Tell me about pistol caliber lever actions...


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Grayrider
August 27, 2003, 09:14 PM
Gents,

I have long had the urge to own a lever action in a pistol caliber. I have a little spare change right now, and am thinking I should do it before I spend it on something else. The problem is I know only general info about them. My questions are:

1. What are the advantages/disadvantages of the different types (1873, 1892, 1894)?

2. How are the different manufacturers in terms of quality? In particular, the various Brazilian copies.

3. What are the advantages/disadvantages of the various calibers? I am thinking .44 mag or .45 Colt, but don't have anything in either caliber.

4. I like the look of case hardening and octagonal barrels. Any advantage/disadvantage to those features?

5. What barrel length is best all around?

I want one for nostalgia and for shooting fun, but also like the idea of having one around for the Mrs. to use should she need something to handle things that go bump. She is good with a pistol, but not experienced. She is small and refuses to shoot a shotgun or rifle. I am thinking that a pistol caliber rifle might work well for her.

Thanks in advance for your advice!

GR

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dude
August 27, 2003, 09:22 PM
The most handy is the .357 w/ a 16" barrel. Plenty of knockdown power (LOTS more than from any revolver) with no recoil to speak of even with the hottest factory loads. Any manufacture will serve you fine.

iamkris
August 27, 2003, 11:07 PM
Good questions but I don't see in the original post what you want to use it for. Plinking? Hunting? Home defense? Don'thaveonebutreallywantit? Historical value? Play cowboy?

I originally bought a Rossi M92 (Winchester 1892 copy) to shoot Cowboy Action, but always thought they were neat as well. I've handled bunches of others so I have some experience. Let's see if I can go down your list:

1) I'll assume you mean 1873 (?). The 1894 (Winchester and Marlin versions) and the 1892 designs are super strong and should handle any caliber you want. Rossi has a 454 Casull version in their 92. The 73's toggle link mechanism is less strong but will certainly handle most of the 38/357, 45 and 44. I think the 73 has the coolest sound with the action is wracked and also happens to appeal the most to me aesthetically. The 1894's have never appeal to me looks wise while the 92 profile in my mind is the second prettiest. That said, you honestly can't go wrong with any of them (or an 1866 Yellow Boy or even a 1860 Henry design)

2) Marlin -- tops. Winchester -- tops. Rossi -- they make Navy Arms, EMF versions and are very good quality. I bought a Rossi-direct version..it comes with ugly wood, horrible sights and an ugly bolt safety...but the price was right. Some elbow grease on the wood, $25 worth of Marbles sights, $25 worth of new springs and a $40 gunsmithing job to remove the safety and shes pretty and sweet now. The action is smooth and it is super accurate. I rarely miss a rifle target.

3) Caliber? What do you want to do with it? 38/357 gives a nice spread of cheap plinking to low end big game hunting. 44 Mag/44 Special is powerful but more expensive. I shoot 45 Colt cause I love the caliber, its matches my Vaqueros and you can load near-magnum rounds or light plinkers. Don't forget fun / exotic calibers like 32-20 or 25-20.

4) I like octagonal barrels because they're pretty (for the ego) and heavy (for lower recoil/muzzle climb in rapid shooting) Round will save weight and cost. Case hardening is pretty and traditional. Your choice. Remember that most case hardening will fade over the years.

5) I own a 24" rifle and that's OK (makes smooth follow through on multiple targets) but I actually prefer 20" bbls for looks and utility. The 16" barrels just don't look right to me but it depends what you wnat it for: truck gun? In the home? In the brush? The shorter barrel will do better, however you may give up some velocity in magunum loadings.

Pistol caliber levers are a great tool. Almost as fast as a semi-auto, light and handy, beautiful, "politically correct" home defense and just plain neat. I would be completely cconfident in taking game up to whitetail deer with the 357, 45 C or 44 versions.

Hope this helps.

