SIGforum.com    Main Page  Hop To Forum Categories  Reloading    Having an issue with .45 Colt in an 1894
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Having an issue with .45 Colt in an 1894 Login/Join 
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
Picture of 92fstech
posted
I picked up a Marlin 1894 in .45 Colt around Christmas time. I got my hands on some 250GR Keith-style semi-wadcutters for it, and have been loading them over 8gr of Unique. It's a nice accurate load with manageable recoil and hits steel HARD. The problem is, the gun doesn't like to feed the SWC bullets all that well...if you baby the lever it'll cycle just fine, but if you run it hard, the shoulder of the bullet jams up against the top of the chamber, and it won't feed.

So I went looking for a RNFP bullet, and found some 200 grainers. These feed great, no hiccups at all, babying the lever or slamming it. The problem is that when shooting them, I'm getting blowback in the face. This isn't a problem with the 250gr bullets.

I started out with 9.0gr of unique, and that's when I started to get spattered. I noticed a lot of soot on the outside of the case, emanating from the mouth, so it's evident that the case is not getting a good seal. So I tried upping the charge to 9.4gr of unique (max load) in hopes that the increased pressure would seal better, and loaded some more down to 8.0gr just to see what would happen. Got blowback to the face and soot on the outside of the case from both. Same with 7.3 gr of HP-38.

Any suggestions? Would a different powder serve me better for this bullet weight in this gun? Or should I just give up on a 200gr bullet altogether and find some heavier RNFPs? Or find some way to fix the feed issue with the SWCs? Or is there something else going on here that I haven't even considered?
 
Posts: 3650 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Try other powders.
2400,296 come to mind.


Favor Center,Mass.
 
Posts: 24 | Registered: March 23, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
Picture of 92fstech
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by DansSIGs:
Try other powders.
2400,296 come to mind.


Those are up there...all of the manuals I have only list recipes for those powders under "Ruger Only" levels for the .45 Colt. I'm wanting more of a plinking load.
 
Posts: 3650 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
The Alliant data shows 9.5 for the 200 gr with Unique.
I am guessing that you are not burning all the powder, and the soot on the outside of the case indicates that the case is not sealing against the wall of the chamber.

PC
 
Posts: 924 | Location: NW Wyoming | Registered: November 23, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
Picture of 92fstech
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by PCWyoming:
The Alliant data shows 9.5 for the 200 gr with Unique.
I am guessing that you are not burning all the powder, and the soot on the outside of the case indicates that the case is not sealing against the wall of the chamber.

PC


I definitely concur that the case is not sealing. The Unique seemed to burn pretty completely, and one of the loads I tried was only a 10th of a grain below the Alliant data you're quoting. It seems that I'm up against the max, and I'm still not getting a good seal.

The HP38 definitely did not burn completely...I found flakes of that powder (thankfully very distinct looking compared to Unique) in the chamber and receiver after shooting those.
 
Posts: 3650 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
The Marlin 1894 does not seem to like the SWC bullet profile, at least my 1894FG in 41 Magnum doesn’t. Since the 250 gr bullet seems to shoot well, but doesn’t feed, try a more rounded bullet that also goes around 250 gr. Try Missouri Bullet Company(Cowboy#1 Hi-Tek coated bullet), SNS cast bullets(250 gr Round Nose Flat Point), or Montana Bullet Works(250 gr LFN-GC or RCBS 82049 250 gr RNFP-PB.)

These should feed much better and still give you a bullet of the same weight.


A superior pilot is best defined as one who uses his superior judgment to avoid situations requiring the use of his superior skill.
 
Posts: 315 | Location: St. Louis, MO | Registered: June 15, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
Picture of 92fstech
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by USAFA71:
The Marlin 1894 does not seem to like the SWC bullet profile, at least my 1894FG in 41 Magnum doesn’t. Since the 250 gr bullet seems to shoot well, but doesn’t feed, try a more rounded bullet that also goes around 250 gr. Try Missouri Bullet Company(Cowboy#1 Hi-Tek coated bullet), SNS cast bullets(250 gr Round Nose Flat Point), or Montana Bullet Works(250 gr LFN-GC or RCBS 82049 250 gr RNFP-PB.)

These should feed much better and still give you a bullet of the same weight.


