I've got the 1894CB in .357/.38, and the 39A, both work just fine. On the other hand I shot in a CAS match yesterday and two fellows shooting Marlin .44 Mag/Special and 45 Colt had jams so bad they had to borrow rifles to finish.
However - I see a lot of Marlins in pistol calibers at these shoots and, in spite of yesterdays trouble, most of them are reliable. I think it's like buying a new car. No matter what manufacturer you have a chance of getting a lemon. But with the good companies the chance is much less.