Why a lever action rifle in pistol caliber?


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Shrinkmd
August 22, 2006, 03:13 PM
I've been reading a bunch of the posts here, but I'm still a little lost on what niche they fill (besides for history, cowboy reenacting, etc) For cheap plinking a milsurp is cheaper and more powerful, the sharing between revolver and rifle is nice. They seem like 100 yd open sight guns. I guess it is cheaper to reload for 38/357 or even 44 compared to bigger rifles. To keep your reloading setup simpler?

Of course, they look cool, so I'm getting interested, but I'm curious to hear people's "reason for ownership" stories.

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News Shooter
August 22, 2006, 03:17 PM
Big demand these days from Cowboy Action shooters. We like having the same calibre for pistol and rifle and it simplifies reloading.

Nathanael_Greene
August 22, 2006, 03:27 PM
I have mine 'cause I think they're cool.

Stickjockey
August 22, 2006, 03:30 PM
1. Lower recoil, handy for teaching new guys/gals.

2. Ammo compatibility between rifle and handgun.

dasmi
August 22, 2006, 03:35 PM
Fun.

Dr.Rob
August 22, 2006, 03:39 PM
I never wanted one until I shot a .44 Mag Marlin lever gun. Fun sums it up nicely. You can still hunt with it too.

Fosbery
August 22, 2006, 03:51 PM
Lower recoil than just about anything in man-killing calibers and no nasty muzzle blast. Faster than bolt actions, more accurate than a shotgun, more powerful than a pistol (due to the lnoger barrel length, greater sight radius and because it's fired from the shoulder). Good for hunting, self defence, cowboy action shooting and 'gallery rifle'.

B.D. Turner
August 22, 2006, 03:55 PM
I have always loved lever action rifles. A couple of years ago I bought a new Marlin 1894 in .44 Magnum and love it. It holds 11 rounds and is the most handy rifle I have ever owned. The 1894 can fire cast lead bulets, .44 specials, and .44 magnums. I can carry it camping, out plinking and during deer and black bear season it works so well for me that I cannot ever think of wanting to be without it. I do want to add a pistol as a companion and the Taurus Tracker in .44 magnum or a Ruger Blackhawk .44 would do just fine.

Cosmoline
August 22, 2006, 04:07 PM
For cheap plinking a milsurp is cheaper and more powerful

Most milsurps also rely on FMJ rounds, and SP's are very expensive or a handloading affair. That limits their practical use. A levergun in .357 or .44 with HP or SP rounds, OTOH, is good for anything up to and including moose and black bear. The velocity increase in the longer barrel is substantial, and can be increased further using slower burning powder. Accuracy is also improved. For hunting, home defense, plinking, etc. the lever action firing a potent handgun cartridge is a very useful tool. Also, if we're comparing them to mil surps they run many pounds lighter and handier.

Father Knows Best
August 22, 2006, 04:29 PM
Pistol caliber lever guns are the original assault rifles. The first of the breed was the Henry repeating rifle of 1860. Its cartridge was the .44 Henry Flat rimfire. While the .44 Henry was not a "pistol" cartridge in the sense that it was originally chambered for a handgun, it was a large caliber, short round with ballistics that would today place it squarely in the handgun category. The Henry rifle held 14 rounds, and its high rate of fire made it greatly feared. It was known to the rebs as "that damn Yankee rifle" and "the rifle you could load on Sunday and shoot all week."

So let's see: lower power cartridge than a rifle, with shorter range, but large capacity and high rate of fire. Yup -- the original assault rifle.

The "Improved Henry" (aka the Yellowboy or the 1866 Winchester) came next, with improvements such as a loading gate on the receiver and a wood forearm. It was followed in 1873 by the rifle that "won the west" -- the Winchester 1873. The 1873 Winchester used a new centerfire cartridge that is now known as the 44-40. Again, while it is technically a rifle cartridge in the sense that it was designed for a rifle, it is a short, fat cartridge that throws a large caliber, heavy bullet at subsonic velocities, i.e., a pistol cartridge. The original 44-40 closely matches the later .44 special cartridge in many respects. While originally offered in rifles, revolver makes (including Colt and Remington) soon offered six shooters chambered in 44-40.

So why were the first lever action rifles designed for pistol cartridges? In part, it was because the original action designs could not handle the high pressures of larger and more powerful cartridges. Once stronger actions came along, however, pistol caliber lever rifles remained popular for the same reasons they were first popular -- they are compact, lightweight, fast handling, and have large magazine capacities.

Rifle cartridges tend to be much longer than pistol cartridges. That's a problem with tubular magazines, because cartridge length determines the magazine capacity. A rifle with a 19-20" barrel that will easily hold 10 or more pistol cartridges in its magazine will hold just five or six rifle cartridges.

The longer cartridges also require longer bolts, longer carriers/lifters, and lengthened receivers to hold that hardware. The receiver, barrel, bolt and locking lugs on rifles intended for use with rifle cartridges also have to be beefier to handle the higher pressures of rifle cartridges. That all adds up. By the time you take the sleek, lightweight, fast handling, high capacity pistol caliber lever rifle and modify it to handle rifle cartridges, you end up with a heavier, slower handling, clunkier, and lower capacity rifle. :barf:

Finally, rifle cartridges typically depend on high velocity to deliver energy, whereas pistol cartridges rely less on velocity but make up for it through heavy bullets that travel more slowly. The import of this distinction is that rifle cartridges need bullets that are aerodynamically efficient in order to maintain their energy. The force required to overcome aerodynamic drag increases with the square of the velocity, so it takes four times as much force to move an identical bullet twice as fast. Thus, rifle bullets, which have to move fast to deliver energy to the target, need to have efficient shapes like spitzers. Unfortunately, you can't use pointed bullets in tubular magazines, because the point of the bullet may set off the cartridge in front of it under recoil. Since lever action rifles have typically relied on tubular magazines, that severely limits bullet choice. That's not a handicap for pistol calibers, but it is for rifle calibers. Some manufacturers have built rotary or box magazine lever actions (Winchester 1895 and Savage 99, for example) to allow the use of pointed bullets, but they tend to lose lots of the elegance and handling properties that otherwise make lever actions so great.

More recently, Hornady has introduced the LeveRevolution line of rifle cartridges designed for tubular magazines. They use soft polymer pointed tips so they are safe in tubular mags while improving ballistics. You still have the issue of long cartridges, however, which give up a lot of mag capacity to pistol cartridges, and require heavier actions.

So there you have it. Pistol caliber lever guns exist because they are lightweight, fast handling, reliable, and can deliver a lot of ammo on target quickly and reliably. Yes, they are short range guns due to the inherent ballistic properties of the cartridges, but by "short range" I mean 250 yards and under. In the right hands, .44 Magnum lever guns are very effective on deer sized game to that distance, and perfectly capable of doing the job.

Jackal
August 22, 2006, 04:32 PM
I personally REALLY like having a a levergun in .44mag to go with my S&W 629.

MacPelto
August 22, 2006, 05:00 PM
Fun, with more oomph than a 22.

