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.357 leverguns: Rossi vs Marlin?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by SpookyPistolero, Nov 12, 2009.

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  1. SpookyPistolero

    SpookyPistolero Member

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    Howdy folks-

    I've been wanting a .357 levergun for a long while now, and would like to take the plunge. This will be a jack of all trades gun, from home defense to plinking to hunting. It will be carried often when woods-bumming. The shorter 16" barrel available on the Rossi makes it a tempting choice.

    Can anyone help me make a decision between the Rossi and Marlin?

    Is it worth a bit more price for the Marlin?

    Will both reliably feed .38 special ammo as well as .357?

    Either more smooth in action/trigger, more reliable?

    Thanks for any thoughts or info!
     
  2. nitetrane98

    nitetrane98 Member

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    I bought a Rossi for my son about 20 years ago and it was a real jam-o-matic. We never found anything that it really liked to digest consistently. Feeding was the real peoblem. It was fairly accurate and always ejected OK. Now, that was a long time ago and they might be better now. I was looking at getting one recently and can't believe that they want 500 bucks for the things now. I think we paid around 100 for the one I bought.
     
  3. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

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    Yes, the Marlin is worth the extra money.
     
  4. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    I have both. 16" rossi, and an 18" 1894c. they have both been worked on and smoothed up some. the marlin has a smoother action and a better trigger. the rossi is lighter, handier, and cycles 38's and semi-wadcutter better. the marlin has better fit, finish, sights and wood. I would choose the marlin 10 times out of 10 if I had to keep one. I haven't priced them lately, but if there is 120 bucks or less difference in price I would get the marlin. if not, well, it becomes more of a toss up. now, apparently marlin is coming out with a stainless 357. That is the one gun I would rather have than my 1894c, my stainless 44, or my rossi.

    also, the rossi holds 9 rounds instead of 10, making it unsuitable for CAS. or so I was told. sounds like a non-issue in your case though.
     
  5. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    16" doesn't attract me that much, since I have the Marlin and it already feels really short to me.:)

    The 1892's handling is legendary, but the Rossi doesn't exactly feel like the Winchester used to when you cycle it, at least without some work by a good cowboy action gunsmith.

    The Marlin is a lot easier to clean. Mine feeds .38 FN great, and .357 LSWCs great, but haven't tried a lot of others. These are my standard revolver handloads (light target and hot magnum trail loads), and they work fine in the lever gun.
     
  6. Gunfighter123

    Gunfighter123 Member

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    The Marlin is a MUCH better rifle. It is way smoother to lever out of the box , easy to mount a scope on , and a much more handsom rifle, IMHO. I have owned 3 Marlins with the 24" barrel and all of them were tackdrivers.
     
  7. SpookyPistolero

    SpookyPistolero Member

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    Thanks for all the great info guys! From handling the Marlin, and doing a lot of reading, the Marlin seems like the nicer gun by a good margin. I also like that it's a bit easier to disassemble.

    Might have one in my future soon!
     
  8. oldrevolverguy

    oldrevolverguy Member

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    You can stake your life on a Marlin.
     
  9. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

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    easy one -- MARLIN!
     
  10. Fireatwill

    Fireatwill Member

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    Rossi

    I bought the Rossi loving the 16" barrel. It would feed 38s pretty well but didn't like the .357s. I tried different ammo...same problem. I returned it to the dealer who sent it to Oklahoma for repair. Came back in three weeks, I could'nt wait to test it. Same problem. Buy the Marlin.
     
  11. Janos Dracwlya

    Janos Dracwlya Member

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    Rossi

    I bought a stainless .357 magnum Rossi for cowboy action shooting ten years ago and the only problem I have ever had was that it doesn't like some brands of semi-wadcutters. It works with the brands it doesn't like, but you have to lever it with a bit more authority to get it to cycle properly. Otherwise, it is a solid, accurate gun that never let me down in six years of cowboy action shooting and was my go-to gun for home defense for a while.

    As for smoothing out, that's what happens when you use it. In fact, after I had been in CAS a year, I ended up sharing the rifle with a fellow shooter who's Winchester had broken during a match. He wanted to know who had done the smithing on my Rossi - after a bit of use, the action was (and still is) really smooth.

    I don't know anything about the Marlins, though they do have a good reputation.

    For CAS, I always felt that the Rossi looked more Western than the Marlins, but that's just my perception, I know.
     
  12. atlanticfire

    atlanticfire Member

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    Marlin Marlin Marlin. have one in 45LC love it, shoot the "ruger" only loads great!
     
  13. Legionnaire

    Legionnaire Member

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  14. t165

    t165 Member

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    I've owned both and thought they were both fine guns. I currently have a Stainless 454 Casull Puma which is a very handy slick weapon. The Puma 92 action is stronger than the action of the Marlin. Marlin could never chamber the mighty 454 Casull in their guns because the action is too weak and would fail. It is a non issue with you because you wish a 357 magnum and as long as factory ammunition is used (or published handloads) the Marlin is perfectly safe. The biggest advantage I see for the Marlin over the Puma is how easy they are to scope. If I wanted a 357 magnum, 44 magnum, or a 45lc I would choose the Marlin. Not that the Marlin is a "better" gun but because it's design lends it to being scoped without having to buy one of those ugly scope mounts which clamps on the side of the receiver. I have never owned one of the older Rossi lever actions. Perhaps Puma has better quality control now. All gun manufacturers will throw a lemon from time to time and all firearm designs have weak points. I wouldn't hesitate to buy either as far as quality is concerned. Handle them both. Shoot both if you have an oppourtunity. Then, buy the one you prefer...
     
