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Big Bore Pistol Caliber Lever Gun

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by tree house, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. tree house

    tree house

    Jan 17, 2004
    I'm getting real close to buying a carbine length Marlin 1894 in .44 mag. I do alot of 'drive' hunting with my buddies in heavy woods and brush and a short barreled quick pointing gun with alot of knock down power is just what the doctor ordered.

    I want a pistol caliber rather than a 45/70 or .444 marlin because I like the full 10-shot mag tube, the cheaper ammo, and the manageable recoil pistol cartridges provide. It also will be a great bedroom-closet gun to backup my G23 ;-), ;-).

    Before I buy this gun, 2 quick questions please:

    1) Would anyone buy anything other than the Marlin 1894 for this setup (e.g. the Winchester 94 or anyone else out there who makes a similiar setup?)

    2) Has anyone heard of any plans by Marlin or Winchester to chamber their carbine lever guns in the new .50 S&W round, or even .454 cassul, or .480 ruger? For this gun's purpose the more knockdown power the better for less than perfect job placement.

    Thanks guys.
  2. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

    Jul 23, 2001
    Cochise County, AZ
    I have the 1894P. I've handled the 1894PG and like the stright stock on the P better. Still both are nice. I tried out the Win 94 trapper, but the stock was thinner than the Marlin and didn't feel right. My only complaint was that the gun was a bit rough out of the box. It took a few hundred rounds to smooth out the action, but now it's darn slick.

    Marlin just unleashed the 1895RL in .480 Ruger and .475 Linebaugh if you want something a bit bigger.

  3. TJC

    TJC "No Compromise" Millennium Member

    May 16, 1999
    New Hampshire
    I had the Winchester in .44 mag. It was a handy little thing but the Marlins are by far a smoother gun from the start.
    I know you said you didn't want the .45-70 but the Guide gun in that cal is just what you are looking for, except maybe for the closet part. The ammo is not that expensive if you are buying stuff like the factory Remington 405 grn. rds.
    I reload but did buy a bunch of that and the 300 grn rds when I first got my GG so I had some brass to start with.

    I would reconsider your choice if you are doing a lot of driving and hunting in a lot of brush areas. The rifles in pistol cals are still shooting a pistol round.
  4. I have the Winchester 94 Trapper in .44 mag. It's one of the original Trapper .44 mags made back in the mid 80's. No external safety on it.

    I bought a factory second stock for it and cut it down so my then 8 yr old son could go deer hunting with me. It has a Redfield 1-4x scope on it. Sweet little gun.

    I also have a Marlin 336 in 30-30.

    I will say the Marlin is a much tighter and smoother feeling gun.

    I thought Marlin was making their lever guns in both .480 and .454.
  5. tree house

    tree house

    Jan 17, 2004
    For you guys with .45/70 guide guns.... How bad is the recoil???

    Also....I just checked out the 1895 on Marlin's website.... I guess that is brand new for 2004. I hadn't seen these yet.

    I definitely want the straight style stock. It looks like the 1895 is only in a traditional pistol grip style and only comes with a 1/2 mag tube.

    Man... I really wish they would chamber this gun in the .50 S&W and put a full mag tube on it. That would be sweet.

    I agree that the Marlin just feels like a much higher quality gun than the new Winchesters.
  6. TKM

    TKM Shiny Member Lifetime Member

    I've got a Puma '92 in .454.

    Think a 6 1/2 pound 45/70.
  7. 4eyes

    4eyes Provocateur

    Dec 20, 2003
    redneck heaven
    I suggest you check some Marlin 1894 threads concerning function of the lever/carrier. My 44 mag had to have the lever cam built up to function properly. Marlin customer service said --send the rifle back and they would fix it. I asked if I could buy a carrier that would work. Nope--send in the rifle. I thought that they had that rifle in production long enough to be able to sell a functioning rifle.

    I also have a Puma in 454. Made by Rossi. No probs. Works great. And I am getting better energy from shooting reloaded 45 colt than 44 mag factory ammo.
  8. Sixgun_Symphony

    Sixgun_Symphony NRA4EVR

    Apr 16, 2002
    The action on the Winchester M94 rifle is made for the longer .30-30 WCF cartridge chambering. So it is rather too long of an action for the shorter pistol cartridges and one can get feeding problems from short stroking it.

    It is much better to use the Winchester M92 rifles instead of the M94 for pistol cartridge chambering. The Winchester M92 was designed for the shorter .44-40 WCF, .38-40 WCF, and .32-20 WCF cartridge chamberings, thus a better rifle action for pistol cartridges than the M94.

    BTW, the old Winchester and Marlin lever rifles chambered in .44-40 and .38-40 would be pretty good for hunting in the woods and brush.
  9. Rabon


    Apr 19, 2001
    Alaska U.S.A
    The 1895 G (Guide Gun) has the straight Stock. The recoil from the 45-70 can range from mild thru how much can you take? ;)
    I have an older Guide Gun and the LTD II (24" full octagon with room for 9) I really like both these rifles, but the Guide is really at home in dense forest and Bush.
  10. MrMurphy

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

    Jan 16, 2001
    Buried in the X-files
    David Clay out of Arlington Texas does custom Marlin work. It's I think..... he could put a full length tube on a Guide Gun if you wanted. That .480 Ruger would be interesting, though I wouldn't personally need anything bigger than a .44 Mag unless I wanted a .30-30.

