Unreliable? I have 2 marlins and have have several others and the only problem I ever had was the one I put thousands of rounds thru cowboy shooting. I replaced the elevator and it was good as new.
I have a 357 and a 44. The 44 has a 16" and the 357 the 18", the 44 is my go to.
My rifle and pistol are tools, I am the weapon.