Lever gun questions

Lever gun questions

This is a discussion on Lever gun questions within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Okay, so on a slow day that I should spend studying, I find myself reading up on Winchester 94's, and I've formulated a few questions ...

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Thread: Lever gun questions

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array BAC's Avatar
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    Lever gun questions

    Okay, so on a slow day that I should spend studying, I find myself reading up on Winchester 94's, and I've formulated a few questions for folks more knowledgeable than I in the area of lever guns (that should be most of you; all I know about them is I like the feel of them). Since I'm a "form follows function" sort, the purpose of the lever gun would be a maneuverable hunting weapon that would share ammo with a revolver. That pretty much limits me to something with a 20" or shorter barrel and in .357 magnum or .45 Colt; while I like the .45 Colt, I'd want to stick with .357 for ammo availability and cost.

    Moving on to the questions: what would be the effective range of a .357 mag out of a lever gun for, say, hunting deer? Is there any 16" or 20" model you guys could recommend over others? What should I expect to pay for the suggested model (I've never priced lever guns before)?

    Thanks in advance,


    -B


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    Member Array ImaShepardRU's Avatar
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    Cowboy Shooter talking here;
    Had a Win '94 in .44 mag (shoots .44 Specials just fine too) I would suggest that caliber over a .357 (unless you were going to compete in Cowboy Action Shooting) for the superiority in a hunting round as well as self defense etc.

    Also, would give some thought to the Marlin 1894 line, as they are smoother to operate and are available in the same calibers. I shoot one quite effectively and competitively.

    Food for thought; .357's will digest .38 Specials (for cheaper shooting!) without much of a hitch.
    I have found that the Marlins will run better with a slightly longer overall length to the round. (Close to 1.5")

    Another note is that unless you already have revolvers in .45 Colt, it is not a common round outside of Cowboy Shooting and a more 'modern' round such as the .357 or .44 mag offers more load options.

    Range: All these calibers are suitable for 'short' range deer hunting (max of a 100 yards) but that is about it. Great for a brush gun. Just don't carry it with the hammer back! (Don't trust the cross bar safety in the brush) Barrel lenghts don't matter that much for balistics in these rounds at these ranges. The shorter the more convenient in tight spots.
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    Senior Member Array Rmac58's Avatar
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    I'm considering a lever rifle in .357 as I have a revolver, and much ammo in that caliber.
    Does anyone know if JHP's will feed?
    I have other rifles and don't hunt, so don't have an issue with lack of accuracy at long distances.

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    Although my Marlin 336 is in 30-30, with my caliber or you pistol caliber, I have found my 'woods shots' to be very effective up to 75-100 yards...even with iron sights (if the eyes still work OK).
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAC View Post
    Okay, so on a slow day that I should spend studying, I find myself reading up on Winchester 94's, and I've formulated a few questions for folks more knowledgeable than I in the area of lever guns (that should be most of you; all I know about them is I like the feel of them). Since I'm a "form follows function" sort, the purpose of the lever gun would be a maneuverable hunting weapon that would share ammo with a revolver. That pretty much limits me to something with a 20" or shorter barrel and in .357 magnum or .45 Colt; while I like the .45 Colt, I'd want to stick with .357 for ammo availability and cost.

    Moving on to the questions: what would be the effective range of a .357 mag out of a lever gun for, say, hunting deer? Is there any 16" or 20" model you guys could recommend over others? What should I expect to pay for the suggested model (I've never priced lever guns before)?

    Thanks in advance,


    -B
    I would also look into a Marlin 336 which you can get chambered in .357 as well even though I would say 30-30 would be a better hunting cartridge. This comes in a 16" or 20" version. New in the box you should be able to find it around $370.00

    Either way once you get your gun picked out I would check out the new Leverlution ammo by Hornady. According to the factory with 140gr. rounds it still has 1143/406 (fps/ft-lbs) at 100 yards which would I would think pushes its useful range much further. Again I have only shot this ammo out of a 30-30 but it is fantastic stuff.

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    Ex Member Array echobaby's Avatar
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    The .38/.357mag would permit you to hunt small game as well as medium size game. The effective range of this caliber is mostly up to you. If you can consistantly shoot 4"MOA at 100yds. you're good to go hunting deer at that range. Check-out Buffalo Bore for some good hunting ammo.

