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.357mag Lever gun Applications

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by maskedman504, Apr 24, 2012.

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  1. maskedman504

    maskedman504 Member

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    Hi Gents,

    Two years ago, I got my first lever action. A 50's production Winchester 1894 in .30-30. Really like the gun. Good kick, steel butt plate, just enough oopmh. For one reason or another, I have became infatuated with a lever gun in .357 mag. I just cannot seem to find a reason to buy one. I guess whitetails within 100 yards- but, to me, that is no fun. Plinking would be expensive to make it go BANG (I guess it can go bang with .38spl. Should I just be stepping up to the plate and getting a .45-70? I would like to use it for deer; I have recently moved to the midwest and could possibly be after larger game. Opinions from owners of either caliber would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    I now own 5 lever rifles:

    Browning BLR .300 WSM
    Marlin .444
    Marlin 1894c .357
    Winchester 94 Packer .44 magnum
    Henry .22LR

    Each has it's own purpose and usefulness. Which to get is always going to be answered by, "it depends."

    My Browning BLR is an elk rifle, my Marlin .444 is my woods gun for Idaho that has grizzly and with my configuration, very mild recoil. The Winchester is my truck and camp gun. The .357 was supposed to be my wife's woods gun since she is recoil sensitive, but to date, she doesn't like it. I find it to be a great gun, but yes, expensive for plinking. The Henry .22 is a great plinker and one that my wife likes.

    The .357 and .44 magnum rifles complement my 2 .357 revolvers and my Ruger Super Redhawk in .44 magnum so I can use the same ammo for all of them of the same caliber.

    For the midwest with black bear and dear, many might recommend the 30-30 which does have it use, but it is so close to the .44 magnum in ballistic within a hundred yards, I see little use of it for my own collection.

    If you are considering bear, the 45-70 would be the best choice since you can load it up or down on your needs. But if hunting from a tree stand for black bear is in your future, the 45-70 gives you the most flexibility IF you can handle the recoil of the stout loads. I didn't want to go there in my own choices but I have thought of it from time to time especially if I came across the Marlin 45-70 in steel barrel with ghost ring and large lever handle set up. that is a neat looking rifle, but I have yet to see one anywhere.

    http://www.marlinfirearms.com/Firearms/bigbore/1895SBL.asp

    I believe those options cover most of the ordinary uses of these different lever rifles and there are much more on the market than this of course. Find the purpose you wish to use the rifle, and then find a rifle that fits that purpose.
     
  3. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    Well, first of all the cost difference between .38Spl and .357 reduces to around one penny or less for the additional powder if you reload your own plinking ammo. Similarly you can cut the cost of .30-30 plinking in half as well. Or even less if you get into casting your own bullets. But most folks find casting their own to be somewhat over the top. Even so there's enough low cost jacketed and cast bullets available to the reloader that are suitable for lever guns that you can save a bundle.

    As to the "why" of a .357 lever rifle if you're finding reasons not to get one then it's likely not for you.

    For myself it's a fun round to shoot at the longer distances where the .38Spl rounds would produce a rather rainbow like trajectory. With .357Mag I can reach out to 200 yards for plinking purposes with not that much holdover or click adjustments to the rear sight. And since I reload these rounds I'm shooting for around 13 to 17 cents a shot depending on the bullet choice. And that sort of cost leads me to shoot more.

    As for what sort of hunting you could do with it I'd guess that it would be suitable for anything that can be hunted with a .357Mag pistol. But with the rifle you can reach out a little farther. And let's not forget that for hunting you would be able to choose some 180gn flat nose "trash can" bullets that should deliver a lot of impact energy.
     
  4. M1key

    M1key Member

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    357 carbines are just dandy shooters...:cool:

    M
     
  5. Water-Man

    Water-Man Member

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    I use my .38/.357 for plinking and deer primarily. Of course it could also be used for HD as well although it's not my first choice for that purpose.
     
