.357 Lever Action Rifles


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GuitarsAndGuns
September 19, 2011, 01:28 AM
I have decided to have my LGS order me a lever gun in .357 this week, and so far it looks like the Rossi is my only option for around the $500-$600 mark. A different local store has the Winchester in stock, but it is way out of my price range. Is it true that Marlin is not currently producing these? I thought I read it somewhere, but can't find it now. Am I missing any other brands? Any help/advice you guys can provide would be greatly appreciated.

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acmax95
September 19, 2011, 01:42 AM
i have also heard that marlin has suspended production but have no proof. I think your only other option is the Henry.

I don't know where you are but I know a local gun store has Winchester 94 .357 for less than $600, it used to be mine. They also have a new Henry for just over $600. If you want I can get you contact info for that store.

Panzercat
September 19, 2011, 03:00 AM
Try backpage.com in your area. marlins may be obnoxiously hard to get these days, but I remember one or two for sale in the AZ Phoenix area over the last week or so. Of course, that's mostly used. And on the off chance you haven't already, google (https://encrypted.google.com/search?q=malin+lever+357#q=marlin+1894+357&hl=en&prmd=imvns&source=lnms&tbm=shop&ei=Q9p2TvCsFsPhiALGgqWzAg&sa=X&oi=mode_link&ct=mode&cd=5&ved=0CBYQ_AUoBA&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=22b4e4c86d10589&biw=1280&bih=870).

GCBurner
September 19, 2011, 03:11 PM
I saw Cheaper Than Dirt had the Rossi Braztech Model 92s on sale for about $436. I mentioned that price to my LGS, and he got on the phone to his distributor, and said he could sell me one for $439, and save me the FFL transfer fee. With state sales tax and background check, it was about $470 out the door. I went for the .45 Colt instead of the .357, with the 24" octagon barrel. Pretty gun, and it shoots well, too.

mgkdrgn
September 19, 2011, 06:58 PM
Yep, I have the Rossi in 454 Casull and am very happy with it. The only "knock" I have heard on the 357 model is that it sometimes has trouble eating 38 specials.

GuitarsAndGuns
September 19, 2011, 09:28 PM
i have also heard that marlin has suspended production but have no proof. I think your only other option is the Henry.

I don't know where you are but I know a local gun store has Winchester 94 .357 for less than $600, it used to be mine. They also have a new Henry for just over $600. If you want I can get you contact info for that store.
Thank you very much for offering to do that, but it looks like I am going to go for the Rossi. Thanks everyone for the advice.

splithoof
September 19, 2011, 11:58 PM
I had a Marlin 1894 .357 Magnum. Never again; failures of every type you could have with a lever gun. My friend bought the Rossi, and it has been 100% reliable in every way.

grgvntlnd
September 20, 2011, 02:20 AM
I am currently trying to get a Marlin 1894 .357 to fire more than 4 rounds without a failure to feed. I will never own another Marlin and will probably loose money selling this one soon.

Panzercat
September 20, 2011, 10:42 PM
Ouch. Are these new or old models with the feed gremlins? I have a 2002 336 that doesn't have any issues.

splithoof
September 21, 2011, 02:49 AM
From what I have seen and used, the 336 is a solid performer. The troubles I had are with the models that fire pistol/revolver cartridges.

valnar
September 21, 2011, 09:23 AM
I had a Marlin 1894 .357 Magnum. Never again; failures of every type you could have with a lever gun. My friend bought the Rossi, and it has been 100% reliable in every way.
I am currently trying to get a Marlin 1894 .357 to fire more than 4 rounds without a failure to feed. I will never own another Marlin and will probably loose money selling this one soon.

Ouch. I've been researching .357 Levers for awhile and had settled on getting an older (pre-2008) Marlin 1894c. I hadn't seen any complaints until these posts.

Now I don't know if this is typical or not of the design.

If I had to get an alternative, like the Henry, Rossi or Uberti 1873, what would be the next best choice?

scramasax
September 21, 2011, 10:43 AM
I guess I got lucky. I've got two 1894 Marlins one carbine and one rifle. Both will feed .357 hps and 38s , even wadcutters.

I know there are good gunsmiths out there that specialize in these. Check the leveraction forum.