106rr
August 28, 2003, 03:03 AM
Get a Marlin 94 357 mag 16.5"/18.5" bbl. Skip the ports. My wife finally agreed to learn to shoot with this gun. It's cute, it's small, looks like a cowboy gun and recoil is light. I loaded up with 38 special, placed the butt against my chin and fired the carbine, no visible recoil. Repeated process with butt against groin, no visible recoil. She was convinced. Later she was blowing up gallon jugs of water with light mag loads. This carbine has very serious defense capabities and she can hit with it every time.
Good Luck

Preacherman
August 28, 2003, 08:08 AM
I loaded up with 38 special, placed the butt against my chin and fired the carbine
Repeated process with butt against groin
Now THAT'S taking love to extremes!!!

:what: :evil: :neener: :p :D

(BTW - isn't the butt BEHIND the groin??? :D )

Grayrider
August 28, 2003, 08:51 AM
Thanks for the good info guys. I am thinking a 20" would do. I see the points about the 38/357, but I am a big fan of big bullets in handguns. Probably will do the same here.

So am I reading this right that the Rossi guns varry in fit/finish depending on what importer you get them from? If so, is EMF a good choice? I found some good prices on their 20" guns.

GR

iamkris
August 28, 2003, 09:32 AM
Yes, EMF is made by Rossi. I believe their version has walnut, reasonably nice semi-buckhorn sights and no ugly safety on top of the bolt.

My personal choice in this would be the case hardened receiver, 20" octagonal barrel. That makes it a 20" Short Rifle...with that model you get the attractive forearm end cap rather than the ugly (in my view) carbine barrel band.

I have a 24" octagonal Rossi 92 in stainless, 45 Colt. I will never sell this rifle.

MrAcheson
August 28, 2003, 09:51 AM
The EMF guns do not have walnut stocks, but they look like they do and are as purty. They are a good choice for a balance of cost and performance. The EMF guns don't cost much more than the LSI Rossi's but they have nicer fit/finish, stocks, sights, and safeties. Navy Arms Rossis are another step up with real walnut stocks, but they cost a good bit more than EMFs.

Short rifles are a little nicer than carbines because the heavier barrel is a little stiffer and because carbines can string vertically as the barrel heats up. Short rifles don't tend to do this as much because they lack the barrel banding.

Grayrider
August 28, 2003, 12:39 PM
Well that makes up my mind. I will do the EMF 1892 case hardened 20". Probably octagonal barrel, but may do round if I find a better deal. I think I will go with 45 Colt given my love of 45 ACP.

Thanks for all the advice!

GR

six 4 sure
August 28, 2003, 12:53 PM
For a little more information check out www.leverguns.com Lots of good people and information over there.

I have two pistol round carbines (three if you count my .22) one in .357 and another in 44-40 (both Win 94's). One of my next purchases will be probably be a Rossi/EMF/Navy arms in 45 colt. With reloads you can get some impressive results.

six

aspen
August 28, 2003, 05:26 PM
I have a 1860 Herny in 45 LC. I love it. The action is sweet, the barrel seems a mile long and it sure is pretty gun. There is no recoil at all, it is not the lightest gun by any means.

In my area we have had a guy breaking into house and abusing children. I police have still not found him. Last night my wife wanted to know if the Herny was loaded because it is the gun that she feels most comfortable with. So now I get the Mossy 500 and she gets the Herny. I think that should would for home defense.

I have been looking for a deer rifle but I can't afford one this year. My wife will not let me take the Henry deer hunting because it is too pretty and she needs it at home. I guess it will be the Mossy with slugs.

The only problem that I have had with the long colt is the cost of the shells. I have been picking up reloading supplies to try to cut down on the cost.

Grayrider
August 28, 2003, 06:59 PM
Is the 45 comparably priced to the 44 mag, or is it cheaper? Hadn't thought about ammo prices, but then I suppose I could get some dies and load my own.

