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.357 mag levergun recommendations?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Arrogant Bastard, Sep 10, 2008.

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  1. Arrogant Bastard

    Arrogant Bastard Member

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    Some time down the road, I am considering picking up a .357 mag levergun. The two I have seen thus far are the Marlin 1894c (which i hear has a tendency to jam), and the Puma M-92.

    What other recommendations would you make, and why?

    (I'd like to stick to .357 mag, as I already have a .357 mag revolver, and can shoot that or the cheaper .38 spl out of it.)
     
  2. hamourkiller

    hamourkiller Member

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    The Marlin 1894 is the best of the lot. It is drilled and tapped for scope or peep sights. I have had mine for many trouble free years and am very pleased with it.
     
  3. Dr. Fresh

    Dr. Fresh Member

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    Keep in mind that .38s are of a different length than .357s. This isn't an issue in a revolver, but some .357 leverguns won't cycle .38s very well.


    That said, I have an Italian replica of the Winchester 1866 in .38 Special and I love it.
     
  4. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    My 1894C happily feeds .38 Special LSWC, .357 Magnum SJHP, and whatever other hard-to-feed ammo I can stuff in it. Accurate, too.

    Hasn't jammed yet. I've really liked it.

    The Marlin is easier to clean, and a solid design that resists rain and dirt. It balances and points well for me, but is a bit more center-heavy than the 1892. The only reasons I'd consider the 1892 is that the old Winchester design has wonderful handling, and is available in stainless. Y'all sweat in Houston, I'll bet.

    If you want to scope it or put on ghost rings, the Marlin is the only way to go. If you want stainless, the Puma is. Otherwise, I think the Marlin is a simpler, easier-to-maintain design, but some find the 92's handling irresistible.

    Swing both around and give it some thought.:)

    Beware: these guns can get VERY, VERY expensive. The recoil is minimal to nonexistent, they're really fun, and they hold a good number of rounds. You can go through a box of 50 in no time flat, and you won't be able to stop.:)
     
  5. stan in sc

    stan in sc Member

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    Don't overlook the Henry in .357.I have seen one being shot at 100 yards and they are accurate as well as pretty.
    Stan
     
  6. H2O MAN

    H2O MAN member

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    I paired my Winchester Trapper with a Ruger GP100

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Semmerling

    Semmerling Member

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    Yep...don't do it. Its just enough to be too litle.
     
  8. woof

    woof Member

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    I love my Marlin 1894c and have never had a problem with .38spcl jamming. Only those that are short in overall length will jam. I don't remember the dimensions but there is info on that online and easy to check before you buy ammo.
     
  9. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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  10. shooting4life

    shooting4life Member

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    I have a win94 in 357 mag. I bought it with the plan of having it rechambered to 357 maximum. We all know what happens to the guns we buy and have plans for.
     
  11. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    my marlin 1894c prefers 357's to 38's, and hates a semi-wadcutter.
     
  12. SGW42

    SGW42 Member

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    I've fondled the Puma and was not impressed. I would stick with the Marlin.
     
  13. Landlocked Pirate

    Landlocked Pirate Member

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    I've never had a jam with either .38s or .357s in my Marlin.
     
  14. Crazy Fingers

    Crazy Fingers member

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    Interesting. I am in the market for a .357 lever gun as well, and was in Gander Mountain looking at them the other day. I held the Marlin and the Puma and the Puma is definitely the better looking piece. The wood to metal fit seemed better on the Puma. The wood of the Marlin looks like sawdust with some orangeish stain thrown on it, then sprayed with a can of hardware store brand lacquer. The old Marlins have okay wood, but the new ones are just an eyesore.

    Supposedly the older Pumas were not assembled as well as they are today. The early ones also supposedly had reliability problems, so if you go with the Puma buy new.

    The Puma is also available in a stainless octagonal barrel. Mmmm. Supposedly the dark wood that comes with the stainless is easy to refinish and is great looking when you do so. I did notice that Gander was very over priced on the Puma. Look at Budsgunshop.com.
     
  15. SGW42

    SGW42 Member

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    The main thing that threw me off the Puma was the wobbly little safety on top of the receiver.

    I looked over a brand new Marlin 39A in a shop last weekend and noticed the wood and fit was subpar. The guy behind the counter mentioned something about lower quality on the new "Remington-Marlins."
     
  16. JaxNovice

    JaxNovice member

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    What type of hunting can you do with a .357 levergun?
     
  17. MAKster

    MAKster Member

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    You can hunt deer to 50-75 yards with standard 158 grain SP. If you use the Buffalo Bore ammo you are getting into 30-30 territory.
     
  18. goon

    goon Member

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    You could hunt up to medium sized whitetails with a .357 lever action. Use bullets that will penetrate adequately and you should be pretty good out to 75 yards, maybe 100 if you're good enough.
    I'd also like to have another one - they're about the most fun gun you can imagine.
    You can show up at the range with a whole pick-up full of guns but you'd better bring a lot of ammo for a lever action .357 because everyone will want to shoot it.
     
  19. blkbrd666

    blkbrd666 Member

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    I know nothing about Puma, but I bought a Marlin, used but like new condition, recently and it's AWESOME. It is probably an older one as the checkering is actually cut into the wood rather than stamped, as I have seen on some newer rifles. Never jams with a cartridge with an exposed bullet...won't feed wadcutters, but I wouldn't expect it to. Very accurate, and from the ballistics I've seen, probably accurate to at least 75 yards or more...probably more. Now I am looking for a matching pistol just to have "the set".
     
