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Old March 16, 2013, 12:31 AM   #6
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Join Date: April 28, 2001
Location: CA
Posts: 689
Good 357 rifles

There are a lot of good lever actions in 357. Here's some general points from someone who studied the subject several years ago.

1. If you want the ability to use optics, get a marlin.
2. If optics are not a requirement, then the winchester 92 and its clones are the cats meow. Now I say this because it has top ejection and was built for pistol length cartridges and has a very strong action design. Problem is that a lot of the current winchester 1892 models have safeties on them. The current winchester 92 rifle made in Japan has a thumb safety and the rossi has a stupid firing pin safety on top of the bolt. Others have mentioned the henry but I don't think they load traditionally if it matters. I believe there are some italian makes out there as well that are traditional without external safetys.

There are also used winchester 1894 rifles out there. They used to sell a lot of them at big5 when they were in production through about 2006. Most had a cross bolt safety like the marlins. I wasn't a fan of those. Some have reported feeding issues because the action was designed around the 30-30. Others have nothing but praise about their winchester 94s.

Lever action 357s have risen dramatically in cost lately becaue they are in short supply. Remington bought marlin and they haven't been putting out consistent production from what I see locally. I have seen Rossi/Taurus made 92s at big 5. I think these have the bolt safety.

I have a stainless marlin 1894 and it's a reliable rifle but not all that accurate with lead reloads using open sights. I don't care for the safey but other than that it's reliable with 38s and 357s. I haven't shot enough factory jacketd ammo through it to be fair evaluating accuracy with open sights..

I would suggest you look for a marlin, especially a pre safety marlin made in the 70s to early 80s or a Model 92 without a safty like the Rossi Puma or even better the Browning B92. You can find these for less than a new winchester on the used market.

If you just want a 357 mag rifle, the Ruger 77/357 might be a good quality choice that is currently available as new production for all around ranch gun. I'd like to have one of these but don't really need it.

Have fun looking for your rifle. They are a very versatile caliber in a rifle. You can load them down with 38s and put them near 30-30 power with hot magnum loads.
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