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Lever gun recommendation

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Oldschool shooter, Jan 4, 2017.

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  1. Oldschool shooter

    Oldschool shooter Member

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    Hi all,
    Looking to buy a new lever gun in .45 Colt. Used Marlins are crazy high price around here. Local gun shops say stay away from Rossi. So now it's between the Henry, steel frame, or the Uberti model73. Gun will be a shooter, looking for recommendations Thanks.
     
  2. RPRNY

    RPRNY Member

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    I can't imagine that the Uberti 73 (very nice rifle) will be cheap.

    Here's a qualified vote for a Rossi. I have one. Love it in the 16.5" model as a camping and truck gun. If this is for CAS, I would choose the Uberti, though. I use a Marlin Cowboy Ltd for CAS and (secretly), I have '73 envy.

    So, the Rossi's are a 90% finished rifle. Some of them are absolutely fine out of the box. But, some want some finishing - stoning the loading gate so you don't pinch your thumb every time you load and the cartridges don't get hung up on the gate (5mins). Shorten the mainspring slightly for easier loading into the chamber and a less thunderous hammer action, replace the mag follower with a steel one, remove the vile top mount safety. None of these are difficult or take much time. Steve's Gunz sells a how to video and a safety delete and steel mag follower.

    My Rossi is plenty accurate, light as a feather, handy as can be and has taken a number of hogs.

    But, if it's for CAS, I'd get the '73. It's faster and can be made even more so. And they're pretty. Rossi for working, Uberti for fun.

    Henry's are heavy and I don't like the mag tube only loading, but that's a limited exposure opinion.
     
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  3. CZ223

    CZ223 Member

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    I second what RPRNY said. I have had several Marlins, 2 Uberti 73s and several Rossi 92s along with a couple Browning 92s and, of course a couple Winchester 92s and 94s all in pistol calibers. If you are shooting Cowboy action the 73 is the way to go for style points as well as functionality but the Marlins are just about as good. The Rossis are good shooters though they can do with a good polishing. I do believe that the new Marlins have had the bugs worked out and I wouldn't hesitate to buy one.
     
  4. ZGunner

    ZGunner Member

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    Well, until the third sentence I was going to suggest looking at a Rossi 92. I have 2, one 44 Mag and one 454 Cassull. The 44 was good, but I got it used sobit may have previously been worked. The 454 required work with a file and 3000 grit sand paper. The hammer needed some material taken off to clear the bolt and tang. Hit all the moving parts with some oiled sandpaper and now it runs super smooth and is an absolute blast to shoot (with 45 Colt).

    Unless you personally know the folks on the other side of the counter at the gun store (generally speaking), I would take anything they say as just another person's opinion. Same can be said of any responses you receive on a forum. Great for finding new possibilities but ultimately it comes down to your own research and views. I guess all I'm saying is don't count anything out until you form your own opinion.

    This all coming from a guy who works at a Big Box gun counter on the side...
     
  5. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I love my Rossi M92 in .357. It functioned flawlessly right out of the box. I followed Steve's Gunz dvd and did an action job. It is very slick now.
     
  6. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    Rossi is made somewhere in South America. Uberti is made in Italy. Henry is, has been, and according to the owner always will be made in America.

    I can't fathom the comments on the loading technique of the Henry. I think it's just that folks grew up "seeing" actors reload through a gate on the side of the receiver. But many of us that grew up with .22's having tubular magazines (that includes bolt, slide, semi auto & lever actions) it's simple and natural.
     
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  7. ericuda

    ericuda Member

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    Is a new marlin 1894 off the table?
     
  8. Bartojc

    Bartojc Member

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    If it is truely between the Henry and Uberti then I think the best for your dollar is the Henry. It'll likely be cheaper and they're great rifles. Made in the good old USA. Yes they do not have a loading gate, but as long as that does not bother you it'll likely be a great shooter. Most people that have anything Henry like them.

    Jeff
     
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  9. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    You could buy online and have anything you want shipped to an Ffl, so local prices shouldn't matter too much.

    Every new lever gun I have picked up has needed action work. The Marlin's are the easiest to do, the Browning/Rossi '92 actions can be made slicker.

    As a side note, why 45lc? I kind of hate that caliber in a Marlin. They have oversized chambers, and the low pressure 45 doesn't seal real well so you can get a lot of crap blown back into the action and your face around the bolt, and while the brass is relatively plentiful (thank you Taurus judge owners) it is thin and doesn't last as long as 44 or 357.
     
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  10. Coyote3855

    Coyote3855 Member

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    I have a Marlin and Uberti 1866 replica, both in .45 Colt. I like the Marlin for the stouter action but the Uberti has been more reliable with fewer jams when shooting at high speed in SASS matches. I've only shot Henry .22 lever guns, but they were excellent and smoother than the 39A I owned at the time. Nice that they are made in the US. I have a jones for a Henry pump .22 hammer gun. The .22 Magnum is especially hard to resist.
     
