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Will my Marlin ‘94 .45 Colt hold 10 rounds if I shorten the barrel?


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I have a Marlin ‘94 in .45 Colt with a 24” barrel. It has a bulge in the barrel 5” from the muzzle, likely caused by someone running it fast and having a squib round at some point. I don’t know if I caused it or if it was caused by the previous owner and I bought it that way. The bulge is not readily noticeable by visual inspection, but it can be felt when running your fingers down the barrel. Caveat emptor, right? But I run my guns fast so maybe I caused it unawares. 

 

The gun still hits to point of aim. I have shot it many times with the bulge, because I didn’t realize it was there for who knows how long. It seems fine, but I just don’t like it and am considering having the barrel shortened to cut the bulge off.  

 

If I take six inches off the barrel, I’d remove the bulge and still have an 18” gun. My question is, will an 18” tube hold ten rounds of .45 Colt? I laid ten rounds alongside the tube and it seems like it will work, but has anyone had experience with an 18” barreled .45 Colt Marlin? Was an 18” version ever offered? 

 

The OAL of my CAS loads is about 1.57”.  If I cut the barrel to 18”, will it hold ten rounds and will there be enough spring in the tube to make the gun function reliably?

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Joe, a quick math exercise ... 45 Colt SAAMI COAL is 1.60" x 10 = 16"

Two inches to play with ... plug and spring

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It would easily hold 10 45 Schofield.  Even more Cowboy 45 Special. 

 

If you reload, you can select a bullet that seats to a shorter over all length. 

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12 minutes ago, Warden Callaway said:

It would easily hold 10 45 Schofield.  Even more Cowboy 45 Special. 

 

If you reload, you can select a bullet that seats to a shorter over all length. 

 

Yes, but would the gun feed .45 Schofield or .45 Special?

 

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19 minutes ago, ZigMar said:

 

Yes, but would the gun feed .45 Schofield or .45 Special?

 

 

If the carrier and the timing is set correctly for the OAL of the cartridge, it can.

 

I have heard of some .45 Marlin's that will handle the Schofield cartridge with no modifications.

But, I haven't actually handled one that would reliably feed Schofield or C45S (Cowboy 45 Special)

without being modified for them.

 

When shortening the barrel to 18", there are a couple easy mods to help get 10 rounds

in your tube:

1.  shorten your OAL of your ammo

2. cut out (or dish out) your end cap to allow some of the end of the bullet to fit.

3. shorten your follower

4. cut the spring.   You only need enough spring tension to feed ONE round.  If the

spring has enough tension to feed your LAST round, then it will feed all previous

rounds.

 

I hope Warden Calloway chimes in because he has done some previous mods 

and is familiar with doing some of this work.

 

..........Widder

 

Edited by Widder, SASS #59054
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I have 2 marlin 94 rifles in 45 colt. One of them feeds schofields like it was born to it, perfectly smooth and fast as you can work the lever.

 

The other one does not. It catches the front of the shell and stops or i can feel it catch, then it chambers. Doesnt cost anything to try.

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I have a Uberti 1873 with a 18-½" bbl, and it barely holds 10 45 Colts... and mine are loaded to 1.577"  See what Widder sez above for ways to accommodate the shorter barrel.

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Thanks for your suggestions everyone.

 

Lumpy, it only holds 10 rounds! I’d never had a reason to load more, so I never tried. But I did just now and it only holds ten! I could not get an 11th round in.

Thanks John Boy. That only leaves me 2” for the compressed spring unless I use much shorter rounds.

Warden, I never thought of trying Schofield rounds to see how they feed. I’ll do that. Thanks for the suggestion. I think re-chambering it would cost as much or more than just trimming the barrel.

Widder, those are all good suggestions. Thank you.

Dutch, it does shoot fine, so I guess I’m okay leaving it as is. I wonder though if I ever get going too fast if it might happen again, now my barrel has a weak spot. I’m considering cutting it for safety.

Dillon, good to know. I’ll check my rifle to see how if feeds Schofield rounds.

Griff, that is good news! It gets me closer to holding 10. My cowboy load uses a flat-nose bullet and the OAL is 1.57, so maybe with those bullets and some of Widder’s modifications I could make it work.

 

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1 hour ago, Griff said:

I have a Uberti 1873 with a 18-½" bbl, and it barely holds 10 45 Colts... and mine are loaded to 1.577"  See what Widder sez above for ways to accommodate the shorter barrel.

But remember that on a toggle link gun the last round loaded is on the carrier, not in the mag tube.  My 18" '73 will hold not quite eleven .357's, but the mag spring is very strong, I could probably trim it and get 11 in.

