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It's all my levergun's fault really....

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by MacTech, Oct 11, 2011.

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  1. MacTech

    MacTech Member

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    I just recently, in the past month or so have traded off a few lesser-used rifles and picked up first, a Marlin 39A lever action .22, and a few days ago, a Marlin 336 in 30-30

    Anyway, long story short, I've always been a traditionalist when it comes to shooting, revolvers, levers, bolts, manual action guns just speak to me, I also like keeping things simple, I really *love* the idea of having a revolver and levergun chambered for the same cartridge, and I've been seriously considering doing some more strategic trades

    I'm thinking of a couple possibilities;

    Trade my Ruger Blackhawk .45 Convertible towards either a .44 Magnum revolver or a .357 Magnum revolver, and trade in another lesser used rifle or two towards a levergun chambered in the same cartridge

    I know that Marlin makes a .45 Colt levergun, but I tried one out, and it felt so small and cramped, even more cramped than my 39A .22, plus, from what I've read, the .45 Colt in a levergun is a 100 yard gun at best....

    So it comes down to this, *IF* I did decide to do some strategic trades (still mulling over the pros and cons) is it better to go .357 Mag or .44 Mag?

    the advantage of .357 Mag is I'd be getting a potent cartridge in both revolver and rifle, it's cheap to reload for, problem is, I have no supply of small pistol primers, brass, bullets or the dies

    The advantage of .44 Mag is first off, it's a caliber that starts with a ".4" ;) , and I'm a big fan of the "forty-something" cartridge, and more importantly, it uses large pistol primers, which I have a good supply of, all I'd need is brass, bullets, and the dies, plus, the .44 Mag is just plain......cool,

    the lure of ammo commonality is strong, but is it worth going through the annoyance of switching from .45 Colt to .44 Mag or .357 Mag?
     
  2. Crazy Carl

    Crazy Carl Member

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    Marlin in .357 or .44 is the same size as the .45. Just sayin....

    Also, since you reload, you can get that .45 runnin' hotter than the .44, with less pressure. Why do you think the .357 or .44 would be any better past 100yds, than the .45?

    If you didn't like the Marlin 1894, check out a Rossi 92. Again, the Rossi, like the Marlin, is gonna be the same physical size, regardless of caliber.

    Were I you? Keep the .45 BH & find a Marlin 1894 in .45.
     
  3. David E

    David E Member

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    I thought a .45 Colt lever gun could not safely handle "Ruger Only" loads....
     
  4. osteodoc08

    osteodoc08 Member

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    Don't forget to look at twist rates. I don't have specs in front of me, but some lever actions in pistol calibers have been known to have an overall very slow twist, hence, some with a poor accuracy reputation
     
  5. Gryffydd

    Gryffydd Member

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    Depends on the levergun. The general consensus seems to be 40,000 CUP in Marlin 1894s, and 50,000 in modern 1892s. I'm only phone or I would link to a couple of articles.
    Edit: http://www.leverguns.com/articles/paco/45coltlevergun.htm
     
  6. Lawdawg45

    Lawdawg45 Member

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    "I thought a .45 Colt lever gun could not safely handle "Ruger Only" loads.... "

    Per the company President, the Henry Big Boy will handle anything the Blackhawk or old Vaquero can. To the OP, if you plan on hunting with your lever gun, the Marlin is the only one ready to receive a scope.;)

    LD
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Who conceded that?

    The 92 is no stronger then the 1894 in larger calibers like .44 Mag or .45 Colt.

    The weakest link in most all lever-guns is the barrel shank threads & mag tube hole in the front receiver ring. The bigger the cartridge rim is, the less metal the barrel shank and receiver threads have left in them.

    Either one is safe with "Ruger Only" loads.

    Neither one is safe with 50,000 PSI Ruger #1 loads.

    rc
     
  8. Gryffydd

    Gryffydd Member

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    Hey, I never said it was unanimous.
    I take it then you disagree with Paco on his assessment of the relative strengths of the Marlin 1894 and modern '92s?
    In any case, I haven't seen a Ruger #1 in .45 Colt, so I haven't seen any load data there.
     
  9. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    MacTech, as you're finding out there's really nothing at all shabby about a .45Colt running up at the SAMMI limit even when compared to .44Mag. Oh sure, the .44Mag can max out the pressure and get more velocity. But a lot of folks aren't all that comfy with shooting the hottest .44Mag loads. If you're one of those and find that full SAMMI power regular .45Colts from your present Blackhawk are just fine then a lever gun in .45Colt would not be such a bad option.

