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Ale GOlem
April 23, 2012, 01:24 PM
After reading some of the horror stories posted on various NY firearm forums about 4 month waiting lists for handgun classes and 13 month waits to get permits issued in Saratoga county I'm thinking I might buy a .357 lever action in the meantime. I decided on .357 because it'll compliment the .357 revolver I'm planning on picking out once my paperwork is submitted. I was looking at a Henry but wanted to see if anyone had some recommendations. This will just be a range rifle, I don't hunt, and I'd like to spend $500 or less for a used model if that's feasible.

tahunua001
April 23, 2012, 01:59 PM
marlin 1894 is probably the best lever action in 357 you can find, even if they belong to Cerberus now. they are a bit spendy in the $800 range but they will beat the brakes off a Rossi or a henry from what I've heard.

ronto
April 23, 2012, 02:01 PM
You can't go wrong with a Marlin lever gun.

EdInk
April 23, 2012, 02:07 PM
Be careful of the production time of the Marlin. They had to stop
production about a years ago because of the quality control issues.

Buy the Henry of you can afford it. Go to a store and compare the smoothness of the action. The Henry is a superior built firearm.

M4BGRINGO
April 23, 2012, 02:19 PM
Shot my friends 1894 Marlin with .44 Magnums. The lever beat-up my finger, just was not a comfortable gun to shoot (for me). We shot small water bottles at 100 yards, it was very accurate.

MrBorland
April 23, 2012, 02:39 PM
I have a Marlin 1894C, but I've been reading good things about Rossi's lever rifles. Available in .38/.357, they're also offered in a number of configurations, e.g., 20"/16" barrel, blued/stainless, round/octagon barrels, etc.

http://www.rossiusa.com/product-list.cfm?category=8

gwnorth
April 23, 2012, 05:13 PM
I have a Winchester (miroku) 1892 short rifle and carbine in .357mag and love them. They will set you back quite a bit more than $500, but the Japanese company Miroku knows how to make a beautiful and very well made rifle. (btw they have been making long guns since the 1890's, Including modern Browning Citori shotguns).

If this is intended to be used as a HD weapon then a 16" barreled trapper carbine would be best. But for a range gun I like mine which have 20" barrels.

Striker1
April 23, 2012, 06:28 PM
I have an EMF (Rossi) M92 20" carbine in .38/.357. It has worked without issue for 7 years and it's good out to 100 yds for me.

Light, handy and quick to the shoulder.

PawPaw
April 23, 2012, 07:00 PM
There's a lot to like in the Marlin 1894, but I bought mine before the Remington/Cerebus/Freedom Group dynamic. I've got mine and it's a dandy. I can't vouch for any of the younger ones.

If I were in the market today for a Model 92, I'd call Steve Young (http://www.stevesgunz.com/) and see what he has in stock. He's the Rossi 92 specialist and he makes guns for the Cowboy Action crowd. I'm sure if Steve sells it, it will run.

mr.t7024
April 23, 2012, 07:42 PM
I would not hesitate to buy either the Henry or the Marlin, they are both excellent rifles.I sold both brands at Bass Pro in Foxboro,MA with no complaints!:) Cliff

SRH78
April 23, 2012, 10:54 PM
I have a Marlin 1895 in 45-70 and a Winchester 94 in 357 magnum. Both are great rifles and both are easily and consistently sub moa rifles. If you want light and handy, it is hard to beat the 94 but the Marlin is, imo, a little better gun, especially for use with a scope. I would absolutely take either one over a Henry or Rossi.

briandg
April 23, 2012, 11:55 PM
Rossi are completely functional and a lot cheaper. You ought to at least consider it if cost is a factor.

comn-cents
April 24, 2012, 12:30 AM
I love my Marlin, found it used for about $350, hard to beat for the price. The Marlin & Rossi willshoot both 38/357 not sure about the Henry. I know the the Winchesters aren't made to shoot 38spl.

BfloBill
April 24, 2012, 05:55 AM
I have a Marlin 1895, but in a larger caliber (.450 Marlin) and it is a great lever gun. There are a lot of Winchester 94 fans on this site and I am sure that rifle has earned it's reputation, but I think Henry's are over rated. I don't have any first hand knowledge of the Rossi.

L_Killkenny
April 24, 2012, 08:15 AM
Generaly when it comes to pistol caliber lever actions the Rossi and Japchestor 92's are prefered over the Marlin 94's. You go to a Cowboy shoot and you'll see the 92's the most followed by '73 clones and Marlins. You'll have a hard time finding a current production Henry. Generally the Henry's aren't well thought of and seem chunky and heavy. The 92's are light, slimmer and quicker. Marlins in beween.

