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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently have the Marlin 336/30-30 and this week will pick up a new .410.

My next quest (yes, I have been bittin' by the Marlin Lever Action Bug!!) is a "functional" cowboy setup. After doing my research, I have almost concluded that the best set up for me would be a Marlin 357 and a matching caliper Ruger Blackhawk. My definition of “functional” is; home defense, hunting and affordable plinking.

The Ruger Blackhawk 357 has the extra cylinder for 9mm. So an owner has three options available; the 38/357 and with the extra cylinder 9mm. But, I have a lingering thought in the back of my mind that I can't resolve, the "44mag"; any suggestions including other combo's would be appreciated!

Many thanks,
~PD
 

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Point Doc said:
I currently have the Marlin 336/30-30 and this week will pick up a new .410.

My next quest (yes, I have been bittin' by the Marlin Lever Action Bug!!) is a "functional" cowboy setup. After doing my research, I have almost concluded that the best set up for me would be a Marlin 357 and a matching caliper Ruger Blackhawk. My definition of “functional” is; home defense, hunting and affordable plinking.

The Ruger Blackhawk 357 has the extra cylinder for 9mm. So an owner has three options available; the 38/357 and with the extra cylinder 9mm. But, I have a lingering thought in the back of my mind that I can't resolve, the "44mag"; any suggestions including other combo's would be appreciated!

Many thanks,
~PD
One thing to consider with a rifle revolver combo is barrel diameter size. The 44 mag Marlin, at least the one I had was fairly large at .431. A Ruger Blackhawk may have a .429 barrel which would make this combo probably fine with jacketed, but wouldn't work well for sharing cast rounds. I now have a 45 Colt barrel on my 1894 and it slugs just right with my BH 45. I can now buy the same cast bullets for both so don't have to keep any of my ammo separated. Of course with the 1894 45 Colt, I wont ever own a New Model Vaquero in 45 or Colt SAA because then mixing the wrong ammo in the weaker revolver could be disastrous. Other than that I think any of the combos would be great fun! :D
 

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I think the 357 would be a great combo, my only hesitation would be in the home defense area. A 357 can and will get it done there but if I am in a gun fight saving my kids I want the biggest bullet hitting the intruder possible. Of course a shotgun solves this issue much better than a 357/44 debate.

micky
 

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i would have probably done the big bore but I already had a 45lc vaquerro and didn't really want a 44 mag as well. I really do not like to shoot 44 mad loads in a colt peacemaker style handgun. A blackhawk in the early 80s cured me of that.

I also didn't want a 45 LC rifle already owning a 45-70. seemed kind of wasted.

If they made a 45 ACp 1894 I would have jumped all over it. :)

Ended up with a 357 1894 and a 357 vaquerro. They are a lot of fun to shoot even with hot 357s.

Since then I bought a 44 mag pg to get the pistol grip parts for my 357 CB. I made a straight grip 44 mag out of the left over parts. I reluctantly gave it to my son for Xmas. I wouldn't hesitate to shoot the 357 at anything I would shoot a 30-30, but the 44 mag is a bettter deer round.
 

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Do them both. ;) Nothing wrong with having a 44 & a 357.
 

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I agree with Leverdude. I have both. Marlin lever action and Ruger revolver in each caliber. (Two revolvers in 357.)
 

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I have both, and love each of them for completely different reasons. The 44 is for business, the 357 is for fun. Okay, the 44 is fun too, but not as fun as the 357. But the 357 isn't as mean as the 44.

You need both. Really. 8)
 

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I started with the 44 combo.(1984 and SBH) worked great on deer. I am now packing a 357 combo and it too works well. especially on bunnies up to deer. still works on deer just like I'd hoped. the 44 combo is at its best on game and the 357 is more fun to shoot.
 

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+1 on having both. I do also.
And I have heard of a few people converting the 1894 to 45 ACP. maybe three pair.
CF
 

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Chihuahua Floyd said:
+1 on having both. I do also.
And I have heard of a few people converting the 1894 to 45 ACP. maybe three pair.
CF
From what I have been able to find its actually a pretty easy conversion. They just back cut the barrell, rechamber it where the round can headspace off the case mouth and then make basically the same changes widder does to make the 45CS feed.

I may soon have three in the house though, son wants a 44 mag handgun to go with his and I WILL buy the first useed 45 LC I can find that is at least properly priced as a used gun. :) I have always been a 45 and 357 guy. the 357 is not only fun it will do anythng the 44 mag will just not quite so far off. :)
 

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I have a .357 1894 and have been thinking about a GP100 or Blackhawk in .357. Maybe even a S&W 27. I have been a pistol and revolver guy for most of my shooting life. I actually find a .44mag 4" easier to shoot than a .44 mag 1894. That thing rattled my little brain and I sold it. Don't let my weakness avert you from a 44 mag rifle though.
Keith
 

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For those folks intimating that the .357 is insufficient as a defense round, I have to say: Do you think your home is going to be invaded by a grizzly bear or elephant? ???

