View Full Version : can't choose between levergun .357 or sks

May 4, 2005, 10:46 PM
:D i just got a 22 and i love it. but my mom wants me to give it to my cousins that are coming form michigan in about 6 week. i got the savage markII left handed. now it is between a levergun or sks. i know i can shoot 38spl out of the lever. it will be mostly to shoot for fun, snakes and to protect family in home protection. i and mybe shoot a deer, MAYBE. THANKX.

May 4, 2005, 11:07 PM
so do what I did, get both.
I know, I know, everybody says that.

.357 leverguns are great toys, the .357 sizzles out of a carbine length barrel, good out to 75-100 yards, enough gun for close-in deer hunting, and can do an admirable job in the HD role.

the SKS is an excellent intermediate cartridge platform. faster to reload than the levergun, cheaper to shoot if using military surplus ammo, appropriate ammo is available for hunting medium sized game to extend the range beyond what the .357 can do. I think the 7.62x39 in ball or soft point is a bit much for HD though.

I think I'd go for the SKS first because it is a little more versatile for what you want. Make the .357 levergun your next rifle.

just my 20 centavos (cinco de mayo tomorrow after all)

May 4, 2005, 11:33 PM
It all depends on what you want to use it for. They are both excellent calibers for their intended purpose. What's your fancy? Then choose.....

May 4, 2005, 11:44 PM
i did not know you could use a 357 to kill deer. i will consider it a lot. there is going to be a lot of party in tejas because of cinco de mayo :D thanks for the info.

May 5, 2005, 04:16 AM
with a .357 for deer, keep the distances short and the bullets heavy

May 5, 2005, 09:51 AM
Tpaw and utaherrn are both right. Plus the .357 in a lever gun like a Rossi and it's 92, distributed by EMF, Navy Arms and LSI (or Win 94s and Marlins shooting pistol calibers) is a handier format, meaning very easy to carry because of its slim, flat-sided design, lighter, etc., more of a trail/tromping "truck" gun in the sense of just throw it in and don't worry about it. Pretty decent capacity with 10 (typ), but as mentioned not particularly quick loading. So if these aspects are more important than "firepower," mid-range deer capability and quick re-loadability, that'd be a good way to go. The 20" barrel does wonders in fps for an already pretty decent round in the .357, just like it does for the larger calibers offered in Rossi-types, such as .44 Mag and .45 Colt. And all of these (in most lever guns), except the .45, can shoot their non-magnum counterparts as well. Good luck in deciding.

May 5, 2005, 02:20 PM
I vote for the 357. With mild 38 loadings it can be used for rabbit. With Buffalo Bore's hardcast load you have black bear protection. A lot more versatile than an SKS. Plus it won't go full auto on you. :p


May 5, 2005, 02:22 PM
The levergun, because leverguns are just cool.

May 5, 2005, 08:09 PM
The levergun, because leverguns are just cool. This is the best reason so far. :D

May 6, 2005, 08:07 AM
I would say go with a Marlin 1894c in .357mag. Double the price of an SKS, but more appropriate for the applications that you describe.

The SKS is not a bad carbine ... if your a short Russian on steroids. Don't get me wrong, it's a very reliable, moderately accurate firearm, built like a tank, and very easy to dissassemble. However, make sure that it fits you. I have a Yugoslavian SKS Model 59/66A1, and let's just say I'm in the process of selling it. The stock is very short and between the heavy barrel, grenade launcher, ladder sight, and bayonet attached the front end of the gun, it is annoyingly front heavy. A nine pound, 43+ inch carbine is not a carbine, it's a rifle, and it feels every bit as heavy and unwieldy as any other mid-20th century battle rifle. It's my fault ... I really didn't pay attention to the fit when I purchased it (impulse buy).

Also, make sure you like cleaning cosmoline. :)

May 6, 2005, 08:45 AM
Marlins are great, but for the purposes described (I don't hear anything requiring/warranting a scope), get a new or mildly used Rossi 92 for less $. Have had several over a span of 20 years--in .357, .44 Mag and .44-40. Never a problem with one of them (did have a few slicked up by a cowboy action type gunsmith, "just because"...just made it smoother in a few instances where it was a bit stiff from the factory. For all I know would've slicked up itself after more firings). Built with the very strong Winchester (Browning) 1892 action geared from the start for pistol-type rounds. And if my memory serves me correctly, lighter than the Marlin or Win 94. And, esp if a used one, you won't weep so much if lost or stomped on :-)

Agree, either with the Rossi or Marlin/Winchester levers, lighter and "handier" feeling than an SKS. If you don't need the 7.62 power or fast reload, why have the weight and other negative aspects of the SKS well chronicled by Leif? On the other hand, if fast reload is an issue there's the M-1 Carbine for the functions you mentioned (maybe with exception of deer unless very close up) = much lighter and handier (and more fun IMO) than an SKS.

Moe Mentum
May 6, 2005, 07:39 PM
Thats a tough choice, both are really cool rifles. I would lean toward the SKS, just because I like the 7.62x39 better as an all around rifle round.

