Best lever guns in pistol caliber? [Archive] - Glock Talk


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05-20-2012, 00:44
Most of my guns are semi-autos, but I love working a bolt action and think lever actions look cool as hell. I want one in .44 magnum, something handy to carry in the woods.

Anyway, the choices include the Winchester 92, the Marlin 1894, the Henry Big Boy, the Puma Rossi.

I love love love the 1894 Cowboy, but it is pricey and the quality of new Marlins is known to be spotty.

The Henrys are tube-fed from the front, which doesn't seem very convenient (and would be a pain at the range for when I don't get to shoot it in the woods). They're also heavy.

The new Winchester 92s are pure sexiness, I'd almost be worried to ding it up in the woods. Expensive, but not moreso than the Henry or the Marlin Cowboy.

Then there's the older Winchester 92s...I see those pop up here in good condition for like 400-450 bucks, which is a lot cheaper than the new ones. Worth buying one and getting it slicked up by a good gunsmith? The 92s to field strip appear to be a nightmare but oh well.

Whatcha got in lever? Pics be nice. :supergrin:

05-20-2012, 00:49
I like my marlin a lot. Inspect the new ones in person as sometimes the stock fitment is **** and even the screws are buggered.

05-20-2012, 01:24
I don't know how easy they are to find or how much they go for these days, but I love my Winchester 94 Trapper in .44Mag. The safety on it is stupid but that's the worst thing I can say about it and you can just ignore it. Short, light and whippy describes it and it's a pleasure to shoot. I mostly shoot .44Sp cowboy loads in it, though it's an excellent swamp deer rifle shooting .44Mag.

05-20-2012, 05:17
I had a Marlin 1894S in .44 Magnum, and like a fool. . . . sold it to a friend.

I bought a Winchester '94 Trapper in .44 Magnum, for my son, the day he was born.
I bought it from a friend, that just didn't like it. He put 5 rounds through it. Period.
My son hasn't fired it, yet. That will change, soon!!

Not too long ago, I bought a NIB Marlin 1894CB in .44 Magnum.
I've not had time to shoot it, but, it is a "JM" rifle!
I have cleaned it and cycled it about 100 times. Slick. Very slick action.

05-20-2012, 06:32
Try to find a nice used Marlin. I had an 1894P that was great.

jolly roger
05-20-2012, 13:38
My Cowboy Limited 45 Colt Marlin will never leave my hands. Most excellent. Early one with 24 inch barrel.

05-20-2012, 14:05
I have a Winchester 92 saddle ring carbine in 357 magnum.
Most fun long gun I own by a long shot.
158 grain gas check lead SWC with 16 grains of 2400

05-20-2012, 14:36
I like the same type rifles also... The .44 mag in a long barrel has plenty of short range power for deer and such, and if your shooting in real close cover the .357 in a long barrel would work fine too with responsible marksmanship..

05-20-2012, 14:55
I got very lucky and found a Winchester trapper in .44. It's an angle-eject, but before the lawyertard safety

05-20-2012, 15:03
I recently purchased a new 1894 C and even though I am a hugh Marlin fan, this has the dreaded Remington barrel. Happily the fit and finish is as good or better than any Marlin I have ever owned. Action is slick and tight. A lot more accurate than I had expected. Trigger although a bit strong was smooth and crisp. After a Wolf spring kit installation, it is fantastic. I added a set of XS Ghost ring sites and it is definately a keeper. The walnut is beautiful and fit is perfect. A real fast handling smooth accurate gun with 357 mag or 38 spc.
Remington has been making firearms for a long time and I own 2 very sweet Rem bolt guns so I know they know how to do it so if this is an example of their work I am forced to beleive that the Hit or miss quality that has been reported by some was probably do to the transition between the to companies. This rifle has definately sold me and now I'm looking at getting another in 44 mag. The REP on the barrel definately wont stop me. :wavey:

05-20-2012, 16:06
Just sold someone local to me an 1894c with a JM stamp, non Remington barrel. I'll probably miss it later, but I shot it only once. I just don't shoot lever action.

05-20-2012, 16:39
Marlins are great.

05-20-2012, 16:40
I have a Remlin 94c picked it up at the end of last year and couldn't be happier. With the factory ironsights it is more accurate than I am and the fit and finish are just fine. The walnut is beatific and the bluing is perfect, very bold.

