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Old 03-25-2012, 09:40 PM
SirDeofWood SirDeofWood is offline
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Question 38 Spec/357 Mag. Lever Action Rifle

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I am considering getting one of these. I think it would be wise getting a rifle that can use the same ammo as my revolvers. It would be great to take in a bug out situation or any other survival scenario where carrying multiple types of ammo would be difficult.

I like the winchester and the marlin rifles. I would love to hear comments from anyone who has owned or shot one. By the way this is my first post. I am enjoying the site. Thanks.
Old 03-25-2012, 10:06 PM
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Have Marlin 1894c. All aces. Perhaps my fav gun out of the 30 or so I own.

Good luck finding one for anywhere near MSRP, or at all really, right now. Most folks who start the search wind up with a Henry or Rossi, assuming they can find one of them.

- OS
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:12 PM
bilmac bilmac is online now
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I used to do Cowboy action shooting. The pistol caliber rifle is manditory to participate. Take a look at the skill levels these guys have developed to get an idea of their potential.

I have a Marlin 357, and I will never part with it. I would go Marlin so you will be able to put a scope or other optics on it. I also had a dealer tell me that he quit selling Winchesters because he kept getting them back with cracked stocks.

The caliber is very versitile, You can shoot pop gun level 38s in it for small game and the 357 will take close range deer. You gain quite a bit of velocity in a rifle length barrel.
Old 03-25-2012, 10:23 PM
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I have a HENRY BIG BOY IN 357 AND in 44 mag smoothest lever guns you will ever own. JMO
Old 03-25-2012, 10:23 PM
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I have had some experience with two Marlin 1894s, one in .357 and one in .44. The thing I liked about the .357 is it was light and handy almost like an oversized bb rifle. They are accurate to shoot at the ranges one might employ them at and the advantage of having common ammo with your sidearm is of course simplified logistics. However, even out of a 16" or so barrel the .357 Magnum is still going to be significantly less powerful than a centerfire rifle caliber and even a similar-sized lever gun in 30-30 will be a major upgrade in terms of power. However, for use as a defensive firearm and for hunting at say 50 yards or so on deer-sized animals I think it would be adequate if imperfect. The cowboys used to use this sort of single-caliber set up and the main rule of any gun-related survival applications is to "have a gun" so you might be okay. Just avoid engaging someone at 200 yards.

I did an episode on my podcast quite a while back about the .357 as a survival caliber found here: http://www.chipmonksurvival.com/2010...rvival-armory/

Good luck!
Chip Monk
Host of "The Chip Monk Survival Podcast" and the "Survival Gun Show"
Old 03-25-2012, 11:09 PM
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I went the .45LC route. Winchester 94 Carbine and Remington 1875 pistol. They are a blast.
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:18 PM
Spitfire Spitfire is offline
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Originally Posted by SirDeofWood View Post
I am considering getting one of these. I think it would be wise getting a rifle that can use the same ammo as my revolvers. It would be great to take in a bug out situation or any other survival scenario where carrying multiple types of ammo would be difficult.

I like the winchester and the marlin rifles. I would love to hear comments from anyone who has owned or shot one. By the way this is my first post. I am enjoying the site. Thanks.
Marlin 1894C or Ruger 77/357 would be my vote. I have the Marlin and it is sweet, good luck finding one though.
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:13 AM
arleigh arleigh is offline
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I had a winchester 30/30 and gave it away hapily, pure junk out of the box,shells were jambing repeatidly because they had used stamped seel parts .
I have never had any issues with rossi nor the savage ,all fine craftsmanship.
I like the .357 and the .454 puma which also handles the .45 long colt very nicely .
The .44 mag carbine from ruger is nice too , but it is a semi auto, and looks like a bulky 10/.22 . a fine tool .
The rossi .357 mag I have, has the enlarged leaver for play,or wearing gloves ,which ever excuse you like to employ.
I can spin and load like Chuck Connors, but I don't make a habbit of it , but I have to say , it is a handy feature if the other hand is full .
If you have no need for that feature I recomend against it, as the large ring is too much open area for cycling the action under real hunting events and such .
the .454 puma and 30/30savage have normal leavers.
A last thought .
Not to confuse things but I had long connsidred the same reasonong and own many same calibur pairs, but your purpouse for the weapon should fit the need.
If you plan to hunt in brush and close range, fine . But lately I have been coming to gripps with something I don't like but is true whether i LIKE IT OR NOT.
What I must considder is , what is a raider or invader going to be using ? Not a .22 .
I mean a person that has made the determination that, that is how their group is going to survive, they are not going to pick the lesser weapons available, are they ?
So if this is a question of a survival tool ,I would seriously considder what is available to bad guys as well, and what those guns are capable of .
This also means to sommething you can afoard to practice with, and reload spent shells, as well as carry the range the more serious rifles are capable of,and compete with their repeatability (RAPID FIRE) .
This unfortunately takes most guns, less than semi automatic, completely out of the picture. I say most because there are bolt guns that are supirrior sniper capability also available to the bad guys too. They are just not practicle for close range high speed combat , against others whom are equiped for it.
Again I don't like the idea of having to conceed my present collection of defence inadiquate but there you have it.
Old 03-26-2012, 12:47 AM
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DollreeMappEsq DollreeMappEsq is offline
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I have the Marlin 1894CSS. I chose the stainless version because I purchased the gun as a possible bug out gun. If I had been more interested in cowboy action at the time, I would have purchased the blued gun.

