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Old 08-29-2012, 01:09 PM
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I've been favoring .45 Colt and thinking about either a Marlin or a Henry. But now I'm waffling and thinking about .357 again, and I noticed some 1873 rifles on auction sites. Most of them are made by Uberti (one is branded Cimmaron, but that's just a relabeled Uberti with different finish options). They tend to be more expensive. I would be okay with paying more if I think it's worth it, though I'd feel better about it if Uberti were in America instead of Italy.

I also saw some Chapparel-branded rifles that are either 1866 or 1873 models. It's unclear from the ad, which says both of those years, but I think it's 1866. My understanding is that the parts for these are made in Italy, but the rifles are assembled in Connecticut.

Any thoughts about these particular rifles, these brands in general, or the 1866 and 1873 actions for handgun calibers? My goal is plinking and home defense, and I'm mainly interested in either .357 Magnum or .45 Colt. Thanks
Old 08-29-2012, 11:16 PM
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I have read that the older actions 1866 or 1873 have a toggle in them and as a result are much weaker than the 1892/1894 type actions that have locking lugs at the rear of the bold. I, on occasion, load the 357 a bit on the hot side so long term durability was an issue with me. I got a Rossi 92 in 357 and have not regretted it. Currently I am looking for another one. I have also heard nice things about the Marlin but it seems to run $200+ higher than the Rossi and that seemed to be an excessive premium to me.
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:11 AM
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Companion rifle/handgun is a fine idea. With 357 vs 44, it just comes down to power, cost, and common.

Presumably, 44 magnum is more powerful, more expensive, and harder to find.
Old 09-01-2012, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jknova View Post
I joined this forum to ask this question. Some background first -

My concealed carry weapon right now is a Smith & Wesson 642 in .38 Special. My dad (who is 71) also uses a .38 Special revolver for home defense. So, I already have some investment in the .38 Special platform, but I think it's underpowered for some uses I have in mind.

What I'm interested in doing is getting a lever action rifle and a revolver that can use the same ammunition. My uses are fun/plinking, and SHTF/home defense. I don't currently hand-load but I plan to do so for fun/plinking. For now, I plan to use factory ammunition for defense, for legal reasons; if law and order collapse, that becomes moot.

The rifles I have in mind are variants of the Winchester 1894, Marlin 1894 and Henry Big Boy, all of which are available (in theory) in both .357 and .44 Magnum. I would pair a modern Smith & Wesson or Ruger revolver with either.

The pros I see for .357:
- More fun for plinking (less recoil)
- Less recoil may also make follow-up shots faster and more accurate
- .38 Special could be used in many of my weapons in a pinch or for plinking
- A .357/.38 die would take me a long way in handloading

The pros I see for .44:
- I like the idea of big holes in bad guys
- I think it would be more effective against large predators, eg bears
- With that huge cartridge, lots of flexibility in bullet weight, powder etc. I could buy mild .44 Mag or .44 Special defense loads that would still devastate bad guys, especially from a rifle
- I CAN FIND THESE RIFLES FOR SALE FOR REASONABLE PRICES.

For some reason, .357 lever action rifles from Winchester and Marlin run $700+ even used. I can walk into a local store and walk out with a lightly used .44 Mag Marlin for $495 today.

Ok, that's a lot of info - here are my questions.

1 - .357 vs .44 for my intended purposes (plinking, defense, SHTF)
2 - .357 vs .44 for hand loading
3 - does anybody know where I can actually buy a .357 Marlin or Winchester without selling a kidney? What's up with the price difference?

Thanks - JK
More reasons:

You may already reload for .38 and have the dies?

You can carry more .357 ammo.
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Old 09-03-2012, 05:11 PM
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Thanks for all of the input - I decided to go with the Marlin 1894C in .357. I found one for sale at Green Top near Richmond. Mine was made in Connecticut (not New York) and comes with a 1x-3x Weaver scope. I wasn't planning to get a scope, but I'm starting to warm up to the idea.

I still have a notion of moving more toward .45 Colt in the future, but for now, this goes well with my .38 Special revolvers. Thanks again.

-- Early impressions:

I bought the rifle used. It's in great shape. There is a barely visible scratch on the stock, and a tiny bit of wear on the scope. Nothing significant.

However, the rifle was filthy. I guess whoever sold it didn't bother to clean it after the last time they used it, nor did Green Top. No biggie since I even clean factory-new guns before I shoot them.

I decided to cycle through a bunch of .38 Special I had around the house, which unfortunately included some old wadcutters - WHOOPS. I should have read the manual I didn't get. I looked it up online later, and it clearly says not to use wadcutters. After half an hour of mild panic and hunting for the appropriate-sized screwdrivers, the rifle was partly disassembled, cleared and reassembled, back to the same condition as before the jam.

That issue aside, I love it as much as I can love a rifle I haven't shot yet. Some things just feel right, and Marlin lever action rifles are among those things. Other than the wadcutter issue, my other rounds all cycled wonderfully - Remington FMJ, Hornady Critical Defense, and some old round-nose lead bullets of unknown manufacture. You can work the action fast or slow, it's smooth and reliable either way.

