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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 9/30/2002 12:46:34 PM EST
I'm thinking I need a lever action rifle, just for fun. I have not decided on the make/model, although I do like the Winchester 94 with the pistol shaped stock.

With regards to the caliber I was thinking 45 Colt would be a hoot, 'course maybe I should get one in cal 30-30.....I just can't make up my mind [>Q]...somebody HELP ME.
Link Posted: 9/30/2002 12:52:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/30/2002 12:54:21 PM EST by Aimless]
Link Posted: 9/30/2002 1:00:26 PM EST
Marlin 39, in .22lr is my favorite gun. It will be the one that is pried from my cold dead hands.

Marlin 39A is the way to go. 45 Colt is fun, but pricier than the .22lr to feed. If it is just for plinking, think .22lr
Link Posted: 9/30/2002 1:03:17 PM EST
I would suggest you try Winchester 94 vs. any Marlin before you buy. After you compare them I bet you will chose the Marlin.
Link Posted: 9/30/2002 1:05:10 PM EST
winchester 94 trapper in 44mag it's fun to shoot. its what i usualy take when i go deer hunting just dont count on any long shots with it.

Link Posted: 9/30/2002 1:09:33 PM EST
Damn Young'uns... Oh wait, that was my Granfather's voice

I woudl go with a Winchester Model 92, in .45 colt or 44-40.....

44-40 is cheap to relaod, I like a cast 200 gr roundnose over 10gr of unique....

beautiful load hmm, I need ot buy another actually now

Link Posted: 9/30/2002 1:10:25 PM EST

Originally Posted By TheRedGoat:
Marlin 39, in .22lr is my favorite gun. It will be the one that is pried from my cold dead hands.

Marlin 39A is the way to go. 45 Colt is fun, but pricier than the .22lr to feed. If it is just for plinking, think .22lr

Mr. Red you are right on. My first rifle was a 39A when I was 13..Then my next was my fav deer rifle my Marlin 336C in 30/30. Both rock!
Link Posted: 9/30/2002 1:48:56 PM EST
I am very fond of the Marlin rifles and prefer them to the Winchester for both looks and function. A good first lever gun would be any one of the various pistol calibers or the tried and true 30-30. I would love to have a new Model 336 with the stainless finish. Beautiful guns indeed.
Link Posted: 9/30/2002 3:03:13 PM EST
Hmmmm, thanks for the Marlin suggestions. Looks like I need to go to a few gunshops this weekend so I can compare
Link Posted: 9/30/2002 3:26:55 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/30/2002 3:42:57 PM EST

Originally Posted By Aimless:
I'll bet most people are going to say they prefer Marlin over winchester no matter what the caliber...

What does the Marlin have over the Winchester?

Link Posted: 9/30/2002 5:55:55 PM EST
marlin comes apart easyer in my experiance.
Link Posted: 9/30/2002 6:04:29 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/30/2002 6:07:17 PM EST
My brother just bought a Marlin 1894 rifle in .45 Colt for SASS matches. Sweet!
Link Posted: 9/30/2002 6:15:37 PM EST
Well.. Get both! I have a 1950's Marlin in 35rem. I shoot cast lead over 6grs of unique. Its a day long blast. The Winchester is a top ejecting 30-30 which I use cast bullets over 30gr of substitute BP. Both have forward mounted red dot sights (B-Square) out over the barrel/mag tube about 4" from the muzzle.

Both are a lot of fun, and I mucho reloading for. You cannot put a scope on the winchester unless its the newer "Angle Eject" version.

The newer versions are wonderful but here out in the northeast where they are popular you can pick up one of each used for the price of one new one.