Cheers,

ts

ball3006
September 21, 2011, 11:03 AM
I have had a Rossi 357/38 carbine for almost 20 years. It has never failed to chamber and fire either cartridge.....chris3

squarles67
September 21, 2011, 11:11 AM
My Marlin 1894 feeds everything I throw at it .357, 38 spl doesn't matter. My son uses it for Cowboy Action and never had any issue. It's an older one though, probably 2004 or 2005.

Sheepdog1968
September 21, 2011, 09:39 PM
i have also heard that marlin has suspended production but have no proof. I think your only other option is the Henry.

I don't know where you are but I know a local gun store has Winchester 94 .357 for less than $600, it used to be mine. They also have a new Henry for just over $600. If you want I can get you contact info for that store.
I think the proof is an announcement on Rem or Marlin website. Might have been on facebook. My local dealer confirmed it.

helotaxi
September 21, 2011, 11:09 PM
I have a Marlin in .45 Colt and a Rossi/Braztech in .357. I've spent the last year trying to get the sights on the Rossi squared away. I think the current models ship with a brass bead front sight, mine had a simple blade up front and a crappy rear. Both have been replaced with Marbles units and I can actually see the sights and hit what I aim at now. It also had some extraction/ejection issues until it had a few hundred rounds through it.

The Marlin (purchased early 2009) has been utterly reliable and the factory sights are much better. If I could get a .357 from that timeframe or earlier, I would buy it. Of the current production .357s I'd probably get a Henry.

quietman
September 21, 2011, 11:55 PM
Big Sky Guns has Marlins in 357. They'll ship to an FFL
http://www.bigskyguns.com/showall-Lever_Action_Rifles-Marlin_Rifles.html

buddyemily
September 22, 2011, 12:18 AM
I have had a Rossi 357 lever gun for years and it eats everything like a champ. Great gun.

splithoof
September 22, 2011, 12:27 AM
I had both the Rossi and a Winchester (the one with that ultra-ugly crossbolt safety), and both functioned 100%. I added a ghost-ring sight set with front blade to the Winchester, and it is fast, accurate and easy to use. With the .357 loads it easily knocks down 6" steel round plates at 100 yards from off-hand. That was the outer limit for me with that gun, but it is possible to mount a scope on top if desired.

bergmen
September 22, 2011, 01:10 AM
I am currently trying to get a Marlin 1894 .357 to fire more than 4 rounds without a failure to feed. I will never own another Marlin and will probably loose money selling this one soon.

Exactly what is the failure to feed issue? My brand new Marlin 94 had a failure to feed problem that I solved.

Can you describe this to me?

Dan

nyc71
September 22, 2011, 03:08 AM
I bought an older 1894c I have yet to have any feeding issues.


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety"- Benjamin Franklin

quietman
September 22, 2011, 08:44 AM
I am currently trying to get a Marlin 1894 .357 to fire more than 4 rounds without a failure to feed. I will never own another Marlin and will probably loose money selling this one soon.
I'd suggest going here. You'll get your problem straightened out very quickly. It's the 1894 section of the Marlin Owners forum.
http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php/board,32.0.html

stevekozak
September 22, 2011, 09:15 AM
All my LGSs are saying they cannot get the Rossi's. I really want one, but shops say the they can't find them in stock with distributers. Ya'll know an online source?

Red Cent
September 22, 2011, 01:26 PM
Table of contents
http://marauder.homestead.com/files/Contents.html

Rossi 92

http://marauder.homestead.com/files/Rossitune.htm

Marlin 1894

http://marauder.homestead.com/files/Marlin_1894_Carrier.htm

I am aware that there are some who say "leave it alone". This post is not anything but to show you what a bunch of cowboys do to make their rifles run good and fast. None of these mods mess with the integrity of the rifle. Having competed for quite sometime, I know these mods work and work very well.
Marauder is a very good shooter and his site has grown over the years from proven input from cowboys.

Widowmaker has developed some ways of getting rid of any feeding problems of the 94.

http://marauder.homestead.com/files/Widdermatic_Marlin.htm

I hope you enjoy the site. There is much more there.

DPris
September 22, 2011, 01:39 PM
At this point, I would advise against ordering a new Marlin levergun or committing to buy one sight unseen.
If you can't personally inspect it first, and try to cycle at least a couple rounds through it, you'd be better off going elsewhere.