Mac

gopguy
August 22, 2006, 05:33 PM
Actually they make a lot of sense on several levels. In heavily populated states they make ideal short range deer guns. Here in Ohio there are some of us pushing (thus far without success) to get the state to allow us the use of pistol caliber carbines in deer season. Right now we have a blackpowder gun season and you can also use a slug gun. We also have a handgun season. The longer sight radius on a .44 magnum lever gun would make for a more humane kill than popping a deer with a 5 inch barrel .44 mag...if you see my point. So far we are making no progress in getting the state to go along with this....which is unfortunate as we are getting overpopulated with deer in my area. Every member of my family that drives has hit one of the damned things in the past 5 years, except me, and I have had my close calls.

They also are good for home defense.

dracphelan
August 22, 2006, 06:09 PM
As others have said:
1. They are just plain fun.
2. They make great hunting rifles, especially in the woods.
3. Caliber compatibility with sidearms.

Langenator
August 22, 2006, 06:17 PM
Don't forget, many indoor ranges allow the use of pistol caliber carbines, but very few allow centerfire rifle rounds to be used.

So they can be all-weather fun, too.

Carl N. Brown
August 22, 2006, 06:35 PM
Simplified ammo supply is one big plus.

Pistol caliber carbines are usually smaller and lighter
than full caliber rifles.

Ammo effective from a pistol is usually more effective
from a carbine.

.357 158gr bullet from a carbine makes about 1900fps or
~500fps more than the same round in a pistol.
.357 from my carbine puts craters in a 3/8" plate swinging target
(I stopped shooting my swinging target with the carbine
when I saw that!)

Velocity gain in other pistol caliber carbines is not always
spectacular. 9mm 147gr subsonic lose velocity in a longer
barrel (no surprise if you think about it), regular 9mm 115gr
gains ~200fps, .45 ACO gains 50 to 100 fps.

ChristopherG
August 22, 2006, 06:39 PM
Hmm. Father DOES Know Best. That was an excellent exposition.

9 or 10 shots in a modern magnum handgun cartridge carbine, as fast as an experienced hand can shuck and chuck them, is a pretty fearsome thought.

Father Knows Best
August 22, 2006, 06:46 PM
9 or 10 shots in a modern magnum handgun cartridge carbine, as fast as an experienced hand can shuck and chuck them, is a pretty fearsome thought.

Yup. The best cowboy action shooters can get off ten shots in a touch over 2 seconds. That's a cyclic rate of nearly 300 rounds per minute -- dern near subgun level. Granted, they're using slicked-up rifles with light loads to achieve those speeds, but with a little practice and a good rifle like a Marlin 1894, you can sustain an impressive rate of fire even with heavy .44 magnum hunting loads.

roscoe
August 22, 2006, 06:48 PM
They are extremely versatile, given the wide variety of ammo in .357, .44, and .45LC. The heavy loads are extremely powerful from a longer barrel. The heavy .357 gets near 30-30 levels, and the heavy .45LC matches the old .45-70 load or yore.

Considering ammo capacity, handiness, rate of fire, power, PC looks - inside 100-150 yards, they can pretty much do it all.

NailGun
August 22, 2006, 07:12 PM
The first time my wife shot my Marlin 1894C .357 Mag. she developed a grin sooo big that ...well....kind of like this :D . That was the start of it. :banghead:
Now...if one has a rifle that shoots revolver loads...than....:eek: one MUST IMMEDIATELY purchase a revolver to go with it. Score: wife +2, me -1. She is still smiling about that one. Fun FUn FUN FUNNN to shoot. Cheeeep to reload. Accurate. Death on ground squirrels and jackrabbits too. Great for home defense. I give it a "10".

alamo
August 22, 2006, 07:30 PM
Hmm. Father DOES Know Best. That was an excellent exposition.


Indeed. Very informative. I watched "Winchester '73" the other weekend for the umpteenth time. What a great movie. I will get lever rifle one of these days when some other priorities are taken care of.

Euclidean
August 22, 2006, 08:26 PM
Double the ammo capacity as a .30-30 for all intents and purposes, and at less than 100 yards I doubt any target can tell much difference between a properly chosen .44 Magnum load and thutty thutty.

USP45T
August 22, 2006, 10:56 PM
Fun gun, no other reason for me. Just put a Marlin 1894c on layaway.

ugaarguy
August 22, 2006, 11:13 PM
I'm curious to hear people's "reason for ownership" stories.

Well one of my friends was buying a Winchester 1895 in 405 Win, and a Winchester 1886 in 45-70; both recent last of the currently made Winchesters. He needed room in the gunsafe and was willing to part with his 94AE in 45LC, the dies for it, a few hundred rounds of a mix of once and unfired starline brass, and a couple hundred rounds of new ammo; all for a great price. So I bought it. I then found out that it's a great handling rifle, it's fun to shoot, and recoil is negligible. Add the fact that this little 16" carbine holds 8 rounds of 45 Colt in the tube and you've got a great little hunting and defensive rifle. 146 years after the original Henry a "pistol caliber" lever gun is still very tough to argue against for many reasons.

Shrinkmd
August 23, 2006, 12:02 AM
Sounds like people really enjoy having one! I guess if you're a revolver person it seems like a natural companion at the 100 yd range.

What kind of groups does the .357 marlin do out of the box? What are the triggers like? Aftermarket mods?

Also, someone mentioned needing to clean from the front. I've become more careful than when I started out, and I know you can mess up a bore cleaning from the breech as well, but I'm still less fond of putting that cleaning rod down the muzzle.

Also, what do the new ones go for, nowadays?

Jim March
August 23, 2006, 03:55 AM
One such will be my next gun, in 357. Probably Marlin, maybe a Rossi 92.

Here's one reason - note velocities from an 18.5" tube, with power levels topping the 30-30:

http://www.buffalobore.com/ammunition/default.htm#357

Heavy .357 Magnum

Item No. 19A20 180 gr. LFN-GC (1400 fps ME 783 ft. lbs.) Per Box of 20
$21.99
Order Now
Item No. 19B20 170 gr. JHC (1400 fps ME 740 ft. lbs.) Per Box of 20
$21.99
Order Now
Item No. 19C20 158 gr. JHC (1475 fps ME 763 ft. lbs.) Per Box of 20
$21.99
Order Now
Item No. 19D20 125 gr. JHC (1700 fps ME 802 ft lbs.) Per Box of 20
$21.99
Order Now

About Buffalo Bore 357 Mag. ammo

Our 357 mag. ammo adds more power than ever before to the 357 mag. This ammo is safe to shoot in ANY all steel 357 revolveróthis includes J frames. This ammo is no harder on your gun than any other normal 357 ammo. Please donít phone us and ask if this ammo is safe in your gun. It is, providing your gun is in safe condition for use with any normal 357 ammo.

We donít recommend this ammo to be fired in super light alloy revolvers as bullets may jump crimp under recoil, but the ammo itself wont hurt these super light weight revolvers. These revolvers are simply so light that the recoil is severe enough to cause crimp jump.