  6. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    My .357 is a great gun, but I don't pull it out that much since I have better choices for Idaho woods. Perhaps one day my wife will start to like it. I don't see her going with the .44 at all because of recoil. Not really much use for the little rifle, but I still like it and don't plan on getting rid of it.

    A 30-30 may be more in line with what you are describing. Interestingly, the .357 with top end Buffalo Bore ammo approaches 30-30 ballistics.
     
  7. maskedman504

    maskedman504 Member

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    I am just not sure if there is a better option for the Great Plains of Western Kansas is all.... :)

    Perhaps I should be looking for some sort of bolt gun. I am getting awfully eager to go 'yote hunting.

    Also, I got the .30-30 covered. After about 40 recoils from that steel butt-plate is enough for a day to me. :D
     
  8. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    30-30 is a great deer rifle, has better range and ammo choices than .357 and is a legitimate bear rifle for black bear. .357 rifles are adequate for deer up to about 100 yards. If it was all I had, I would certainly use it for a bear coming at me, but by no means is it my first choice for that. 30-30 for Kansas gives you more options to use for deer and medium sized animals and for black bear as well if you had to. Not sure how much black bear you have in Kansas, but even without that, the 30-30 gives you better ballistics and range up to about 200 yards. The .357 won't match that at that distance.
     
  9. shiftyer1

    shiftyer1 Member

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    I have a .22 mag for varmits, also a marlin lever in .357 that serves that purpose also...BUT, I can use it for coyotes, deer, and hogs too. I like it for a house gun also.

    I also keep a winchester 30-30 in the truck along with a .22lr. I bought the marlin as a truck gun but didn't want to beat it up:)

    I'm not a big recoil guy.....357 in a rifle is enjoyable to me and still gets the job done.

    I pair 38-357 with a wheelgun, if I was to do it over I may choose .44 mag.

    It's a nice short handy gun if you know it's limitations and pleasent to shoot. What more do you need?
     
  10. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Member

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    Back when I was living in a couple villages, I had a couple 357 Mag Rossi lever guns. They held more rounds than my 30-30s, the M-92 style action is fast to cycle and the little carbines worked fine on caribou within 100 yards. (125s loaded to 2,350 fps)
    Later two of my daughters carried them while berry picking, loaded with 158 grain flat nose Keith SWCs loaded pretty hot (1900 fps), or 180 grain solids loaded to 1,400 fps. Not the best defense around, but 10 of them should make a couple nasty bruises.
     
  11. Lonerider357

    Lonerider357 Member

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    We have 4 357/38 rifles..but then we are Cowboy Shooters!
     
  12. DirtyHarry31

    DirtyHarry31 Member

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    I hae a Hartford EMF (puma) stainless lever in 357 mag. That along with my S&W 686 w/4" barrel then a S&W 360 M&P for a backup lets me carry 38/357 ammo that I can use inevery gun for any close situations. This is my truck/camping/survival I would use even hiking the trails.

    This group is a nice combo for wife to kids use that we all could have fun with.
     
  13. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    As others have said, it's about being a very versatile rifle. Yes, you can have a specialized gun for each of the things you can do with a .357 carbine. But a .357 carbine is great for doing lots of roles. It's the typical "jack of all trades, master of none."

    If you want a dedicated deer rifle, sure, get a .30-30 lever gun, or a .270 bolt gun.
    And if you just want a plinker, get a .22. if you want an HD rifle, get an AR15, etc.. etc...
    But in the end, a .357mag rifle, will really do a lot to cover a lot of those bases. I don't want to derail this into a SHTF thread, but should that event occur, you could do a whole heck of a lot worse than a .357 revolver with matching lever rifle.
    That's one reason I have my Security Six and Rossi M92. It will cover me for pretty much anything I could need to do between bad breath distance and 125 yards.
     
