View Full Version : .357 Lever Gun with a 16 inch barrel???

Bob S
May 8, 2005, 08:02 PM
Hello all,

For years I have debated on picking up a "trapper" model lever action with a short 16 inch barrel in .357 mag/.38 special. Recently I have checked both Marlin and Winchester websites and it appears that they no longer have trapper models in thier lineups. Am I just missing something on thier websites, or do the major manufactureres no longer make the short carbines in .357? Any help would be appreciated. If they are no longer producing them, is there any older models I should be looking out for? Thanks in advance for your help.

May 8, 2005, 08:16 PM

Apparently the age of standardization has hit the rifle makers too. Marlin doesn't catalog a 16" carbine, but Winchester does -- in a limited run .45 Colt rifle (see here (http://www.winchesterguns.com/prodinfo/catalog/detail.asp?cat_id=534&type_id=080&cat=014C)).

I picked up one of the 1894FG Marlin's in .41 mag and with a 20" barrel, it's short enough for me and long enough to get the job done out to 100 yards.

May 8, 2005, 09:49 PM
LSI (Legacy Sports International) has just reintroduced Rossi's 92 "trapper" length in 357 and .45. While I do not care for LSI's little lever safety atop the receiver (vs none on the other Rossi 92s from EMF and Navy Arms as well as older Rossi-labeled 92s), have to give them credit for reintro'ing the Trapper. This time it has a large loop lever which you may or may not care for (if important enough, could swap that out for a regular lever). Maybe EMF and Navy will follow suit with trapper models again--with regular levers or loop. Good luck in your search.

From LSI:
Puma Carbines
"Legacy introduces the 16” barreled Puma Model 92 lever action carbine in blued steel, all tricked out with a large-loop lever in .38 SDpecial/.357 Magnums and 45 Colt Magnums – just what the cowboy action crowd has been asking for! Also, look for HiViz sights on new 16” barrels in stainless on Puma’s unique .454 Casull and .480 Ruger carbines and on new 18” ported barrels in blued steel on .44 Magnums and .454 Casull rifles – the brush hunter’s dream gun!"

May 8, 2005, 11:27 PM
You've gotta give Rossi credit. To date, they're the only company who's chambered a lever rifle in .454Casull. Seems that Winchester and Marlin are afraid of the pressures or don't think they can sell enough to make it worthwhile.

I'd think their other pistol caliber offerings should be pretty neat, based on the .454 I handled (but didn't get to shoot... :( ).

May 8, 2005, 11:37 PM
Winchester makes the 16" Trapper in .357, .44, 30-30, and .45, but it is the 94, not 92, if that really matters.


May 9, 2005, 03:24 AM
How long do you think it's been since the Marlin went out of production? If it hasn't been too many years, there are probably rifles available somewhere in your exact configuration. Guns can sit on dealer rack or back rooms for 5 years or more, not to mention people's closets and safes. If you really want a particular model, you may need to hunt it down on the auction sites, Gun List, etc. or use internet seaches. I bought a brand new Marlin rifle last year that was made in the 1960's, about 35+ years ago on:


May 9, 2005, 07:12 AM
The standard marlin length for their 1894c (.357) is 18.5 "
I hardly even notice the extra 2.5 inches. Its light, quick, and easy handling.
:D :D :D :D

gordo b.
May 9, 2005, 09:41 AM
ditto last post :)

May 9, 2005, 11:18 AM
My next firearm is probably going to be the Winchester 94 Trapper in .357. I thought the crossbolt safety was an abomination and I hope whoever used to own the one I get trades it in cheaply with the thought that nobody would want one like that. Then I can get it cheap and have that abomination removed and use the gun the way it was meant to be for a hundred years and the way my 38-55 has been for 30.

May 9, 2005, 05:19 PM
I'd go for an action based on the Winchester (Browning) Model 92 instead of a Winchester Model 94. The model 92 action, in my experience, just seems a lot smoother and less prone to jams with the shorter pistol cartridges with blunt nosed ammo.

