clocked faster speeds with the BB stuff? Just curious.

 

All that aside, the long and short of it is now we are determined to build a wildcat that can really take advantage of the carbine length barrel. The goal, as stated previously, is to achieve loadings for the 1894 that can safely (and I mean all day safe) push 300gr jacketed pills past 1800fps, with hopefully some capacity left over to launch heavier boolits to similar, or even greater velocities. In essence, a baby T4. 

 

I have parent brass on the way, which I believe to be the largest case that will fit through the 1894 without drastic alteration to the action. In our abundant spare time, we will continue to work the problem. In the mean time, I've come up with two possible names for this wildcat. Maybe you folks can help pick?

 

Name # 1: .44 RPSA (Ranger Point short action--RiPSAw for short)

Name # 2: .44 RPG (Ranger Point Guide)

 

Weigh in with your opinions, please. You can even tell us we're pissing in the wind, if that's what ya think.

 

Comment below or on the Marlin Owners Forum here.

 

Adam Devine

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