View Full Version : Marlin 1894

January 25, 2010, 10:57 AM
I've recently been reading up on the Marlin 1894. .44 Mag/Special, 20" barrel, lever action.
Anyone own, or have experience with this rifle?

January 25, 2010, 12:04 PM
I have one in 357, a carbine. It handles and points well with minimal recoil. A great gun to grab for camping, fishing trips, or just general plinking in the woods, or for hunting out to acceptable ranges. I keep my eye out for a 44 mag model also. It's one of my favorite firearms now. It's not something you're going to regret.

January 25, 2010, 12:13 PM
I'm glad to hear that.
I like the carbine also.

January 25, 2010, 12:19 PM
While I've used an 1894 Marlin .44 to take deer & black bear out to 125yds, I would be confident on using it for any larger N.A. ruminents to 50yds - but I use a peep sight, reserving my scope use to boltguns.

I outfitted my son's rifle with an XS LeverScout mount, and an IER scope - which converted his carbine into pretty much a scoped pistol, very light/fast/handy.

I've always wanted a Marlin 1894 Sporter .44 - the rare one with the 22" barrel - but have never been fortunate enough to runacrodd one when I was flush.


January 25, 2010, 12:28 PM
I have a couple.

Put a Weaver classic 1x3 on that sucker and head out for some deer hunting.

January 25, 2010, 12:31 PM
Love my 1894 44. Put Skinner sights on front and rear. Half the cost of the XS and the same quality. skinnersights.com

January 25, 2010, 12:37 PM
i have a 1894 44 mag sporter made in 1973, when i bought it i just wanted a longer barreled 44 lever action. the 22 inch barel is a little heavier but holds better for off hand shooting. eastbank.

January 25, 2010, 12:53 PM
May not be relevant to the 44, but my .357/.38 is/was a bit persnickety. Didn't like lighter/shorter .38 loads (would "lever lock"). The action wasn't smooth--at all (even after multiple cleanings, 'breaking in' by shooting, rubbing with purple chicken voodoo feathers, yada, yada).

So, after getting fed up, I performed the rifle equivalent of a fluff and buff on it (complete tear down, hand clean each component, and judiciously sand/file mold/cast marks and contact areas, clean again, and reassemble with correctly applied tetra grease). Upon tearing the gun down, the quality of workmanship was quite dismal actually--very rough casting and molding. The point where the barrel attached to the receiver had visible metal filings still attached and dangling.

Now that I polished the internals and removed the detritus of poor workmanship, the gun's a stunner. Accurate, reliable, easy, and fun. Sad part is, Marlin supposedly has the best action. I'd hate to see the worst. My model 60s have better quality control than my 1894...

January 25, 2010, 06:34 PM
hmm. I wonder if I'd ever purchase a gun after checking in with the boards.lol...;)
nah, I really appreciate the replies. That's the reason I ask. I like to receive as much input, accounts of different experiences, etc... No matter the make and model, there will always be those bad experiences. Except for a couple of Jon Browning's designs that FN manufactured.:cool: jk...I know, I know...of course there are instances of misfortune with them as well.

Back to the topic piece though. That's one fine looking, well kept '73 you got there eastbank!
I like the report so far. I've had a Model 60 for about 20...well, right about exactly 20yrs now. That's the only Marlin I've owned. It's been a good little plinker, but I've always wondered about marlin's larger calibers. And I want a lever action.
I might be throwing down for the 1894 here in the next month or so.

January 25, 2010, 08:49 PM
I have used this Marlin 1894S to take 7 deer and a number of hogs. I use the 270 grain Speer GDSP bullet over h110 powder.
The scope is a Leupold 2.5X fixed power. As my hunting is in heavy cover, thats all I need.

January 25, 2010, 09:01 PM
I'm really liking that rifle more and more. Those photos do it more justice than the website. Very nice looking wood and designs.

Shane Tuttle
January 25, 2010, 09:01 PM
I have a Marlin 1894 Microgrooved PRE-crossbolt safety chambered in .44Mag. It's completely stock for the moment but considering installing quality peep sights (don't know what to go with at the moment). I highly recommend this rifle as an alternative to the pre-64 Winchester Model 70. The only complaint I have is it kicks like a mule. What do you expect with a light rifle with a heavy dose cartridge. :D

January 25, 2010, 10:17 PM
Tightgrouper, I have 2 1894's, one in .357 and another in .45 LC. Love both of them. The only reason I did not get another in .44 mag, is that I also have a T/C Encore with a .44 mag bull barrel, and I could not afford too much caliber duplication at the time.

January 25, 2010, 10:34 PM
I have one in 41 mag and have killed 1 deer so far with it.I am looking at getting a 44mag also,one of these days.I hope.

January 26, 2010, 02:46 AM
I bought my 1894 in 44 mag just after christmas and it's a great rifle i'm already thinking about getting one in 357 mag. I've only fired about 160 rounds through it most of them reloads and I find it a bit rough when cycling the action but it feels like it will smooth out over time. If not then some polishing of the action should have it running perfectly.

