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Top Eject vs. Side Eject for Lever Actions

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by bergmen, Oct 17, 2012.

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  1. bergmen

    bergmen Member.

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    I have mostly Marlins (1936, 336, 1894, 39A) but recently acquired a top eject Model 92 clone.

    I'm just curious since all of John Browning's designs (1886, 1892, 1894, 1895, etc.) were top eject I wonder what advantage he saw in that. I see potential issues such as ejected cases falling back into the open action or being thrown into the face of the shooter, dirt falling in and fouling things, etc.

    Marlin took a different route with side ejection (which I prefer). My Dad always preferred Marlins because of pistol grip stocks and side ejection.

    In today's world where optical sights are often fitted, side ejection lends itself to more scope choices than top ejectors.

    Any thoughts?

    Dan
     
  2. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    side eject

    I have a marlin 336 in 30-30 and I am a believer in side eject.
     
  3. hang fire

    hang fire Member

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    Over seven million Model 94 Winchesters manufactured, methinks the buyers never saw a problem with top eject.
     
  4. RPRNY

    RPRNY Member

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    They sold 145,000 Yugos in the US.

    I'm just saying...;)
     
  5. K1500

    K1500 Member

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    Top eject is 'way cooler' than side eject....
     
  6. Abel

    Abel Member

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    Side eject 336 is way cooler than the 94. Especially with a nice 3-9x40mm and see through rings.
     
  7. Roadking Rider

    Roadking Rider Member

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    I prefer the side eject, but that does not mean I think the top eject is not a good system. I think the side eject works better when there is a scope on the rifle. I'm pretty happy with my 1981 my Marlin 336 30/30.
     
  8. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    All non-issues.

    Contrary to Marlin true-believerism and rhetoric about "field stripping", top eject guns are easier to clean without gunk falling into the action. Scope mounting was obviously not an issue when these guns were designed. However, they work just fine with a good peep sight.

    It might also be worthy of note that the strongest traditional levergun designs are John Browning's top ejects. The 1892, 1886 and 1895 are all stronger than their Marlin counterparts. The 1892 and 1894 are also lighter, more refined and more svelte than their Marlin counterparts.

    I have multiples of both makers and love them all for what they are. I find that those who grew up with Marlins tend to have a weird aversion to Winchesters. I do not find the reverse to be true. It's almost as if Marlin owners resent Winchester's popularity or some other similar, odd notion.


    Uh, yeah. :barf:
     
  9. bergmen

    bergmen Member.

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    CraigC good post, thanks. I'm new to top eject but I have an open mind. I can certainly see how they are stronger, the bolt lock-up on my 92 is like a bank vault. I am finding myself shaking off my Dad's Marlin bias, he was hardly objective especially where guns and ammo were concerned.

    When he was a kid he got some Peters .22 ammo that had a bunch of duds in the box. This was back in the 30s and he never touched another Remington or Peters product after that. Talk about holding a grudge.

    Scopes are not a concern for me, I never scoped a lever (and won't).

    Dan
     
  10. JSNAPS

    JSNAPS Member

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    ehh I use both. I like both. Browning's designs were at a time where scopes were not the norm.
     
  11. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    I love top eject Model 94s....much more than any side-eject lever gun. Lever guns were made to be used with iron sights ;)

    2012-10-05233238.jpg

    2012-10-05233441.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
  12. kyletx1911

    kyletx1911 Member

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    this
     
  13. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    ^^^ "See thru" mounts are an abomination. Leverguns are designed with the proper comb height for iron sights, peep or open. Any scope mount will be a little too high for proper cheek weld. Jack it up on see-thru mounts and it will be way too high for a proper cheek weld. Not only are they ugly and make the rifle ugly but they don't work very well either. Scope or iron sights, pick one or the other. If you must have backup iron sights, use a standard scope mount with quick detach rings or a forward mounted scout scope or red dot sight. Not see-thru's. They're an answer to a question that should've never been asked.
     
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  14. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    I've used both, I prefer the Winchester. I've had several weird action lock ups in Marlins. Never found anything wrong, they just locked up. I've never had anything of the sort in a Winchester. I've used the 1886's, (original and modern Brownings), 92's (Browning), 94's and 95's (Browning).

    I prefer the way Winchester actions function also. I like to keep the magazine loaded and single load a small game round. Its just simpler to do with the Winchester. Open the lever, and either don't raise the lifter (carrier), insert the round in the chamber (easy with the top eject action), and close the action, or push the lifter back down if it comes up, and procede as above. With the Marlin, the next round can't be pushed back down, it has to be shaken out in a juggling act to leave the chamber empty or load another small game load.

    The angle eject Winchesters are simple to scope, and it's still easier to single load the chamber.

    It's interesting that "top eject" isnt mentioned as a negative in regards to most bolt actions, autoloaders based on the M-1 action, SKS, Savage 99, and others
     
  15. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I have both but when asking questions of why things are built the way they are it comes down to the easy/less costly method in most all cases.
     
  16. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Call me a Marlin fan boy. Over 30 years ago I could not get a Winchester in 44 Mag, the Browning version was very expensive, and that is how I got my first Marlin.

