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Recommend a lever gun in .357/.38 Special

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by CTGunner, Dec 23, 2012.

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  1. CTGunner

    CTGunner Member

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    Maybe I have been watching too many westerns but I would really like to pick up a lever action rifle to keep around for HD. I would like to buy new. And I would like the gun to be reasonably light weight and compact. What do you think?

    I'll add to this. I owned an AR and probably foolishly sold it before the election. With that said I just wasn't that into shooting it. If I go lever action I do want something reliable. Local shop has a 30 30 but I don't know much about the round and how it compares to .38.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
  2. Isaac-1

    Isaac-1 Member

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    It depends I have a Marlin 1894C in 357, overall a good gun, but can be very picky about which ammo it will reliably feed.
     
  3. 303tom

    303tom member

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    Henry..............
     
  4. shrewd

    shrewd Member

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    haha shoot and read about enough lever guns and you'll get used to seeing "an older marlin."

    I have one such rifle and it's pure joy. They seem harder to find these days but the Rossis seem to be alright. There's a guy out there that slicks them up for competition guys or people that put too much stock in online forums. :)
     
  5. Steel Horse Rider

    Steel Horse Rider Member

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    I have had a Marlin 1894C for about 15 years in .357 Mag and enjoy the heck out of shooting it. I added a Williams peep sight and have probably used it to teach at least twenty newbies how to shoot. I have yet to have anyone tell me it wasn't the most fun they have ever had. Hollow points and water filled gallon milk jugs make for an exciting time!
     
  6. sleepyone

    sleepyone Member

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    +1 on the older Marlin. The Freedom Group Marlins are not near the rifles of old.
     
  7. GP100Wii

    GP100Wii Member

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    If you don't mind a bit of extra weight, the Henry Big boy in .357 is a tank. Can throw a scope on it too.
     
  8. Desert Panther

    Desert Panther Member

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    Have you looked into the Ranch Hand, in 45 long colt?
     
  9. CTGunner

    CTGunner Member

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    I don't know much so educate me...
     
  10. Loosenock

    Loosenock Member

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    I love my Uberti 1866 'Yellow boy' in .38. Very accurate, low recoil and a very fun to shoot. Everybody who shoots it hands it back with a very big grin.

    66n72001.gif

    I handload for it using Trail Boss powder and Moulten Lead truncated bullets.

    66n72006.gif

    Loose
     
  11. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    Browning B92 if you want the best made, strongest action and most traditional but prefer iron sights. Used only expect to pay $700-$800.

    Late model Winchester 1892 if you want the best made, strongest action and a rebounding hammer with tang safety. New production, expect to pay $800 and up.

    Uberti 1873 if you want the best made replica of the 1873, one of the highest quality levers available and totally traditional. Again, iron sights. Expect to pay $900-$1400.

    Marlin 1894 if you want to scope it. New and used, expect to pay $400-$700.

    Rossi/Puma/Legacy 92 if you want the strongest action, iron sights and probably the most affordable available. These are still $400-$500. Less for used guns.

    Henry Big Boy if you want a mediocre build quality and 2lbs heavier than necessary. Last I looked, these were $700-$800.
     
  12. acmax95

    acmax95 Member

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    I had a Winchester 94ae in 357/38. It was a great gun that fed everything and was very accurate.

    The only reason I sold it was I wanted an ar and I made some money on it.
     
  13. Vette

    Vette Member

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    Sorry, I dont agree with CraigC about the Henrys. The one I own (Big Boy 357) is very well made and the finish is exellant. the weight makes it very steady. Also has the smoothest action I have encounterd and the trigger pull is great. Added to this it was dead on accurate right out of the box.
     
  14. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    I have an old Winchester 1892 (profession conversion) .357/.38Special. I bought it already converted, I would never do such a thing. Anyway it cycles and shoots like a dream, but the best part is the accuracy. Holy smokes.
     
  15. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    I don't expect a Henry owner to agree with me, nothing new there. If they were $400, I wouldn't complain about their quality but with an MSRP of $900, they should rival the Miroku guns but they do not. If you look at the octagon barrel on a Marlin (Badger), Uberti or Winchester, the flats are flat and the edges are nice and crisp. On a Henry, the flats are wavy and the edges are rounded over because they are not properly polished. The rest of the rifle is very unrefined and chunky. I don't mind a heavy rifle and routinely hunt with 9-10lb guns but everything has its limits. A 20" .357 carbine should not be 9lbs. The 1873 is heavy but that's okay because it's a replica of a late 19th century rifle. It's a very elegant design and has an appeal all its own. The Henry is not a replica of any historic rifle, is not very refined, is very inelegant and weighs a half pound more with a four inch shorter barrel.
     
  16. Vette

    Vette Member

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    Craig did not mean to upset you in any way. just saying the one I have does not have all the problems you mention and I payed nowhere near the price you mention. I must have a good lgs to deal with. Again soory if my comments upset you.
     