30-30 is a lame duck round If you can stay away from it. 38-55 is a better choice, same case bigger bullet.
Link Posted: 9/30/2002 6:24:21 PM EST
I'll buck the trend and vote for the Winchester 94. While the Marlin is well-built, has side ejection and makes scope mounting easier than the pre-Angle Eject 94's, the Marlins tend to be heavier in my experience, and I like lever actions to be light, handy and nimble. If you want to hunt deer, .30-30 or .44 magnum will do it. If you want to do a lot of plinking, cheap and easy, something chambered in .357 Magnum has a lot going for it, economy and cheap ammo wise. (Especially if you handload.) It's also a good small game caliber and can be loaded across a wide range of power and bullet styles to fit your needs of the moment. Winchester 92's are wonderful little rifles, very slick operating and fun to carry -- their slim, rounded receiver was tailor made to fit your hand, and they are just great.

For really nice build quality in a 94, look for a pre-WWII specimen, either the rifle or carbine. They don't always have to be too expensive if you shop around. The Gun List usually has several listed in varying conditions and price ranges. Once you get a really NICE Winchester 94 or 92, you'll never look back!!

If you want a really elegant, beautifully built rifle that will delight your soul every time you look at it or pick it up, look for a Winchester 64 (the original, rather than the re-issued 64-A). From memory, these were made from 1933 to 1957, and they made about 65,000 of them. It is a 94 action, pistol grip stock/lever, semi-beavertail forend (a little fuller than that on the carbine), 24" slender barrel with half-magazine. I've got one dating to the mid-1930's that is slick, sleek, elegant and VERY accurate with an original Lyman #1 tang sight. On the earlier Winchesters, little details like the internal fitting of components, tight wood to metal inletting, beautiful blue finish, front sight ramps milled integral to the barrel (on rifle models), etc. really speak of the quality of the good old days.

On the other hand, my first rifle, a 1976-vintage Win. 94 20" carbine, is presently undergoing surgery to become a 1/2 magazine Trapper. It'll have a 16.5" barrel with ramp front sight, button magazine (3 round capacity) with an original early Winchester rounded magazine tube cap added, a Lyman #45 receiver sight originally designed for a Win 95 (I got it cheap on Ebay!) that was re-machined to fit the 94, and a Pachmayr Old English recoil pad. It is also very accurate as it came out of the box, and is about to be even lighter, shorter and handier.

Look for both of these in an upcoming article in The Accurate Rifle, called "Classic .30 WCF: The Long and Short of It!"
Can you tell I like Winchesters?
Link Posted: 9/30/2002 6:25:01 PM EST
The Marlins are much tighter than Winchester in general - take any Winchester lever action and twist the lever side to side to see what I mean.

However, my prejudice against Winchesters in my youth was misplaced - both brands are good rifles. As pointed out above, the top eject Winchesters require either a side mount scope mounted to the reciever, or a long eye relief scope installed on the barrel (uncommon).

If you really want a neat lever action, find a pre WWII rifle in .30-30 or .32 Winchester Special. These rifles are built with a high degree of craftsmanship, iron furniture including the forearm tip, and available in rifle lengths. Other calibers are good also. Look for Model 94's, 1892's, 53's, , 64's and so on. I have two takedown rifles - a 1894 built in 1924, and a model 53 built in 1926 (or '27, I can't remember exactly).

The older guns also have surprisingly good accuracy and usually have good triggers.

The only knock against .32 WS is the lack of factory ammunition - you can buy all you want as long as it is 170 grain round nose soft points. That is the only load any manufacturer I am aware of manufactures for this caliber. Ballistically, it is dead nuts equal to the .30-30.

.32-20 is fun to shoot, but not of much use for large critters. The recoil and noise is low, especially in factory loads that tend to be mild for shooting in older revolvers safely.

Old '94's are plentiful and inexpensive, you just have to hunt around to find the one you want.
Link Posted: 9/30/2002 6:26:39 PM EST
I've shot a friend's 1894CP 357 magnum, it is a very nice gun and tons of fun to shoot.
Link Posted: 9/30/2002 6:31:21 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/30/2002 7:24:59 PM EST by Balzac72]

Talk about bucking a trend? How about a lever gun with a rotating bolt assembly? That can shoot as well as a bolt action? That takes spitzer style bullets and a detachable magazine? That in fit and finish is leagues above Marlin or Winchester?

