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Hello guys,

I'd like to get a .357 lever gun to compliment my Blackhawk. I'll probably buy it from WalMart's special order catalog since I can get either a Win94 Trails End or Marlin 1894C for about $375~$380

I'm sure I'd be happy with either rifle but I'm sort of leaning towards the Marlin (today) because, as I understand it, the Marlin can more easily be cleaned from the breech and I think I like the more compact styling.

I've read some posts saying the Win94, in 357, is less picky about feeding various .357 and .38 rounds than the Marlin. I've also read others reporting the exact opposite- so I'm confused on this issue.

The longest bullet I'm likely to ask either rifle to digest would be Lyman's #358429 bullet in .357 brass. Will this bullet create problems?

Can someone offer an opinion on which rifle will be more likely to easily digest both .38 and .357 shells?

Other things that concern me, particularly with the Marlin, is the "Marlin Jam" and reports of owners installing the "Wild West Trigger". Is the Marlin that likely to jam? Is the factory trigger really that bad?

Thanks,
Sean
 

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The factory Marlin triggers are, like most other currently made rifles, ponderously heavy to satisfy the lawyers and to try to keep the inept from shooting themselves and others negligently. The Winchester trigger will probably be no better than the Marlin trigger. The trigger is adequate for the average shooter, but most serious shooters prefer a lighter, more refined trigger for better shooting results.

I bought a Wild West Trigger and absolutely love it. Trigger pull is about 2 1/2 pounds now, crisp, and still quite safe. It is a worthwhile upgrade if you care to spend the money. About $89, but it drops right in with instant improvement.

As for the Marlin Jam, I have about 15 Marlin levers (lost count....) and have never experienced the Marlin Jam. Some of them are very old and several of them have thousands of rounds through them with no problem.

Go for the Marlin, you won't regret it.

Good shooting.
 

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I have been shooting Marlins a long time and have never had a jam. I have always wondered if it wasnt from short stroking the lever, much like the problems with a pump shotgun. I have one Win 94, just because I always wanted one. Dont really have an interest for any more. IMHO it is not near the rifle the Marlin is. My 357 1894C shoots great, with 38SPL or 357Mag. I shoot mostly jacketed, but what 38SPL lead I have shot through it shot just fine.
 

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IMO, the "Marlin jam" is no more likely to happen than having a Win 94 carrier fail, and shouldn't be a factor in deciding which to get. I puchased my recent 1894CB without being concerned about the problem, as my older 1894C has yet to jam on me.

On the triggers- they will both be sub-par out of the box; I will say that the Marlin trigger adds a "floppy" dimension. I will probably put a Wild West replacement on the CB, but more for the heck of it than any real need.

I don't know about feeding comparisons, but I never really had any problems with factory ammunition in any levergun I've owned (of either make). Operator error and some corncrib reloads have caused a problem or two, but that's another story!

Workmanship has to be judged on a gun-by-gun basis, because both factories are turning out some stuff that shouldn't get past Inspector #13. My new Cowboy had some problems (it still does, but the factory did repair the worst of the lot), but others I see on the rack are fine. Luck of the draw.

I came over to Marlins mostly because I really hated taking down a Winchester/clone to the point I could do a good scrubbin' from the breech. In doing so, I found the feel of the Marlin action to be more to my liking than the Win 94, and I haven't looked back. Not that I wouldn't pick up - and enjoy - a 94 Trapper in .357 if I ran across a good deal on one, but given my 'druthers, I'll take the Marlin.
 

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Like the others said, the Marlin is pretty much a better buy than the Winchester. The trigger pull on either one is less than perfect, although the Marlin triggers are more crisp out of the box than the long creeping Winchester pull. Both are too heavy, but I've been using my 1894C for a good while, and it still has the factory trigger. I'm planning on replacing it, but just haven't got around to it yet.