The below velocities are offered so that you can see what guns/barrel lengths give what velocities with this new 357 mag. ammo. Youíll notice that new S&W revolvers with short barrels are often shooting faster than older S&W revolvers with longer barrels. The new S&W revolvers are very good and are made with equipment that makes them more consistent and faster than the S&W revolvers of yesteryear.

Make special note of the Marlin 1894, 18.5 inch barrel velocities. Item 19C/20, supercedes 30-30 energies!!!

1. 3 inch S&W J frame

a. Item 19A/20-180gr. Hard cast LFN = 1302 fps
b. Item 19B/20-170gr. JHC (jacketed hollow cavity) = 1299 fps
c. Item 19C/20-158gr. Speer Uni Core = 1398 fps
d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Speer Uni Core = 1476 fps

2. 4 inch S&W L frame Mt. Gun

a. Item 19A/20-180gr. Hard cast LFN = 1375 fps
b. Item 19B/20-170gr JHC = 1411 fps
c. Item 19C/20-158gr. Speer Uni Core = 1485 fps
d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Speer Uni Core = 1603 fps

3. 5 inch S&W model 27

a. Item 19A/20-180gr. Hard Cast =1398 fps
b. Item 19B/20-170gr. JHC = 1380 fps
c. Item 19C/20-158gr. Speer Uni Core = 1457 fps
d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Speer Uni Core = 1543 fps

4. 6 inch Ruger GP 100

a. Item 19D/20-125gr. Speer Uni Core = 1707 fps

5. 18.5 inch Marlin 1894

a. Item 19A/20-180gr. Hard Cast = 1851 fps
b. Item 19B/20-170gr. JHC = 1860 fps
c. Item 19C/20-158gr. Speer Uni Core = 2153 fps---- Can you believe this?!!!
d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Speer Uni Core = 2298 fps---- Or this?!!!

----------

Note by Jim: it's rumored that Speer will soon cease delivery of slugs to small performance ammo houses such as BuffBore, DoubleTap and the like. If so expect BuffBore to swap to the Hornady XTP 158gr on item "C" above, which would probably be just fine and might slightly improve accuracy.

Ranger J
August 23, 2006, 10:19 AM
They allow me to tell my wife that I actually bought that 1894C in 38/357 for her to shoot. I really think she needs one in .44 mag also.:rolleyes: RJ

dracphelan
August 23, 2006, 10:23 AM
Also, someone mentioned needing to clean from the front. I've become more careful than when I started out, and I know you can mess up a bore cleaning from the breech as well, but I'm still less fond of putting that cleaning rod down the muzzle.

Actually, there are 2 ways you clean the Marlin from the bore:
1. Use a bore snake for light cleaning.
2. Remove the bolt. It isn't that hard to do, and you will need to do it occasionally so you can clean the entire action.

Father Knows Best
August 23, 2006, 10:57 AM
Well one of my friends was buying a Winchester 1895 in 405 Win, and a Winchester 1886 in 45-70; both recent last of the currently made Winchesters.

I've got bad news for your friend. The recent "limited edition" Winchester1895 and 1886 models were NOT made by USRAC in New Haven; they were made by Miroku in Japan. Miroku made all of the recent 1892 models, also. They just licensed the Winchester brand name. The recent shutdown of USRAC and the New Haven plant only affects the models being built there, namely the models 70 and 94 (and 9422, which ended production a little earlier), and perhaps the 1300. No other "Winchester" products have been made there in a LONG time.

Miroku has a long history of making Winchester replicas. Many of the them, like the Browning 92, bore the Browning brand name. They are generally considered to be high quality. The recent announcement that Browning now has the rights to make Winchester brand firearms pretty much guarantees that nothing in changing on that score -- Miroku will continue to manufacture Winchester replicas in Japan and stamp the Winchester name on them, and Browning will distribute them.

Father Knows Best
August 23, 2006, 11:05 AM
What kind of groups does the .357 marlin do out of the box? What are the triggers like? Aftermarket mods?

Also, someone mentioned needing to clean from the front. I've become more careful than when I started out, and I know you can mess up a bore cleaning from the breech as well, but I'm still less fond of putting that cleaning rod down the muzzle.

Also, what do the new ones go for, nowadays?

The Marlin 1894 in .357 is quite an accurate rifle. With good ammo, groups of 2-3 inches can be expected, and good shooters with well prepped rifles and good handloads may well do better. That's plenty accurate for a rifle you won't be shooting at more than 200 yards.

Triggers are generally very good. I've never heard of anyone needing a trigger job on a pistol caliber lever rifle, but they aren't generally used for bench rest competition so very light, precise triggers are not needed. The ones I've felt have been quite crisp and more than adequate for a field gun -- certainly better than a lot of the semi-auto triggers I've tried, lately.

I don't recommend any "aftermarket mods" on these rifles, other than perhaps different iron sights (I really dislike optics on lever guns) and an action job. An action job will smooth out the cycling, and may improve feeding if you find that you're having trouble (not common, and most feeding problems seem to be related to cartridges that are much shorter or longer than normal). On the Marlins, some people advocate use of a one piece firing pin, but it really isn't necessary.

Some people replace the iron sights. For cowboy shooting, I like a Marbles gold bead front, and a simple flat blade rear (my favorite rear is the Williams Dovetail Open Sight -- WDOS -- with interchangeable blades). That setup allows for very fast target acquisition, but isn't the best for long range shooting. For long range, I prefer a simple blade front sight (the bead covers too much target and doesn't offer a precise, repeatable hold point). The Marlin's stock rear sight is adjustable and is just fine. Some people like to use flip-up tang-mounted peep sights, such as the Lyman No. 2. They give a longer sight radius than the barrel mounted sights, but I find them fussy and unnecessary, so I stick with a simple barrel mounted open rear sight. Receiver-mounted peep sights were popular at one time, too, and you still see them on used guns.

Unlike Winchesters, you can clean Marlins from the breech with a rod, but it requires some disassembly. I don't think it's worth the effort. I use a bore snake to clean from the breech end with the bolt open, and use a guide on the muzzle for the rare occasions I feel the need to run a rod bown the bore.

halvey
August 23, 2006, 11:10 AM
I'd look at the Marlins. Lots of gun for your money.

JTW Jr.
August 23, 2006, 11:14 AM
love them lever guns , and yes you can have them modded and hot rodded.
I dig the "Big Lewie " & " Big Lewie Jr " from Yost-Bonitz . :D

http://www.yost-bonitz.com/mediumfoto/photos/biglewiejr/marlin5.jpg

ChristopherG
August 23, 2006, 11:22 AM
My Marlin 1894c (.357) has had three mods, all of which improved its handling and/or shootability. In order of importance, they are:

1--Receiver-mounted aperature rear sight. The Williams will mount into the tapped receiver holes with no smithing or fussing. This improves your sight radius tremendously, and allows you to really learn how accurate the gun can be. If you like, replace the front bead with a Williams Hi-viz fiber-optic, too. This makes for a fast and natural combo. Optics (scopes & red-dots) just can't be made to work as naturally on a levergun IME; been there, bought the Leupold scout scope, ended up buying a different gun to put under it ;) . Using the aperature sight and a good handload, I've gotten repeatable 5-shot groups closer to 1" than 2"'s.

