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I had another day off today so I dropped my son off at pre-school again and headed for the range.

I headed for the pistol birm first and got the Liberty edition .45 Blackhawk sighted in for this left handed shooter (it had been shooting to the right for me.) Then to the rifle range for the real fun. 1st up was my Grandfather's 1944 Winchester 94 in .32 Win. Special. I had made up my first five bottleneck reloads for this gun. The load was 28.0 grains of Rx7 and a Speer 170gr. hotcore FP. While my 5 shot group was acceptable and function was fine, the gun shot these loads about 3 inches lower than factory ammo.

Next I shot the Marlin .375 Winchester using my load of 36.0gr. Rx7 and a Hornady 220gr. FP. This gun is an absolute hoot to shoot. This load was sighted in to take out the bull at 50 yards, but I adjusted it to be about 1.5" high at 50 so it will be good for longer range. One five shot group saw 4 slugs go into one jagged hole with one flyer (probably me.)

Finally I brought out the Marlin 1894S in .41. The grail gun of mine has been a bit of a mystery. It always shot "okay" but I knew it should shoot better. I couldn't find any factory ammo that it liked, and the only reload so far that was "acceptable" was a Hornady XTP over 9.9 gr. Unique. For this trip I loaded the same XTP over some newly aquired 2400. I made up two batches of 15 rounds...16.8gr and 17.6 gr. As soon as I fired a group from the batch of 16.8gr. I knew I had struck it rich! There was the best group this gun had ever shot. Recoil was much more noticible using the 2400 which is funny given that I'm shooting handgun loads out of a long gun. The 17.6gr. load also shot okay, but didn't hold a candle to the other load. Finally, I have found the right combo in this gun. I love the .41 in everything, but if I weren't a reloader I'd be disappointed in the Marlin.

BTW, the police showed up again as I was leaving. They needed to qualify another 6 officers. Looks like I'll sneak back tonight under cover of darkness and see if I can find some brass. ;)
 
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