Lever carbine, most useful caliber?

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May 18, 2020, 05:51 PM
Lever carbine, most useful caliber?
I'm also voting for 357 Magnum. Have a 1904 vintage 1892 that a previous owner had re-barreled for 357 Magnum and fully refinished. End result is a very pretty Shooter. And it is a heck of a shooter, I can put together 7/8 to 15/16 groups off a rest with it at 100 yards. BTW, have a Marbels peep sight mounted which does help.

My pet load to do that is a 158 grain Hornady XTP over 14.5 grains of H110. Yeah it's a light 357 Magnum but it averages 1620 fps and is quite accurate. If you want to get a bit ambitious you could load up a 125 XTP over 21.5 grains of H110 and perhaps break 2200 fps. That is the advantage of the 357 Magnum, you can pussycat 38 special power level loads or explore the wild side with some serious steamers.

As for effective range, the 357 Magnum doesn't feature a very aerodynamic bullet so it bleeds of velocity quickly. IMO with a 158 rain bullet you would be wise to limit your maximum range to 100-120 yards. Because if try and go too far out you'll risk of wounding your quarry instead of taking it cleanly.

I've stopped counting.
May 19, 2020, 06:59 AM
I have a pair of Rossi 92's in S/S, one in .357mag and the other in 44mag. They are the 20" barrel versions. Lots of fun had in both. Its a coin toss of which one is my favorite. Have handguns in both calibers too! If you are looking at one caliber, I would go with the 357 as other have stated.
May 19, 2020, 01:05 PM
Sorry for the thread drift but what distance and load in 357 for deer are y’all doing?


Roll Tide!

Glock Certified Armorer
NRA Certified Firearms Instructor
May 19, 2020, 08:36 PM
For plinking -.357. For hunting deer sized game - .44 Magnum.
May 20, 2020, 05:10 AM
Originally posted by ruger357:
Sorry for the thread drift but what distance and load in 357 for deer are y’all doing?

Jacketed Soft Points (JSP) have worked well On pigs in my 20” 357 & 20” 44 Rossi 92’s.
158s and 240s, most mushroomed nicely. Many of the 44s drove right through. I would say should be about the same on deer.
May 20, 2020, 11:09 AM


Roll Tide!

Glock Certified Armorer
NRA Certified Firearms Instructor
May 20, 2020, 01:11 PM
Originally posted by ruger357:

I love when the tree fell. The same thing happened when I was shooting my .357 carbine this weekend.

May 20, 2020, 08:09 PM
I own 45 colt levers and revolvers....but I’d have to say the .357 is most versatile.

May 20, 2020, 08:42 PM
Texas Bob C.
44 Magnum, takes the worry out of being close. I have a Winchester model 94 Trapper and a 1990 Marlin 1894.
May 21, 2020, 11:43 AM
When I see " plinking", I think soup cans and clay targets at forty-fifty feet,
And .22 lr will more than handle that.

I plink because I don't want to walk 100 - 175 yards to change targets.

For me a .357 mag would be way over kill.

Now , for target and varmint the .357 is a great choice.

Safety, Situational Awareness and proficiency.

Neck Ties, Hats and ammo brass, Never ,ever touch'em w/o asking first
May 21, 2020, 11:57 PM
Originally posted by photoman12001:
Originally posted by 92fstech:
I have 1894s in .45 Colt and .357 Mag. The .45 Colt packs a whallop, but if I had to pick only one I'd keep the .357. The increase in velocity that the longer barrel will wring out of that cartridge is mind-boggling, and shooting light .38 specials out of it is about like shooting a .22.

My .357 is incredibly accurate, and it's just lighter enough than the .45 Colt to make a difference. It's my favorite rifle. Unless you are already heavily invested in a different caliber, I'd say go with the .357.

I’m very pleased with the precision of my 1894 with 357 but it’s much less precise with 38. Is yours like that too? I’m only shot reloads from LAX so far (both calibers).

Sorry, I was out of town for a few days and just saw your question. While my .357 does like certain loads more than others, I can't really say it prefers .357 over .38...I have loads for both that work well. Both calibers also feed well, however it does struggle with SWC bullets in either.
May 24, 2020, 06:39 AM
My first dip in the lever gun pool was with a Rossi 357 and I have to say it is a lot of fun to shoot and easy on the shoulders. Ammo. is cheaper compared to other calibers and have a good range of options. I shoot some .38 rounds on the range and it is like shooting a .22. It is great for a beginner and seasoned shooter alike.
May 25, 2020, 08:35 AM
I'm a big .44 mag fan from a carbine, mainly because I hunt with them. The .357 may shoot a little flatter at distance but the .44 equals the 30-30 in energy all the way out to 100 yards. Reloading brings the .44 up to impressive performance; I've never had one of my reloads fail to blow right through a whitetail broadside shot.

"Live every day as if it's going to be your last, and one day, you'll be right.”
Malachy McCourt
June 07, 2020, 09:25 AM
Webley Green
Old Marlin .357, Williams peep sight. Bought a gun show years ago; belonged to a gentleman who deer hunted with it. My revolvers are .357 and .38 and the matching carbine by Marlin was a no brainer for me. Came with sling swivels and leather carry strap.

The added bonus for me was my former go-to indoor shooting range allowed rifles to be shot IF they were chambered for pistol cartridges like .357, .44 and .45. Handy during the winter months when working up different handloads.
June 07, 2020, 10:34 AM
I had a Rossi in 45colt with a 20” barrel but sold it when I pared down my collection.

I kept the 16” Rossi in 357 because I have a revolver for it. It shoots 357 and 38. I have used it for deer out to 100 yards, mostly use cast rnfp powder coated. For hunting I use hornady hp 158 grain bullets. The little carbine is super easy to wield, it is light and on the rare occasion when I had to take it out to dispatch a car struck deer, no one got squirrely when I pulled it out vs if I had whipped out an AR.

I re load, and have a 50 caliber ammo can full of ammo made up, it’s super cheap for me to shoot.

I took it apart and deburred everything in it and slathered it in valve grinding compound, put it back together and cycled it about a hundred runs like butter now. Also clipped one coil from the ejector spring.

I added a front sight with a gold bead because the factory one is plain and it gets lost in dark backgrounds. Also filed the silly safety lever on the top and re blued it.

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