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Old August 29, 2012, 09:47 AM   #1
Woody55
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Suggestions on a Lever Action Rifle

I am looking for a lever action rifle. It can be new or used. It has to be .357/.38. It has to be something on which I can mount an aperture sight.

I intend on using it as a "walking around" rifle on our place which is heavily wooded. Most shots will be under 50 yards and fleeting. Targets are typically feral hogs, snakes and raccoons.

The factors I am using to evaluate possible rifles are:

Reliability (feeding seems to be the issue);
Smoothness of action;
Weight (lighter is better);
Length (shorter is better); and
Cost.

I would appreciate your opinions.
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Old August 29, 2012, 10:18 AM   #2
PetahW
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Buy a (new) slicked-up Rossi Model 92 from a neighbor of yours, Nate "Kiowa" Jones (aka: Steve Young ) , the pre-eminent Model 92 levergunsmith in the US, and ALL your issues will be resolved in one fell swoop, including a bolt peep sight.

http://www.stevesgunz.com/

Steve Young
4525 Alamosa St.
Port Arthur, TX 77642
(409) 984-5473


steve@stevesgunz.com

Sass# 6765 - alias Nate Kiowa Jones



.
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Old August 29, 2012, 11:00 AM   #3
Spammy_H
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Marlin 1894C. I love my 336c chambered in 30-30. Probably cheaper than a Winchester, 18.5" barrel. Not as cheap as a Rossi, but a great lever action IMO.
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Old August 29, 2012, 11:06 AM   #4
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Puma M 92 in stainless 38/357.
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Old August 29, 2012, 12:40 PM   #5
gak
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Another +1 for the Rossi 92, what sgms meant to say . Puma has become for foreign 92s like "Coke" (for any cola) for the Rossi 92s though technically it's just a moniker used by the original Interarms distributor, then acquired by Legacy (LSI), which confusingly kept the name--since leaving Rossi--for all its new (09+) Chiappa/Italian lever line, including a "new" 92. All 92s from Interarms, then Legacy, recent decade(s) EMFs, Navy Arms and now of course Rossi (Braztech/Taurus)-label are Rossis. Not all Rossis are "Pumas."...

Just a search hint. These days because of the recent (again 09+) Chiappa Legacy "Pumas"--which are considerably pricier--not all Puma 92s you see listed will be the Brazilian Rossis.

Anyhow, back to the OP, especially as the other gent said - being a neighbor of Steve Young's (NKJ).it's a no-brainer. All LSI and 06+ EMFs and recemnt "Rossi"-labeled 92s have a silly/ambiguous safety that the aforementioned "bolt" mounted peep of Steve Young's can replace (or he otherwise has just a plug, if you want another sighting system).

The traapper model (16") will be your shortest. Most you'll see are 20" round-barreled carbines, also very handy and a great all 'rounder. "Short Rifles" with 20" octagonal are popular with the CAS set. Tell tale visual signs aside from the octagonal aspect is a sharper crescent butt and no barrel bands--as the "rifle" aspect suggests" your (OP) post describes a trapper (8 rds of magnum) or carbine (10) to a "T".
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Old August 29, 2012, 12:56 PM   #6
SRH78
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Another option is the Winchester 94 which was chambered in 357 magnum. Mine is very accurate and has never had a hiccup. I don't know how easy they are to find though.
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Old August 29, 2012, 01:21 PM   #7
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My Marlin 1894C has an 18" barrel and at 6.5 lbs is the perfect weight for a stroll through the woods. I mounted mine with a Williams FP sight and the little rifle really likes the increased sight radius.

There's a lot to like in Steve's Model 92s. I haven't seen a Winchester 94 in .357 on the used gun racks in several years. If I stumble on one I'll be tempted.

Were I looking for a rifle today, I might be tempted to try one of the Henry Big Boy rifles. My son has a Henry .22 and it's a dandy.
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Old August 29, 2012, 01:33 PM   #8
Woody55
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@PawPaw,

I've shot the Henry 22 and it is very smooth. My issue with the .357 Big Boy is that it weighs over 8 pounds.
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Old August 29, 2012, 02:39 PM   #9
gak
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SRH78 said
" Another option is the Winchester 94 which was chambered in 357 magnum. Mine is very accurate and has never had a hiccup. I don't know how easy they are to find though"

You're a lucky one then. IIRC, .357's one of the more--if not the most--problematic chamberings in the Win 94, which wasn't designed for pistol length cartridges to begin with. (...but amongst them, the .44s and .45s fare better). I'd stick with a Rossi or Marlin on this one, or a Miroku Win 92 or also pricey (and scarce long discontinued) Browning 92.
...But hey, you (OP) may luck out with a good one too.
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Old August 29, 2012, 02:50 PM   #10
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gak
I find it interesting that the 357 won't feed well but a 44 will, aren't they about the same length?