  11. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    ... and for many of us, just not "right" for a centerfire lever-action carbine. ;)

    Loading a tubular magazine via a hole in its side rather than a gate on the receiver is great for a .22 (I got mine for Christmas when I was 12, a Sears & Roebuck Model 25 :)) ... but loading my 1922 .32-20 Marlin 27-S in the same fashion always makes me wish for a gate like I have on my two .44 Marlin mod1894s. Much handier method, IMO.
     
  12. dh1633pm
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    dh1633pm Contributing Member

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    I have both a Rossi and an Uberti 1873. I have also shot and handled the Henry. I like the lightness of the Rossi. All others are certainly heavier. I had to do some work to smooth out its action. The 1873 and the Henry are better in this regard, but heavier. I don't care for the tube mag. Also the Rossi and 1873 will feed slightly longer rounds. The workmanship of the Henry and the Uberti is top rate. Don't discount the Rossi. I enjoy mine.
     
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  13. DeadEye9

    DeadEye9 Member

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    If your looking to get into a lever gun for cheap, Rossi is the way to go. I own a Rossi and Henry in .45 Colt and they are both good shooters. I was looking at Ubertis when I purchase my Henry but I actually got a better deal on it as The Ubertis I liked were pretty expensive. Every gun shop has brands they like & dont like. I personally don't think there's anything wrong with Rossi lever guns and mine has been excellent.
     
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  14. Don McDowell

    Don McDowell Member

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    Look for a winchester 94 trapper, I've had mine about 30 years now . Also if thinking about a 73, you can get one of the new Winchesters for less than a Uberti.
     
  15. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    I'll add another vote for a Rossi. Mine worked flawlessly out of the box, lots of info online and on Utube if one doesn't. When they're working well, hard to beat their light weight, accuracy, and dare I say it, it's loading gate. lol
     
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  16. Blue1

    Blue1 Member

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    I got one of the last new .454 Casull 92 model Rossi in late December, 2015; no longer available as far as I can see and that is going back to last summer.

    It is an excellent performer. I have seen all the mod videos and have yet to do anything to it, with the exception of stoning the loading gate.

    I just checked trigger pull on my spring gauge and it trips at <4 lbs. After maybe 1000 rounds.

    I hand load and check with dummy loads to make sure they cycle prior to loading. Factory Hornady XTP 240 grain crossed my chrono at 2235 FPS and cycles perfectly! That is way more muzzle energy than a 30-30 and while there is more drop over distance, the .454 never gives up any energy at any range.

    I have several mild range loads with 255 grain Hi-Tek coated SWC that load great from 1400 fps to 1600+ fps. 1600 FPS is 1450 ft/lbs of energy. That's a mild load and only 200 ft/lbs less than a 30-30. I have a 225 grain loads over 2000 FPS and 2000 ft/lbs. Inside 100 yds, this is a usable brown bear load. Would go up to the 300 grain hardcast for even more effective brown bear defense, at 1800 fps/2000+ft-lbs.

    Plus, this makes an awesome home defense firearm with an XTP hollow point.

    I believe I paid about $750 out the door for this 16" barrel carbine. Would buy another one in an instant if they were still availabile.
     
  17. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    And some of us grew up absolutely abhorring the fact our 22LR's were tube feeders.

    As an accumulator, I have a couple of Henry's, and I despise looking at them almost as much as actually loading them. I enjoy my Mare's Leg 22LR, but what's not to enjoy about a 22LR, and of course, many 22's load that way anyway. I also hated the tube feeding Marlin 32H&R, absolutely sinful mistake Marlin made when building a rifle specifically for us mouse pharting, gaming, cowboy action shooters wanting a levergun to match our Single Six Vaqueritos, they took SO LONG to reload on the clock!

    When it comes to buying Leverguns, remember the 3 M's - Make Mine a Marlin.

    I'd buy a Rossi over a Henry. Uberti '73 or '66 clone over a Henry as well. If it's gonna be a tube loader, it damned well better be an authentic one!
     
  18. dh1633pm
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    dh1633pm Contributing Member

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    I like the history of level guns. I guess that's why the Henry doesn't really appeal as much to me. My dad's is pretty slick and a looker, but lacks that history. I have been scoping out a Marlin to add to my level gun collection. I already have a 1895G. One thing not noted is that the Henry and Rossi will allow a more stout load than the 1873. Although I don't load the Rossi up too hot. I would advise that you handle the three rifles that your wanting and see what you think. My thoughts were to get them all, but that isn't always possible.
     
  19. Steve S.

    Steve S. Member

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    I have Miroku '73 Sporter in .45 Colt - just a fun rifle/ caliber to shoot. What is said about case sealing, blow-by, etc. is true - sooty/ dirty after about 50 rounds but for me, that goes with the caliber. Up side - accurate, low recoil, nostalgic - simply working the action sounds neat. You will love the configuration regardless of what rifle you select. Good shooting.
     
  20. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    I'm warming to the idea of the tube loading Henry. Sure, it isn't traditional. Sure you can't top off the mag with an extra cartridge or two as quickly or easily. Sure if I was a Cowboy Action shooter, the point would be to load the gun the cowboy way.

