Thinking of a new .45 rifle (lever). Any suggestions?


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PlayboyPenguin
February 10, 2006, 04:37 AM
I am looking to purchase a new .45 lever action rifle. I really do not want to spend too much over $500. Are there any good canidates out there that anyone would suggest?

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Lou629
February 10, 2006, 09:50 AM
Playboy,
i recently went thru a bunch of levers while looking and can recommend two for you. While i was disappointed with the winchester and marlin offerings in terms of price and 'feel', i did find a couple that worked reasonably well.

If you want to keep it around $400.00, check out the Rossi, Puma-92...i recently got myself one of these in .357/.38spl., and it's one of the smoothest actions i've handled in a lever gun currently out there. It's not a "work of art" and will never be a collectors trophy case gun in terms of finish and beauty, but this is a gun that's going to get used some too, and for my money it was well worth it compared to the prices of some of the others out there. I was able to get mine new for $369.00 in Pennsylvania just last year.
Now, if you want to increase the budget by nearly 100% go with the henry big boy. They're a lot more expensive, but the barrels of these are octagon, so there's the major reason why. However, the henry offers absolutely the smoothest lever action on the planet IMHO, which could make all the difference to you as well. The only drawback to the henry from my perspective is the way you have to load it...dropping those center fire cartridges down the tube like they were .22's or something...sheesh!...but that's just the way the original henrys were loaded
(The Puma has the receiver side loading door like the original winchesters did)

Tom C.
February 10, 2006, 10:09 AM
My .45 Colt lever rifle is a Marlin Cowboy. All these rifles need an internal smoothing. After I smoothed mine, it is very slick and shoots great.

Camp David
February 10, 2006, 10:12 AM
Since Winchester is no more, I would hunt around for a Winchester Trapper Model in 45LC... That way you can carry one round for both your pistol and your rifle (if you have a 45LC handgun)... it would also be a Commemorative to Winchester's passing... I believe several gun stores still have the Trapper model lever actions...

Brian Williams
February 10, 2006, 10:16 AM
I really like Marlin 1894s but they are hard to find in 45 cal bare bones shooter style like my 1894C in 357. Marlin makes a few octagon barreled for cowboy types, but they can be heavy which helps in shooting heavy loads.

I would like to some day get a 45Colt Rifle or Carbine
2 choices come to mind after a Marlin, a new Taurus Thunderbolt pump gun
http://www.taurususa.com/products/product-details.cfm?model=C45BR&category=Rifle
http://www.taurususa.com/imagesMain/H_C45BR.jpg
or a 1892 Win clone setup by Steve.
http://stevesgunz.com/SalesSG.htm
http://stevesgunz.com/imgs/emf.jpg

Gunsnrovers
February 10, 2006, 11:18 AM
I love my Marlin 1894 in .45Colt.

Picked it up from Big 5 (a chain store down here) a few years back. They used to advertise them for $299 every so often. Now the deal is $339 which is still good.

kentucky_smith
February 10, 2006, 11:22 AM
Rossi 92

happy old sailor
February 10, 2006, 11:31 AM
i have a Rossi Puma in .44 mag. it functions flawlessly with all loads, is reasonably accurate, reasonably smooth shucking, and kicks like a mule with my warmer handloads.

i wanted a .357 and told my gun monger that i did not want to order one, but, if he got one in to let me know. he called a month or so later and i went down to his store. i handled it and it was an alright feeling rifle. i had heard a rumor so told him if it would shuck .357 HPs, he had a deal.

he turned to his ammo shelf and got a box. we tried it and it was a nogo. tried two more brands with different noses on them. still nogo. they hung up trying to enter the chamber. so, he got a box of ,38s with round noses. they loaded as advertised, but, i did not want to shoot this type cartridge in my rifle so left in disgust.

this is not to say all the Pumas are junky. my .44 is a dandy that i enjoy shooting.

i recommend trying before buying even if it is in the backroom of the store.
i figure if it loads, it will shoot.

this is from my personal experience. i have no idea of the Puma track record.
it is a good alternative to the higher priced units. i still want a ,357 (that works) and will buy one if i run across it.

Father Knows Best
February 10, 2006, 11:38 AM
Since Winchester is no more, I would hunt around for a Winchester Trapper Model in 45LC... That way you can carry one round for both your pistol and your rifle (if you have a 45LC handgun)... it would also be a Commemorative to Winchester's passing... I believe several gun stores still have the Trapper model lever actions...

Yech. The Winchester 94 is fine rifle when chambered for cartridges it was designed for (30-30, for instance), but is a poor choice for pistol length cartridges like the .45 Colt. Get a Marlin or a Rossi 92.

MCgunner
February 10, 2006, 12:39 PM
I've got a Rossi 92 in .357 I've had for years. It had one problem that has nothing to do with feeding. It feeds and ejects anything. But, some hot loads the front of the case would stick in the chamber while the rear of the case came out!:what: Finally figured out it was only happening (did it several times) with nickeled brass. The stuff is brittle and I guess the chamber is a little large and the brass expands a bit into it. If I shoot new brass cases, I haven't the problem.

I scratched the chamber a bit getting that last case half out. :mad: Now, with hot loads, it extracts a little stiff, but extracts. Still shoots well, but I don't put no nickeled hot loads in it anymore. The action is smooth, the gun is accurate and easy to shoot. I've shot one deer with it at about 80 yards. Handy little knock around gun outdoors, very light and easy to carry on a sling. I like it a lot.

One other problem the gun had when I bought it was there was no way I could regulate the rear sight low enough to get it to shoot to POA. So, since it's dove tailed into the barrel, I had a ghost ring aperture off an old .22 I stuck on it and it's really cool now! That sight has click elevation adjustments on it and I can set it for either my .357 load or .38 special load just by turning the knob to the proper elevation setting. I have a light .38 load I like a lot for small game and my 158 grain .357 SWC load is a proven deer gitter.

I was under the impression that the Rossis were out of production? If not, they're a nice gun, but I think you'd be just as good off with a Marlin and you can mount a scope on the Marlin if you ever get the urge. I don't particularly like scopes on lever guns, but my eyes ain't gettin' no better, bifocals now. I may have to resort to such someday.:banghead:

dtalley
February 10, 2006, 01:10 PM
I bought a Puma '92 about 4 months ago in .45LC and love it. I have run about 1000 rounds through it and it gets smoother every time I shoot it. It has the funky safety on the top but I have been told that a gunsmith can remove that and plug the hole without much trouble.

I have shot factory and my reloads through it and have not a problem yet.

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