Scope options for Marlin 1894 Dark in 44 Mag

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Scope options for Marlin 1894 Dark in 44 Mag

Post by Nails » 21 Feb 2021, 9:21 pm

Recently bought this thing after watching too many You tube vids.
I didn’t really want to add a big scope, but with my eyes I’m not enjoying this thing at all. I can only see one of the three critical things, rear ghost ring, front sight or target and past 50 yards not very well. Firstly I put a Vortex Razor 3moa red dot on it thinking this will help but even at 25 yards the dot is too big imo, so thats on the pistol now and might be for sale if that doesn’t work. Next I bought a Leupold 1moa red dot which has very high mounts and seems like a cheap crappy device to me, albeit very heavy duty lol, even on the lowest setting the dot has a halo that looks like a skewed piece of paper behind the dot at 50 yards (about 4x the size of the dot) and on increasing the brightness just makes the dot and halo bigger still, more like 3moa than 1 - returning or using as a credit for the next attempt hopefully.
So, open sights and 1x mag red dots don’t work for me. I’ll try swapping my 223 scope onto it to see how it goes. Its a GPO passion red dot, 2.5-15x56 probably a bit bulky but its not a bad scope and if I can get it back far enough for eye relief at least I’ll be able to see how the 44 shoots.
Has anyone got a scope on a similar lever action that you’re really happy with out to 100 - 150 yards? Probably at least 10x mag and I like turrets without top cap and big numbers, mildot retical would be nice too btw
Not too worried about price, just want something that works great.
Thanks
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Re: Scope options for Marlin 1894 Dark in 44 Mag

Post by animalpest » 21 Feb 2021, 10:44 pm

Why on earth do you want or need a scope with a magnification of 10x or greater on a 44mag lever action?

Mine has either 1.5-5x or a 1.75-6x on them and I can shoot as good as the rifle will with these scopes.
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Re: Scope options for Marlin 1894 Dark in 44 Mag

Post by Blr243 » 21 Feb 2021, 11:18 pm

I’m surprised you did not like the 3 moa vortex on your marlin. That’s exactly what’s on my marlin 4570 and I love it ....a lightweight holo should be fast and allow very good peripheral vision and is probably the reason you bought it in the first place. I think I would be re examining The basics and you may find the original holo ok if you forget about the sort of precision you are currently chaseing because it’s probably not needed and comes at the expense of lugging around an unbalanced rig with too much scope ......it’s a 44 lever have some fun with gongs or pigs, A tikka in 223 Shooting cats n foxes can wear a big flash scope
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Re: Scope options for Marlin 1894 Dark in 44 Mag

Post by womble » 22 Feb 2021, 3:24 am

Probably something like this. https://athlonoptics.com/product/argos-btr-gen2-1-8x24-atsr5-sfp-ir-moa/
Just a thought.
I have a Burris red dot on mine and works for me. But 150 yards it would not be great. For me anyway. My eyesight is a bit s**t, but i think yours might be worse. If i was to scope it I’d go for the above.
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Re: Scope options for Marlin 1894 Dark in 44 Mag

Post by Nails » 22 Feb 2021, 6:52 am

Thanks guys,
@blr243 - thats exactly what I wanted it for but with the peep sights I cant hit a 250mm gong at 50 yards on the bench with it yet. With the Vortex Razor, I sighted in at 20 yards at the pistol club but got a spread of about 3 inches from a rest which I thought was pretty bad and blamed it on the big red dot (not me of course). I then took it to Ripley and the spread at 50 was about 5 inches, I didn’t bother with 100 and at that point decided to try a smaller dot. But after a few tests with that gave it up as a bad purchase.
I saw a video of the 45/70 dark getting 3shots touching at 100 with a Leupold firedot (not sure what magnification probably 10x or more) so I was hoping for a lot better than I’m getting, but yeah the whole idea was a minimalist fun gun that can hit stuff like melons at 50-75, 150 is definitely too far without mag, even 100 and maybe even 75.for my eyes.