I know that the Winchester 94 won't feed specials!
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Old August 30, 2012, 02:07 AM   #11
bamaranger
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yup

My .357 lever is like Paws, and its a favorite. Lately a psycho down the road had taken to rambing about the area raving and vandalizing, and the Marlin is back at work as a walk around rifle.

Re: the Henry Big Boy's, they got that right. Big and Heavy. The ones I've handled were a FAR cry from a '92 or a Marlin '94 in tote-ability.
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Old August 30, 2012, 12:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
the Win 94, which wasn't designed for pistol length cartridges to begin with.
This is true. A Winchester Model 92 (or variant of same) would be my choice for a rifle chambered in a typical handgun cartridge.
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Old August 30, 2012, 04:00 PM   #13
mr.t7024
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Lever Action

Either a Henry or Marlin or a Marlin or Henry, in either case enjoy.Cliff
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Old August 30, 2012, 07:42 PM   #14
Bushmaster1313
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If Henry makes a .357 go with it.
the Henry .22 is a great rifle
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Old August 31, 2012, 01:13 AM   #15
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I can't comment on the other rifles mentioned, but I like my Marlin 1894c with Skinner aperture sights. Not sure if you ever intend to shoot .38 specials, but the Marlin cycles them as smoothly as .357s. From what I've read, that's not the case with all carbines.

Like PawPaw, my 1894 weighs 6.5 pounds, which may not be the lightest option, but it feels good in my hands.

The trigger pull is right around 3 pounds.

Mine was made before Marlin was bought out by Remington, and I think the general consensus is that the current production guns are a bit worse, so you might consider buying used if you have an interest in an 1894.
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Old August 31, 2012, 08:22 PM   #16
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I'm partial to the Marlin 1894C, especially the older ones

You can usually find 'em in pawn shops for $200-400, depending on condition...
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Old September 5, 2012, 04:34 PM   #17
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Big shrek You have not priced A marlin 1894 in .357 lately have you?
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Old September 5, 2012, 04:55 PM   #18
wild willy
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I have a Marlin If I found another one for under $400 I would have two.One with peeps and one with a scope.
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Old September 5, 2012, 06:33 PM   #19
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I'm a Cowboy Action Shooter. For what you say you want I'd look for an older Marlin. I have never seen a Henry Big Boy complete a match without a failure of some kind. I think they make great canoe paddles.
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Old September 5, 2012, 06:50 PM   #20
Edward429451
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[QUOTEferal hogs][/QUOTE]

I've never shot a hog but my feeling is that the 357 may be on the light side for hogs, and 38s would be out of the question.
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Old September 5, 2012, 09:50 PM   #21
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Shot a Henry in 44 mag a couple of days ago. I was impressed by its function and accuracy. The sites, despite the limitations of the design, were very good.

The owner put 3 rounds through basically the same hole. One of the rounds appeared to be a miss except I saw it pass through a previous hole with the scope.
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Old September 6, 2012, 09:47 AM   #22
Woody55
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@Edward,

I've never shot a feral hog with a .357 either, but I have shot and killed one with a .40 S&W. So, I figure the .357 ought to be fine.

I intend on target shooting with the .38s because they are cheaper.
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Old September 6, 2012, 02:51 PM   #23
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My family and I have taken bunches of WT Deer with the .357 and killed a couple of pigs. Go with a good heavy bullet. Avoid WW Silvertips.
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Old September 6, 2012, 03:07 PM   #24
Big Shrek
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Quote:
Big shrek, You have not priced A marlin 1894 in .357 lately have you?
Rifles in the Southern USA tend to go for a lot less than they do up north

Especially in pawn shops...helps if you can haggle as well
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Old September 6, 2012, 03:13 PM   #25
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I love my Henry - smooth operation from day 1.

My Marlin SS, a post-Remington model, has been in the Marlin factory shop since June 2011 trying to get it to feed without jamming.
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