January 26, 2010, 11:17 AM
Bought this 44 Magnum in 1982/3.

The original microgroove barrel had tight spots, the second had tooling markings inside, the third was the best of them all and inaccurate with lead bullets moving at a decent speed.

Had Marlin install a Ballard barrel. The new ballard barrels are much smoother than the old microgroove and it shoots lead bullets better.

It is not as accurate as a bolt rifle, but it is accurate enough.

I prefer the cross bolt actions for safety; you can drop the hammer trying to find half cock. If the cross bolt safety is on nothing happens. You can also dry fire the cross bolt actions without worrying about busting a firing pin.

This had a hard plastic buttcap, that was uncomfortable to shoot, I installed a hard rubber buttpad.

I put on a Williams Foolproof on the receiver, installed a XS post front sight http://www.xssights.com/store/rifle.html and attached sling swivels.

I like my rifle.


January 26, 2010, 11:53 AM
I like that too.
I really like the angle of the stock. It seems lever action rifles have more of a drop-angle to the stock, which raises the line of sight to a more comfortable level for me.

January 26, 2010, 01:32 PM
Mine's a lttle bit un-traditional, but I like it and it shoots real well. It's got the XS Scout mount and the Leupold 2.5x Scout scope.

Dave P
January 26, 2010, 01:53 PM
I love my 44 with Skinner sights! Very accurate and powerful.


January 28, 2010, 09:47 AM
Found mine at a Garage Sale...


Liked it so much, my other 1894 in 38/357 didn't get much use after that.

If you handload consider the 1894 in 45 Colt, it shoots a wider range of ammo well 140 grain round balls to 325 grain critter gitters. Mine 1894 CB in 45 Colt is a lot less finicky than the 1894's in 357 & 44.


January 28, 2010, 12:03 PM
My two Marlin lever rifles are fun to shoot. Both the 336 (.30-30) and 1894 (.44 mag) have Williams Foolproof aperture sights installed and that has greatly improved accuracy. The only drawback to the 1894 over the 336 is a condition called "Marlin jam" that may cause two cartridges to feed at the same time. I used the instructions found at "marauder.homestead.com/files/marlin94fix.html" to smooth out my 1894 and pre-empt the jam.

Shooting .44 spl and .44 mag from a rifle is great fun and even greater fun when paired with the S&W 629 at 100 yards.

January 30, 2010, 02:49 AM
Got a 1894 in .357 it is one of my favorite woods roaming rifles. It wears a Williams rear peep, ( the econo model) and I've angled the front bead by filing the round face to a 45 degree angle for a better front sight picture.

I've shot it up and down the power scale. Initially, it was set up for a .38 +p+ duty load. With that I shot a fair number of woodchucks. Then it was zeroed for .38 wadcutters (single loaded) 'cause I had a goodly supply of same, and shot it off the back porch regularly. At 50 yds, it was more accurate than I was. Then I went w/ 125 magnums as a SD/HD carbine, and as an unauthorized patrol carbine. For a long while, I had it "on" w/ a 158 gr lead bullet .357 mid range reload that matched my Ruger B-hawk carry load. Now-a-days it is zeroed for a full power 158 JHP mag load, as I got a bunch of those slugs in a trade. I wouldn't hesitate to shoot a whitetail w/ it inside 100 yds. Pretty versatile item.

It was the first centerfire long gun my son shot as a grade schooler. I grab it when I don't want to carry a carbine, but end up taking one along anyhow. I don't normally carry it paired to the revolver, and these days load separately for each. All loads are safe in either, but they do not shoot to the same zero in their opposite number.

All this is w/ a .357, but the same can be said of a .44, but w/a good bit more power. Mine is one of the last ones made w/o a pushbutton safety, and has Micro bbl.

First thing I did to it was to loose the white line spacer on the butt.

"Thou shalt not have white line spacer, nor scope on thy lever carbine, neither shall your carbine be made of any steel but blued"

January 30, 2010, 09:22 AM
I've got a couple of Marlin 1894s, but none in 44 Magnum. I knew that I was missing something. I shot my first deer with a 336 in 30-30. Everyone should have a Marlin 1894. Just one opinion.


January 30, 2010, 01:03 PM
I've got 2 of the 1894s in .44Mag. My favorite field/brush guns. Very versatile since you can download to .44Special for plinking and small critters like squirrels or move up to Buffalo Bore or Double Tap .44Mag loads with 1200ftlbs of energy, plenty for pretty much anything in the Lower 48 including black bear.

I keep reading about the "Marlin Jam" but have never experienced such a thing, nor has anyone else I know. Workmanship is acceptable but this is a working gun not a showcase queen so don't be surprised if it arrives a bit rough around the stock, fittings, etc.

Bottom line: great field and brush gun for 150 yard or less, deer, hog, blackie bear hunting.

January 30, 2010, 03:10 PM

Marlin 1894ss with Leupold VX-II 1-4 scope

If you go the 1894 in .44 magnum route, I suggest the 1894SS. Costs a little more, but the the reduced risk of rust I find worth it. I have the blued 1894C and wish the stainless 1894Css had been available when I bought it.