View Full Version : Marlin Cowboy II

February 5, 2000, 08:25 PM
I was considering a Marlin Cowboy II in .357
Anyone out there familiar with this rifle? I'd like to get some opinions. I'm a beginner and have vaquero in .357, kinda hate to redo my pistols. Thanks.

Ned Roundtree
February 5, 2000, 10:26 PM
It is the best lever action rifle you can buy. I have shot Rossi 92, Winchester 94, Winchester 73 and Marlin. But for smooth action and feed, the Marlin is best. I also have Vaquero Bisley in .357 and Marlin Cowboy II in .357. I shoot .38 sp.from both. Also if you judge a gun by just the shear number of cowboys that shoot it. Marlin wins hands down.

Joe West
February 5, 2000, 10:46 PM
I've done a lot of action jobs on the Marlin Cowboy rifles of all calibers. I get to shoot them for testing and I get reports from the shooters. As the range master I also get to see just about every gun that malfunctions on our range. My opinion is that Marlins are very good. All lever guns have some weakness, but the Marlin is very reliable when fed consistent good quality ammo. Many top shooters here use the Marlin Cowboy in .357 even for BP. I have one in .45 Colt and one in 44-40 myself. Marlin also has excellent warranty service if you need it.
Even though I prefer Winchester designs, the Marlin 1894 is probably the most popular right now.
Joe West

February 8, 2000, 04:18 AM
You might be interested in this discussion from another board.
Even though the subject matter is centered on the .22 version, it does point out Marlin's attitude about customer service.
I have found my own Marlin Cowboy II in .38/.357mag to be a very enjoyable gun to shoot. Like so many others, I too prefer the "Classic" looks of the Winchester, but considering the Marlin design is over 100 years old, I guess it too can be considered to have stood the test of time to become a "Classic" in it's own right. The Marlin action compared to the Winchester action is similar to using a hot knife to spread warm butter vs using a cold knife to spread butter fresh out of the fridge. Not only smoother, but a lot less work required to do the same thing. The only caution I can give is to watch the OAL of any .357mag loads you use. I have had some problems with feeding .357mag rounds with a SWC bullet. The same bullet works fine when loaded into a .38sp case. I had considered getting one of the Marlin's in .22lr, but I figure with the cost of reloading for the .38/.357mag being so low, I can shoot a lot of .38sp for the price of the .22lr Marlin. The only drawback to the Marlin is the price tag, but you pay for what you get I guess. I can understand the asking price, considering the extra steps involved in making it vs a Winchester 94 and have no problem with paying the extra for it. It was kind of a stumbling block, but a well timed bonus,plus a few hours of unexpected overtime pay pretty much provided for a free(not really free, but paid for with unexpected funds) Marlin. Overall, I would say I'm 95% satisifed with it. My only area of dissatisfaction concerns the lack of factory preparation for a tang sight. I don't think it would have been out of line for Marlin to predrill and tap the tang. They recognize that some people will install a tang sight, and state so in the manual concerning the serial number placement. IMHO, the design screams "Tang me", something I plan on doing in the near future. With the right sights, and the right load, a pretty good case for a sitting under a tree on a fall afternoon waiting for Mr. Bushytail gun can be made.

[This message has been edited by RAE (edited February 08, 2000).]

February 9, 2000, 11:47 AM
Thanks for the replies! I just ordered mine in a .357 yesterday. Can't wait to get it.