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Thread: Thoughts on .357 lever guns?

  1. #21
    Boolit Man
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    My Browning 92 in 357 is the last gun I'd ever part with. I've shot most everything from deer on down with it over the years with never a failure or hiccup.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master helice's Avatar
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    Red face Problems with the 357 Mag Carbine.

    John,
    I feel it is my duty to warn you of the dangers of purchasing a 357 caliber rifle or carbine. I know that your intentions are innocent but you must first review the horrifying possibilities that lie in your path should you, like so many others here, succomb to this temptation.
    You will begin with a Lee loader at your kitchen table with a 1# can of Unique. You might call it "Family Time". You already have a 38 mould but once you get one of these 357 beauties you will spend untold night-time hours away from your family, hunched over at the local range, Mag-lite in hand, searchin on the ground for 357 brass. This endeavour is guarranteed to give you bad posture and send your chiropractor's kids thru college at your expense. Oh the unforseen costs, hidden from the naive. When that proves to be ineffective in meeting your insatiable needs, you will make that fateful call to Star Line, and your end is just around the corner. Within a matter of months you will have raided the children's college fund for that Self Propelled Progressive Reloader. One pound cans of Unique will be replaced with 12 pound kegs. You'll become a frequent shopper at the B.F.Goodrich store where you beg shamelessly for dirty, greazzy old wheel weights. Oh the degradation. You'll be on a first name basis with Mehec and Ranch Dog where you'll find amazing moulds that you will hold fondly while you pour that addicting silver stream. And the need for targets... Why I know a man who drinks six cans of Bud each night just so he has a few targets for the weekend.
    Then you'll make the mistake of having your wife use it. You'll say "give 'er a try Honey". Oh you poor man. You'll find yourself #2 on her list of true loves. She'll start running you out of ammo. I can see you checking your ammo cans and finding them all empty after a hard day at work. You ask the wife what she's been doing and she says "Oh Nuthin". Oh the deception, the down ward spiral. Come to think of it, I think it was his wife who was providing the targets.
    In order to get to shoot a 357 rifle you'll have to buy another one just for yourself, and just when you think you have it set, you find your wife in the shop sawing off the stock on YOUR gun to make it fit one of the kids.
    Once the youngens get at a 357 carbine .... Well you'll have to quit your job just to keep up with the reloading.
    I've tried, in the past, to warn men like you. I admit that some I warned to late, but I will not take reposibility for those of you who have spurned my warnings and have run off and had countless hours of fun. So John---Don't say I didn't warn you.
    Karl
    P.S. Do you happen to know of anyone who has one of them Self Propelled Progressive Reloaders for sale, slightly used, cheap . Mine just broke and I've already raided the kids college fund.
    Last edited by helice; 08-20-2012 at 02:36 PM.

  3. #23
    Boolit Man GH1's Avatar
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    I bought my .357 Marlin for the same reason you've stated. While I've not killed any deer with it I have brought down a couple of pigs. It's probably the funnest gun I own and is my go-to gun.
    Here's another thought. If you can't find a lever in your price range pick up an H&R Handi in .357. They'e light, accurate, and affordable. I have on in .45-70 with a synthetic stock I bought for wet weather use.
    GH1

  4. #24
    Boolit Master John in WI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by helice View Post
    You will begin with a Lee loader at your kitchen table with a 1# can of Unique. You might call it "Family Time".
    Ok--do you have a hidden camera at my house? That's EXACTLY how it panned out. A pocket full of wheel weights evolved into finding Cast Boolits in a google search evolved into buying a Lee Loader in .38 special (for a revolver I didn't even own yet), and that turned in to buying a can of Unique and an old police trade in Smith.

    Within 3 months, I have a raging boolit problem. 4 molds, 300# of alloy stacked up in my basement (and hording more all the time...).

    I'm definitely going to stop out at my range next Sat. fo the cowboy action shoot and see if I can find a line on any used .357. The only real gripe Im hearing about the Rossi is the sights, and if need be that can be fixed easy enough.
    Too much of a good thing is an awesome thing!