I'd go look for the old style stock in 356(358?) and go shooting a true MODERN rendition of the bolt action. Not to mention, the trigger moves with the bolt, which leads to faster follow up shots. Lets not even talk about the superior trigger!


Link Posted: 9/30/2002 7:09:04 PM EST
I just went through this same debate a couple of weeks ago, you may still be able to find the post a few pages back. I just did what came natural..... I bought the Marlin 30-30, waited a week and then bought the 45-70 guide gun. I looked at both the Marlins and the Winchesters but decided I liked the Marlins better (for the design, function and feel). I like the way the lever action on the Marlin works as opposed to the Winchester and would rather have the ejection port on the side rather than the top. From all I have read about lever guns, you can't beat the Marlin for strength and reliability. You can buy some Buffulo Bore Magnum Loads and shoot them through the Marlin without fear of your barrel blowing up!

Link Posted: 9/30/2002 7:45:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/30/2002 7:46:24 PM EST by bobbyjack]
Ask Geronimo what he liked,probably a 76 or a 94 model Winchester!

Course he didn't want no stinking scope! Course he couldn't steal a marlin to compare with!

Link Posted: 9/30/2002 8:10:57 PM EST
I prefer the Marlin to the Winchester because of the crossblock safety. Haven't looked at the newest Winchesters but the design at least until about 10 years ago was to engage the safety you had to hold the hammer with your thumb, pull the trigger, then ease the hammer up to the safe position. Dammed thing always clicks too when you ease it back to fire.

I'd still take a BLR over either one.

If you were more interested in a straight grip I'd suggest you fired a few rounds out of a friends straight-gripped rifle first but for you it's a non-issue. I've seen a couple of people where recoil from a Winchester 94 in .30-30 caused the hand holding the straight grip to punch them in the nose.
Link Posted: 10/1/2002 2:51:27 AM EST
Winchester Model 94 Trapper in 44 Magnum- all purpose utility gun
Link Posted: 10/1/2002 3:30:31 AM EST
I've been doing the "lever-action" thing for about three years of intense Cowboy Action Shooting.

I LOVE my Marlins!
I use the longer barelled .45colt model. It holds 13 rounds and can be "topped off" at anytime. I load my own and can shoot "mouse-fart" cowboy loads or load "WHAMMO" heavy loads or anything in between, the Marlin handles them all.

My wife and daughter shoot the shorter Marlins in .357 mag but 95% of the time are shot with .38 specials. They love their Marlins too.
The .357's can be finicky about feeding too short .38 special loads.

I shot a Marlin Cowboy in 45-70 with a tang site last weekend. It was awesome!
I wouldn't want to be at 500 yards with someone shooting at me that knew how to work one of those!

Winchesters? Seen alot of problems with the standard model 94 actions in pistol caliber.
The 92's are nice but depend on manufacturer. (Italian or Brazil or Japan)
The 73's are decent but are an older design but some Cowboy's swear by them.

I have shot them all but still love my Marlins!
Link Posted: 10/1/2002 4:50:52 AM EST
Reason I chose the Winchester Model 94 Trapper in 44 Magnum over the Marlin 1894P in 44 Magnum:

(1) Minor reason -10 rounds capacity in the Winchester. 9 rounds capacity in the Marlin.

(2) Major reason- Aftermarket Ramline plastic stock and forearm available for the Winchester, no plastic stock and forearm available for the Marlin

Now if Marlin ever produces the 1894P in stainless and a plastic stock and forearm are available, the Marlin is in and the Winhester is out.

(Note: For the past several years, the Model 94 Winchesters have had the cross-bolt safety in addition to the half cock safety)
Link Posted: 10/1/2002 5:39:00 AM EST

Damn! Those are absolutely beautiful rifles.

Link Posted: 10/1/2002 7:45:44 AM EST
Marlin. Have one of the 444P models, a dream to shoot and packs serious punch out to 100 yards.