The only real choices are between the Marlin and the Rossi. If you'll NEVER want a scope the Rossi wins, if you MAY want to scope it at any time the Marlin wins.

LK

EdInk
April 24, 2012, 09:26 AM
In all fairness, the only problems with the Henry Big Boys are weight and you can't reload from the side. They are the best looking and smoothest actions though. Alot of SASS guys don't like them because "they aren't period correct." Which is just silly because neither are so many other things.

Guv
April 24, 2012, 11:53 AM
^"Best Looking" highly subjective!

Hardcase
April 24, 2012, 12:05 PM
I will also chime in to support the Rossi. I've had mine for a couple of years and I use it a lot. It's a great rifle for silhouette shooting, out to 100 meters. I've never had a problem with it. Shoots .357 and .38, even my cast handloads. I've shot everything from wimpy Trail Boss loads to black powder to full house .357s and it's been a champ.

2fewdaysafield
April 24, 2012, 12:13 PM
I love my Henry .357. Can't recommend them enough! But you will be very hard pressed to find a used one for $500. I haven't seen one for under $575 in a couple of years now.

az_imuth
April 24, 2012, 05:19 PM
I picked up one of the 24" Rossi rifles in 38/357 a while back and I love it. The action smoothed right up with just a little use and the rifle was dead-on with 38's right out of the box. I picked the Rossi over the Marlin mainly because I wanted the traditional crescent stock and an octagon barrel. For just a shade over 400 I ended up with a rifle that looks and performs exactly the way I wanted.

SIGSHR
April 25, 2012, 06:24 PM
My Marlin 1894C is a pre-cross bolt safety model, that's my recommendation.

CCCLVII
April 26, 2012, 10:15 AM
I am a Marlin man but when I hold Henry to me they feel better made.

The only reason I am not a Henry fan is I like how the marlin reloads. Reloading at the barrel end of the mag tube does not feel right to me. It is much easier to top off a Merlin than a Henry.

dieselbeef
April 26, 2012, 10:19 AM
i have bopth...the henry is alot smoother....the marlin is scoped...fergit scoping the henry..big pita.

Deja vu
April 26, 2012, 08:28 PM
Henry's are great guns. As others have said I also prefer how the Marlins load. IF I could load a Henry from the side like a Marlin I would likely have more than 1 Henry in my collection.

bamaranger
April 27, 2012, 12:49 AM
Shot my pre-safety Marlin today. One of the best rifle buys I ever made. Very versatile. A wide range of power available. Single loaded .38 WC and I have a very mild step up from .22 and a good trainer. Loaded all up , heavy bullet .357's are enough gun for short range deer and hogs. For many years I shot a mid range lead SWC .357 that was interchangeable with my revolver loads. It did duty as a patrol rifle when we carried .357 revolvers (outside of policy, but comforting no less)

I think the model 92 clones are bought mainly for their looks, and not due to any edge over the Marlin. And the Henry's are way to heavy for what they are supposed to be....carbines.

I've had mine for 25 years, maybe more, and never a bit of trouble. The Marlin strips down for cleaning and repair at the breech end with one screw, try that with a Win/Japchester.

You will not be disappointed with a .357 lever carbine.

Strafer Gott
April 27, 2012, 07:42 AM
Winchester Trapper in .357. Just a real nice little carbine.

Jack O'Conner
April 29, 2012, 05:51 AM
Marlin still builds a fine carbine. The photo is courtesy of Paco Kelly. This South African impala never knew what hit him!

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c146/rushmoreman/357impala.jpg

Jack

Ale GOlem
April 30, 2012, 09:18 PM
I'm seeing a lot of love for Marlin Firearms but not so much for Winchester, is there any particular reason? I've abandoned the idea of a Henry, I didn't know they were tube loaded and not gate loaded which is kind of a deal breaker. I'm really liking the Winchester Model 1892 Carbine, it has all of the aesthetic features I'm looking for and is a top name company.
This gun will be mainly used for target shooting so aesthetics are king, at least in my opinion. My price range has gone up a bit as well due to a very promising career opportunity that I'm interviewing for on Wednesday. I waffled on the caliber for a bit but settled, firmly, back on the .357 due to cost.

jaughtman
April 30, 2012, 10:08 PM
Marlin or Winchester years ago made their 16" carbine in a take-down model that when took-down would fit in a briefcase-sized case. Now, THAT would be ideal if you live in a state where actual handguns were hard to carry if you kept it under your seat in your car. Anyone ever see those?

