Ruger Marlin 1894 44 Magnum

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High Desert Hunter
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Ruger Marlin 1894 44 Magnum

Post by High Desert Hunter »

A week ago I picked up a new Marlin 1894 in 44 Mag. After taking it home and doing a cleaning and lube job, loaded up 100 rounds of cast and jacketed bullets. I took it out to my spot in the foothills to get a preliminary feel for the rifle. I was already thoroughly enamored with it, if it shot as good as it looked I would be over the moon. Now comes the hard part, after 60 rounds of bullets from 240 to 305 grains, loaded from Special velocity up to full house mags. Across the board they all shot low, pretty much perfect for windage, but from 2 1/2" to 3 1/2" low. Shot groups as good as I expected with the factory sights, and other than low, I was very happy. I got home and immediately measured the height of the front sight so I could see if Marlin had a shorter one. Discovered that the front sight blade was very loose in the dovetail, and could be moved side to side with finger pressure. So I called Marlin and explained the issue, they are sending me a new front sight assembly, and a taller blade for the rear sight. I put a dab of Loctite on the front sight to keep it from moving while waiting on the new sights. Took it out Friday to run some different ammunition through it, some 290s and more 305s. Shot about 40 rounds when I noticed that the forend had slipped forward about 1/8". Packed up, went home and discovered that the screw holding the forend band had sheared off, the threaded portion with the screw head was intact, the smooth side that engages the left side of the forend band was missing. Called Marlin again and they shipped me 2. So now I am waiting on sights and a screw, have 2 more on order from Midwest Gun Works that will likely get here first. I wish someone would offer a forged screw, the Marlin one looks like pot metal. I am still overall very pleased with the rifle, and I look forward to years of use. PS, my 290gr cast bullets from an NOE mold are just a wee bit to long to feed well from the magazine, same with my 266gr bullets from a Mountain Molds set of blocks.
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gamekeeper
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Re: Ruger Marlin 1894 44 Magnum

Post by gamekeeper »

That's a handsome looking Marlin, I am sure you will have it 100% perfect in no time, just a pity it left the factory without proper inspection.
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GunnyMack
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Re: Ruger Marlin 1894 44 Magnum

Post by GunnyMack »

Hopefully Ruger/Marlin will take those deficiencies to heart and jump on whomever does the QC and correct then in future .
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Sarge
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Re: Ruger Marlin 1894 44 Magnum

Post by Sarge »

High Desert Hunter, I'm sorry to hear about your troubles.

I've replaced a few busted/bent rear band screws and they can be a PITA to get out. And yes some new production ones are brittle. Older band screws, in my experience, tended to be a tad soft but I believe this was to make them more malleable and less prone to breakage. The last one I replaced was on my 1955 Texan and I ordered it from Numrich.

Here's a link, hopefully they'll be back in stock soon. https://www.gunpartscorp.com/products/407590c

FWIW it appears to be the correct temper and has held up for three year of 2150 fps, 200 grain 35 Remington handloads.
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AJMD429
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Re: Ruger Marlin 1894 44 Magnum

Post by AJMD429 »

GunnyMack wrote: Sun Mar 24, 2024 2:48 pm Hopefully Ruger/Marlin will take those deficiencies to heart and jump on whomever does the QC and correct then in future .
It wouldn't be a bad idea to mail or email Ruger's customer feedback contact to educate them.
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Ysabel Kid
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Re: Ruger Marlin 1894 44 Magnum

Post by Ysabel Kid »

I have an older model 1894 in .44 Magnum, bought second hand for $150 back in Indiana in the early 1980's. Wonderful gun.

I am dismayed that firearms (and a lot of other things) aren't better inspected, and better built, and we've all become accustomed to problems with new items. Sad state of quality in today's society.
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.45colt
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Re: Ruger Marlin 1894 44 Magnum

Post by .45colt »

I am in the middle of a bathroom remodel....A Friend of Mine who is doing the work demands to be in the inspection of any big items We buy. He said the quality is so bad now everything has to be closely looked at. He has 40 + years doing this work.
High Desert Hunter
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Re: Ruger Marlin 1894 44 Magnum

Post by High Desert Hunter »

Overall I am very pleased with the fit and finish, it cycles smooth, and the trigger is pretty decent. It is sad that as much as I gave for it after tax, it isn't perfect straight out of the box. The last firearm I purchased that was perfect from the box was my Shiloh Sharps model 1874. In looking at some of the Italian products out there, I would say it is nip and tuck in the QC department these days. All in all I am very happy with the rifle, and will likely pick up a 45 Colt version when they come out. I will drop a line to Ruger about, and to provide kudos to their Marlin customer service agent Lisa, she knows what customer service is all about.