On the other hand, the Rossi 92 is not easy to clean. Just FYI.
Denis

Germster
September 22, 2011, 02:14 PM
While posts here have been about the rifle, I think it's appropriate to mention that the .357 shot from a rifle is an excellent hunting round. I'm not an SASS shooter and my .357 rifle is not a lever gun, but a Ruger No 1 and it eats all .38 caliber ammo that I can cram into it, from .38 S&W short to hot .357 loads. It is my favorite rifle. Too bad Ruger only made a few of them.

Back in the day the 38/40 was a popular round and the .357 mag is it today and much more.

woodsong
September 22, 2011, 06:16 PM
My Rossi has no problem with .38 rounds.

greyling22
September 22, 2011, 06:34 PM
+1 to red cent and dpris.
I prefer my old marlin 1894c to my stubby 16" rossi, but the rossi sure is a lighter and handier package. Both guns benefit immensly from a little action work. The marlin is simple, the rossi a bit of a pain. neither one really likes 38's that much, but the rossi does a little better with a semi wadcutter. My 1894 in 44 mag feeds a SWC nicely, so I don't know what the deal is there. If I was buying new right now, I'd get a rossi. I had terrible qc issues with my marlin 1894css I bought this year, sent 2 back before they just gave me a refund. But if you can find a nice 1894, snap it up and I doubt you will ever let it go. (which is why they're scarce on the used market)

stiab
September 22, 2011, 07:11 PM
I have fired a few .38 Specials in my 1894, but found that the POI was so different from factory .357's that it was not even fun to plink with them. Even at 50 yards, which the rifle is sighted in for with a 2.75 Redfield scope, the .38's were nowhere close, falling far short. Anybody else notice this?

greyling22
September 22, 2011, 07:39 PM
haven't noticed it, but it wouldn't surprise me. you're talking about around 30% more velocity and maybe a different bullet weight.

grgvntlnd
September 22, 2011, 07:54 PM
I dropped off the Marlin 1894 at the smith this morning. We will see in 4 to 6 weeks. Both 38s and 357s of ball hang up when coming out of the tube with the lever still nearly vertical. To free them you need to reach in the side with a knife or a screwdriver and pull them a little farther back at which point they load normally.

I bought the gun in the late 90s and assumed the the feeding issues were due to screws working loose on the road as i have to drive for 2 hours before it is legal to plink. I just recently went through it and put lock tight on everything and I am still having the issues. I should have made the time to shoot it enough to resolve these issues while it was still covered under warranty.

In spite of these issues, if the smith can make it work it will probably be my favorite plinking gun. It is a lot of fun with 357s and when it is working everyone wants to shoot it. If I were to do it over now that I am reloading I would probably go with a 44 or 45/70 and load them down some. 38s in this gun are a little under whelming.

I currently have it sighted in 2 inches high with 357s at 50 yards and that works out to about 2 inches low with 38s. I will probably change that to zeroed at 75 yards with 357 and quit using 38s, as quite a bit of carbon comes back around the case when using the shorter 38s.

J_McLeod
September 22, 2011, 08:03 PM
I had a Marlin .357 lever rifle back in 02 and it shot everything with no problems. Wish I hadn't sold it.

bergmen
September 22, 2011, 08:07 PM
I dropped off the Marlin 1894 at the smith this morning. We will see in 4 to 6 weeks. Both 38s and 357s of ball hang up when coming out of the tube with the lever still nearly vertical. To free them you need to reach in the side with a knife or a screwdriver and pull them a little farther back at which point they load normally.

I bought the gun in the late 90s and assumed the the feeding issues were due to screws working loose on the road as i have to drive for 2 hours before it is legal to plink. I just recently went through it and put lock tight on everything and I am still having the issues. I should have made the time to shoot it enough to resolve these issues while it was still covered under warranty.

In spite of these issues, if the smith can make it work it will probably be my favorite plinking gun. It is a lot of fun with 357s and when it is working everyone wants to shoot it. If I were to do it over now that I am reloading I would probably go with a 44 or 45/70 and load them down some. 38s in this gun are a little under whelming.

I currently have it sighted in 2 inches high with 357s at 50 yards and that works out to about 2 inches low with 38s. I will probably change that to zeroed at 75 yards with 357 and quit using 38s, as quite a bit of carbon comes back around the case when using the shorter 38s.