J

Deja vu
May 1, 2012, 11:59 AM
Marlin or Winchester years ago made their 16" carbine in a take-down model that when took-down would fit in a briefcase-sized case. Now, THAT would be ideal if you live in a state where actual handguns were hard to carry if you kept it under your seat in your car. Anyone ever see those?


My brother has a break down Marlin 30-30. I think he had his done at Wild West guns a few years back (though I am not 100% sure they are the ones who did it)

I am impressed at how well it stores and how easy it is to put back together.

gwnorth
May 1, 2012, 04:57 PM
Ale - the winchester's are more expensive so that is part of it. But I know I looked at Henry, Marlin and Rossi but ended up with a Winchester 1892 carbine. I liked it so much that within 2 months I had also added an 1892 short rifle. Some say that miroku currently makes a better winchester than Winchester ever made in the last few decades of its existence.

Next on my list is a Cimmaron 1873.

MXVII
May 2, 2012, 03:46 AM
I have a new 1894 Marlin .357.... Ive owned it for 2 1/2 months. Its been in for repairs twice (7 weeks). So far its a piece of junk. stock to metal fit-junk. failure to feed...failure to eject. Lever will not operate under normal use after cycling 8-10 rounds...going back to NY again.

Buyer beware

Guv
May 2, 2012, 11:49 AM
^ That's so sad to here.

Ale GOlem
May 2, 2012, 02:59 PM
...ended up with a Winchester 1892 carbine. I liked it so much that within 2 months I had also added an 1892 short rifle. What are the differences between the carbine and short? I haven't handled them yet but, besides the $100 price difference, their specs and pictures on the website look very similar.

gwnorth
May 2, 2012, 04:56 PM
It is largely cosmetics. No barrel band on the short rifle as it has the metal fore stock end cap. The short rifle does have a noticeably thicker walled barrel and I'm told the short rifle is a bit more accurate. This is supposed to stem from the fore stock endcap and the heavier barrel. I'm not really the one to say that's a fact though as with my eyesight and iron buckhorn sights the two shoot pretty much the same for me.

I just like them both and have procrastinated so long on getting one I just splurged on both. The short rifle is the one I am thinking of getting sights for but not sure what - marbles tang peep or something in place of the buckthorns but I'm still researching my options there.

One thing - the only .38spl I've tried were Winchester white box 130gr FMJ flat nose. But those consistently fail to feed. The 125gr and 158gr .357mag I've used have all worked just fine though.

Big Shrek
May 3, 2012, 05:06 AM
I'm seeing a lot of love for Marlin Firearms but not so much for Winchester, is there any particular reason?

Real simple, go to any SASS/Cowboy shoot...see what the winners are shooting...Top Ten are usually Marlins.
They make superior barrels and the action is built like an M-1 Abrams tank...kind of hard to beat.....
and you can slap a scope on 'em with very little issue.

Plus, try scoping a Winnie sometime...it'll cost ya and make ya cry at the same time ;)

I picked up an older 1894 (.44 Magnum) for $200 at a pawn shop...
shop smart...hit the pawn shops, it might take longer to find what you want,
but you'll sure as heck find it cheaper!!

gwnorth
May 3, 2012, 05:45 AM
Curious. I'm not a SASS participant my self but the few shoots I've been to nobody was shooting a marlin, nor any modern (post-1964'ish) winchesters. The most common sorts of things were imports from Cimarron, Navy Arms, Uberti and the like. Seemed to me the 1873 models dominated. But as I say, I am a casual fan, not someone deep into SASS shooting.

The scope issue is certainly one to consider when buying. Myself, I never wanted a scoped lever gun anyway, so it was not a factor in my purchases.

az_imuth
May 3, 2012, 07:19 AM
Curious. I'm not a SASS participant my self but the few shoots I've been to nobody was shooting a marlin, nor any modern (post-1964'ish) winchesters. The most common sorts of things were imports from Cimarron, Navy Arms, Uberti and the like. Seemed to me the 1873 models dominated.

This is also what I've found to be true. A quick google search will bring up dozens of sites that show that the old Winchester copies by Uberti, Rossi and others dominate the market. The (older) Marlin is a great rifle, but they were barely mentioned on any of the cowboy action sites. Not being able to scope a Winchester doesn't seem to be much of a disadvantage since it doesn't appear that scopes are allowed in the SASS competitions.