Yeah, that's definitely an option, and likely what I will end up doing long term. But the tinkerer in me wants to get the 200gr bullets to work (I have a box of 500, and I'm cheap lol!), and also wonders why they're not sealing, even when I juice the loads up to max.
 
Posts: 3650 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
One other consideration is the amount or lack of your crimp.
Not enough crimp won't allow the power to create a high enough pressure to expand the case before it sends the bullet downrange.
Other option is to try a different powder.
Just my opinions.

PC
 
Posts: 924 | Location: NW Wyoming | Registered: November 23, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
Picture of 92fstech
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by PCWyoming:
One other consideration is the amount or lack of your crimp.
Not enough crimp won't allow the power to create a high enough pressure to expand the case before it sends the bullet downrange.
Other option is to try a different powder.
Just my opinions.

PC


Yep, I agree with you there as well. They're crimped pretty good since I'm running them in a lever action with a tube mag and I don't want bullet setback. I'm going to try some different powders and see what happens.
 
Posts: 3650 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
semi-reformed sailor
Picture of MikeinNC
posted Hide Post
Back when I had a 45colt lever gun I used This lee mold for my revolver and the lever gun.

Using the heavier bullet with the right shaped bullet will help immensely with your problem with feeding and you will find 8 grains of Unique will obturate the cases and your smoking problem will be gone..



"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

 
Posts: 7104 | Location: Texas! | Registered: October 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
Picture of 92fstech
posted Hide Post
quote:
Using the heavier bullet with the right shaped bullet will help immensely with your problem with feeding and you will find 8 grains of Unique will obturate the cases and your smoking problem will be gone..



Well, I thin this is where I'm at. I tried the last appropriate powder I had one hand...Trailboss...loaded it clear up to the max under the 200 grain bullets. Still got gas and particles to the face, and soot emanating back down the case from the case mouth.

Just to make sure there wasn't something else going on, I shot some more of the 250Gr SWCs, too. Voila! No gas or particles coming back at me whatsoever, and only minimal soot on the cases. And impressively accurate, too!

I guess the 200Gr bullets will end up getting loaded into 45 ACP cases, and I'll be buying some 250gr bullets in a rounder profile for the levergun.
 
Posts: 3650 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Have you tested for Position Sensitivity with Unique? Because it is possible that is the cause of your issue. It's probably been about 5 years but I once tried using IMR SR7625 in a 38 special load because of it's excellent metering. What I found I had was a load that produced 400 fps if the barrel was pointed down before firing and 780 fps if the barrel was pointed up. You may be having a similar problem because 9 grains of Unique in a 45 colt case has to look rather lonely all the way down in that case. A real simple way to test for this is to point your barrel straight up and then bring it down slowly before firing. If doing this results in a stiffer recoil and nothing hitting your face you have a position sensitivity issue.

I will also note that the Lyman 49th lists 11.2 grains of Unique for a starting charge with 12.2 grains listed as maximum for a RNFP Plated bullet. Yeah, rather warm but Lyman tends to be a bit warm for some calibers. Also worth noting are the difference in velocity produced between 10 inch and 15 inch barrels in the Lyman data. With Unique the velocity DROPS with a 15 inch barrel by over 100 fps. Part of your problem with Unique may be due to pressure dropping while the bullet is still transiting the barrel. Per Lyman's data the only powder listed that increases velocity with a longer barrel is 2400 at loads approaching maximum charge for 2400. You may want to try out some loads with 2400.

Another powder to try might be Accurate #5 as this powder was originally designed for the 45 ACP. Accurate lists two separate data tables for this caliber, 14,000 psi and 30,000 psi. IMO the action of your 1894 is very likely strong enough for the 30,000 psi loads and that higher pressure should do a great job of sealing the case.

Finally after checking multiple data sources for this reply I have found there is a much wider selection of 240/250 grain bullets for this caliber than 200 grain bullets. So spend a bit of time looking and I would expect you will be able to find a heavier bullet for future use.


I've stopped counting.
 
Posts: 4551 | Location: Michigan | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I have READ OF (not tried) annealing .45 Colt brass for better seal with black powder. Might help with Unique.
 
