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Centerfire Rifles - Semiautomatic or Gas Operated Centerfire rifles, carbines and other gas operated rifles.

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  #1  
Old 06-03-2009, 12:03 PM
KevMorris KevMorris is offline
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Default Lever Action Rifles in .357 / .38 Special

I've been thinking about getting a Lever Action Rifle in a cheap to shoot caliber like the .38 Special or .357 Magnum.

I know of the Marlin 1894c. Are there others I should be considering?
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:07 PM
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Puma also makes them.

http://www.legacysports.com/products...ma_m92m86.html

I've never had any experience with them and cannot vouch for their quality when compared to Marlin. My Dad has a Marlin .38/.357 that has been a good shooter for years...
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:17 PM
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Check out Bud's gun shop online. A lot of what they offer is out of stock however.
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:26 PM
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I love my Henry Big Boy ( http://henryrepeating.com/h006_bigboy.cfm ). Any bunny size target is in danger out to about 100 yards(maybe a tad more). Besides, it's just plain pretty with the brass reciever and barrel strap.

And, it eats both .38 and .357!
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  #5  
Old 06-03-2009, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5hundo View Post
Puma also makes them.

http://www.legacysports.com/products...ma_m92m86.html

I've never had any experience with them and cannot vouch for their quality when compared to Marlin. My Dad has a Marlin .38/.357 that has been a good shooter for years...
I've had a Rossi 92 carbine since 1982 it is the same model is the same as the Puma which is a copy of the Winchester 92. Excellent little lever carbine. I had the 20" barrel cut to 16.25" and it is about as handy as a long barreled pistol. I like it much better than the Marlin, the action is much smoother and the weapon is lighter.
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  #6  
Old 06-03-2009, 1:27 PM
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I have a Rossi in 44 Mag and I like it.
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Old 06-03-2009, 1:49 PM
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Default I've been looking into levers too. This is what I've found out so far.

The Rossi 1892 is the Brazilian made version of the Winchester '92 (think Brazilian made copy of the 1911 like Springfield GI/MilSpec). Of all the lever actions this is reputed to be the strongest being able to handle stout hand loads as well as factory loads from Buffalo Bore.
Rossi also made 1892's for Navy Arms (not sure if they do anymore), EMF, and Puma. Puma now gets theirs made in Italy but cost almost twice as much. Supposedly better polished internals and better wood. The base Rossi 92's supposedly have kinda rough actions out of the box but can be cleaned up. Although I never thought I'd buy a Rossi anything I'd buy an 1892 by Rossi after shooting one. Bud's Gunshop still has some Rossi made Puma's in stock as well as the Italian versions. Gallery of Guns has Rossi's. Winchester hasn't made 1892's in a very long time. You can find Winchester 1894's on the used market but they tend to be more finicky with .357 because it was orginally built for rifle cartridges.

Henry Big Boys are really nice looking and made in the U.S. But Big Boys are heavy (almost 9lbs) vs 1892's (5-7 lbs) and they don't have one with a 16" barrel. Very slick actions but I dont' think they're based on any actual historical lever action. Nice to shoot at the range but supposedly not as popular with cowboy action shooters mainly because of weight.

Then there's the Uberti 1873 which is made in Italy (I believe). Very nice historically accurate arms but not strong enough for modern .357 Mag loads. Its generally recommended you shoot .38's. The woods they use are nice and color case frames give them almost heirloom quality look to them.

Remember to only use flat shaped cartridges/bullets in lever actions. No sharp pointy bullets unless its a Hornady flex tip.

Last edited by ianS; 06-03-2009 at 1:58 PM..
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  #8  
Old 06-03-2009, 2:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smle-man View Post
I've had a Rossi 92 carbine since 1982 it is the same model is the same as the Puma which is a copy of the Winchester 92. Excellent little lever carbine. I had the 20" barrel cut to 16.25" and it is about as handy as a long barreled pistol. I like it much better than the Marlin, the action is much smoother and the weapon is lighter.
I think the prices on those are a little better than the Marlins, as well....

Now, if only they made them in .41 Mag, we'd be in business. I've been looking for a .41 Mag lever gun for about a year now. They pop up sporadically on Gun Broker but aside from that, they're impossible to find!!!
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  #9  
Old 06-03-2009, 2:03 PM
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Marlin's in .357 Magnum in general seem to be difficult to find. They're very popular with cowboy action shooters.
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  #10  
Old 06-03-2009, 2:11 PM
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I have a Puma M92 in .357. I really like it.

