1889 Marlin

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Rockrat
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1889 Marlin

Post by Rockrat »

Picked up a Marlin 1889 in 44-40 last year and only got around to shooting it yesterday. Picked up about 300 rounds of ammo a few weeks ago, loaded with 6gr 231 and what appears to be a swaged swc of .426" dia., in new WW brass. Bore of the rifle is fairly pristine but ammo leaded it a bit, but grouped about 1.5" @50yds (too cold out to do much more). First shot was thru the chrono and went 953 fps. Second was at a piece of clay pigeon at our 100yd berm. Was about a half foot high, shot again and hit near other shot, so lowed rear sight a notch. Hit clay pigeon on the next shot. Not too shabby. Shot then at paper at 50 yds and hit about 4" high.
Wood is in decent shape, blueing is pretty much non-existant but gun seems to be in decent shape otherwise. Looks like someone took either sandpaper or steel wool to the gun the clean it, probably of corrosion. Has a light trigger, maybe 2-2.5 lbs. Barrel is almost .800" in diameter, 24" long and would be almost varmint weight on a bolt gun. All screw heads messed up somewhat.

Think it needs a new ejector as brass only gets thrown out the port about 1". Anyone know where to find one?

Would it hurt it to put some cold blue on it?

Pulled a few bullets from the loaded rounds (not even crimped!!) and replaced with some powder coated 200g rnfp @.430 dia. as thats what I have. The ammo I bought has a neck dia. of .437" and fired rounds are .445" so I figure even .430" bullets have plenty of neck clearance. Dummy round fit fine in the chamber. Will try them later today and see how it shoots.
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6pt-sika
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Re: 1889 Marlin

Post by 6pt-sika »

When I was Marlin accumulating I never did acquire an 1881 , 1888 or 1889 . Wish I had but sometimes you can’t get one of each model ! Sounds like the old gun will do very well . I never had an old model 1894 in 44-40 either my only 44-40’s were in the semi recent manufacture Cowboy versions and they used the same barrel they used for the 44 MAG guns . As to the leading thing I’d try some bullets sized at .428 or possibly .430 . I didn’t read the entire post until after I’d posted this . So you’ve already stepped up to .430 good to hear . Can’t say I’m much on powder coated but to each his own .
Parkers , Mannlicher Schoenauer’s , 6.5mm's and my family in the Philippines !

"GO HARD or GO HOME" D.E. Sr.
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OldWin
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Re: 1889 Marlin

Post by OldWin »

I've had a few old Marlins. I had a nice 1881 45-70 but sold it a few years ago.
The one I kept, and my favorite, is my 1889 2/3 mag rifle in 38-40. Just a beautiful and fun rifle. If your 44 shoots half as good as my 38, you will really enjoy it.
Listen.......you can hear George Orwell laughing.
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marlinman93
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Re: 1889 Marlin

Post by marlinman93 »

The ejector can be purchased at Wisner's Gun Parts. It may not be exactly the same and have the screw hole to hold it in, but will work identical.
The .426" bullets are likely too small, and I'd slug the bore to see what your 1889's groove diameter is and buy bullets sized for the groove diameter.
The 1889 was Marlin's first side eject model, and a much simpler, sturdier design than the earlier Model 1888 Marlin. It was also the first design by Louis L Hepburn when he left Remington and went to work for John Marlin as a designer of firearms. It's an amazingly simple, and efficient design, and spawned most of the other Marlin lever action models for many years afterwards.
Pre WWI Marlins and Singleshot rifles!
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Rockrat
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Re: 1889 Marlin

Post by Rockrat »

Shot some of the .430" powder coated bullets yesterday. I had primed some with rifle primers and some with pistol primers. The rifle primers would shoot about 8" at 50 yds, but the pistol primers went into 1.5" at 50 yds. Will try some unique and some Universal.
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marlinman93
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Re: 1889 Marlin

Post by marlinman93 »

Just my opinion, but I wouldn't shoot powder coated bullets in old soft BP barrels. Nothing but plain base cast bullets in all my old guns. They've made it over a century so far, and I'm not putting anything harder down the bores.
Pre WWI Marlins and Singleshot rifles!
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Rockrat
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Re: 1889 Marlin

Post by Rockrat »

I cast some 429215 (225gr) yesterday and will try them and also get out my 200gr fp mould and see what diameter they come out.
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