View Full Version : New Marlins 1894s and Rossi P92s suck... now what

July 9, 2012, 03:18 PM
I really want a good lever gun in 357 or 44 magnum. I have tried a new Marlin 1894 in 44 Mag that went back to Marlin twice and never really worked right. I bought a new Marlin in 357 and refused it at the dealer cause part of the blueing was missing on the barrel. Seems that since the Freedom Arms group bought Marlin, their quality went down the toilet. Now I tried a new Rossi 92 in 357. Sucker won't cycle a single shell... case hits the top of the chamber... tried 5 types of ammo... some jacketed some cowboy lead. Sent it to Rossi and they have a 10 week turn around! That means I have owned the rifle for 2 months now and have not even sent a round down range.

What's left to buy that is reliable? Or, are lever guns just problematic out of the box and you should expect to pay a smith to make em right?

July 9, 2012, 03:31 PM
The Winchesters are nice as are the Henrys. The Urbertis are nice as well. Most people have good luck with the Rossi 92's. Check out www.leverguns.com for more info.

July 9, 2012, 03:46 PM
I bought the Henry 357 Mag and love it. Mine is beautiful and shoots like a dream. However, the rear sight was way off out of the box and I did need to carefully drift it over.

July 9, 2012, 04:06 PM
Call Steve Young (http://stevesgunz.com/) and see what he's got in stock.

Mr. Whimsy
July 9, 2012, 05:50 PM
Had the exact same problem with the Rossi.

I'm looking at the Ruger 77/357, although lots of people have feeding problems thanks to some poor materials Ruger uses in the magazines, so I don't know if I'll ever get a .357 rifle now.

July 9, 2012, 06:37 PM
My Winchester 1892s were flawless out of the box, as long as I stick to .357mag (will not feed .38spl, which Rossi claims their m92's will - to be fair, Winchester's manual says these are .357mag only rifles, so no disappointment there).

The fit and finish is also very good, although for the price of them, it should be.

July 9, 2012, 07:08 PM
How about an older Marlin?
There's plenty of them around, from the good old days, when Marlin made really good ones.

July 9, 2012, 08:00 PM
Trying to find an older Marlin .357 is like finding hens teeth. with prices through the roof. Nice guns though.

July 9, 2012, 08:08 PM
I have been looking for a good used Marlin 1894c 357 for over a year now and have come up with nothing. Apparently all the Marlins that were made right back in the good old days are being held under lock and key somewhere. Found one 6 months ago on the net and it was in Alabama (I live in KS). Not a real big fan of sending someone money sight unseen for a gun with hopes they will send the gun to my ffl dealer. Im keeping my eyes open.....maybe one will come along.

July 10, 2012, 02:41 PM
I'll echo that the Rossi 92s are usually great. If they're now truly turning out c***, +1 contact Steve Young--92 guru--to set you up with somethin he's worked over or has a line on, or look for an older Rossi...to me preferably pre safety (80s-90s Interrms era or pre 06 EMF "Hartfords.") but other than that safety "feature," even most of the safetied ones (90s-00s LSI/Legacy "Pumas" and post 06 EMFs) have been great shooters ...and Steve, aka Nate Kiowa Jones has a fix for the safety as well if that bothers. Don't give up on the 92 just yet. I'll take one of those over a Henry or newer Marlin any day.

July 10, 2012, 02:47 PM
I have a Marlin 1894c in .357 mag and it has been very good to me. :)

July 10, 2012, 03:21 PM
I picked up an 1894 in 44Mag from my LGS that was made in 2010, have not had any problems with it from shooting 44 spl. Cowboy ammo to 240gr JHP in 44Mag. Check out the pawnshops in your area, you never know what you might find.

July 21, 2012, 06:36 AM
I sent Steve an e-mail since I only got voice mail on his phone. Do his Rossi 92s 16" come highly recommended here and what should I expect to pay for one?

Thank you.

Crunchy Frog
July 21, 2012, 06:52 AM
I am starting to hear that the new Marlins are improving in quality.

If I wanted a '92 I would buy one from Steve Young, no question.

The Uberti "toggle link" guns (reproductions of 1866 and 1873 Winchester rifles) are the top choice of cowboy action shooters. They benefit from a little slicking up, though, and are NOT cheap.

July 21, 2012, 09:25 AM
Now I tried a new Rossi 92 in 357. Sucker won't cycle a single shell... case hits the top of the chamber.
Sent it to Rossi and they have a 10 week turn around!

IMO the extractor spring's too strong ( a usual factory mis-step), & needs to be weakened - a point covered in Nate "Kiowa" Jones' dvd for those adept enough to work on their own guns, if they don't want him to do so (He's the BEST model 92 gunsmith in the US).


July 21, 2012, 09:45 AM
I want a Marlin 1894 in .357, but till 'they' get their stuff together, I am loading down my 336RC in .35 Remington to .357 Magnum velocities for plinking and pests...

