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Old September 12, 2012, 08:46 PM   #1
.284
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My buddy wants a lever action.

Okay so here's the deal. My buddy and I reload and he has a ton of 357 mag components with dies and I have the 44 mag dies he could use but he would need components. He is considering two things. The first would be to buy this:
http://www.marlinfirearms.com/Firear...re/1894CSS.asp

or this:
http://www.henryrepeating.com/rifle-big-boy.cfm

Next, 357 mag or 44mag?

I feel that considering ballistics, the 44 mag is the obvious choice. However, he has all that money wrapped up in 357 dies, primers, cases, and bullets. Guys..........what do you think?
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Old September 12, 2012, 09:23 PM   #2
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Only two legitimate players IMO. Older Marlin,...or Rossi 92--variously called 1892--(aka Interarms or Puma from the '80s-90s, Legacy (LSI) Puma '90s-late '00s, EMF Hartford '90s-'00s, Navy Arms (rare) '90s-early '00s, Rossi/Braztech-Taurus late '00s-present). You also didn't ask, but "no" to Win 1894s (in .357). Henrys to me are way too heavy for whatever rounds they shoot.

Also in the unasked-for department, there's also Chiappa 1892 (current LSI Puma, Cimarron and Taylors) and current Winchester 1892, but they are pricier.
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Old September 12, 2012, 09:25 PM   #3
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.284 - If you know about .284's, you're no amateur and probably a long-range shooter. Anyway, need more information.

What are the main and secondary purposes of the rifle? If it is to hunt or be in nasty weather or even for self-defense, I'd go with the Marlin. The stainless advantage is obvious relative to weather and wiping down, and the ability to reload in a firefight, however unlikely that would be necessary, is way easier with a gate than pulling a tube and taking the rifle completely out of action, as if it were a muzzle loader.

Next - is the issue of caliber related to just these two guns - Marlin in .357 or Henry in .44? Or is there more to it?

With only the information in the OP, the Marlin wins because your buddy has more stuff for it, the ammo will be cheaper and the rifle is lighter, weatherproof and faster to reload. But Henrys are very nice guns and I like supporting 100% American-made products.
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Old September 12, 2012, 09:37 PM   #4
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Gak - nostalgia - I have a short-stroked 20" Navy Arms 1866 in .38 SPL. and even though I no longer shoot it, I can't bear to part with it. Will give it to one of my grandchildren. One of the coolest-looking guns I've ever owned and reliable as rain.
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Old September 13, 2012, 11:05 AM   #5
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My buddy is using the gun for hunting purposes only. We have both taken deer with our revolvers (he has a couple of 357's and I have a 44). He is just thinking a lever gun for deer hunting would be a fun alternative. I believe the Marlin and the Henry are both available in the 357 and 44. Also, my understanding is that Marlin is made in the USA as well. American made is very very important to any info to the contrary would be appreciated.
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Old September 13, 2012, 11:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
My buddy is using the gun for hunting purposes only.
For deer?

"Use enough gun." comes to mind.

It would be something that may cause your buddy to kick himself for the rest of his life- to have the biggest buck he's ever seen take a hit to the chest from a marginal cartridge at the edge of it's useful range and never be seen again..... he'd kick himself a bit less forcefully if he did the right thing and passed on the shot..... but a nice mount on the wall would be a better outcome than either one if had picked a real deer rifle as opposed to a pistol caliber carbine.

...and before all the pistol cartridge fan-boys go touting the ballistics of their fave Buffalo Bore load .... it's a pistol cartridge, and can't hold a candle to a real deer rifle. Happiness is having enough, so start with plenty.
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Old September 13, 2012, 01:20 PM   #7
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jimbob, I get what you're saying but he's not trying to replace his 30-06 or 25-06. This would be close range thick woods and would be plenty to take down a deer in Michigan where the average shot is 50 to 75 yards. Hell, I was sitting with him when he popped a fat doe with his 357 revovler and watched the thing run 30 yards and flop. Some of the load data he's seeing for 357 rifle loads is darn close to 30-30 capabilities and please don't tell me that you think a 44 mag is under powered for deer.
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Old September 13, 2012, 01:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
please don't tell me that you think a 44 mag is under powered for deer.
It's not, when used within it's limitaions.
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Old September 13, 2012, 02:24 PM   #9
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A fine choice.