Crunchy Frog
May 3, 2012, 08:18 AM
I've been shooting cowboy action for a little over two years. From what I understand, the Marlin was the top shooters' choice in the early years of SASS, because the lever throw of the Marlin was naturally shorter than that of the various Winchesters (and replicas thereof). The shorter stroke means you can run the rifle faster.

Later on, gunsmiths developed a way to "short stroke" the "toggle link" rifles (Winchester 1866 and 1873) which made these rifles the fast shooters' choice.

Uberti makes the replica '66s and '73s that are imported by several companies. The 1873 in .357 is probably the "ultimate" rifle in SASS. I saved my nickels to buy one. It is a great cowboy action rifle.

Is the 1873 the best lever action .357 for all around use? Debatable. It is heavier than some of the other choices, but this depends somewhat on the configuration your are considering. No question that the action/receiver of the 1892 is more compact. Some people argue that the actions of the 1892 (a John M. Browning design) and the Marlin have a stronger lockup than the older toggle link guns. Probably true, but the toggle action is probably plenty strong enough for .357.

The Uberti rifles are also more expensive than the competition and (as a new shooter in my club can attest) they can use a little work when new. Of course, a cheap rifle that won't work, and that can't easily be fixed is no bargain.

When I started shopping for a lever rifle the Rossi '92 were the most economical and the ones you were likely to find at your LGS. I think for a woods gun I would be satisfied with it but I found it to be less than optimal as a competition gun. Yes, I know John Wayne had a '92.

The Marlin has a decent following in SASS. It is popular with shooters in the "B Western" category who cannot use a '73 or a '66. It is also touted as a good rifle for those who don't want to spend the big bucks for a toggle link rifle. One of our shooters found one locally for about $750.

There are lots of complaints on the internet about Marlin lever guns made after the Remington takeover ("Remlins"). Supposedly problems with those but they may have sorted that out now. If I wanted a Marlin, I would either look for a used one that I could try out, or I'd buy from a local gun store that would stand behind it.

I think a .357 lever rifle is a great choice. It is versatile and easy to shoot.

wrm
May 4, 2012, 10:54 AM
I like my Rossi in 357. Maybe I'll cut it down to a hogleg. You're probably not allowed to do that. I like it so much I bought one in 38 as well, still need to deal with the licencing for that one.

Yes, scoping them's an issue.

Nothing wrong with the Marlins either, but my 1894's in 38-40.

robertsig
May 4, 2012, 06:08 PM
My brother has a break down Marlin 30-30. I think he had his done at Wild West guns a few years back

Damn you. I just looked them up. Holy crap I want a takedown gun now.

landlord
May 4, 2012, 06:54 PM
its not legal to shorten one, I just checked yesterday. I wanted a mares leg one but they are classed as a pistol and I wanted it long enough to class as a rifle.

wrm
May 5, 2012, 01:59 AM
Yea, you guys have strange laws :-) They're still better than most of the rest of the world though.

You need something to keep the wolf from the door until you get a handgun, and for range work afterwards. Means you're not too worried about a scope etc.

If you see a nice Rossi, snag it.

The only issue I have with mine is that it doesn't stabilise 190 grain bullets and that's not really an issue. Also, other people have reported that theirs do so YMMV.

Big Shrek
May 7, 2012, 02:00 AM
It has been awhile since I shot SASS...guess things have changed a bit ;)

I know quite a few are glad I'm not shooting SASS anymore, lets 'em get higher standing ;)
Maybe when I retire I'll get back into it...it was those dang Ruger Vaquero's I had that put me off it...
I'm STILL cussing Ruger after all this time...they really honked me off!! LOL

Ale GOlem
May 7, 2012, 10:47 AM
Plus, try scoping a Winnie sometime...it'll cost ya and make ya cry at the same timeAre there major modifications that go into scoping a Winchester? Their website shows their Model 94 Short scoped so I assumed it was a fairly easy procedure for any of them.

BigMikey76
May 9, 2012, 02:56 PM
Are there major modifications that go into scoping a Winchester?

Depends on how old it is. The older models eject straight out the top (pre 1980's, I think - not sure what year it changed), so scoping is near impossible (or at least a big PITA). Newer models eject at an angle, but it is still a little awkward. I recently fired my late father-in-law's Win 94, and I can't imagine how it would have been with a scope. Besides, it would have messed up the rifle's looks something awful. ;)

gwnorth
May 9, 2012, 06:45 PM
Yeah, my 1892's basically eject up and straight back over my right shoulder. If they angle to the right at all, it is not much. They would definitely be hitting a scope. Both of mine are current miroku production models.