Accurate Leverguns continued from Rifle talk forum.

Discussion in 'Lever Action' started by Levergun, Jan 3, 2005.

  1. Levergun

    Levergun Super Member

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    Drop shot.

    As I mentioned before, first you have to decide what is accurate. Some leverguns won't shoot as accurately as you like. You are not going to get the same group with an 18" SRC model 94 as you will with a 30" 73. And that won't get the same group as my 34" LRE Shiloh Sharps!

    First off to get started, let me ask you a few questions:

    Do you reload? This is key.

    Do you shoot lead or copper? In two of my 94's in 30-30, I am shooting copper. I have not been able to work up a load in either one with lead that shoot as well as copper. Doesn't mean they won't do it, just means I have not found it yet.

    Do you cast bullets?

    What are you using the Marlins for and what calibers are they?

    My levers are 45/70 in the Shiloh
    Two model 94 in 30-30...One is an 18" Carbine 64 and the other is a 30WCF 1916 with a 26" BBL.
    Another one is my 73 with a 30" BBL in 44/40
    Another is my Savage model 99 in 358 Win.

    The 45/70 and the 44/40 I cast bullets for and use 30:1 Lead to tin.

    The other three I am using Copper bullets for. Mainly for hunting reasons and like I said, I have not found a cast that shoots well in the 94's. I have not cast bullets for the 358 yet, but not sure that I am going to. I like the groups I'm getting right now and I like the expansion of a partition type bullet for larger game. Right now I hunt with my 94 carbine for deer and my 99 for Elk and such.

    So get a bit more specific on what you want to know and where you want to start and I'll try my best to answer your questions.
     
  2. deerdown444

    deerdown444 Guest

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    Levergun
    I see I am not the only one here that has a 45/70 now.I reload and get good groups with both of my 45/70's.But I get better groups with my 1895G with the 18" barrel ,than I do with my 1895SS with the 22" barrel.I had thought the longer barrel would be more accurate.I have allways used copper jacketed bullets.I am useing the hornady 350 grain RN. bullet in my 45/70's. Do you think if I went up to the 405 or down to the 300 grain in my 1895SS it might improve the groups.I have used the 300 grain remingtons in it and the groups were about the same as the hornady 350 grain. But I don't much care for the HP. bullet in the 45/70. The groups are not bad there just not as tight as the 1895G.
     

  3. Levergun

    Levergun Super Member

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    Too many veriables.....Bullet Brand can make as much difference as type and weight. I have had one Gr. of powder make the difference as well as powder type. So it is hard to say.

    In my Shiloh, I shoot cast bullets. Bullet lube is making the biggest impact at this point due to the length of my barrel. I have a 538 gr. Postel bullet I shoot that hold good groups but I get a flyer. I switched to a 405 grain bullet and no flyers. But the reason is because the 405 gr I use was cast from an original Winchester mould I picked up off of ebay. These original moulds cast bullets with large lube grooves. So the lube travels the entire length of the barrel. I want to get one of those moulds in 500 gr. (Which Win. made) but they are more difficult to find and cost alot more! :shock:

    In your case, using copper, I do not think it is the bullet as much as either the brand of bullet or the load itself. I would play around more with the load first or change powders. If no improvement, then switch bullet brands.

    Another example: In one of my 94's I have shot Hornady, speer and Sierra. The same powder and load in all three brands, the Sierra shoots best, Speer is a close second(And I will substitute speer if I can't get Sierra) and Hornady didn't shoot at all.

    Rate of twist in your rifle can make a huge difference on which bullet shoots best. So If the rate of twist from one rifle to the next is different, then yes, bullet weight would probably be your biggest noticable difference in groups.

