looking for a pistol caliber rifle?

Discussion in 'General Rifle' started by cooker300, Oct 16, 2020.

  1. cooker300

    cooker300 G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Hey everyone
    Looking for a new rifle in one of the following calibers.
    357mag, 44mag, 45colt
    What would you guys pick a Marlin or a Henry and why did you pick what you picked
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  2. chesterwin

    chesterwin G&G Evangelist

    I have an early Rossi "Puma" in .357 that I'm happy with. I might suggest a Marlin over it for what it's worth. The Rossi was tight and a bit rough to begin with. Working the action with a good dose of graphite smoothed it out though. Good luck on the search.
    EtherialOne, TXplt, jerry and 3 others like this.

  3. shanebrews

    shanebrews G&G Evangelist

    I've got the Marlin in .357 and the Rossi in .45-70. The Marlin is a better gun. I don't know what a fair price would be; I got it from my grandfather.
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  4. austinjoe13

    austinjoe13 <------------<<<-

    It's hard to argue with either brands. One perk of the Henry is that you can unload through the tube rather than cycling the action like on the Marlin.
  5. I know this wasn't one of the options, but a Marlin in 41 magnum. Also a Ruger 77/44 wouldn't be a bad choice.
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  6. Ten Man

    Ten Man G&G Evangelist

    I have had lever actions made by Rossi, Henry, Winchester, and Marlin, in eight calibers (.17HMR, .22LR, .22 WMR, .38/.357, .30-30, .44 Magnum, .45 Colt, and .45/70.) My FAVORITE, hands down, is the Marlin! Even the Late Model Remlins would be my preference over the Rossi and Henry rifles.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020
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  7. ChaZam

    ChaZam G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    I have a new Henry in 41 Magnum that I bought a few months ago. It's the 16" model with the big loop lever and it's really a pretty nice little firearm that goes well with my Ruger SBH Hunter in 41 Magnum. I also had a 357 Rossi a few years ago to pair up with my Ruger GP100 that was actually a pretty nice little firearm too, but I traded it for things I wanted worse. One of my younger brothers though has a Marlin 1894 pre safety in 357 that I would personally rate as the best choice if someone had access to one at a decent price. Really nothing wrong with any of those 3 choices as far as functionality goes; it just boils down to personal choices and certain aesthetics that please some of us more than others.
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  8. runfiverun

    runfiverun G&G Evangelist

    I got one Marlin.
    a couple of Brownings.
    a few Winchesters okay maybe 2 fews or three depending on your number that equals a few.
    and a cabinet full of Rossi model 92's.

    I want a 41 mag lever rifle.
    but I don't want a stupid tube loader.
    and I want a lever rifle that doesn't weigh 9 pounds.
    [figured that out day one by mile 3 into a Mule deer hunt]

    I'd probably pick by whatever revolver/pistol I already had.
    or by the price of ammo, which would probably narrow it down to 9mm in normal times [they don't make 9mm lever rifles but they do make 9mm semi auto carbines]
    cooker300 likes this.
  9. cooker300

    cooker300 G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    I don't have a 41 yet the 3 calibers I listed i already have but a 41 has been on my list for a while
    ChaZam likes this.
  10. ChaZam

    ChaZam G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Hmm, to me the tube loader is no stupider than having to unload numerous rounds by cycling the lever and slinging them out of the ejection port on many other brands. I bet the tube unloading is inherently safer too since it pretty much negates the slim chances of a negligent discharge.
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  11. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Evangelist

    I have been collecting levers since 1974 or so. I have several in 357, Marlin and Rossi, barrels in 16, 18.5 and 20. First, the Henry is heavier. 7 pounds and loads from the tube, most models and 8.3 for the Golden Boy. The Rossi 92 weighs only 4.8 pounds. The Winchester Trapper compact was only 5 pounds 4 inches but I do not think they make them anymore. The Marlin weighs 6.5 pounds.

