wheel gun for a combo package??


November 3, 2004, 07:21 PM
ok i'm gonna need some help on this one.

i really like the idea of having a lever action carbine and revolver in the same caliber for (dare i say) SHTF and defense purposes. problem is i've never owned either one. i've been thinking about a smith 66 or 686 in .357 mag and a model '94 in the same.

was wondering if .44 mag might be a better choice. my 1911 is my first choice for a combat handgun, so i would like the revovler to fill the spot for accurate longer shots (say, 25 yd.+).

what would the pros/cons be of these options. including ammo availability, cost...versatility, range, ease of handling, etc.

what do you guys like and what are your suggestions??


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November 3, 2004, 07:37 PM
The combination you're talking about is a classic. I have a 66 and a marlin 1894c in .357, and they are both wonderful guns that taste great together (or something). Ammo is widely, widely available in a stupendous range of power levels and bullet designs. The .357 from a carbine is a startlingly capable cartridge, and the 1894, with its 9-round tube and rapid action (in practiced hands), makes a very decent general purpose weapon for small-to-medium game and self defense.

So there you go. The Smith & Wesson is a given--you've apparently already discovered how great that is. I'm just here to confirm that the 1894 is a great companion gun. If you search for 1894 and 357, you'll find lots of praise for it and lots of opinions about it and lots of loads for it and lots of other stuff.

Good luck, and enjoy both, when you get 'em!

PS: One thought; if you're really thinking about the two as a matched set, you might want to look for a 586 or a 19 with wood furniture to match the beautiful wood and bluing you're likely to find on a Marlin.

November 3, 2004, 08:02 PM
I think you have three or four basic ways to go ......

.357, as you have mentioned .... in my case M27 and Win 94

The .45acp ... 1911 of course then ... perhaps a Camp 45 (if you can find one!). Add to that a Smith 625 revo .. lots of fun (don't forget the moonclips). I believe the Storm may be available in .45 acp eventually.

The .44 mag ... I combine that by having either M629 or SRH as the revo element and then the lever Marlin 94 in .44 mag.

Carbines invariably make ultra good use IMO of pistol rounds ... better vel and accuracy too.

Guess I should even add 9mm .... pistol of your choice .. for me it's P95, SW99 or BHP ... then the carbine aspect is either Marlin Camp 9 or Beretta Storm.

November 3, 2004, 08:12 PM
Another good option (especially if you reload) is a .41 Magnum combo. Marlin is making a .41 magnum model now (1894 FG), and a S&W 657, although I think you can only get it in 7.5" barrel or longer.

But really, I'd go with the .44 Magnum option (just me). If you don't want full-house magnums in the handgun all the time, you can use downloaded magnums (silvertips are fairly mild), or specials. Full magnums in the rifle really haul.

November 3, 2004, 08:31 PM
Yeah, those are all good options, and we should throw in the 45 'long colt' as well--if, that is, he reloads. Since the initial post sounded like a non-reloading situation, 38/357 is hands-down the economy winner of these options.

November 3, 2004, 08:36 PM
i don't reload...
so i'm lookin for something where ammo can be found very easily.

could someone outline the pros/cons of 44mag vs. 357mag??

thanks again fellas

November 3, 2004, 11:20 PM
pros/cons of 44mag vs. 357mag?? Let's just sum that up as ''power'' and ''cost'' .... the .357 mag will be cheaper to run but lacks the ''punch'' of the .44 mag. Both cals are generally very available but again . on balance .. the .357 might be more widely available and in more loadings.

November 4, 2004, 02:51 AM
A lighter 44 mag revolver exceeds my tolerance for recoil.

Years back I worked my way up to shooting expert with full charge 41 mags out of a 4" S&W. ( I also shot Distinguished Master level with a 2&1/2" snub 357. )

The 357 is a pussycat to shoot in handguns compared to the 41, and the 44 kicks even worse.

In carbines, the 357 in heavy specialty loadings pushes it's power to 30-30 levels.

In carbines the 44 mag in regular loadings handles just fine. Heavy specialty loads for the 44 are also available that reportedly push 340 gr. slugs well in excess of 1800 fps, but I expect the recoil in the lightweight leverguns like my Win 94 Trapper would approach the 'seriously hurting' level of the elephant guns.

Brian Williams
November 4, 2004, 12:18 PM
Any time someone brings up a Lever/pistol combo I have to post tis pic.
Marlin 1894C and S&W 13 3" and S&W 586 4"

November 4, 2004, 04:34 PM
For your stated purpose (two legged threat), I'd go with the .357.

Not all that likely that your SHTF scenerio will unfold...so why not go the less expensive route - Factory .44mag loads ain't cheap.

November 4, 2004, 09:42 PM
There is one other option. You could get a Model 92 in .454 Casull. You would then have your choice of an amazing variety of .45 Colt revolvers. All that ammo would work just fine through the 92. But you could get a few .454's on your belt for when you REALLY needed some punch.

I've been seriously thinking about this myself. I keep seeing them up for sale on gunbroker.



November 7, 2004, 11:51 AM
You could get a Model 92 in .454 Casull. I have seriously considered this myself .... maybe time to go look over on GB.

November 8, 2004, 08:00 PM

I've been considering the same thing recently. I am a confirmed 357 fan and would like a long gun for hunting and for defense when traveling and the revolver might be illegal. The ballistics of the 357 out of a rifle go somewhere in the area of 1200 foot pounds energy at the muzzle with enough remaining at 100 yards for deer. I was thinking of an aperture sight instead of glass for speed. The "ranger" model from Win. is only 33 inches long and @5.75 lbs. Can't beat for a trunk/cab gun.
As others have mentioned, 38/357 ammo can't be beat economically speaking. Since I have a 357, I would opt for the 30-30 instead if I wanted to upgrade instead of the 44. Though if I owned a 44 I would go with it for both. I believe if you check gunblast there is also an article on on the 357 Winchester model 94.


November 9, 2004, 12:03 AM
I believe if you check gunblast there is also an article on on the 357 Winchester model 94.

thanks for the tip. that's the kind of info i was looking for...effective range, campared to 30/30 etc.

seems like a 16" bbl'd model '94 in .357 would be a decent defensive carbine out to 125 yds or so.


November 9, 2004, 12:23 AM
Personally I prefer the longer barrel 18 or 20". You get another shot or two and they "Swing" and mount better for me. The 16"s are a bit butt heavy for me.

Myself if I was going to have an all-around combo, I'd go .45 Colt, probably a Ruger Redhawk or S&W 625, and a Marlin 1894. (Marlins come in stainless now by the way too).

The .45 Colt in the 200-240g rounds has performance at the low end of a .45 ACP, at the high end of a .44 Magnum. The lower end rounds will certainly handle any two legged threat (remember, the .45 Colt was the ORIGINAL Army issue .45 round), and with the higher end rounds, the .45 Colt will handle deer, black bear, etc up to 100 yards or so with good shot placement.

For your purposes (and not being a reloader) the .357 Magnum pair would certainly do the trick. Me, a Marlin 1894 and a S&W 686 or Ruger GP100 would be my pick.

I don't reload either, but the combo wouldn't be my "5,000 rounds this weekend" plinking pair either. Occasional shooters, carry-a-lot guns, and solid working pieces. The .357s can be shot more economically, which is more practice, which is always good!

Look into a Williams or XSS Ghost ring/reciever aperature sight for the levergun. Very accurate, fast and easier than buckhorn rears.
I think there's even an add-on M1913 rail for leverguns now, so you can mount a SureFire light and have a night capable gun.

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