GR

Brian Williams
August 28, 2003, 08:53 PM
Barring Revolvers they are the best type of gun around
Check out these threads

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=37677

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=30105

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=36554
B]or anyone of these[/B]
http://thehighroad.org/search.php?s=&action=showresults&searchid=319186&sortby=lastpost&sortorder=descending

and here

http://www.marlinfirearms.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=forum;f=4;DaysPrune=[

telomerase
August 28, 2003, 10:48 PM
Are there any 16" barrel models in stainless?

six 4 sure
August 29, 2003, 01:31 AM
Rossi/Legacy have a 16" 1892 stainless in .454 and .480 Ruger. I have also seen a 16" Henry in stainless (Uberti I think), but I didn't think it looked right with a brass frame, and it was quite heavy. There are numerous 1892's available with 20" barrels from Rossi/Navy Arms.

six

aspen
August 29, 2003, 11:38 AM
Here in CA I pay $15 to $18 a box for 45LC for Magtech cowboy or Winchester white box. I figure if I go in with a friend of mine and buy supplies in bulk I should be able to load a box for about $5, maybe less.

telomerase
August 29, 2003, 07:11 PM
>Rossi/Legacy have a 16" 1892 stainless in .454 and .480 Ruger.

Wow! If you can get stainless, then can you get synthetic stocks? Folding synthetic stocks? Folding synthetic stock with 68-round helical magazine, flash suppressor, grenade launcher and bayonet lug?

OK, seriously, did Choate ever make synthetic stocks for lever guns? And how easy is it to put a ghost ring on a Rossi?

Grayrider
August 30, 2003, 01:41 PM
Pardon my ignorance on these calibers, but will the guns chambered for .454 or .480 also run any shorter rounds? I had heard the .454 rifles would feed and function with .45 Colt.

GR

telomerase
August 30, 2003, 01:47 PM
>I had heard the .454 rifles would feed and function with .45 Colt.

I'd like to know this for sure, too. Also, where do these Rossi lever guns hide nowadays? The Rossi web site only talks about their single-shot line.

telomerase
August 30, 2003, 11:51 PM
http://www.gunblast.com/Paco_Legacy_454.htm

six 4 sure
August 31, 2003, 01:17 PM
"Also, where do these Rossi lever guns hide nowadays?"

Here is the link to the lever-actions.

www.legacysports.com/product/index.htm

six

jetman
August 31, 2003, 09:09 PM
When Marlin or Winchester comes out with the new S&W .500 version in a 20" barrel, preferably Stainless too. I'll be ALL over one of those!!

Lancel
August 31, 2003, 10:35 PM
six 4 sure:
For a little more information check out www.leverguns.com. Lots of good people and information over there.
You got a typo in the link, should be www.leverguns.com (http://www.leverguns.com)
:)
Larry

Lancel
August 31, 2003, 10:37 PM
six 4 sure
For a little more information check out www.leverguns.com. Lots of good people and information over there.

You got a typo in the link, should be www.leverguns.com (http://www.leverguns.com)
:)
Larry

six 4 sure
September 1, 2003, 01:52 AM
:banghead: Sorry about that. Link edited. I keep forgetting that you can’t end a sentence with a link and a period. With my grammar as bad as it is I never thought trying to use proper punctuation would cause problems.:D

six

Brian Williams
September 1, 2003, 12:15 PM
This Thread need some pictures 1894c and S&W 13
http://thehighroad.org/attachment.php?s=&postid=466352

SodaPop
September 12, 2003, 07:01 PM
What's the price range of these guns?

Brian Williams
September 12, 2003, 07:12 PM
I paid $275 out the door at the Army navy in Allentown for my 1894c

SodaPop
September 12, 2003, 11:03 PM
I was up at Donn's Gunshop on Monday. They didn't have anything but the 35 Rem, 45/70, 30/30 and 45 Long Colt.

What was the capacity or your 357 Lever gun again?

Brian Williams
September 12, 2003, 11:38 PM
9 357's or 10 38's + 1 in my 18" barrel 1894c

some cowboy models will hold 13 or 14 if you pull the mag plug.

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