Marlin 1894 Cowboy 357/38


November 29, 2008, 04:08 PM
Well I couldn't stand it any longer and just had to go pickup a brand new Marlin 1894 Cowboy in 357/38 cal. One thing I did notice is this model doesn't have the hood around the front sight like I've seen on others. It has a fiber optic tube up front. I'll like this better anyhow and will save me the money from having to swap it out. The standard 1894c model wasn't anywhere around here to be found so I upped the cash output a bit and settled for the cowboy version which in the long run I won't regret it. Indiana has now allowed this caliber for deer hunting!

OH, I had to buy the T-shirt while I was there also!

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November 29, 2008, 06:08 PM
That's a beauty!!! Congratulations..........:D

November 29, 2008, 07:16 PM
Thanks, I can't wait to shoot it but unfortunately I have bigger fish to take care of tomorrow. I even received a free range pass with this gun so it's really making me want to get out and shoot this thing. I've never fired a 357 magnum out of a rifle so it should prove to be a hoot! :D

November 29, 2008, 07:32 PM
straight-shooter, Congratulations on the 1894. I have one in .45 Colt and absolutely love it. I do have a couple of suggestions and a question. My question is did the Marlin come new with the fiber optic front sight? My suggestions are to put in a Wild West trigger (HUGE improvement for about $80), a Wild West "bear proof" one-piece extractor (about $25) and perhaps an XS rear ghost ring sight if you don't like the Marlin rear sight (I don't).


November 29, 2008, 07:44 PM
It did come with the optic front sight. This one says cowboy limited on the barrel so that may be the difference vs the standard cowboy model. At least that's what I've found to be the case when I looked it up on the net.

The rear sight has a diamond etched below the cutout. I kind of like it but I'll know more when I get it out to the range.

I'll certainly take you advice and look into those enhancements you have mentioned. I see the Wild West trigger says it requires Gunsmith fitting. Was this the case for you ?


November 29, 2008, 08:07 PM
Absolutely love mine. I did the rear ghost ring sight - don't regret it at all. Congratulations on an excellent purchase. Now get handloading for that thing.

My personal favorite load is 15.0gr of 'Lil Gun under a 180gr Laser Cast bullet with a winchester magnum primer. Excellent pig/small deer load.

November 29, 2008, 08:24 PM
I've got some 158gr bullets I've cast myself that I'll load with 2400 at 13.6gr for some magnum loads. The 38's I load the same 158gr bullet over 4.6gr unique for some plinkers.

For the hunting loads I'll definately step up to 180gr fodder and work up a load of 2400.

November 29, 2008, 10:45 PM
It did come with the optic front sight. This one says cowboy limited on the barrel so that may be the difference vs the standard cowboy model.

Mine is a Cowboy Ltd too but it didn't come with the fiber optic front sight ... just curious that's all. I ended up installing an XS rear ghost ring with an XS front sight ... big difference!

I see the Wild West trigger says it requires Gunsmith fitting. Was this the case for you ?

The Wild West trigger doesn't require installation by a gunsmith. It's really quite straightforward. I was thinking of doing a HOW TO with photos for this upgrade. I installed one in my 1895 and have two more to install ... one in the 1894 and one in the other 1895 (Guide Gun). I measured the pull on the factory trigger on the XLR and it was about 5lb-6oz (average of ten measurements). The average on the Wild West trigger was 3lb-5oz (average of ten measurements). A friend and I shot both 1895s last week and compared the triggers ... it's a SIGNIFICANT upgrade not to mention the fact that the WW trigger doesn't "flap" around like the stock trigger. MidwayUSA has the triggers in stock and THEY'RE ON SALE!! You can get order them in black or stainless.


December 14, 2008, 05:35 PM
I just bought the Marlin 1895 45-70 Trapper and it has the HIVIZ fiber optic sights. The front hood was off when I openned the box and the front sight was broken. If anyone has taken the sights of there Marlin and would like to sell it sen me a message. Thanks

December 14, 2008, 06:20 PM
Congratulations on an excellent purchase...

I have a Winchester 94 in 357. Pretty much the same rifle. This is my favorite long gun by far. It was dead on accurate right out of the box. I did find that it took a few hundred rounds to loosen up some and make it easier to operate and get full ejection of the cases regularly.

these rifles are so well balanced and quick handling... just a pleasure to shoot. Now you just need a sidearm in 357 to match. I recommend Ruger.


December 14, 2008, 06:33 PM
Already gotcha covered on that deal. I've got a S&W 686 and a GP-100 to go with the 1894 Cowboy :)

December 14, 2008, 08:41 PM
Super sweet rifle and fine sidearm choices but I'd suggest a single action Ruger Blawkhawk cuddled up to that cowboy.


