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Thread: Marlin or Henry

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Marlin or Henry

    I want a lever gun in either .41mag or .44mag. Is the Henry as strong as the Marlin? Can the Henry take the same loads in the reloading manuals or does it only take factory loads? Is it still risky to buy a new Marlin or is it a potential nightmare?
    Anyone out there buy a new 1894 Marlin in a .41 or .44? Anyone own a Henry in .41 or .44?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master MyFlatline's Avatar
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    If buying new, I would go Henry. Used, The older Marlins are still great. That being said, Customer support at Henry is Stellar, not so must at Freedom..

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Old Marlin, hands down.
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

    The common virtue of capitalism is the sharing of equal opportunity. The common vice of socialism is the equal sharing of misery

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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Ill chime in I guess. I have a marlin in 44mag. Love it. But it is mint and every time I take it out I treat it like a new born baby. The Henry can be replaced need be at the moment. Marlin not so much. I was a larger Henry fan before they moved over the river. Both will shoot well. Both are great guns. I think both are going to be the same price. One used other new. I say either way you will love it. I love my marlin even if it is a pain in the neck micro grove.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master MyFlatline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outer Rondacker View Post
    Ill chime in I guess. I have a marlin in 44mag. Love it. But it is mint and every time I take it out I treat it like a new born baby. The Henry can be replaced need be at the moment. Marlin not so much. I was a larger Henry fan before they moved over the river. Both will shoot well. Both are great guns. I think both are going to be the same price. One used other new. I say either way you will love it. I love my marlin even if it is a pain in the neck micro grove.
    I have never had an issue with the micro groove and cast, can you elaborate? I have Marlin's in 7 different calibers, they all shoot cast great.

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub
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    what is the problem with micro groove? I plan on shooting both lead and jacketed. Are all Marlins Micro Grooved? Only my 39M has that on the barrel, the others do not have that on the barrels.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master MyFlatline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by odette View Post
    what is the problem with micro groove? I plan on shooting both lead and jacketed. Are all Marlins Micro Grooved? Only my 39M has that on the barrel, the others do not have that on the barrels.
    Most all the newer ones are. I think maybe the 45-70 may be a Ballard, not sure. As I said, I shoot cast in 7 different caliber Marlins with no issues and 1" groups at 100 yards. So I see no issues with Microgroove barrels.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Not issues. I was new to castling for rifle when I got my 44 marlin and I learned the hard way that it likes a fat bullet. Jacketed bullets shoot ok and cast needs fat to get good groups. It was many years ago and I could not for the life of me figure out what was going on. I changed bullet profile weight and finally size before I got a decent group. I love the gun but in its condition I do not think it will ever see the woods. My gun was made in 1965 as it is not old it is mint sporting the JM stamp on the barrel.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master MyFlatline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outer Rondacker View Post
    Not issues. I was new to castling for rifle when I got my 44 marlin and I learned the hard way that it likes a fat bullet. Jacketed bullets shoot ok and cast needs fat to get good groups. It was many years ago and I could not for the life of me figure out what was going on. I changed bullet profile weight and finally size before I got a decent group. I love the gun but in its condition I do not think it will ever see the woods. My gun was made in 1965 as it is not old it is mint sporting the JM stamp on the barrel.
    Agreed, all mine like fat ones...Was just curious, thanks for the clarification. Oh and Powdercoated to boot..
    I don't own a gun that won't see the woods, not into safe queens. Sold quite a few last year that didn't get used.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master


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    For hunting, it is convienient to not having to cycle the action to empty it.

    For plinking, I prefer the loading gate.

    As a hillbilly assault rifle, it is nice to be able to top up the magazine using a loading gate.
    Don Verna

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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I am the same way. I said I would never own another gun I did not shoot. I found this guy on craigslist a few years back as the safeact was about to hit. The ad said wanted assault rifle. I contacted them and ask what are you willing to pay. Guy had inherited his grandpas guns and house. I traded an SKS blind for a 44 mag lever. That was all the guy knew. It was in the box and came with a little over 400 rounds of 44 mag Rifle ammo. You should of seen my eyes when I opened that box up. That 99 dollar sks never looked better. It will see the range but not the woods as they are very thick and dense up in these here parts.

    I have to go marlin over Henry.

  12. #12
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    I quit the 44 leverguns, due to how Marlin and Henry make the barrel groove diameter and twist rate.

    If you can find a Marlin in 41 and can afford it, I'd buy it. I have one and love it.

    Last year I bought a Henry Big Boy Steel in 41. I like it, but I did have to send it back due to it having cycling issues, they replaced a few parts, now it works better.