2--Wild West Trigger. This is a drop-in assembly that will make the trigger on your Marlin one of the best triggers you've got. Not cheap, but really good.

3--Replacement mainspring. The hammerspring on the stock gun is way overpowered. By using one of the springs made for cowboy competition shooters, you can slick up the entire action of the gun considerably. Not all that important, but a nice difference, and a cheap mod. Hasn't made any difference in the 100% reliability of my Marlin, either.

redneck2
August 23, 2006, 11:27 AM
I think that we've gotten to the point where, unless the case is the size of a milk jug and holds less than 1/2# of powder, it will simply bounce off anything you shoot. After all, unless it's a short-fat-long Ultra Wondermagnumloudenboomer, it's pretty much worthless. Just read the gun rags.

My friend has a .454 and was shooting some of my "Ruger Only" 45 LC reloads with 255 Keith Style LSWC's at an old cast iron bath tub at 75 yards. Busted a hole the size of a golf ball thru 4 layers of cast at that range. To say he was impressed was an understatement.

At Sixgunner.com there used to be articles about taking Cape Buffalo with a 45 LC. One shot IIRC.

Ben Shepherd
August 23, 2006, 11:40 AM
'Cause a 300 gr 44 caliber (.431 for you "technical" types) slug at 1800 fps is gonna go THROUGH dang near anything I point it at, thats why.:D

Long range? No.

But under 150 yards, anything under 2000lbs is in trouble.

Father Knows Best
August 23, 2006, 11:45 AM
'Cause a 300 gr 44 caliber (.431 for you "technical" types) slug at 1800 fps is gonna go THROUGH dang near anything I point it at, thats why.

Ouch! :what:

Seriously, those 300 grain 44 mag loads are awesome. I think they could do a number on an engine block.

The one thing I wonder about is that they tend to be quite long, and some lever actions can be sensitive to cartridge OAL. What rifle are you using? Any trouble feeding those longer 44 mags?

MikeS.
August 23, 2006, 12:06 PM
I like the lever pistol guns because they are fun and inexpensive to shoot.

I also like them for home defense, they are fairly easy to conceal, they are easy to point and shoot and when a bad guy sees a rifle they think; Oh Shoot! Dang nab it...

MikeS.

Ben Shepherd
August 23, 2006, 01:52 PM
They are loaded to standard length. So they feed fine. When they get up there like that there is a little recoil.

Then we get into 444 marlin. That's where it gets fun.

Best description? Dump truck through a chicken coop.:evil:

P. Plainsman
August 23, 2006, 08:12 PM
I recommend two very wise aftermarket accessories for your Marlin 1894 lever carbine, mentioned above:

1--Receiver-mounted aperture rear sight. [...]

2--Wild West [Guns] Trigger. This is a drop-in assembly that will make the trigger on your Marlin one of the best triggers you've got. Not cheap, but really good.
Here's #2.

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=259762

ugaarguy
August 23, 2006, 08:55 PM
I've got bad news for your friend. The recent "limited edition" Winchester1895 and 1886 models were NOT made by USRAC in New Haven; they were made by Miroku in Japan.

Ohh yeah, he knew that going in. Until the recent announcement that Olin renewed the license with Browning we weren't sure that there would be any other Winchesters. By the way that '95 in 405 is an octagonal bbl takedown - gorgeous gun.

Bluehawk
August 24, 2006, 03:17 AM
Having attended End of Trail cowboy matches several times before they moved it from California I have to say I have never seen any shooter cycle 10 rounds through a lever action in 2 seconds with any pistol caliber!
Having said that, I love my Marlins...I own three of them...45-70...30-30...and .357 magnum. My .1894CS .357 Magnum is my fav jackrabbit gun and they don't stand a chance out to 125 yards with the WW 125 grain hollowpoints I load for it! (it's scoped...my eyes are getting old)
Accuracy? At 50 yards perfect cloverleafs 1/2 inch or better...100 yards usually 1.5 inches or less. For jacks you don't need any better than that!

Logan5
August 24, 2006, 03:38 AM
I have a love-hate relationship with more recent Marlin and Winchester pistol caliber lever guns. I had a '94 AE trapper in .45 and a Marlin 1894 Cowboy limited in .44 mag, and I sold them.
Why? Well... I have a 1914 mfg Winchester '92, and stone age Marlin of a similar model in .38-40, and I found that the new ones compare unfavorably to the older. This was pretty much a matter of my personal preference, and of antique tang sighted deer rifles selling cheap in my area. I have a lot of Winchesters and a lot of Marlins, and my personal preference is old over new.
The new Winchester and Marlin both handled like a dream. I don't see anyone mentioning handling characteristics, but this is a big draw. They are light in the hand and qick to the shoulder, and surprisingly good with the stock sights, which leave a lot to be desired IMHO.
All in all, I'm just quibbling over minor details in design, and the pistol caliber lever guns are just such a clever, handy, and useful design that they'll probably never lack for a market.

Bluehawk
August 24, 2006, 03:53 AM
The new Winchester and Marlin both handled like a dream. I don't see anyone mentioning handling characteristics, but this is a big draw. They are light in the hand and qick to the shoulder, and surprisingly good with the stock sights, which leave a lot to be desired IMHO.

Logan that doesn't make any sense...you're saying the new rifles handle nicely are light and quick and have good sights and that leaves a lot to be desired...what more could you want in a rifle???
Am I missing something here?

lawson
August 24, 2006, 04:15 AM
my 1894c is my favorite grab-n-go rifle. it really does it all.

when i was young and went to buy my first deer rifle, i really wanted a levergun, so i bought a Marlin 336. i still hunt with it, but i kinda wish i had bought the 1894c when i only had one rifle, i could have had a lot more fun with it, as .30-30 is pretty costly.

my 1894 wears a 2x red dot scope. not very traditional, but it complements the gun very well. i can use it for everything from plinking, hunting, home defense, camp/predator defense. with the right loads i can get 3-4" groups at 100 yards, which is about as good as i get with my .30-30.

where i hunt, most shots are around 30-40 yards, so range isn't an issue. this gun will do it. plus, i have two .357 revolvers, so it makes ammo buying convenient. it has the added bonus of weighing 6 lbs, and it's short and handy.

if i could own only one rifle (and thank god i don't have to do that) it would be this one.

dragongoddess
August 24, 2006, 04:19 AM
Still learning. So what does this term mean: "crimp jump"

ugaarguy
August 24, 2006, 04:47 AM
So what does this term mean: "crimp jump"
As you may or may not know brass case is crimped around the bullet to hold it in place. Sometimes with the rounds in the magazine, and revolver cylinders too, under the forces of recoil the bullet slips out of, or "jumps" the crimp.

Father Knows Best
August 24, 2006, 10:18 AM
Having attended End of Trail cowboy matches several times before they moved it from California I have to say I have never seen any shooter cycle 10 rounds through a lever action in 2 seconds with any pistol caliber!

