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Discussion Starter #1
Being a revolver loving son of a gun it's only natural that I have an interest in revolver caliber carbines. Specifically I really want a lever action rifle chambered in either .44 Magnum or .357 Magnum. I've read some things recently that suggest to me that you do in fact get some truly impressive performance out of these catridges when they are launched from a rifle as compared to a handgun. I even saw where one tester found that the velocity of a 125 grain .357 Magnum load actually exceeds that of .30-30 out of a rifle barrel. That's not to say it has as much energy of course, but I remember the comparison was surprisingly good. I didn't think the pistol caliber would perform that well because, well, it's a pistol caliber.

I've planned to try to make one of these my next acquisition. The reasons why are plentiful. For one I already have handguns in these calibers and everything I need to maintain and clean one; all I would have to buy is the rifle and possibly a case for the rifle. For another these type rifles are usually around 36 inches long, which is a great size because it would be compact enough to store behind my truck seat. For another I like lever action rifles and I want one.

Also, around here, we don't really have too much in the way of large wildlife and people hunt with .30-30 and iron sights all the time. Where I come from you have to basically snipe the deer at 400 yards and you'd better be using a powerful caliber with a pretty good scope.

I've read up that people actually hunt certain species of bear with .44 Magnum. That surprised me slightly.

The first decision I'm having trouble with is should I get the .44 Magnum or .357 Magnum chambered rifle first?

I am leaning somewhat towards the .44 Magnum. I browsed somewhere that the rifling on most barrels of lever action carbines in this caliber is a 1 in 9 right hand twist I believe. Supposedly this makes it difficult to shoot any load heavier than 240 grains accurately for some reason. That in itself I guess doesn't bother me because my only .44 WMR wheelgun is not really rated for anything hotter than a 240 grain load and I would want interchangeable ammunition. I also reason that the .44 Magnum can do anything that the .357 can do but not vice versa.

However I can't deny that the .357 chambering might actually be more practical. Honestly I can't think of any wild animal around here that would be able to withstand a well placed shot from a handgun in this caliber so a rifle should make it a moot point. I also carry .38 caliber revolvers pretty often. The thought of being able to stuff a box of .38 Specials in there and have spare SHTF ammunition for both the rifle and the handgun is might appealing.

Of course I actually would like to have both but I must get one first.

The other thing I am wondering is what manufacturer and model to go with. I'm partial to Marlin but I am not adverse to a Winchester/USRA or whatever you want to call them. I also like Ruger rifles. I have to admit the stainless steel Marlin is an appealing thought as I like stainless steel finishes both for their appearance and their durability.

I'm not going to get terribly worked up about this. I'm going to strut around and look for a real deal because I don't just need it all that badly. I haven't even finished the Popper yet. I think I'll wind up buying new because I don't see these types of guns used very often.

But I think I would benefit from having it and I think it could be another good tool in personal security. For one thing a gun like this is so much more low profile than other choices, for another if you choose your ammunition carefully it's very reliable, and with practice you can actually let loose a pretty consistent barrage of fire if you wanted to.

I know we had a thread on the Marlin 336 before, but does anyone have a rifle like this in a handgun caliber as I have described? Would you hesitate to use it for an all purpose gun as well as a defensive one? Any experiences with any products?
 

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Caliber will be tough choice i want one in 44 kind of want the Ruger Deerfield carbine.. Wish Ruger made a 357 carbine also Rugers have been good to me if

I was gonna buy a lever gun it would be a Marlin but the Pump pump if its still made looks kind of sweet
 

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Bad, Bad, Thief QKShooter !!!

I stole this article off the web for you.
I just slapped my own wrist really hard!

I can't think of anything more Ideal than a Stainless Marlin in .44 Mag.


Marlin's stainless .44 Magnum
Guns Magazine, Oct, 2003 by Charles E. Petty


In the eastern half of the country there are plenty of whitetail deer and lots of guys who hunt them. For the life of me I've never been able to understand why super magnum rifles are so popular there. To be sure there cam be some long shots but most aren't. Of course there's no way to be really precise about this, but from my own experience I would wager the majority of deer in the east are taken at ranges of 100 yards or less. That's why the .30-30 lever action rifles from Marlin and Winchester are still standard equipment. You simply do not need a .300 Ultra Mag.

