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.357 lever action/revolver advice Login/Join 
Charmingly unsophisticated
Picture of AllenInWV
posted
I suddenly have an urge to get a lever action rifle and a revolver, both in .357. My only experience with either is a Taurus revolver I had back in the day, and my dad's Marlin (which IIRC was chambered in 30-30 LOL).

What should I be looking for? Gut is saying a GP100 for the revolver, but no idea on the rifle. I see a ton of offerings on Gunbroker, but can't sort the wheat from the chaff.


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Posts: 15942 | Location: Cross Lanes, WV | Registered: February 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Allen,

I am in a similar quandary. I have a 357, a Dan Wesson 715 that I have used for deer hunting the last few years.



The interior wound Bottom is the entrance, the top is the exit. federal 180 grn bear loads.


I was finally able to take a doe at about 50 yards with it this year.

I also have a freedom arms 97 in 454c, and 45lc. I use the 45lc almost exclusively. I am looking for a rifle to match this. I would love it to be brushed stainless and with black wood stocks.


For me, I plan on doing most of my hunting with a can. So, a lever gun with a threaded barrel is on my list. I live in Virginia, and the weather can go from butt-ass cold to hot and humid in an hour in November, and thus, I would prefer a stainless gun.

I have been looking long and hard at the Henry big boy x in 357 and 45LC. So henry's big boy x rifles are a blued steel with slick feeling polymer stocks. I love every other option of the rifles, but the slick stock and blued steel are almost a deal-breaker for me.

https://www.henryusa.com/rifles/big-boy-x-model/

Henry offers an all-weather gun in hard chrome and black wood stock. It lacks the fiber optic sights, and threaded barrel of the bigboy x model.

https://www.henryusa.com/rifle...l-weather-side-gate/

Marlin is out of business and their 1894 CST in 357 magnums are garnering 1500 to 1800 bucks. If I am going to spend that kind of money I might as well save a bit longer and order a BHA 90A in 454c with my threaded barrel.
https://www.bighornarmory.com/...odel-90a-454-casull/

Now as far as a revolver. I would look at the sights first. Something that allows for precision and a lot of light. every time I drag my revolver out there it seems to be near daylight or near dark. A rear sight blade with a bit of extra room to allow that light in will help make the front stand out in dim light. As for barrel length, I would stick with the 6", maybe, a 5" in a pinch.

So, I would say smith 686, the new python, gp100, or even as I have the Dan Wesson 715.

Any single action gun like the model 97 would work as well.
 
Posts: 6464 | Location: Virginia | Registered: December 23, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Henry makes a good gun,especially now that they make a side loading carbine. I have a Rossi and I like it a lot,although with soft points,feeding can be finicky. The GP100 is a tough gun,although slightly larger than a S&W, but much cheaper without giving up quality. I prefer at least a 4" barrel, for quality shooting/accuracy. Single action guns are nice and can be had in all configurations. I had a Blackhawk for a while but would have preferred a Vaquero.

It all comes down to how much you want to spend.
 
Posts: 5786 | Location: Treasure Coast,Fl. | Registered: July 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
semi-reformed sailor
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I have a S&W 65 in 357 with a 4” barrel and a Rossi copy of the Winchester 94 in 357 with a 16” barrel. I’ve shot a bunch a deer with it when I lived in NC. 158 grain cast bullet at normal velocity and dropped them each time.

The Ruger GP100 is a tank..definitely recommend..
If you want to get a carbine the one I’d suggest is the Marlin. They are like hens teeth because no one wants to let them go. Easy to clean with one screw for the lever and can be cleaned from the breech.

If you are gonna use it for cowboy games also then you need a Uberti like Dave (Rolan Craps) recommends.

I’d steer clear of the Taurus guns as they are hit or miss…with more misses then hits.

I have no shooting experience with the Henrys. Someone will be along shortly to fill you in.



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Posts: 9021 | Location: Temple, Texas! | Registered: October 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a pair of Marlin 1894s...one in .357 and the other in .45 Colt. Both have some issues feeding semi-wadcutters, but they love a round nose at point bullet. The SWCs will feed, but you have to go easy on the lever. Run it too hard or too fast, and the shoulder will jam against the top of the chamber and then you have to jiggle the lever to get it to chamber. A good round nose flat point slides right in there with no issues. I tried a few things to get the SWCs to work, but ultimately gave up and just switched bullet profiles, and I've been happy ever since.