I chose the Marlin over the Winchester because I liked the fact that spent casings are ejected out of the side of the rifle. I match my 1894 with a S&W 686 SSR with wood grips. The two guns are an amazing pair, and I like being able to use one cartridge to feed both of my firearms.

I mainly shoot .38 Special because it is more readily available in my area, but the Marlin shoots both .38 Special and .357 magnum flawlessly. In addition, both cartridges feed smoothly and eject smoothly. The stock sights are pretty good, and the trigger is similar to most other Marlins. Although recoil is minimal with most rounds I put through it, I did change out the stock butt pad with a more comfortable (for me) recoil pad that fits better to my length of pull. Finally, I put a quality leather sling on it that holds an extra full magazine (10 rounds) of ammunition.

I still may change out the sights to something different when I get the time, but I am very happy with my rifle, and if the situation called for it, my Marlin would join be on my shoulder if I needed to bug out.
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:21 AM
Hamour Hamour is offline
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Hi, I am a new guy from Texas and this is my first post.
I have had one of the Marlin .357 since they first came out (Mid to late 70's).
It has a few issues you should be aware of.

1- If you use hollow points for hunting deer or hogs, it will over stress the bullet and give you shallow penetration. I lost a couple of deer before I killed a small pig and saw the type of rapid expansion I was getting. BUT, this makes them very good defensive amunition against humans and smaller varmits around the house and yard. (Coons, dogs, possums etc). average velocity will be 1750 fps to 1850 fps with 158gr hpts. Use Soft points for hunting, hollow points for varmit control.

2-Lead bullets work well with my rifle when I size them to .359-.360, Marlins micro groove rifling always wants a lead bullet bigger than the standard diameter. .311 for .308, .360 for .357, .431 for .429. If you use low pressure loadings in the 38 special case (3grs of bullseye under a 168gr SWC) you will be subsonic and muzzle blast will be almost nothing. This is a very quiet load, the bullet hitting the target makes more noise than the rifle, but range is limitted.

If you load some maximum loads for the rifle, they will be to strong for most revolvers, to avoid a mix up color the base of you max carbine loads with a red magic marker, this will be a visual que to not shoot that load in your revolver.

Max loads for revolvers should be fine in the carbine.

These small carbines in any of the magnum revolver cartridges make fine additions to your battery and should be considered by any one looking to consolidate his ammo needs.

Here is a lead bullet that has filled my .357 magnum needs. It is a gas checked 180gr Wide Flat nose. This bullet is the most versatile .357 bullet I have found.

This mold allows me to create hollow points or WFN by changing some pins.

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Old 03-29-2012, 06:34 PM
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I got a 45lc marlin and a 357 navy arms lever gun.

I am not a big fan of the pistol rifle combo. The pistol cartridge is a serious compromise. It is designed to be mild in recoil and deliver maximum cartridge energy from a short barrel by using a bigger sized bullet.

As said before, firing handgun bullets at faster speeds than intended causes the bullet to rotate much faster than designed. The bullet literaly flys apart on impact. The right bullet solves that problem.

Handgun rounds in a rifle can loose close to 7-12" of elevation when traveling 100 yards versus 2-3" and even less on rifle cartridges.

A handgun is designed to be a protective firearm when you do not have anything better to use. Why limit your primary firearm to satisfy the gun you will use much less. If things get rough, you'll have the rifle handy.

If you got a few rifles, then go get a lever gun. I love to shoot mine. However, use the right tool for the job.

I have my qualms about using 357 magnum for big game hunting. I'm not the only one either. 44 magnum would be a really good 100 yard or less hunting rifle.

It is not uncommon for a 357 lever gun to jamb when using 38 special ammo. When feeding the round, the bullet points up and jambs onto the roof inside the reciever. Seems almost every gun manufacturer of 357 lever guns have this problem from. Not that many do this, but a portion of them from each seem to.

I have plenty of lever guns. I am confident they would do a decent job in a bad situation. However, I got better tools for the job.

Once you have a handgun, a 200+ yard hunting rifle with scope, a 22lr rifle, and a capable defensive rifle, then go ahead and buy what you like.

I live in the woods of NY, a lever gun being able to only shoot 100 yards works for me ok. Live in an open area like a plains state or the desert, you'll just about never be able to get big game with-in the range of a pistol lever gun. Big game usually come out in low light more often than not. Iron sighted rifles have their issues. Trying to aim properly in low light against a dull or dark colored background is rough, expecially in wooded area where the light is even more restricted. A scoped firearm is much better in that situation.