  5. #25
    Boolit Master Any Cal.'s Avatar
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    I just got the Rossi in fourty four and like it well enough. I haven't torn it apart yet, but it seems to be inexpensive rather than cheap. Trigger is OK, cycles well, no major flaws, yeah, the sights aren't very good, but many guns don't even come with any so I don't fault them too much for that. It has gotten noticeably smoother after a couple hundred rds. I would recomend them to someone else.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master

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    If you are looking an purchasing a current production Marlin I suggest you head over to the Marlin Owners forum. Simply put there is a lot you have to look at before purchasing. The two biggest are stock fit and cycling. The list is to long and there are various threads about it over there.

    All that said I bought a Marlin 1894C in 357 a few weeks back. It wasn't perfect but it's a field gun and I will mark it up. It also cycles everything and is a fun shooter. Now I just need to file down the new front site for the Skinner peep. Here's a poor pic I took this weekend after finishing up making the sling.



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  7. #27
    Boolit Master







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    Have a M94 Win w/24" bbl, that loves 358429, over 12.5 gr. of 2400. Have never fired a special case thru it, as I have pleanty of 357 brass, and wouldn't even if I didn't have that much. In my opinion, the shorter case would probably present a carbon build up in the chambers that I could do without.
    1Shirt!
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  8. #28
    Boolit Master

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    I've got the Marlin 94 in .357 but I mainly shoot .38 spl out of it with no problems. I bought mine new and the only thing that it needed was a drop of blue loctite on the screws. I think a .357 carbine is one of the handiest little rifles you can have a round. They are inexpensive to plink with and you can load up for a good deer gun at reasonable ranges. Fair warning if you think your going out to shoot 10 or 20 rounds you might as well take out a whole coffee can of ammo. FB
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  9. #29
    Boolit Master helice's Avatar
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    Rossi Sights

    I had trouble with my Rossi middle sight so I replaced it with one of StevesGunz safety-replacing sight. I'm delighted with the sight and the rifle. So I can recommend the Rossi. Other 92 are a Browning and a Winchester. I do like the 92s.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master Four Fingers of Death's Avatar
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    I haven't seen one recently,but I have never seen a safety on a Rossi 92 here.

    I want to replace the sight on the 44 that I have, but want to keep it legal for cowboy shooting.
    "I'll help you down the trail and proud to!" Rooster Cogburn.

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  11. #31
    Boolit Mold
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    Henry Big Boy 357

    New to the forum. Thought I would chime in with something different. Have you thought about the Henry Big Boy. Nothing against the other weapons mentioned. In reading your post, it did not seem as tho you were looking for a Cow Boy shooter. Some of the imported C.A.S. rifles go for over $1000.00. (yes I would buy One if I could)! The Henry Repeating Arms Big Boy in 357 is a well made weapon, manufactured in the U.S. and sells for approx. $750.00. All tho the Big Boy is legal to use in SASS activities, it is not as fast as a 1873 with a short stroke lever job. But for pinking and hunting it is a reliable and fun weapon to shoot. I bought my Henry last October. It came drilled and tapped for a scope on the receiver and the same on the barrel for a peep sight. It weighs in at 8.68 lbs. with a 20" Octagon barrel. I have put about 200 rounds through to break it in. Not one jam or F.T.F.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master


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    Ive have a Marlin 357 mag rifle for about 10 years now , it is sure fun to shoot , I personaly only use 357 mag cases reguardless of velocity and have a Aimpoint on mine and love it . In 10 years ive shot more centerfire ammo through it than all of my center fire rifles combined over the past 40 + years.

  13. #33
    Boolit Master


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    In 10 years ive shot more centerfire ammo through it than all of my center fire rifles combined over the past 40 + years.
    .357 rifles are addictive. I started with a Rossi single shot and now have three lever guns in that caliber. With a progressive reloader, 6 cavity molds and a Star sizer it gives me more time to "process" the brass through my guns!
    "The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools."
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  14. #34
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    Well I have a few lever action rifles something like 7-8 forget the exact number as some are with me, some are loaned out, some are being built.
    My 357 mag is in a new model 92 with 24 inch barrel made in Japan. It is real fun to shoot and is accurate all I care about.
    As to this becoming addictive way past that in my case it is a terminal disease that will one day take total control of me.