Posts: 2853 | Location: Florence, Alabama, USA | Registered: July 05, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
Picture of 92fstech
posted Hide Post
Scooter, thanks for the reply...some great suggestions there! I have not tested for position sensitivity, but the 250gr load I am using us only 8gr of unique, and although the bullet is a bit longer than the 200gr load, the gap between the powder and the base of the bullet ought to be pretty similar (especially when I upped the 200gr load to 9.4gr of unique), and I've had no issues with my 250gr over 8gr load.

I don't have the Lyman 49th manual, but I do have the 44th and the "Lyman cast bullet reloading handbook, 4th edition". The data I used came out of the newer "cast bullet reloading handbook", but after reading your post, I checked my 44th edition, and while it doesn't list data for a 200gr bullet in .45 Colt at all, the 250gr bullet data is definitely in line with what you're telling me. The older data is definitely hotter. Maybe I'll try bumping it up just a bit more and see what happens. I'm not seeing any signs of overpressure at this point (quite the opposite), and the only guns I'm shooting .45 Colt in are the 1894 and a Blackhawk (no SAAs or anything like that), so there's some safety margin there as well.
 
Posts: 3650 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
Picture of 92fstech
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Watson:
I have READ OF (not tried) annealing .45 Colt brass for better seal with black powder. Might help with Unique.


Interesting...I've never annealed anything before, but it makes sense that that might work.
 
Posts: 3650 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
"Member"
Picture of cas
posted Hide Post
That's actually a pretty common thing with 45 Colt, low pressure loads not making the case expand enough to seal the chamber.

I've seen it with some single shot pistols with loads that weren't even close to being "weak" or low power.


_____________________________________________________
Sliced bread, the greatest thing since the 1911.

 
Posts: 17684 | Location: 18th & Fairfax  | Registered: May 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
Picture of 92fstech
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by cas:
That's actually a pretty common thing with 45 Colt, low pressure loads not making the case expand enough to seal the chamber.

I've seen it with some single shot pistols with loads that weren't even close to being "weak" or low power.


Do you think Schofield would work better? Shorter case, should yield higher pressure...I have a few of those cases, maybe I ought to give it a try.
 
Posts: 3650 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
Picture of 92fstech
posted Hide Post
quote:
I will also note that the Lyman 49th lists 11.2 grains of Unique for a starting charge with 12.2 grains listed as maximum for a RNFP Plated bullet.


With the above in mind, I decided to give it one last try, so I loaded up some .45 Colt with the 200gr bullet over 11.5 grains of Unique and shot them today. Worked like a charm...no gas or particulate to the face, and very little soot at the case mouth, so it appears to be sealing properly. No signs of overpressure, either. I'm not sure why all my newer manuals have the charge weight set so low.

I also tried some Schofield, just to see. My Lyman 44th didn't have any data on Schofield at all, so I used the data from my newer cast bullet reloading handbook and loaded near the max. It had the same problem...gas to the face and soot at the case mouth. It apparently needs a heavier charge, too...guess I need to get my hands on a Lyman 49th!
 
Posts: 3650 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Wait, what?
Picture of gearhounds
posted Hide Post
You should be able to magnum up Colt 45 loads with good, modern brass that your Marlin will handle with ease and solve your case lack of expansion issue. Just make sure not to mix them up with pistol fodder unless you’re shooting something that can handle it. Starline makes excellent, strong, and relatively inexpensive brass that is much beefier than the thin walled stuff of yesteryear.




"Live every day as if it's going to be your last, and one day, you'll be right.”
Malachy McCourt
 
Posts: 11959 | Location: Martinsburg WV | Registered: April 02, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
Picture of 92fstech
posted Hide Post
quote:
You should be able to magnum up Colt 45 loads with good, modern brass that your Marlin will handle with ease and solve your case lack of expansion issue. Just make sure not to mix them up with pistol fodder unless you’re shooting something that can handle it


Yep, not an issue for me as my only 2 .45 Colt guns are the 1894 and a large frame new model Blackhawk...both can handle heavier loads just fine. I don't typically like to load stuff super hot, but this is the first time I've seen adverse effects from loading a caliber too light.
 
Posts: 3650 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  
 

SIGforum.com    Main Page  Hop To Forum Categories  Reloading    Having an issue with .45 Colt in an 1894

© SIGforum 2020