You won't see those speeds in a match, because the shooter is typically engaging multiple targets and that slows them down a little. On a single dump target, however, the top shooters easily do 10 shots in under three seconds. The world record currently stands at 2.04 seconds for 10 shots from a pistol caliber lever rifle on a single steel target. Videos of that record and others are available here: http://www.jspublications.net/records/records.html

Of course, those are also very light loads, in all likelihood (probably 125 grain or lighter .38 slugs at around 750 fps). Still, I shoot full house 44-40 (205 grain slugs at over 1,200 fps) out of my 1866 short rifle in cowboy competition, and on a dump target I will typically have three or four spent cases airborne at a time. The point is that lever rifles can be VERY fast in skilled hands -- MUCH faster than bolt actions.

Father Knows Best
August 24, 2006, 10:22 AM
Logan that doesn't make any sense...you're saying the new rifles handle nicely are light and quick and have good sights and that leaves a lot to be desired...what more could you want in a rifle???
Am I missing something here?

He said that the rifle is surprisingly good (accurate?) with the stock sights, despite the fact that the sights "leave a lot to be desired." He wasn't suggesting that the rifle leaves a lot to be desired.

sterling180
August 24, 2006, 10:33 AM
Conveniant,for countries and states,where there are handgun restrictions and total bans in place.

Radjxf
August 24, 2006, 12:47 PM
I keep hearing how the 30-30 is so costly? Maybe compared to 38 specials, but when comparing the 30-30 to 44 mag, at least where I am, the 44 mag is always more expensive to shoot. Maybe you guys are alluding to the option to shoot 38spec or 44 spec unlike the 30-30?

wanderinwalker
August 24, 2006, 09:02 PM
Why do I have a pistol-caliber carbine lever-gun? Because it's fun!

My little Marlin 1894PG .44 Magnum handles like a dream, shoots fast, hits hard enough for anything up to moose (IMO, yours may vary ;) ) and is reasonably accurate. It's also reliable and holds many rounds in something I can easily sneak by the "PC Police."

Honestly, I think getting into the magnum revolver cartridges stacks the deck differently. I have a hard time understanding why people who feel a .357 is fine for deer out of a 6" handgun think a rifle of that caliber is inadequate. Or why somebody would gladly go after black bear with a .44 pistol wouldn't do the same with a Marlin. :confused:

My AR-15 only does a few of the above and definitely lacks horsepower in comparison. Compare: 250gr .43" slug @ 1800 fps or a 55gr .224" slug @ 3200 fps. Which do you want when it comes time to really smack something big and ugly? :scrutiny:

And I can't forget it is easy and cheap to reload. It costs me about $11 per 100 to reload and shoot the .44. Loaded to Cowboy Action specs it makes a nice practice round. I can also load 300 rounds an hour on a progressive; I've yet to find a way to load that much "rifle" ammo that cheap or fast! :cool:

Gohon
August 25, 2006, 12:09 AM
Miroku has a long history of making Winchester replicas

I've got a Dodge truck assembled in Mexico. I certainly don't consider it a replica of a Dodge. Miroku has been manufacturing guns for many generations and the guns that come out of that family owned business will equal or exceed the quality of guns from New Haven. Personally I feel it was Hollywood that really won the west with Winchesters. I suspect there were just as many Henry rifles and later on Marlins as Winchesters being used in the old west. BTW, it was the Henry that was used by union troops, not the Winchester.

1911user
August 25, 2006, 03:01 AM
They are fun, practical, and effective out to 100 yards. They are easier on the ears than a centerfire rifle (sadly, not everyone use hearing protection). They are easier to shoot effectively than a pistol of the same caliber by most people especially as the range increases. Recoil isn't much of an issue and certainly less than most rifle caliber rifles. Although not optimum given their size and weight, they fill a useful niche especially for less experienced shooters. Did I mention they are fun?

cnyankee
August 25, 2006, 04:22 AM
just got my 1894c a couple months ago and its a ot of fun to shoot..and i love having the same loads for pistol and rifle so much i just ordered the thompson encore 460 rifle...cant wait to see the increased power( as if it isnt powerful enough coming out of my handgun):evil:

Father Knows Best
August 25, 2006, 09:15 AM
I've got a Dodge truck assembled in Mexico. I certainly don't consider it a replica of a Dodge. Miroku has been manufacturing guns for many generations and the guns that come out of that family owned business will equal or exceed the quality of guns from New Haven.
Yes, but that plant in Mexico is owned by the Chrysler Corporation (now DaimlerChrysler, I guess), and staffed by employees of Chrysler. Miroku's only relationship to Winchester is that it makes guns based on Winchester designs, and sometimes is allowed to stamp the Winchester name on them if it pays for that right. For example, the Browning 92 rifles, while excellent quality, are considered copies of the Winchester 1892 -- they aren't "Winchesters."
Personally I feel it was Hollywood that really won the west with Winchesters. I suspect there were just as many Henry rifles and later on Marlins as Winchesters being used in the old west. BTW, it was the Henry that was used by union troops, not the Winchester.

You are wrong. First of all, there were indeed lots of Henrys in the old west. The Henry, however, is a Winchester. It was produced by the New Haven Repeating Arms Company, whose owner was one Oliver Winchester. It was called the Henry rifle because B. Tyler Henry, the shop foreman for Winchester, made some improvements to the original design and patents were issued in his name. Oliver Winchester didn't know yet whether the rifle would be a success, and didn't want his name on a failure, so he didn't name the company "Winchester." They were still Winchester rifles, however.

On a side note, the inventor of the Henry's repeating mechanism was none other than Smith & Wesson. They held the patents, and formed the company "Volcanic Arms" to market them. The company failed, principally because of the ammo design. Winchester bought the patent rights, and with B. Tyler Henry designed a rifle with the Volcanic action but designed for modern metallic cartridge ammunition.

In 1866, New Haven Repeating Arms introduced an improved version of the Henry rifle, called the -- "Improved Henry" (apparently, they didn't have much of a marketing department). The main difference was the introduction of a loading gate in the receiver, so you no longer had to load from the muzzle end. It also separated the barrel and mag tube into two parts for easier manufacture and eliminated the mag slot and exposed follower, so a wood forearm could be installed. It was the first of the modern pattern lever action rifles. It became commonly known as the "Yellowboy" rifle for its brass frame. As with the Henry, tens of thousands were sold, and many found their way to the western frontier. Again, while they did not bear the Winchester name on them, they were made by Oliver Winchester's company, in his factory, and bore his company's name -- New Haven Repeating Arms. They are Winchesters.

Seven years later, Winchester came out with the first rifle to actually bear his name -- the model 1873. It was just another minor improvement to the 1866, with a steel frame, removable sideplates for easier cleaning, and a new, more powerful centerfire cartridge. By this time, New Haven Repeating Arms and its products were wildly successful, and Winchester chose to put his name on his products for the first time. From 1873 forward, all of his products would bear the "Winchester" brand.