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Joe,

if your 24" inch barrel .45 Marlin ONLY holds 10 rounds, its probably got a LONG (approx 5-6 inch) 

plastic rod inside your mag tube.

Originally, when Marlin started making the 24" 'Cowboy' rifles, they put those rod inside the

mag tubes to limit the rounds to only 10.

Take off the end cap and you may find that rod, which actually fits inside the spring.

Remove it and you'll probably get 12-13 rounds of normally OAL ammo.

 

If there isn't a rod inside, then your mag tube spring is drastically too long.

Remember, your spring only needs to be about 2 or 3 cartridge lengths longer than the tube,

which should be about 4 inches longer than the tube. 

If your Tube is 24", your spring should only need to be approx 30".

If your tube is 18",  your spring should only need to be approx 22".

 

If ya got any questions, feel free to call me at 865/696-1996.   I'm retired, so call

about anytime during the day.

 

EDIT:  realistically, on the Marlin 1894, when you load 10 rounds in the tube, ONLY

9 of those rounds are actually in the mag tube.  The round you can see at the 

loading gate is mostly in the receiver and portal area, not in the tube.

1.57 x 9 = a little over 14".

Just thought I would share that info, which may make you feel a little better

about your proposed mod.

 

..........Widder

 

Edited by Widder, SASS #59054
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Leave the Barrel as Is , I had a Marlin 94 in my shop that belonged to an Older shooter in .44-40 it had 5 Bulges ( Rings in the Barrel ) starting at 17 inches from the breach ..

It shot fine and He continued shooting it till dementia took his mind and he had to stop shooting , a couple of years ago.  Now he has just gone on to the big range in the sky where he will no longer feel the aches and pains of his 90 plus years , rest in peace Pard ...

 

Jabez Cowboy   

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8 hours ago, Flaco Joe said:

 

Warden, I never thought of trying Schofield rounds to see how they feed. I’ll do that. Thanks for the suggestion. I think re-chambering it would cost as much or more than just trimming the barrel.

 

No need to rechamber. Load schofield and fire away.

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5 hours ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

Take off the end cap and you may find that rod, which actually fits inside the spring.

Remove it and you'll probably get 12-13 rounds of normally OAL ammo.

 

As long as he has had the gun and never cleaned the mag tube? I hate to think what is growing in there!:rolleyes:

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Goody, it hasn’t been that long! But I’ll be pulling it apart to check on it tonight for sure. 

 

Widder, thanks again for the excellent advice. I’ll pull the spring tonight and see about that rod.

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13 hours ago, Flaco Joe said:

Thanks for your suggestions everyone.

 

Lumpy, it only holds 10 rounds! I’d never had a reason to load more, so I never tried. But I did just now and it only holds ten! I could not get an 11th round in.

Thanks John Boy. That only leaves me 2” for the compressed spring unless I use much shorter rounds.

Warden, I never thought of trying Schofield rounds to see how they feed. I’ll do that. Thanks for the suggestion. I think re-chambering it would cost as much or more than just trimming the barrel.

Widder, those are all good suggestions. Thank you.

Dutch, it does shoot fine, so I guess I’m okay leaving it as is. I wonder though if I ever get going too fast if it might happen again, now my barrel has a weak spot. I’m considering cutting it for safety.

Dillon, good to know. I’ll check my rifle to see how if feeds Schofield rounds.

Griff, that is good news! It gets me closer to holding 10. My cowboy load uses a flat-nose bullet and the OAL is 1.57, so maybe with those bullets and some of Widder’s modifications I could make it work.

 

Bet there's a limiter in the mag tube.

My 24" bbl Cowboy in .44 mag came with one.

OLG 

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8 minutes ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Bet there's a limiter in the mag tube.

My 24" bbl Cowboy in .44 mag came with one.

OLG 

 

Hey Lumpy.

YEP.   I've owned a couple of 24"  in .45 Colt.  Both had a polyurathyene type material for the 'limiter'.

one was whitish and the other was black.

Somewhere in their manufacturing, Marlin decided to stop using them.

 

I've got an 1894 in .45 Colt with a factory 16.25 barrel.  It will hold 8 Colt rounds at 1.600

or 11 Cowboy 45 Specials.   I don't remember the OAL of the C45S.

 

..........Widder

 

Edited by Widder, SASS #59054
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Listen to what Jabez Cowboy says. I bought a Browning 92 (.357) from a former National Champion that had 3 distinct bulges just forward of the rear sight. That area sees higher pressures than the muzzle end. I shot that rifle monthly for the next seven years without a problem, then sold it to another cowboy who is still shooting it.

Edited by Rattlesnake Slim
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