And if the .30-30 is king of the east-coast deer cartridges, can the .44 Magnum be far behind? Outside of handgun hunters who use it extensively, there are several handy lever action rifles chambered for the big .44. Both Marlin and Winchester have offered them for years.

Stainless Advantage

This time though the new Marlin is made of stainless steel, I have been witness to the stainless revolution--that's really what it is--since way back in 1965 when S&W introduced the Chief's Special Model 60. It was a huge success because the idea of a material that required less attention was obviously appealing. Some folks inferred that "stainless" steel was rustproof. That never was the case, and even today stainless guns are better called rust resistant. They still need care, you just don't have to be so afraid of rain and snow.

It was a long time before S&W saw much competition in the stainless market. One reason was because the older stainless alloys were very difficult to machine. But over time alloys improved and the shops learned how to work with stainless with the same ease as they had with carbon steel. Probably the next big advancement came in barrels as custom gunsmiths began to install stainless steel barrels in varmint and target rifles. The final step in the evolution was when rifle actions were made of stainless.

Now we have a stainless steel lever action Marlin Model 1894 SS, and this just may be the ideal woods rifle. The material is the main thing to distinguish this model from other Marlin .44s. It's compact with a 19.5-inch barrel and straight grip stock with 14-inch length of pull. These dimensions fit most folks and I found the little carbine to handle with ease.

The stock has nice straight grain with checkering in the grip area. There is a rubber butt plate which can't really be called a recoil pad, but doubtless softens things a little. Not that recoil is a major issue with .44 magnum in a 6.5 pound carbine. The forend has equally nice wood with a large area of checkering. It is wide enough to be comfortable without getting in the way. In keeping with the likely use, sling swivel studs are installed. The receiver is drilled and tapped for scope mounts.

Making The Most Of The Magnum

I've heard some debate about the suitability of the .44 Magnum for big game hunting in terms of both power and accuracy. Neither of those arguments hold much water. Since its debut in 1956, the .44 Magnum cartridge has been the darling of handgun hunters and has taken just about every game animal in the world. All the carbine does is make it better with improved velocity and accuracy. The cartridge has proven time and again that it is capable of superb accuracy and those who claim that it isn't may be blaming the cartridge for shooter errors of trigger control or flinching.

In full power loadings, the big .44 can be uncomfortable in handguns but those concerns are virtually eliminated in a shoulder fired weapon. The M94 definitely has some recoil and it is proportional to the intensity of the load. Hot 300-grain loadings give you a pretty good thump, but more customary 240-grain factory loads feel very moderate. The carbine makes things better in the accuracy department too, for 1 inch, 50 yard groups are common with the standard iron sights and would doubtless be much smaller with a scope.

During the course of testing the Marlin was fired with .44 Magnum ammunition ranging from 185 to 300 grains in projectile weight. All functioned through the magazine tube without incident. And just because you can shoot magnums doesn't mean you have to. Several cowboy style .44 Special loads were shot for fun and the little Marlin is a formidable plinker with those.

The instruction manual tells us the action will function with ammo from 1.535- to 1.610-inches overall length, but this one worked just fine with some cowboy loads that were a bit shorter. There is the obligatory warning about not using pointed bullets in tubular magazines. In a way, it seems surprising anyone would use them--since we know that pointed things make primers pop--but it will rain your day if a tube full goes off. I've seen the results and am glad I wasn't there.

The mechanical stuff is pretty standard for Marlin rifles. It weighs 6.5 pounds, and holds 10 rounds in the full length tubular magazine. There is a hammer block safety that has become a standard feature on new lever action designs. Trigger pull is an average 5 1/2 pounds, with just a little creep.

Just Plain Fun

This is one of those guns that tends to grow on you. It is an eminently practical hunting rifle but also a bunch of fun to shoot. The .44 Magnum chambering makes for a very versatile little carbine because you can shoot, and shoot well, everything from cowboy action level .44 Special loads all the way up to the hottest magnum levels with bullets from 185 to over 300 grains. After the work was done I had lots of fun shooting the little Marlin with modest .44 Special loads. Soda cans at 75 yards jumped smartly when hit with a lumbering 240-grain chunk of lead. Did I mention this little carbine is a lot of fun?.

