Monday, June 01, 2009

Marlin 1894 Sporter

The year was 1973. The place was a sporting goods store on Alvarado Street in Monterey, California. The gun that was the subject of my lust was a Marlin 1894 Sporter. I now know that 1398 of these "mini" versions of the new Model 1895 introduced in 1972 were made. Back then I only knew I didn't have the scratch to get one. I'm afraid I'd wasted my limited funds on the wild life of watching a movie at the post theater and having a beer or two at the club.

I owned the standard carbine in .44 Mag at that time. It was a good enough gun, much better than the Winchester 1894 .44 Mag it had replaced. It was not the sporter. Perhaps, I've been thinking, my memories of lively handling, sleek lines, and that special something that warms your heart were just the cloudy delusions of a mind in decline.

Then I got the 1894CL in .32-20. The CLs have nearly the same layout but not the same curved buttplate as the 1972 era 1895s. My impressions from long ago were confirmed. My lust was renewed. My search was restarted. Then Neal in Alabama had one and had to sell. His misfortune (again, the CL was from him as well) was my gain. Money has changed hands. FFLs are in place. Shipment will occur. All will be well. Well, I thought so! Unfortunately, Neal had stored the gun at a relative's house and the relative misplaced the gun. This isn't a good thing for a lot of reasons but it isn't the end of the world for me. I'll just keep looking and maybe Neal will find his gun again. No, I'm not without a .44 Mag rifle, I still have the 21" barrel for the Contender.

That pretty much short-stopped all my plans for the gun. As I often do, I had ordered a Williams Foolproof receiver sight for the rifle. At least I'll have one on hand for the next rifle!

Also, I've come to the conclusion that my .44 Mag loads should all come as close to duplicating the highly successful (for me anyway) Remington 240 gr. SJHP load, albeit with the Hornady 240 gr. XTP. These loads will work in all my .44 Mags. The 300 gr. XTP loads I have already loaded, if they chamber, will best suit the Redhawk and perhaps will give that gun purpose.

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