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Old November 28, 2012, 03:06 PM   #1
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New deer rifle, '94 or '92 or something else...

I’m thinking about get a new rifle for deer hunting. It has to be a pistol caliber to be legal in my home state, so I’m looking at the .44 Magnum; debating between the Marlin 1894 or a Winchester/Rossi 1892. If I can find it, probably used in either case. I’d like it with a 16” barrel and possibly a forward mounted scope. The scope is just going to be easier as my eyes aren’t what they used to be, I can still use a peep/tang sight okay, but magnification helps.

I thought about a forward mounted scope in part because it has to be for the ’92 and also thought it might help put a little weight forward on the 16” barrel. The 16” barrel because it is a pistol round and the extra 2 ½”-4” of barrel most likely won’t help that much and some of the areas that I’ll hunt are dense cover.

Seems like such a set up would work well, be handy in dense cover and light enough to carry for longer periods of time, but I have limited experience… so my question is, what are your thoughts or suggestions? I’m open to any ideas, but don’t say, “I don’t believe in pistol rounds in rifles” as I don’t have that option and I already have a .30-06 if rifles were allowed. Thanks.

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Old November 28, 2012, 03:20 PM   #2
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The Winchester and Marlin MAY have different stocks.. I know in 30-30 they do. I'd try and find a place that lets you hold em.

Just out of curiosity, what is your home state? I've never heard of rifle in pistol caliber only... I've heard of minimum caliber, I've heard of no rilfe (Just Shotgun, archery, blackpowder...)
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Old November 28, 2012, 06:00 PM   #3
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Indiana, minimum caliber is .357, and case length of 1.16" to 1.625". I can use a revolver or a rifle, but those are the cartridge specs.
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Old November 28, 2012, 06:51 PM   #4
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Winchester 1892 + .44 Magnum is my vote.
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Old November 28, 2012, 06:58 PM   #5
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I would stay away from the Winchester 94 with a pistol cartridge since it was designed for a rifle cartridge and many of them have feed issues with pistol cartridges. Either the Rossi 92 or the Marlin 94 will work. The Winchester 92 will work but its more expensive than the others.
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Old November 28, 2012, 07:19 PM   #6
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What about a .45-70 Marlin Guide Gun?

The BFR is chambered in that round, which makes it a handgun round.

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Old November 28, 2012, 08:11 PM   #7
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Thanks, but I can't use .45-70, the closest would be .454 Casull.
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Old November 28, 2012, 08:25 PM   #8
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Basically you have to find examples of them and try them out for size.

My personal choice would be the Win. 1892
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Old November 28, 2012, 08:58 PM   #9
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I think the 92s are easier to carry (not as heavy). That said my favorite gun is my 1894 marlin trapper in 357 magnum.
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 November 28, 2012, 09:29 PM   #10
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Deja Vu, if the '92 is easier for you to carry, why do you like the Marlin better?
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Old November 29, 2012, 09:09 PM   #11
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The 92 in 44 magnum will not disappoint.....I have one in 357 magnum and love it for a handy light short rifle ! Mine is the Winchester trademark / Miroku made version and quality is excellent but it does have a tang safety and rebound hammer that is not found on the original 1892 ! Other companies offer more authentic 1892 actions which you may prefer ! The Marlin might be more appealing if your interested in mounting a scope or red dot sight on it....not even sure you can mount a scope on a 92 but I prefer open iron or peep sights on lever guns anyway !
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Old November 30, 2012, 08:41 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Quincy View Post
Indiana, minimum caliber is .357, and case length of 1.16" to 1.625". I can use a revolver or a rifle, but those are the cartridge specs.
Damn, how big are your deer? Here in NY, in rifle counties, all it needs to be is center fire.

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Old December 1, 2012, 11:45 AM   #13
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Dem Hoosiers got dat case/cartridge length restriction to deal with.
I have used my 94 Trapper in 44 mag to kill a couple of deer. It worked fine within the 100 yard limit I felt comfortable with.
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Old December 1, 2012, 07:03 PM   #14
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We Hoosiers are under the duress of overly detailed, just plain ridiculously worded regulations on everything. Our hunting and trapping guides look like a freak'n trigonometry book crossed with tax forms on the inside. And our deer aren't particularly large.

You can use the .357 .44 mag/special 44-40 45 colt .454 casul .480 41 AE 50AE 50-beo. and I believe they added the 458 socom. with a handful of other odd ones. We also have a grandiosely detail description of muzzle loader rifle and pistol specs

I'd vote for the 1894 marlin in either .44 mag or 45 colt. I was fairly disappointed with the safety on the rossie, and not very fond of the post '64 Winchesters in general. The marlin will be more expensive new or used.
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Old December 1, 2012, 10:26 PM   #15
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Another vote for the 92 design--in the OP's suggested .44 Mag--regardless of actual Win or imported copy. Rossi has (or at least had) one spec'd out and actually designated as "Hunter" or some such. IIRC: it had a different buttstock, and outfitted with (or at least for) the forward-mounted, scout style scope. If nothing in the Rossi catalog now to this spec, I may be thinking back four or five years to the Legacy (LSI) "Puma" (formerly largest Rossi distributor 1990s-2008). I believe all recent year Rossis (including the later LSI and maybe EMF years) have forward mounting holes under the rear sight. Second choice would be an older Marlin.

Last edited by gak; December 1, 2012 at 10:33 PM.
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Old December 2, 2012, 03:14 AM   #16
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they have a BFR in 30-30, still that's weird regs in hoosier country, but my vote would be Marlin as well.
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Old December 2, 2012, 10:05 PM   #17
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92 or94

I have 94's (Win's) in 30-30 and 44mag, I have 92's BL's (Browning) in 357mag and 44mag.Being as they are both Browning designs why would you go with a cheap copy? Brownings aren't on every street corner but they are out there.Both of mine carry, handle and shoot great, I bought one new and one used and I am extremely happy with them both !
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Old December 3, 2012, 05:11 PM   #18
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I have a Winchester 94 AE in 44 mag. While the action isn't butter-smooth, it's not terrible. It's never failed to feed anything I've put in it. Would love to get my hands on an older Marlin or Browning.

I use it for deer, but there are better choices IMO.
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Old December 3, 2012, 08:33 PM   #19
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I've got the Rossi '92

I love this gun. Weighs less than 6#'s empty and is a joy to carry and shoot. Factory sights are a little underwhelming but out to a hundred yards it is just fine.
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Old December 6, 2012, 12:18 AM   #20
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Rossi 92 gets my vote

I own a Rossi 92 in 357 mag/38 special. Like was mentioned earlier, it is light and the factory sites get the job done out to 100 yards. Mine has liked every factory round I've put through it.
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