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Best lever guns in pistol caliber?

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by mr00jimbo, May 20, 2012.

  1. 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:
  2. Minnow


    Jan 13, 2006
    I like my marlin a lot. Inspect the new ones in person as sometimes the stock fitment is **** and even the screws are buggered.


  3. 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.
  4. byf43

    byf43 NRA Life Member

    Apr 13, 2006
    Southern Maryland
    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.
  5. ronin.45


    Apr 24, 2008
    Try to find a nice used Marlin. I had an 1894P that was great.
  6. jolly roger

    jolly roger

    Apr 28, 2001
    Knob Creek
    My Cowboy Limited 45 Colt Marlin will never leave my hands. Most excellent. Early one with 24 inch barrel.
  7. D-Ric902


    May 2, 2009
    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
    Last edited: May 20, 2012
  8. K.Kiser


    Jan 23, 2010
    Shreveport, La.
    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..
  9. countrygun


    Mar 9, 2012
    I got very lucky and found a Winchester trapper in .44. It's an angle-eject, but before the lawyertard safety

  10. AK74play


    Jun 26, 2010
    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:
  11. dnuggett

    dnuggett PRO 2A

    Feb 28, 2005
    DFW TX
    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.
  12. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    Marlins are great.
  13. Quigley

    Quigley Elite Member

    Mar 17, 2010
    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.

    Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine
  14. boone10

    boone10 Glockeologist

    Aug 7, 2011
    Older Marlin 1894c
  15. ray glock

    ray glock

    Apr 15, 2007
    Early Winchester 9422 or 9422M
  16. 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.
  17. 257 roberts

    257 roberts

    Mar 18, 2012
    I had a Marlin in 357 mag and a 44mag(pre cross-bolt saftey) they were very good shooters (wished I still had them)
  18. VictorLouis


    Mar 2, 2001
    Phoenix, AZ
    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.
  19. thisaway

    thisaway Moderator

    Jan 11, 2000
    Soddy Daisy, Tenn.
    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.
    Last edited: May 20, 2012
  20. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Jan 16, 2001
    Buried in the X-files
    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.