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Lever action .357

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by george.686, May 20, 2015.

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  1. george.686

    george.686 Member

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    "She who must be obeyed" Has given me permission to by a 0.357/.38 lever action

    I do not compete...this will just be a plinker...mainly with reloaded .38

    Henery's are nice but pricy

    I keep going back and forth between Marlin and Rossi.......in what I have read here and other places...seems you need to do work to get them to feed correctly?

    Again I just want a shooter...no speed courses...would the Rossi fit the bill? These seem to be more available than the marlins

    I will be mounting a red dot scope on this as the eyes are getting tired...I see you can do this with the Rossi if you remove the rear site and buy their adapter...which I am ok with

    Let me know your thoughts
     
  2. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Member

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    If you want a Marlin, the only game in town is used...

    The 1894C is not currently (as of this moment) in production...
     
  3. Cump

    Cump Member

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    My Rossi needed no work to feed reliably, including 38. I know there are some reports of finicky feeding with 38 but that probably applies to other levers too, and since you reload, you could play around with oal and bullet profile to make it work. Again, mine has fed a variety of 38s, including semiwadcutters, without issue.

    I think the desire to "slick 'em up" is more of a speed issue for sass. They have heavier than necessary springs which makes the action stiffer, but probably more reliable ...

    I'm happy with mine. One of my favorite plinkers.
     
  4. RainDodger

    RainDodger Member

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    If the Henry is on the pricey side, I'd guess the repro Uberti would not be considered either. Like you, I'm not a competitor. I've got a Uberti 1873 in .357 Magnum and it is a whole lot of fun. On top of that, it's a beautiful rifle.
     
  5. Schwing

    Schwing Member

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    I own a Rossi in .357 and a Marlin 1894 in .44 mag. I know it is comparing apples to oranges but, hands down, I prefer the Rossi. Both had similarly smooth actions out of the box (good but not great). Both had excellent fit and finish out of the box. The Rossi wins easily in the accuracy department.

    I went with the Marlin on the .44 because I wanted to mount a scope on it. The Rossi's are all top eject which makes that a challenge. The problem is that, so far, I can't get acceptable accuracy with the Marlin unless shooting Jacketed bullets. I shoot mostly lead so... I slugged the bore on the Marlin and it is quite a bit oversize (around .432). I cast my own bullets so I enlarged a sizing die and made up some .433 bullets. It helped (as in I hit the paper now) but it is still horrible.

    I even bought the model with Ballard rifling instead of micro-groove to no avail. At 50 yards, I get 6" groups at best. I can't complain shooting JSPs. At 50 yards with iron sights it is a tack driver. I am just too cheap to shoot very many of those.

    The Rossi, on the other hand, was a tack driver out of the box with pretty much anything I feed it. It also cycles perfectly with anything I put into it except for full wad cutters which is pretty normal. It also cost about $200 less.

    There are others with differing experiences but that has been mine. Between the two, I would go with the Rossi every time now.
     
  6. 200Apples
    • Contributing Member

    200Apples Member

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    .
    The recent production Rossi 92 is a great gun for the money. I have one and I love it. I've gone through it mechanically, but all yours should need is a thorough cleaning. These new ones have chamfered chambers (think feed ramp) and should be good to go w/ the shorter .38s. I shoot .357 manufactured reloads (yes) with hardly notice any recoil. Very fun to shoot, because, too, they're very accurate!

    Good luck to you. The Rossi's the way to go (for the dough).
     
  7. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    My Rossi Model 92 was good to go right out of the box. No extra polishing or work required on the action. I love it just the way it is.

    005_zps52971e1e.jpg
     
  8. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    I have both (older versions of both)
    1) both hate semiwadcutters or any bullet with a rim
    2) the marlin runs better with a longer bullet. Either a heavy, long ogive 38 bullet, or a 357.
    3) I can get the rossi to run fast with 357's or with 38's by playing with the cartridge guides. I can't get it to run both at speed.
    4) both guns are massively over-sprung and need work. The marlin is easier to work on, the 92 slicked up nicer.

    you might also look at the henry iron or whatever they call it. It's a lever gun with a steel receiver. It's not bad. Has all the same problems as a new (1990's) marlin or a rossi. The uberti and other italian cowboy imports are also pretty nice, as are the winchester miroku guns

    And no offense to Bannock, but I can assure you your rossi could use some work. I have never ever seen one that didn't. There is a world of difference between a new factory gun (no matter how nice) and a lever gun with an action job. You may just not know what you are missing.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2015
  9. bikemutt

    bikemutt Member

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    I wouldn't turn down a Remlin if one shows up, they aren't all bad. That said it's important to inspect prior to purchase. This one pictured is a 2009, Remlin REP-stamped barrel, and obviously I did some work on it. There was a fair amount of substandard work on the tube fitment but all things considered, it's now a darn nice rifle.

    20141109_082006_zps87019330.gif
     
  10. cowpoke

    cowpoke Member

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    And a good lookin one.
     
  11. Furncliff

    Furncliff Member

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    There are only a few guns that I feel tempted to buy twice. The Marlin 1894c 38/357 is one of them. They are simple mechanically, easy to work on if you want to swap parts and there are several online instructions for slicking the action if you so desire. Mine is from the early 80's. If you find a used one that has been cared for they are a jewel. I reload for mine opening even more possibilities for the rifle. I'm 71 and the eyes aren't great. I have found the Skinner peep sights a great option since I shoot the gun at under 100 yards.

    I would be tempted beyond restraint if I found a stainless like Bikemutt's above. ^^^^^^
     
  12. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    If my Rossi, purchased about 3 months ago is any indication, Rossi has cleaned their act up. Mine had nicely finished wood, great bluing, and worked properly with both .38 and .357 right out of the box.