  7. #7
    Ex Member Array DOGOFWAR01's Avatar
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    Marlin 1894C 357MAG/38SPEC

    Henry Rifles 357MAG/38SPEC

    Marlin Firearms Forum

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    VIP Member Array BAC's Avatar
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    ImaShepardRU, I appreciate your opinion, but I think I'm pretty sold on .357 magnum; .44 magnum simply isn't always available at local stores (read: doesn't meat the 'Wally World' test). For that reason I'm also going to lay to rest (for now) the idea of a lever gun in .45 Colt. Given that I can't imagine four inches to mean much to a pistol caliber, I would also agree with you that the shorter barrel would be ideal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay6 View Post
    I would also look into a Marlin 336 which you can get chambered in .357 as well even though I would say 30-30 would be a better hunting cartridge. This comes in a 16" or 20" version. New in the box you should be able to find it around $370.00
    Okay, I was just about sold on a Marlin 1894C, but if there's a Marlin 336 out there in .357 with a 16" barrel that'll be the one for me. Any idea where I can find this creature?

    Retsup, echobaby, DOGOFWAR, your advice is appreciated too. In fact, I might even direct some of these questions to that Marlin forum...


    -B

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAC View Post
    Is there any 16" or 20" model you guys could recommend over others?
    I picked up a Marlin 1894CP .357mag lever-action within the last year. It's got a ported 16" blued bbl, exceptional balance and handling. My particular one had been broken in very well, so the action is nice and "slick." Have also got a Marlin 1894P .44mag, with similar specs. Both can be called "brush" guns, suitable for tight quarters with brush/trees around. They are light. IMO, the porting takes away most of the muzzle rise. The .357 hardly kicks at all. Even the .44mag is extremely manageable, with more of a "push" to the recoil than a "slap" (and ~75% less recoil than, say, a .30-30 lever).

    For deer, I'd consider the .44mag out beyond 100yds a bit, though probably not the .357. But that's just me.

    What should I expect to pay for the suggested model (I've never priced lever guns before)?
    2yrs ago, I paid $400 NIB for a "safe queen" 1894P .44. This year I paid $500 for an 1894CP .357. With the economy faltering, you can find these occasionally for a bit less, but usually they're priced higher. Well-used examples can be less.

    Check the Winchester Trapper 16" or Winchester Ranger in similar layout. There's one on GunBroker right now for $600 BuyNow, in 16" .44mag.

    For deer, you can find any number of used Winchester 94 .30-30's in the $250-350 range. For deer, .30-30 is probably a better choice.

    And, with any of them, you could have the bbl cut down, ported, whatever.
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    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    I have a Winchester '94AE trapper, saddle ring carbine with a 16" barrel. I was lucky and bought mine new when the price was $325. They are around $500 now. It is a great shooter and accuracy is good out to 100 yds with my eyes and iron sights. Recoil with 38 spl is non-existent and not bad at all with full house .357 loads.

    It feeds hp's just fine.

    I haven't shot a deer with it yet. I just bought some Federal Fusion 158gr ammo for that purpose and will hopefully get to test it on one this year. A couple of guys who I've talked to like that ammo for hunting in carbines and revolvers and say it has worked well for them on both deer and wild hogs.

    The Marlin is also a good choice IMO. I say this not because I own one - I don't own one - but becuase it has been in succesful production with a good reputation for about as long as the Winchester. Many say the Marlins are designed better, and I wouldn't argue with them on that point. I plan to add one of those to my collection in the coming years.
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  11. #11
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    I have three Winchester 94 *trappers*. Very handy little packages, I wouldn't be without one in 30WCF and .45 Colt.





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    Ex Member Array DOGOFWAR01's Avatar
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    The only Marlin I know of in 357 MAG is the Marlin 1894C, but of course I could have missed another one somewhere along the way, only been shooting Marlins for 50 plus years and the only one on the Marlin web site in 357 MAG I could find is the Marlin 1894C.

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    OD*
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    The "CP" was the ported model "C".

    http://www.gunsamerica.com/976901744...TED_BARREL.htm
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    VIP Member Array BAC's Avatar
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    Are Winchester 94 Ranger Compacts and Trappers still sold? I'd really, really prefer to keep this a fairly inexpensive rifle (sub-$500 would be ideal). If I can't find the a Marlin .357 with a 16" barrel, I'll definitely be hunting for a 94 Ranger Compact or Trapper.

    OD, sgtD, how many rounds do the .357s hold with a 16" barrel? Eight or nine?


    -B

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    OD*
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAC View Post
    Are Winchester 94 Ranger Compacts and Trappers still sold?
    Not yet, rumor is FN will start producing the 94s again, they are currently making the Model 70s.

    OD, sgtD, how many rounds do the .357s hold with a 16" barrel? Eight or nine?


    -B
    9 in the magazine if I remember correctly.
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