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In The Saddle
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7,125 Posts
Really? My modern winchester is amazing in fit and finish, smoothness, accuracy. It's very well made, and I've heard the same from every other person who owns a Japanese Winchester. Some say they are even better than many of the old ones in the fit and finish department.
Hmmm, Well. I am happy for you/them... I have had horrible dealings with the "modern Winchesters and Remington's, Marlins." I would NOT 'even,' consider a "Winchester" that says " Made in Japan" on it.. Slap in the face to the Winchester, and the West... ;)



CanyonMan
:horse:
 

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Custom Title Goes Here
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1,144 Posts
I love how OP says he is going .357 and he gets a lot of other caliber suggestions.

At some point I will have a 9mm PCC, but at some point I also want a K-frame .357 and a Henry lever-action also in .357 with a side-loading gate. I got to handle one when I was picking up my G48 at my LGS and that thing is sweet. If I thought I could handle .44 Magnum, I'd get that because it makes more sense coming out of the rifle, what with case-length being equal between the two Magnum rounds, but I think .357 is all I could ever want out of a revolver, so there's that.
 

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Friends Call Me "Flash"
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4,164 Posts
Marlin Lever Action rifles for me! I had a pile of older Winchesters and traded off every one of them. Even the bottom line 336 is a good, serviceable rifle and the whole line of 45-70's are a pleasure to own!

Please don't whine to me about lack of quality, the cursed cross bolt safeties or the new finish of the rifles. I have NO complaints and I like 'em!

Flash
 

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945 Posts
Hard to beat a winchester. I have a Marlin 1895 and like it very much, but it’s a beater brush gun. If I wanted a classic “nice” one, hard to beat a Winchester. I prefer pistol grip stock.
 

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I purchased a Marlin back in 1980 for deer hunting. The Cowboy in me insisted on 45-70. Will also double as a home/yard defensive projectile hurler. Not terrific at long range. But my yard free-fire zone is about 50 yards. If it can drop a bison...
 

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bene vivere
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1,781 Posts
I have an 80s Marlin 1894c .357 mag with 18.5 inch barrel and highly recommend it.
 

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62 Posts
I can't help with "proper". For a .357 lever, I went this route:

View attachment 853566

Henry Big Boy X
How do you like it? It caught my eye having all the upgrades one would want without looking like an abomination like the tactical one Mossberg did about 10 years ago.
 

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4,742 Posts
Only rear choice is Winchester

Then browning
Then marlin




























Then Henry.
 

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4,444 Posts
I’m In the same boat OP. I’ve been eyeing, trying to decide between Marlin and Rossi in .357. But cimarron has my attention too.

One thing that has me excited is Ruger purchasing Marlin. I’m hoping they start having some fun with the lever guns soon
 

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A swamp dude
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10,917 Posts
Marlin 336 .30-30. Look no further. Tighter, smoother action, side ejecting and far more accurate.
And don’t forget, Marlin lever rifles are very simple to detail strip for cleaning and maintenance. I understand Winchester lever guns are very complex to reassemble.
 
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Free Full Clip!
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17,103 Posts
I've decided I "need" one and don't really know much.

I'd like a "proper" pedigree, which I guess that rules out the Rossi's, unless that's stupid

Being able to load from a side gate rather than tube only seems like a big convenience

If you're a purist, don't gasp, but wanting to get it in 38/357 as I already inventory that round, and the right 357 shot from a rifle is over 1,000 ft pounds, so a legit game getter if needed

Thanks for your thoughts/advice
Either get a JM marlin in 357 or wait until Ruger starts making them or get a Henry that has both tube loading and side gate loading. Tube loading is actually more convenient for loading and unloading the gun especially unloading because you don't have to cycle all the rounds through the gun to unload, just remove the tube. Loading is somewhat faster with the gate which is why cowboy action shooters prefer the side gate

The JM Marlins were very accurate in 357 but even more so in 41 magnum.

Henry make top quality guns and has the best customer service in the business. If you buy a new Marlin you better hope you don't need customer service.

Rossi's are really not bad guns and there are gunsmiths who specialize in improving them for competition and general use.

https://store.stevesgunz.com/
 

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How do you like it? It caught my eye having all the upgrades one would want without looking like an abomination like the tactical one Mossberg did about 10 years ago.
I've only owned it for two weeks and haven't had time to fire it yet, so take my answer for what it's worth.

I do like the feel and feature combination it offers.

The first firearm I ever bought was a Marlin 336 30-30. I bought it because it looked cool, I was over 18, and I had money in my pocket. I loved that rifle, but as a target guy and not a hunter, it never seemed like the right lever for me.

Eventually, I sold it with the thought to replace it with a .357 to match the revolvers I shoot. Some decades slipped by and the options have seemed increasingly limited (either expensive or very old/used). I had eyed the Henrys over the years, but passed on them because I was used to the side loading gate.

The Big Boy X combined all the right features: .357, side loading gate, better sights for my now aging eyes, USA made, under warranty, and that odd retro-modern look.

For all I know at this point the rifle may be junk, but I love it already anyway.
 

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Sinistram delenda est
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322 Posts
Winchester 92 would be my first choice (if I could afford one) but $1300 to $1500 is a little rich for my blood. I Have a '91 Winchester 94 and a Rossi 92 in .44 Mag. I also have a Rossi 92 in .357 Mag, all 16". The 92's action is a bit smoother that the 94 but the 94 is easier to load due to a slightly longer loading gate. Fit and finish is better on the Winchester but the Rossies aren't bad. All three are sweet shooters, reliable and accurate. For the money, in a pistol caliber lever action carbine, Rossi is hard to beat IMHO. Rossi isn't a Winchester or Uberti but for $500 it ain't bad.
 

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I have a JM Marlin 336 from the late seventies. It is the wrong caliber (for the OP) as it fires the 30-30 cartridge, but I feel compelled to comment on this fine rifle. The trigger is a bit stiff at 5-6 lbs, but releases crisply. I de-burred the trigger mechanism and lubed as advised and it has been a great performer in the field. I use aperture sights on mine and it has proven to be very accurate. The last deer I harvested was taken down with a heart shot at 75 yards. The loading gate is a little stiff, but the longish 30-30 rounds provide ample leverage. I’ve read that the .38/.357 Marlins are fussy to load because of the heavy loading gate spring, but that .44 and .45 cartridges load much easier.

Do a little reading on lever-guns without safeties. They are just as safe, but there are procedures that must be learned. There are many options for sighting systems, as well as other accessories to help you make the gun just right. Marlin has been around a long time...
 

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Rational
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14,229 Posts
I have an LSI Puma 16" stainless steel chambered in .454 Casull. I love that thing. Needs some minor work though.

If I was buying a new rifle though, it would be a Henry, hands down.
 

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13,344 Posts
Since the OP stated he's "needing" a lever gun in .357 magnum, the ONE that 'screams' "BUY ME!!" is the Marlin 1894CB in .357 magnum.

I haven't bought it (yet!), but, it's on my short list.

That octagonal barrel is just sexy. (That's why I own several octagonal barreled Marlin and Shiloh Sharps rifles!) :)

https://www.marlinfirearms.com/lever-action/model-1894/model-1894cb
 
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