Another thing to consider. Restrictive states require a pistol permit to buy handgun ammuntion. IF this happens near you, you might not be able to legally own the ammo for your gun unless you get a permit. They do at time deny permits to folks with no prior criminal records. Put the wrong reason you want a handgun on the permit, live in a crime filled area, or the judge is just a real pain, you won't get it.

Love lever guns, get .30-30 if you live in a wooded or suburban area.
Old 04-03-2012, 01:03 AM
sachson sachson is offline
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Had a Rossi 357 lever 1892, great gun to go with my Ruger Security Six. Sold 'em. Sold the Marlin 1894 44 mag, regreted it, got a Win 94 44mag... Not as good of a rifle. Marlin you can take down in the field easier. Better quality. Had to sell my 44 mag revolver though, but otherwise, I'd have the 'combo' concept. Lever actions are 'legal' assault rifles in restrictive states... 10 rounds, if kept fed on the fly, never runs out of ammo.
Old 04-03-2012, 06:10 PM
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A close freind had a Marlin 1894 in .357mag. It was a wonderful thing! He added a Lyman peep sight to it. He thought it was a great improvement to the buckhorn sight on the barrel! I had to agree!!! He zeroed it in at 25yds.. Then went over to the 200 yd range. Usin the same point of aim, consistaintly rang the 18 inch gong!!! I tried to talk him out of it, but he kept sayin something about his future grandkids are gettin this one.. I didn't have enuf money at the time.. Nor the wait.. So I got a Rossi lever.. Needless to say after 1 range trip. I couldn't wait to sell that " darn " thing and wait til I had enuf money and time to get a Marlin!!! So after 6 months of waitin I got one!!! I added the Lyman peep and an Ao scout mount that replaces the OE rear sight.. I had a red dot set up on it .. 200yd groups could be covered with my hand! Lightweight.. Fast... Accurate.. What more do you want?? But!!! About 6 mouths ago I met a guy on the range that wanted that rifle more than I did! And had the $$$'s to prove it!! Why do we do this to ourselves???
Old 04-03-2012, 07:04 PM
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A Henry Big Boy 357 is next on my list....
Old 04-03-2012, 08:51 PM
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I have a Rossi 92 in 357 mag (20 in barrel). It is very effective as long as you limit your self to about 125 yards. Given that I am in the panhandle of Fla where the average deer is taken at 75 yards this is not too much of a limitation. I hand load a cast lyman 358156 GC SWC from wheel weights over 14 gr of 2400 and get a very respectable 1750 fps with that load. My 6in 686 can handle that load but it is on the upper limit. You can push it much hotter but don't see a reason to - just wears out the brass faster.

For those who don't think that a 357 mag is enough gun - Lyman 49th edition page 272:
125 gr Hornady over 22 gr H110 will give you 2317 fps from a 20 in barrel - compare that to the standard 7.62X39 (123gr @ 2350 fps) - I guess that they would also think that an AK or SKS wasn't enough either.
Old 04-03-2012, 08:54 PM
FarmerJohn FarmerJohn is offline
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if you want to spend some $ go with uberti rossi is a great gun for the $$ and marlin makes quality arms as well
Old 04-04-2012, 08:44 AM
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I'm not spending big money on one and cant find them on the used market. Someone needs to start a company called Maarlin and build lever action guns for North Americans.
Old 04-04-2012, 09:00 AM
ChapNelson ChapNelson is offline
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I have 2 Rossi 92's in 357, 20" barrels. Using the Steve Jones DVD, I dropped gunslinger spring kits in both, and SS mag followers. Presently I am shooting 158 gr cast WW over Unique or 2400, in 38 or 357 cases. However, I am going to try the 125 gr Hornady bullet, that sounds pretty good as does the 168gr HP bullet Hamour mentioned. I shoot a lot of 148gr 38 soupcans as well - quiet, with good energy.

I'm a big guy, 6'4",with a 5'2" wife. It pains me to see her shoulder most rifles ... but the Rossi suits her, balances right, quick pointer, and mild recoil. And the same rifle suits me just as well. I'd have no problem taking 200yd shots with a good load from the 20" barrel, 150yd for thin skinned game.
Old 04-04-2012, 09:05 AM
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Consider a Rossi Ranch Hand in 357 instead. very accurate and they recently had a price drop. I have seen them below $400 locally.
Old 04-04-2012, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
Marlin 1894C or Ruger 77/357 would be my vote. I have the Marlin and it is sweet, good luck finding one though.
I LOVE my 77/357. I prefer bolts over levers for the more natural (to me) feel of the action and fewer moving parts to go wrong. The Ruger isn't cheap but it is made to withstand the elements (all stainless with synthetic stock) and I think in an extended survival situation that's worth doling out a little more coin.

The only real complaint I have about it is the 'classic' crappy Ruger magazine release, I'm gonna have to see if any of the aftermarket releases will fit this little guy. Maybe somewhere along the line we'll see some ten round mags for it, too. But for now it's certainly adequate for my needs.


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