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Posted: 8/10/2004 7:27:17 PM EST

I've been thinking about getting a lever-action for some time now. However, I'm not that familiar with the makes/models out there or the calibers that lever-actions tend to come in. Who's a good manufacturer? Marlin? Winchester?

Does anyone make a .357 lever-action? Does the .357 have decent ballistics out of one? If not .357, then what would be a (relatively) common caliber would be good. Something with decent power against man or beast. :)


Link Posted: 8/10/2004 9:37:41 PM EST
The only lever action I have is a 30-30 Win. 1894, receiver safety. Great rifle!
Link Posted: 8/11/2004 2:21:50 AM EST
I have a pre-64 Winchester 30-30 and a Marlin Outfitter in .444 Marlin. The Marlin is OUTSTANDING!. They also make a 480 Ruger version if you like the pistol calibers. I like a short and handy lever action.

Link Posted: 8/11/2004 2:43:35 AM EST
Yes, Marlin makes handgun calibers in their lever actions. Some have the octagon shaped barrels which look too cool, IMO.

Check out their web site for a complete listing.
Link Posted: 8/11/2004 4:10:30 AM EST
Marlin .30-30
Link Posted: 8/11/2004 4:49:01 AM EST
Tagged.

Because I don't have a lever action rifle yet.
Link Posted: 8/11/2004 4:58:06 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/11/2004 5:00:28 AM EST by wildearp]
Do not buy a Winchester Model 94 for a pistol cartridge. More than likely you will have feed problems like many folks I know. I am a SASS member and have played the game for years.

Marlin makes a nice rifle in .357. After break-in, they are exceptionally smooth. Rossi makes a good one too, in the design of the Model 92 Winchester, which feeds pistol cartridges too. I have owned 3 Rossis and three Marlins. The Marlin is the Cowboy II model with a straight (non pistol grip) stock and a 24 inch barrel. I also shoot the Marlin 1895 in .45-70 and the 1897 in .22LR. I expect these guns will never wear out, and I shoot them a lot.

Navy Arms markets the Rossi with their name. Later model Rossis have a stupid safety on the top slide. If the marlin safety bothers you, you can remove it and buy a plug for the hole.

Uberti makes the 1873 and 1866 Winchester copies in .357. These are fine rifles, but they are pricey. I think Navy Arms, and possibly EMF markets the Uberti with their name on them.

Balistics of the .357: From the Winchester data book, I load a125 grain jacketed hollow point with the max load of 296 Winchester powder with Winchester magnum primers. It exceeds 1800 feet per second and it is a real attention getter. IM if you have more questions.
Link Posted: 8/11/2004 5:00:32 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/11/2004 6:19:41 AM EST

Ok, thanks for the info so far. I had just thrown the .357 question out there for commonality of ammo with my S&W 686. Seems like a lot of lever-actions are available in 30-30 and I seem to recall seeing a couple available at my local FFL in this caliber as well. Can anyone tell me about the 30-30? I may just go for that instead if it's more available and has decent ballistics.
Link Posted: 8/11/2004 11:35:43 AM EST
.30-30 is a popular deer cartridge. I killed...6...deer I think with it. I always shot 170 or 180 grain soft points. Pretty effective. Soft points will fragment sometimes when they hit bone. I don't really consider it a long range round, but it's a lot better than .357 for long range. I never shot anything past 50 or 60 yards with mine, but I think it would probably be effective out to 150 easily. I always felt that loading it was a pain. The little trapdoor that you have to push down was sort of sharp. It would grab my fingernail if I wasn't careful. My Marlin was a solid gun. Had the cross-bolt safety (I think that's the name for it), hammer had half-cock and full-cock positions. If you lived close enough, I'd give ya a couple boxes of ammo. I traded mine in on an 870. Which I then traded in on an 1187.

J
Link Posted: 8/11/2004 3:43:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By MaineAR:
I have a pre-64 Winchester 30-30 and a Marlin Outfitter in .444 Marlin. The Marlin is OUTSTANDING!. They also make a 480 Ruger version if you like the pistol calibers. I like a short and handy lever action.




I have a pre-64 94 too. Love it. Everyone who shoots it loves it. Very smoth light handy rifle. Would not waste my time on a new one. Can't stand that STUPID safety. Finish isn't as nice as the older ones. Fingered a Marlin 30-30 but never fired one. Seems like a nice rifle. My next lever gun will prolly be a .357. Not sure which one yet.
Link Posted: 8/11/2004 4:49:42 PM EST
I have a marlin stainless in .44magnum. I use it as my camping/tent gun. It holds 10 plus 1 and if you can't get the job done with 11 rounds of .44 mag then you can't get the job done!

