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Help picking a leveraction combo

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Jackal1, Aug 8, 2016.

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  1. Jackal1

    Jackal1 Member

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    Help me fill in the blanks...

    AR-15 5.56 carbine is to AR-10 308 carbine
    but,
    Rossi92/Marlin 1894 ?? carbine is to ?? Win94/Marlin 1895 carbine

    I cant help but want a 16" Stainless Rossi 92 in 44mag/44spcl for when I do deep forest tracking hunts and I figure I could use 44 special for home defense... but maybe a 357mag/38spcl is better for home. But then do I partner the pistol-caliber carbine with a 30-30 or a 45-70?

    I guess I figure the best levergun combo is either 44mag with 45-70 or 357mag with 30-30. My dilemma is that I just can't make myself care deeply enough for the 357mag rifle nor the 45-70 which leaves me with a 44mag paired with a 30-30. Given a 6lb 44 paired with 6.5lb 30-30 the more powerful rifle has less recoil and weighs within 8oz. I feel like the math says I should forget about a pistol caliber carbine and just buy a 30-30 but then again I do not really care to shoot a 30-30 inside the home.

    Any advice is appreciated from those who've been through this already...
     
  2. adcoch1

    adcoch1 Member

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    I have the Rossi 92 stainless 20" 44mag. Its a great little rifle, and having one type of ammo for it and the pistol is awesome. A 357 in a rifle is no slouch either, and may be more versatile than the 44. Every job the 30-30 does the 44 CAN do, maybe not quite as well, but it can do it. If i had a 30-30 already i wouldn't have bought the 44, but i won't go get a 30-30 to cover the gap up to my 30-06... hope that helps

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  3. aHFo3

    aHFo3 Member

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    If I had to reduce my levers down to two, I'd keep the Marlin 357 and the Marlin 45/70. They're both extremely versatile. It's hard to go wrong with any combination of those 4 calibers, though.


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  4. ECVMatt

    ECVMatt Member

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    The .30-30 and the .44 are pretty similar. The .30-30 takes on its own shine past 100 yards. Of the two, I would go with the .30-30 hands down.

    I think if you had the chance to play with a .357 in a rifle it would win you over. It is disproportionally powerful for what it is, has very little recoil and report, and is very accurate. If you snoop around the internet and read about .357 rifles you will find some very interesting information. I picked one up on a whim and now have two leveractions, a single shot, and a bolt action in .357. I have killed hogs with mine and just about everyone in my family can shoot them as well (four year old excepted). I am sold on the utility of the .357 YMMV.

    Hope this helps,

    Matt
     
  5. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Jackal1

    Given your choices I think I would go with the .357 carbine along with a .30-30 carbine.
     
  6. Reloadron

    Reloadron Member

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    I guess I am missing the point of all of this. You want to end up with two carbine type rifles? For what you describe I would want a good revolver like a S&W Model 29 and a complimentary rifle like the Ruger 44 Carbine or similar lever gun in 44 Remington Magnum. One cartridge fits both and if you wanted to download use 44 Special in the revolver. The same combination would apply with a .357 cartridge. Anyway, I see a revolver complimented by a rifle of the same caliber rather than two rifles of independent caliber.

    Just My Take....
    Ron
     
  7. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Jackal1, about 30 years ago I scratched an itch like yours (I had developed my itch ~20 years prior) with the purchase of one/ea S&W629 and Marlin 1894S.

    Neither is scoped, I have always preferred shooting over irons.

    Both firearms can handle full-power .44mag but can also handle ammunition downloaded into the .44spc range. For plinking purposes, the downloaded ammo is a real pleasure to shoot ... and still leaves big holes. :)

    Quite frankly, these days, most of what I shoot in my 659 is .44spc.

    Have fun making your decision(s)!
     
  8. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    A hot .357 load, i.e. 180g Buffalo Bore, in a 20" carbine length barrel picks up enough velocity and energy to approach .30-30 ballistics. Do you really need the second rifle in .30-30?
     
  9. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Member

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    There are some subtle and some not so subtle differences between a pistol caliber lever rifle and a rifle cartridge. I really like my Uberti 1873 in 357 magnum. It was my favorite go to rifle for most anything for a long time. It is pretty heavy and has a different balance than say my 1894 in 30-30.

    Now that I am casting my own bullets, I can shoot either all day for nearly the same price, with the exception of the gas checks on the 30 caliber bullets. I prefer the balance of the 1894 to that of the 1873, so whenever I go plinking, I prefer the 1894. I just like shooting it better than the other.

    OP, perhaps try out a few of your tentative choices and see how they balance for you, see what modifications you might like, whether you prefer a light rifle or a heavier rifle? Whether you like a little nose heavy balance or a balance point between your hands.

    I still like the 1873, and shoot it well. It is confidence inspiring.
     
  10. Jackal1

    Jackal1 Member

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    You all provided great insight and I truly appreciate it. I took a look at a standard 357mag 158gr terminal performance and compared it to the 5.56 64gr (each out of a carbine). I was surprised to see that at 100yards the 357Mag outperformed the 5.56 in all the below methods:

    Power Factor, Taylor KO factor, Thornily Stopping Power, Hatcher's Relative Stopping Power, Wooten Lethality Index Factor, and Hornady Index of Terminal Standard (HITS).

    The two cartridges had identical values for the Optimum Game Weight (OWG) poundage.