Both guns are stupid accurate, and very light and well balanced. I can punch one-hole groups with the .45 at 50 yards, and the .357 comes close. The .45 had a Williams peep sight and front fiber optic on it, while the .357 has the factory buckhorn and gold bead. I really like the slim profile of the front handguard on the .357, but I think they moved away from that to the larger, heavier one in the newer guns.

As to revolvers...depends what you're looking for. I have 4 5/8" Blackhawks to go with both guns. They're fun, great, accurate shooters, and stick to the cowboy theme. I prefer the adjustable sights of the Blackhawk to the fixed sights of the Vaquero, as they're larger and easier to see, and I can adapt them to the load that I'm shooting.

For hunting or range fun, or even occasional trail use, the single-action are great, but not necessarily the most practical for anything else. My 4" GP100 is an awesome gun. The weight and rubber factory grips make it fun to shoot even with the hottest .357 loads, and it's built like a tank so you know no in-spec ammo is going to hurt it. It's also pretty big and bulky, though...and heavy to carry. But if you plan to primarily use it on the range of from a tree stand, it's the one to get. They are also pretty easy to polish up...my buddy commented the other day that the trigger on mine is better than his Model 19.

My 3" SP101 is a good balance of recoil management and carryability. It's a little harsher recoil-wise than the GP100, but still manageable. It's too heavy to pocket carry, but I've taken it on multi-day backpacking trips and with a good belt you don't even feel it on your hip. It's also small enough that I can CCW it comfortably on the way to the trail, so I'm not bringing an extra gun to get left in the unattended car at some remote trailhead. The extra inch of sight radius is pretty nice for those longer shots, and it gives you a bit more muzzle velocity than a 2" snub. The only problem I've had with it is that is tends to collect crud under the cylinder around the pin...enough that you have to clean it every 50 rounds or so, especially if you're shooting lead, otherwise it starts to drag and affect you trigger pull. After a good cleaning, though, you can spin that cylinder like a fidget spinner!

Finally, there's the J-Frames. It's not a .357, but I took my 360J in .38 +P on our camping vacation last year and loved the ease with which I would just toss it in a pocket around camp, and it's so lightweight you don't even feel it when hiking. I just picked up a 340 Pro to use as a BUG at work, which is all steel and a good bit heavier, but it's chambered in .357 mag. Haven't gotten to put that one through the paces yet, but for it's intended purpose I think it will work well.

Of all the options above, if I could only have one, I'd probably go with the Sp101. While all of the others are excellent in their designed roles, the SP101 is the most versatile all-around option. It carries well, packs a punch, and is still great to shoot at the range. Most importantly, I'm confident I could employ it effectively in a defensive situation should the need arise.

Ultimately it really comes down to your intended use and what role you want the gun to fill.
 
Posts: 5100 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That is a tough question. You did not say anything about money. I have an older, pre safety Marlin 1894 and a Taurus copy of a 1892 Winchester also made before they put the safety on the top. I am happy with each of them. I think a single action revolver goes best with a lever action. So I have a Colt SAA in .357. But Ruger's are good guns. I do not have any of their single actions in .357, but have some in other calibers and I am very happy with them. I also have some old Colt Pythons and pre-lock S&W N frames. All of which are fine guns. I have shot the new python and been impressed with it. Lots of good choices out there.
 
Posts: 547 | Location: northern VA. | Registered: August 18, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Charmingly unsophisticated
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Regarding the Marlin 1894s.....there is a 1997 "JM stamped" one on Gunbroker going for about $1,200. Fair price? I gather The JM thing is preferable as it means it's a 'true' Marlin?

I think these will be primarily range guns. The revolver would probably get a lot of use as a hiking gun, certainly not for CCW. I'm a G19 fan boi in that area. Big Grin

I didn't think much about single action stuff. Admittedly, there is some coolness there, but I think if I went that route I'd want something in 45 Long Colt. Which I'm sorta confused about. I saw some rifles/pistols listed as ".45 Colt". I'm used to seeing 45 ACP or 45 LC. Is 45 Colt the LC?