@Womble - thats the sort of thing I was thinking, not too huge bit I think I’ll put my 223 scope on first and see what sort of accuracy it’s capable of.
I’ll be getting cataracts done later this year, not sure how much that might help but eye doc reckons lenses with depth of view should help with gun sights.
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Re: Scope options for Marlin 1894 Dark in 44 Mag

Post by straightshooter » 22 Feb 2021, 7:13 am

The Marlin 94 is a trim and quick handling short range rifle. Putting a massive scope on it would turn it into a clumsy lump and do next to nothing for ranging ability.
The answer is relatively simple.
Assuming one has good eyesight to start with, in about your mid 40's changes in your eyesight slowly reveal themselves. Sooner if you have mild astigmatism.
And things only get worse the older you get.
When you are young you are able to rapidly focus on the target, the front sight and the rear sight making it seem like they are all in focus at the same time. As you age it gradually becomes more difficult and then no longer possible.
Time to see an optometrist but don't get sucked into buying hyper expensive glasses.
The examination should also reveal whether you have any emerging problem such as cataract or glaucoma.
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Re: Scope options for Marlin 1894 Dark in 44 Mag

Post by in2anity » 22 Feb 2021, 7:18 am

Sounds like an ammo problem to me - 5 inches at 50m is not good enough. Have you experimented with different brands of ammunition? For a 44mag lever gun, I'd be content with 3-4moa across iron sights, easy good enough for offhanding melons.

I had a 44mag lever gun once, viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9649 I found the accuracy unacceptable given the recoil it dishes. I went down to a 32-20 Winnie which is notably more consistent at 100m. Not to mention more economical to run. The 44mag is a bit of a brute IMO.

On a side not, with some practice, one can group into 2moa from prone out of a service sling. Tonnes of magnification doesn't always buy you smaller groups, depending on how you tend to shoot. If I were you I'd be putting one of the VX-3i 1.5-5x20 on it. Very good scopes those, for practical applications.
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Re: Scope options for Marlin 1894 Dark in 44 Mag

Post by Nails » 22 Feb 2021, 8:59 pm

Yeah aging eyes definitely a problem, I’m 58 short and long sighted and have cataracts coming on fast from years of taking prednisone. Hopefully removing them will help a lot.
Anyway anmo is definitely something to try more, I’ve only tried 2 so far (and have another to test) as not easy to find atm, I might try some 44 special too. I plan to start reloading soon and while that will take some practice it should help down the track.
I’ll still try the big scope while testing different ammo as it should help me see the target better at least. If the spread is still bad that should point to ammo I guess.
Will update in a few days.
Thanks guys
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Re: Scope options for Marlin 1894 Dark in 44 Mag

Post by LawrenceA » 22 Feb 2021, 9:14 pm

Red dot all the way.
Use my marlin 1895 a lot chasing pigs and it is great for quick acquisition and running shots. Both eyes open. Heaps field of view. Bit like using a shotgun
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Re: Scope options for Marlin 1894 Dark in 44 Mag

Post by in2anity » 22 Feb 2021, 9:39 pm

lever guns are really susceptible to a wandering zero. Lots of junk hanging off the barrel, which can "pull" on it as the barrel heats, shifting the poi. Also having the forend just sitting on a hard sort of rest can be detrimental to accuracy; the recoil can drive through the forend and into the barrel before the round exits. On the rare occasion i am ever benching a lever gun, i'll always place my hand in-between the rest and the forend, preferably with some sling tension pulling down on the forend into the pocket, i feel this yields better consistency than lazy "cross-arm" style, modern shooting. Better still shoot it unsupported or perhaps with a stabilising sling. Also i think it goes without saying, If you want to be able to tweak experiment with different ammo, it pays to handload.
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Re: Scope options for Marlin 1894 Dark in 44 Mag

Post by boingk » 23 Feb 2021, 8:32 pm

in2anity wrote: If I were you I'd be putting one of the VX-3i 1.5-5x20 on it. Very good scopes those, for practical applications.


That's what I've got on my 45-70 Marlin '95. Works fantastically, thing gets sub MOA easily and you can dial it down in power for close in work.

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