So I had it since this past October and didn't shoot it until last month. But let me back up to the beginning. Wanted a .357 for a while but in SS, already have one in .44mag. I wanted one in .357 because I got tired of the recoil in the .44 after 50rounds and .357/.38 is cheaper. Looked at it at the gun shop and saw that it wasn't as nice as my .44. At this point I didn't know anything about the JM vs. Rep thing, just saw that the fit and finish wasn't as nice. There were more burs internaly that I can see compared to my .44, not to say that my JM was clean when new it was not. The JM when new was just as dirty and had burrs too but just not as much burrs as this Rep .357. Worked the action and it felt just as rough as the JM when that was new. The main thing the I felt was off quality wise was the lever itself, that thing was rough compared to the rest of the gun. I think that was the only piece that was made by REM and all the other parts was stock left over from JM. I ended up sanding the lever down and taking out the sharp feeling edges. I also took out the sharp edges on my JM .44 after I first got it and shot it. That .44 lever rubbed my middle finger raw to the point of skin flapping and bleeding the first time I used it. So before shooting the .357 I cleaned up the lever.
A few months later finally had time to shoot it and it worked just about the same as the .44 but loading was not quite as smooth. Loading .357 was better then .38spl. From what I have read about loading .357 and .38 is that they tend to be less smooth compared to the larger caliper rounds. I believe that the reason for this is that this rifle platform was originally designed for those larger calipers so shrinking down the bolt head and a few other things created more wiggle room (slop) just like when comparing the longer .44/.357mag rounds to the shorter .44/38spl rounds. The longer rounds feed smoother cause the rifle was design for those rounds and the shorter rounds created more wiggle room making it feed rougher. At this point it was still new out of the box and I hadn't cleaned/lubed or done anything yet except the lever clean up. Got home from the range and decided to de-burr it, clean and lube. Shoots much better and loaded even smoother after de-burr and a few hundred rounds. Now it feeds much better but still not as smooth as the .44 but the cycle action pretty much feels the same as the .44 without rounds. Got a Marble Bullseye rear sight and my group is almost twice as tight at 50yds. This .357 is very accurate with tighter groups even more so then my .44, I think it is more a matter of recoil.
So my conclusion for this Rep made is that the fit and finish isn't as nice as the JM but the JM wasn't much better either. I had to de-burr both and do things that I felt should of been done from the factory. These Marlins are the only guns I have where I had to do something where all other guns I have/had are shoot and clean only. For their cost/price I feel it shouldn't be this way. This Rep shoots really accurate with decent recoil w/.357 and is really fun with .38spl. I had a blast plinking at 100yds with .38spl. Had no issues what so ever so far with about 500rounds (both 357mag & 38spl) thru it.
Last edited by DaBinChe; 01-07-2012 at 12:30 PM.
In time and a few more hundred rounds through it, it should start to slick up a bit more. And if you want, there are plenty articles out there on how you can help it along and start smoothing it out with some simple tools. I was able to slick up a couple newer 1894's with nothing more than a screwdriver, a popsicle stick and some 600 wet/dry sandpaper. Just enough to polish and remove some rough edges improves the action a great deal.
Have fun shooting.
That's a nice story DaBinChe. I'm new to Marlins, as well as this forum. I was given a 782 .22 mag recently by a friend who inherited it but wasn't interested in shooting. She knew I was and the rest is history. What a great gun, very accurate with a modest Bushnell scope. And an unbelievable value (I'm not referring to my price, although you can't beat free!). She told me this gun cost about $125 in 1985. A rifle of this quality for that price is hard to believe. That part is what I don't see the new Freedom Group Marlins ever duplicating, regardless of the outcome of their atempts to regain the former Marlin's production quality.
The reason my friend thought of me when she inherited the .22 mag was because she knew I was interested in a 1894css as a companion gun for my Smith and Wesson .357 magnum revolver. But so far I have been unsucessful in locating one. I've heard on this forum and at some local gun stores that they aren't being manufactured at this time and no one seems to know when they will start back up, if ever. Do you or anyone else know if they are back in production? I'll deal with the quality issues when I can finally look at one in person. I'm not really interested in buying a used one, and there aren't many available anyways, at least on the sites I have visited. Thanks again. This is a great forum with lots of useful information.
I don't know if they are back in production, I think mine was, as I mentioned, left over inventory from the JM factory that Rep assembled.
Marlin made two fairly brief runs of the stainless 357's, and those will probably be it unless Remington decides to bring them back..........which remains to be seen.
I think the stainless Marlins get slicker than their blued counterparts, and they do it faster. With a little help and some TLC they can be slicker and easier to run than any Winchester I've ever shot. YMMV.
DaBinChe, the "Modern" 1894 was designed from the ground up to shoot the shorter rounds, unlike the early 44 Mags in the 336 action, that can be temperamental about feeding the stubby cartridges. The 44's and 45's tend to feed better mostly because of the better inertia of the heavier rounds but the 357's I've owned slicked up pretty quickly and learned to feed just about anything I fed them. Give it time, it will get a lot better!
"There is a fine line between a hobby and Mental Illness". Dave Barry
Team 1894 #4
Team 45-70 #847
Team 375 #27
I was at the local gun shop, and they did have a new 1894C that had just come in, It looked very good to my eyes, the employee told me that they haven't seen one in quite awhile, I believe that Remington is now making the 1894C, but dropped the stainless versions for 2012.