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Re: Ruger Marlin 1894 44 Magnum

Post by LeverGunner »

It's somewhat disappointing to hear of this, but at least it is issues that are easily remedied.

The sight issue should be easily resolved once they get the correct height being shipped with the guns. Being loose is weird... you'd think the person that put the front sight on would have noticed, or cared.

Shearing the rear band screw is fairly common for some older 1894 carbines. I had one shear in a 2000s era 1894c 357 Magnum, the load that made it give up was a 358156 over 15 grains 2400. Not sure what the rifle saw before I had it.
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Walt
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Re: Ruger Marlin 1894 44 Magnum

Post by Walt »

Regarding that loose dovetail.... My shooting buddy ordered a Smith model 629 Stealth Hunter from their custom shop and the front sight came loose. He took it to a gunsmith who staked the four corners of the sight but it came loose again. I took a sharp punch and dimpled the entire underside of the front sight and also the bottom of the dovetail, then put a few drops of red Loctite between the surfaces and tapped the sight in place. I seriously doubt it'll come loose again.
High Desert Hunter
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Re: Ruger Marlin 1894 44 Magnum

Post by High Desert Hunter »

I dropped a line to Marlin today and cataloged both the issues and the positives. Now I am just waiting on parts, and searching for a good all-around bullet, preferably a cast bullet. I have a good supply of Nosler JSP 240gr, and a few XTPs (240s and 300s). Most of the powder I have on hand is better suited to midrange loads, I do have a meager supply of H110, 300-MP, and AA9, plus just picked up a pound of AA 11FS. Going to try and order some Special brass too.
High Desert Hunter
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Re: Ruger Marlin 1894 44 Magnum

Post by High Desert Hunter »

Going to request a shipping label so I can send this back to Marlin. The forend band where the screw sheared, also has buggered threads, suspect that contributed to the screw shearing.
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AJMD429
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Re: Ruger Marlin 1894 44 Magnum

Post by AJMD429 »

.
I just never liked ANY levergun's forend attachment. That, plus the wood-against-steel and corrosion issues, pretty much is what led me to go with 'stainless' (oh the horrors) barrels, or even more drastically, ALUMINUM forends like the Ranger Point Precision ones. The action and receiver part of lever actions are awesome, but the forends from the 1800's are definitely in need of improvement; even if we stick with blued-steel-and-walnut, we could sure improve on the mode of attachment. Neither the typical 'forend cap' nor the 'barrel band' seem to be very sturdy, and neither lends well to moisture removal after a soggy day afield.
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High Desert Hunter
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Re: Ruger Marlin 1894 44 Magnum

Post by High Desert Hunter »

I'm really feeling that purchasing a new mass produced firearm these days is a stuff shoot. I purchased a Turkish made 1911 last year, it had zero issues, and even at close to 1K rounds, still running like a top. However the last few NIB firearms before that all required phone calls to the Manufacturer and/or repairs.

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Paladin
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Re: Ruger Marlin 1894 44 Magnum

Post by Paladin »

Ysabel Kid wrote: Sun Mar 24, 2024 8:03 pm I have an older model 1894 in .44 Magnum, bought second hand for $150 back in Indiana in the early 1980's. Wonderful gun.

I am dismayed that firearms (and a lot of other things) aren't better inspected, and better built, and we've all become accustomed to problems with new items. Sad state of quality in today's society.
+1 only mine was bought used in 1987
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AJMD429
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Re: Ruger Marlin 1894 44 Magnum

Post by AJMD429 »

.
It's sad that so many new firearms are 'iffy', but at least many of us can detect the problems, and often fix them. The newbies have to have more help. I usually ask friends new to guns to let me look over new purchases and I show them what to look for in terms of function and safety.
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horsesoldier03
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Re: Ruger Marlin 1894 44 Magnum

Post by horsesoldier03 »

My Dad bought a Marlin 1894 .44 mag from an older man at First Monday in Canton TX back in the early 90s for $125. It came with the first box of shells he bought for it with only 3 missing, the recoil was too much for him. After my dad shot it, he gave it to me, he shot it twice. Definitely one gun that I will NEVER SALE.
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