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Posted: 9/3/2010 3:29:55 PM EDT
I'm a little disappointed after taking out my Marlin 1894CSS .357 for the first time. Using Fiocchi .142 gr. FMJTC .357 loads, it shoots about 4 inches high at 100 yards, even with the rear sight turned all the way down. It was shooting WAY right, too––something like 6 inches to start!––so I drifted the front sight over quite a bit, but I'm annoyed that the sight has to sit half in its channel and half out to send the bullet where I point the weapon. I also tried Lapua 158 gr. lead round nose .38 specials, and they aren't quite as high past about 50 yards but went just as far to the right. Yes, I realize I could be causing the rifle to behave this way, but I had no such problems on the same day with my .44 mag Marlin 1894SS––nearly the same rifle.

I'm not really worried about this yet, but has anyone else had a similar experience with this rifle? Is there a good plinking round that your Marlin likes in .357 or .38 special?
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 7:43:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/3/2010 7:43:51 PM EDT by Phil1712]
Originally Posted By Featheredmafia:
Using Fiocchi .142 gr. FMJTC .357 loads, it shoots about 4 inches high at 100 yards,

You are shooting .143 grain bullets? What is that, like Paper Mache?

Did you try adjusting the rear sight? Did you check to make sure the barrel wasn't bent?
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 5:13:29 AM EDT
Yes, I tried adjusting the sight, and yes, there's a stray period in there. Aside from placing a straightedge against the barrel, is there a reliable way to check for the barrel being bent?
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 7:39:20 AM EDT
Is the barrel on "cocked" (front sight rotated slightly left or right of center)? Lots of posts on that over at the Marlin Owners forums.
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 7:47:21 AM EDT
Had the cocked barrel problem on a Winchester. Gave me a bad taste and the gun went down the road instead of having it fixed. So far all my Marlins have been plumb and true.
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 7:49:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2010 10:23:13 AM EDT by DV8]
Try all the fixes suggested, if that fails then simply aim low left.
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 9:55:24 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Featheredmafia:
I'm a little disappointed after taking out my Marlin 1894CSS .357 for the first time. Using Fiocchi .142 gr. FMJTC .357 loads, it shoots about 4 inches high at 100 yards, even with the rear sight turned all the way down. It was shooting WAY right, too––something like 6 inches to start!––so I drifted the front sight over quite a bit, but I'm annoyed that the sight has to sit half in its channel and half out to send the bullet where I point the weapon. I also tried Lapua 158 gr. lead round nose .38 specials, and they aren't quite as high past about 50 yards but went just as far to the right. Yes, I realize I could be causing the rifle to behave this way, but I had no such problems on the same day with my .44 mag Marlin 1894SS––nearly the same rifle.

I'm not really worried about this yet, but has anyone else had a similar experience with this rifle? Is there a good plinking round that your Marlin likes in .357 or .38 special?


Drift the front sight one way and and the rear sight the other way to split the difference .

If You are hitting high , the front sight needs to be taller . Call Marlin and see if you can talk them into mailing you a taller front sight . Instead of mailing the whole rifle back to Marlin .

God bless
Wyr
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 3:28:22 PM EDT
I recently got the same model. My elevation was spot on out of the box with the front bead setting in the bottom of the V of the rear sight. But it was shooting almost a foot to the left at 50 yards. I drifted the rear sight way over and now is shoots spot on. The buckhorn sights are not the best for my old eyes. I am going to put some peeps on it. Lots of talk on this over on the Marlin forums. That said, it sure is a fun gun to shoot.

Link Posted: 9/5/2010 1:06:56 PM EDT
Thank you for all the suggestions. The first part of getting better was to get an eye exam this week, and it turns out I have astigmatism. My right eye (shooting eye) is better than the left, but it looks as if I'll be shooting with glasses from here on out. I'm interested to see what kind of improvement, if any, I see with all my firearms. Depending on how that turns out, my next step will probably be to try a few different loads to see what the rifle likes. Any suggestions for a good plinking load, either in .38 or .357? Finally, what kind of groups might I reasonably expect to get out of this Marlin at 100 yards?
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 5:41:43 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Featheredmafia:
Any suggestions for a good plinking load, either in .38 or .357?