    Too much info at once? Sorry, sometimes I get alittle carried away.:D
     
  4. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    Levergun I have been reloading since 72 and have all my own stuff.I have a marlin 1894 in 44 mag that shoots 2-3 inches at hundred yards with factory copper 240 gr bullet,my reloads only bring the loads down a small amount,I have maxed.,I packed all my notes as well as all my reloading stuff for the move to montana so I don't have the loads information witin reach,I have 2 post 64 30/30 winchesters,one has 18 inch barrell and the other has 22 inch,both can't stay on paper at 100 yards,at 50 yards 3-4 inch groups,marlin336 30/30 22 inch barrell shoots 2-3 inch at 100 yards with factory ammo,170 gr remington brand,marlin 336 35 rem that is my best shooter,1 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards.I won't count my marlin 39A,next I have a marlin 45/70 I have not shot.I came across a web site that talked about shaving the fore arm inlet to relieve stress.I have heard of leverguns that can be made to shoot better but I don't know how.I don't reload for the 30/30 cause ammo is cheap,I have tried winchester supreme,federal and remington.I have used cast bullets but only in a ruger redhawk,blackhawk,Tarus modle44.I get better penetration but accuracy is not quite as good as copper,not bad though.Drop-Shot
     
  5. Levergun

    Levergun Super Member

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    So with all that experience, How can I help you? I reload for all of my guns. I have found that you can have two of the same year and model rifle and they will like different loads.

    My 1916 94 will not shoot a 150gr Sierra pro-hunter. But it will shoot a 170 gr. pro-hunter. My 64 will shoot 150's but no the 170's. Go figure. Different barrel sizes and probably different twist as well.

    I have not done anything to any of my guns as far as trigger, barrel, action forend floating, nothing. Basically what I do, is I decide which rifle I want to dial in and I basically only shoot that rifle at the range until it is set. I take my reloading gear to the range and reload and shoot right there. This way I am not wasting time reloading a bunch of stuff that doesn't shoot.

    I get faster results that way. Besides, I kinda like taking the whole day just kicking back working on a load at the range. It's like a day of playing golf for other I spect.:D

    I shoot rounds with powder charges from 1/2 gr. differences and same bullet until there is no noticable difference. Then I either change powders or bullets or both and start over. To me it's all part of the fun. One thing I read in a book once said, patients will get you results. You have to like doing it to get the best results.

    The light bullets like my 44/40..Don't shoot much better than 2 inches at 100 yards. But I have two more mould to play with and different hardnesses as well as lube to play with. But you should know that in my 44/40 and my 45/70 I shoot Blackpowder. So I don't think what you are looking for would apply here.

    I have also found that slower is almost always better. Almost all of my most accurate loads are more towards the mid to lower range of the spectrun then the higher.

    I really don't have any tricks other than spend alot of time at the range and don't plan on getting all your levers to shoot well the same year. Obviously, I do not need alot of guns to be busy and have fun for a long time.:D
     
  6. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    Thanks levergun,I work up loads that shoot in my rifle and hand gun mostly,I reload for the 35 rem and I have super results.How do you make every thing mobile? I like that idea,I also have an extra press that I never use,do you mount things on a box of some kind?Having every thing with me would save alot of time and energy.Thanks.Drop-Shot
     
  7. Levergun

    Levergun Super Member

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    I have a couple ways to do it. Check this out.

    For my 44/40 and 45/70 I use original Winchester Reloading tools dating back to the late 1800's. Ya know what? THEY WORK! I have one for my 30wcf as well, but it is kind of a pain in the behind so I just look at it more than use it.:D I also load those with Black Powder. So weighing is not an issue.

    For my other guns, I have 310 tools for reloading. I have seen guys with full reloading set ups at the table. I saw one guy one time that used a Black and Decker work mate for his bench and locked in to it was a full progrssive Dillon press! :shock:

    He was a small caliber precision target shooter. You know tha kind that have the scope on their rifle longer than their barrel!? :lol: Well at a 100 yards you can barrely see more than one ragged hole! :shock:

    WEll anyway, the biggest thing that helps me is the scale. Unless you have a breezeless place to set one up, good luck using it. No good, as you know. So here is how I get around it. Usually I have a good ball park load to start with. So I don't get real peticular about my powder charges when loading at the range. I save that for when I'm trying to take a 3" Group down to 2" or better with a certain bullet.