This is the jam mode I had on my new 1894 in .45 Colt. It turns out the front edge of the carrier was sharp as a knife and was digging into the base of the next round in the magazine tube as it tried to lift the one that was in the carrier. Jammed the lever vertical.

I disassembled it and used a stone to round off the front edge (this part is hardened) by hand. It took awhile to smooth it off, I put maybe a .020 radius on the front edge.

This solved it, zero jams since after hundreds of rounds.

Dan

Red Cent
September 22, 2011, 08:39 PM
J. McLeod, show the gunsmith this.
Marauder's site has everything about a Marlin.

http://marauder.homestead.com/files/Marlin94Fix.html

greyling22
September 22, 2011, 09:10 PM
4 to 6 weeks?! it could probably be fixed in 14 to 16 minutes.

Red Cent
September 23, 2011, 11:56 AM
If it has the typical Marlin jam, it might take a smidgeon longer that 16 minutes, not 6 weeks.

http://marauder.homestead.com/files/Marlin94Fix.html

Coyote Cap's Cure (Coyote Cap is known worldwide for his work on the 97s. He is also the one who made up the 93s/97s with China and had them imorted. I Have one.)

"Take the lever off and the carrier out, place them back onto the OUTSIDE of the frame using the mounting screws and a piece of tape to seperate the parts from the frame (to prevent scratching the bluing).

Measure the distance from the pivot of the lever mounting screw to the offending point on the lever (where it contacts the bottom of the carrier) and write this measurement down.

Then using a flat file or belt sander, remove enough metal from that darn point to make it flat, instead of a point, then low amp wire weld the same area back up beyond the measurement and then file it back down to a large flat spot that will match the flat of the carrier.

Then weld the depression line in the carrier, (that was caused by the sharp point on the lever), back above what it should have been, then file or grind it back down to a nice flat surface once again.

What you will have done is to do what Marlin should have done years ago when they knew they had a problem with speed cycling the rifles, (get rid of that sharp point).
Why Marlin has not cured this problem, long ago, amazes me."
wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

Folks, this problem has haunted Marlin owners for a loooonnng time. You would think that with all the posts on how to fix a Marlin, they would have noticed.

WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

"But I don't have a welder!!!??

Some folks have used other pieces of metal. They normally grind down the carrier to fit in another piece of hard metal. Some used JB Weld or a similar adhesive to attached hacksaw blades, others used two jig saw blades (with the teeth filed off).

Here's what Butcher John Remington did:
I went one better. I cut 2 strips of jig saw blade. (very hard steel) 1/2 " by about 1/8 " wide and removed the teeth. JB Welded them onto the bottom bottom plate where the carrier hit to keep the carrier up a little. Probably 6,000 rounds through it now and there is barely a mark on the pieces or steel and the problem never happened again."

grgvntlnd
September 23, 2011, 02:00 PM
I am pretty sure it is not the dreaded marlin jam. The gun has seen less than 500 rounds and has not had enough use to create the sort of wear required for that problem. It also never lets two rounds out of the tube.

I did read all of the forums and none of them seemed to match my issues. This did not surprise my wife and she was a little too happy when she noted that all of my issues are unique. It could possibly be the issue that Bergmen is describing as that seems to pretty well match my problems.

The smiths backlog runs about 2 weeks in hunting season and I dropped off my gun the day before his 2 week hunting trip. I have always been hesitant to file or sand on firearms based on the assumption that that would adversely affect the hardening of the part and eventually result in premature wearing of the part.

I had my 10-22s trigger apart and the pieces and a stone in hand when I made this decision. I realized that if I made the changes I would then need to figure out how to harden the part and then how to re-blue it to prevent rust. The smith has all of this siting there in his shop ready to go, so for me the little he charges is money well spent. I also like supporting local talent especially when they are practicing old trades that are seriously in decline today.

I appreciate everyone's input.

76shuvlinoff
September 23, 2011, 08:41 PM
I've got a late 70s Marlin 1894C in .357 that I bought here about 3 years ago, no hiccups to speak of in .357 or 38spcl. I trust it enough to leave it stoked next to my 870 for selective HD work.

ejnogarb
September 29, 2011, 03:27 PM
I have a Marlin 1894CSS from 2008 (I think), and it's the perfect gun. 100% reliable. It was one of the last ones made in the Marlin factory. I think once production began in Remington factories the QC went down.

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