Looking for advice on lever gun


November 22, 2010, 03:54 PM
I've always been interested in a classic "cowboy" lever action gun. A recreational shooter that's fun and inexpensive (as opposed to a hunting or combat rifle).

Does anyone have any recommendations? Rifles to consider, rifles to avoid?

I've heard that pistol cartridge lever guns are worth a look, so with that in mind: I own a .38 revolver, and plan on getting a .45 long colt at some point soon.

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November 22, 2010, 04:04 PM
Unless you get into hand loading, .45 LC isn't going to be very inexpensive. On the flip side, if you ever hold in your hands an octagonal barrel Marlin 1894 in .45 LC, you won't want to every put it down.

November 22, 2010, 04:05 PM
Not sure what you consider inexpensive, but I must recommend a Henry rifle. Great company, customer service, and a no questions asked lifetime warranty. Check out their "Big Boy" model.

November 22, 2010, 04:26 PM
Marlin 1892 Cowboy in .357 or .45 Colt then.

Or one of the Italian replaca Winchester 92's.


November 22, 2010, 04:33 PM
Are you just looking for a pistol caliber lever gun or would you consider a rifle caliber as well? Marlin rifles are great. The 336 comes in 30-30 or 35 Rem. The 1894 Cowboy comes in 45LC, 357 /38 and 44mag/ 44spl. The standard 1894 comes in 44mag/ 44 spl. The 1895 comes in 45-70, 444 and 450 Marlin. That is just a brief skim of the surface.

November 22, 2010, 04:55 PM
A lever gun in .357 Mag would be a nice, inexpensive shooter and would complement your .38 Spcl. wheelgun to boot.

I'm all for pistol caliber carbines for fun once a guy has a couple rifles.




November 22, 2010, 05:49 PM
Looking for pistol, specifically. The Henry sure looks good. Checking out the marlin now.

November 22, 2010, 08:40 PM
My reply in another thread ... most of the comments are applicable here

Marlin, Rossi/Taurus, Winchester, Henry and some others all make lever guns that would suit your needs. Since you want to include deer, I'd probably stick to a cartridge that starts with a "4" ... 44 magnum or 45 Colt. If you have ever considered reloading, those are EXCELLENT cartridges to begin with, and will both cut your shooting costs by a LOT, AND give you the flexibility to load what you want for the job at hand.

I reload 45 Colt and with a 250 or so grain bullet can load for anywhere between 750 and 2100 fps (out of a rifle), depending what I'm looking to do. LOTS of versatility there! (PLUS, what I saved by reloading 45 Colt paid for ALL the reloading gear after the 150-200 rounds!)

As for the guns themselves .... I've had examples of all of the above come through my little consignment sales business here.

The Marlins are -really- slick, action wise, and the side eject makes adding a scope (if you want) a snap. Rossi/Taurus are cheaper ... and work very well. (I own one myself in 454 Casull/45 Colt.) However, not quite as slick in the action (out of the box) and are top eject.

The Winchesters and Henry's are not quite as slick as the Marlins, but generally very well made. If possible, you need to actually -see/feel- a number of them and pick one that seems to fit YOU. (gun shows are great for this)

November 22, 2010, 09:48 PM
Lever guns are fun


Henry H001 .22 LR
Chaparral Winchester 1873 .45 Colt
Rossi Winchester 1892 .45 Colt
Winchester 1894 .30-30
Marlin 1895 GBL, .45-70

You will never go wrong with a Marlin or a Winchester. .22 LR lever guns are tons of fun. I'd also highly recommend a pistol caliber carbine...if so, stick with Marlin or a Win 92 pattern gun as their actions are meant for pistol calibers. You can really download them for plinking fun or upload them to take up to deer sized game. The .357 Mag, .45 Colt or .44 Mag chamberings are really versatile. Also, you'll never be undergunned with a lever...just watch a cowboy action match sometime to see how much firepower you lay down.

One of these days, I'll add a Win 1895.

November 23, 2010, 12:16 AM
I picked up a Rossi lever gun in .38/.357 a few weeks ago. I was under $500 out the door. Maybe less than that. I don't remember. I got the 16" carbine. It's handy and a hoot to shoot. I have about 500 rounds through it now and it's starting to get pretty slick too. Not too bad at all.

November 26, 2010, 03:22 PM
I came within a red hair of buying a Rossi Puma in .357, had it on layaway with a Marlin XS7 and went to pick 'em up today.

Since I picked the two rifles, the dealer picked up a Marlin 1894 in .44

It's next to my bed right now.

Me happy.


November 26, 2010, 04:08 PM
I was in a similar situation with a 357 s&w 686 and a ruger 38 SA. Consolidating calibre was a bonus consideration when looking for a new lever gun.