    I use a measure named, Belding and Mull. I use the original load chart for that scale. It is amazing how accurate that measure is. I can not beleive it was out dated! I just don't see how. It is by far the best measure I have ever used. Anyway, I do not weigh the charges coming out of that measure. It is just not necessary. They are more than close enough to tell me if my bullet and charges are good or bad.

    Again, once I know about what charge and what bullet is shooting in the rifle, then I make precision loads at home in groups of 10 each. Then when I go back to the range, if I have 5 different loads in groups of 10, that will take me nearly all day to shoot. That is another story.

    I got my B&M Measure from a friend. I paid $200 for it. They are hard to find and he got most of the ones he has off of ebay. If you like I can send you a picture of mine? Just send me your e-mail addy and let me know and I'll do it.

    I am glad to have a 2" or better group at 100 yards. I know how well the load shoots when I shoot 1" or better at 50 yards. This may sound kinda hokey, but I shoot with Iron sites. No peep or tang sights accept with my Shiloh. So I can not see good enough to shoot any better than a 2" group anyway. Now with the Shiloh, I can hit groups with that at 1 1/16" is my best so far at 100 yards. I have that target posted on my website if ya want to see it. The rifle is set up with MVA Vernier sights. Real nice.
     
  8. deerdown444

    deerdown444 Guest

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    I feel for you guys that have to go to a range.I think there is a range about 40 miles from here.But I have never shot at a range before.I just walk about 10 yards from my reloading shed to shoot.But the down side is I can only shoot about 50 yards.But it makes testing my reloads for accurracy easy to do.My wife don't understand how I can just stay up there reloading and shooting all day.I have loads for my 1895G ,444 marlin and my 356 in the 336ER that are one ragged hole.But my 1895SS seems to always have a flyer its useualy a 2 1/2 inch or less group.But I can't get that one ragged hole group with it.I get 1 1/2 inch or less with my 307,30/30,35 and the 375. at 50 yards.And I think thats good groups for hunting.But my 1894 44 mag. are not so good, the groups with it run around 3 inchs at 50 yards.I can't seem to do much better than that with the 44 mag. What powder do you think would do well in the 44? I am useing IMR4227 in it now.
     
  9. Levergun

    Levergun Super Member

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    I used to have to go to the range. I moved up here into the panhandle of Idaho one month ago. I already have shot on my property and in the spring will finishing off the range.

    I'll have three benches out to 100 yards. Haven't shot alot yet, just trying at this point to get caught up on my leather work and grow this business so I can continue to live in this beautiful place. I feel so fortunate.

    You are not the only person that I have talked to that speaks of one hole groups etc. I have never shot a one hole group even at 50 yards. I can barely do it with a scope. Of course I have never done a full bench shot either. I should probably take my levers out and hard mount them so they are in exactly the same place every shot. This would tell me if I've just been getting lucky all this time or not! :shock: :lol:

    Deerdown, Do you have scopes on the levers?

    I don't see how anyone could consistantly shoot less than 2" at 100 yards without a scope and a full rest. What do you think? Do I just need more practice?
     
  10. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    Levergun I have scopes on all but my 45/70 and I will use appeture sights on it.I shoot from a lohom rifle vise I bought years ago,with me shooting the groups grow but at least I know what my rifles can shoot before I put them to hunting.My shoulder still is against the stock but the rifle vise holds them steady,iron sights or scopes.I don't have scopes on my 2 winchesters cause they are not angle eject,good balance and good to 50 yards open sights.My shooters are my 44 mag and 35 rem,I have maxed out with reloads.Most likely just under factory on my 35 rem but the 44 mag will shoot as good as any lever can.I was hoping for some secrets for my winchesters.I still won't get rid of them.Drop-Shot
     
  11. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Winchester in 44 mag? That is a pistol cartridge in a rifle. I am not alot of help with that other than treating it the same way you would any other round.

    If you do not like your groups, my first sugggestion is slow it down.

    My second would be change powders. I am using Hogden 4227 in my 44/40 when I load up smokless. I am only using 12 gr. This is mainly because I can shoot it in my Vaquero as well as my 73. I started with 15 and 12 was a huge difference. In the rifle it shoot real good groups at `100 yards. Iron sights I have hit 1.5" groups with it. But with Blackpowder, I have not done that yet. But that is all part of the fun.:D

    Secrets? My only secret would be to be as patient and think outside the box. Try some powders you may not have tried. Maybe try using the suggested velocities in your books by using different powders. Some times, faster or slower burning powders make the difference.