December 29, 2008, 09:56 AM
Almost jumped on a blackhawk this weekend at a gunshow but alas, I had to get a Norinco SKS into the collection before Obama becomes our elected official (and damn sure not by my choice).

December 29, 2008, 11:31 AM
It is also in .357/.38. Piece of junk. Won't cycle at all. I use it for Cowboy action shooting and if a gun won't cycle it is junk. recently loaded it for deer and at the end of the day I emptied it out. Darn thing put a crack in a round as I tried to cycle them out...I was trying to be careful until that last couple. So I sent it back...we'll see if it works. There are some gunsmiths/dealers that won't sell or work on the marlin cowboys because they have this problem. A quick look to me showed the lifter or whatever you call it was lifting the bullet to high before closing the bolt. Try yours out and don't throw the box away, it is a great return packaging device.


December 29, 2008, 11:45 AM
Wow, sounds like to got a gun made on Monday morning.. mine cycles flawlessly with any type of ammo I have put in it so far. Even the home cast 158gr swc's i make. With anything you buy there will always be one that's not quite what it should be and it sounds like you got one. I've been there and done that so don't get too upset. I'm sure Marlin will go through it and make sure your a satisfied customer.

December 29, 2008, 12:30 PM
You have to watch the screws on a Marlin. They work loose every once in awhile whether you're shooting or just cycling the action and they can cause headaches if they're not tight.
But if you keep an eye on them and keep them tight the odds are that your rifle will keep running just fine.

December 30, 2008, 11:50 AM
1858, I just took your advice and ordered the Wild West Trigger for the 1894 Marlin. Figured I better get it before the sale ends.

I also read another interesting thread touting the Lee 358-158RF mold and it's accuracy in the Marlin. I ordered that along with a lyman #43 top punch for the lube press.

Always fun to play with another bullet/load combo.

December 30, 2008, 01:54 PM
straight-shooter, you're really going to like the Wild West trigger. I got a little crazy with my three Marlins. I ended up installing Wild West triggers, Wild West "bear-proof" ejectors, stainless steel magazine followers, one-piece firing pins (titanium in the '94), softer hammer springs, XS lever rails and Leupold scopes on the '95s, and XS ghost ring sights on the '94.


December 30, 2008, 07:16 PM
Congrats straight-shooter! I have the same rifle and really enjoy shooting it. I load 158 JSP and 180 JSP with a healthy dose of H110. I just bought a box of 500 Oregon Trail 158g RNFP cast bullets to try. I hope they work out as well as the jacketed bullets.
Not sure what to think about yours having a fiber optic front sight, never heard a cowboy coming from the factory with one?
I hated the rear sight that came with mine and replaced my sights with a set of Skinner sights and really like them.

December 30, 2008, 07:47 PM
I like that skinner rear sight alot! I investigated the williams but they don't make one for my post 2001 rifle since mine doesn't have the side receiver mount holes. Williams offers one that will mount on top but it would have to hang off the back of the receiver about 1/4" which I would not like. Not even the XS ghost sights would work with my rifles mount hole configuration.

I really like the idea of lengthening the sight radius and having the sight closer to the rear nearer my eye. Thanks for the tip!

December 30, 2008, 07:52 PM
Bought an 1894 C two years ago. great deer rifle at 100yds
I put a scope on mine and it is almost a tack driver

January 2, 2009, 05:04 PM
Kudos to 1858 for posting the install instructions to the Wild West trigger system. I just installed mine and it is indeed a sweet upgrade. No Marlin trigger flop and the pull weight is now amazing. Certainly worth the money IMO!

Thanks again 1858 for posting the how to


January 2, 2009, 09:21 PM
For anyone who casts their own bullets. I received the Lee 358-158 RF 6 banger mold in the mail. I went directly to the bat cave and casted about 300 bullets and lubed and loaded some up. These cycle like a dream in the 1894.

January 2, 2009, 11:52 PM
Thanks again 1858 for posting the how to

You're welcome ... I installed Wild West triggers in all three of my Marlins and they're definitely worth the cost.

Those bullets you cast look incredible ... how do they shoot? I shoot a similar profile to that in my .45 Colt (Oregon Trail RNFP) but the meplat looks bigger on your bullets. As you mentioned, they feed really well.


January 3, 2009, 05:52 PM
Here's a target shot at 50 yards indoors. There wasn't alot of light near the backstop indoors so I had a little trouble seeing the front sight on the gun. All in all I think it worked out pretty darn good with these new loads. These new loads cycle like a dream in this gun. Anyone interested it's a Lee 358-158 FP mold.

January 3, 2009, 07:06 PM
That looks so nice. I know where one is here locally and it makes me want it... but it's not on my short list right now unfortunately.

Congrats on a great looking gun.

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