Looked at the Rossi and the marlin and the Winchester and the Henry. I came home with the Henry big boy in 357 and couldn't be more happy with it! After a few shooting sessions- all the reviews I read were confirmed as well- it's a fantastic rifle.

Not that looks are everything- but this is also a gorgeous looking rifle. Each trip to the range brings a few curious folks over to fondle it. Only problem with it is i wish I could hang it on the wall instead of locking it in the cabinet when I get home :-)

Other than DEWC bullets (no surprise) it gobbled up everything I fed it.

November 26, 2010, 05:27 PM
A Marlin 1894 Cowboy II in .357 is not the most practical way to spend $700, but I could not fault anyone for spending it that way. ;)
IMO, if you want cowboy gun and practical, that is it. The .45 LC may be more so for those in areas with large hungry bears, but a .357 would do for me.

November 26, 2010, 06:05 PM
Another owner of the Marlin 1894 in .357 Mag...I even got the Octagonal barrel

WNC Seabee
November 26, 2010, 06:41 PM
I bought a 20" Rossi in .357 a month ago and it has quickly become my favorite rifle. Tons of fun, very accrate and (after a detailed clean and lube) pretty slick!

November 26, 2010, 06:43 PM
I have one of the new Rossi M92 replica rifles with the 24" barrel. I wasn't expecting a whole lot when I ordered it, but was pleasantly surprised upon its arrival. The rifle seems to be very solid and well fitted with a pretty smooth action. I've only fired .38 through it so far, but it has functioned flawlessly with commercial and handloaded ammo. The sights were dead on from the factory and the recoil was so light that it felt like I was shooting a rimfire. I'm very pleased with the purchase and can't wait to try a few rounds of .357 through it.

November 26, 2010, 07:06 PM
I would go with a marlin in the caliber of your choice, either .357 or 45LC depending on which you will have the most use for. I like 45, and hopefully will be getting a wheelgun/ rifle combo soon..

November 26, 2010, 07:25 PM
Marlin 39A or Henry in .22LR would fill the bill for inexpensive shooting. Unless someone starts making a lever gun in 9mm the rest are not going to be inexpensive to shoot unless you reload.

November 26, 2010, 08:06 PM
much as I like my Marlin 1894C (and respect all flavors named), methinks the Rossi/LSI 38/357 is the most obvious choice for OP, blued or SS, take your pick

"A recreational shooter that's fun and inexpensive"
"I own a .38 revolver"

slim/trim versatile, and about as John Wayne as it gets, the '92
do expect to have to offset the front sight to get 'em zeroed
and don't be surprised it you can push that front sight into alignment with just your thumb
dunno why that is, but every one I have seen yet is like that
they shoot true enough though, expect 1 1/2" at 50 yards w/ 38s, 1" with 357s, and with about as zero recoil as it gets in centerfire with either round
serious e'nuff caliber if ever the need arises, but about as cheap as centerfire carbine ammo can be had in, aside from that newfangled 9 stuff

NICE group there, iamkris !
couple more like a 39A or BL22 would go real nice with all that

WNC Seabee
November 26, 2010, 08:48 PM
do expect to have to offset the front sight to get 'em zeroed
and don't be surprised it you can push that front sight into alignment with just your thumb
dunno why that is, but every one I have seen yet is like that

Wish that had been the case with mine! I had to beat the heck out of mine to get the front sight to drift. I replaced the factory blade with a brass bead from stevesgunz.com.

BTW...I am getting 5 shot clover leaf groups at 25 yards with my 20" Rossi shooting .38 super light loads (3.8gr 231, 158gr LSWC)

November 26, 2010, 09:52 PM
Slightly OT, but for those who have problem with loose sights, take the sight out and ping the bottom of the sight and the channel in the barrel with a center punch, then reinstall. Should tighten them without making them impossible to adjust.

November 26, 2010, 11:15 PM
I'd get a Marlin in 30-30. I think you can get one for around $500 give or take.

November 26, 2010, 11:17 PM
Click "levers" in my sig line.

There, you'll find much advice.

November 26, 2010, 11:28 PM
A few months back I picked up an older Rossi Puma carbine, used but LNIB, complete with large loop lever and a 16" barrel. Very nice blued finish with a decent figured stock to go with it. Super slick action along with a nice light trigger make for one handy and fast into action levergun.

November 28, 2010, 12:04 AM
I always liked the Winchester 1892 type action for pistol cartridges. Rossi makes some very nice ones :)

Leaky Waders
November 28, 2010, 02:22 AM
Uberti is making some very fine 1873's right now in 45 LC - the brass elevator is a novel loading mechansim.

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