Seriously considering the 450 Marlin next, as it appears to be the better brother to the 45-70.

Link Posted: 10/1/2002 7:55:46 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/1/2002 8:18:22 AM EST
The only complaint I have of the Marlin stainless lever actions is that they don't offer a plastic stock and forearm option. What sense to produce weather resistant metal and then negate the remainder of the rifle's weather resistance with wood? Maybe the market is better for looks rather than overall functionality.
Link Posted: 10/1/2002 8:32:05 AM EST
I dislike lever guns in general, and do not really see any advantage over a bolt action (Wild West fantasies aside). The bolt gun will have better accuracy and trajectory, while otherwise being equal in virtually every other respect except magazine capacity. If I was in the market for a light carbine, I might consider the Winchester lever rifle. It is lighter and handier than the Marlin. When you get to a gun the size of the Marlin, why not just get a short action bolt gun?

Compare a Marlin 336 (30/30) to a Savage Sierra (308). They both have 20" barrels. The Sierra is only 1.5" longer and weighs 0.75 pounds less. It is going to have much better accuracy and almost double the range. Even the Winchester is no lighter than the Sierra, and the Marlin, Savage and Winchester are all in the same basic price range.

Lever-actions seems like a waste of money to me, but it is not my money so do as you please.

Link Posted: 10/1/2002 9:43:43 AM EST

Marlin over Winchester any day. I own both. True, the Marlin is heavier, but in the 45-70, who's complaining? The Marlins can easily handle a scope and they feel infinitely more 'tight' (read quality) than do the Winchesters. The Marlins are strong, and seem to be the top choice for most people when firing really hot loads.

Link Posted: 10/1/2002 9:58:13 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/1/2002 10:10:18 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/1/2002 10:11:31 AM EST by imposter]

Originally Posted By Aimless:
I think it's easier to keep a sight picture working the action on a lever for a second shot. I can't usually do that with a bolt gun. But I greatly prefer bolt guns myself.

I can't actually detect any difference between bolt and lever in this respect. But each bolt action is a little different. Some are very quick to reload and get back on target.

Lever action stocks tend to have so much drop that they handle recoil badly, which I find interferes with follow-up shots more than anything. While I think the Winchesters are pretty little guns, they are really quite a handful with that stock. Marlins are a little better in this regard (and they are heavier), but still not as good as your average modern bolt action.
Link Posted: 10/1/2002 11:36:11 AM EST
If it were me, I would get one of the Cimarron Arms Model 1873 Winchester rifles with the 20" barrel, in either .357 or .45LC. I love the look of the '73s. I know it's not as strong an action as the 92's or 94's, but still it is a classic rifle.

One day when I have the ~$800 saved up I will have to get one.

Link Posted: 10/1/2002 11:56:57 AM EST

Originally Posted By SHIVAN:
Marlin. Have one of the 444P models, a dream to shoot and packs serious punch out to 100 yards.

Seriously considering the 450 Marlin next, as it appears to be the better brother to the 45-70.


i dont c the point of 450 marlin. with a Modern lever action 45-70 not a sharps of course. just use buffalu boar or roll your own magnum 45-70.
Link Posted: 10/1/2002 12:31:18 PM EST
Has anyone tried the Puma 454 Casull?


Can you shoot 45LC in it?

It says you can mount a scope but I looked at one and couldn't figure out how...

I think it would be good to have the Puma and a Ruger SuperRedhawk in 454 also.

Thanks for any info,
Link Posted: 10/1/2002 1:08:36 PM EST
Winchesters are made in Japan.
Marlin 100% made in USA.
Winchesters have lousy triggers since they went to the cross bolt safety.
My only problem with Marlin is that their Micro Groove rifling will not shoot lead bullets. Only a consideration with "pistol calibers" I know. Their "cowboy" guns solved this with std rifling.
Iown both, but given the choice, I'll take a Marlin every time.
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