Marlin's most perfect 1895 - the LTD III
The day it arrived I couldn't wait to get it to the range and took what ammo I had on hand, here is the first range report.
First up was some 405 grain Laser-Cast RNFP PB over a 25 gr charge of SR4759 (always double check your data ) a WLR in a Starline case. This is a (or used to be) fairly economical load so I shoot it a lot. Within a few shots I had it sighted in and was shooting open sight POA = POI @ 50 yards. Grouped consistently ~1-1/2" front rested with open sights.
A five shot string over the chronograph averaged 1388 with a standard deviation of 11.87
Next up I shot up what I had left of some 425gr bullets I cast last summer. The RANCH DOG TLC-460-425 RF has proven to be accurate in all of my 1895's (four of em) and proved to be in this rifle too. With the same charge of SR4759 as above in Starline cases (with 12 reloads on them) it chugged along a 1374 with a standard deviation of 7.68. These bullets were Gas Checked and Lubed with Lee Liquid Alox and sized to .460"
After those were gone I pulled out five leftover from last hunting season 425gr Beartooth Bullet "Pile driver Jr" over a 37gr charge of IMR 4198. These showed promising accuracy and averaged 1573 fps with and SD=38.47. This is about the limit of recoil I'd consider shooting off the bench without padding. It wasn't punishing but it was stout.
All of three of the loads above printed very nearly the same at 50 yards with this sight setting.
Lastly I shot some plinker loads using the 405 gr LC bullet over some 8 grains of Bullseye (Data on www.gmdr.com ) with WLR primers in WW cases. These loped along at 858 fps average with a SD of 6.08. Accuracy was the worst of the bunch spreading out over 2" and printing a full 6" higher at 50 yards with the same sight setting. Very mild recoil.
I think I'm going to like this rifle. It has the aesthetic quality of the Cowboy and the handiness of the Guide Gun with an extended mag tube. I have some Hornady 350's, some Remington 405s some more cast bullets yet to try including some 300 grainers. I'll let you know how that goes too.
Special Thanks to 2ndovc for answering all my questions and convincing me I needed one of these.