    If you read around you'll find that NONE of the handgun caliber rifles are considered to be any good much past 100 to 150 yards in terms of making humane kills. According to these folks the bullets are just too blunt and stubby to retain enough velocity for a certain through and through wound such that you're sure of a quick takedown.

    For pllnking though I can tell you that my .357 mag rounds from a '92 only needed about 8 inches of holdover to hit a 200 yard gong.

    Another option if you like "roomy" rifles would be to get one of the 1873 lever guns sold by Uberti or Cimarron. They don't come chambered in .44Mag, as far as I know, but they are in .45Colt. And compared to the '92 they feel postively LOOOOONG! Or wait until a Winchester 94 chambered in either .45Colt or .44Mag shows up.
     
  10. MacTech

    MacTech Member

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    Good to know that the distance limitation for the handgun caliber levers seems to be across the board and not just the .45 Colt, that makes my decision a lot easier, just save up for a nice used .45 Colt lever

    Thanks for the tip on the full size Uberti and Cimmaron guns, I'll have to check them out, as the .45 Colt Marlin felt very cramped to me
     
  11. il_10

    il_10 Member

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    You might also want to check out the leverevolution rounds. They'll supposedly extend your range a touch.
     
  12. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    Or at least make the "iffy" 150 to 160 yard shots more certain....
     
  13. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

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    The most versatile handgun/lever action cartridge there has ever been for a reloader, the 44 Magnum. It's really a no brainer.
     
  14. olafhardtB

    olafhardtB Member

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    lever gun

    My Rossi 357 kicked about as hard as my Win 94 30-30. I don't see any practicle advantage to a revolver cartridge in a carbine. Frank James did, but I don't go on long horse back rides to rob banks. IMHO the 30-30 is the best carbine round available and the 357 is the best revolver round and I have enough pockets to carry cartridges for both YMMV.
     
  15. oldfool

    oldfool Member

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    I don't see a whole lot of point, either, in going to a handgun cartridge rifle if what you really want is rifle caliber performance, but I do see a whole lot of value in having match caliber revolvers and carbines. Lots of us do that. No harm in having both. I myself consider all of the revolver cartridge carbines to be essentially 100 yards guns, not longer range hunting tools, although you can stretch that distance, same as you can stretch the range of any rifle cartridge.

    As to which caliber lever action, any mentioned will do fine. For me, the 357 is great, but no great reason for you to switch from 45LC.

    as for recoil, my 357 mag Rossi '92 kicks substantially less than my heavier Marlin 30-30.
    (though neither is a a felt recoil issue for most folks)
    YMMV

    as for action strengths and CUP, I will leave that to others to debate, but a '92 can/will handle 454 Casull (ask Paco)
     
  16. DWFan

    DWFan Member

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    Split the difference. Get a .44 Mag 1892 and swap the barrel out for a .357 Mag barrel chambered in .357-44 Bain & Davis. You'll easily have .357 Maximum, if not .357 Herrett/.35 Remington, ballistics. The .357-44 Bain & Davis works in the Blackhawk as well.
    If you'd rather work with .45 Colt brass, do the same thing and make a rimmed version of the .357 AMP (AutoMag) but I've never heard of this cartridge being tried in the Blackhawk so I don't know if it would work for the revolver..
     
  17. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    It is. The 1892 is fully capable of digesting loads in the 50,000psi range.

    Ten or fifteen years ago, all the major manufacturers were trying to make the .454 work in existing leverguns. Neither the Marlin 336, Marlin 1894, Winchester 94 Big Bore would last very long. Some not more than a handful of rounds before they started shaking themselves loose. The big 1886 worked fine but was too large for the cartridge and offered nothing over the .45/70. The modern 1892 action was the only rifle strong enough to handle the pressures involved. The weakest link is not the barrel shank, it is the locking lugs. Due to the angled lugs of the Winchester 94, for example, they would loosen up rather quickly and the receiver will actually begin to stretch laterally. Only the massive vertical (important design feature!) locking lugs of the 1892 and 1886 provide the necessary strength and resistance to stretching.

    Far as we know, there were no major design or metallurgical changes made for LSI to market the .454 and .480 Puma rifles.
     
  18. xtratoy

    xtratoy Member

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    My Rossi 92 is a pussycat to shoot with any load up to 180 grain that I have shot. On the other hand I have always felt that my Win 30-30 kicked like a little mule. The 30-30 never bothered me while hunting but running a couple of boxes through it just plinking around lets you know it has some kick.
     
