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Old 04-28-2015, 08:42 PM   #1
gmiguy OP
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Recommendations on a 357 carbine

I'm interested in purchasing a lever-action carbine chambered in .357 for general use ranging from afternoon plinking up to feral pig hunting.

I like the flexibility, availability, and cost of .357 as well as the layout and function of the lever action. I also like the non-threatening old-timey Red Ryder appearance and vibe.

I'm pretty set on this concept, realize it's not "ideal" for anything, and would prefer to discuss which one to get rather than why an AR is a superior alternative (as the mil-style guns don't appeal to me) or the moral/legal/political issues involving guns generally (as I genuinely don't care).

Willing to spend up to $1000, looking new or used. Whatever I get I'll probably keep forever so don't mind paying for something solid but I don't care about a fine finish and don't want to pay more if all it gets is shinier wood and more even bluing.

I will probably put a scope on whatever I get, so don't care much about the OEM sights.

I can find four manufacturers without getting into big-dollar prestige stuff.
-Rossi
-Marlin
-Henry
-Winchester

Anybody I missed, or any reason to prefer one of these to the others?

Barrels range from 16" to 20". I'm 71" tall so am leaning towards the longer ones but am open to suggestions.

Dark horse candidate is something like a rotary magazine bolt-action Ruger 357. Not as cool as the lever action and half the capacity but I'd consider it with a compelling rationale.

gmiguy screwed with this post 04-28-2015 at 08:47 PM
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Old 04-28-2015, 09:00 PM   #2
Manuel Garcia O'Kely
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We have several gun threads, but I'll humor you.

The jury is still out on new production Marlins. I like my pre remlins but I don't have one in .357.

The only advantage to the bolt action is accuracy, but with the 357, the usable range is such that the increased accuracy is probably negligible.

No experience with Henry or Winchester, but Win is a well tested design.

All things being equal in your mind, I would go on fit.
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Old 04-28-2015, 09:25 PM   #3
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I am in slow look mode for a pre-Remlin Marlin .357.

By slow look I mean I browse the racks in two stores that have a decent selection of used guns about twice a year. When I find one, at a non-exorbinant price, I'll buy. Pre- Remington Marlin or Browning for me.
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Old 04-29-2015, 05:28 AM   #4
Wasserhund
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Lever action

I have a Marlin 30-30, I'm not impressed. We also have a Henry that is smooth and shoots very well. No more Marlins for me
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Old 04-29-2015, 06:02 AM   #5
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Find a Browning B-92 on gunbroker. Made by miroku for browning in the early 80s. They are a 1892 pattern lever action, so top eject. May be problematic for scope mounting, but a nice ghost ring would be more fitting anyway.

I have one in .44 magnum, and .357 are around. It is the nicest lever action I have ever put my hands on, period. No rattles at all. It may take some waiting and looking, but it's 100% worth it.


here's a .44 magnum example
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Old 04-29-2015, 06:16 AM   #6
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I've shot a .357 Rossi a long time ago. Not quite as accurate as my .30-.30 Marlin was, but it had smooth action and went bang very loud.

Uberti makes a .357 lever too, IIRC.
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Old 04-29-2015, 06:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Manuel Garcia O'Kely View Post
We have several gun threads, but I'll humor you.
Did I misunderstand how Shiny Things works? We have several vehicle threads too, but if somebody has a specific question about a specific type of car it's probably not inappropriate for them to start a new thread about it, right?