    Off topic but case in point I was looking at getting a 308 something just to have a new and different round, well that lead to looking for rifles and then ammo. Well stumbled into a good deal on ammo and then needed a rifle and it will end up being a M1A as I like that platform the best for what I am going to use this rifle for. Yea I just might get into real serious target shooting.
    So as others have said beware this is a very addictive site, hobby and also it makes you think many times before doing. Well at least in most areas except reloading, purchasing items to reload with, cast with, firearms in general and of course time to enjoy them.
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  15. #35
    Boolit Master







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    Yep, they are addictive, cheap to shoot, shoot cast well, etc.etc.etc. Hard to say anything bad about rifles in 357!
    1Shirt!
    "Common Sense Is An Uncommon Virtue" Ben Franklin

    "Ve got too soon old and too late smart" Pa.Dutch Saying

  16. #36
    Boolit Master Jeff82's Avatar
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    Hi John,
    I shoot a Marlin 1894C 0.357 magnum. It's the finest firearm I've ever shot bare none, and a perfect match with the Ruger Blackhawk (my next purchase). I have it zeroed at 100 yards and can shoot 8-inch groups off-hand with iron sights. Set this way it will shoot about 3-inches high at 50-yards.

    The 357 is an extremely versatile cartridge. According to an article in "the Truth About Guns, Lever Action Ballistics .30-30 vs .357" a hot 125 grain load will produce about the same muzzle energy of an M-16. So, fine for deer hunting, especially considering the terminal ballistics of an SWC bullet. Accuracy is good out to about 125 yards, farther with ladder sights. I typically load a 158 grain round that clocks around 1300 fps for 100-yard shooting. And, you can load mild 38s for general plinking. Best of all, I can produce ammunition for about 15-cents a shot. So, it's about the cheapest thing you can shoot.

    Marlin 0.357s can be hard to find in the Milwaukee area, and Marlin doesn't always have them available. After Marlin was bought by Remington, quality has suffered. I spent about $350 bucks to have a gunsmith fine tune mine. Still, cheaper than a Winchester.

  17. #37
    Boolit Master

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    After shooting this yesterday I'm completely sold on my Marlin 1894C.





    I was in the process of filing down the front blade to match the new Skinner sight. So you can ignore the fact they aren't in the bullseye

    Late november can't get here quick enough for me so I can use this rifle for deer/bear. Plenty of time for complete load development




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  18. #38
    Boolit Master Jeff82's Avatar
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    Dragon,

    I forgot to mention how much the Skinner sight rocks!

  19. #39
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff82 View Post
    Dragon,

    I forgot to mention how much the Skinner sight rocks!
    Agree completely. Took me 8 shots to even get it on paper. It was hitting 8" low. So I kept filing and filing. I have the rear stem turned up two turns and it's now dead center. Still might file it down some more so I have adjustment for different rounds. And I still need to drift it for windage.

    If you have a lever 357 I highly recommend the Skinner Signts. It makes target acquisition extremely easy and fast. I'm thinking of putting a rear peep on my shotgun just for kicks to see if it makes hitting "Flying Boards" easier


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  20. #40
    Boolit Master Cowboy T's Avatar
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    I've been shopping for a .357M levergun for a while. Unfortunately, they fly off the shelves so fast that I cannot get a good deal in my state. So, I went for a Ruger 96/44 in .44M. Not a .357, but still does the job, in a popular--and powerful--revolver cartridge.

    One of these days, I'll eventually get a good deal on a .357M levergun. It will probably be a Marlin 1894 because of the easy scopeability. Nothing against Rossi 92's. 357shooter has one and shoots smaller than dime-sized groups with his at 25 yards. I'm not discounting Ruger's 77/357, either, even though it's a bolt vs. a lever.
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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check