I'd get a Marlin 1894C in .357 over the Winchester Trapper 16" just for smooth operation and like gordo b. and 115grfmj said, you'll never notice the difference, unless you're trying to negotiate narrow hallways of your house in a burglary situation. If you don't like the Marlin, get a Rossi 16". Good guns for a great price. Much better quality the last several years from what I've seen.

FWIW, all this comes from personally owning several Model 92s of different makes, a few Model 94s, and several Marlins.

I kept the Marlin 1894 24" Cowboy in .44, sold the Winchester 94 Legacy.
Kept the Browning B-92 20" in .357, and sold the Winchester 94.
Looking for a Marlin 16" in .357 just for fun, won't even look at the Winchester Trapper.

The 94 action just isn't a smooth or reliable with pistol ammo. The 94 with .30-30 is just fine though.

If you find a Winchester 92 in .357, they're great, and have a tang safety, not the crossbolt thru the receiver. No trapper model, IIRC. Made by Browning I think.

May 9, 2005, 11:18 PM
Ditto Utahhern, the older Rossi (labeled) guns are very common in the 16" Trapper length--in both .357 (most common) and .45 Colt-- and much better with the pistol calibers than the 94 action. Even though they have improved over the years as he said, they've always been good values and I've had good luck with all of them, old and new. Don't need a scope? - go Rossi 92 (or apparently now the 16 incher Rossi-made 92 distributed by LSI).

May 10, 2005, 08:10 AM
The WINCHESTER 94 action was designed for rifle length cartridges, the 92
was designed for pistol. This bears no relation to the Marlin 94 action
which was designed for short rifle & pistol cartridges. The Marlin 336 is their
rifle action, aslo their 1895 action. The marlin 1894 is slick and smooth
in pistol calibers.

May 10, 2005, 08:56 AM
115, good point. Thanks for the clarification. I was referring to the Win 94--what most people think of when you just say Model 94.

Person of Interest
May 10, 2005, 09:39 AM
I have a Win 94 Trapper made in 1994 in 44 Magnum and it works just fine as long as I use full-length Magnum cartridges. Won't feed 44 Specials, though.

Also have a Rossi Wrangler 16" 45 Colt with the big lever loop that I didn't want but that's the one the distributor sent when I ordered. I keep thinking that I'd like to swap on a regular lever but I haven't gotten around to it. Anyway, the big loop aside it also works well.

Never had a 357 carbine. I sorta prefer the big bores. But I don't see why a 357 wouldn't work great, too.

May 10, 2005, 04:30 PM
magnum cartridges feed fine but specials don't in either .44 or .38. So much for the versatility. The Winchester 92 action and Marlin 1894 action work great with both.

May 11, 2005, 01:03 PM
Several years ago, purchased the Rossi Puma in 357.

Took it up to the desert where it digested 38sp and 357 without a burp..a very fun gun to shoot.

No recoil even with full boat 357's. It has become the "gremlin" gun in the house, (wify-poo) while I prefer my Tarus 66, both loaded with 158gr. jhp's.

I didn't have any problems, put maybe 300-400 rounds through it on the weekend, performed beautifully...mine is in stainless steel, it was the demo in the gun shop, they began pulling out one in the box, but figured as "smooth" as the action was, went with their in store demo..it was probably worked hundred's of times which really made it smooth and slick!

I'm planning on getting a second lever gun in 357 one of these day...probably the Marlin...

Person of Interest
May 11, 2005, 05:41 PM
Talking to some of the SASS folks some of the 94s work with the Specials and some don't. A smith told me he could adjust the problem but it really wasn't important enough to mess with it. The 44 mags rock me in a handgun but they're fun in the carbine.

May 11, 2005, 06:17 PM
My brother, cousin, and myself all like my marlin 1894c, it holds 9 shoots and I also carry my 357mag revolver with it currently a Dan wesson 15-2 pistol pack.
Once I get some extra money I will be replaceing the sights with XO sights and scout mount with quick detach rings and mount a 2x 7 North star scope on it.

I even read a post how a shooter finished a leaver gun wood with bed linner to make it hold up to Alaska conditions. I once saw a win 94 with a syn. stock and liked it.