Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by trekker73, Jul 25, 2020.
My wife has a stainless Marlin, which I gave her, to replace her problematic Rossi. She has not complained about the Marlin’s accuracy.
Any way it shoots quite well. Remington factory 158 357 groups just under 2 inches at 100 yards. Velocity is about 1900fps. Hornady 158 xtp group about the same and are around 1800 fps. This is over a not quite max charge of 296.Forget factory 38 specials unless jacketed bullets. Many will not feed and the accuracy is pretty bad. Leading is severe with any tried. Some seem to actually strip in the rifling. Hard cast , loaded 1200 to 1500 fps, are great fun.
Not sure about using the factory ammo for deer. The xtp looks like it would do very well. It is designed for the impact velocity generated
I reload so once things settle down a bit, I am going to try to find a load that works in all three. I do not hunt so my purpose is range fun and possible home defense. I like plated bullets so I need to keep the Berry's under 1,500 fps.
I don't think it matters which brand or style you pick and I bump into people from time to time who own Winchester, Marlin, Rossi, Uberti and Henry but that is too rich for my blood. They seem to have one thing they really like about each one and one thing they would or have changed. I guess the quest for the perfect lever rifle goes on.
We play birch golf with it at camp. 3-5 small birch logs are placed at various ranges and covers to 100+ yards. A stroke is charged for every shot until they are knocked over, the first 2 shots are free leading to some birdies and eagles with a clean run. Each shooter runs his "hole" in turn with the same settings. The ammo is low-vel cast 158s, and all shots are offhand. Each shooter gets to set up at least one "hole," making for some interesting courses of fire. Past 75 yards, some significant Kentucky comes into play, making it a very challenging game. Cheap and loads of fun to shoot.
I have put about 700 rounds through this gun. It is accurate and VERY reliable. I have fired .357 and .38 Special rounds through it with zero malfunctions. I have fired RNFP, round nose, conical hollow points and a few semi-wadcutters through it without issue.
I bought it to shoot Cowboy Action and it has been a very nice rifle. It is also a fun plinker and a great sidekick for my .357 revolvers.
I also have a Winchester 94 Trails End .357 that I bought back in 1998. This is the most accurate pistol caliber long gun I have ever fired. It was my first “Cowboy Action” gun. This gun is a .357 Magnum ONLY gun. It does not consistently reliably feed .38 Special especially when shooting fast. All Winchester 94 .357’s have this problem. Those that don’t will.
I have put thousands of rounds through this gun. I have replaced the link 3 times (the little nipple wears and disrupts feeding). I have replaced other parts as well.
I no longer use this gun in matches. It is purely a fun gun now and it’s the one I bring out for accuracy competition at CAS matches, on the rare occasion there’s a side match.
Honestly, I would consider a “new” Marlin 1894. By new I mean one made in the last couple of years. Once manufacturing moved to Ilion NY in 2010 Marlin 1894s were very poorly made up until around 2017. Lots of QA issues but it seems they have worked out their manufacturing bugs.
One nice thing about the Marlin. It is labeled as a “.357 Magnum / .38 Special” gun right on the barrel. It’s not a .357 that also shoots.38s. It is made to shoot both and does so very well.
One more thing. Lots of folks seem to like Rossi 92s. I personally think they are junk. But, I have only owned one but worked on a couple. The first time I looked inside the one that I bought I truly thought that the insides of a poorly made Chinese SKS looked better. It seemed like I was always having to fix, adjust, modify or replace something in that gun. If you are a tinkerer or your goal in life is to have something that always needs attention of some kind, then a Rossi might be worth a look. Like I said, lots of people like them. I do not.
Good luck in your quest.
You can't get me to get rid of this gun.
Ruger 77/357. (w/ tip-off aperture sight)
Camp/woods carbine - that also does HD duty.
Initially got it as a companion to my Ruger Blackhawk 6.5" .357 mag..
But, in practice, they have a similar philosophy of use, so generally take one or the other, and offset each w/ a .22 LR pistol or carbine, respectively.
And it sits loaded in the corner, both camp and home.
How it shoots, w/ 158 gr. Federal American Eagle JSP or Hornady Custom XTP-HP, is ~ +/- 2MOA from field positions.
Has hardly any recoil or report.
It is light enough to carry all day in the field (5.5 lbs), and is heavy enough to take deer and hogs at reasonable ranges.
If you put a 158 gr. Federal AE JSP into a rabbit - it will punch a .35 cal hole through it much like an expanding .22 LR 36 gr. HP from a carbine.
Put the same round into a deer or hog at reasonable range - and it will set up and still penetrate 18+ inches.
Mine has a 2x Aimpoint. 357/20 gauge. Bought it for deer in the thick stuff but it is fun to shoot. Seems to like the Leverevolution loads.
Them 357 Marlins are excellent and way underestimated in my opinion!
I'd feel pretty confident using 180gr XTP's or WFN (if they feed well) for deer at reasonable distances.
I put together a 357Max carbine with that intent once upon a time at least.
an 1894c / blackhawk.....
same carbine on my old jeep.
Of the three, I must admit that the .45 Colt is my favorite rifle. Loading those fat cartridges through the gate and thwacking my steel plates is loads of fun.
A family photo:
The .357 is another fun plinker that I’ll occasionally pair with a K-frame .357 for SxS adventures in the back country.
I bought a Rossi Model 92 (pre-safety - pre-Braztech) new about 1995. 20-inch barrel, 357 Mag. I love it... one of my favs. It's a good shooter with 158gr and a real tack driver with Fiocchi 357 MAG 142 GR FMJTC. Attached are a couple recent pics of the Rossi. Very simple. Nothing fancy. Nice stock though.
Separate names with a comma.