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

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  #1  
Old 06-20-2011, 9:25 AM
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Default Lever action rifle, .357?? .44 Mag?? .45 Long Colt???

Anyone have a favorite lever action rifle? If so, who makes it and what caliber to you like to shoot? No hunting here, just a for fun rifle. But, keep in mind, I may want to purchase a pistol in the future that would use the same caliber ammunition.

Thanks for any opinions.

-Mudrigg
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Old 06-20-2011, 9:35 AM
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I'd like to do the same - I already have a .44, so I'm looking to get a Marlin 1894CB in the same chambering.
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Old 06-20-2011, 9:43 AM
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My current 357mag combo Marlin 1894CS and python 4"
one caliber takes care of the needs ..... My SHTF combo
Marlin 1894 is my favorite because it's the side ejection.
You can add scope or red dot for it but iron sight is dead on within 50 yard as well.
Winchester, Rossi, and Henry are top ejection....
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Old 06-20-2011, 9:54 AM
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+1 on the Marlin 1894CS

I just picked one up over a wk ago and it is a joy to shoot.

.38 Specials out of it feel more like .22LRs. It feels like I'm shooting a toy gun.
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:11 AM
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I own a Marlin .44 1894. .44 is my favorite pistol round, so I like it a lot.

My buddy got a .357 1894 and he's jazzed about it, like so many others. Cheap ammo, low recoil, ability to hunt deer & pig. Lots to be said for the 1894 in .357.

There are those that believe the .45 Colt is THE chambering and I tend to agree with them. Hand loading from the Ruger & TC section of the manuals gives you performance in excess of the .44, or light loading for a black powder feel, all with heavy downrange smashum.

I prefer the .44 because hot loaded .44 rounds can not end up in a revolver not chambered for high pressure. This is not true for .45 as there are plenty of older, weaker SAA revolvers that can grenade with the hotter loads.

Keeping ammo separate and well marked is the answer and many do this successfully.

Whatever you end up with, realize that on levers the bore tends to run fat, so whatever shoots well in the revolver might be a few thousandths small to shoot straight in the lever.
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudrigg View Post
Anyone have a favorite lever action rifle? If so, who makes it and what caliber to you like to shoot? No hunting here, just a for fun rifle. But, keep in mind, I may want to purchase a pistol in the future that would use the same caliber ammunition.

Thanks for any opinions.

-Mudrigg
Do you mean just from those choices you gave us?

If so, I suppose it would have to be .45 Colt because you can use the same ammo in the peacemaker.

However if I had my choice it would be .44-40 Winchester the original caliber for the 1873 and ballistically superior to the 45 Colt.
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Old 06-20-2011, 12:40 PM
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I have a Marlin 336XLR (.30-30) which is optimized for the Hornady polymer tipped pointed bullets. Of course it will shoot conventional .30-30 bullets as well. The beauty of .30-30 is that the ammo is available everywhere, should the SHTF, and the caliber will get the job done on anything. This rifle, with the Hornady bullets, is an honest 200 yard rifle, not a "brush gun". Yes, I realize it's not a pistol caliber, but if you want a lever gun that you could someday hunt almost anything with except the big brown bears, go for it.

It's also easy to mount a scope on a Marlin because they're all side-ejecting.
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Old 06-20-2011, 1:11 PM
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45-70 Marlin.
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  #9  
Old 06-20-2011, 1:19 PM
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I have Stainless Steel Marlin 1894's in .44/.44mag & .38Special/.357mag...

....partnered of course with a S&W 686+4" & 629 Classic 5"
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  #10  
Old 06-20-2011, 1:35 PM
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I love my 1894 in .44!
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Old 06-20-2011, 1:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan0320 View Post
My current 357mag combo Marlin 1894CS and python 4"
one caliber takes care of the needs ..... My SHTF combo
Marlin 1894 is my favorite because it's the side ejection.
You can add scope or red dot for it but iron sight is dead on within 50 yard as well.
Winchester, Rossi, and Henry are top ejection....
Plus 1 on this, I just don't have a Python I have a ruger GP 100 to go with my 1894 cs. Nice combo.

My step son has a .44mag super blackhawk and 1894 in the same calibre. Very nice too.
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  #12  
Old 06-20-2011, 2:48 PM
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If you are looking for one in a pistol caliber, pick one based the pistol caliber you would prefer to shoot in a handgun. I was a Cowboy Action Shooter for the longest time, and my handguns are in .45 Colt. So I went with a 1894 Ranger in .45 Colt. Dandy brush gun. Fun to shoot. If I were not planning on getting into cowboy shooting, I would likely go with the .357, simply because there are more choices when it comes to handguns, and the ammo is cheaper. If you were going to add rifle cartridges to your list of choices, the .30-30 is available everywhere, and makes a decent deer rifle out to about 200 yards or so. The .35 Remington is also a very nice cartridge, but more expensive, and harder to find. .45-70 is a nice round for thumping things need a bit more convincing about their own mortality. And then you have a whole host of oddball, semi-obsolete or obsolete cartridges out there for lever guns like .375 Win, .38-55, .25-35, .32 Win. Special, .348, etc...

Your best bet is to get one and play with it. If you like lever actions, more are bound to follow.

-Mb
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  #13  
Old 06-20-2011, 3:34 PM
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Oh if we are talking about rifle calibers, I recommend the 30-30 by far. There is just no comparison between the pistol calibers and the 30-30--even the mighty .44 Magnum takes a back seat to the 30-30. But I digress.

