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Old May 16, 2017, 01:45 PM   #1
Tony Z
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Want another plinking rifle

I'm looking for a 44 mag plinking rifle in lever action. Local store has (new) a Rossi 92, with 20" barrel and a Marlin 1894, with 20" barrel. Any opinions? The Rossi weighs about 5 lbs., and the Marlin about 6-1/2 lbs.
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Old May 16, 2017, 02:34 PM   #2
Model12Win
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.44 Magnum and plinking? I assume you reload and cast?
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Old May 16, 2017, 03:00 PM   #3
Tony Z
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Yes, plus I don't have a 44 Mag!
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Old May 16, 2017, 03:04 PM   #4
Model12Win
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I hear some really good things about the new Rossis. For a plinker, the slightly heavier Marlin might be better though.
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Old May 16, 2017, 04:16 PM   #5
Hawg
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I've had a couple of pre safety Marlin 94's in .44 mag and have a pre safety Rossi in 44-40. I'd go with an older pre safety Rossi.
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Old May 16, 2017, 08:45 PM   #6
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I would look the Marlin over closely and probably choose it unless there were some glaring defects.
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Old May 16, 2017, 08:49 PM   #7
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Buy a Ruger Mini 14 or Mini 30.
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Old May 16, 2017, 11:58 PM   #8
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If the traditional Winchester look is important to you, get the Rossi. Otherwise get the Marlin, it will be easier on your shoulder. The recoil of a .44 Mag in a carbine can be surprising, especially if the stock fit isn't perfect for you.

Marlins have a bigget butt, weigh a bit more, and feel "softer" shooting for me. Also easy to add a low power scope or red dot on a Marlin. Makes traditionalists cringe, but adds a lot to the "plinkability" of the gun, especially when your eyes get a bit older....

If you scope, I recommend a hammer spur extension, highly.

I've had Marlin lever guns in .30-30, .35Rem, .357 & .44 mag, and .45-70. I like them better than Winchesters, but that's just me...
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Old May 17, 2017, 04:58 AM   #9
Tony Z
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Thanks one and all. Like most here, I have plenty if firearms-though I buy, I never sell or trade.

What I like about the Rossi is the 94 look and lightweight. What I like about the Marlin is also the styling and more substantial feel. How much use will the guns get? Not nearly as much as I would like to think they would. Like how I like to be surrounded by books, I feel the same about my firearms, antiques and my woodworking tools. Some have other vices, mine are accumulating items, and with some, such as a portion of my Civil War artifacts and veteran memoribilia already at the local historical society museum.

Plinking? I'll be 65 in a few months and plinking for me is simply taking a gun tor a walk in the fields or woods. Takes us all back to when we were 10 or 12, trying to make our way through Teddy Roosevelt's tales of big game hunting, imagining aBoone & Crockett size white tail a few yards off. I could make do with another .22, or one of the existing guns in one of the safes, but that may restrict my tales to my grandsons when they first read Robert Ruark's books about "The Old Man and the Boy".

Ah simpler times! Maybe today, I'll just not go to the office (I own a manufacturing plant) and just go spend the day at our hunting camp (30 miles away). You see, my wife is a middle school teacher and neither of us think we will ever retire, but will do or buy, things we enjoy. But as you approach a certain age, you don't want to force that enjoymeny on the grandkids, but have it nearby for them to enjoy if they want.

But back to the Rossi or Marlin, the Marlin does advertise ability to fire 44 Special, so regardless of which I buy, I will probably reload some lighter loads for it.
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Old May 17, 2017, 12:13 PM   #10
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The beauty of handloading and the lever gun (or any manually operated action), as long as the rounds are the right size (length) to feed, you can shoot monster magnum or cat sneeze loads equally well.

As long as the bullet reliably clears the barrel, its all good!

I had one of the Marlin .44s years ago, good gun, but eventually traded off, excess to need, as I did a few years later with the .45-70.

I kept the Marlin .357 for a plinker (with serious energy if needed), shooting .38s from it is fun, a bang, and about no recoil. .357 is BLAM and light recoil. The .44 with full house loads definitely has very noticeable recoil, but light loads are pussycats.

Keep the COAL below max and it should feed fine, they do like RNs better than SWCs, and can sometimes jam on SWC slugs, if the action isn't worked "smartly". (the "square edge" of the SWC can catch on the edge of the chamber, if this happens, simply bump the lever FORWARD a bit, taking the pressure off the round. It will then drop back into the correct position on the lifter and feed into the chamber properly when you close the lever).

I can't say I noticed that problem with my .44, but then I didn't feed it many SWCs. It will happen with my .357 sometimes (often with .38s), so it may be something more caliber specific than general.
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Old May 17, 2017, 12:25 PM   #11
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I have the Rossi with a 16" barrel. One of my favorite, albeit more expensive rifles to plink with. The .44mags let you know your alive that's for sure...
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Old May 19, 2017, 01:09 PM   #12
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The Rossi should also cycle 44 Spl just fine, especially if you load it a bit on the long side. I have two Rossi 357 mags, a 24" rifle with a tang and globe sight set for 300 yd steel plate shooting and a 20" carbine. Both have been treated to a action and trigger job via Steve's Gunz parts and Dvd (makes it really simple, even for an old coot who's older than the OP).