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05-20-2012, 16:43
Older Marlin 1894c

ray glock
05-20-2012, 16:53
Early Winchester 9422 or 9422M

05-20-2012, 17:09
To each his own. I like long guns in rifle calibers. 45-70 would be my choice. Love the Marlin look but really like non tube mags so it can be chambered in '06, 7 mag or whatever.

257 roberts
05-20-2012, 17:42
I had a Marlin in 357 mag and a 44mag(pre cross-bolt saftey) they were very good shooters (wished I still had them)

05-20-2012, 17:52
Do a search for the term/s "Marlin jam". Once you get that addressed, they're great guns for sure. Heavier than Winnies or their clones in either 92, or 94 format. The Rossi will be the handiest to carry. Lightest, sexiest, and can be found and readily had in s/s, if that matters to you. I'm working with a .357 now, and it's just dandy.

05-20-2012, 18:08
I have a Rossi carbine in .45 Colt that I use for NRA "Cowboy Silhouette" matches. It shoots very well, and surprisingly little recoil. I have even managed to win a few trophies with it.

05-20-2012, 19:41
Owned a Marlin in .44, shot all of them, and the Winchester 92 will be the 'handiest' as it is a Browning design specifically for pistol rounds.

The Marlins are a tiny bit heavier but i prefer them. A Marlin 1894 in .357 has effectively no recoil, though in .44 it smacks you quite good as they're still pretty light. I'm not a recoil wuss either, i've shot up to .416's.

05-20-2012, 20:03
A 44mag in a rifle has tremendous power. That big heavy, flat tipped bullet is wicked effective at transferring energy to the target. My personal experience with the 44mag in a Marlin lever gun has been that it seems to hit harder than what you'd expect. The heavy bullet also offers the advantage of allowing you to aim at the shoulders on a deer or hog and break them cleanly without the typical bloodshot or jellied tissue that often results from the higher velocity rounds.

I prefer the Marlin 1894, but any 44mag carbine is gonna hellacious on game.

05-20-2012, 21:22
.44WCF blackpowder cartridge - YouTube

Consider a reproduction 1873 Winchester carbine or rifle chambered in .44-40 WCF. Yes, it was made for blackpowder.

05-20-2012, 21:32

Sent from my 300 baud modem

05-20-2012, 22:25
.44WCF blackpowder cartridge - YouTube (

Consider a reproduction 1873 Winchester carbine or rifle chambered in .44-40 WCF. Yes, it was made for blackpowder.

I really want to get a Peacekeeper/Win73 combo in 44-40. It would be capable of taking deer and playing cowboy. But in reality is is just something I want.

05-21-2012, 07:24
Personally, I like marlins over the rest. I have tried winchester, ruger, rossi, puma, henry, etc.,, but the marlin simply fits/appeals to me more. Plus, it is a little easier/simple to detail strip than some...

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05-21-2012, 10:41
I really want to get a Peacekeeper/Win73 combo in 44-40. It would be capable of taking deer and playing cowboy. But in reality is is just something I want.

They're adequate for hunting and self-defense. They're historical, and they're fun.

Reloading the .44-40WCF cartridge. - YouTube

Be sure to try it out with FFFG blackpowder. I have been using the Lyman 55 blackpowder measure which really speeds things up

05-21-2012, 11:59
Guess what the Rossi is a copy of?

I have a Rossi that is 20+ yrs old, imported by Braztech- i perfect '92 clone in .357.
It normally only eats .38 special, but I've lost count of the tyes of ammo it cycles just fine. I've heard that some more recent ones had plastic parts, altered design, etc, but I can't speak to that.

If I buy another, it will have side-ejection like the Marlin.

Lever guns are fun.

05-21-2012, 20:39
I own 16 leveractions and at least three each of Browning, Winchester and Marlin.

I prefer the older pre safety Winchester and Marlins (Browning 92 were out of production before lawyers redesigned).

If you are interested in 44 mag then try to find Marlin 1894 without safety. The Winchester 94 in 44 magnum will have a longer action then necessary. Not a deal breaker if you find a nice one at a good price that you like.

I have both the Marlin 1894P 16" and a 1894 20" in 44 magnum. The older 1894 without the safety has a better trigger and seem smoother. Both are good guns and I'm sure a gunsmith could improve the trigger on the newer models but why go to the expense if you can find a nice older one?