Using Red Dot powder under a 158gr Penn TCBB hard cast at .358"...Scope is sighted for dead on at 100 yards with 200gr Rem Core-Lokt...Plinking load windage is dead on, and POI is 4 inches low at 50 yards @ appx 1150fps...Might move up to 1400fps to see what that does to elevation...


Just another alternative to the lack of good new rifles in .357 Magnum...

44 AMP
July 21, 2012, 10:38 AM
Have one of the older Marlin 94s, in .357 mag. Second one of those I have owned, gave the first one to my father in law as a Christmas gift 20 some odd years ago.

If the new ones aren't good, go find an old one. They are out there, just be patient, and be prepared to pay a lot more than they used to cost!

I got mine a couple years back at a gun show, looks new, older gun, no pushbutton safety. $300 cash out the door. :D I thought it a fair price, but apparently, I got a deal. And no, not for sale at this time.;)

July 21, 2012, 10:38 AM
I can't speak for the Marlins but my Rossi 92 has been perfection since the day I bought it. I picked it up used for a bit less than $300 and it feeds everything I have loaded it with. All types of 38's and 357 magnums. Like I said, I bought it used so I have no idea if any work was done on it but boy does it shoot good! It's in mint shape too.

I wouldn't give up on finding a good one. Lots of people have good luck with them so I'd say you got one of the occassional lemons.

July 22, 2012, 05:23 PM
I already weighed in as pro Rossi, having had some eight or nine over the past 35 years or so. However, this got me thinking about the OP's view and had to check out the new ones as I hadn't in awhile. I have to admit my observation of a brand new 16" Trapper on the rack at a LGS the other day was underwhelming. Wood appeared cheaper than I've ever seen on a Rossi--looked almost like a medium brown stained soft wood-pine or such. Probably isn't and is still a mystery South American hardwood like all Rossis in the past twenty years. But, if so, it must've been the final finish, complete lack of any[/] sheen, or a particularly green (age) wood. Rossis have never been heirloom pieces cosmetically, but it sure didn't look or feel even as good as Rossis of the past that at least were ok in that department.. Ditto, disappointed in the the metal finish--more a gloss black paint-on look (early Post 64 Win 94s come to mind). And the forend seemed even more abruptly truncated than I'd remembered seeing (or any of mine). Very early Rossis were actually radiused similar to the original Wins. There I am living in the past again!

All in all, the above may have been a fine gun mechanically, but I was underwhelmed to the extent I wasn't compelled to find out. Had I been in the market, I would have hesitated, for the store's inflated price anyway. I'm thinking: let's see, to get it to acceptability, at least $400-500--if not DIY--for a new "real" (walnut and finished) stock and a few hundred for a reblue? Not to mention the enormous hassle. Really expensive Rossi then! My 1980's Interarms-era Rossis were/are much nicer, as are the 90s-2000s EMF variants. IF I had to base a Rossi purchase on this experience, I'd definitely buy used. Even the fifteen or so years of the post Interarms-era LSI Pumas--with their darkish, plain finishes and which I've decried for their intro of the stupid safety--look pretty darn good now! IF you have to buy new and [i]assuming the Rossis are as good mechanically as ever, I guess I'd still say to someone else 'go ahead and buy,' the 92 design is such a good one and other 92 choices are pricier yet, but all'n'all that cosmetic finish sure was discouraging.

Edit. Btw, there were two others just like this one next to it on the rack, and another 20" carbine or two--all new production. All the same. So this one handled was not an anomaly. As with anything, YMMV and I hope does, and maybe this was just a bad batch made by the Sunday night shift.

Mr. Whimsy
July 22, 2012, 05:38 PM
I came to the same conclusion as Salmoneye.

I've given up on the paltry offerings in .357 Mag. altogether. I'm looking at a .35 Remington, .358 Winchester, or .35 Whelen as my next deer/plinking rifle. All will happily shoot .357 pistol bullets with a modest amount of pistol powder. No you don't have the convenience of sharing a .357 Mag shell from your revolver, and it adds the headache of reloading another cartridge... but on the other hand (with full power loads) the gun is useful well beyond 100 yards when you're not plinking with pistol-class ammo. And that's really what I wanted; cheap close-range plinking for practice in a medium-game rifle. The .357 levers are awfully limited in range and seem every bit as much trouble to carry as an actual full-bore rifle.

The guns these calibers come in (such as the Browning BLR, Rem. 7600 and Ruger M77) seem less problematic, more solid, and higher quality in general than many of the pistol-chambered long guns. It might even be easier to customize them as they are pretty popular with lots of accessories.

Mr. Whimsy
July 22, 2012, 05:43 PM
It is great that Steve Young is out there.

I, personally, would prefer not to have to rely on a cottage industry to get my Rossi running, so I got my money back. I guess it depends on how you look at it.

I believe the Rossi rifles have effectively been Taurus-ified, and plan to just avoid them altogether in the future.