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I'm new to the world of Marlins, especially lever actions. I'm curious as to how lever action enthusiasts rate/perceive Marlins. Is the Winchester 94 considered the standard or does it just benefit from being around for a hell of a long time? What about Henry? Mossberg? The others? Now, I'm sure everyone around here is somewhat partial to Marlins, but I'm really curious how enthusiasts of every stripe rate the Marlin lever actions.

Thanks.
 

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There are plenty of Winchester fans here, but I'm not one of them. Ridiculously over-complicated, hard to scope, hard to clean.

Brownings? I'm not a fan of the way they balance and feel. Some folks like them, but I was corrupted by Marlins a long time ago.

Henry.......eh. They don't float my boat the way the Marlins do. Haven't shot many. But I own one.

Savage 99: I'd like to have a few, but the collectors have driven prices insanely high.

Mossberg........one question. Why bother? It's a Wrenchester with a new ID tag.

Puma and Rossi? Nice guns, but still Winchester-pattern, and hard to scope. I need glass. Were I in my 20's I'd probably get one.

Marlins are easily scoped or Scouted, easy to take down for cleaning, tear down for maintenance, and they look cool. I think my 1894C and M-375 are two of the prettiest guns on the planet. The 1894-CSS will only be more of the same.

But as you said, I'm a bit biased.
 

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I like the 1886 or 71 better than the marlin 1895.
the marlin 336 better than the winchester 1894
the marlin 1894 better than the winchester 92
the winchester 1895 is very cool!
 

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I like the 92 action, and almost bought (twice)the Browning 53 in 32-20.. loved the action, but the barrel was too thin IMO. Beautiful wood but hated the finish for anything other than hanging on the wall.

Others were supposed to come out with a 32-20 in 92, but never did. Some Rossi and the like have oversize bores for the 44s.

"If Cowboy Action shooters were for real, they would disqualify all calibers except 32-20, 38-40, 44-40 in rifles and 45 colt in pistols."
 

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The first centerfire rifle I fired at age 7 was my late father's pre WWII Winchester 94 in 30-30. I own that gun today, but seldom shoot it because I don't like the way the bottom drops out when the action is worked.

Two of my favorite leverguns are the Winchester 1886 and the 1892, because the actions are essentially the same (some minor differences, but in general they are identical in basic concept) and they are exceptionally smooth-operating. I have a Browning Grade I 1886 Rifle in 45-70, and a Winchester 1886 Extra Light in 45-70, both Miroku repros. I have two Browning B92s, one each in 357 and 44. I shoot all four pretty frequently, the 44 Mag B92 less so.

I own a Winchester 1895 in 30-06 because I wanted one, and I like it, but I don't like the way it spills its guts when the action is opened.

I also own a Savage 99E in 308 from the 1980s just before they stopped production, and I bought it because I wanted one and both the chambering and price were right. I don't shoot it much.

I have the following Marlins:

1895CB 45-70
1895SDT 45-70
375
336 "Texan" 30-30
336 Marauder 30-30
336SDT 30-30
1894CB, 24" 45 Colt
1894CB, 20" 45 Colt
1894 Limited, 16" 45 Colt
1894CB, 24" 44 Mag
1894SS Limited, 16" 44 Mag
1894CB, 24" 357
1894C, 18" 357
1894CL, 20" 32-20 with half-mag
1894CCL, 20" octagon 32-20
39M Mountie carbines (two)
39TDS 16"
39A Rifle 24"

Yeah, I like leverguns. And I especially like Marlins.

My preference for Marlins is the smoothness and strength of the actions. I like the slim, uncheckered wood on some of the older guns and some of the CBs. Not a fan of checkered stocks, and not a fan of phat wide forends that feel more at home on a Ruger 10/22 factory wood stock. On second thought, those stocks don't feel right in any event.

Noah
 

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Hard question . . . I find the aesthetics (shape, feel, looks) of both the Marlin and Winchester '94's very appealing, BUT think the Marlin is a slightly better design mechanically speaking.

The other makes/models you mention just don't do anything for me.
 

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I like the quality of Marlins over Winchesters, they both look nice. Just the feel of the Marlins vs the Winchester in your hands will sure tell the difference for you.

"fk"
 

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I have a Winchester 30-30 trapper. Almost perfect. I love it.

However, I have huge glock 21 sizes hands. The wood forestock of the winchester is just a wee bit thin, compared to the marlins. My marlin guide gun's forestock is perfect. So is that of the 36, which is why I am currently in the market for one.
 

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From what I can tell, just about any Marlin or Winchester made before 1964 is of very good quality. The Marlin quality stayed good after 1964, the Winchester was hit or miss there for a few decades. I have seen and handled a few Winchester 94s from the 1970s that are just plain awful. The finish flakes off the receiver, there is a ton of slop in the action and the triggers were just plain bad. That being said, some of the last 94s they made seemed to be of much better quaility. I have not handled the Mossberg, but there is nothing about it that appeals to me. The Henrys I have handled are HEAVY and did not appeal to my eye either. They were smooth though.

