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Marlin Guide Gun alternatives

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by Chuck66, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. Chuck66

    Chuck66 Traveling Man

    Mar 10, 2004
    East TN
    OK. So, recently I decided that I absolutely cannot buy any more guns or gun related items until I own the Marlin 1894c that I've wanted for years, but for some reason never bought. What I've found is that the new Marlins are not as nice as the old Marlins(at least as far as the furniture and finishes go) and the old, pre-Remington Marlins are pricey and hard to find. So...I'm looking for a potential alternative.

    I'm wondering if I'm missing another rifle with tidy dimensions and classic lines that will do what I want. Mainly, shoot paper and cans with .38s and be a classic that I'll be happy to hand down to one of my kids or grandkids some day. Below is a pic of what I'm looking for, basically.(I know, this one's not a .357, but you see what I'm looking for) If the Marlin didn't exist, where would you go for the next best thing?(or better than the Marlin, maybe? :dunno: )

    Thanks, y'all! :wavey:

    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
  2. I would go Marlin only probably. I like the one in the pic. Looks like a ported guide gun in 45-70. I only like rifle type calibers in any long gun, but just a personal preference. The only other option (for me) would be a Browning so I could go with conventional pointed bullet calibers.

  3. Dawolf


    Sep 18, 2010
    I have a Mossberg Brush gun in 30-30. It has great fiber optic sights and it loves the 140 grain Hornady Leverevolution ammo.
  4. countrygun


    Mar 9, 2012
    The Marlin "Guide Gun" based on the 1895 acttion is not all that "tidy" IMO. Rarely are 45-70s "tidy" I have the full sized version.

    I searched a long time for a 94c in .357 and while I wa doing that I ran across a Winchester "trapper" in .44 mag I called it "Good enough" since it was a fair deal and I reload the .44s.

    I hear good things about the reproduction Win 92s these days but .357 carbines aren't cheap no matter what, unless you are lucky.
  5. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan CLM

    Nov 24, 2005
    Find a used Marlin 1894p,.....factory ported 44Mag
  6. MAC702

    MAC702 Senior Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    Clark County, NV
    I'd like to see IMI (or its current iteration) bring back the Timberwolf. I didn't get one during their brief window.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  7. DonD


    Dec 21, 2001
    Central TX
    If you want a pistol caliber lever rifle you might consider the Henry Golden Boy. I think they have a good reputation and are US made. Don
  8. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan CLM

    Nov 24, 2005

    Great suggestion! Great carbines with super smooooooth actions!
  9. countrygun


    Mar 9, 2012
    You, me, my wife, and about 1/2 the .357 owners I know.
  10. DonD


    Dec 21, 2001
    Central TX
    Glad you liked it! Don :supergrin:
  11. Chuck66

    Chuck66 Traveling Man

    Mar 10, 2004
    East TN
    I think I will have one eventually. I have a .22 Henry (blue, not Golden Boy) and prefer it to my Winchester .22. Yeah, man, it's smooth. I love it. If the Big boy had a side load gate and the shorter barrel, I'd be all over it, no questions asked. But, for this particular purchase, I'm feeling the short-barrel thing.

    Local shop has a Rossi 92 w/16' barrel I'm gonna check out Tuesday. I hear they are hit or miss on quality. I want this gun to be "special". It's being bought with the intention of handing it on to my boy one day. I'm not sure Rossi says "heirloom" in the traditional sense. Maybe Marlin doesn't either, and with that in mind, I may end up with the Henry anyway. That's not to say that a Rossi can't be. If something were special to my dad, I'd feel the same just because of my connection with him, even if it weren't anything grand in a value sense.

    Loving the suggestions. Thanks!

    That's very cool. I'll keep that in the back of my mind in case I run across one.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
  12. MrMurphy

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

    Jan 16, 2001
    Buried in the X-files
    Winchesters are still being made. Miroku in Japan makes them.

    Marlins are still found, and not expensively, though a .357 or .44 will be a bit more than a .30-30 will.

    If you want a big boomer, look at finding a used Winchester 1886 in .45-70.

    You can get a good Winchester replica 1873 if you're solely blasting cans and paper with it in .38 Special, though I wouldn't try .357 as the action's not the strongest. Cowboy action shooters tend to love the '73 for the smooth action. Uberti, now owned by Beretta, makes a good one.
  13. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Happy Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    Bend Oregon

    my favorite rifle by far, shot it today!
  14. PhotoFeller


    Nov 18, 2010
    SW Florida
    I read today about a Marlin 1894 in .357 with a build date in 2009 that sold for $750. It was like new, so the buyer essentially got a spotless rifle. The point is, Marlins in .357 are high in price because of high demand for pre-Remington guns.

