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Best Lever Action?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by sprice, Jan 31, 2011.


Which and why?

  1. Winchester 1873

    5 vote(s)
  2. Winchester 1892

    20 vote(s)
  3. Marlin 1894

    61 vote(s)
  1. sprice

    sprice New Member

    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 ;)
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  2. BillyDa59

    BillyDa59 New Member

    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.
  3. 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.

  4. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 New Member

  5. CraigC

    CraigC Active Member

    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.
  6. Tomcat47

    Tomcat47 New Member

    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!
  7. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Active Member

    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.
  8. VA27

    VA27 Active Member

    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
  9. GuysModel94

    GuysModel94 New Member

    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"!!!
  10. snakeman

    snakeman New Member

    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
  11. McCall911

    McCall911 New Member

    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.
  12. jmr40

    jmr40 Active Member

    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.
  13. x_wrench

    x_wrench New Member

    i voted marlin, mostly because i am sort of a marlin junkie.
  14. 788Ham

    788Ham New Member

    Go with the Savage, strongest lever out there! Get one in .300 cal., you'll do very well then.
  15. 36fan

    36fan New Member

    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.
  16. civilian75

    civilian75 New Member

    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!
  17. 45-70 Ranger

    45-70 Ranger New Member

    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!

  18. Joe in fla

    Joe in fla New Member

    Oops, never mind.
  19. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Active Member

    No synthetic stocked, stainless BLR in .270?
  20. CraigC

    CraigC Active Member

    Hmmm, all my Winchesters function just fine, as do my Marlins and Ubertis. Plus the 1892 and 1886 ARE stronger than their Marlin counterparts.

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