  19. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    25 years ago I bought a Rossi 92 in .357 magnum. I replaced the rear sight with a ghost ring aperture with a repeatable micrometer click elevation knob. I can shoot a 105 grain SWC (Lee mold) at 900 fps over 2.3 grains of bullseye for 1.5" 50 yard groups and go squirrel or rabbit hunting. I can switch to my 165 grain Lee gas checked SWC over 16.8 grains L'il Gun for 1900 fps and go hog/deer hunting. That load groups 4" at 100 yards. I also have a 6.5" Blackhawk just to match it for looks. :D I love the 92 action and the looks of the gun, very smooth and an accurate, versatile rifle.

    As a testament to the strength of the 92 action, it is offered by Rossi in .454 Casull and .480 Ruger calibers.

    For versatility, NOTING ON THE PLANET beats the .357 magnum. :D A .44 can't squirrel hunt as well and can't kill a hog any deader.
     
  20. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    What about in .454 Casull?
     
  21. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Yes but the .357 has not been used to take the African Big Five either. ;)
     
  22. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Not many elephants in Texas. Saw one in Houston and one iin San Antonio....in the zoo.;) Besides, were I taking on an elephant, a Marlin 94 in .44 mag would be WAY DOWN my list of to have rifles. :scrutiny:
     
  23. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    I would no sooner hunt squirrels with a .357 than I would elephants with a .44 but you can't dismiss the .44's utility because it's capable of taking critters bigger than those that live in your zip code. You can always load the .44 down to whatever level desired but the .357 certainly will never grow up to be a .44.
     
  24. JustsayMo

    JustsayMo Member

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    I personally would keep the 45 Blackhawk and get an 1894 in the same caliber. I started with a 357 1894 and Blackhawk. Both great guns in a great caliber but I really didn't like the 357 in the Blackhawk - too much gun for the caliber, heavy and big. I love it in an SP101 and there are other great 357 DA revolvers but my preference is for a SA in the field.

    357 Leverguns are a bit heavier than their 44/45 cal brethren but make up for with much lighter weight ammo. The 357 really is excellent out of a levergun too and the versatility has been well represented earlier in this thread.

    Still my "matched pair" is a Marlin 1894 and Ruger New Vaquero in 45 Colt. I really liked my 44 1894 too but like the 357 was a bit finicky about what it would feed and shoot well. The 45 Colt 1894 shoots and feeds everything well. Round ball loads right up to 325 grain WFP's. It'll even cycle over length Keith Style SWC's. There are literally dozens of good 45 caliber bullets, both lead and jacketed out there. The guns are lighter but 50 rounds of 45 Colt is 3 pounds or more depending on the bullet weight.

    Range is only limited by the rifleman. A feller won our monthly silhouette match a few years back with a 45 Colt rifle in the RIFLE caliber class. He had NO trouble with the 200 yard Rams and the heavy bullet knocked them down easily. The 357s need to be hot loaded to take on the Rams or they'll just ring them.

    I'd have a hard time picking just between them. Based on what I currently own it looks like I chose the 45 Colt and the 22 lr (39 & Single Six).

    In reality I rarely carry the same caliber rifle/pistol in the field. Usually it's a centerfire and a 22 as its companion.

    Fun to ponder. I doubt you can really go wrong with whatever you choose.
     
  25. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Sure I can. I don't use the rifle in Africa. I have never been to Africa, cannot afford to go to Africa, and never will go to Africa. :rolleyes: The .357 is near light .35 Remington levels loaded to 1900 fps with a 165 brain bullet. Buffalo Bore's 158 grain load from an 18.5" Marlin clocks over 2100 fps! That's factory .30-30 territory. Inside 100 yards, my .357 will take anything I'll run across with it.

    As for not shooting squirrel with a .357, I don't either. I load that 105 SWC in .38 brass and push it at 900 fps. It is as good at squirrel hunting as any .22, not quite as accurate as my Remington, but as accurate as my 10/22. :D Hell, Danial Boone's buddies hunted 'em with a .31 caliber "squirrel rifle, ya know. He didn't use a .43, a little much for squirrel. Hey, squirrel to hogs, that's versatility! If I go elk hunting, I'll take my 7mm remington magnum or my .308 M7 stainless Remington, thanks. I've taken both hogs and deer with the little carbine, though. Never actually shot a squirrel with it, prefer my .22 Ruger Mk 2 for that, but have taken some rabbit with it.

    BTW, why isn't this thread in "Rifles"? Oh, something about a revolver that goes with a rifle? Hmm, I lost track, sorry. :D
     
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