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Old February 16, 2012, 09:46 AM   #1
Justice
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Lever Action Rifle 38 / 357 Mag

I've been having an itch to get a lever action rifle. No particular need just all around shooting. I presently reload 38/357mag pistol rounds.
Questions:
Do the lever action take the same rounds as a pistol?
If not what are the differences?
Would I need a different die set?
I'm looking at the Rossi Model 92s. Any idea on how they perform with reloads?
Anything else I should know about lever actions?
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Old February 16, 2012, 09:54 AM   #2
jmorris
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They will take the same rounds. Slower powders get better results because of the longer barrel.
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Old February 16, 2012, 09:56 AM   #3
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You load and shoot the same ammo in a levergun as in a handgun.

If you reload, you can tailor a load for your rifle that might not be usable in a revolver, but the dies, cases, bullets, etc are all the same for the levergun as for the revolver.
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Old February 16, 2012, 09:56 AM   #4
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I really like the Brazilian Rossi 92's. We've had one in .45 Colt and it was an excellent little rifle. We liked it pretty well until we moved onto the edge of the prairie.... a 400 yard shot out the back door now being a distinct possibility.

I think when we replace it, it will be with a 20" .357 Mag. With light .38's it's a much more sensible pest gun and with certain .357 loads, 2000 fps is attainable. There are invariably a couple of .38 or .357 revolvers on the place, so reloading for it no sweat.
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Old February 16, 2012, 10:17 AM   #5
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So, Where did you find one in stock? The Rossi Model 92 in .357 mag is what I've been looking for.
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Old February 16, 2012, 10:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
If you reload, you can tailor a load for your rifle that might not be usable in a revolver, but the dies, cases, bullets, etc are all the same for the levergun as for the revolver.
While I fully understand this, can I reload for use in a revolver and the same load work in the rifle? Or do I choose the powder for the specific gun?
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Old February 16, 2012, 11:10 AM   #7
AlaskaMike
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Quote:
... can I reload for use in a revolver and the same load work in the rifle? Or do I choose the powder for the specific gun?
Absolutely you can, and that's the beauty of having a levergun in the same caliber as your revolver. My .44 mag revolvers shoot the same loads as my Rossi 92 in .44 mag.
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Old February 16, 2012, 12:31 PM   #8
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Yes, I have a Henry Big Boy lever action rifle chambered in .357 mag ...and I use the same loads in it ... 158gr ...in .357 mag that I do in all of my handguns chambered in .357 mag.

I don't change anything ...
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Old February 16, 2012, 03:59 PM   #9
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I use the same components for my carbine as I do my revolver. I usually use fast powders for target loads for both guns. Usually an accurate load in the revolver is accurate in the carbine as well.
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Old February 16, 2012, 04:25 PM   #10
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newb here - I understand the bullet matters in a tube mag

You don't want something pointy enough to set off any of the primers if you should bump the rifle. Chain reaction might be fun to catch on youtube, but you don't want to be around when it happens.
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Old February 16, 2012, 05:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
While I fully understand this, can I reload for use in a revolver and the same load work in the rifle?
Yes you can. I shoot the same rounds in my Ruger GP-100 and Marlin 1894 357 mag lever gun.
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Old February 16, 2012, 05:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hulley
While I fully understand this, can I reload for use in a revolver and the same load work in the rifle? Or do I choose the powder for the specific gun?
Yeah, most of the time that will work, and that's the way it works for me. However, I've got one load, a 180 RF bullet with a stout charge of L'il Gun that I use as my heavy thumper. It shoots well in my Model 28 and my Marlin 1894, but I don't think I want to shoot it in my Model 66, even though it should be perfectly safe. That old revolver and I have a long working history and it's in semi-retirement.

