357mag/44mag short lever guns - opinions - Pistolsmith

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Old 05-08-2001, 07:03 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 91
Of the two calibers, which one would be preferable for a short, handy, non - semiauto action rifle used for <75yds defensive action. I've never owned a lever gun, so I need novice advice as well. Marlin, Winchester, Italian brands, etc? Which brand and model? I'm leaning towards the 1894cp (?) Marlin, the ported, 16" barrelled, .357mag, and getting some receiver mounted peep/ghostrings for it. If anyone has done something similar with their short levergun, please let me know.
Thanks, EricO
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Old 05-08-2001, 07:38 PM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Michigan, USA
Posts: 71
I like the Marlin the best for a Lever gun if I have the choice. Why? You can easily remove the bolt from the back of the receiver for cleaning/maintenance. this way you can clean it from the breach end.

As far as Caliber goes I would lean towards the 44Mag UNLESS you want a companion piece to your .357Mag. With the 44Mag you can get some really hot factory ammo that the lever gun can handle, as well as you, as opposed to the .357Mag......
Old 05-08-2001, 11:05 PM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 24
Why a pistol cartridge? If you want a lever gun get a 30/30 and have a carbine in a carbine chambering.You can pick up a used one for $100-$150 and ammo is cheap most particularly at wal-Mart or K-Mart during "the season".Pistol cartridges are generally loaded for pistol length barrels(go figure)and perform poorly out of longer barrels,although at one time Federal made .44mag and .357mag in special carbine loads,I don't know if they still do or not.Put an electronic (red dot)sight on it and you have a very quick very lethal 100yd carbine that has probably taken more deer size game than any other in history.
Old 05-09-2001, 01:09 AM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 408
I would opt for the 44 even over a 30 30. Down here the woods are very dense, and getting a shot more then 25 yards without obstruction is unlikely. So down here at least, i would opt for a heavier bullet etc..

I just found a Marlin 1894 in 44 mag that was made in 1982, but NIB! Im sending it to Brockmans for some minor work.

Gonna be a hog gun, companion to the 4-5/8" blackhawk 44 mag i carry.
Old 05-09-2001, 03:07 PM   #5
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 515
A short .44 lever-gun has much to recommend it. The Marlin 1894P, for example, is scarcely longer than an MP-5, hits hard, holds a decent amount of ammo, and is so politically-correct that even Dianne Fein-swine would have a hard time hating it.

I would discourage fitting an optic to such a small and handy piece. Instead, a nice ghost-ring rear and post front would be my preferred set-up (the Ashley Outdoors sights are nice, if a bit frustrating to zero). A butt-cuff can be added to offer some additional on-board ammo.

I would echo the advice to choose the .44 over the .357 or .30-30, unless those chamberings fill a specific need for the user.

Many modern-day lever guns have begun incorporating a cross-bolt "safety" in the receiver. Those who anticipate using such carbines for serious purposes will do well to take measures to ensure that this device does not become activated inadvertantly and thus cause a "click" when a "bang" is required.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Rosco Benson on 2001-05-09 15:14 ]</font>
Old 05-09-2001, 06:38 PM   #6
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 30
Mr. Benson, I too have been interested in the smallish .44mag lvr act. carbine. Do you recomend deactivating the cross-bolt safety or is there another modification that allows its use without removing it? Who does these modifications or how hard are they to do?
Old 05-10-2001, 09:39 AM   #7
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 515
I would never presume to advise anyone to deactivate a safety device, no matter how spurious. However, should you weigh the matter and decide for yourself to do so, I have heard it reported that a little spring steel c-clip or an appropriately sized rubber O-ring can be affixed to the groove on the safety button that protrudes from the left side of the receiver.

One could also practice and habituate oneself to pressing the safety button during one's presentation of the rifle.

Old 05-11-2001, 08:40 PM   #8
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 30
Thanks. That makes sense to train with the safety. I've heard many complaints about it and wondered if there were a gunsmith fix.
Old 05-16-2001, 10:09 PM   #9
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 31
Lever guns

We have several around the place..Win. 94 trapper with ghost ring and post front in 44 mag gets a fair amount of use as does another in 45 Colt.

My personnal favorite though is a .444 Marlin that I had cut to 16" with a Wild West rear and silver soldered ramp front post. The lever was forged out some to accept a gloved hand and the stock cut to 12 3/4"..Very similar to the Wild West conversions. This unit is short, handy and powerfull with 300gr. Hornady XTPs. I call it my thumper!!! It does so on both ends!
Old 05-21-2001, 02:43 AM   #10
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 10
Yes the lever action has not yet been eclipsed. In any caliber it is good to about 150 yards. If you own one, get an aperture sight on it! I would prefer a rifle caliber. The lever action is very light, sleek, and fast to the shoulder. Mark4-45 is correct in cutting it to 12.75. A long stock is only going to give you problems. Air force marksman have been known to shoot with lengths of pull as short as 9 inch.
Competition that comes to mind, from the Rugers, is the mini 14 & 30. They are great weapons. However the .444 is a freight train compared to the Ruger calibers. I have
a .357 pistol and have thought of getting a rifle to go with it. And it makes sense to our brain, but the pistol and the rifle are a different weapons. Offence and defense.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Savary on 2001-05-22 23:48 ]</font>

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