I am very close to buying a 1894 Marlin. I am just undecided about the caliber. I plan to use it for plinking, close range varmets, personal defence, and possibly deer size game. I have narowed it down to 2. 357 and 44 mag. What are the pros an cons of each?
People on the range will mistake the 357 for a 22 as there is almost no report and very little recoil. The same will not be said of the 44 as it will be loud and kick the tar out of your shoulder.
I have an 1894 in 44 and have considered getting rid of it and getting a 357 as I have a GP100 and a Blackhawk but no other weapons chambered in 44 so it's odd man out at the moment.
Everybody seems to have an opinion concerning caliber. Mine is do you have a handgun in either? Buy the lever that matches what you already have. In my case I have both 357 and 44 soooo I guess I need a 357 lever now . Wonder if the wife will buy that excuse?
Both have their uses, advantages and disadvantages and a lot of that depends on where you are. In the eastern and southern US, the 357 will adequately take everything except moose - and it might do that if the shooter knows his stuff. I spent the first half of my 63 years living there. FWIW: I've taken a bear with a single 357 round from a Ruger Blackhawk, but those bears don't hold a candle to the ones I seen in Alaska. I can't say about your area, because I've never been there.
Here in the west and 1500 miles or so south of you, when I'm on my ranch or prospecting in the desert, I generally carry a 44 mag - in both Marlin lever gun and S&W DA revolver.
Given handgun restrictions in Canada as I understand them, revolver and rifle in the same caliber might be difficult to accomplish although I know it can be done. So, if the revolver /rifle combo is not a problem, I'd say so with the 44 magnum.
If it is a problem - or simply not worth the aggravation - based on what you say you want to do with it, I'd recommend a Marlin 30-30.
quote:Originally posted by dustmaker: Everybody seems to have an opinion concerning caliber. Mine is do you have a handgun in either? Buy the lever that matches what you already have. In my case I have both 357 and 44 soooo I guess I need a 357 lever now . Wonder if the wife will buy that excuse?
you gotta give her the purse and shoes argument so she'll understand.
"Darlin', me having the .357 pistol without the matching .357 rifle is like you having a pretty red purse with no red shoes to match."
WARNING: While this will usually work...it will also mean she gets to go spend $800 on matching shoes and purse. And since she may not concede that your guns "are for the family to use" while her acccesories are not, you won't be able to tell her 'no'.
Anything a .357 carbine can do, the .44 Mag can, and will do better. There is no noticable recoil with either. I have, and shoot carbines in both calibers. The .357 is a Rossi Model 92, with a Lyman receiver sight. This little carbine is fast, fun, and accurate. the .44 Mag is a Marlin 1894. The .44 Mag Marlin is the meat gun though, not the .357 I load my own for both, so cost is not really much of a factor for me.
What is the heaviest commercially available load for the .357? I'm not 100% positive, but I think that it is 158 grains.
The .44 on the other hand allows you to use loads up to 240 grains right off the shelf from your local gunshop.
The .44 is going to pack a lot more punch on deer and other animals as well. I would feel much more comfortable knowing that I had the extra power.
But, as they say, opinions are like turd cutters...everybody has one and most of them stink. Go to the store, and go with your gut feeling. Both are nice rifles, and I don't think that you would be disappointed with either.
With handloads in a .357 carbine, you can drive a 200 grain bullet over 1700 fps. That's .30/30 territory. Any hash you can't settle with that, you won't do much better with a .44 magnum. Plus, the .357 is much better for small game, uses 2/3 the amount of powder and lead as the .44, and brass is much cheaper and more available. I have even loaded and fired a 280 yes 280 grain lead round nose bullet successfully in my .357 carbine. Lyman #358009 bullet mould, intended for .35 Whelen which is what I bought it for. I recommend the .357 magnum.
Claykuch, I have leverguns in .357,.44, and.45, they all pretty much do the same and I would match the rifle up to the pistol I had, if in the lower 48 I think I would settle on the .357/.38 because ammo is cheaper, and lighter and more frugal. There are loads both commercial and handloads that will kill everything from squirrels to polar bears (several guys in the '30's did this with revolvers)Buffalo Bore makes a 180gr wfn hard cast .357 at over 1800fps, it will make a permanant 1" wound channel and extreme penetration on large game, so will a .44 and .45lc using the proper ammo, but .357 can get it done. However, since you live in Canada and handguns are not ok (from what I understand) .30-30 as OJC mentioned can do everything you've mentioned. 125gr jhp for home defense, lead small game loads filled with Unique, 170gr hard cast lead for big game up to moose, and the new 160gr leverevolution from Hornady only drops 12" at 300 yds, with a 2" zero @ 100yds that's only 10" low @ 300 yds which is definately minute of bad guy.
Another vote for the 357, if you will not be facing large bears. If you woods loaf in the domain of the grizzly or larger than you at least a 30-30, but I would go for 444, 450, or 45-70 in a lever.
I live, work, and drive through rural Kentucky towns everyday. I personally feel that it will handle just about everything that will be thrown at me with the exception really reaching out and touching someone. But that is not completely untrue, I used to plink at old paint and dry wall mud buckets out to 200 yards. When in practice the paint buckets were easy at 100 and the dry wall mud buckets not much harder.
I went with the 1894 Marlin in .44 magnum. This rifle will also shoot cast lead ammo and .44 Specials ( I don't think anyone said anything about that yet). I bought mine for whitetail deer and black bear hunting both from a stand. My next handgun will be a taurus tracker in .44 magnum.
My boy whacked two 100 Lb feral hogs with his 1894 .357 on Friday. With one shot! Federal Castcore 180. It did the job, course he had excellent shot placement but penetration was spectacular.
I have two of each-.357's and .44! I plan on moving him up to the .44 and then to a .35 Rem. 336 eventually. In any event, at modest distances with good bullets and good placement the .357 will get the job done.