My Marlin likes Magtech .357 158gr SJSP.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 6:51:20 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Featheredmafia:
Any suggestions for a good plinking load, either in .38 or .357? Finally, what kind of groups might I reasonably expect to get out of this Marlin at 100 yards?


Really economical plinking demands a plain base cast bullet. My 1894C likes the SAECO #353 180 grain RNFP over 10.5 grains of Alliant 2400 for 1,349 fps average. If jacketed is more your style, it is hard to beat the bulk 158 grain Remington JSP. Load them mild to wild with the powder of your choice. For me, 18.0 grains of Lil' Gun gets the 158 grain Remingtons to 1,867 fps average.

Accuracy... You can't swing a dead cat on the internet without knocking over a dozen MOA lever actions. My experience is that a lot of people type better than they shoot. With a light carbine like the 1894C, under 3 inches is great with cast. Under 2.5 is great with jacketed (5 shot groups).

Link Posted: 9/6/2010 11:27:20 PM EDT
Check out S&B and Monarch loads in both .38 and .357. As far as the sights go, replace with a good peep or ghost ring rear with a fiber optic front. Best combo available!
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 6:03:01 AM EDT
Skinner sell front and rear sights for the 1894's for another option. I really dislike the factory sights.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 2:36:00 PM EDT
Originally Posted By youngAR:
As far as the sights go, replace with a good peep or ghost ring rear with a fiber optic front. Best combo available!


Skinner? Williams? Other? I've heard conflicting reports as to how easily the Williams rear sight installs on the 1894.

Also, I don't reload, so any ammo choices have to be commercially available. Thanks again, everyone.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 12:43:31 PM EDT
Skinner sights are pretty nice. I do have a concern with them as far as how rugged they are. They are not very adjustable for up and down so you need to be willing to tinker and change the front sights.

I really like the Williams sights. They work fine on the 94s, but if you are new to lever actions you might want to use the hammer spur.

All my levers have Williams sights.... altho one has a Skinner, but may not after this winter.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 4:07:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/10/2010 4:07:51 AM EDT by bigdb1]
Originally Posted By Featheredmafia:
Originally Posted By youngAR:
As far as the sights go, replace with a good peep or ghost ring rear with a fiber optic front. Best combo available!


Skinner? Williams? Other? I've heard conflicting reports as to how easily the Williams rear sight installs on the 1894.

Also, I don't reload, so any ammo choices have to be commercially available. Thanks again, everyone.


A few aperture sight threads from over on Marlin Owners:

http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php/topic,60222.0.html

pictures of the XS in this one...

http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php/topic,12479.30.html

Picture of the Skinner in this one:

http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php/topic,37737.0.html

Link Posted: 9/10/2010 4:18:39 AM EDT
Yeah, if you don't want to drill and tap the reciever don't get that style of Williams sight. Their other style hangs off a bit on the 94s, but it does not look that silly and awkward.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 3:27:20 PM EDT
Originally Posted By blackhawkhunter:
Yeah, if you don't want to drill and tap the reciever don't get that style of Williams sight. Their other style hangs off a bit on the 94s, but it does not look that silly and awkward.


Sorry, but which style of Williams sight do you recommend against?
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 5:58:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Featheredmafia:
Originally Posted By blackhawkhunter:
Yeah, if you don't want to drill and tap the reciever don't get that style of Williams sight. Their other style hangs off a bit on the 94s, but it does not look that silly and awkward.


Sorry, but which style of Williams sight do you recommend against?