    My take since I have several is, if you are going to scope it, get the Marlin. If you are not, get the Rossi and go with the stainless in 16 inch barrel, if you can find one. The Rossi 92 is a much stronger action but that does not matter in 357, they are on big frames and the 357 is never going to stress the gun. They even make the Rossi in 454, it can take 65,000 pounds of pressure, the Marlin design is limited to 40,000 psi. If you have a 454 and can find one the, Rossis, very rare, they are wonderful guns. They are back in production but well sought after. They also kick like heck in a 4 pound 8 ounce gun (16 inch). I have Marlins in 357 made in 1980 and one in 2012, both are wonderful (6-6.5 pounds). The old one shoots 1 inch groups with hot reloads I do not know about the newer one. The older ones have the microgroove barrel the new once have traditional rifling. I really do not have a strong opinion either way.https://www.rifleshootermag.com/editorial/review-rossi-model-92/83720

    I also have the Glock 19 and KelTech sub2000. They are my backpack travel guns, just throw them in a back pack with several mags every time we leave town. I am not a big fan of the new Ruger pistol caliber carbines, they are just too heavy and bulky compared to little things like the Keltec. The Keltec weighs 4.2 pounds. The Ruger is 6.8 pounds. If I want a gun that heavy, I will just go to a much superior round in an AR.

    I do have a Henry Golden Boy in 22 mag, which matches my Ruger Single 6 in 22 Mag very well. The Henry is excellent for what it is. If I wanted to hunt with it, I would get the standard version, not the GB.

    I you ever get a chance to just take a hike with the little Rossi or Winchester Trapper you will see why they are so hard to find. The hot 357 mag can get up to 1,200 foot pounds of energy yet the gun feels like you are carrying something small like Ruger 10/22. I shoot a lot of 38 wad cutters in mine, like shooting a 22.

    I have written these same comments multiple time on G and G, so if it seems familiar, well it is. Love my levers, especially in 357.

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  12. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Evangelist

    Many of the Rossis have both the side and tube loading. Two of mine do. I think Henry was losing market sales so they recently added side loading to several of their guns. They are now like the Rossis and can be loaded either way or unloaded through the tube. https://www.henryusa.com/rifles/side-gate-lever-action/
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  13. cjleete

    cjleete G&G Evangelist

    I have the Marlin in .357. Goes well with the S&W 66
    Got both used for a decent price, and haven't tried the Henry or Rossi. There are Italian and Japanese made copies of the Winchester but they cost more than a good AR15.

    Attached Files:

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  14. shanebrews

    shanebrews G&G Evangelist

    I will say, the Marlin .357 I've got does not like .38SPL cartridges at all. They barely feed.
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  15. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Evangelist

    Wad cutters? Most if not all of the pistol caliber lever guns will require a hard upswing with the lever if you load the shorter caliber wad cutters in them. My two made in 1980 and 2012 both have that issue. If you will try the flat point round nose or jacketed hollow points that will usually solve the problem because the wad cutter lip is not there.
    cooker300 likes this.
  16. shanebrews

    shanebrews G&G Evangelist

    No, most of my ammo is LRN. The gun doesn't seem to align the short cartridges very well and it does take a hard swing of the lever to get them to chamber.
    cooker300 likes this.
  17. How do they do with truncated cone bullets?
    cooker300 likes this.
  18. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan G&G Evangelist

    I've got a break action single shot NEF in 44 mag. Bought it to deer hunt with and 44's are what I already had. Never had a complaint with it.

    Head shot.jpg
  19. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Evangelist

    I do not recall loading any truncated bullets in 38 special for the lever guns. I have used the Tullamo brand factories in 357 in the lever guns and they work fine, they are truncated, so I assume the 38s would be fine. Here is what theirs looks like. [​IMG]

    I use a Keith type semi wadcutter for for my 38s and jackets soft points in either 125 grain Remingtons or the 158 grain Hornady.

    My mold casts bullets like this with the ledge that hangs up in the Marlin. I also load the same bullet in the 357 cases and they go in much easier so I think it is just an issue with the shorter case.

    [​IMG]And for what it is worth, I bought a few boxes of the Tullamo a couple years ago because they were cheap, $17 a box I think. In my 3 inch SW model 60 they go 1,201 fps which is over 500 foot pounds in that tiny gun. I did not test their speed in the lever guns but they have some thump and those truncated bullets just feed well. No issues.
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  20. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Evangelist

    I do have the issue with both the Marlins and the Rossis. . Just jerk up on the lever and it feeds. Annoying but they do work. In fact, I just started loading them in the 357 cases and they work better.

    On the down side, all my other levers feed just fine so I expect these to also, but the shorter rounds are a problem. My Guide Gun is smooth as glass, my little Henry Golden Boy in 22 mag the same way, and my old model 94 Winchester is just a pleasure. So, the clunking with the 38s is annoying. The Rossis are smoother than the Marlins but that is just the design I think. Love em both.