The Browning/Miroku reproductions of the 1892 and 1886 Win are wonderfully made. I have owned just about every configuration of them over the years. Their fit and finish is first rate and they are usually good shooters. That being said, their triggers are often very heavy and they are just a little too fancy for me to drag through the briars and laurel thickets. That leaves the Marlin and Savage 99. These are my two favorite leverguns. Marlins are no nonsense rifles at a decent price. They are accurate, dependable and good looking without being too ornate or fancy. The Savage 99 is much the same, but capable of chambering some of the longer range cartridges. If I could only keep two centerfire rifles they would be my 1979 Marlin 1895 45-70 w/Williams FP receiver sight and my 1957 Savage 99 Featherweight 300 Savage with Weaver V4.5 scope.
 

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There is a article somewhere about the 10 best leverguns.

Marlin 336 in number 2.

Ill bet my life on mine
 

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Marlin is the best, I was a Winchester man for may years until my good buddy schooled me on why I was wrong. The Winchesters are great rifles... just not as stout, and simple, and as easy to scope... have two lever guns, both are Marlins.
 

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I prefer Marlins for three reasons: strength of the action, easy to scope, and smoothness of the action. I have never cared for the look of the non traditonal styled lever actions like the Browning and Savage. The Marlin action seemed smoother and easier to manipulate than all of the Winchester patterned rifles I ever tried.
 

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We've got two leverguns in 357 around here. A Marlin 1894C and a Navy Arms Win 1892 clone with a heavy 24" barrel. Just shooting with open sights, the 1892 clone is more accurate. But the 1894C has a scope on it and is more accurate using the glass. As far as working the action, the Marlin is a lot more smoother, but then it's a 1982 vintage and has taken a lot of deer where the 1892 clone was new in 99 and never was used that much (other than a few hogs) as I got my 1894D in 44-40 and started using it instead.
 

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The quality on the Wnchesters varies alot. When you handle a good one you will know it. I've got a fairly new trapper in 30-30, angle eject, no safety, rebounding hammer. It is an excellent rifle. Wood to metal fit is great, trigger is very good for any lever gun even with the rebounding hammer. The forearm fit is nice and tight. It shoots very well, mounts a scope, or a receiver sight no problem. The forearm on my 1894C 357 looks like it was cut off with a hacksaw, and I love this rifle, it will keep every round fired in a 3" circle at 100 yds anytime you want to shoot it. But they work different, kinda like a colt DA and a Smith DA. You can do good shooting with either but people usually stick to one or the other. The hard thing to get used to with the Winchester is that last hard spot just before the lever is fully open, when it feeds the next round from the tube to the receiver. Its easy to short stroke if your used to shooting Marlins. And when you go back to Marlins you find yourself slamming the lever open anticipating that hard spot that isn't there on the Marlins. However I love the Marlins for the simplicity of the design, the more I work on them the more I like them. I won't disassemble a winchester 94, I think John must have had a brain fart or something when he thought up that design. The most amazing thing to me is how different two supposedly identical Marlins can be. My 1894 357 is very smooth and quick and feeds everything even 38's. My 1894 44 mag is rougher and balks with ammo it doesn't like and sometimes with ammo it does. I wouldn't consider it for a defensive gun but the 357 I'd trust my life too. I have four 336's, 30-30, 35, 375 and 444. They are all different. The 35 is the best mechanically maybe because it a 1951, the 444 is probably the most accurate but not as smooth. I would look for smoothness and function over condition no matter what the age.
 

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First I have to say that I have had two leverguns of my own. A little Henry 22 lr. and an 1894fg 41 mag.

I have heard a lot about Winchester over the years, and some about Marlins. The thing I always heard most was Winchester has a stronger action and I am NOT an expert on the subject but that is probably correct.

The thing I have to ask is, if I can kill anything I want to kill with my Marlin using reloads or factory ammo, and last for generations, why dose it matter if the Winchester is stronger ?

I like my Marlin and if I had a Winchester I would most likely like it too, but finding a winny in the cal. I want now for a decent price is unlikely.

My Marlin can easily accept a scope or top mount reciever sight, My Marlin is easy to disassemble, clean, insp.,work on and reassemble, My Marlin is the best looking rifle I have seen in my life.

I would rate my Marlin best in my book, and worth more than what I payed for it. I would say I am a real happy Marlin owner.
 

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Go to any Cowboy action event and ask the shooters. Henry and Mossberg are not even contenders. Some Win 94's are in use but they just do not wear like a Marlin. Some of the CAS's run 10-20k rounds through their guns in a year. They know what holds up and what doesn't. There are also more web resources dealing with Marlins than the rest combined. Could be that there are more of them in use by people who shoot a lot! Google Marlin tune up and you will get many gunsmiths who specialize in turning your Marlin into a "race gun". I haven't found one that spends a lot of time on Win 94, Henrys, or Mossbergs.
 

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From what I can tell, just about any Marlin or Winchester made before 1964 is of very good quality. The Marlin quality stayed good after 1964, the Winchester was hit or miss there for a few decades.

I basically go along with this thought. Winchester went through some hard times for a while and their product was very suspect to say the least.

Now that I have three Marlins, in three different calibers, I'll stick with them over any Winchester lever.
 
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