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Old March 13, 2013, 10:20 PM   #1
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Lever action .357

Can anyone suggest a lever-action .357?

This is the first step in my search.


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Old March 13, 2013, 10:53 PM   #2
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Check out Henry Repeating Arms, They make one called The Henry Big Boy.
Come in 357,44mag and 45lc. Also Winchester make them but are a little more money. I'm looking to get the Henry for myself.
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Old March 13, 2013, 11:03 PM   #3
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I have a EMF Model 92 20" carbine that I really like.
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Old March 13, 2013, 11:48 PM   #4
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What about Puma?
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Old March 14, 2013, 09:17 AM   #5
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It depends upon your "druthers".

The Henry Big Boy is often referred to as the FatBoy, due to it's excess (to some) weight - YMMV, here. The brassie receiver also gives it's fair share of "bling". .

If you intend to, or have to, scope the rifle - it's hard to go wrong with a Marlin 1894 - solid-top receiver, side-ejection, also peepable.

"Puma" is a copyrighted name owned by a US importer of foreign-made firearms - Legacy Sports International (LSI).
LSI once contracted with Rossi (South America) to make "Puma" Model 92's, beside all the other Rossi M92's; and currently has contracted with an Italian company (Chiappa, IIRC) to use the "Puma" name on several models.

Regardless, all Model 1892/92 Winchester-type leverguns since WWII have been made in either South America, Spain, Italy, or Japan (Browning & the new "Winchesters").

The Rossi's are the least expensive (new), followed by new Marlin's.
The Rossi's sometimes require a little personal attention to make them very nice - but I've owned two that were flawless out of the box.

The Italian Puma's cost approx 2x more than the Rossi's, but are finished fancier.

The most expensive .357 M92's would be the current "Winchester", made by Miroku in Japan - but also unquestionably the best-finished of the bunch.

There were also long-action .357 leverguns, adapted from .30-30 Model 94's, made by Winchester in CT, before production stopped in 2006, that can occassionally be found on the used-gun market.

They are almost all top-ejecting rifles, not easily scopeable - unless a Winchester M94AE (Angle-Eject) can be had in .357.

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Old March 16, 2013, 12:31 AM   #6
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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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Old March 16, 2013, 12:45 AM   #7
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We can't keep the Henry Big Boys on the shelf. As soon as we get them in they are gone, 357 being the most popular.
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Old March 16, 2013, 03:50 AM   #8
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im very happy with my marlin 1894C.
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Old March 16, 2013, 06:38 AM   #9
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I have a Marlin 1894 cowboy and it
is loads of fun to shoot.
It didn't seem to like SWC's so I only load
158gr RNFP .
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Old March 16, 2013, 06:47 AM   #10
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I have one of the Rossi's in 357 and it's been nothing but fun. Shooting 38's it was dead on out of the box and feels like shooting a .22, except the tin cans tend to jump a little higher.
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Old March 16, 2013, 10:53 AM   #11
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Don't forget the Italian Thoroughbred: Chiappa

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Old March 17, 2013, 11:29 AM   #12
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I picked up a Rossi 20" 44 mag lever a few years ago. I foolishly sold it to fund an EBR project and have regretted it since. Several months ago, I ran across a 20" .357 Rossi for a good price ($445 otd) and picked it up. I love it. It accurate, fun and inexpensive to shoot. The action was a bit stiff at first, but after a few hundred rounds it has smoothed out nicely.
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Old March 17, 2013, 01:24 PM   #13
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I have an old marlin 1894 that my father had cut down for me when I was a kid. I love the gun. I recently bought a Rossi (puma) and to me it felt cheep and poorly made. I gave it to my brother in law in trade for 2000 rounds of 357 magnum.

I have handled the Henry and I like how it feels. The weight is not a problem in my mind. The issue I have with the Henry is the lack of a loading gate. Reloading the Henry is more of a pain than reloading the marlin.

I have also handled a Winchester (made in Japan) and it felt like a nice gun but it was still new so the dealer would not let me shoot it.

As far as Marlin. I would steer clear of the newer Marlins (Remlins)

unfortunately that does not leave much.
Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 26 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple. Wish my wife did as well...
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Old March 17, 2013, 05:46 PM   #14
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The Miroku made Winchester 1892 in 357 magnum is what I own....the short rifle performs great and functions with all the .357 and .38 special ammo I've fed it so far without a hitch !
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Old March 17, 2013, 10:50 PM   #15
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Another Rossi fan. Have owned ten or so, all "pre-safety" Interarms and EMF. Great guns. Very generally - a Rossi is a Rossi - mostly for the good, but there some exceptions and differences in trim levels and "features" over the years.
As stated Rossis have come in many names (importers). Approximate guide:

