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Old January 5, 2011, 10:06 PM   #1
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Short lever action 357/ 38 spl combo

I am interested in a short lever action 38 spl 357 combo carbine. I am aware of the Rossi stuff like the ranch hand and the M92 carbine. I would like to use this combination as a target shooter as it matches revolver cartridges I already own and for very thick brushed hunting.

I fear the 12" handgun version is a little to short for accuracy and to shoot comfertably.

I often find myself still hunting on days when I know game will not move and this would be a great tool as supposed to a scoped 270.

Any suggestions?

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Old January 5, 2011, 11:03 PM   #2
Join Date: August 28, 2008
Location: Kansas
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Marlin 1894C

18.5" bbl, 9 rd mag, open sights, black walnut stock, flat top receiver. They are hard to find though. I remember Marlin making a 16.5" model a few years back. That would be even more desirable.
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Old January 6, 2011, 01:00 AM   #3
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another vote for the Marlin
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Old January 6, 2011, 02:00 AM   #4
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I've had a .357/.38 Sp. pre-Taurus Rossi M92 "Trapper" with the 16" barrel for several years now. It's become about my favorite utility and woods bumming CF. At a tad over 35" OAL and just under 6#, it's no more of a burden than many .22 RF's.

The only mods I've made are adding a set of Uncle Mike's swivels for a carry strap and having a Lyman 66A receiver sight installed. It's capable of putting 5 rds of my standard handload of 4.8 gr. "new" Unique in .357 cases topped with a 158 gr. LSWC into 2" or so at 50 yds when I do things right and the action's slicked up very nicely with use.

Well worth some gun show and auction site cruising to find, IMHO.
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Old January 6, 2011, 10:47 AM   #5
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About 5 years ago, I wanted a 357 levergun in the worst way. I wanted a 20 inch version of the Puma 92, and I could not find one for love or money!

I settled, or so I thought, for a NIB 16" version I found at a gunshow for a really good price. After getting it, and shooting it a LOT, I wouldn't have anything else! Light, short, handy, gets out a truck window fast....did I say that....and most of all....FUN! This is a gun that always goes to the range, when other, more expensive ones stay home in the safe.

Mine does around 2" at 50yds with 6.5gn Unique under the Lee RNFP 158gn cast bullet, in 357 cases. Can't speak for jacketed stuff, never shot any in it. Feeds fine using this bullet, and the Lyman 358156, 358429 and 358477 bullets, in either 38 or 357 cases.

The only modification I made was to cut 11/2 coils off the ejector spring...look online for directions...REALLY smoothed things out. I had a tang sight on it, but it interfered with handling, and not all that practical on a 16" rifle anyway.

Mine is blued, but for serious knock around duty, I'd consider stainless.


Last edited by farmall; January 6, 2011 at 10:48 AM. Reason: typo's
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Old January 6, 2011, 01:33 PM   #6
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Marlin is the way to go.
"We will do this: we will hang together, we will keep our organization, our arms, our discipline, our hatred of oppression, until one universal shout goes up from an admiring age that this Missouri Cavalry Division preferred exile to submission, death to dishonor".

General Joseph O. Shelby, CSA (1830-1897)

The only Confederate General who refused to surrender himself or his 1,000+ "Iron Brigade".
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Old January 6, 2011, 09:48 PM   #7
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+1 Rossi 16 or 20" - over 30 years, have had both in several calibers including .357. Nothing handier. The Ranch Hand is an interesting distraction but does little more (and less naturally) than a six shooter revolver. If you can only have one, I'd strongly recommend going with the longer carbines for much more natural shooting, superior ballistics and overall versatility.
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Old January 6, 2011, 09:57 PM   #8
Join Date: December 9, 2010
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Have had a Marlin 94 357 lever for 14 years. Shot a boatload through it - always accurate and an easy handling rifle. Earlier this year it finally came down with the "dreaded marlin jam". I had a smithy weld up the 'notch' and I heated and bent the elevator and she's back to working jam free again.The only thing I don't like about the 'small' marlin levers is waiting for that inevitable jam to come along one day.
Gonna get me some Skinner sights for it when I get around to it and I'll be set.
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Old January 7, 2011, 12:45 PM   #9
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the marlin jam?

could you elaborate on this?
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Old January 7, 2011, 01:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by shrewd
the marlin jam?
It's a well-known problem with the 1894 series rifles. Also easily fixed by the home hobbyist.

Luckily, it's also easily cured. I fixed my NIB Marlin 94 in about five minutes as soon as I took it from the shipping box. No problem, easy-peasy. Follow the link for a detailed description and the usual cures.
Dennis Dezendorf
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