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I have been looking at picking up a lever action rifle/carbine and was wondering if anyone has pro's and con's on the Winchester 1894 and Marlin 1894. Is one better than the other etc.
I am looking for a companion to my .357 Ruger Gp100 which I currently reload for.
Nothing fancy, basic all round rifle/carbine for plinking, maybe some hunting and of course home defense. Any thoughts appreciated.
 

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The Marlin is a purpose designed action for the pistol cartridge. The Winchester is a longer rifle action adapted to the shorter pistol cartridge. The Marlin solid top action mounts scopes easier if you wish to put glass on it. The Marlin is much easier to take down and clean from the rear (one screw and the lever and bolt will come out). Actions and triggers are comparable.

I chose the Marlin.
 

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The Marlin is a purpose designed action for the pistol cartridge. The Winchester is a longer rifle action adapted to the shorter pistol cartridge. The Marlin solid top action mounts scopes easier if you wish to put glass on it. The Marlin is much easier to take down and clean from the rear (one screw and the lever and bolt will come out). Actions and triggers are comparable.
+1, with a "but" Winchester is like a Colt in that the name carries history/myth with it.
 

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Ive messed with both in .30-30, the winchester is a little slimmer build, but I dont like the top eject, and there are alot of guts that come out with the lever when compared to the marlin. The marlin is a little more beefy but is not as svelte feeling. Both are time tested actions. For a pistol round you need a winchester 92, I have messed with a Rossi clone of the 92 in .357 mag and was very impressed. Its a scaled down 94, so the frame and all is a little smaller. Its still a top eject, and alot of stuff comes out when the action is open, ( not that it matters, I just dont like that) but is more a pistol cal rifle than the other two mentioned.
 

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I have a marlin in .44 Mag with a Leupold scout scope on it. It is a great little gun. The only thing I hate about it is having to stuff the shells thru the loading gate into the magazine. If you are going to put a scope or other aim device on it the Marlin would be the way to go.
 

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mack69

My vote is for the Marlin. Particularly after breaking a Winchester; I broke the bottom plate where the lever contacts it. The Marlin has a stronger frame and action, plus the action is designed smoother more positive operation, which will stand up to more rough use. Just go to your local gun store and take a look, paying attention to the levers, the number of inter-linking parts, and how they operate.

Also, while the Winchester may have more panache, the Marlin has just as much history. Since 1894 was the year that rifle, and action design, were introduced.
 

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mack69, are we clones??? I just picked up a Marlin 1894C from my dealer. I also wanted a companion to my GP-100.

I had looked at both brands at another dealer, but I ended up with the Marlin. Nice rifle, mild recoil. A little stiff the first 25 rounds, but you could feel it relax as it was shot. I like the solid top for scope mounting since my eyes aren't the greatest. .38spl Federal 125 gr +P's were accurate and almost no recoil. 158 gr JSP .357 loads had more bark and a little recoil. Now to get it out to an outdoor range, rather then the short indoor range.
 

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I've always been impressed with Marlin's quality and accuracy. To my eye, the Marlin also looks a little better, especially the older ones without the safety button; but just a personal opinion.
 

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Lever Action?

I've got a M94 in 30-30 and I love it. But it's a dual purpose fast swinging, close action carbine, with iron sights. I've fired the Marlin 336 and that is some deer killing platform! Put a 4x scope on her and it'd be tough to top. Also, the Winchester has this odd little safety mechanism on the lever, a small button that the loop must make contact with in order to fire. It's a natural motion, kinda like the grip safety on the 1911. But it's there. I still like the Winchester. I used to have one in 30-30 and one in 357 magnum. I didn't find much use for the 357 so I traded it for something else, but I'll never give up my faithful thutty thutty. :hrm:
 

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My Winchester is awesome. I think its the name and the glory that I like. But it is prettier too. My friends Marlin is built a little better. Its heavier but it seems like it will hold up longer. The Marlin also comes tapped for scopes.
 

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My only experience with both rifles is in .38/.357, .44, and .45Colt after a few years of CAS and in those calibers I prefer the Marlin. Smoother. More reliable. Well built.

I foolishly sold all after I left CAS in the mid-1990's but picked up a .45Colt Marlin a year or so ago to go with a USFA Rodeo I had acquired.

I've never tried a 30-30 Winchester or some of the other rifle calibers.
 

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Of the lever guns I've owned and handled, the Marlins always seemed to have a much smoother action. The Winchester's weren't poor, the Marlins were just smoother.
 

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sawyer said:
the winchester is a little slimmer build, but I dont like the top eject, and there are alot of guts that come out with the lever when compared to the marlin.

Ughhh. I'm not going to be able to shoot my Winchester any more without getting sick.

I do like it by the way.
 

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Str8_Shot said:
mack69

My vote is for the Marlin. Particularly after breaking a Winchester; I broke the bottom plate where the lever contacts it. The Marlin has a stronger frame and action, plus the action is designed smoother more positive operation, which will stand up to more rough use. Just go to your local gun store and take a look, paying attention to the levers, the number of inter-linking parts, and how they operate.

Also, while the Winchester may have more panache, the Marlin has just as much history. Since 1894 was the year that rifle, and action design, were introduced.
Since 1894, the Marlins have been running second to Winchester more like it.

I have had a couple of pistol length Win 94s and couldn't figure out what the fuss was about. they all worked like swiss watches for me. I have never broken a part on a lever action (apart from on my Uberti 1866, but that don't count, the previous owner gave me some ammo which he had for it and said it shot like a dream. One shot, gun broke, turns out he forgot that he got it loaded to shoot in his 94Win 44/40 and not his 1866 44/40).

A lot of my friends over the years have owned and shot levers and apart from a few failures with old 92s in western action, I have only seen one break, it was a Marlin 1895 in 45/70. That don't count either, as my cop friend used to call into the gun shop every day and dry fire it numerous times. He finally paid it off after about six months and took it home. His wife said he loved it so much, he used to sit in front of the TV and shoot everybody who came onto the screen. After a couple months, a sheepish policeman walked into the store and said, "I know you told me so, but" and we all chimed in and said as one man: "but you broke the firing pin!"

I have lots of Win 94s and love them, but if you are gonna buy a 357, I'd probably go for a Rossi 92 (I have one of these-Great!) or the Marlin if you think you might put a scope on it. If its just going to be a truck gun, the 92 would be my choice.
****.
 

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imashooter2 said:
The Marlin is a purpose designed action for the pistol cartridge. The Winchester is a longer rifle action adapted to the shorter pistol cartridge. The Marlin solid top action mounts scopes easier if you wish to put glass on it. The Marlin is much easier to take down and clean from the rear (one screw and the lever and bolt will come out). Actions and triggers are comparable.

I chose the Marlin.
The bottom line is to buy what you like Mack69 . imashooter2 makes a very good case for Marlin though . I've been selling both for over 20 yrs . I think the Marlin is a better design based on Mack's assessment and my sales/repair experiences . It's also a smoother operation action . imo

As for historical value , Marlin first introduced their M1881 large frame lever action in 1881 . 5 years before Winchester's magnum action M1886 . They also manufactured the Marlin/Ballard single shot rifles directly competeing with the M1885 Win . Marlin's been around :)
 
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