- Interarms/"Puma" 1980s (late 70s?) to mid 1990s.
Some of these in the middle years actually had a puma-head emblem on the saddle ring side of the receiver. In the last several years as CAS popularity was on the rise and Rossi really cranked up production, cosmetic quality seemed to suffer with a goofy almost black mystery stain over a sort of generic South American hardwood. Good rifles nevertheless. How to spot an Interarms from a distance? Generally, if you see no safety switch (see LSI) combined with the front sight mounted on the barrel band, it's an Interarms. I'd say the sight alone will usually tell you, but someone said they believed some very early LSI's had that too? I had not seen such but it's possible though would be a minority of LSI's. Most early to mid-year Interarms carbines sported saddle rings like the original Win 92s, the last to do so in any number 'til Navy Arms and EMF.
- LSI (Legacy Sports International) "Puma" - took over from Interarms in the mid-late 1990s and resumed Interarm's position as Rossi's biggest distributor up 'til 2008 or so. Early on, LSI for awhile ran its operation out of the same old Interarms location in Virginia. Dubious achievement award: LSI introduced the much maligned (but generally benign) safety switch atop the receiver - "fixable" aftermarket (minor smithing or DIY). See note above in Interarms, but most LSI carbines sported front post sights finally relocated off the barrel band, per the original Win 92s. This "correct" position was adopted by EMF, Navy Arms and the currebt era Rossi-Bretech as well.
- EMF Co. Mid-late 1990s to present (with an interruption in most models' availbility (ca 2019-2012 or so?). Lately have seen them on the website looking to be a regular offering again. EMF's had no extra safety switch 'til mid 2006. Older EMFs are generally a little nicer wood/finish, sights, etc., than their Rossi competitors save for Navy Arms
- Navy Arms. Mid-late 1990's to 2006 when they got out of the Rossi/92 business. Only one to supposedly wear genuine walnut furniture. Always a low volume 92 importer, used ones are now scarce and 20" carbines especially hard to come by. Also, like Interarms and older EMFs, no extra safety switch.
- Rossi, courtesy new parent company Taurus-Braztech. Ca 2008 to present, AFAIK, until EMF recently started carrying Rossis again, was the only importer of "its own" 92s following LSI's '08 switch to Chiappa. Following the old LSI-Rossi pattern, all Braztech Rossis have the safety switch.
- As suggested, contrary to the popular assumption, not all Rossi 92's are "Pumas." only Interarms and LSIs are the ones to formally have the "Puma" marketing name. However, because these distributors were the biggest importers in their respective years of operation, many folks have used it to refer to any Rossi 92 (some any 92 period) like many say "Coke" for any cola.

So, there are a bunch of different names you can look up for Rossis.
I'm sure I've missed an odd one or two or missed a specific year, but that's about it.

Last edited by gak; March 17, 2013 at 11:37 PM.
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Old March 18, 2013, 07:51 AM   #16
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Henry Silverboy .22LR

I was out making the rounds of the local gun shops this afternoon. At Sportsman's Warehouse they were having a boat registration for a local fishing tournament. The place was packed, since it was a Saturday. At the front entrance a group of ladies were soliciting donations for Cancer Awareness. I make a donation and received 5 tickets for $20.

I went home and around 4:30 a bright, cheery young lady calls and informs me I had won a Henry Golden Boy .22LR Rifle, Silver in color. I of course went down to the store, about a half mile from the house and received the rifle. I got my picture taken and thanked the store manager and the store for its participation in such a worthy cause.

I'd been looking at adding a lever action rifle to the collection and had been checking them out. I'd rather have a heavier caliber one, but what the heck!
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Old March 18, 2013, 08:29 AM   #17
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I picked up two Winchester 94 Trapper carbines about 12 years ago.
Shot one often and liked it a lot, sold it for a profit and kept the one
pictured below. It's a .357 Magnum and it's new in the box.

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Old March 18, 2013, 09:52 AM   #18
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Sweet. Those Trappers look great.
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Old March 18, 2013, 10:02 AM   #19
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LSI/Rossi Puma M92 .357 mag
Attached Images
File Type: jpg PUMA M92.jpg (4.1 KB, 34 views)
US Navy Veteran

"A man should never be parted one step from his weapon; neither on the road, nor on his field."
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Old March 18, 2013, 10:13 AM   #20
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Re: Lever action .357

Got a 1981 Marlin 1894c. Taking it to the range today as a matter of fact to let my 6yr old try it after he shoots his Henry 22 first. We loaded some 38sp 125gr XTP's over TiteGroup this weekend. Should have a rifle muzzle velocity of about 1000fps. Low in recoil, high in fun.

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Old March 18, 2013, 01:19 PM   #21
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I have targets out back,some I hung for the winter,
others-steel gongs.
I shoot out of my upstairs bedroom window.
there were a handful of small branches:thumb size and smaller,
in the way of the targets
I shot them and cleared them out with my Golden boy
with surprisingly few shots
very accurate rifles-you'll love it.
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Old March 22, 2013, 03:17 PM   #22
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When I bought my Rossi 92 in .357mag. I knew I'd have to do some work on It to get what I wanted. The rifle worked fine right out of the box with both .38's and .357's. I took It apart and cleaned It, polished the parts, installed a spring kit, and refinished the stock & forend. Also put marble sights on It there way better than the stock sights. In the end I have just what I wanted. A good looking .357mag. lever action rifle that's smooth and shoots every thing I've put in It (hp,sp,swc) very well. I paid $500.00 otd and put about $100.00 in parts to tune It up. For a total of $600.00 I feel like I got a good deal.

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Old March 23, 2013, 11:02 AM   #23
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Very nice.
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Old March 23, 2013, 02:42 PM   #24
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I have reservations about brass receivers. I suppose it stems from black powder and that brass frames on BP revolvers are prone to stretching.

Used gun racks are full of lever guns. I picked up a Marlin 1894, 44 mag. for about $250, in about 90% condition. Marlin has been making this style of rifle since 1894.
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Old March 23, 2013, 02:59 PM   #25
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I have a NITB Henry Big Boy 357/38 special, never been fired except at the factory and have the tag that matches the Serial number dated May 2012. Anyone interested give me a shout before it goes on GunBroker. I will only strictly follow the letter of the law and will handle the transfer through my FFL holder at my expense to a verified FFL holder at the other end. Protects me and you from any BS.

If this does not belong here then I apologize and will remove this post.
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