    I normally like to use the mid range of burning powders such as IMR 3031. It seems to shoot the best in my 94's. I also have a load that I set up with my 30/06 with it as well using a 125 gr. bullet. It screams at 3000fps and shoot straight out to 300 yards! it's fun.

    Anyway, I don't know what all you have tried and again, I don't know what you consider a tight group. Let's face it, some levers just will not shoot tight groups. I fyou have a Win. 94 in 44 mag, then it is probably made in Japan and I have no help for that. Swithc to cast and slug the bore and try some gas check bullets with #2 hardness and see if they like the rifling better. Maybe change bullet weights.

    You gotta talk to me here pard, I'm grasping at straws. All I have is older model levers and the most stuborn one is my 1916 94. But it has charachter and was shot ALOT. I got it after it was not cleaned for God knows how long. He!!, it took me a month of cleaning to finally get some kind of shine out of the bore. I still have alot of work to do with that one. I want to take it deer hunting season after next. :wink:
     
  12. Levergun

    Levergun Super Member

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    Winchester in 44 mag? That is a pistol cartridge in a rifle. I am not alot of help with that other than treating it the same way you would any other round.

    If you do not like your groups, my first sugggestion is slow it down.

    My second would be change powders. I am using Hogden 4227 in my 44/40 when I load up smokless. I am only using 12 gr. This is mainly because I can shoot it in my Vaquero as well as my 73. I started with 15 and 12 was a huge difference. In the rifle it shoot real good groups at `100 yards. Iron sights I have hit 1.5" groups with it. But with Blackpowder, I have not done that yet. But that is all part of the fun.

    Secrets? My only secret would be to be as patient and think outside the box. Try some powders you may not have tried. Maybe try using the suggested velocities in your books by using different powders. Some times, faster or slower burning powders make the difference.

    I normally like to use the mid range of burning powders such as IMR 3031. It seems to shoot the best in my 94's. I also have a load that I set up with my 30/06 with it as well using a 125 gr. bullet. It screams at 3000fps and shoot straight out to 300 yards! it's fun.

    Anyway, I don't know what all you have tried and again, I don't know what you consider a tight group. Let's face it, some levers just will not shoot tight groups. I fyou have a Win. 94 in 44 mag, then it is probably made in Japan and I have no help for that. Swithc to cast and slug the bore and try some gas check bullets with #2 hardness and see if they like the rifling better. Maybe change bullet weights.

    You gotta talk to me here pard, I'm grasping at straws. All I have is older model levers and the most stuborn one is my 1916 94. But it has charachter and was shot ALOT. I got it after it was not cleaned for God knows how long. He!!, it took me a month of cleaning to finally get some kind of shine out of the bore. I still have alot of work to do with that one. I want to take it deer hunting season after next.
     
  13. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    Levergun I have a marlin 44 mag that with a rifle sight vise will hit dead on at 50 yards,I'm sorry I used the 100 yard for my 35 rem,the 44 mag shoots 2-21/2 groups at 50 yards,not hundred.Sorry for the mixup,I have the 44 mag marlin shooting great,I was hoping to get the winchesters shooting better.I will have to reload to dial in the 30/30's,I was using factory in my marlin 336 and doing ok but not as accurate as the 35 rem.It's those winchesters that won't group.I bought 1 new and the other like new,I may use them to barter with.Thanks for the help.I have a friend that borrowed the one with 18 inch barrell and he wants it bad,I need help moving to montana and may use 1 to barter with.Drop-Shot
     
  14. Levergun

    Levergun Super Member

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    Awesome! When are you planning the move? Where in Montana. We might be closer neighbors?

    The older 94 can be finacky. You may have to play with different size casts or lighter or heavier bullets.

    Like I said, so far, I can not get my 1916 to shoot cast at all. It like the 170 gr. Copper Sierra pro hunters. But I am going to be doing some work on it.