I love the little carbine, it's light and handy and very low maintenence. It also hits my shoulder as hard or harder than just about any of the rifles I have.

My best advise since they come in such diverse configurations is to decide on what you want to use it for and then go buy the one that has the most features you need or want.

Get one, you won't regret it.
Link Posted: 8/11/2004 6:51:31 PM EST
Marlin owns. I intend to get one of there lever-actions eventaly, either a .45 acp or a .22lr.

The rifles will run between 500-1000.
Link Posted: 8/12/2004 4:08:43 AM EST
Your un_ American if you don't own a lever gun! I own a Marlin 336C in 30/30 but I looking for a 357 to pair up with my revolvers.
Link Posted: 8/12/2004 8:27:30 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/12/2004 8:46:26 AM EST by imposter]
I have a little 94 carbine ("Trapper") in 44 Mag. Very compact and light; about the same as an M4. It is a pleasure to carry. The magazine holds 9 rounds. The ballistics are not too bad; it is about a 150 yard gun. The muzzle energy is just a bit less than a 30/30. IIRC it was about $300 new (Big 5). It is a very nice looking little gun:

It is kind of like an SKS, except that it is made in the US and is does not look like crap.
Link Posted: 8/12/2004 8:44:26 AM EST
I owned one of the Trappers in ,357/.38, and never experienced any loading problems with the gun. It was a lot of fun, and cheap to shoot!
Link Posted: 8/12/2004 8:45:33 AM EST
I vote Marlin...

Excellent companion to a revolver...use different loads in the rifle (slower powder).

MT

Link Posted: 8/12/2004 11:32:29 AM EST
Marlin!
Link Posted: 8/12/2004 11:54:55 AM EST
I have a Marlin 94 in 22 mag which is great. I also had a Marlin 336CS 30.30 for about 15 years which shot great.

A friend's father had the Marlin 336 in 35Rem which he felt shot a little flatter & had a little more punch. I never used that round myself so I can't speak on that. He used that gun for deer for many years, most of the blueing had been polished off the lower part of the receiver by his glove from carrying it so much.

CDKayak
Link Posted: 8/12/2004 1:02:52 PM EST
Almost ALL of the lever action jams that I've seen at SASS matches involved using .38 Specials in Marlin .357 rifles. Marlins are infamous for FTF if the rifle is canted while working the action. Notice that Marlin has brought out the "1894CBC" in .38 Spl just for the SASS crowd. The Rossi/LSI copy of the Winchester 1892 also has this same FTF problem with .38SPl in .357 and .44Spl in .44 Magnum. My Rossi .44 would stovepipe every 4th round while using .44 Specials but ran like sewing machine with the full length ..44 Magnum cartridges. It is now common in SASS for the .38Spl to reloaded with the bullet out further so that it is .357 length to avoid this problem

Moral of the story, if you get a pistol caliber lever action then shoot whatever is stamped on the barrel or you're going to have problems.

wganz

Link Posted: 8/12/2004 1:13:42 PM EST
I would look for a Savage 99 in 308, it has a Rotary Magazine and works flawless. Otherwise get a Marlin 336, unless you can find a Pre-64 Winchester
Link Posted: 8/13/2004 5:20:32 PM EST

Originally Posted By imposter:
I have a little 94 carbine ("Trapper") in 44 Mag. Very compact and light; about the same as an M4. It is a pleasure to carry. The magazine holds 9 rounds. The ballistics are not too bad; it is about a 150 yard gun. The muzzle energy is just a bit less than a 30/30. IIRC it was about $300 new (Big 5). It is a very nice looking little gun:
www.winchesterguns.com/prodinfo/catalog/images/534094m.jpg
It is kind of like an SKS, except that it is made in the US and is does not look like crap.



Now THAT is what I'm looking for. What make is it, that costs $300?

I have big plans for that. 16" carbine in .357 Mag:

Synthetic stocks
Threaded barrel
Supressor
scout mount scope or Aimpoint

It will be my 'Tactical Levergun' and should work great on just about every game in Texas. I will also then be able to share ammunition between my Ruger KGP141, which will be my hunting sidearm.
Link Posted: 8/14/2004 1:15:32 PM EST
Ive got a Marlin 444SS, obviously in .444 caliber. Kicks like a mule, and makes very large holes in whatever you shoot. I have tested the standard Remington 240gr soft flatpoint bullet on steel from mobile home frames and it will go thru 2 sheets and keep right on going. (each piece bout 1/8" thick)

This is the second Marlin I have had in .444 and thru hundreds of rounds, never a single misfire, jam or failure to feed.

