I just bought a Marlin 1895 (45-70) mfg'd in 1976 according to the date code... looks to be shot very little, but.... in the process of dissasembling the action for cleaning and thoroughly cleaning the barrel, I've noticed a couple of things: there's 3-4 spots of rust (no apparent pitting) near the muzzzle (and a small pitted area on the outside of the barrel at the muzzle...not on the crown), and, more disconcerting, a "loose" spot in the barrel under the dovetail for the rear sight. I've slugged the barrel and its .459....even slugged the portion between the throat the the loose spot....same .459. I'm guessing the loose area is only under the dovetail slot, meaning only 3/8" long, and its not completely loose....just less snug with a snug patch, so I'm guessing no more that .461, maybe less.
I'll probably be using Hornaday 350 gr. for hunting, and most assuredly 400+ gr cast bullets....haven't decided on a mould just yet, but will probably have one made to cast a .461-462 bullet and size to .460 at the most....likely gas checked.
Soooo... anyone else notice the same in the 1895, and is there any reason to be concerned over accuracy with either cast or jacketed bullets? I believe the bearing surface of the 350gr. Hornadays is more than 3/8", and I know the 400-500gr. cast will be more.
Inquiring minds want to know.
By "loose" I guess you're talking like a partial bulge in the barrel? That would probably bother me too.
I think he talking about a loose spot in the barrel not just an entire bore that is over tolerance but the spot under the dovetail cut for the sight.
I have a '75 Vintage 1895 that has a tight spot in the barrel (never slugged it for a measurement). I haven't had much luck with cast bullets but it shoots the 405 Rem JSP bullet well, 3 shot groups at 1.5 MOA if I do my part. I've never felt the need to experiment further with it. I've owned this rifle for about 20 years now and taken several deer and wild hogs with it.