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- Jim Elliot
 
Posts: 15942 | Location: Cross Lanes, WV | Registered: February 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think 1200 for a Marlin is crazy, got my 1895 for 600 ish here, cousin got his for 650 last year...much harder to find but 600-800 is all I'm spending.

If you HAD to have it then go for it but I think 1200 is about 400 too much.

I also don't put a whole lot of stock in the JM being better thinking. Kinda like West German Sigs, people seem to tend to forget all firearms have problems and these weren't void of that fact either. I wouldn't turn one down but I wouldn't pay more for a well used or used gun than I would new in this case. Some guns obviously I would but not a lever action Marlin just to get a JM version.

They are neither rare nor exceedingly better than the two newer examples I've had based off my comparisons.





13 years to retirement! Just waiting!
 
Posts: 4473 | Location: Seoul | Registered: August 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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45 colt and 45 long colt are the same thing.



Smith makes a 625 in 45 long colt.

I have been watching for A while and i would not be surprised if that jm marlin goes for 1500 to 1800.

It is crazy stupid money for them right now.

I have my local shop still looking for a henry in bigboy in 45lc.

If that falls through, i'll likely order a bha. And wait the year it would take to get it
 
Posts: 6464 | Location: Virginia | Registered: December 23, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yeah, ottosig is correct, Marlins are stupid money right now. I would not pay $1200...or the $1800-$2000 that that gun is likely to go for. The most I've spent on one was $750. I have both JM Marlins and some newer Remington production Marlins (Remlins). Both have their issues, but both are fine, functional guns. I'm definitely a Marlin guy, but they've gotten so stupid expensive that I'm considering a Rossi now that I've decided I need a .44.

.45 Long Colt is just people using the wrong name for .45 Colt. S&W does make the 625 in .45 Colt, but it is also stupid expensive right now. I passed on one for $700 a year and a half ago because I didn't have the cash and it was the wrong barrel length for what I wanted. He sold it to somebody else. Once I had the available cash in hand, I started looking...they're $1200-$1500 everywhere. It's ridiculous. Ruger makes a Redhawk in .45 Colt that's cut for moon clips so you can shoot .45 ACP out of it, too. I passed on one of those for $850 around the same time because I thought it was too expensive. They're $1300 now, if you can find one.

Even Ruger Blackhawks are kinda nuts right now. I paid $650 for my convertible .45 about 3 years ago. I've seen them listed for over $1200 these days. I'm not sure they're selling for that, but that's what people are asking.
 
Posts: 5100 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm telling you, between wind river and Jurassic Park they saw a crazy asking price even before this market.

Price a stainless 1895 right now...people think they are 1895 X5 models or something.





13 years to retirement! Just waiting!
 
Posts: 4473 | Location: Seoul | Registered: August 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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After our handguns got tooked off us in 97, there was a HUGE lurch over to lever-action firearms, mostly in ,357Ma/.38Spec, in former handgun comps that readily converted to so-called Gallery rifles.

For about three or four years the waiting list for Winchesters with no optical and Marlins with scopes, because of their ejection port positions, was well into a year, sometimes more. Rossi also got a look in, especially their lovely stainless octagon barrelled version.

Unless you were into CAS, then the Henry rifles never really caught the imagination, but now that they have a side-port ejection, I expect their sales to go through the roof. A pal of mine has one of their little .22 cals, and TBH, when he told me it was the basic model, and not a hyped-up special edition, I was amazed. That thing was just gorgeous and shot like a dream.
 
Posts: 10674 | Location: UK, OR, ONT | Registered: July 10, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I got lucky, as an owner of several 357 Magnum revolvers I was always keeping an eye out at local gun shows for a 357 Magnum lever rifle. So when a Winchester 357 Magnum barreled 1904 vintage 1892. BTW, a previous owner had sent the rifle to Winchester to be re-barreled and re-finished. So for 600 dollars I ended up with a very pretty 1892 that will shoot under 1 MOA off a rest. BTW, I shot those groups using a Marble's Peep sight with a Range Master acting as my spotter and I am rather proud of doing that, the front bead was about 3 times the apparent diameter of the bull I was aiming at.

Later on I picked up a Rossi 1892 in 357 Magnum and it's been a disappointment. Set it up with a Weaver 4X scout scope for use as a deer rifle and found it shoots 6 to 8 inch groups at 100 yards.