  14. salvo

    salvo Member

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    My premier jackrabbit hunting gun:)
    Marlin 1894 CB


    IMG_20070721_0047.jpg
     
  15. ExAgoradzo

    ExAgoradzo Member

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    I like my 1894 357: but that is my fav round (have two wheel guns). The 44 1894 is 'better' in terms of hunting purposes: If I HAD to trade one of them it would be the 357. I also just bought the 1895GG in 45-70. I did it for all the non-practical reasons we buy guns for: but my excuse is that when we go to the North this year I want to protect us from Grizz if he comes into our camp.
    I too love lever guns. I can let my 10 year old or when he was 8 he and his buddy shoot a 'real' gun and not worry about recoil.
    My next will be the BLR 308. Then I think I'll have enough lever guns unless it is a Win 30-30.
     
  16. tubeshooter

    tubeshooter Member

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    I would recommend that any .357 lever owner who might want to hunt medium game one day consider getting a .30-30 also.

    Then you don't have any excuse to push your .357 rifle too hard, or have to wonder if you've got enough gun for your particular hunt.

    It will cost about half of what the .357 rifle cost, and will be good insurance.



    Just get a box of .30-30 for Serious Business™ and plink away with your .357 to your heart's content. You're all set - bases covered!
     
  17. rugerman

    rugerman Member

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    I've killed deer with mine, light handy, holds plenty of ammo, very little recoil and great gun for a kid to step up from rimfires with. We have a get together every year and the most popular gun there is my .357 carbine, kids (young & old) love to bust 2 liter bottles full of water with it. If you reload it isn't expensive to shoot, if you aren't you should.
     
  18. tk1971

    tk1971 Member

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    My wife loves the Marlin 1894c. Short carbine, 357 mag hollow points and lots of range time = perfect home defense rifle for her. Also easy to top off as you shoot.

    I also have a Win 94 30-30, as well as a Marlin 39-A 22.

    I have all my lever action bases covered.

    Range time is fun with hollow points and fruit (if your range allows plinking of such things). Lemons explode and you can smell it. Pumpkins are fun as you try to find all the pieces. Someone put a bowling ball down the range once. Everyone had fun trying to roll from one side of the range to the other (hitting it on the sides).

    I guess the question is: Why not get one?

    Remember the days when Winchester was around and you can get a 357 Marlin or Winchester for $299 at Big 5? I saw recently that they want more than $600 for a 357 Marlin now-a-days.
     
  19. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    1894C here does it all as stated above plus the few bear that are here are small
     
  20. SabbathWolf

    SabbathWolf member

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    Well yeah, but I also remember when a gallon of gas was under a dollar.
    It was priced in "cents"......lol
     
  21. goon

    goon Member

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    If you find plinking with a .38 or .357 rifle to be too expensive then you need to start reloading!

    I had a Marlin 1894 .357 once and everyone who shot it couldn't help but smile. I'd love to have another at some point when finances allow.
     
  22. Badlander

    Badlander Member

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    Step up to the plate! Get the 45-70.
     
  23. scramasax

    scramasax Member

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    The .357/38 levergun is a good mate to the same caliber revolver for a basic two gun fun/hunting/survival/hd battery. Add a simple 12/20 guage scattergun and you will be minimaly armed for 99.9% of anything you will need. Add a compact Lee loading set and components and you are off to the frontier.

    Cheers,

    ts
     
  24. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Very versatile gun, 105 Lee cast SWC at 900 fps shoots 1.5" groups at 50 yards from my Rossi 92 carbine and 20" barrel. Great small game load. It shoots a cast, gas checked Keith style SWC from a 158 lee mold (165 grains actual weight) to just under 1900 fps, takes deer/hog to 100 yards. All I need do is adjust sight elevation between these two loads and I can shoot anything from squirrel to hogs.
     
  25. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I didn't need a .30-30 when i got my .357. I already had a .257 Roberts. I now have added a 7mm Rem Mag and a .308 winchester. :D AND, the .30-30 sux even with squib loads as a small game rifle. I have a .30-30, taken five deer with it, a 12" pistol in the caliber. Good caliber, but some is the .357 within its range limits of 100 yards on medium game.
     
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