    Seriously look into Express Sight Systems (used to be Ashley Outdoors) Ghost Ring sights. They're incredibly fast (I've tried an 1894 Marlin .44 with them mounted) and their Scout Scope mount (the one I tried had that one too) with a Red Dot scope on it (an EoTech or Aimpoint). Either would appreciably speed up your shot time and make your shots more accurate than the factory irons.
  11. Dogbite

    Dogbite DNT TREAD ON ME

    May 20, 2000
    I want to thank Mpol and Mr Murphy for the links,they are always very helpful.^c
  12. Michigun

    Michigun Miss Michigan?

    Mar 1, 2001
    Michigan, USA
    Neither here nor there really, but the below picture (SEE WARNING BEFORE OPENING!!!) is the heart that was taken out of a VERY big buffalo… a Marlin lever gun, chambered in .44, is what made that nice clean-through hole you see & that was AFTER traveling through a bunch of buffalo before it reached that “pumper”.

    (The .44 Marlin was used for a “put-down gun” after a very nice bow shot… the arrow would have done the trick nicely, but would have taken more time… no need for prolonged suffering.)

    WARNING: If the sight of a VERY big detached buffalo heart, with a hole in it, offends you DO NOT open the following attachment!
  13. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

    Jul 23, 2001
    Cochise County, AZ

    Is that entrance or exit? Either way, that's right about as good a placement as you can get.
  14. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002
    We use a host of the guns mentioned above for various hunting applications... they have served well... but May i suggest to you to try the winchester Legacy, in .45 LC.

    With the reloads we use (cast bullets), this is a true stopper.

    Scoped, we have even found at 200 yards this gun will consistantly pound 8" metal plates. I am sure it would do much better if "I" could!


  15. Michigun

    Michigun Miss Michigan?

    Mar 1, 2001
    Michigan, USA
    That is the entrance... the guy who fired the round was just as surprised to find how well he did! ;)

    (By the way, that buffalo still ran 100+ yards with that heart shot & that’s on top of the arrow it already had through both lungs! ;P)
  16. MCNETT

    MCNETT Load Developer Lifetime Member

    I agree that the .454 Puma lever action is an excellent rifle! I have had one for 18months and have been pleased with its accuracy and its ability to stand up to hot handloads. It will hit as hard as any 45-70 or .444 out there, weighs 6.5lbs and hold 8+1.
    300gr. @ 2250fps!
    260gr @ 2500fps!
  17. PlasticGuy


    Jul 10, 2000
    I have a Marlin 1895G in .45-70. I love it, BUT, it's not for the faint of heart. It isn't too bad when firing lower pressure loads. In fact, it's kind of fun to use for thumping things at the range with light loads off-hand. Trying to get really good groups off a rest, even with light loads, is a bit of a chore though. With heavy loads recoil is brutal. And ammo is quite a bit more expensive than .44 Magnum ammo, even when talking about the cheap cowboy style reloads. My 1895G is certainly a keeper, and will remain in my safe for fun at the range and for defense in bear/cougar country. But it will be replaced as my deer/elk gun by an 1894 in .44 Magnum before fall. For your needs, I would strongly suggest the 1984. If you are concerned about power, remember that there will be a lot more velocity out of a 20" barrel than out of a 6" revolver.
  18. I think for the use intended your on the right path.
    I've got an early non safety M94 Trapper the 16" model in .45 Colt. Works very well for the same situation you described. Also easy to pack on an ATV or in a scabbard on a pony.

    A rule of thumb that seems to work on pistol cartriges in carbines. Whatever the pistol velocity in a 6-7 inch barrel, ADD 300 fps in the Carbine barrel. Sometimes its a bit more.

    I shoot 255 gr LBT lead bullets in mine at 1350 fps. It takes the fairly benign .45 Colt and mooves it up into major territory.

    FN in MT
  19. firminw


    Feb 27, 2004
    Go with the Marlin and in 44 if you want to,they go together like peas and carrots.I've been hunting with lever guns for close to 4 lustrums,(40 yrs according to Rooster Cogburn)and the Marlin is a much better gun than the Winchester.Winchesters just feel too loose and sloppy to me plus they're,(Marlin), true side eject.Yes Marlin is chambering the 475-480.As far as that goes stick with the 44 and you can always find ammo whereas the other might prove problematic,esp. in emergency situations.44 can be bought anywhere anytime which is alot to be said for it,like 30-06 as compared to 300 Wby.Your choice is a good one and will work for you under the circumstances you laid out.
  20. firminw


    Feb 27, 2004
    Sorry all you Duke fans I misspoke, that should have read 8 lustrums to equal 40 yrs.