I think the scope will be a big plus at 100 yards, but I might have a small preference for open sights at 25 yards (seems faster). But I'm glad I got one with a scope, because I have the option to use it or remove it.
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:12 PM
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If you can load .44 mag/.44spc then go with it. Otherwise .357 mag all the way. The .357 mag come in amazing and potent variety.
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by jknova View Post
I still have a notion of moving more toward .45 Colt in the future.
I'm a big fan of this round. Tradition in spades, can belly up to .44 mag (nearly) and will stand toe to toe with .357. Rock on...
Old 09-09-2012, 10:44 PM
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I took the Marlin to the range today for the first time. I was there with my nephew, that was the only gun we were shooting, and we were paying by the hour. So, I decided the scope's zeroing was "good enough" and we just went with it. In hindsight, I wish I'd either taken time to zero the scope, or not worried about it at all. For a while, I overcompensated between every shot because I didn't trust the scope. Later on, I decided to trust the scope, and did a lot better.

I proved to myself that - at least on a sunny day, when my hands aren't shaking, I don't have tunnel vision and my target isn't moving - I can put ten .357 Magnums into a grapefruit-sized target at 25 yards, in six seconds. That's good enough for now.

It's lots of fun. Shooting .38 Special (Remington and Winchester hardball) was almost as mild as shooting .22LR. No recoil to speak of and pretty quiet. Shooting .357 Magnum (Remington JSP), there still wasn't much recoil, but it was a lot louder.
Old 09-10-2012, 01:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBR Streetgang View Post
You might want to take a look at the Rossi lever gun both in .357 and .44 I did a lot of research before I bought one in .357 and am extremely pleased. I used to be a revolver guy before the auto boom in the early 70's and then jumped on the auto train. I am now finding my way back to revolvers again .I like the idea of a .38/.357 combo now and you have a great selection of ammo choices to do a variety of shooting.
Funnily enough i have today ordered a Rossi lever gun in .357 im happy to read that you like it mate
Old 09-10-2012, 02:46 AM
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I like the .357 as well. But I keep seeing the .45 mentioned in the Rossi with no mention of the .454 Casull variant. Now there would be a show stopper. .45 LC for practice/ defense. Mild loaded .454 (if you call 44 mag levels mild) for hunting and full bore 454 for... Well anything you want. Rossi makes a 92 in it as well. That would be my first choice in a lever.

Couple that with a Ruger Super Red Hawk and a moon clip conversion now you got versatility 45 ACP, 45LC, and 454 Casull. When these first came out (initially by Puma) I thought it would eclipse the 44 magnum version. My prediction proved wrong.
Old 09-10-2012, 06:53 PM
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My Lever action and Revolver combo is .357 Magnum

If I could find a compact .45-70 revolver I would consider it
Old 09-10-2012, 08:10 PM
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I actually had the same scenario a few months ago... I went with the 44 combo... I have a winchester 1892 lever and a smith and wesson 629 classic.
Old 09-17-2012, 09:40 PM
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Big game Bow Hunters (Griz, Elk, Moose) carry a .44 magnum revolver on their hip...just in case the arrow didn't make the perfect pass through.
Old 01-10-2013, 02:52 AM
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I have been considering doing the 357 magnum combo as well. The only thing that has been holding me back is the trouble finding a 100% USA Made rifle that isn't blued. I'm a very practical guy, which is why buying something blued just won't happen with me. The problem with blued metal is it's extremely prone to rust. Just leaving a little bodily oils via a tiny, light finger print on it for a week gives a good chance of finding a touch of rust in it's place. In a SHTF Scenario, where dirt, grime, and certainly your finger prints will be common on your things and a proper daily wipe down of these things is pretty unlikely, a firearm that you heavily rely on is the last thing you would want to posses such severe vulnerabilities. From what I hear, Henry Rifles makes the most reliable and smoothest lever actions. They are also 100% USA made. Their Big Boy and Mare's Leg models are available in both 357 magnum and 44 magnum. The problem is that the Big Boy is $900 and I believe that that is higher than you were shooting for. Plus, it's ~8.5 lbs which may not be too heavy for you but it is for me. Then there's the Mare's Leg. Unfortunately, it's $950. Although, it does have an acceptable weight of ~5.5 lbs. Now, to your question of 357 magnum combo or 44 magnum combo. The 357 magnum rifle will have enough power for anything you might need. For the vast majority of the times you might need it, it will have ample power. It even has plenty of power for a full grown black bear. If you were to have the statistically unlikely bad luck to not only encounter, but also be close enough to something as big and tough as a full grown grizzly bear that you were forced to go for your revolver you might have to unload your the entire gun on the beast, but provided you put them all in it's chest and not somewhere less immediate like it's stomach, it's going down in a matter of seconds. The down side with the 357 magnum is it's limited ability in number of rounds it can hold as well as it's size and weight which stratle the line of too much in terms of hip carry, draw speed, maneuverability (like with multiple targets or just running, dodging, and making quick shots before ducking again), plus the diminished follow up shots speed that naturally comes with all magnum. However, all of these cons I just mentioned in the last sentence look some what mild when compared to their super size versions in the 44 magnum. Long story short, If you are set on these two magnum combos, go with the 357 magnum.
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