  20. glockman19

    glockman19 Member

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    My Dream Combo is a Marlin 1894C and a S&W 586 4".
     
  21. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    I have a Marlin 1894C in .357 and a Rossi 1892 in .45 Colt.

    Both are excellent firearms. If you buy a Rossi, do yourself a favor and ship it to Steve Young for an action job. He is the pro, and will really slick it up. Some say that they have problems cycling .38s in the Marlin .357, but that has never been a problem for me, even using bullets as small at 122 grains.
     
  22. Mason38

    Mason38 Member

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    The local gun store here has both a .357 Henry and a Marlin 1894c and I think the Henry is better by far, altough it is more expensive. They use to have a pair of 336 .357's that were nice. Out of all of them the action on the Henry was the best on any lever gun I've ever touched.

    -Allen
     
  23. owlhoot

    owlhoot Member

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    Most Marlins, especially the newer ones, are pickly about .38 ammo. This isn't a problem if you roll your own ammo. Just keep the OAL to around 1.45". And as someone said, they usually don't like semiwad bullets.

    Although I share the perception that Marlin isn't as QC oriented as they once were, the Marlin still has certain advantages.

    The mechanism is simple, strong, and relatively trouble free. The lever throw is short. And the rifle is easy to slick up even for the non-handy types. Detailed directions on how to do this are available on the net. The Marlin is tapped for either a peep sight or scope. Such is not the case with the Puma.

    The Puma is a sound gun but the 92 is a very complex design compared to the Marlin. The lever throw is fairly long. But it is an attractive gun. I ditto the suggestion to send the Puma to Steve Young for an action job. He is super reasonable and does great work. Or buy a Puma from him complete with action job. He will ship to your dealer.

    The silly little safety lever mounted on top of the Puma receiver is present on the guns from certain distributors. It is possible to get the Puma 92 without that safety from other distributors, and that is certainly what I would want.

    There are several other lever action carbines available and they are fine guns, but they cost about twice as much as the Marlin or Puma.

    For plinking or hunting either Marlin or Puma will serve well. Both are very accurate. I haven't put my guns on paper but I can certainly bounce a gallon can all day long at 125 to 150 yards.

    I have a Marlin 94 and a repro Win 73 in .38/357 and a Puma 92 and a repro Win 1866 Yellowboy in .45 LC.

    I like them all, but the Marlin gives the biggest bang for the buck,
     
  24. mainmech48

    mainmech48 Member

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    I don't currently own a Marlin 94, but my old one, a very early production C-model in .357, was dead-solid reliable and very accurate. The only issues I ever had with .38 Spl. ammo were all related to full WC's, flush-seated or slightly extended. Everything else functioned just fine as long as I paid attention to my 'levering' technique.

    I currently own two pre-Taurus Rossi 92's and a much-treasured IMI Timberwolf pump in .357. IMO, there are few combos with as many practical advantages as a good revolver and a carbine chambered for the same ammo.

    Of the two Rossi's, my most used is the little 16" Trapper, mostly because of its outstanding handling and all-around usefullness when 'woods bumming'. It s petite dimensions also proved to be invaluable as a training aid for my youngest nephew when none of the .22 RF longarms I had at the time were small enough for him to shoulder comfortably. With mild .38 Spl. 158 gr. SWC handloads the recoil was negligible and he was able to ring the swingers just as often (and with enough more 'authority') to engender some envy in his older, larger brother. Good thing I brought enough ammo along!

    Both the 92's have been extremely reliable (with the same full-WC exception as the Marlin) and are very, very accurate with selected loads.

    The M-92 design is more complex than the Marlin, which makes detailed action cleaning a more involved process. Routine bore cleaning must be done from the muzzle or via "Boresnake", but as I have both a rod guide and a Boresnake of the proper size it's not an issue for me.

    The most "practical" advantages to the Marlin design, IMO, are the relative ease of adding a receiver sight and the stronger aftermarket support for parts and accessories.

    Personally, the cost for having two holes located, drilled and tapped in the receiver for a Lyman 66 didn't faze me as it amounted to a fraction of the difference in cost between the two and I really love the way a M-92 feels and handles. YMMV, as the retail "street" cost difference now is a whole heckuva lot less than it formerly was. IIRC, the most expensive of my two Rossi's was $275 NIB and OTD at a "1500" show several years ago. At that time a new Marlin 94c went for $369.95 at our local Wally World.
     
  25. foghornl

    foghornl Member

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    One word....

    Marlin

    H20Man...that Winchester just screams to be teamed up with a .357 Vaquero or Blackhawk, but the GP-100 is always a good choice.

    My .30/30 Marlin gets matched up sometimes with my .357 "Sheriff's Model" Vaquero.

    About the Marlins sometimes jamming...yeah on SOME models, the cartridge carrier/lifter would get a tiny groove worn into by a sharp edge on (maybe??) the lever cam. Radiusing the cam a tiny bit and either VERY SLIGHTLY bending or replacing the shell carrier solved that issue. I used to have the article on fixing the "Marlin Jam", but I can't find it right now.

    ahhh...here is the link to fixing the Marlin Jam:

    http://eightbits.home.att.net/marlinjam.html
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2008
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