After further reading I'm convinced that a scope would be unnecessary and probably more trouble than it's worth and will just go with decent aftermarket sights if the OEM ones are a problem.
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Old 04-29-2015, 06:29 AM   #8
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My Marlin .357 is my favorite go-to rifle when something shows up in the yard. It's as natural as pointing a finger & I rarely miss. The added bonus of being able to plink with .38 specials is just another reason to keep shooting it
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:07 AM   #9
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I don't have a .357 carbine but I do have a Winchester Trapper (16" barrel) in .45 Colt. The gun is a lot of fun but I might do it differently if I was to start over. Mine is a centennial model (1994), Other than the coincidence of 100 years after the first 94's I would not pick it over an earlier model, specifically NOT over one that predates the cross-bolt safety. We are not supposed to value anything above safety these days but I think the cross-bolt was a great answer to a non-existing problem. For some years I shot Cowboy (pistol cartridge) silhouette with the rifle and setting it on the shooting bench with the open action (right side since it is angle -eject) up was an invitation to the safety to place itself in the "ON" position. Dummy that I apparently am I would often waste too much of my shooting time trying to take the first shot with the safety in that position. I did learn that an appropriately sized "O" ring applied to the safety would prevent this leaving just an unsightly lump on the left side to complain about.
The angle-eject feature would allow you to use a scope and they are already drilled and tapped for a mount. Perhaps best would be to find a model new enough to have AE but old enough to not have the 'extra' safety.
I don't use a scope on that carbine. I got a Lyman No. 2 Tang sight and installed it (had to drill and tap one hole on the tang). It is a cool, old style sight and it works great but I wonder if it might prove fragile in general, knock around use and it does make hand position on the wrist of the stock awkward. The Williams receiver sight on my 30-30 carbine lacks some of the 'cool factor' of the tang sight but allows for aperture sight accuracy without the likelihood of knocking the tang sight out of whack.
I have read more than a few articles about (pre Remington) Marlins being more accurate than Winchesters but have no experience with them. At some point I believe that Winchester changed to a tang mounted safety which would eliminate my complaints about mine except that I would not be able to use the tang sight.
Enjoy your search, there are a number of options out there.

Bruce
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:54 AM   #10
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I have a Marlin .357/.38 carbine, straight stock, that I bought used off of GunTrader.

I bought it as something different to have and hunt with (Florida game is usually smaller).

Took it to the gun range only one time - damned thing was so accurate, even with iron sights, that I don't take it out for practice anymore - took a hog with it months later. I like it - a lot.

I'd have to guess it's one of the newer Marlins, but I really don't know how old it is. I bought it used back in about 2006.
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Old 04-29-2015, 10:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmiguy View Post
Did I misunderstand how Shiny Things works? We have several vehicle threads too, but if somebody has a specific question about a specific type of car it's probably not inappropriate for them to start a new thread about it, right?

After further reading I'm convinced that a scope would be unnecessary and probably more trouble than it's worth and will just go with decent aftermarket sights if the OEM ones are a problem.
No worries, gun threads are always fun.

I would agree that a scope would be redundant on a carbine, your effective range is about that of a good iron sight, you might like a peep but IMHO more than that is unnecessary.

I'm interested in what you eventually choose.
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Old 04-29-2015, 11:24 AM   #12
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I really like my Rossi 92. It's a John Browning design. Strong and light weight. Mine has a 16" barrel and is stainless.

They are cheap, strong and reliable. I added a skinner peep for a rear sight. Carries great in a shotgun sling.

They do require a little love out of the box though. Condition the wood with some good oil and wax. I cut the magazine tube spring down from 7" over barrel to 4". And I took a file to the loading port to smooth it out a bit.

If you're willing to consider a bolt gun, my Ruger 77/357 killed a nice doe for me two years ago.

My Henry rifle is in another class. It's so purdy that I wouldn't dare drag it out to a snowy tree stand. The Rossi is a lovely tool that you can beat on and not feel too bad about. Less than $400 gets you a modern classic.
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:26 PM   #13
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Old 04-29-2015, 05:57 PM   #14
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Speaking of lever actions, I brought my .357 on a hog hunt (which I probably won't ever go on again - the meat wasn't worth it), but my buddy had just bought a .45-70 lever action. Of course he went the extra mile and bought Buffalo Bore magnum ammunition...

I witnessed him taking two full sized wild hogs at once with one shot. I knew the hog he was aiming at, and couldn't understand why the one immediately behind it fell to its knees right after the shot.

He really didn't mean to do it, but we're talking a lung shot with the front one and a heart shot with the one behind it.

If I ever buy another lever action, it will be a .45-70. It is a very versatile round that can be reloaded a number of ways.
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Old 04-29-2015, 06:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
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If I ever buy another lever action, it will be a .45-70. It is a very versatile round that can be reloaded a number of ways.
+1 For about 130+ years, 45-70 has been the ultimate lever action round.
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