May 7, 2005, 12:08 AM
I'm asking myself WWWD? What would Wayne do?

They're both really cool rifles.

Not a tough choice at all.

Buy both!

If on limited funds, I would buy either of them, and buy the other later.

May 7, 2005, 12:26 AM
I'm voting the .357 for sheer versatility... A 7.62x39 semi-auto's a fun idea, but I don't see it being quite as good fur multiple purposes as the .357.

With the .357, you've got a full-power potential for HD/short-range-deer/other stuff. But, you also have that .38 ability there for the smaller stuff, and for cheaper plinking.

With a 7.62x39mm, that broad range of uses seems to disappear somewhat due to the higher powered nature of the cartridge...

That being said, an SKS would be great for bumpfiring and rapid semi-auto... If you're into that kinda stuff... :D

May 7, 2005, 12:40 AM
Wolf ammo is the same price as surplus, and better quality. Also, at least with my SKS, I can get a 3-5" group at 100 yards if I am doing my job.

Tough choice though, I like leverguns... and .38 SPL is cheap enough to plink with to.

Now.. toss in the Henry Bigboy in .44 magnum, and I'd tell you what I'd pick :D .44 Mag ammo is a bit pricier, but nothing beats the boom. For me, I found a place where I can get jacketed .44 mag for 10.95 per 50, or 250 rounds for 49.99.

May 7, 2005, 02:30 PM
i think i will go with the lever and later get the sks. i think i would like to have 2 different type of ammo like the 357 and 38 i think that is cool and i can choose between on of them for my diffent types of uses. 38 of plinking rabbits, and snakes. 357 for HD and hunting. thanks i am use to shooting no more that 100 yds becuase i use a bow to hunt with and with the lever i see no problem thanks for the help :D

May 7, 2005, 02:34 PM
I think you'll be happy. Although picking between them is a win-win situation however you decide.

May 7, 2005, 03:02 PM
The cheapest rifle is by far the SKS, both rifle and ammo. You wont find a cheaper plinker anywhere (besides a .22).

Don't forget, the 7.62x39 cartirdge is also good for deer.

As for the lever gun... my brother has a .357 marlin at my urging and it is an awesome thing.

May 7, 2005, 03:09 PM
SKS is fun, but I just got a lever gun last year and am kicking myself for not getting one sooner.

Lever guns take the crown in the handiness dept, and besides a .22 version, a .357/.38 spc will be the next best thing in the economic shooting dept, on par with surplus 7.62, if not cheaper. I regularly see 50 rd boxes of .38 for 6-7 bucks and cheap .357 for less than $10.

Admittedly you are not getting the power of a 7.62x39, which is a little under a .30-30 (not counting the buffalo bore stuff....daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaang).

Get the lever gun. More versatility, handier, better looking, probably more accurate, and cranking on a lever is fun.

May 7, 2005, 06:00 PM
The .357 levergun is the right choice for the things you say you want to do with it.
Also, with the high-end .357 loads, the .367 out of a rifle isn't THAT far below the power of the 7.62x39mm.

Plus, the levergun has style.

May 7, 2005, 07:34 PM
i just look at the wally world web site and i will get teh marlin there. what is 9-shot tubular magazine? does that mean i have to put the bullets in the back(butt) of the gun? :confused: this will not discouge me i just found that out. thanks.

May 7, 2005, 08:03 PM
the magazine runs under the barrel...

Usually you load it from a gate on the receiver for a lever gun(other than Henry's)

May 7, 2005, 10:12 PM
the lever gun with its short lenght, slab sides, and light weight, take
the cake for handiness. Rounds are loaded thru the loading gate on the
right side of the action (see below), giving you the ability to top off
the mag tube as you go. The .357 is plenty powerful enough to take
deer at ranges within reason (say 100yds or so), makes a great defensive
carbine, can be loaded with .38's for a great cheap plinker. It also begs
to be paired with a revolver of the same caliber, and has a significant
coolness factor.

Here's mine its a Marlin 1894c 18.5" barrel in .357 mag, and its
best friend the S&W 686+ with a 4" tube. :Dhttp://www.thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=12898

May 7, 2005, 11:31 PM
Do remember that private party transfers between people of two different states are a no-no.

One of these days, I'll have a 357 lever gun. It is honestly on my to buy list, it just keeps getting shoved around. For now, the SKS is lots of fun, I refer to it as a 10/22 on steroids.

Tom B
May 9, 2005, 04:51 AM
You didn't see John Wayne carrying an SKS did you? I rest my case!

May 9, 2005, 08:00 AM
if the indians has sks, it would be different :D

May 9, 2005, 06:23 PM
With the right ammo you can hunt deer with a sks. Just Dont Use FMJ ammo. It will go right through the deer with relativly no damage without hitting any vitals. Plus you cant beat the price of a SKS and the ammo. The sks would also make a good HD gun.

But if you cant decide just go with both :)