ACCURACY TEST RESULTS

Load Velocity Accuracy

CCI Blazer 200 gr. JHP 1,778 1.35"
Federal Classic 220 gr. MC 1,892 1.06"
Winchester 240 gr. JHP 1,838 0.93"
Winchester Supreme 250 gr. Partition 1,759 0.85"
Pro Load 200 gr. .44 Special JHP 1,187 1.41"

Accuracy results are the average of three five shot groups at 50
yards from benchrest with iron sights. Velocity is the instrumental
average of 10 shots as measured with a PACT Chronograph.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

The Marlin Firearms Co.

[203] 239-5621

www.marlinfirearms.com

COPYRIGHT 2003 Publishers' Development Corporation
COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group
 

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Euc - I have a Win94 in .357 and a Marlin 94 in 44 Mag. The Marlin is one with micro-grooves and so that tends to preclude use of cast bullets so - not used a whole lot but - nice to shoot.

The Winchester is a shorter barrel, Ballard rifling and in that I use my fave .357 gascheck 158 SWC load - it shoots very well for what it is - at 100 yds probably managing most shots within 4 to 5". Not a real grouper but very adequate.

Both currently have red dots but if my eyes were better I'd fit ghost rings - possibly the ideal IMO for sights.

I forget whether Savage does a .44 Mag lever - if they do (probably) I'd have a serious look at that too.

Biggest downside for me is loading - fiddly!!!





 

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Ok Euclid

It's a Rare Blue Moon when can I ever catch p95Carry making a boo-boo but, the Marlin 44 has Ballard rifling.
Now You've Got
The Ruger
The Marlin
And The Winchester all suggested to you.
What are ya going to do now???? :confused:

You don't get the Ruger...you offend Bud.
You don't buy the Marlin ~ you kick my tushy.
You don't buy the Winchester...you insult P95Carry.

What To Do - What To Do!
You had better buy all three.
 

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Heck Euc - get 'em all - and we'll all smile! :biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Oh I've got the answer to that one.

Ha! I guess I'll just have to get all three eventually!

You guys are the best market research in existence :tongue:

I actually do want at least three lever guns I can think of... I'll probably cover all the brands by the time I am done.
 

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I am a very big fan of pistol caliber carbines. I have a Ruger PC9 that uses the same mags as my P95. I like being able to use the ammo in pistol and carbine. I know that there is an argument against using a long gun in pistol caliber, but there are also very good positives to it as well.

I would suggest you get the levergun in the caliber of revolver that you carry most often.
 

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Years ago I owned a Marlin .44 mag. It was a great fun gun and I shot it alot. One day I decided I wanted a .357 Magnum pistol and a trade was made. I sure wish I had the Marlin back.

Lots of people around here use them for deer hunting and lots of blackbears have been whacked with them.

Id rather have a .44 than a .357. While the .357 is really marginal for deer hunting, the .44 is no problem. Here, deer season may also be beer season. Lots of beer are killed when deer hunters just happen to be in the right spot at the right time...Ive done it myself.

As for cast bullets, the Marlin shot them just fine. I used a 240 Keith SWC loaded with Accuarate Arms No.5 powder that was moving at a sedate 1200 FPS that was very accurate and showed no leading at all. With a good solid rest the iron sights would keep them in an 8 inch circle at 100 yards all day long. Plenty good for deer or bear and about all my eyes could do without a scope.

The .44 would make an exellent truck or 4 wheeler gun. Simple, rugged and accurate and if need be quick to top off when shooting. It ever it was used for defense, that .44 would leave a big hole that hit hard.
 

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HG - did you size those bullets over size? I only have a .429 sizer die but folks have suggested the micro grooves are no prob if you size bigger. .430 I guess.
 

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Prsonally, I like the Marlin (side feed, side eject) easier to place optics on it, should you desire that option
 

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My 45/70 with micro grooves shoots Lead jsut fine i tend to find the micro groove thing a myth but i also have gone just little larger with my lead bullets 430 452 459 ya get my point
 

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ooooooooooo 45/70 sounds good.......also the 444 is pretty good also
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Okay I went to a gun store today and they were all too happy to let me pick up a few and fiddle with them.