As far as accuracy, the Marlin 1894C will run circles around the majority of Winchester rifles in my experience. I've killed groundhogs well past 200 yards with mine, and it's exeptionally accurate with nearly every load you care to try in it. I've toyed with more than a few Winchesters in several calibers, and usually, nearly any Marlin regardless of caliber will out perform(in accuracy) a Winchester. I'm sure there are exeptions, but that's been my experience.

The "Marlin jam" occurs when you try to cycle rounds that are too short, like 38 wad cutters, and such. It is very aggravating, but it doesn't happen with anything exept extremely short rounds, and even then it usually takes you working the action really hard or fast. I've cycled just about everything you can imagine through my rifles, and have had very little feeding problems with just a select few different ammo combinations.
 

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1894C. My favorite! Good to hear from you again Jerry!!
 

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Hardball, I have a Marlin 1894C with uncheckered birch stocks that is in mint condition and cycles everything I have fed it perfectly. I would be willing to sell it to you for $315 shipped to your ffl dealer. You could have it in you hands shooting within a couple of weeks instead of waiting months for a Wal Mart order.
 

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I have the Win 94 “Trails End” in 45 colt , octagon barrel, case colored. Nice gun, had a lot of fun at the range. However, I’m getting a Marlin 1894 in 44 mag for my “carry around gun”.
Here’s why:

The Winny is “top eject” (well it does throw’em on an angle for scoping) But the opening on top will collect rain & snow in the field. The Marlin is side eject, solid top, which keeps the moisture out.

The Winnie’s a little lighter to carry. But the Marlin feels more solid. Which helps with recoil.

The “Trails End” has a skinnier metal crescent shape (read sharp pointed) butt, that hurts when wearing just a T-shirt (I just found out that it should be fired from the arm, not the shoulder :oops: ). The Marlin has a more comfortable flat, cushioned butt.

I’ll still have a lot of fun “plinking at the range” with my Winchester. I may even join one of those “Cowboy Action Clubs”. But the Marlin will always be ride’n with me.
 

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BTW:
I found that when shooting the faster burning (sharper recoiling) powders with my Win 94. The lever (with that “trigger stop” mechanism) pinches the heck out of my fingers :x !
 

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HardBall,

The 358429 bullet will not cycle in my 1894. I had to trim the brass length to allow the bullet to be seated in the crimp groove and be short enough to cycle. The maximum cartridge length that will cycle with this bullet is 1.605” and it really could be a few thousandth of an inch shorter. That bullet is a “lifesaver” for my 1894. More on that later…

I purchased that rifle around 1982, or thereabout, and I have tried off and on for over 20 years to get it to shoot with acceptable accuracy—1.5” or less at 100 yards with the rifle ‘scoped. Never could get it to do so. I would have no idea as to the number of different bullets (cast and jacketed), powders, primers, and everything else I tried in the 20 years. I always ended up discouraged and would thoroughly cleaned the rifle and put it back in the gun rack for a year or more at a time. I absolutely am not a fan of the microgrooves. I ain’t trying to start a fight since this is a Marlin site, but I honestly think that was most of the problem. I finally had a cast bullet shooter of much experience on another board indicate that I should try the 358429 as it is slightly heavier than most 357 Magnum bullets and it could be shoot “as cast” for a greater diameter. “As cast” is a practice that I use for 95% of my cast bullet shooting. With some work and the 358429, I was able to achieve that 1.5” or less at 100 yards. The vast majority of the time it is between 1.0” and 1.25” at 100 yards from my bench. That is very acceptable since the trigger on mine breaks “nicely” at a crisp 90+ ounces!!! SR-4759 and 2400 are the powders of choice with SR-4759 having a slight edge on a very good day...

I also started out to get one rifle one handgun. My 357 handgun is a Ruger Security-Six. It won't shoot the same load as the rifle, but it does like the 358429. So at least I can use one bullet...

So, good-luck with your venture with a lever 357 Magnum. I like mine now, but it certainly hasn’t always been that way!!! Good-luck…BCB
 

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