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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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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......
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.

Rosco



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Rosco Benson on 2001-05-09 15:14 ]</font>
 

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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?
Thanks
 

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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.

Rosco
 

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Thanks. That makes sense to train with the safety. I've heard many complaints about it and wondered if there were a gunsmith fix.
 

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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!
 

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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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I am going to pick up a new stainless Marlin in 45 Colt and rechamber it to 454. Why you ask, because I can and I would have a matching set of Casulls. One with a 7.5 barrel and one with a 16.25 barrel.

I plan on eliminating the safety by welding a piece of stainless in its place and surface grinding it smooth.

Tom
AF Shooting Team
 

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Tom,

I would really think hard about doing such a conversion. I started looking into just such a project two years ago. I contacted Brockman and Wild West and neither wanted to touch it. I found out Keith Dehart (713-771-3336) has done a conversion on Marlins. Give him a call, maybe he can fill you in? There was also another smith that tried it with .45 Colt W-94s and from what I heard he stopped doing them due to stretched receivers.

As you probably know, the .454 Casull is producing 54,000+ CUP. This pressure level is comparable to the .300 WinMag. Now the .300 WinMag has been chambered for the Browning BLR lever gun, so we know it can be done with a lever gun. But IMHO, I just don't think the .45 Colt Marlin is built quite stout enough for the .454 Casull. It is your business, but I would hate to see you have a problem with the higher pressure levels of the .454 Casull round.

My lever gun/single action revolver dream cartridge combo is the .475 Linebaugh. Since the .475 Linebaugh is based on the .45-70 case (w/less powder) it is a good conversion candiate for my .45-70 Marlin Guide Gun. Interestingly enough, I have come to find out Nonneman Custom Rifles (660-927-3401) is building a .475 Linebuagh lever gun. Maybe they could tell you more about the .454 Casull in a lever gun?

DD
 

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Another 2 cents for the little Winchester or Marlin lever guns. Personally, I don't have much use for the 357 chambering but have several in 44 and 30/30 as well as a truncated Marlin in 45/70. I prefer a 1915 vintage Model 92 to any of them, but generally prefer the feel and shooting of the Winchester 94's over the Marlins.

Most of the SASS folk (who do a fair bit of shooting of the various pistol calibre carbines) seem to prefer the Marlin's for the shorter lever throw and the shorter action for pistol calibres, plus the greater ease of disassembly---and those factors are surely worth consideration.

As a plus factor, the short barrelled "Trappers" in 44 and 30/30 which I own all seem to shoot well and generally better than the longer bbl models. I attribute this to the stiffer barrel.

I might note that I have ZERO experience with Marlins and Winchesters since the push button safety was added and though there are aftermarket replacements for the button which nullify it and I have heard of folks using rubber O-rings and such to nullify the safety, I'm just too offended by the idea of the legally-inspired addition of the safety to own one.

As a strong point for the 30/30, you can still pick up pre-64 Model 94's reasonably and 50's generation and early 94's are surely slicker than ANY of the current offerings. Add a receiver or tang peep (Ashley's haven't superceded the virtues of the old Lyman 66 or the Williams FoolProof which have proved their worth over many years) and you have a lovely short range hunting rifle and a most inoffensive and effective car or house gun. If you're worried about "over-penetration" (WHATEVER that really is) with the the 30/30 round, consider some of the factory "Cowboy" loads.

Desert Dog made a really solid case for NOT re-chambering one of the pistol carbines to the Casull round. Pressures just too high for the gun though I've heard at least one knowledgeable person talking about using one of the beefier actions chambered for the 375 Win for a Casull. Personally, for me, it's just more trouble than the result is worth and the value of the rifle/pistol combination is more illusory than real unless you're planning on travelling in an environment that limits number of rounds per firearm and the use of the weapons are well within the limitations of pistol calibres.

Hope these are some, at least, minimally useful points to think about in your search for a lever carbine....

P.S. As an afterthought, I can't imagine why one would want a ported or braked carbine in any of these cartridges. Certainly don't need one on my truncated 45/70, much less for a 44 or 357 or 30/30.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: 256M-S on 2001-05-22 12:41 ]</font>
 

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I have tinkered with lever action (and pump) carbines for years. At first I was quite taken whith the .44 Mag and I am sure it will do most of what you want. I also have an early .45 Colt in a Winchester 94 and if you handload it will definitely do what you want (like a 340 gr. bullet at around 1500 fps and these with Ross Seyfried loads that are only around 27,000 CUP).

However after much use I finally decided a rifle should be in a rifle caliber. More penetration in metal, more wound channel, more range. I have 16" 30 WCF (OK so I go back a long way :smile:)in both Winchester 94 and Marlin 336 and they do a splendid job. I guess my favorite carbine though is a Remington 141 pump with a 16" barrel in .35 Remington... if it was good enough for Frank Hamer it is good engough for me. You can still find Marlin 336s in this caliber also though the "Marauder Carbine" in .35 is a bit of a collectors item, you can have a regular 20" gun cut back.

All this is a nifty topic but probably we will find ourselves only with a pistol when the "ship hits the sand", so to speak. Still, one "needs" to have a good PC carbine.

Then of course there is the nifty No. 5 Jungle Carbine.....

Carry on,
Jim Higginbotham
 

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Boy, some folks on this forum should write books, if they don't already. Reading these posts is better than any magazine I can think of.

I guess I view my guns like old boots. Many memories, very hard to get rid of. Never have owned a lever rifle in a pistol caliber, although the thought has tempted me many times. Would like to try the right one in .44 mag, that would reliably feed the Garrett loads.

Jim mentions the .35 Remington. A deer-taker supreme. This cartridge, in either a rifle or TC, is much like the 9x23, in my mind, or maybe the 125 grain .357. That is, it does a little magic down range. I have seen deer hit with the .35 Rem. that shudder, then fall dead. Same size game shot with heavier and faster stuff don't do what I have seen them do after hit with the .35 Rem.

For those looking for some real brush power, the .35 Rem will indeed do you proud.
 

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A couple of posts above mentioned the Marlin .45-70 Guide Gun. That is the sweetest little lever action I have ever fired. It's light weight, compact, and packs a hell of a punch. It's ported at the factory, so it doesn't even kick much. A truly great gun for the $.
 

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I hadn’t thought about the higher pressures of the 454. I just held a new stainless Marlin and thought it would be cool to have one in 454. It looked beefy as all hell. Maybe I need to reconsider. Thanks for the heads up.

Tom
AF Shooting Team
 

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The sweetest little lever gun ever was the Browning B-92. It was a repo made in Japan in the 70's or 80's. It was chambered both in .357 and 44 mag. It has the shortest throw of all the lever guns due to the short cartridges it was originally designed for. Winchester also came out with the same gun recently(made in the same factory in Japan). The quality is far better than the Rossi and clone guns.
 
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