Best Lever Action?


January 31, 2011, 11:26 PM
What's the best lever action rifle between the Winchester 1892, 1873, and the marlin 1894?

It needs to be durable, reliable, light, and have a somewhat slick action (even if it has to be worked on first). Price is no object, .38 and .357 reloads will be shot often.

What is the best brand for the winchester replicas? I prefer an 18" octagonal barrel, case hardened steel, and a curved pistol grip.

This is only for leverguns chambered in .357/.38 for those who haven't caught on yet ;)

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February 1, 2011, 12:08 AM
I know it wasn't an option you listed... but I'd buy a Henry. As far as I remember, I've never had any experience shooting any of the rifles you listed. I probably have, actually, but I was too young to really appreciate the guns, and don't remember.

February 1, 2011, 12:20 AM
This is the best. The Browning Lever Rifle has a locking cam with lugs similar to a bolt action for strength. This particular one has a steel receiver (the newer ones are aluminum). And the gun has a detachable magazine. You can use any bullet configuration you want, unlike a tubular mag.

Oh, and also, the trigger stays with the lever when you cock it. On my Marlin and Winchester I'd pinch my fingers. Not the Browning.

February 1, 2011, 12:27 AM
Trapper Takedown sounds like what you want...if price is no object

February 1, 2011, 12:58 AM
There is no "best". What's best for one is not for another. They are all different, they all have advantages and disadvantages. One must wade through and choose the one that fits their needs and desires "best". Or get one of each......or several.

February 1, 2011, 01:13 AM
They are all my favorites!

I prefer the 336 Marlin most of time!

But love the Marlins, Winchesters, Savage, Browning,Henry....If it has a lever Im interested! :)

I voted Marlin 1894, just because I used to be a Marlin Lever collecter!

But the statement above is me! I love em all!

Float Pilot
February 1, 2011, 01:14 AM
The old Browning B-92 copies of the Win 92 are very nice and well made.
The 1892 action was a shrunken version of the super strong 1886 action.
They were used and abused shooting 4 in 1 blanks on movie sets for 50 years.
The Cimmeron copies of the M-92 are good.
I have owned a few Rossi 92 copies , which are serviceable but not true copies.

Winchester (Browning / FN and whoever else is in the company now) is still making Model 92s. They will have the modern Lawyer safety on the tang, being mandated by ambulance chasing, legal tricksters.

Some folks on the SASS suite can tell you how to take care of that. They run about $1,000 new. The others are much less.

The 1873 actions are super smooth and fast but they are not very strong. There is a reason that John Browning designed the 86 and 92... and 94 for that matter.
But the 1873s are historically the rifle that was there and kicked butt. (along with the 1866s and very large 1876s)

If you could find a real, old original Marlin 1894, you would be a happy camper. They have none of the sharp edges and hang ups of the newer Marlins.

February 1, 2011, 02:00 AM
You want durable, reliable, slick and light.

Nothing with an octagonal barrel will be light.

Now you're left with durable, reliable and slick.

All the guns mentioned fit that description, but I think the '73 edges 'em all out in the reliability department, simply because it will function perfectly in any attitude, even upside down.

There ya go, the 1873 is your gun! :D

February 1, 2011, 02:18 AM
I voted for the 1873, the gun that won the west, and was the star of one of Jimmy Stewart's best movies; "Winchester 73"!!!

February 1, 2011, 02:47 AM
Out of your options, the marlin is top pick for me due to 1. price 2.It will do what the others will but better 3.optics ready

February 1, 2011, 03:09 AM
I'm thinking you're referring to modern reproductions rather than originals because original (more or less antique) Winchesters and Marlins didn't come from the factory chambered in .357 Magnum or .38 Special.
Among modern guns, the only experience I've had is with the Marlin 1894. I had great success with the 20" carbine in .44 Magnum. At first the action was a little sticky, but this worked out after shooting. Short range accuracy was fabulous!
Among older guns, I was privileged to own an original (antique) Model 1873 in .38-40. I didn't want to shoot it much, although I could have easily shot it all day! They may not have been quite as strong, but IMO there's nothing made today that comes anywhere near the workmanship of those older guns.

February 1, 2011, 05:07 AM
By 1873 the west had already been won by single shot rifles. The 73 Winchesters were good rifles, but never were used much in the real west. Don't confuse movies with real life.

But the Jimmyy Stewart movie about the 73 Winchester was one of my favorites.

February 1, 2011, 09:09 AM
i voted marlin, mostly because i am sort of a marlin junkie.

February 1, 2011, 01:06 PM
Go with the Savage, strongest lever out there! Get one in .300 cal., you'll do very well then.

February 1, 2011, 01:36 PM
Marlin 1894C. Using 180 grain Hornady XTPs, I've put a couple of nice bucks in the freezer. I recently put a Millett red dot on it to be able to stay in the stand until the end of legal shooting hours. The iron sights left a little to be desired in the woods.

February 1, 2011, 01:45 PM
Recently got a Marlin 1894CB357 which I enjoy shooting quite a bit. With the right load and sights you can get great accuracy. Been able to shoot 2 MOA (100yd) 5-shot groups with 180gr XTP with peeps!

45-70 Ranger
February 1, 2011, 02:02 PM
Gotta go with the Marlin. More durable, stronger, and adaptable. The Winny's are prettier, but the Marlin is more functional. Now....that'll start a fight!


Joe in fla
February 1, 2011, 04:45 PM
Oops, never mind.

February 1, 2011, 04:57 PM
No synthetic stocked, stainless BLR in .270?

February 1, 2011, 04:59 PM
Hmmm, all my Winchesters function just fine, as do my Marlins and Ubertis. Plus the 1892 and 1886 ARE stronger than their Marlin counterparts.

February 1, 2011, 06:20 PM
Best for what purpose?

Which Winchester 1892? The original, or today's Miroku-made, that say "Winchester" on them? If Mirokuchesters count, then what about the Rossi copies?

I lean toward the Winchester 1894 in .30-30, and the Browning BLR in .308. My wife's Rossi '92 seems to be a perfectly good weapon. We have a Marlin 1894CSS, but is remains untested.

Old Time Hunter
February 1, 2011, 06:37 PM
There ain't no comparison, the '92 Winny has the attributes of both of the others without any of their negatives.

February 1, 2011, 07:47 PM
Best lever action is not listed :(

It's the Savage 99 :)

Second best is the Marlin 336 :)

For pistol cartridges, I'm a fan of the Win 92.

February 1, 2011, 08:34 PM
Of your choices listed, I am partial to Marlin. The three I have just seem to stir my coffee a little more than my 1 and only Winchester. That said, I have taken more deer with my Browning BLR in .243. If I had to narrow it down to only one, (Heaven forbid!), it would be the one I'd keep.

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