I mean, the .357 is one of the best proven "manstoppers" in scores of studies, reviews and thousands of real-life cases (remember -- this was the standard round used by the FBI and hundreds of police agencies for decades). While I agree that a .44 magnum has more of everything, I believe that for most defense situations it's overkill (in more than one way) -- drastically increasing the odds of overpenetration (and thus potential collateral damage/injuries). Also, firing a .357 from a revolver generates recoil, but any but the most novice shooters can quickly get the barrel back on target for follow-up shots whereas the .44 mag's recoil and noise tend to rather significantly increase the time required for follow-up shots for any but the most proficient shooters. Obviously, in a rifle the difference is going to be less noticeable, but since the topic here is combos my take on the question posed by the OP is this:

  • If you are looking for a combo for home-defense and hunting (small game up to possibly small deer) and plinking your best bet is the .357 combo (I have an 1894c and a S&W Model 19)
  • If you are looking for a combo for big-game hunting, you're probably going to be best served with the .44 combo
  • If you're looking for low-cost plinking there's no comparison -- the cost of ammo (both factory- and reloaded) is far more reasonable in .357. Current prices for .44 ammo are obscene!

BTW -- I'm currently contemplating another 1894 in .44 as my next purchase, although my local dealer has an 1895G in stainless that I've been eyeing....
 

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I would go with the 357 mag, if I had both options. It will do everything you want. And if you load it right, it's good for everything from squirrels to deer. There is very little recoil (although I don't think my 1894 44 kicks much) and it is a pleasure to shoot. I would not bother buying the convertable Blackhawk. You don't need 9mm when you can shoot 38 spl. Marlins and Rugers are a sweet combination in either caliber!
 

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My answer to that combo itch was an 1894SS and a S&W 629-4 Mountain Gun. Awesome stopper for deer, bear, hogs, bad guys, wayward zombies...
Then do the same thing in 22LR for all your small game hunting, target shooting, inexpensive plinking fun etc with a 39A Mountie and a K-22 Combat Masterpiece.

Smiths and Marlins go together like PB&J ;D
 

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John Taffin, one of the top gun writers of this generation, made a statement to the effect "a 357 lever gun is the third most useful fire arm you can own; the first and second are a 22 rifle and pistol."

I have combinations in 22, 357 and 44, but I will admit to shooting a lot more 44 than 357 AND have sadly neglected the 22 caliber. If you don't reload, the 357 is the obvious choice...cost of and ammo availability. BUT you need to have the 22 set-up regardless of your center-fire choice. If you have concerns about large animals, then the scales tip toward the 44s.
 

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I have both. 8)

A 94C and a SW 586
also
'94 in 44 mag and a 4" Redhawk 44mag

For hunting and backup I like the security of the larger boolit. I use the 44's.

For plinking/practice I enjoy the lower recoil and cheaper ammo. I use the 357's.

Corbi
 

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I have a couple of '94 .357's right now and very shortly I'm going to add a '94 .44. I got the .357 revolver right now, and I guess I'm going ot have to get the .44 revolver later, hummmmm, so many choices! ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for all of the feed back!!

To put a new dimension to this...what about a 41mag combo? I just learned that Marlin makes a lever action in this caliper, although it is very, very pricey!!

Again, thank you!!
 

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One thing I would think of is target follow up. The .357 Mag kicks less than the .44 handgun and the .357 has the highest single shot stopping statistic of just about any round, including the .44. True if you want to hunt, a .44 Mag has more punch down the line. But even with the excellent ghost ring sights, 50 -80 yards is a long shot for these rifles if you really want smaller groups. I picked the .357 for three reasons, It's stopping power at practical ranges, cost per round and the probability of owning a Smith 27 someday.
For purely aesthetic reasons and personal choice I like the 94C with the band on the forend vs. the steel cap.
JMHO, YMMV.
 

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bsman said:
For those folks intimating that the .357 is insufficient as a defense round, I have to say: Do you think your home is going to be invaded by a grizzly bear or elephant? ???

I mean, the .357 is one of the best proven "manstoppers" in scores of studies, reviews and thousands of real-life cases (remember -- this was the standard round used by the FBI and hundreds of police agencies for decades). While I agree that a .44 magnum has more of everything, I believe that for most defense situations it's overkill (in more than one way) -- drastically increasing the odds of overpenetration (and thus potential collateral damage/injuries). Also, firing a .357 from a revolver generates recoil, but any but the most novice shooters can quickly get the barrel back on target for follow-up shots whereas the .44 mag's recoil and noise tend to rather significantly increase the time required for follow-up shots for any but the most proficient shooters. Obviously, in a rifle the difference is going to be less noticeable, but since the topic here is combos my take on the question posed by the OP is this:

  • If you are looking for a combo for home-defense and hunting (small game up to possibly small deer) and plinking your best bet is the .357 combo (I have an 1894c and a S&W Model 19)
  • If you are looking for a combo for big-game hunting, you're probably going to be best served with the .44 combo
  • If you're looking for low-cost plinking there's no comparison -- the cost of ammo (both factory- and reloaded) is far more reasonable in .357. Current prices for .44 ammo are obscene!

BTW -- I'm currently contemplating another 1894 in .44 as my next purchase, although my local dealer has an 1895G in stainless that I've been eyeing....
well stated
 
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