The Winchester model 1873 IS the "gun that won the west." Hundreds of thousands were sold.

In addition, the period in which the west was "won" is the time from the end of the Civil War (1865) until the Indian Wars were over (and the Indians confined to reservations) and the railroads had connected the coasts and opened up the interior. That period ended in the early to mid 1890s.

In that time frame of 1865 to 1895, the only successful and commonly available repeating rifles were indeed Winchesters. Besides the Henry, Yellowboy and 1873, there were the Winchester models of 1876 and 1886, which were large frame rifles for more powerful cartridges, and the John Browning-designed model 1892, which was intended was a replacement for the model 1873 (the 1892 was lighter, stronger and cheaper to build). All of those guns came along before Marlin entered the market in any significant way. By the time Marlin's model 1894 became common, the West had long been won.

Thus, when it came to repeating rifles in the old west, Winchester was indeed the only game in town.

Hollywood's big error was not in using Winchesters, it was in using the wrong Winchesters. John Wayne always carried a model 1892, despite the fact that most of his movies were set in the 1860s, 70s and 80s. He should have had a Henry, Yellowboy or '73 in those films, but Hollywood didn't care.

Bullet Bob
August 25, 2006, 09:25 AM
Fun, Smooooth. Good-lookin'. Accurate. Easy to carry. What more does one desire? I'm sure it doesn't have anything to do with watching all those Saturday morning Westerns in the 50's and early 60's.

Browning 92 in .357:

http://fototime.com/199D01CE4B7C30F/standard.jpg
http://fototime.com/0ADDFE3FE4CE93B/standard.jpg

115grfmj
August 25, 2006, 11:39 AM
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=24784&d=1116506991

Gohon
August 25, 2006, 11:41 AM
FBK, with all due respect your attempting to rewrite history.

"The ancestor of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company was the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company, which manufactured the Volcanic lever action rifle of Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson. It was later reorganized into the New Haven Arms Company, its largest stockholder being Oliver Winchester.

The Volcanic rifle used a form of "caseless" ammunition and had only limited success. Wesson had also designed an early form of rimfire cartridge which was subsequently perfected by Benjamin Tyler Henry. Henry also supervised the redesign of the rifle to use the new ammunition, retaining only the general form of the breech mechanism and the tubular magazine. This became the Henry rifle of 1860, which was manufactured by the New Haven Arms Company and was used in considerable numbers by certain Union army units in the civil war.


After the war Oliver Winchester continued to exercise control of the company, renaming it the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, and had the basic design of the Henry rifle completely modified and improved to become the first Winchester rifle, the Model 1866, which fired rimfire cartridges like the Henry but had an improved magazine and, for the first time, a wooden forearm. Another popular model was rolled out in 1873. The 1873 model introduced the first Winchester center fire cartridge. These rifle families are both commonly known as the "Gun That Won the West".

Take note of the operative word here...."families". The Henry came first and then the Winchester. Doesn't matter who the designer was. Truth is, the Winchester is actually a Henry, not the other way around. Winchester under control of Winchester hasn't produced a gun by the Winchester family since 1931 so by your definition all Winchester guns produced at New Haven since 1931 are mere copies. If it has Winchester stamped on it then it is a Winchester, other wise it would have another name on the gun. As painful as it is for most to admit, if you take a pre 1981 Winchester and put it side by side to a present Winchester manufactured in Japan you will immediately see the difference. The fit, finish, and quality of the work of the guns produced in Japan are far superior to the ones manufactured in New haven. Sorry but reality is reality and a Winchester is a Winchester regardless of location of assembly.

Oh BTW, Oliver Winchester to my knowledge did not outright own the New Haven plant. He simply had controlling interest along with many smaller partners. Big difference.

The Deer Hunter
August 25, 2006, 12:15 PM
you can hunt bear with a .44 magnum pistol.

so now you can hunt bear with a .44 magnum rifle

Father Knows Best
August 25, 2006, 12:55 PM
Gohon, I'm not rewriting history, but you are certainly attempting to obscure it. As I stated, the so-called "Henry" rifle was based on the patents of Messrs. Smith and Wesson, who initially tried to commercialize the design via the Volcanic company. The Volcanic company failed, largely because of the poor "rocket ball" ammunition. Oliver Winchester came along and bought the rights to the design. Whether he was the sole investor or merely the dominant one is irrelevant. There is no question that Oliver Winchester was the driving force behind organizing the New Haven Repeating Arms Company, and he controlled the company. B. Tyler Henry worked for New Haven Repeating Arms. New Haven Repeating Arms became what is now known as the Winchester company. No serious historian or collector disagrees with the idea that the Henry rifle is indeed a Winchester, due to that provenance.

It is certainly true that Oliver Winchester did not design the Henry rifle, but his company built it, and the improvements on the Smith & Wesson patent that led to the Henry rifle were made by Winchester's employees and on Winchester's nickel.

The same is true of the model 1866, aka the Yellowboy. Do you dispute that the Yellowboy is a Winchester? If so, you're the only person I know who would make the claim.

Following the 1866 came the model 1873, which again was merely a slight revision to the model 1866. The 1873, however, bore Winchester's name. Winchester himself cannot claim to have had any part in the design, however. He wasn't an arms designer. The design was largely the result of Smith & Wesson's patents, and later patented improvements by the likes of B. Tyler Henry and other Winchester employees. Does that make the model 1873 not a "Winchester", despite the fact that it was made by his company and bears his name?

Later came the Winchester models of 1886 and 1892, which were designs by John M. Browning. I suppose that makes them not Winchesters, either, and we should call them "Brownings."

Finally, note that the total production run of the "Henry" rifle (aka the Winchester model of 1860) was about 14,000 pieces. The Yellowboy (model 1866) saw total production of 170,000 pieces. By contrast, Winchester produced 720,000 copies of the model 1873 before production ended in 1919. Even if you don't believe that the "Henry" is properly considered a Winchester, it's hard to believe that there were more Henry rifles in the old west than 1866 or 1873 Winchesters, when production records show that more than 60 1866 and 1873 rifles were produced for every Henry.

The bottom line is that there were indeed Henry rifles in the old west. Historical records confirm that. Those rifles are properly considered Winchesters, though, and every firearms historian and Winchester collector agrees that the Henry rifle is the first Winchester. The rifles that "won the west", was principally the incredibly popular Winchester model 1873, which bore Winchester's name, and to a lesser extent the earlier model 1866. Neither is considered a "Henry", though both derive from the Henry and use the same toggle link action. No serious competitor to Winchester's dominance in repeating arms came along until the 1890s, and by that time the west was already won.

Father Knows Best
August 25, 2006, 01:05 PM
The fit, finish, and quality of the work of the guns produced in Japan are far superior to the ones manufactured in New haven. Sorry but reality is reality and a Winchester is a Winchester regardless of location of assembly.

