The 1894SS will be good in brushy areas but the Cowboy is sweet for the extended sight picture. I would opt for the Cowboy first. Also I would look at the .44mag Yellowboy. Since I have a 1895 in 45-70 I'm partial to Marlins but the Yellowboy is a nice looking rifle. Don't forget to use the strong factory loadings as opposed to reloads. This way you can reach out a little farther since you do more paraire shooting then deep woods.
The only bad Marlin I ever had was a 1894 Cowboy II in .44 mag. First it wouldn't feed. Not a single cartridge of any kind would chamber. Got that fixed and took it to the range. It shot all over the place. My target looked like I had used a shotgun. My dealer took it back in trade.
A couple of years later I got the 1894 CB in .357/.38, and it is a dream to shoot and outperforms my 336 CB .30-30 at 100 yards. I might try the .41 mag., but will not get another .44 Marlin. I have read too many posts from others who have had either one or both of the problems I had with the .44.
But then, others have the .44 and just love it. It just takes me too long to save up for a new gun to risk it.
I have both. I originaly purchased the 1894SS in 44. I thinks its one of the best looking rifle I have. I like the look of the wood and stainless. Now the bad part, when I first received it the thing wouldn't chamber a round worth a hoot. I took it back to the shop I bought it from and he sent it back. He said the rifle should have never left the factory like that. Well since it came back I haven't had a bit of a problem with it. I used it for CAS when I first started so it's had a lot of rounds through it. I then purchased an 1894CB limited with the 24" barrel and it's my main CAS gun now. I also have a Uberti 1973 which is a beatiful gun, but when it comes to a tight shot I'll pick the Cowboy. Don't get me wrong the 1894SS is also accurate I just Like that long barrel for those long shots that require accuracy. Like the previous post said buy both and have twice the fun.
Bought the 1894SS 44mag. & love it. I also fell in love with the CB, so I bought the 1895CB 45/70 & I love it. However the gun I seem to grab most of the time is my 444ss. I love it also!! I hope this helps. 444