  17. AABEN

    AABEN Member

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    Marlin or a Henry get it in a 357mag or 44mag GOOD LUCK
     
  18. Grunt

    Grunt Member

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    I have an EMF Hartford 1892 rifle in .357/.38 that works pretty well and is tough enough to handle the stoutest loads. Only problem is that normal .38 Special rounds tend to pop out the top when the lever is cycled quickly. My solution for this was to get in on a group buy of a 160 grain "Snakebite" mould from LEE. This cast bullet is a little longer than a normal .38 bullet and eleminates this problem. When I was into SASS, I believe that many Marlin shooters also experienced this problem as well and they too also had good luck with this bullet. I admit that I haven't shot it as much as I should since I got it for the ex when she was doing SASS and wanted mouse-fart loads. I prefer .45 Colt an BP loads for that game!:evil: Anyways, with 4 grains of Unique, it's right on at 50m. The other issue is when using .357 Magnum ammo, it shoots about 8 inches high at 50m but I still want to see how she will do at 100m and further. I just finished setting up my 300m and 500m ranges so now I just need to wait for the weather and wind to cooperate and see where she shoots at longer ranges.
    The 1873 is a SMOOTH rifle to shoot!!! The same can be said for the 1866 and 1860 as well. I still have my '73 Uberti in .45 Colt and it is a dream to shoot. The only catch with their design of the '73 and earlier guns are that the toggle link isn't nearly as strong as later designs like my 1892 Rossi carbine also in .45 Colt. That little rifle is light, easy to handle and like the larger .357 magnum rile, is a very strong design! Now both my 1892s don't have any of the extra manual safeties on them which I personally find to be silly and really is a good way to ruin a good design. :cuss:
    This is why my Marlin 336 as well as my 39A and 39M all lack these stupid cross bolt safeties as well. A buddy of mine back home has a Marlin in .444 that shoots very well but that cross bolt safety has left a "click" sound rather than a "boom" sound when deer hunting on more than one occasion. Big reason why I don't like the idiot buttons right there! But the pre-Remlin Marlin 1894 is still a good deal and like the 1892 Winchester, is a very strong design. They aslo have an excellent reputation for easy disassembly for cleaning (something I can't say about my 1892s) great accuracy and in pre-Remlin rifles, excellent quality. There is a reason the old 1894 Marlin has been VERY common on SASS ranges.
    Now as far as the Henry brand Bigboy rifle goes. I guess they work alright but I just never bothered with them. The magazine loads like a .22 tubular magazine rather than through a loading gate like every other rifle other than the 1860 Henry but since the 1860 Henry rifle is historical in it's loading from the front, I give that one a pass. I guess that's the biggest reason I have never had any interest in a Henry brand rifle is that it is the lever action equivelant to an in-line muzzle loader. Yeah, it's a lever action and an in-line is considered a muzzle loader but in both cases, they just don't have a soul like a 1894 Marlin, 1892, 1873, 1866 Winchester or 1860 Henry has. Even the reproductions by EMF, Rossi and Uberti just seem to have that sense of history about them that the Henry brand rifles just will never have.
     
  19. Ditchtiger

    Ditchtiger Member

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    My daughter wants a 357 lever and I found a Rossi for $350.
    Should we pass or is this a good rifle???????
     
  20. bubbacrabb

    bubbacrabb Member

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    The Henry in my opinion is a great firearm. Completely beautiful, the fit and finish on mine is amazing. Cycles like butter. I wouldn't drop that kind of money on something if it wasn't good. I put a Skinner site on mine, I have one of the newer ones that are drilled and tapped. The quality of my barrel is very well finished. The furniture on it is second to none. Plus on top of all that its made here in the USA and not south America. Just check it out. I'm sure like anything else there are good ones and bad ones. I've shot some puma guns that I would never purchase.
     
  21. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    $350? I would say if it functions, jump on it. It can always be further tuned.

    Some great posts in this thread. If some kind of silly mag limit gets imposed, I think I will take my 1892 357 to the range in shoot it for about 4 hours, just to let off steam.
     
  22. Lone Ranger

    Lone Ranger Member

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    Marlin 1894C +1. Nice about the 38/357 is that 38 ammo is cheap for range and 357 HD coming out of the barrel is great. Many fine loads in 357. On top of that own a revolver in 38/357 caliber and you interchange ammo and makes shooting booth even cheaper.
     
  23. Christobevii3

    Christobevii3 Member

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    I have an 1894 marlin with a nikon 2-7x32 scope and the thing is amazingly accurate at 100 yards. The difference at 100 yards between 357 and 38 special is noticeable in bullet drop.
     
  24. hq

    hq Member

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    Another +1 for 1894C. The only issue I ever had (or didn't have, fixed it as soon as I bought it) was the jam-inducing sharp edge on the lever. Light, handy, accurate and fun to shoot. Newer Remlins seem to have a bad reputation so a slightly used or NOS gun gets my vote.
     
  25. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    I tend to prefer thw 20 inch barrel. But if you're after a compact and lighter over the shoulder trail gun the Rossi with the 16 inch carbine length barrel might be just the ticket.

    Because Rossi is pretty much a budget firearm some folks have found that they work with some degree of roughness. The good news is that if you are one of those and want the action to run more smoothly that the work needed to get there is not hard. It's just a case of doing a little smoothing and de-burring of the internals. If you're not comfy doing such things yourself then a good cowboy action smith cand do a basic functionality slicking up job in about an hour to hour and a half. So the cost to get such work done would not be excessive by any means.

    I can tell you that a slicked up Rossi '92 clone is a sweet handling gun. I've got one I'm using for my Cowboy action. And even if it eventually gets replaced I suspect I'll be keeping it as a great plinker.

    It's certainly not a better or worse gun than any other but they aren't junk either. And I've found that the barrel sends the bullets out with more accuracy than I can hold for my usual freestyle standing plinking.
     
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