I have two cowboys -357 and 45lc and they
are a bunch of fun to shoot.
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Old September 13, 2012, 02:30 PM   #10
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Im have 2 Henry rifles and love them both, 1 is a 22, the other is a 357 mag. Great target shooters and plinkers, but I wouldn't use either for deer. Thats just me.
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Old September 13, 2012, 02:59 PM   #11
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The new Marlins are not coming out so hot. I'd say go with an older one with a "JM" stamp on the barrel. Something made prior to say, 2007 era would be good.

The 357 Magnum out of a carbine or rifle length barrel is a great Whitetail deer cartridge within reason. I wouldn't want to use it much out past 75-100 yards personally. It would also be a nice companion rifle to a 357 Magnum pistol shooter/hunter. Especially a reloader.

Seems like an easy choice to me.
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Old September 13, 2012, 06:23 PM   #12
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FloridaVeteran said:
" Gak - nostalgia - I have a short-stroked 20" Navy Arms 1866 in .38 SPL. and even though I no longer shoot it, I can't bear to part with it. Will give it to one of my grandchildren. One of the coolest-looking guns I've ever owned and reliable as rain."

1866s are cool guns, as are the 1873s. I did not include in my short list as the earlier (than '92) Win-based clones tend to generally be pricier, than the Rossis anyway (and I'm not entirely convinced of their .357 and especially new-ish .44 Mag chamberings in the '73 though "they" say they're ok)...but classy they are. My friend has a whole brood of Uberti (Cimarron and Taylors) '73s I regularly drool all over. No '66s but that's a favorite of mine too, and the originals arguably really the ones that "won the West" before the '73s did

Last edited by gak; September 13, 2012 at 06:34 PM.
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Old September 13, 2012, 06:52 PM   #13
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I could not understand how out of all the myriad rifles available to deer hunt with , why pick a 357 lever rifle. That would make no sense to me. There are so many better options. Can it be done? Sure it can. I gues you could hunt with a bat if you reallly need to. Not the rifle I would ever pick for deer that's for sure. I don't care what the range may be.
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Old September 14, 2012, 12:35 AM   #14
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I went for the Marlin 1894 in a 44, but there is nothing marginal about a 357 out of a rifle length barrel. Does he want to keep his reloading simple or does he want an excuse to get a 44 companion pistol?

There is a big difference between hunting with the 6 lb Marlin and the Henry. The 1894 is great for those days when too much gun spoils a nice walk in the woods... hands on all day long.... never slung over your shoulder at the wrong time....when the time comes for the help of a 2.5x or 4x scope the rifle still weighs less than 7..
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Old September 14, 2012, 01:05 AM   #15
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Quote:
there is nothing marginal about a 357 out of a rifle length barrel.
Quote:
marginal-
4 : close to the lower limit of qualification, acceptability, or function : barely exceeding the minimum requirements
What's the minimum requirement?

Legally, in my state of residence, the min requirement for a legal rifle to hunt deer with is 900 ft/lbs energy @100 yards. Even Buffalo Bore's hottest loads using their own ballistic data barely make that. So from a legal standpoint where I hunt, it's marginal.

