It broke my heart to see Marlin at the bottom of the OP's list, but I'm probably a little biased. I've been shooting my 39A for the last 44 years and wouldn't trade it, nor my 39D for any other brand of rifle. I made the mistake of waiting too long on tracking down the 1894C, but I'll keep my hopes up that things change, either on my funding end or on the pricing end.
I'd go Marlin all day long, but my opinion is based on the .22 caliber, so take it with a grain of salt.
LaMont in AZ
You used to be able to find a decent 94 in .30-30 for $300, those days are long gone.
My late production REMLIN .357 (Marlin under Remington ownership) has been good out of the box. The early production REMLIN’s were frequent QC nightmares. I too expect Ruger will eventually do the Marlin name justice. Until then Marlins of any type are stupid expensive and you are better off looking at another brand of lever action.
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I can relate. I wouldn't trade ANY Marlin for a Rossi or a Henry. I'll admit to maybe being a little biased, but I'd like to think that my bias is based on factual experience.
Here's the Remlin 1894C in .45 Colt that I referenced earlier in the thread, and what it'll do at 45 yards, with iron sights (don't worry about that one little guy...that was me ).
I have a few more, too. Love 'em all, even the goofy Levermatic!
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I’m curious to see how the Marlin quality goes once Ruger starts cranking them out.
-- Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past me I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. --
I have two Rossi Model 92 .357s; a blue 20" Saddle Ring Carbine from the Interarms era and a newly produced (CBC marked) stainless 16" carbine I picked up in 2020.
The Interarms rifle runs fine with .38 Specials but chokes on .357s, and is a bit rough in operation. The new CBC, on the other hand, has run everything I've tried in it, is slicker than greasy glass and wonderfully accurate. I get one ragged hole at 25 yards with original iron sights, which is pretty dang good for me doing the shooting!
In years past a Rossi was generally considered a good "starting point" as opposed to being ready to go out of the box. The new ones are a whole different animal from what I've seen.
For a "working/truck gun" and at half to one third the cost of a newly produced Miroku-built Winchester or Uberti lever gun they're a good value IMO.
That said, I eagerly await the Ruger-produced Marlins!
I have two 357 Magnum rifles, one a huge win and the other a disappointment.
The huge win is a 1904 vintage 1892 Winchester octogon barreled short rifle that a previous owner had re-finished and re-barreled in 357 using a barrel stamped as a Winchester barrel. He also upgraded the wood at some point and dented the magazine tube doing it. Sorting that took some work but it was worth it. With a rear tang peep sight I've shot sub 1 inch groups at 100 yards with it from a rest. While it has zero value as a collectable it's one darned good shooter and very smooth.
The Rossi is a giant disappointment. I've experimented with bullets ranging from 125 to 158 grain and have yet to find one single load that will shoot under 7 inches at 100 yards. Accuracy is just horrible.
I've stopped counting.
I agree. I've had some experience with poor quality with the Remington produced Marlins, but the JM guns are fine. I'd still take them over the Rossi or Henry. I've just seen too many issues with both of them over the years.
The Brownings and Winchesters I've had were good guns as well. I've owned a few of the various Italian guns and never had any issues, but just prefer the American and Japanese made guns.
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