I don't disagree. I find the Miroku guns to be far superior to the guns produced by USRAC. What makes something a legitimate "Winchester", however, is not easily answered. There are many people who believe that there have been no real Winchesters since Olin Corp., which owns the rights to the Winchester brand, ceased making firearms around 1980. Olin licensed the Winchester firearms brand to U.S. Repeating Arms Co., however, which continued manufacturing certain models in the old New Haven plant. Thus, lots of people consider USRAC products bearing the Winchester brand to be legitimate "Winchesters." At the same time, Olin licensed Miroku and perhaps others to make some limited runs of things like the models of 1885 (single shots), model 1886, 1892 and 1895. These are Winchesters in the sense that they bear the Winchester name, and are the same basic guns that Winchester's company built a century earlier. There are some who don't consider them to be "real Winchesters", however, because they were made overseas under license. Frankly, I don't care. Like you, I think the Miroku-built guns are far superior in quality to the USRAC-built guns, and I would be proud to own them. I have a Browning 92 that is excellent.

But I don't think anyone would call the Italian versions of the 1860, 1866, 1873 and 1876 anything other than "replicas." The same goes for the Brazilian and Italian 1892's, and the Brazilian 62's and 63's. They have nothing to do with Winchester other than being very exact copies of the originals. The companies that build them (Uberti, Rossi, Armi Sport, etc.) have no relationship with Olin or other Winchester successors, and have no right to the Winchester brand name. They aren't built in former Winchester factories, or on former Winchester tooling. They aren't Winchesters.

Father Knows Best
August 25, 2006, 01:18 PM
If any rifle has a superior claim to the Winchester model 1873 as being the "gun that won the west", it wouldn't be either the Henry or a Marlin. It would be the 1873 "trapdoor" single shot. That rifle was the standard arm of the U.S. Army during the Indian Wars, and probably played a bigger role in winning the west than any other personal weapon.

Gohon
August 25, 2006, 01:41 PM
No, I'm not trying or attempting to obscure history but I think your nostalgic sentiments are blurring your vision. Winchester was not the founder of the New Haven Plant. Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson deserve that credit as the New Haven plant was originally Volcanic Repeating Arms Company and only later after reorganizing to become the New Haven Arms Company did Winchester become the major stock holder with controlling interest. As to historians saying the Henry is a Winchester, I think not. To do that would be to put the cart before the horse. I'm not knocking or down playing the Winchester even though I consider the Marlin to be a superior design and better gun but you can't change the course of history just for nostalgia and the Winchester was spawned from the design of the Henry lever action rifle. Should we call all automobiles Fords because they emerged from the designs of Henry Ford.

Why you now want to throw in Italian replicas of the Winchester I don't know. Of course those are replicas and they carry a different name on them other than Winchester. Your originally comment was Miroku was a replica and that is just not factual.

Also your comment that DC owned the plants in Mexico......... not so. By Mexican law and their own constitution a non native born Mexican is not allowed to own land in Mexico. In effect you are actually leasing the property you call your own if you are not a native of that country and the Mexican government has the right to take the property at any time. So that doesn't hold water either. Just thought I'd correct you on that also.

Father Knows Best
August 25, 2006, 02:10 PM
We're arguing semantics. You say is it a "fact" that a Miroku is not a replica. I don't think "replica" is precisely defined, so you can't say definitely one way or another whether a Miroku is a replica. My point in discussing USRAC, Rossi, Uberti, etc., is that there are many shades of gray. A product of the New Haven plant while Oliver Winchester controlled it is clearly a "Winchester", in my view. Many others view later products produced in that plant and bearing the Winchester brand name as also being legitimate "Winchesters." That would include the products made by USRAC under license from Olin between 1981 and 2006. I think we also agree that if it was made overseas and doesn't say "Winchester" on it, then it is a replica and not a "real" Winchester. Here's a question for you, though -- suppose Olin was to license the right to use the Winchester firearms brand to Uberti, which has been making 1860, 1866 and 1873 rifles for decades. And suppose Uberti changes nothing other than to start stamping "Winchester Repeating Arms Co." onto its model 1873 rifles. Does that now make them Winchesters, or are they still replicas?

Miroku's products fall somewhere in the middle, and I think are similar to the hypothetical about Uberti licensing the Winchester name. Miroku Winchesters are made by a foreign company in a foreign plant. They follow the original Winchester design, though, and look like Winchesters. Some but not all bear the Winchester brand name. For example, there are Browning-brand 92's, and Winchester-brand 92's, both made by Miroku. The only difference is the brand name that Miroku stamped on the finished product. Are the Winchester-branded guns then considered "real" Winchesters while the Browning-branded guns are not? All I'll say is that it's open for debate, but there are certainly a lot of people out there who take the position that if it wasn't made in New Haven, and doesn't say Winchester on it, then it isn't a real Winchester. By that standard, the Miroku-built guns are not Winchesters, regardless of their quality.

And I think I have repeatedly acknowledged the importance of Smith & Wesson in designing the action that later became the Henry rifle. The question is whether the Henry is fairly considered a "Winchester", and to me the answer is that it clearly is a Winchester. The fact that others had a role in designing and manufacturing it is irrelevant. The Henry rifle was the first product of the company that ultimately became known as the Winchester company, and the Henry rifle came into existence because of the foresight, financial savvy and business sense of Oliver Winchester. If you look at any reference book on Winchester firearms, you will find the Henry prominently discussed as being the first Winchester. The model 1873 was the first rifle to bear Oliver Winchester's name, but that doesn't make the Henry rifle any less of a Winchester.

And the fact remains that the 1873 rifle, bearing Oliver Winchester's name and chambered for a cartridge bearing his name, is the rifle that clearly dominated the market for repeating rifles during the old west period. Thus, Winchester's legacy as producing the rifle that "won the west" is well-founded, regardless of whether or not you agree that the Henry is properly considered a Winchester.

cnyankee
August 25, 2006, 10:17 PM
cause there purty......
__________________http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=24784&d=1116506991
Yeah...I know did he fire 5 shots or six......BAMM!!!

Oh sorry it's a 686+ !



+1 115grfmj
you have good taste::D

the 686+ was my first gun and the 1894 is my last gun that i have in my possession...waiting another 6 days for my next buy...darn 10 day waiting period

michael_aos
August 25, 2006, 10:35 PM
They're sure a lot of fun. And my wife loves shooting this 1866 so much she actually comes to the range more often.

http://homepage.mac.com/michael_aos/.Pictures/Guns/1866/IMG_5844.jpg

http://homepage.mac.com/michael_aos/.Pictures/Guns/1866/IMG_5878.jpg

Roz
August 25, 2006, 10:50 PM
Newbie question here, and forgive me if it's been answered before.

Can I use .38SPL in a .357MAG lever gun, like I can in a revolver?

michael_aos
August 25, 2006, 11:33 PM
Technically yes, you can run .38 spl in a .357, but I've read a lot of comments that say lever-actions are especially sensitive to cartridge OAL.

That's why I purchased this 1866 in .38 spl.

Mike

ChristopherG
August 25, 2006, 11:36 PM
The Marlin 1894c will run .38 specials without difficulty (and you can fit 10 of them in the tube, as opposed to 9 .357's), though some bullet shapes may give a particular gun fits regardless of length (mine doesn't like SWC's).

