- Feb 27, 2022
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First, ask yourself a few questions.Curious for those of you in the know about lever actions..
If you were to want to buy a .357 lever action now, what model would you purchase and why?
What are you going to use the rifle for?
Casual target shooting?
Do I want to mount a scope or red dot on it?
Do I want to mount a suppressor on it?
Am I going to reload for it, or factory ammo only?
What is my budget?
The answers to these questions will help narrow your focus from all the brands, to one or two.
So, here are the pros and cons of each brand as I see it.
Genuine Winchester Model 92 made in the USA.
The classic Old West lever gun. If you have a thing for John Wayne, this is the original.
Excellent quality in the pre-64 made guns. Quality dipped after 1964 in the US made guns. The later Japanese production was also high quality, but a lot of peeps think this is sacrilege.
Only the later production models are drilled and tapped for scope mounts. There was a side mount bracket for the older ones, but it is a bit clunky.
The Winchester design is more complex internally than the Marlin. Depending on your Mad Skilz, you may want to leave disassembly to a gunsmith.
Winchester guns and clones cannot accept heavy for the caliber (over 180gr) bullets. It's a length thing.
Everything Winchester is expensive these days. Pre-64 guns are going to command collector prices.
Italian and Brazilian Winchester Model 92 clones.
The Italian guns are higher quality, but more expensive, but still a lot less than a real Winchester. The Brazilian guns exhibit more machining marks and the action may need some slicking up to cycle as smooth as a real Winchester, but they are more affordable, especially if it is going to get bumped and scratched in the deer woods. Being these are current production, they are drilled and tapped for a scope.
Marlin model 1894C
Simpler design makes detail stripping much easier. Bolt is easy to remove for cleaning from the breech.
All Marlin 1894C's are drilled and tapped. Stainless models were available.
Ruger owns Marlin now and has been introducing models gradually after a thorough engineering review. The 1894 in 44 Mag was recently released, but the 1894C in 357 is not currently available, but is promised.
I would avoid any of the Remington made Marlins. Remington had lots of quality issues. Simply put, if you want a Marlin 1894C, get an old one made by Marlin in New Haven or wait for the Ruger. The Ruger Marlins I have looked at exhibited excellent quality.
I have no first hand experience with a Henry, but their reputation is good and their Customer Service is crowed about by peeps that have needed it. The few that I know that own a Henry rifle are very happy with it.
Henry lists several 357 models with brass and steel receivers with a variety of finishes. There is also a threaded model.
Current production Henrys have a side gate like the Winchester and Marlin for loading in addition to the mag tube loading method. Older models loaded through a port in the mag tube like a 22LR.
This is of interest mostly if you want to hunt with a 357 Marlin lever gun and reload for it.
***** I ESTIMATE THAT THE INFORMATION BELOW IS UNKNOWN TO 99% OF THE RIFLEMEN IN THIS COUNTRY ***** WHAT I AM DESCRIBING BELOW IS A COMPLETE SYSTEM IN THE SAME WAY THAT THE COOPER SCOUT RIFLE CONCEPT WAS A CONGLOMERATION OF MANY ELEMENTS COMBINED TOGETHER TO MAKE THE SCOUT CONCEPT WHAT IT...
Found this article that may prove helpful to those wanting to shoot cast bullets in a Microgroove barrel. I can tell you from first hand experience that you need to slug the bore and size .001-.002 over that figure. Marlin's Microgroove Barrels by Glen E. Fryxell Before 1950 all...