Generally speaking, is there a weaker cartidge that would be acceptable to you as "enough gun"? Of the dozens upon dozens of chamberings for "deer rifles" I'm pretty sure you can't name 10 modern chamberings that are weaker than the .357 magnum.... it's at the bottom edge: It's marginal, at best, if loaded hot with a quality bullet and shot out of a rifle.
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Old September 14, 2012, 01:09 AM   #16
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I saw a great winchester repeating rifle on pawn stars the other day. It was an 1876 and I believe the caliber was 45-75. they said it was a rare calibered rifle(not that many of it were made), and the late president teddy roosevelt had one for his big game hunting abroad. It was nice. I have a 44 magnum repeating rifle.
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Old September 14, 2012, 12:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
What's the minimum requirement
More than 22 rimfire in my state. 90%++ deer are shot less than 50 yards here. My flintlock and my neighbors old Win 38-40 have scored clean single shot kills. Deer never knew their heart and lungs were trashed by obsolete underpowered rounds.
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Old September 14, 2012, 03:03 PM   #18
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Back to the OP I have a .357 Marlin and .44 Marlin.For just fun shooting the .357 is hard to beat.For hunting I would get the .44 I have shot deer with the .357 only two. I was not impressed it killed them both with one shot each.But very little damage I know dead is dead but if the shots would have been off a little don't know no blood trails. Bullet size holes straight thru Hornady 158 JSP.Try to find a Marlin made before Remington took over It will be easier to find a .44 at a good price.
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Old September 14, 2012, 05:21 PM   #19
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I agree with wild willy w/regards to that if you get the 44 he speaks of it is a multi-purpose rifle(ready to handle all occaisions). don't get one and then need to get another one down the road
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Old September 16, 2012, 07:56 AM   #20
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Kinda funny that some folks who would decry the use of .357 & .44 are the same folks who bowhunt...

I guarantee that a .357 or .44 Magnum will do far more damage than one of my carbon fiber arrows w/100-gr expandable broadhead...
if you can plant an arrow in a deer at <50 yards, you can dang sure do it with a Lever-action under 75 yards
Personally, I prefer the challenge of stalking close enough to stick an arrow (and occasionally a spear) into a White-tail Deer!
Once you've done it with a bow...doing it with a Glock 10mm pistol is just as easy, without whacking a bow limb on a branch...lol
So doing it with a Marlin 1894C is a piece of cake, technically

Marlin made the toughest lever-action on the planet...they're still having Growing Pains in the new Factory in Ilion, NY,
(half the dang problem is they're stuck hiring NY'rs...they shoulda put that plant in the SOUTH!! LOL)
The Mayfield, Kentucky plant is doing far better than its Yankee Counterpart...
but things are improving on the Lever line...not to the point where I'd feel comfy buying one yet,
but it is looking a lot better than last year this time...I'm thinking they should have their squishy together by 2013...
given how the new 795's, 60's, & Xt22/X7 lines are running now...which are better than the 2005-2011's by quite a bit now!!

All that being said...my Marlin .44 did the trick on deer and wild hog at Eglin AFB...but I sold it a few years back...
now I use my 10mm Glock 20-SF and am saving for a Longslide kit so it will be even more effective!!

PLUS...and its a big plus, both the .357 & .44 can be used for SASS/Cowboy Action Shooting!!!
all ya need with it is ONE or two single-action cowboy pistols and a rabbit-ear double-barrel shotgun
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Old September 16, 2012, 08:05 AM   #21
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If I were him, I would get the 357 Mag Marlin. 180-200gr is more than enough for deer...
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Old September 16, 2012, 03:49 PM   #22
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I have a Henry BigBoy 45 Long Colt and it's a damn fine american made rifle!
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Old September 16, 2012, 04:25 PM   #23
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Big Shrek I guarantee I've seen more damage done with a expandable broadhead (spitfire) then that .357 did to those deer.In fact the guy who helped me cut them up remarked it looked like they were shot with a bow with a field point.What amazes me somebody that wasn't there didn't see it knows all about what something will do.How many deer have you shot with a .357?If you have never seen a bullet do something un-expected than you need to shoot a few more animals.It surprised me . I wasn't expecting the lack of damage.

Last edited by wild willy; September 16, 2012 at 05:29 PM.
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Old September 16, 2012, 06:02 PM   #24
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My guess is that if you shoot a Henry Big Boy about 6 rounds a year it might hold up. I've been shooting CAS since 1997. I know shooters who tried the 'Big Boy'. I've never seen one complete a match without failing.
You might try going to a couple of local CAS shoots and seeing what's for sale. Sounds like what you need is an older Marlin Cowboy. BTW, I've killed numerous deer with a .357 Carbine. My Wife, my Daughter and My Son all took their first deer with a .357 Carbine. Stay within 100 yards and it'll do just fine.
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Old September 16, 2012, 06:10 PM   #25
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I've put a box of 50 through my Henry in one sitting...no hiccups no misfires and no jams.
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