Based on my experience with the Rossi I would suggest you look at getting a Henry. I've heard nothing bad about the Henry rifles and now that they are finally using a King's gate on some models you don't have to sweep yourself when loading.


I've stopped counting.
 
Posts: 4878 | Location: Michigan | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Based on my experience with the Rossi I would suggest you look at getting a Henry. I've heard nothing bad about the Henry rifles and now that they are finally using a King's gate on some models you don't have to sweep yourself when loading.



I'd be curious to hear your experience with the Rossi lever guns. I've been tempted to get one lately, even though I know it's basically a Taurus, and I've sworn those off. I've just been having a hard time finding anything remotely affordable, and that Rossi trapper with the 16" barrel keeps looking more and more appealing. But if there are function issues, I'd just as soon not deal with that.
 
Posts: 5100 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What is everybodies Preference for Fodder? I am thinking a heavier round for the Carbine but something which still work in the Wheelgun.
 
Posts: 731 | Registered: February 20, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I want a Henry steel with the side load gate. havent been able to find one in the last year. No gun shop have seen any either!!!
 
Posts: 7455 | Location: Bismarck ND | Registered: February 19, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Wait, what?
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Originally posted by Citadel:
What is everybodies Preference for Fodder? I am thinking a heavier round for the Carbine but something which still work in the Wheelgun.

158 SP is a pretty good, all around performer for both handgun and carbine. You can’t really go wrong. There are heavier options available for harder thumping long gun use but not necessary.




“Remember to get vaccinated or a vaccinated person might get sick from a virus they got vaccinated against because you’re not vaccinated.” - author unknown
 
Posts: 13093 | Location: Martinsburg WV | Registered: April 02, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Citadel:
What is everybodies Preference for Fodder? I am thinking a heavier round for the Carbine but something which still work in the Wheelgun.


If you go with a full-size handgun, especially a Blackhawk or GP100, there's really nothing that the rifle will eat that the handgun won't handle. I let the long gun pick the bullet profile, as the revolver will feed anything, but my 1894s are not big fans of semi-wadcutters. As such, I usually load a round nose flat point (gotta be a flat point for the tube mag) with a wide meplat, somewhere between 150 and 180 grains. I like a slow burning powder like H110/296, too, to take as much advantage of the length of the rifle barrel as well.
 
Posts: 5100 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'd be curious to hear your experience with the Rossi lever guns.

^^^^^^^^^^^^
One sat at the range for a year on consignment. People would come in shoot a few rounds and leave. Finally a year or so later some guy just bought it sight unseen. Henry is a much better gun BY FAR.

I have a Ruger GP 100. It is built like a tank. My Henry Golden Boy is a lever action 22lr and very reliable. Henry rifles are more expensive for a reason.
 
Posts: 11377 | Location: Stuck at home | Registered: January 02, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well, my revolving pistol recommendation is easy: GP100. I have several, with 3”, 4”, and 6” barrels.

Marlins are too pricey, right now. If I wanted to pay anywhere near $1K, or more, for a lever rifle, I would buy a Browning BLR, that shoots .308 Winchester, because I can get .308 Winchester ammo, in good quantities. I do not need to buy a BLR, however, because I already have them, having started accumulating them in 1997. A really nice feature of the BLR is that it uses drop-free box magazines, that accommodate cartridges with pointed bullets.

My wife’s Rossi is a cheap way to own a single-shot plinker. We don’t even bother trying to load the mag tube, anymore. She and her sister seem to like playing with my wife’s Marlin 1894 .357 stain-less steel rifle.

There is nothing wrong with owning a rifle that shoots .357 Magnum, that can be shared with one’s revolver. Mine are a Browning B-92 lever-action, and a Ruger No. 1 single-shot. But, asking prices are just too high, right now, for Marlins, Brownings, and Winchesters, that chamber .357 Magnum. Plus, notably, if actually on foot, on my wife’s family’s acreage, in the eastern Texas woods, where poachers have left rifle cartridge cases on the ground, rather than handgun cartridge cases, I tend to want a rifle that can reach out there, and make holes all the way through things.


Have Colts, will travel
 
Posts: 3157 | Location: SE Texas | Registered: April 08, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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