I decided I will be getting the Marlin 1894 in .44 Magnum. The others were good, heck they were all very good, but I just felt like I had more options with the Marlin. They make XS scout mounts for it, it accepts a conventional scope more readily, and for some intangible reason it just fits better. It's also a very nice size. I have slightly short arms, and the length just felt good. I don't care for the hood on the front sight but I was informed they all pretty much come that way but all you have to do is slide it off.

Reasoning the Marlin was about 38 inches long or so, I took a meter stick and tried getting into and out of my truck's cab with it and it wasn't terribly slow or awkward.

I also found to my surprise that the lever on the Marlin is the perfect size for my hand. If it was any smaller it'd be too small to manipulate under stress and if it were any bigger it would be a possible snag hazard. I also remember the takedown for a rifle like this is pretty darn simple... I think all you do is remove the lever screw and take out the bolt and the ejector.

I don't have any real plans to do much with this rifle other than keep it behind my truck seat for the time being, but as I said before where I live a rifle like this would be quite sufficent for taking down pretty much anything native at the short distance shots I'd most likely be taking.

I don't really have any use for the cowboy model. I like the stainless but for what I'm going to do with it, I'm not going to subject it to lots of humidity so it's not like I "need" the stainless. I'll just see what's out there and if it's a good deal or not and if I get a blued one I get a blued one and if I get a stainless one I get a stainless one.

The salesman informed me that he's been at that shop for several years and he's only seen five or six single pistol caliber lever action rifles come up used. They do emerge every so often but people tend to hold onto these rifles. I figure I'll buy new then. The presence of a cross bolt safety doesn't bother me one bit.

They wanted $390.00 for theirs... I didn't take them up on that.

I think when I get a .357 chambered rifle I'll get a Winchester because that's not something I would ever want to consider an optic for.

As for the Ruger they showed me their bolt action 44 Magnum. I actually liked it more than I like their lever action 44 Magnum.
 

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Reckon the Marlin .44 will prove pleasing once you get one.

I do find the lever on mine more comfortable than the Win 94 - which seems a tad ''sharp'' - could make hand a wee bit sore over time with a lotta shooting. There is a certain ''something'' about lever guns - tradition maybe - and they are usually quite light, and eminently totable.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well and the other thing I like about them is that as much as I love my semiautomatic surplus rifles in the same price range (namely the SKS and the Romanian AK-47 and probably another few if I bothered to consider all the possiblities), for the same $300-$400 dollars the lever gun is made by an American and it's a heck of a lot more trustworthy and accurate IMHO.

The other thing about it is that even in the gravest extreme, I don't think it's a wise move as a civilian to throw a lot of lead downwind. You are probably in a built up area.

Even if you are trying to pin some thug down (the Mark Wilson scenario, may he rest in peace), giving them a close call every time they pop their little head up is adequate. This isn't Iraq where we have a band of twenty insurgents trying to launch a mortar at us and keeping them all on their faces is vital so that the air and armor support can move in.

The lever action rifle seems ideal for circumstances like these, especially in the caliber I've chosen because the capacity is plenty high enough for some insane extended shootout scenario, not to mention reloading a single round is pretty quick, and it will encourage its user to carefully place his shots.

Honestly under a lot of stress even the best trained operators, real combat experts who have seen the elephant, can be lead to spray and pray. My uncle was a LEO for several years and his department was populated by very atypical officers who all loved to shoot. These were guys who flew places to go to high priced training seminars. Two of them had to shoot a suspect in the course of my uncle's career, and they both emptied their magazines into the perpetrator.

For a civilian who probably will never have to face a situation like that more than once if not at all, a firearm which does not allow one to simply pull the trigger repeatedly is worth some consideration. Consider especially the user whose firearm exposure and experience is limited. If you gave my brother a semiautomatic rifle and told him to fire at a target in combat, he'd expend the entire magazine and hit maybe once because he doesn't know any better.

For many years in our history the pistol caliber lever action carbine in the hands of lawmen and homesteaders kept law and order. Just because it's the year 2005 doesn't mean it doesn't work any more.
 

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Euc...Thats a great choice.

And P95, I do use a .430 sizer for the cast bullets. I posted that earlier but for some reason it didnt "take".

Euc...have you given any consideration to the semi auto Ruger .44 magnum ?
Short and sweet and hard hitters. They hold 5 I think ,total.
 
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