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The Marlin 1894 in 44 mag is a good rifle for the "one rifle only type person"...it really is incredibly versatile and if you could only have ONE single rifle it will do most tasks and do them good, you can load it with 44 special and plink with it or use it for home defense, you can load it with 44 mag and go hunt anything with it, you can even load it with powerful hard cast and have a mini guide gun and feel pretty safe in Alaska....it's just a great do it all gun. Now...the downside to being a jack of all trades is ofc it's not the best at anything...its not the best deer rifle, not the best home defense rifle, not the best guide gun and not the best plinker....but it can do em all.
So long story short whats great about the 1894 in 44 mag?
Versatility

I had a 1894 in 44 mag but got a 1894C in 357 mag and traded the 44 for a 336 in 30-30...I feel this combo is better, the 1894C does all the plinking fun gun/home defense hunting smallish prey (up to deer in size) as good or better and cheaper than the 44 mag and the 30-30 does all the heavy hunting stuff equally good or better than the 44 mag....but again...it took TWO rifles to beat it in these categories.
 

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I'd just like to have one to go with my revolver also, other than that it's probably just part of my levergun disease, ha! By the way, I recently read a new owners manual for one, and it says that shooting 44 specials can cause lead to build up in the chamber being shorter, and just to clean it out well often. That, and to not use any of that "Blazer" brand ammunition regardless, which I had not read before...
Good luck to you.
Just for the record I had one in 44 mag and shot TONS of 44 special in it and NEVER noticed that dirt ring they talk about or any kind of buildup of any sort.
 
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