The WGRS series is the one I dont like. It looks like its perched on one screw (its really two) and it looks like its gonna fall off the back. My 94s all have the FP series. They do make the hammer a little hard to get to when it is fully down, like in the just fired position. They do not interfere with the half cock position unless maybe its really cold out and you have mittens on. I cut my teeth on levers so even that is not a problem for me, but I can see how it could be a problem. The WGRS works great on 336s. Its a nice streamlined sight for a hunting rifle.

The Skinner sights are very nicely made and I think look great. I wouldnt even mind messing with front sights to find the perfect match, I just worry about the strength of it if bumped. If its for range work and fun I think the Skinners are beautiful... I just worry about them on a working truck gun and what would happen if it busted and let you down on a nice 10 pointer.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 7:13:19 PM EDT
Williams does not make a receiver sight that will properly fit top drilled 1894s. The FP-336 will hang off the back same as the WGRS.



Older side drilled 1894s can use the FP-94/36 which does fit correctly.

The Marlin Owners threads pretty much lay out all your options.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 6:13:19 AM EDT
Originally Posted By bigdb1:
Williams does not make a receiver sight that will properly fit top drilled 1894s. The FP-336 will hang off the back same as the WGRS.

http://home.comcast.net/~imashooter2/pictures/FPsight1894.jpg

Older side drilled 1894s can use the FP-94/36 which does fit correctly.

The Marlin Owners threads pretty much lay out all your options.


Yes, it does hang off, but it does not look near as bad as the smaller sight. It does interfere with being able to pull the hammer from being all the way down, but thats never needed anyway so in my mind it does not matter. Half cock might be hard for some with mittens, but I have done it without problem.

I feel safer with the Wiliams sights than I do with the Skinners so thats why I use them. Just my opinion.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 9:09:30 AM EDT
Originally Posted By blackhawkhunter:

Yes, it does hang off, but it does not look near as bad as the smaller sight. It does interfere with being able to pull the hammer from being all the way down, but thats never needed anyway so in my mind it does not matter. Half cock might be hard for some with mittens, but I have done it without problem.

I feel safer with the Wiliams sights than I do with the Skinners so thats why I use them. Just my opinion.


Not busting on your choice. Just making sure that the OP has all the available information to make his own choices.

Link Posted: 9/11/2010 10:28:12 AM EDT
Again, thanks to everyone providing opinions and advice. To help further refine your suggestions, I should say that this carbine is for fun plinking only, not hunting or truck gun duty. I imagine 99% of my shooting will be inside of 100 yards. Which sight do you think is best for blowing up water jugs at 50 & 100 yards? Adjustability for different .38 and .357 would be nice.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 11:00:47 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Featheredmafia:
Again, thanks to everyone providing opinions and advice. To help further refine your suggestions, I should say that this carbine is for fun plinking only, not hunting or truck gun duty. I imagine 99% of my shooting will be inside of 100 yards. Which sight do you think is best for blowing up water jugs at 50 & 100 yards? Adjustability for different .38 and .357 would be nice.


I was gonna say Skinner all the way until you asked for adjustability.... now I am thinking Williams and if you get the target knob style you may be able to make note of your adjustments so you can dial in the different loads by counting clicks. It wont be as streamlined as the Skinner, but it may be more functional for you.

Link Posted: 9/11/2010 1:44:04 PM EDT
I agree with blackhawkhunter here. The Skinner, XS and WGRS sights are best used as set and forget. If you expect to be changing loads often, then it would be hard to beat an FP with target knobs.

I'd get the rifle D&Ted to put the sight where it belongs though...
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 8:33:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By bigdb1:
I agree with blackhawkhunter here. The Skinner, XS and WGRS sights are best used as set and forget. If you expect to be changing loads often, then it would be hard to beat an FP with target knobs.

And yes, they work very well. Mine is set at 25yds bottomed out and then I added tic marks for 50, 75, 100, 150, 175, and 200yd elevation settings on my little Henry 22lr and my Williams 94/36FP TK works great. That's right, 200yds with a 22lr! It works only when there is zero wind as even a small gust can blow that little 36grn bullet feet wide of a 200yd target.


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