    Working the action quickly many times had a profound effect on smoothness. I removed the stock, sprayed the action with brake cleaner, and applied a little oil. Runs very smooth. I changed the ejector spring to a lighter one. The original functioned fine, just ejected empties farther than I liked.

    Over all, great gun, plus the price is right.
     
  13. az_imuth

    az_imuth Member

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    Love my Rossi in 357 and it smoothed right up just by working the action a bit. Feeds and shoots 357/38 equally well and has never jammed up even once. Only thing it could use is a little tuning up of the stiff loading gate which I understand to be a pretty simple task.
    Picture1Custom_zpsda2a21b4.gif
     
  14. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    az_imuth

    Like the look of your Rossi; especially the with the octagon barrel. Saw one like that at a gun show awhile back that was a similar set-up only in .45 Colt. Someone had added a tang sight to it and it looked great.
     
  15. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    What bullet/alloy/powder/load are you using?
     
  16. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    where did you get the wood?
     
  17. joem1945

    joem1945 Member

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    I have a Marlin 1894C in .357/.38 spl. it runs fine on either but for accuracy it needs hot .357 mag loads.
     
  18. Schwing

    Schwing Member

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    The only bullet mold I have for .44 is a 240 grain SWC. I have tried different alloys from 14bhn to 28bhn powder coated and sized to .433. At that size, they barely kiss the sizer so I have considered lapping one of my molds to get them up to even .434 but I am holding that for now since they won't fit in any of my other .44s at that point.

    As for powder, I have been all around the spectrum with 2400, Blue Dot, 800X, 300MP and even trailboss. I got the best accuracy with about 12 grains of 800x.

    My next move was going to be to get a 200 Grain mold and see if that helps. The twist rate is 1:38 so I am pretty sure that going heavier is NOT the answer.
     
  19. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    The Rossi can work well even with SWC in .38's if you cycle the lever back somewhat slowly and deliberatly from a short pause with the lever fully forward. It's only when you try to move on to "cowboy action" like cycling speeds that the issues with overall case length and bullet style really begin to produce chambering issues. And if there is an issue the whole top of the action is open so it's easy to stick a finger in there and push the nose of the round into place.

    A red dot isn't like a scope where it has to have a certain eye relief. So a dovetail mount that puts a small and light red dot out at the spot where the rear sight lived is an option. And in fact for fast aim shots this is an advantage since the rifle will shoulder in such a way that the angle needed to acquire the red dot is reduced and you'll see it more easily. Give it a try with a rifle shaped stick with a red dot mounted with a rubber band at various distances from close in like a scope to out at a distance similar to a rear barrel sight and see what I mean.
     
  20. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    Let me get home to look at my (Marlin`44Mag) loads and come back w/ what worked for me.

    I can pretty much guarantee that you'll find softer-is/will-be-better, but give me some time to get to my records
     
  21. blindhari

    blindhari Member

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    I don't have a Marlin, Henry, or Rossi. I do have a Win Trapper in 357. I tried a number of sights including red dot and scope. Since I use this as a under 100yd gun I settled on GI front aperture sight with a back ghost ring. I did narrow down the front post and repaint. I also have old eyes and this combo gets me on target fast enough to say good night to coyote size critters out to 100 yds with surety. It also gives me minute of squirrel head out to 40 yds. This is loading it with Buffallo Bore 125gr JHC. Reloads are made with Trailboss and 148gr lead wadcutters, for these I cut my range in half. Sounds about like a 22 long.

    blindhari
     
  22. Stargazer65

    Stargazer65 Member

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    My wife bought a Henry Big Boy .357 lever. She liked it better than the others. I probably would not have picked that one, the heavy octagonal barrel was not to my liking. But it was for her, so I didn’t dissuade her. When we shoot it at the range I always feel like I am lining up a battleship gun because the barrel is so heavy. After shooting it though, I have to admit there is some advantage to the weight, you don’t have noticeable recoil. It’s almost like shooting a .22, only the sound tells you it’s not. It’s pretty darn accurate, even with just using the iron sights I can shoot more accurately with it than any other centerfire gun that I have.
     
  23. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    as promised:

    Accurate 432-280 Plain/Flat Base (Casts 275gr w/ Lyman#2)
    http://www.accuratemolds.com/bullet_detail.php?bullet=43-280F-D.png
    Cast Lyman#2 (BN:14.9)
    H110 powder
    Mag Primer
    Sized 0.432/Lyman 50-50 ALOX/Beeswax
    Velocity 1,630fps (No leading at all)
    Williams FP336 aperture

    The key is absolutely firm/consistent forearm hold

    2me8ku9.jpg
    vi022e.jpg
     
  24. Burt Blade

    Burt Blade Member

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    If you can find a used Winchester 94 in .357, grab it. The 94s are fairly tolerant of varying ammunition lengths.

    Consider the replica Winchester 73 in .357. (Made by Uberti and sold by all sorts of other firms).
     
  25. redbullitt

    redbullitt Member

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    I got a rossi (few years old) with ejection problems for mid 200s out the door. Took about 4 hours of my semi skilled time, mind you I slicked and cleaned up as much as I could too. Someone better could have probably done it better faster lol.

    Just had a few burs in there that were messing with the tube magazine and carrier. Rifle is a blast now. Super handy, and actually very reliable now. I hand load long 38 specials with light cast bullets to shoot on the cheap with it. Once you figure out the length of cartridge it likes it is pretty easy to get it shooting well.

    It is plenty accurate enough for anything I would ever use it for. Never benched it or anything, but offhand it will put a hole in anything I plink out at 50 yards.

    Fit and finish is not great on these, and you may need to do some clean up work, but if I found a good deal on another I would jump on it.

    I also replaced the top safety with a peep sight from steves guns. Cool little piece.
     
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