They are kinda stiff when new, but they break in pretty quickly.
Link Posted: 8/14/2004 1:44:21 PM EST
When the hell is someone going to make a lever action in 500 S&W????
Link Posted: 8/14/2004 2:53:06 PM EST

Originally Posted By patrickcudd:
When the hell is someone going to make a lever action in 500 S&W????




oooooooooo.....I hadn't thought of that. That would be frickin' sweet stoked up with Cor-Bons!
Link Posted: 8/14/2004 3:04:56 PM EST
I just sold (shipped it today in fact) my Marlin 1894CS in .357. I loved that gun, but never got to use it for it's intended purpose. I bought it to be half of a truck gun combo to go with the S&W model 65 that I also just sold. I never got around to keeping either in the truck because I build, renovate and do additions to schools for a living, and can't have firearms at work. I still think a .357 revolver and levergun is the best combo for a vehicle.

My Marlin functioned flawlessly with both .357 and .38. Don't use fmj ammo in a levergun, as theoretically you could set off the catridges in the tube when the fmj strikes the primer of the shell in front of it. I've never seen it happen, and it may be bullshit, but better safe than sorry.

Ashley makes a ghost ring sight for leverguns that is superb. I never got around to installing one on mine for the reasons listed above. There is also a scout rail available if you want to mount some sort of optics. I intended to get a matte hardchrome and the ashley sight and be done with it. Optics would defeat the purpose for me.

Shooting from prone with a levergun takes some practice (obviously) so just be sure you get that practice before you rely on the gun to save your life.
Link Posted: 8/14/2004 3:26:11 PM EST

Originally Posted By norman74:
Don't use fmj ammo in a levergun, as theoretically you could set off the catridges in the tube when the fmj strikes the primer of the shell in front of it. I've never seen it happen, and it may be bullshit, but better safe than sorry.


That's not quite right. The bullets cannot be of the spitzer, i.e. pointed, variety for a tubular magazine. It makes no difference if they're FMJ. I have some FMJ 9mm right now (for example) that's all flat pointed.
Link Posted: 8/14/2004 8:14:33 PM EST
I have a marlin in 357 mag lever action. It has always worked fine and has never failed me. When i became a police officer I carried a S&W model 65 in 357 so I bought the lever action in 357 to keep in my squad since our department didnt supply us with patrol rifles. The area I patrol is mostly rural so it was nice to have something in the same caliber as my handgun. Now I have upgraded to a sig 45 and a ar15 at my exspense though.
Link Posted: 8/16/2004 5:14:54 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/16/2004 5:20:35 AM EST by imposter]

Originally Posted By Matthew_Q:
Now THAT is what I'm looking for. What make is it, that costs $300?


It is a Winchester Model 94 Trapper. The box said it was the the "Ranger" model, which I do not think is something that appears in the Winchester catalog. The difference is probably that the stock is beech or some other kind of hardwood rather than Walnut. Anyway, they stain it dark and it looks good. I got mine at Big 5. They have them on sale every month or so for $299. Big 5 has a few stores in NW TX.

I have not shot it that much, but so far I have had zero feed problems.

They removed that awful crossbolt safety and replaced it with a safety on the tang. It has the saddle ring.
Link Posted: 8/16/2004 2:23:55 PM EST
I have a Marlin Guide Gun in .45-70...that thing's got some bite to it, to be sure. Mine is the uncompensated model.

I need to shoot it some more, and figure out the sights (which leaf setting is good for 50 yards, which one for 100, etc...the manual didn't say ), but I anticipating it being quite the handy rifle, once I break it in.

It's about the same size as an M1 Carbine and holds 4 rounds of .45-70 in it's tube, which should be enough to stop just about anything short of a charging adult elephant. That's some serious power.
Link Posted: 8/17/2004 11:11:16 PM EST
Marlin 1895 in 45-70 is all you ever need for anything.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 7:38:33 AM EST
I bought a Winchester 94 "Trapper" lever gun about 6 months ago from Sportsman's Warehouse for $350. I got it in .357 since my Jp Sauer & Sohn "Western" SAA was also chambered in .357. I wanted something that shot the same caliber. We've taken it to the range numerous times and put about 300+ rounds of .357 through it and 300+ rounds of .38 SPCL through it without any problems.

Winchester Model 94 "Trapper" Info

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