|Savor the limelight|
Defensive range toy - 357 mag or 44 mag
Hunting range toy - 30-30 or 45/70
I speak jive.
Big Loop Marlin .357, with a 7shot S&W .357 revolver.
For a first/time owner, I would absolutely look at a Henry in a .357 or .44 in a configuration that catches your eye and order a set of Skinners off the bat. The shorter 16-18” barrels are a real benefit on a working home/ranch/truck gun and they don’t give up much for practical shooting.
I have the privilege of living on a big chunk of land in a western state. I also have access to a variety of rifles that I use for hunting, “working”, and Home Defense. I choose a lever gun for most things and have one in reach all of the time.
I use both factory and custom JM and REM Marlins, Winchesters, and Henry’s. .44, .45 Colt, .357, .41, .30-30, .35 REM, and .45-70. And reload for all of them.
I think the current Henry’s are the best made and best value out there right now. I also think the biggest difference is changing the sights to “Skinner” brand peep sights makes a huge difference. With a lot of practice, I have no problem hitting steel plates on my 185 yard range.
The guns I use most are custom a 16” Winchester Trapper in .30-30 and a 16” .44 Marlin stainless. Both guns wear Skinner sights, have trigger work done, and smoothed loading gates to accommodate both cast and copper bullets.
Some of the Marlin stocks are real thick especially in the forend and I don’t like that at all. I much prefer thin stocks on a lever gun. It’s a fun world of shooting with a lot of nice options right now.
Strangely enough, I am also in the market for a lever gun, but in 41 Magnum. It's the only revolver I still have, and I have a lot of ammo and components for it.
I am looking at Henry and Marlin also. Of course, I cannot find either one new, so I will be scouring the used gun racks. My first choice is a Marlin 1894FG, and then a Marlin Big Boy. I had given up on Marlin since they went out, but now that Ruger owns them, there may be hope yet in that direction.
I sent an email to Henry, and I will be sending one to Ruger this week. Yes, my 41 Magnum revolver is a Ruger Redhawk.
I will be monitoring this thread and if anyone does find a lever rifle in 41magnum, I am interested.
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Marlin 1894s in .41 are few and far between, and the dealers know it. The last one I saw, just a plain-jane 1894, no add-ons or upgrades, was listed at $1800...and that was 3 years ago pre-pandemic and pre-Remington bankruptcy and the associated shortages.
I have a Marlin (JM) and Henry in a .41 Magnum. I think the Henry is better in every way: Action, Wood, Trigger, and Accuracy. Great round.
Thank you for the great information. That will help me focus my search.
If you come upon a Winchester 94 That's a "trapper" model you should give it a look see. I little shorter barrel. Handles better in the brush (hunting) handles better indoors (SD) They're a pretty handy little rifle. Mine is in 30-30
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I bought mine when they first came out for $400. Regrettably since sold.
Ruger has started production of the 1895 at the Mayodan plant. It will be interesting to see which model they start next. I’m a fan of the 336 in 30-30. Always a safe option.
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I have one in .38/.357 and you’re right about it being a pretty handy little rifle.
Brain trust- What are our thoughts on a 2014 Remington Built Marlin 1895? I’ve tried to follow through this thread and there seem to be varying opinions.
|Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best|
I have one from that era...probably the same year. It's an 1895 guide gun. It's excellent. Good fit and finish, everything works as it should, and it's very accurate. The action isn't quite as smooth as some of my older ones, but those were bought used and have thousands of rounds through them...the 1895 was brand new and doesn't get shot quite as much simply due to the expense and recoil of the .45-70.
I know others have had different experiences with guns from that era...maybe I just got lucky, but I really like mine. I'd say don't buy sight unseen, but if you can look it over before buying and are happy with it, you'll be fine.
I have a REM 1895 SBL in 45-70 and it has been great. I have heard and seen horror stories about the REM guns and got to check mine out before I bought it. It is every bit as good as my other Marlins. In fact, the only lemon I got was an 1894 Stainless .44 from Marlin. I took it all apart and had to do some machine work because it was so poorly finished/machines from the factory. Notably metal shavings and splinters still attached in the action and lift gate. It’s beautiful now, but it’s also Completely redone.
|Little ray |
Pistol cartridge lever guns are super-fun. I have a Marlin in .357. Mine is rifle length with an octagon barrel - they called it the Cowboy model, and the previous owner slicked it up for CASS. The make them sporadically though, so they can be hard to find. .44s seem to be more common on the used market.
I also have a Marlin 45-70, which is a whole different kind of fun.
Some of the replicas from Italy are fine guns.
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Thank you, gentlemen.
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I have a JM Marlin in 45/70 and one thing I'll point out for your stated range toy-defensive need is that you can load cheap 45/70 to be a fun range load or load it up to drop anything on the continent. If you dont reload, a lee hand press for around $40 some dies and components will have you up and running in just a few minutes.
More than happy with my Henry Big Boy .357 (H006M). Put on a Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4x20. Shoots very well at 100 yards.
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Decide if you want pistol caliber or not. ( get both of course!) I’m very partial to marlins and vintage ( pre 64) winchesters. If you want a rifle that will also shoot spire tips that may be compatible with a 308 you have. Look at the savage 99 or browning BLR
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