    However, after years of holding the Henry centerfire lever in low regard for being a tube loader, I can appreciate the tube loader for what it can do. Quick unloading the gun's ammo into a neat little pile comes to mind.

    I personally am very interested in the Henry Big Boy Steel Carbine in .357 magnum. It's not a featherweight at a claimed 6.5 lbs., but it's not heavy either.
     
  21. 35 Whelen
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    35 Whelen Contributing Member

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    I have two Marlins, a '92 Rossi and four 1873's; 2 original Winchesters and 2 Uberti's. Yes the Rossi is definitely stronger but the more it was used in CAS, in other words the slicker it got, the more feeding problems I had. It's to the point now that I have to load .38's to a minimum 1.4" o.a.l. If I don't it throws the loaded round out.

    The '73's are infinitely slicker mechanically. The last one I bought, a Uberti in. 44 Magnum is amazing and the action operates with the last amount of effort of any lever rifle I own.

    The '73's are definitely heavier than the '92 but I much prefer them because of their simplistic reliable actions.

    35W
     
  22. Hastings

    Hastings Member

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    I've shot or owned all of the rifles mentioned other than the Uberti. I think the Uberti is hands down the best looking rifle, but they cost too much and I'm told they are not able to handle a diet of heavy 45colt without problems. Love to know from you Uberti owners if this is true or not, because if they will tolerate the heavy loads I'll have to pick one up asap.

    While I like the quality of Marlin leverguns (JM stamped - mainly), Blowback with light to average loads was totally ridiculous. Wonderful in all other ways, but the gas to the face is a really disconcerting thing to deal with.

    I'm another person that dislikes the tube loading set-up on Henry leverguns. Not too bad at the range, but I don't like pulling parts of the rifle most of the way out of the gun when I'm in the woods. I don't like doing it on a 22lr either. I don't care if the tube is in the front like on a Henry, or in the back like on the old Browning 22 semi-auto. I find it awkward as hell and the only reason I tolerate it in a 22 is because with the higher mag capacity you don't need to go thru the process as often. The whole thing is too much like a ram-rod for my liking. I find the side-loading gate easier and less distracting . Unloading is another story, but I usually use the trigger to unload my rifles unless I'm hunting.

    I really want to love Henry leverguns, but I just can't seem to do it. Made in the USA, smooth actions, good variety of offerings, and a lot of other factors that should put them high on my list of favorites. It all works until I open my eyes and look at the rifle. Then the deal's off. To me they look like the receiver was sized to work in brass, and they just left the size the same for the steel models in spite of the ability to downsize with the stronger material. I know receivers with different exterior dimensions would make poor manufacturing sense, but getting past the awkwardness of the receiver appearance is impossible for me. The rest of the rifle looks similarly awkward for some reason, too. Again, this is only my opinion. The rifles shoot great but the weight, appearance, and loading routine completely ruin it for me.

    I have 20" stainless Rossi's in 45colt and 357mag. The 357 is picky on what bullets it will digest. Smooth, light, and accurate, but finicky about overall cartridge length and bullet shape. The 45colt rifle is amazing. Loads, feeds, and shoots so well that it's hard to want to shoot anything else. Accurate, and light. It was tight when it was new, but gets smoother with every shot. I can't speak highly enough about this rifle. It just makes me smile when I pick it up.

    I know quality is hit or miss with the Rossi's but I look at it this way. A brand new Rossi is typically around $100 less than the cheapest of the other options. If you roll the dice and get a good one, you have $100 to spend on ammo or reloading components. If you get one with issues, a few hours and less than $100 will bring the rifle up to snuff and you will still have spent no more than the next cheapest option on the lightest and handiest one in the bunch.

    Just my two cents. Hope I didn't anger anyone. I now gun-love runs deep and criticizing someone's favorite is almost as bad as kicking their dog. I don't like it when someone kicks my dog, so please forgive me if I dissed your favorite.
     
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  23. 35 Whelen
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    35 Whelen Contributing Member

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    The Uberti '73's are most commonly found in .357 and 45 Colt and they sell worth the money. A gorgeous one in 45 Colt, priced at $700, languished on the AR15.com Equipment Exchange for weeks before it finally sold.

    As far as strength of the action goes....well, Uberti chambers their '73's in .357 and .44 Magnum so that ought to indicate something. Handloader #261 tested some loads in a 20" Uberti 1873 and ran a 255 gr. bullet 1400 +/- fps. That's not at all shabby.

    35W
     
  24. Don McDowell

    Don McDowell Member

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    The thing to keep in mind with the 45 colt and other handgun cartridges, when you shoot them out of a rifle there'll be a 150 fps + gain in velocity, without a change in pressures. So a saami spec 45 colt load that does 830 from a revolver will be trotting along a bit over 1000 fps from a rifle barrel. If you use slower powders to reload the cartridge like bludot, 2400 , 4227 etc, the gain will be closer to 300 fps from a rifle. That makes Colt's 45 cartridge a pretty decent 150 yd deer gun.
     
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  25. 35 Whelen
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    35 Whelen Contributing Member

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    Exactly, and you made the point much better than I!

    35W
     
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