  15. gglass

    gglass Member

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    My .44 Magnum Puma M92 Scout has no problem at all with adding a scope. The only requirement is that the scope must have at least a 10" Long Eye Relief (LER). I will be picking up my .357 Rossi M92 (Non Scout) on Friday and I'll check under the rear sight to see if the barrel has been drilled and tapped for the weaver mount.

    [​IMG]

    To answer the OP's question. Either brand of rifle will serve you well. I like both but each has a unique flavor.

    When Winchester stopped producing the Model 1892 back in 1941, Rossi and a couple of other companies stepped up to produce licensed copies... Much like today's market for 1911's being reproduced by so many gun manufacturers. Other than the additional safety, the Rossi M92 is built exactly the way John Moses Browning designed it... Perfect. There has never been a better design for a pistol length cartridge rifle in my book. The 1894 is a great design as well, but it was designed around Winchester's longer .3O WCF (.30-30) rifle cartridge. Any shorter chamberings require a reworking of the internal action.

    The Marlin 1894 Cowboy is a high quality rifle and has definitely been touched over by Marlin from the original 1894 design, but the changes have been beneficial. I do like the .357 version of the 1894 Cowboy, but the .44 Mag version has a too slow twist rate (1:38") to stabilize heavier bullets. I much prefer the 1:20" rate of the Rossi .44 Mag.
     
  16. t165

    t165 Member

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    I'm curious gglass, is your Puma 92 scout scope base held with screws or does the mount slide into a dovetail (or both)? The rear sight on my 454 Casull 92 Puma is held in place by the dovetail slot. I like the look of your Puma with the scout scope setup. Are these scout scope mounts available as an aftermarket item by Legacy Arms or another manufacturer?
     
  17. wnycollector

    wnycollector Member

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    I own a Rossi/puma 44 mag and a buddy has a marlin (1895?) in 45-70. My rossi came out of the box with an action and trigger smoother than my buddies marlin! Mine cycles both .44 special and 44 mag with ease. The only downside to the rossi is the rear sight...it suck real bad! For $45 I solved the problem with a Skinner barrel mounted peep sight.

    I almost bought a 16" rossi two months ago at a gun show for $375 NIB...but I decided to check out the entire show to see if there were any better deals to be had. Big mistake, I walked back 10 minutes later and someone else was filling out the paperwork for it. That little 16" rossi is still on my buy on sight list.
     
  18. achildofthesky

    achildofthesky Member

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  19. bukijin

    bukijin Member

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    Any more info about this ?? I would love to get my hands on a new stainless 1894 in .357 !!
     
  20. natman

    natman Member

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    I've owned both and the Marlin is far better made. The only thing the Rossi has going for it is Winchester 92 nostalgia. Unless that's the driving force behind your purchase, get the Marlin.
     
  21. PRM

    PRM Member

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    My father-n-law has the Marlin
    I have the Rossi/Puma

    Bought mine over 20 years ago - before all the interest in Cowboy Action Shooting took hold of the market. Gave less than $200 for it. I really like it now, looking at the cost of new ones.

    Far as dependability - mine has never gave any problems. Neither has my father-law's Marlin. Both are good dependable guns.
     
  22. kanook

    kanook Member

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    I've got both. I enjoy shooting both. Never had a problem with either. The Marlin (I own ) is micro grooved and sets the spent casings to the right of me. The Rossi is standard rifleing and ejects the spents casings into the top of my hat.
     
  23. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

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  24. t165

    t165 Member

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    I have to disagree with DeepSouth. He did not name which firearm design he predicts will "run out of parts" 25 years from now but that is pure folly. Both designs will always have parts availability. Computer driven CNC technology is going to do nothing but expand. There will always be affordable, easy to find, spare parts for the 1894 Marlin and 1892 Winchester type firearms. And lets not forget...both the Winchester 1892 and Marlin 1894 rifles have been discontinued in the past only to be resurrected again. The sky is not falling nor will it.
     
  25. 25 Pdr

    25 Pdr Member

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    Had a second hand Rossi Puma in 38/357 for just over a year. I used it for the Police Pistol course of fire here in the UK. I was going through > 5000 rounds a year.

    I had nothing but trouble, the main problem is double feeding, the second round would escape and lodge under the carrier, requiring the magazine tube to be opened to clear the jam, not good in a competition. In my opinion the design of the cartridge stop does not lend itself to a large amount of use. I changed the stop many times.

    Other problems are a heavy hammer spring, throwing live rounds out the gun,and very hard to strip down and reassemble.

    I get so fed up with the reliability I gave it to a friend free of charge. I'm now waiting on a Marlin coming from the USA.Our club guns are all Marlins and they are the one to go for.

    The Rossi would be OK for casual use, but not for high volume shooting. IMHO
     
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