    I have looked how to disassemble a Winchester, in firearms Assembly/Disassembly books, and I decided it was not for me.

    As for strength, Winchester and Marlins are all rear locking actions, it would have to take a finite element model to really determine if there is a difference in strength between the two, I really doubt it is significant. Neither is as rigid or strong as a good single shot or a bolt rifle.

    All of these actions have proven themselves through more than a century of use.

    I wish I had gotten a Savage M99 when they were affordable. One of those in 308 would have been an interesting rifle.
     
  17. jim243

    jim243 Member

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    How I spend my money, speaks for my choice.

    Jim


    SAM_0319.jpg
     
  18. Nathanael_Greene

    Nathanael_Greene Member

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    As a left-handed shooter, I thought I'd prefer top-eject. But the brass from a Marlin goes past my nose, not on my head, and I've grown to love Marlins.

    And the 1894C--what a lovely rifle!
     
  19. 76shuvlinoff

    76shuvlinoff Member

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    This ^, lefty here as well. I have 2 39As, an 1894c .357,(Marlins) and a top eject Ted Willams 30-30.

    As a lefty the only real problem I have with the top eject Ted Williams was I got it with a scope mounted offset to the left for a right handed shooter. I took off the scope, all is well. I don't hunt. the 30-30 is just a plinker for me.
     
  20. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    Of the two center fire lever guns I've got I like both. I've got a Marlin in .30-30 and a Rossi Win '92 clone in .357 which I use for cowboy action.

    The '92 is not a good option for CAS as it tends to want to toss the ammo up and salute the sky when cycled with verve. But I'm so taken with the gun for a plinker that even if I finally cave in and get a '73 clone of some form for CAS I would most certainly keep my Rossi '92.

    There is also no doubt that Marlin is a better gun if the shooter wants/needs a scope. While options exist for Winchester/Browning guns to toss the brass somewhat to the side to allow for a scope they are kludge setups at best from what I've seen. So on the scope front Marlin wins hands down.

    For my part I think a lever gun with a scope is like an elephant in a tutu. But my opinion changes when I read about folks that hunt with a scope on a Marlin since in that case it's less about tradition and more about getting a clean and merciful kill. At that point it's all about being an effective tool for that particular job. And if that's what it takes then I applaud those that choose to go with a lever over a "normal option" of a bolt action.
     
  21. heeler

    heeler Member

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    The year was 1975 sitting on top of a high rocky hill in the pre dawn cold darkness of Uvalde county Texas with a guy who was new to our hunting lease that had no truck to get him 3.5 miles back into this part of our 3840 acre ranch where I had spotted a good buck the weekend before.
    He had a Winchester 94 in 30-30 caliber with major blueing wear that his Dad's late brother had left to him in his passing from this earth equipped with an old Weaver 3 power scope in an old Weaver side mount configuration.
    We could hear in the distance two bucks seriously fighting near shooting light.
    Ten minutes or so later as legal light was gathering we could make them out with binoculars about 150 yards away.
    I was against him taking the shot with that 30-30.
    He was quite confident he could do it.
    And he dropped for that area a damn nice 18" inside the spread buck with 11 points before my very eyes.
    Not only was I impressed but got a new found admiration for a 30-30 caliber that at that time had been pretty much been written off as obsolete by the hunting /gun magazines.
    Dont ever write off any 30 caliber projectile for hunting guys.
    They work.
    Fast forward years later I prefer Marlin's 336 over the top eject 94 because of the way the scope has to ride side saddle on the older 94's.

    Just wanted to relive this old hunting story from years ago.......
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
  22. Alan_Hicks

    Alan_Hicks Member

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    Both have their place. I've personally never had an issue with the top-eject being a problem. I personally like the Winchester 94 better than the Marlin 336, but I don't feel like I'm disadvantaged in any way when I use one or the other.

    Winchester Top Ejects
    Pros
    1. Naturally ambidextrous
    2. Thinner and Lighter
    3. Prettier (subject to interpretation of course)

    Cons
    1. Few scope mounting options
    2. Modern angle ejects not naturally ambidextrous

    Marlin Side Ejects
    Pros
    1. Many scope mounting options
    2. Brass never falls on your hat brim

    Cons
    1. Heavier, not as comfortable to carry

    With all that said, there are clear reasons to use one over the other in a given situation. In my case, when I'm hunting from a stand or a blind and suspect there will be long range shots, I take my scoped Marlin 336. All other times, especially when I'm still hunting and expect to be moving through swamp bottoms, I carry the Marlin for its lighter weight.
     
  23. Abel

    Abel Member

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    I use the 336 in all situations as well. Way to be bro.
     
  24. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    Do you mean loaded ammo? If so, theres something seriously wrong with it. Should be fixable.


    I'm surprised at how many hadnt seem to have heard that Winchester started making 94's specifically intended for scoping since some time back in the 80's I believe. They call them angle ejects, and they work quite well scoped. I have one in 307 and like it very much. I wish I had a couple more, even though I tend to like pre-64's and pre-war guns in general.
     
  25. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    SlamFire1,

    Those '99's are a dandy, I am fortunate my Pop gave me his .300 before he passed on, Mom had given it to him in '47. Still a very good shooter!
     
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