Pluses:
Lightweight
Slim design makes it feel smaller than it is
Quite accurate even with a very heavy trigger
Smooth action(once I got it well lubed)
Low recoil, even with potent .357 rounds

Minuses:
Cost more than I wanted to pay, but I got it anyway
Trigger could use some lightening(it's not really a target rifle, but I'd like it lighter)
Mine won't cycle .38s(they are just a tad too short or something)
The action almost completely locked up before I figured out how to get lube in there(my fault, not the gun)
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  #11  
Old 06-03-2009, 2:13 PM
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i have a rossi 92 in 38/357. it was nice when it was working fine. i broke the firing pin. now, it just sits in my safe. i should pay $40 for a new firing pin and get it replaced.
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  #12  
Old 06-03-2009, 3:11 PM
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I have a win 94 AE in 357 mag. It is a nice rifle, I bought it wanting to re chamber it in 357 maximum for ****s and giggles. From what I have read, it is the only 357 lever gun that has a long enough and strong enough action to do it.
That project is still on the back burner, but the conversion would just take a reamer and adjusting the feed ramps for the longer cartridge.
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  #13  
Old 06-03-2009, 4:00 PM
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go with Uberti. I have a uberti 66 carbine in 45lc and i love it. The quality, fit and finish are excellent and is way more accurate than i thought it could be. I would honestly say the quality is close to that of my pre '64 winchester model 94.
only two down sides, the price is about 1000 and it does seem a little heavy.
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  #14  
Old 06-03-2009, 4:52 PM
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I own a Puma 92 in .454 Casull.

As others have mentioned, it is a nice, light, handy rifle. The low weight is actually a problem for me, as recoil is a bit harsh with full-power loads, but it IS a Casull

Mine feeds .454 and .45 LC no problem, even though .45 LC is "not recommended," due to the possibility of leaving carbon fouling that could interfere w/.454 cartridges. Might be the same for a .357/.38, so just keep it clean, and shoot your .357's first.

The only weird thing about the gun I don't like is the safety. It's a little "tab" on top of the bolt assembly that can be easily turned "On" and "Off" easily. Too easily for my tastes. I bought this particular rifle for camping in the Sierras (lions, tigers and bears), and would really be bummed if the safety worked itself into the "Off" position at a realliy inconvenient moment. Plus, it is truly the epitome of "inaccesible with a proper firing grip," unless your thumb is 6" long and triple-jointed. Very easy to modify, though it's never recommended to mess with the safety evices of firearms. Or so I've heard.

Last edited by DarkHorse; 06-03-2009 at 4:54 PM.. Reason: What?
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  #15  
Old 06-03-2009, 5:11 PM
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Kevin, random question, are you in construction?
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  #16  
Old 06-03-2009, 5:33 PM
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A nice feature of the Marlin'94 is that with its side ejection action easy to add a scope if you ever want to. Williams makes a nice peep sight that screws into the scope mount holes on the top of the receiver ($35). It gives added sight radius and a better sight pic for me, so now I can get a 3" group at 100 yds. The Win & Puma are top eject so ugraded sights or scope are not so easy.
FWIW you can load 357 hotter for a rifle than your revolver (if you have one - just don't mix them up) I get 158g to 1800 fps and 125g to 2000 fps on the chrono.
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Old 06-03-2009, 5:54 PM
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I was at a Big 5 just before Christmas and they had a Marlin lever action in
.357/.38 for a great price and I had a nagging feeling that I should buy it. But I ignored the feeling and didn't. Now I can't find it anywhere, especially for the price it was at (well under $400 I believe).
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  #18  
Old 06-03-2009, 6:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkHorse View Post
I own a Puma 92 in .454 Casull.


The only weird thing about the gun I don't like is the safety. It's a little "tab" on top of the bolt assembly that can be easily turned "On" and "Off" easily. Too easily for my tastes. I bought this particular rifle for camping in the Sierras (lions, tigers and bears), and would really be bummed if the safety worked itself into the "Off" position at a realliy inconvenient moment. Plus, it is truly the epitome of "inaccesible with a proper firing grip," unless your thumb is 6" long and triple-jointed. Very easy to modify, though it's never recommended to mess with the safety evices of firearms. Or so I've heard.
What do you think of using super glue to keep it in the off position? As a cheap quick fix.
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Old 06-03-2009, 7:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevMorris View Post
I've been thinking about getting a Lever Action Rifle in a cheap to shoot caliber like the .38 Special or .357 Magnum.

I know of the Marlin 1894c. Are there others I should be considering?
Having owned the Marlin in 357/38 for three years, I would not consider another option. I like it that much. It will be the last gun I ever part with. With American Eagle or PMC factory 158gr loads, all shots touch at 25 yards. I plink small tumbleweeds at 200 yards with it.