    I am going to start again slugging my barrel and trying to match a bullet .oo1" bigger than the bore. I'll use a mid range powder charge and see where it flys. I am planning on the bullet weight to be about 170-180. Sounds like a good starting point. That's all part of the fun. For me, I have guns to shoot hunting, so any extras are just plain fun at the bench. :wink:
     
  15. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    I agree it's part of the fun,we are moving to Helena Montana in late March of this year.The only thing that worrys me is the doctor wants to do another surgery,and I'm not sure about it.It may stop some problems but my last operation I just traded some problems on different ones.If I do have it I will stay with my daughter and her husband,but I would like to get back to montana and try to get better,but if I don't get better,I may have to pay for the next operation myself and I don't want to do that.I sold the 18 inch winchester this morning and will barter with the other.They just don't make winchesters like they used to.Drop-Shot
     
  16. deerdown444

    deerdown444 Guest

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    Levergun
    Most of my one hole groups are done useing a mirror and shooting over my shoulder or hip shooting. :lol: Just kidding you.When testing my loads for accuracy I'm useing a hard mount and the three I'm getting one {Ragged hole} groups with are scoped.But I'm not puting all the bullets in the same hole.You have to remember the 444 and 45/70 are makeing big holes.What I mean by one ragged hole is afther a 3 to 5 shot group There is one large hole that might be as big as a golf ball.Thats why I say my 356 is my most accurate rifle ,its not as easy to find a load that will group that tight with a 35 caliber as it is in a 44 or 45 caliber. I'm not sure what the groups would be free handed,I'm sure they would be much larger.Its not me geting the one ragged hole group its the load and the rifle.Afther I have tested the loads and found what I want to hunt with.I don't shoot for groups any more.I move around and shoot from diffrent positions useualy at cans or jugs filled with water.I believe afther I have found a load that accurate.I am better off pratacing in real hunting positions.It wouldn't do me much good pratacing from a hard mount all the time.Then try to hunt not being use to shooting free handed. :shock: It would proible be a embarrassing.
     
  17. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    Thats a great idea deerdown,there is a difference with the rifle vise and free hand,I'm gonna try that.Drop-Shot
     
  18. Levergun

    Levergun Super Member

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    Yes, after I find th eload, I practice off hand, kneeling, leaning against something etc. I figure if I can hit an 8" circle everytime at 100 yards this way, then I am good to go. I tried doing it with my 4" circle but at 100 yards, that is tough! I know that my guns with their loads will shoot better than I do.

    Now that I am up here in Idaho, I am planning on doing alot more practicing! :wink:

    Drop-shot...Good luck with the surgery. Congrats on selling the 94. No the new Winchesters are not the same as they used to be at all. I just won't buy on period. I want the original stuff or nothing. :wink:
     
  19. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    hey levergun I found that web site that makes less than accurate leverguns more accurate.I believe that reloading to find the right load is part of the formula but with factory loads my 336 in 30/30 out shoots my winchester 94's(Sold 1 and am bartering with the other)and I know winchesters are supposed to be accurate.I used to have an older winchester when I was a kid before the year 64 and our winchester 32 win special was so accurate I have killed deer at 70 yards and the 170 gr slug hit where I was aiming.The web site I had to find with yahoo,and its Paco Kellys Levergun.He out lines a method thats pretty entailed and I don't know if I could do it all but there are several gunsmith's that specialize in lever guns.Drop-Shot
     
  20. Levergun

    Levergun Super Member

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    Dropshot,
    I'll check it out. There is always things we can learn from someone. Should be good.

    It does not surprise me that the Marlin 336 with their pattened micro groove rifling is more accurate. Those rifle are some of the best ever made. I would like to get one, but I am afraid it would just sit in the safe. The next lever I want is a 94 in 38-55 and a 85 highwall in 40-82. But I can not justify the costs right now. The next gun I am going to get this year is a New De Hann SxS 12 Ga. Then I will probably pick me up a Springfield Full scale 1911 in 45 acp...(Don't ask, just always wanted one.):D