    I'm not sure what you are asking in regards to loads for the henry? Just judging by "looks" it sure seems more stout than the Marlin. With that said, I'd never load beyond SAAMI max pressure for either brand.

    I should add, Shooting a box of 41 cal Ranch Dog 255gr RF boolit with GC loaded with a full dose of H110, in my Marlin, will leave marks on my shoulder.
    Last edited by JonB_in_Glencoe; 03-21-2018 at 10:44 PM.

  13. #13
    Boolit Bub
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    until I can find a lever in .41 or .44 I will rely on my 1911 .45acp.
    Thank you all for your input.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I have the Henry Big Boy steel in .44 mag and I love it. I shoot full power W296 rounds through it all day with no issue.
    With Marlins I have the 1895 45-70 and it is a strong gun. I've shot some stout rounds out of it.
    Both guns are accurate. I think that a big difference I see is that the Henry is a nicer rifle with much better attention to detail but then the Marlin is less expensive. So that is a bit of a wash depending on what you like. Then there is the tube load vs the gate load. I like and dislike both pretty much equally but I would lean toward the Henry because you can unload it without cycling rounds through the action. It would be awesome to have BOTH, though. Then you have quick unloading (not through the action - this is big) and the ability to pop an extra couple rounds in with out taking the tube apart...

  15. #15
    Boolit Master ELFEGO BACA's Avatar
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    I started with a Marlin 39A “Mountie” in the early 60s and still shoot it regularly!
    Since then I have found a couple of centerfire Marlins.
    I prefer the Marlins over the Henrys because they feel and look like a real lever gun to me!
    Sometimes emotion beat logic!
    Summer almost here!
    Snow is gone but still cool!

  16. #16
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by ELFEGO BACA View Post
    I prefer the Marlins over the Henrys because they feel and look like a real lever gun to me!
    Sometimes emotion beat logic!
    So true...emotion beats logic many times. LOL

    But logic still has me preferring the Marlin. To me the 1894 just feels right, I shoot them well but I have never shot the Henry and it might be better yet...but I cannot justify adding one to the stable when what I have works very well. And since all my carbine lever action shooting is/has been for CAS or plinking/fun, I do not like tube loading.

    I wish I could shoot a hundred rounds out of a Henry. But I know the tube loading would likely kill it for me. I do not like shooting my tube fed .22 Henry for that reason.

    Like I said earlier, if I wanted a hunting gun, the Henry tube fed make sense. Jon B raises a good point about caliber choice.
    Don Verna

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  17. #17
    Boolit Master northmn's Avatar
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    I would go Henry as I have one in 22 Mag and like it. Marlins got the reputation for being smooth from all the wear they get jacking rounds out to unload them. Most CB models are advertised with "Ballard" rifling so I would look at them. Marlins also have a rep for using a larger bore like 430 or 431 over the standard 429. MG barrels are a PITA as they do not permit the versatility of a standard rifled barrel. There are those that get them to shoot but generally with harder oversized bullets. I have several Marlins and like them but when I deer hunt I just put 2 rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber. The old loading gate system will smash the noses and stove pipe rounds if loaded to full capacity. Maybe not for one loading but over time. Not really into the whole assault rifle use so I am indifferent to the ability to load to the gate. I would likely load 3 or 4 in the magazine of a Henry.

    DEP

  18. #18
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by odette View Post
    until I can find a lever in .41 or .44 I will rely on my 1911 .45acp.
    Thank you all for your input.
    Hmm, not sure how a 1911 can serve as a substitute for a lever action rifle or vice versa. Different firearms with different strengths and weaknesses!
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, .30 WCF, .45-70 Gov't.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    I have 7 Marlin CF leverguns, all JMs. The only one I don't shoot cast is a 30/30, the other ones all
    have Micro groove barrels and I have no issues shooting cast in them. I'm shooting .431" in 1894
    and it clover leafs at 75yds. There are plenty of JM 1894s on used market a good one can be had
    for $600 if you look hard. Henry just doesn't cut it for me, I'd rather kick out a good used JM for
    about the same money.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I have Henry's in .357 and .41 and love them. I prefer the tube loading but wouldn't complain about a side loader, really a non issue for me. The Henry's are accurate and reliable and pretty well made. I really only have one beef, that is the finish on the barrel. I wish the barrel had a smoother finish and a better quality blueing job. If it would cost another $50.00 for this I'd gladly pay it. But, this is really nit picking and I'm perfectly fine with them just the way they are.

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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