The cambering is a great companion to a 357 revolver. Out of the carbine's barrel, it is in the 30-30 class when hand loaded with Lil'Gun.
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  #20  
Old 06-03-2009, 9:31 PM
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I have a Winchester 1892 (from 1893) that was converted to 357 in the 50's or so.
It's a nice and slick action.
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Old 06-03-2009, 9:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5hundo View Post
Now, if only they made them in .41 Mag, we'd be in business. I've been looking for a .41 Mag lever gun for about a year now. They pop up sporadically on Gun Broker but aside from that, they're impossible to find!!!
Marlin has made two different runs of 41mag lever guns.
One run in 1989 and another run around 2005 or so.

I have one of the 1989 guns as a companion to my Blackhawk.
I still have not shot the Marlin and I think I have had it for 5 years or more.
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  #22  
Old 06-03-2009, 9:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
Marlin has made two different runs of 41mag lever guns.
One run in 1989 and another run around 2005 or so.

I have one of the 1989 guns as a companion to my Blackhawk.
I still have not shot the Marlin and I think I have had it for 5 years or more.
I've been looking for one for a while, to no avail.

Any chance of switching barrels on a .44 Mag model to make it work with .41 mag?
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Old 06-08-2009, 9:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
Marlin has made two different runs of 41mag lever guns.
One run in 1989 and another run around 2005 or so.

I have one of the 1989 guns as a companion to my Blackhawk.
I still have not shot the Marlin and I think I have had it for 5 years or more.
What about building one?

Could I use an action like this to make one myself?

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=130810674
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Old 06-08-2009, 1:46 PM
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I have a Winchester 94AE (angle eject) in .357 and I love it. They don't make 'em anymore but millions of Winchester 94's and Marlin 1894C's have been made so if you spend a little time looking you can probably find a good used one at a reasonable price. Jeff Quinn at Gunblast.com wrote a pretty good review and here's a link: http://www.gunblast.com/Winchester-Ranger357.htm You can also find just about everything you could possibly want to know about lever guns on Chuck Hawk's website: www.chuckhawks.com, and on Paco Kelly's site at: www.leverguns.com

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:19 PM
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I have a Marlin 1894c I purchased at Big 5 last year. I love it! It is nice to shoot, light, accurate, and looks great. It is simple to work on and easy to clean. They are tough to find though, and I don't know why. I would never consider buying anything other than a Marlin. There are lots of parts/accessories available that make it easy to modify it in a way that works for your particular situation. It's worth the wait as you look!
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Old 08-16-2009, 6:43 PM
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atasty39 wondering what big 5 you went to fir your lever
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  #27  
Old 08-16-2009, 6:59 PM
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The 357 leverguns are nice. Not my cup of tea, but nice if you like the whole revolver/carbine combo idea.

If you were to get one, I would recommend a company that produces a replica of the Winchester 92 action. The Winchester 94 was designed for the long 30-30 rifle round and all they did with the new pistol caliber 94AE models was rechamber it for pistol rounds. The 92 action was designed specifically for the pistol length cartridges.
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Old 08-16-2009, 7:13 PM
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I have 2 Marlin 1894's one with checkered stock and scope and one plain with out scope and I really need to take them out and shoot 'em.
I have around 200 rounds though the scoped one and none through the plain one, it just sits in the safe asking if it is it's turn yet and well I grab something else and close the door. I know I'm bad but oh well I like my 22's more right now, they're affordable to shoot.
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Old 08-16-2009, 9:55 PM
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Love my Marlin but perfer the 45-70 round way more versatile
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Old 08-16-2009, 10:30 PM
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Default Puma/Rossi's are excellent and affordable

The newer Chiappa/Puma's are quite a bit more expensive, although cosmetically, nicer guns. The '92 action is the strongest pistol caliber lever action and is bombproof. The earlier actions('66, '73) aren't quite as rugged.
Check out the specials at Big 5. They always seem to have some 1894 marlins for around $400 on special.
Mine is in .45 colt and it recoils like a *****cat, is accurate out to 100 yards or so, and weighs less than 6 lbs! It is fun to shoot and beginners love it.
The only thing I don't like is that crappy, add on, safety on top. Useless!
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
The only thing I don't like is that crappy, add on, safety on top.
Steve's Gunz can fix that right up for you for $40.



Also, the problem with not feeding .38 Special is fairly common and a competent gunsmith can fix it with a shim under the right cartridge guide rail.
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