    Marlins in .44mag are more plentiful and less expensive. They use readily available, fairly inexpensive ammo, are good for deer and hog hunting and hand loads can be tailored for youth and lady shooters. Light recoiling .44 special ammo works well, too.

    I'm told that Browning lever guns are mighty nice, but fairly expensive.

    I'm biased for Marlins because of the history and tradition behind these old workhorse rifles. Most of mine were built well before Remington got involved, and I really enjoy owning them. Excellent condition rifles can be found with a little searching in local gun shops, pawn shops and on-line sellers like Gunbroker. Prices are trending upward on rifles manufactured in North Haven, Connecticut before Remington took over and moved all manufacturing to New York and Kentucky. The take over was announced in 2008, so I look for pre-2008 rifles.

    I'm not saying Henry and Browning aren't good choices, because they probably are. It's just that Marlins have been enjoyed by ranchers, hunters, trappers and fun shooters for a long, long time. They are part of our firearm tradition in America. You don't have to shoot a Marlin to enjoy owning one.

    The .45-70 is a real thumper designed for hunting big game. They can handle anything North America has to offer, including moose, elk and grizzlies. Its a heavy recoiling rifle which is not well suited for the faint at heart; hand loads, however, can make it much more manageable.

    Enjoy your search. Just lookin' can be lots of fun.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
  15. mac66

    mac66 Huge Member Millennium Member

    Oct 28, 1999
    Blue Planet
    I had a old '70s era Rossi Mod 92 saddle ring carbine in 357 mag. I never really figured out what it was good for. For hunting a 30-30 was much better for the same weight and size. For plinking it was ok but I could use my 357 revolver, or a 22 rifle or a number of other things that were better suited. Was never into Cowboy action shooting so I sold it. Still haven't figured out what it would be good for.
  16. sns3guppy


    Sep 4, 2006
    I have the 1895 in .45/70; it's a lot of fun to shoot. It's a hundred yard brush rifle to me, though I've no doubt others could make use of it much farther. I don't for me it's just a fun rifle.
  17. Jade Falcon

    Jade Falcon WTF EREN?!

    Aug 2, 2004
    Vancouver, WA.
    I have a SS LSI Puma M92 with a 16" barrel, chambered in .454 Casull. Wanna talk about a small, light, handly little guide gun that packs a hell of a wallop, try looking for these on the used market. Unfortunately, LSI doesn't sell these in this particular caliber anymore. But if you look on the used market, you can find them.

    Mine has Fiber-Optic sites from Hi-Viz, and I'm trying to find a gunsmith to put the front sight back on; it came off during my last range session. This rifle is also legal to shoot at indoor ranges that allow Magnum-Caliber handgun rounds. Whenever I go to my preferred indoor range and touch off a 260gr. Magtech FMJ, it always draws a crowd. The muzzle blast and fireball have to be seen to be believed.

    So far, the heaviest rounds I've put through it has been 300gr. JHP's. This was a gift from a good friend of mine who himself loves big-bore guns.
  18. Find a Marlin 336 in .35 Remington.

    Saw one, sadly a Marauder, in .35 sold for $600 recently.

    Always wanted one of those.

  19. gjk5

    gjk5 Pinche Gringo

    If you are patient you can find a good deal on a 94c.

    I have one and a Marlin .44, they both feed both special and mag rounds well. The Missouri Bullets .38 load in that 94c is a dream to shoot.

    I have a Trapper too, but the action is just not as nice as the Marlin.

    Bought a 94 in .41 mag thinking I wanted yet another wheel/lever combo but was wrong.

    Probably need to put the Trapper and the .41 on the block here soon.....
  20. Chuck66

    Chuck66 Traveling Man

    Mar 10, 2004
    East TN
    I think that's going to be the initial plan. I think the top ejection on the Rossi will rule it out, and like so many will say, the Marlin is just the Marlin, and nothing else is. It may not be THE best, but it's what I have in mind, so I'll likely wait it out for it.

    Still thinking on that Henry, though.

    I would LOVE to shoot that. I bet it's huge fun. :supergrin:
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012