Roz
August 26, 2006, 07:31 AM
Cool. Looks like I need to keep an eye out for a Marlin 94. Round these parts they want $699???

Vic
August 26, 2006, 08:42 AM
Check Gunsamerica/GunBroker, and here on this website (rifles/shotguns for sale). Don't discount Legacy Sports Puma 92...it's a NICE lever. Since Winchester bit the dust, Puma is my next choice since I never had much of a love affair with Marlin's products. The Puma 1892 is built 99.999% to the winchester 92. The screws are metric, but original parts are interchangable to the PUMA with minor polishing/fitting just to smooth thing out (personal experience). I'm waiting fo Puma to introduce the 1894 since winchester no longer markets them. I have a Win94, but I want to see what they do with them. Go get 'em tiger!:D

ChristopherG
August 26, 2006, 12:39 PM
Agreed. 699 is about 200 high for a new standard model 1894c.

Bricky62
April 6, 2007, 01:41 AM
Yeah not only are they a lot of fun, and historical, but I think right now they are great investments also. With Winchester going out of business a few years ago antique and/or commemoratives are going up in value. I used to collect coins and still have most of them but they just sit in a box. I also collect marbles and some of them are pretty valuable too (but I haven't played marbles for decades they're in another box, but my old rifles, now that's another story. You've got defense, cowboy action (I'm not one of those but it's an option), Hunting (I like a Savage 1899 250-3000 for deer, coyotes, and antalope--who said they lost thier elegance--very pretty and very collectable, although this isn't a pistol round), Plinking, teaching shooting and history, and a good investment. This collection doesn't sit in a box.
I think plastic guns are a mistake. I guess it makes sense for a pickup gun that could get scratched up or abused, like a work gun for a ranchers truck. But to me it seems like for about the same money I could go out and buy a new plastic say .243 or 300m or something like that, that never will appreiciate or I could look all over at gun shows and estate auctions and find something thats already got 60 or 80 years or more on it and is in great condition and does as good of a job like a Savage 99 or A 94 Winchester, or even an old pre 63 Winchester model 70 bolt action and get more of my moneys worth.

skeeter1
April 6, 2007, 03:51 AM
What kind of groups does the .357 marlin do out of the box? What are the triggers like? Aftermarket mods?

Also, someone mentioned needing to clean from the front. I've become more careful than when I started out, and I know you can mess up a bore cleaning from the breech as well, but I'm still less fond of putting that cleaning rod down the muzzle.

Also, what do the new ones go for, nowadays?

My Marlin 1894C is a bit of a pain to take down for cleaning, but that's why some inventive person came up with bore snakes.

As for what they cost? I got mine 2 years ago for $500 OTD, including tax, which is 7.5% here.

It's just plain fun to shoot.

Dr.Rob
April 6, 2007, 04:55 AM
Because with a handful of rounds in a .44 cal Marlin 1894CB you can blow the innards clean out of a bowling pin!

OK so I never tried that with a .30-30, but with a .44 you can do it fast.

Oh yeah, and you can hunt with it too.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=53922&d=1172445413

Or play cowboy games.

ozwyn
April 6, 2007, 11:05 AM
because if you want all-purpose basic functionality with just 2 guns and shared ammo between them, the revolver + lever action gun can deliver for most basic shooting needs.

And look at the kind of calibers most commonly used: .357/38, 45 LC/454 and .44

Those are well proven revolver rounds that get a nice little boost in a levergun.

I think a budget minded shooter finds a very convincing argument and a lot of fun with a good reolver/levelgun combination.

floridaboy
April 6, 2007, 11:30 AM
I have the Rossi in .45 Colt. It's fast, accurate and fun. Can anyone recommend a heavy game load with the Speer 300gr hp?

Sniper X
April 6, 2007, 01:29 PM
I'll put it this way, I have some guns most peopel have never seen except in the movies. When at the range, all they all want to shoot again and again is my Winchester 1894 rifle in .357 mag, especially with .38spl in it! The laughing starts soon after the first shot and they love every second of it...I have to admit...so doI! I bought it because I wanted a cheaper lever to shoot than my 30-30 but never knew how much fun this gun would be. It als can be hunted with and is for feral piggies and even deer. Now I found another 336RC in 30-30 so the Winnie will be relegated to a take along on the lever deer hunts....

sansone
April 6, 2007, 02:05 PM
to get the best performance from a 357 marlin you need to reload. biggest reason is powder burn rate. most factory 357 loads are designed for 2-6"brrls so in a 18-22"brrl there is a NEED to make loads where the powder slowly burns and builds pressure until the discharge of the bullet. the ballistics of a properly loaded marlin 357 carbine has very little in common with the ballistics of a 4"S&W revolver. / additionally may I add this fact: my 357 carbine can be fired in my own backyard without disturbing the neighbors. anything less than 100yds away that is about the size of a tennis ball is easy prey.:D my mini-14 is a better assault rifle for obvious reasons, but the hand-loaded marlin is much more accurate and quieter

Matt King
April 6, 2007, 02:08 PM
Itís economical to have guns that shoot the same caliber. That way ammunition expenses are reduced. Plus pistol-caliber carbines are just plain fun.~ :)

goon
April 6, 2007, 02:23 PM
Why to own one?
Because they are fun!
Even with just shooting .38 SPL out of my 1894 cowboy yesterday I was able to keep a gallon jug hopping around at 100 yards shooting offhand until it flew back up over the berm yesterday. 158 grain loads still seem to hit with some authority at that range. I figured I would need to hold a little high but with my .38 SPL loads sighted about 2" high at 50 yards they were very close at 100.
Last time I had it at the range I was shooting 158 grain JHP handloads with 7.5 grains of unique and they were shooting pretty flat and fast out at 100 yards. the bullets make a solid "thump!" when they hit the backstop.
And the rifle has no kick, even with some of the hotter loads I have tried out of it.

Everyone who shoots it loves it and the only problem I have with it is that I don't have enough time to load all the ammunition that I want to shoot out of it.
For anyone who hasn't tried one, I suggest that you don't unless you have enough money to buy your own.

tinygnat219
April 6, 2007, 02:24 PM
I have a Marlin model 1894 in .357 Magnum. I can use this as a nice "brush gun" and use it to take accurate shots at 50-100 yards. Ammo is MUCH cheaper than the 30-30 that's out there, and it allows for someone who is recoil sensitive to stay in the shooting game longer.
I also use mine for CAS, and since that's all they allow for rifles, I don't have any other choice BUT to use this rifle.

sansone
April 6, 2007, 02:29 PM
thanks goon, I forgot about that pleasing "thump" when the heavy bullet strikes the target:D
edit: the straight-walled pistol cases are so easy and fast to reload

MrDig
April 6, 2007, 02:38 PM
Not much to add most has already been said, Having a .357 revolver and rifle is economical, and fun, also practical if SHTF. Having a 9mm Carbine would make a great addition to a limited "Baloon Goes Up" collection. Just wish they made one that took BHP magazines.

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