On the other hand, if you want to tailor a load to your rifle, then you might want to use a different powder, but generally the same ammo will work in either gun. A nice revolver and a companion carbine make for a very versatile combination. One thing that you'll notice when you start this experiment is that the .357 magnum is like an entirely different cartridge when fired from the rifle. In the rifle, the velocity will increase several hundred feet per second.
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Old February 16, 2012, 05:58 PM   #13
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A 158gr lead SWC at 1000 fps from a carbine is one of my favorite fun loads. Quiet enough a few without earplugs isn't too bad. Enough to take game up to 40# or so. 5.5gr of 231 or 6.0 of unique will get you there.
They're also great in revolvers.
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Old February 16, 2012, 06:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
So, Where did you find one in stock? The Rossi Model 92 in .357 mag is what I've been looking for.
yea, no kiddin. been looking for a year now
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Old February 16, 2012, 06:51 PM   #15
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I have a 26" barreled Marlin 1894 rifle. It is a two MOA rifle out to 200 yards. It is wind sensitive and the trajectory gets pretty steep past 150 yards, but it is fun, fun, fun.

I use either the Remington 180 grain HP or a 180 grain cast bullet at close to 1500 fps with Lil'gun powder.

With a Lyman peep sight, I can adjust for various ranges between 25 and 200yards quickly and it also enhances my accuracy with the rifle.

I've never tried my rifle loads in my revolvers, so I'm probably missing something there. I guess the 180 grain load would probably shoot well in my Model 28 6" revolver, but as posted above, I'm not sure that I'd want to shoot it in my K frame Model 65.
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Old February 16, 2012, 07:25 PM   #16
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I bought a brand new in the box Rossi 92 last month at a gun show for $400. This guy had 2 of them in 357. I had been looking for one for the past 6 months.
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Old February 16, 2012, 07:40 PM   #17
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Thanks for the replies guys. I on the hunt for an 1894 and I want a load that will work in both revolver and carbine, but I wouldnt mind rolling a few stout rounds for the carbine come hunting season.
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Old February 16, 2012, 07:55 PM   #18
243winxb
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38 special in a Rifle.

Quote:
Do the lever action take the same rounds as a pistol?
No, with 38 special and 158 gr jacketed bullets or heavier , its possible to stick a bullet in the barrel.
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Old February 16, 2012, 08:06 PM   #19
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38 wadcutters usually have to be single loaded, they don't feed well, at least in my pre-cross bolt safety Marlin M1894. The older Marlins have the Micro Groove rifling which some have found to be more finicky with lead bullets.
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Old February 17, 2012, 10:27 AM   #20
Justice
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Thanks for all of the replies.
So as I said I'm looking for the 357. Also, want the 20" octangon barrel in a blue finish.
Now my quandary; To get the blue finish it seems I have to go with a round barrel. Round barrel would be lighter but I’m thinking my accuracy would be better with the octagon barrel.
What are your thoughts.
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Old February 17, 2012, 10:47 AM   #21
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With a pistol caliber carbine I doubt you will be able to discern the difference between the two barrel styles.

Last edited by hodaka; February 17, 2012 at 12:29 PM.
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Old February 17, 2012, 12:25 PM   #22
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The lighter, round barrel is the way to go. You don't need a heavy barrel on a .357 levergun.
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Old February 17, 2012, 02:15 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 243winxb
No, with 38 special and 158 gr jacketed bullets or heavier , its possible to stick a bullet in the barrel.
That hasn't been my experience at all. My standard .38 Special plinking/training load uses a 158 SWC and 4.3 grains of Unique. Out of my Model 28, that load gives me 780 fps. From my 1894, that same load clocks at 950 fps. It's a very nice little plinking load. The only .38 special load that slowed down in the rifle barrel was my .38 Special wadcutter load. That gives me 660 fps from my Model 28, but chrony'd at only 600 fps from the carbine.

I guess that it is possible to stick a bullet in the barrel, but I haven't managed it yet, even with minimum loads.
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Old February 17, 2012, 02:46 PM   #24
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The jacket from the .38 spl JHP is far more likely to get stuck in the barrel than solid lead bullets used in cast loads.
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Old February 17, 2012, 10:51 PM   #25
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From what I understand, Marlin is still getting up to speed with production at their new factory. Given that, you might see the 20" octogon barrel come along in a bit.

I'm a big fan of heavier barrels. The long barrels that I use may not increase velocity by any great amount, but their long sight radius is a great help to accurate shooting. As you can see from the photo below, I have Lyman peep sights on mine. While they won't qualify for cowboy action shooting, the peep sights allow me to shoot them at various ranges with quick and accurate sight changes.

.357 1894 on top
45/70 1895 on the bottom

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Last edited by Scharfschuetzer; February 18, 2012 at 08:07 AM.
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