Anyway, the OAL Spec for 38spl is 1.460" while the OAl for 357 mag is 1.580". I shoot 95% 357 mag through mine, however, I've found that if I load my 38 spl a bit long to 1.500" OAL, they feed just as smoothly as the 357 mag do. Same approach should work with the 44 spl. It's OAL spec is 1.460" and the 44 mag's OAL is 1.600" so loading the 44 spl a bit long at 1.530" should do the trick.
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Old May 19, 2017, 06:36 PM   #13
Tony Z
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Thanks one and all. I'm pretty much settled on the Rossi, with the primary reason being the lighter weight.
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Old May 21, 2017, 08:25 AM   #14
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You can get $75 cash back on the Marlin right now.
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Old May 21, 2017, 09:39 PM   #15
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Either a Marlin or a Henry.
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Old May 22, 2017, 06:59 PM   #16
ratshooter
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Quote:
Marlins have a bigget butt
Is that the same thing as a Kardashian Booty?

I have a Marlin 44 mag. One thing not mentioned is the lever swing on the Rossi is longer than the swing on the Marlin. I didn't know that until my buddy bought a Rossi 357 and I took my Marlin 357 and shot them side by side. I kept short stroking the Rossi.

The Marlins will hang up a little with SWC bullets. But its an easy fix if you feel you need it.
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Old May 25, 2017, 02:36 PM   #17
Tony Z
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Bought the Rossi today. Main reasons were the Rossi being more than a pound lighter and more importantly, being able to pick up front & back sights and the target, without glasses on, something I couldn't do with the Marlin.

The good part, the Rossi was the last the store (Grices) had and was a display model. It had a few light scratches on the stock, but nothing that I wouldn't get the first time out. Because it was the last and a display, the store knocked $50 of the $504.95 price of the rifle.
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Old May 25, 2017, 04:52 PM   #18
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Hello

I have the Rossi in .44 Mag and I like it. Holds 10 rounds

I do reload cast bullets for it , (keeps costs down )

I just find that these 60 year old eyeballs don't work great with open/ iron sights any more. But the dirt kicking up tells me where I'm hitting.

I did buy a slip on Recoil Pad to reduce punishment, you will need it.

I think this gun would be a good trunk gun and hiking too.

Have fun !!
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Old May 25, 2017, 06:02 PM   #19
Tony Z
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Just got back from trying it out-I like it! Recoil ain't bad at all and my soon to be 65 year old eyes had no issues at all-sights/buckhorn must be set at my optimun distance. Usually I have to use a very low power (1X) reader to focus on open sights, but not on this one. I can see this becoming a favorite truck rife.

Bit of advice for any of you wood stock guys, with minor nicks or scratches. Look for a product called "Briwax", generally in anitique stores. It is available in multiple colors, but what I have is a mahogany/walnut tint. Makes those scratches go bye bye, leaving a nice color to the stock. It is not a slippery wax.
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Old May 27, 2017, 09:02 PM   #20
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Rossi comes with more extras, that Marlin should. But I prefer American. Wouldn't say impossible.

With 2400 it h110 I find 6.5lbs just right. With unique, it is a plinker.

Let us know how it works out.
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Old May 27, 2017, 10:27 PM   #21
Don Fischer
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Only one thing about that lever action would bother me. Yu work the lever and it throw's the case on the ground somewhere. Hate that about my 9mm handguns, lose case's that way.
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Old May 27, 2017, 10:42 PM   #22
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Ahhh, same with push feed bolts. Same with pumps. Some break opens throw she'll I believe too.


Control feed is easier to grab I belive, but most are push.

So Ahhh, ya.
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Old May 27, 2017, 10:43 PM   #23
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All semi auto, not just 9, rifle or handgun.

I do like revolvers for reloading.
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Old May 29, 2017, 07:13 AM   #24
Tony Z
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Don't find the ejected casings very troublesome. Using 11 grains of Unique under 200 grain coated round nose bullets and gun is very pleasant to plink with. My other centerfire plinkers are a Henry BigBoy steel, in .357 and Henry Golden, with octagonal barrel in .45 Colt. The Henry's beat the Rossi in looks and finish, but both are significantly heavier. The Rossi is about 5 pounds and for plinking, that makes a huge difference.
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Old May 31, 2017, 05:13 AM   #25
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The Marlin is (or was) a pleasant and accurate rifle. I would get a used gun from the New Haven Ct days. Dont be afraid to buy a used gun. The odds are a lot better you get a good one than taking you chances on more recent made.

I am not familiar with the Rossi. I do have a B-92, which is a Winchester 92 clone I find it unpleasant with full power hunting loads - really any 44mag load. I only shoot 44 special in that rifle. Loaded that way it is a fun shooter. In reality, I almost never shoot it any more and just grab the Marlin.
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