FN Herstal Firearms banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,968 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wasn't sure where to put this so I thought maybe here. Mods please move if inappropriate.

Every so often I look past SCARs, Tavors, HKMRs and other such guns and get interested in something retro.

Lately I have been thinking about a lever action 45-70. It would need to be tough and reliable and will see some considerable field time.

Any thoughts on Marlin versus Henry versus Winchester?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,333 Posts
I have a couple of Marlins and like them quite well. I would try to find one of the older pre-Remington acq. ones that were made in New Haven Conn. As usual once Remington gets their hands on a good firearms man. they FUBAR 'em.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,130 Posts
I owned a Marlin 336CS years ago but it was a 30/30 and a really nice lever action perfectly tailored for hunting hogs in thick brush. Tell'ya what though that Henry 45-70 is one slick looking lever gun. I'd vote Henry!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Aging Disgracefully

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,423 Posts
After my state recently allowed straight walled center fired rifles to be used for deer hunting I went on the hunt for my new deer gun. After a lot of research I decided my best option was the Marlin XLR in .444 Marlin Mag. It was developed in conjunction with Hornady tailored for there Leverevolution ammunition with great results. AFAIK all the XLR line-up are all S.S. with a lam stock. They feature a truly rifled barrel not just the micro grooved that other Marlins have. It was manufactured in in several of the big bore chambers. After researching all ballistic data I went on the hunt for the .444, best in long range, flattest shooting, a true 300yd deer gun. Unfortunately when Rem. took over they discontinued this model. I did manage to find one NIB from a privet collector in TN who also had a few he was selling off including the 45/70. I did pay quite the premium for it, but I'm worth it and must say it is quite the shooter. Just my .02 on the lever guns, give them a look and see if you can find one, I think you would be pleased.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,109 Posts
I really like my dad's Marlin 336, 30-30. :?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,367 Posts
I have a Jm stamped Cowboy Model... Octagon barrel... 9 rd capacity... Shoot thru 6 feet of meat... I luv this rifle! Remlin has gotten better... Just look them over good... Real easy to work on smoothing out action ect,., A couple vendors out there doing a good job also. One of my sons has a guide 45/70 he bought that was tricked out by one of theses company's.... Winchesters are nice, price is high though, however, it is a Winchester. I'm not too familiar with Henry... Probably worth a look.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,639 Posts
I am partial to the Marlin since it is the only lever action I ever owned.

But holding both a Henry and Marlin, the Henry has a step up in quality just by sight and feel in the hands.
The Marlin does have done nicer features that tha Henry does not:
push button safety in addition to the half cock safety, and a side loading port to make loading in as shooting position very quick.

The Henry

The Marlin Guide Gun
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,639 Posts
You hit it right on the head with Marlin: my concerns are now that it is Marlington. Recent error web chatter seems to suggest though that things have gotten a bit better after a rough patch for quality.
The last I remember the Remington Marlins having a $h!+ load of flaws was several years back. Remington's name was drug through mud and just about every LGS sent them back to Remington refusing delivery of the bad rifles.
Remington as far as I know has fixed the problems or at the very least addressed the majority of them after losing thousands on returned flawed NIB rifles the LGSs refused to accept.

I bought a second 336 (a W) last Thanksgiving and after putting around 50 rounds through it, it was very nicely broken in and hasn't given me any problems at all.
My very first Marlin is another 336, but it only has annoying cosmetic flaws and no deal killer critical malfunctions like the lever being locked into a given half open position.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,136 Posts
From what I've seen of new lever guns, I like the Henry in 45-70, also like the ghost ring rear sights on the ones I looked at. I have a Chiappa take down in .44 at the moment and the quality seems good and there are no needles safeties. I had issues with a new Marlin in .357 a couple of years ago and sold it soon after buying it. (Holes in the top of the receiver for optic mounting did not line up.) Good deals on old Marlins in pawn shops can be found pretty readily, but mostly in 30-30. Nothing says "I'm from the sticks and I'm here to party" like a well used 30-30.

Although I've never seen it, one of my friends owned a WWG Co-pilot at one time and said it was worth every penny. WWG Co-Pilot » Wild West Guns
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,639 Posts
What about the Winchesters? What is their reputation? Amazingly I have never owned anything from Winchester.
I don't know about Winchester's reputation, but I do know they have not had the negative press that Remington had when Rem F'ed up Marlin.

The Winchester 1886 is still in production I believe.


Compared to the Marlin & Henry, my pros an cons of the 1886 are:

Drawbacks (to me at least):
Top ejecting; a scope must be side mounted.
Very big for a lever action. BUT that increased size allows you to carry 9 rounds.

Benefits:
The ones in stores now have an additional safety to the half-cock safety. This additional safety is located right behind the hammer.
Side loading like the Marlin.

A couple of reviews from this guy on youtoobs (I love this guy's gun reviews):
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
315 Posts
Awesome links.
Thank you

Sent from my LG-D800 using Tapatalk
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
12,030 Posts
Marlin has been destroyed by Remington.

If you can get a Winchester Model 94 30-30 pre 1964 (the year they went to the stamped ejectors) it is what I hunt with. Due to its short barrel, it is easy to move through the woods and get quick target acquiring and disposition. I also like the fact that I can let it hang down (arm hanging at my side) and the barrel is still about 4 to 5 inches off the ground. Makes hunting more enjoyable due to ease of movement through heavy wooded areas.

Of the three, I would do the pre 64 Win Model 94 then the Henry, only because the Henry is heavier, but it is probably the most solidly built these days.

BTW, my Win 94 was manufactured in the early forties and the receiver is still as tight as day one. The stamped metal ejectors have tendencies to wear fast and loosen up a lot.

Whichever you choose, make sure that the internals are solid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
583 Posts
IMO Winchester/Browning > Henry > Marlin. Keep in mind that the 1886 is an historical rifle, now made by Miroku, of excellent quality and it will deal the shooter a beating with the steel crescent butt plate. If I bought the 1886, there's no doubt I'd be looking for some solution to that butt plate.

I always like what Chuck et. al. have to say.

Winchester/Miroku .45-70 Model 1886 Short Rifle
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
I went with a Marlin for my lever gun, as I prefer the side loading as apposed to rod removal to load the Henry. I also really like the grey laminate stock and stainless model that Marlin offers
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top