    Even more impressive was the buffalobore 357 180gr performance which clearly outclassed the 5.56 across the board, including OWG.

    Maybe the 357Mag carbine is all I need.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  11. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Jackal1

    You know a Ruger Blackhawk in .357 would be the perfect companion to a .357 carbine. Just sayin'.
     
  12. WelshShooter

    WelshShooter Member

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    I love my Marlin 1894 in .357magnum. I load lead bullets for indoor compliance (our range has a muzzle energy limit) and I can shoot fist sized groups at 25m while standing. Can get ragged holes when sitting down with a scope. I've also loaded some jacketed rounds and have shot it out to 350m although it's more similar to artillery at this point! It's a very fun round to shoot in the carbine so I'd highly recommend it!
     
  13. JeffDilla

    JeffDilla Member

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    I'll throw in my two cents and say that I own both a Winchester Model 94 and a Marlin 1895 Guide Gun. I'd pick the 1895 any day of the week. It's become my favorite rifle in my collection. I use it primarily for woods and brush hunting. Gotta love that 45-70!
     
  14. Jackal1

    Jackal1 Member

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    JeffDilla, why do you like using the heavier weight and higher recoiling 1895 over the lighter weight and lower recoil W94? Just cuz' or some other reason?
     
  15. JeffDilla

    JeffDilla Member

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    Jackal, the weight of the rifle doesn't bother me much and really isn't noticeable. I really like the maneuverability of the 18" barrel of the 1895 while walking through thick woods. To be honest, I don't find the recoil of the 1895 to be bad at all. I don't reload, so I primarily shoot the 405gr soft-point Remington loads. I find them to produce more of a push in recoil. I shot a box of Hornady's Leverevolution ammo through it and found those to be more of an unpleasant snappy recoil, but still manageable. Overall, the 1895 just fits me better and it's a natural shooter for me. I'm a way better shot with that rifle than the Winchester, not really sure why.

    I've taken deer with the 1895 using those Remington loads and dropped them where they stood. The bullet stayed intact and didn't overly damage meat, but created a good wound channel. I haven't taken a deer with the Winchester but many people have for many with great success.

    I don't think you can go wrong with either rifle, I just prefer the Marlin. When it comes down to it, it's just personal preference for me. Hope this helps.
     
  16. aHFo3

    aHFo3 Member

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    I can echo Jeff's statement. My Winchester 94 is a 32 special, and I shoot my Marlin 1895 guide gun better. The recoil doesn't seem excessive, although the 45/70 can be transformed into a beast with handloads. I much prefer the 405 factory speeds. The Marlin has an edge over Winchester in the disassembly arena as well.


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  17. Jackal1

    Jackal1 Member

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    JeffDilla: It does make a lot if sense, thank you.

    I did some more searching on pistol caliber carbines and although they have some decent calculated terminal ballistics values you pretty much have to use flatpoints and avoid hollowpoints as the HP's will overexpand &/or breakup on targets within 50yds or so until the velocity drops a bit.

    I feel like getting a 357mag carbine and continue pondering the 45-70... but I have a habit of buying too weak of a rifle at first, and always kicking myself wondering why I didn't just get a "real rifle" to begin with. Maybe the 44mag carbine splits the difference being able to use either specials or magnums.

    So, I guess that leaves me with this decision:
    1) buy 357mag carbine for home defense and hunting in dense woods, and consider a future purchase of 45-70 dedicated for hunting.
    or
    2) buy 44mag carbine using specials for home defense and magnums for hunting.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016
  18. aHFo3

    aHFo3 Member

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    I have a Marlin 44 magnum as well. It has a 20" barrel and feels a little less handy than the 357. It certainly isn't cumbersome though. Much like the 357, the 44 enters beast mode when fired from a carbine. I think the only downside to the caliber is the cost to feed it. 44magnums and 44 Specials are close to $1/round in my area. If I didn't reload, I would probably skip the caliber all together in favor of a carbine chambered in the less costly 9mm, 45acp or 38/357.


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  19. Jackal1

    Jackal1 Member

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    I agree 44mag is expensive compared to other pistol ammo. My primary rifle is 308Win which around here is $1/rd while 44mag runs .80/rd so I would actually save $ at my rifle range.
     
  20. C.R.

    C.R. Member

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    I like the lever action rifles,back in the day I bought a Marlin #30AS basicly a 336 with plane wood. I got a Henry .22 its a lot of fun to shoot. I want a lever action in .44 because that would be a nice companoin to my S&W Model 29 .Im thinking it would be a Hoot to Shoot ! A buddy of mine has a Henry in .357 and he swears by it .There are probably no realy bad choices depending on how scarce the ammo is you can find .357,or .30/30 anywhere,but 45-70 might be harder to find
     
  21. Llama Bob

    Llama Bob Member

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    There's something about the JMB-designed leverguns that as far as I'm concerned the Marlins can't match. The '86, '92 and '94 all have charms. If you want something you could crank off indoors, a Browning B-92 in .357 or .44 mag would be pretty solid. Since capability-wise it's similar to a .30-30, if you want a 2nd gun I'd go with an '86 in something huge - .45-70's nice and all, but .45-90, .50-110, .450 Alaskan, .50 Alaskan, .475 Turnbull, .348 winchester etc all offer substantially more capability. If you're going to tote around all that iron, you might as well get your money's worth... All are reloader's cartridges though.

    Just food for though.
     
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