The OP wants to know about calibers that are useable in both a rifle and a revolver. Since he is talking about "just for fun" and not hunting, I recommend the .44-40. It is the original round for the "Rifle that Won the West" and recoil is comparable to the .45 ACP. If you don't reload I recommend the .357 Magnum for ammo commonality.
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  #14  
Old 06-20-2011, 5:16 PM
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Default Lever action carbines

I'm looking into purchase of a Marlin 1894PG in .357 magnum. 10 round tube mag, side ejection, available in stainless steel, semi-pistol grip (presumably the "PG" after 1894). Anyone have one of these and what do you like/not like about it? I need a fairly long LOP to be comfortable, anyone using recoil pads to increase the LOP to over 13.5"?

-R
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Old 06-20-2011, 8:19 PM
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i already have a win. model 94 in .30-30 but if I bought another it would be .44. They are both great rounds.
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Old 06-20-2011, 8:37 PM
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I'm getting into CAS so I'm picking up a pair of 6 guns in 45 Colt and then a lever gun either a Marlin 1894 or Win 92. I would like to shoot Wild Bunch and military category as well so the 45 is a must. If not I'd consider 357 as it's very popular for all the right reasons, ammo, versatility, stopping power, you can shoot 38 Special. My buddy also shoots 45 Colt in CAS and we will be reloading together so a common caliber makes sense. I'm not worried about sticking high test loads in a weak gun as all my cowboy loads will be distinguishable by the projectile, just like full house loads will be something different like Hornady XTP's.

The biggest upside to .44 is that Marlin 1894 can be had in .44 Mag for a lot less than 357 or 45 as these guns are mostly used for CAS, and 44 isn't popular in that sport.
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Old 06-20-2011, 8:42 PM
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I have a Browning .357 lever and like it. Like said before .38's feel like shooting a .22 but the gun show reloads are real cheap and I do like being able to shoot .357 or .38 in both my pistol or rifle. The 2 rounds are so different it is like having 2 different rifles and 2 different pistols.
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Old 06-21-2011, 6:17 AM
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I have a couple of Winchesters one in 30-30 , and a trapper in .357, I really enjoy the both of them but have to admit I lean toward the .357 just a real fun gun to shoot and real easy to let the younger kids learn to shoot it due to lack of recoil.
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Old 06-21-2011, 6:28 AM
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Mine is a Winchester .357 Mag carbine Trapper paired with a Ruger GP100.

I also have a Marlin .45-70 Guide Gun that has a few upgrades
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:21 PM
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Great feedback everyone, I really appreciate the posts!!! I already have a .308 and an .338 lapua is on the way, so for hunting, I would use the .308. I am now leaning toward the Marlin in .44 both for the side ejection as well as the interest in getting a .44 pistol sometime down the road. (I already have a .357 S&W 2.5" but I think I would like a bit more power behind the loads on the rifle)

Thanks again,
-Mudrigg
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Old 06-21-2011, 2:50 PM
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I have a few lever guns and my .44 is my favorite shooter.
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Old 06-21-2011, 2:51 PM
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I have had one of each the on I kept is the Rossi in 45 LC it is a large loop lever action.
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Old 06-21-2011, 4:46 PM
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Rossi 357 Lever 24 inch and S&W model 27 5 inch blue....both have been great so far. The only other hand gun calibers I've got are 22/9mm/45 acp and since I've never had a long colt 45 or 44 the rifle makes no sense to me. I'm also "stuck" on trying to keep my calibers limited...bout ready to dump 9mm.....
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudrigg View Post
Anyone have a favorite lever action rifle? If so, who makes it and what caliber to you like to shoot? No hunting here, just a for fun rifle. But, keep in mind, I may want to purchase a pistol in the future that would use the same caliber ammunition.

Thanks for any opinions.

-Mudrigg
My 1894C in .357 mag./38 special is a great rifle. The cost of ammo is less in this caliber and yet you get great performance. I have a 1x4 leaupold on mine and it provides great accuracy out to 125yrds. Beyond that, you get into Kentucky windage.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:14 PM
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I'd love a marlin 1894 .357 but the only place I've seen one in over a year is on gunbroker, so I'm picking up a .45-70 on monday Though If someone wants to sell me one i could be talked into it
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:31 PM
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http://www.bighornarmory.com/products/rifle.php

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Old 06-22-2011, 4:09 AM
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I'll go with the carbine:



to complement my 6.5" S&W

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Old 06-22-2011, 5:33 AM
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I love my 1894 in .44!
me too, very nice rifle
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Old 06-22-2011, 7:29 AM
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Are the Marlin's in .357 hard to find then? I'd like one to match my Colt Trooper in .357.

The stainless version would be nice.
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Old 06-22-2011, 2:43 PM
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They go for $900-1000 on gunbroker.
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Old 06-22-2011, 3:27 PM
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.30-30 Yes, I know it wasn't asked about specifically. But it is definitely my fun to shoot!
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Old 06-22-2011, 3:52 PM
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22'' barrel seems unnessecary for a round that will get its velocity from the first ten inches. All thats nice is less muzzle blast
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Old 06-22-2011, 5:39 PM
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My vote goes towards a .44
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Old 06-22-2011, 5:48 PM
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I think someone makes one in .454 Casull.

That let's you load some pretty heavy hitting ammo and go down to .45 long colt cowboy action loads when you want a creampuff.
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Old 06-22-2011, 6:23 PM
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In a pistol caliber lever action, I think the Marlin 1894C (38/357) is the best of breed. It pairs nicely with my 686.
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Old 06-22-2011, 6:27 PM
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I have a lot of them but my favorate is the BLR 338 win mag.
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