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Are there any 44 mag lever rifles to avoid buying

steve45steve45 Member Posts: 2,940 ✭✭✭
edited December 2015 in Ask the Experts
I have been wanting a 44 mag lever action rifle for awhile. Are there any of them to avoid? Any that have feeding or other problems? Tell me what you think of your Winchester, Marlin, Rossi, Henry, Uberti or other?

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    charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 6,579 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have a 94AE. So far a broken: right hand shell guide - no parts available, carrier npa, ejector about $25. On and it developed head space issues shooting the same load as my 29 has digested 25,000+ rounds. I repaired the guide, soon I'll fix the ejector and the carrier.
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    PA ShootistPA Shootist Member Posts: 690 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have a John Marlin Model 1894 in .44 Magnum that I purchased new 40+years ago. It suffered the "dreaded Marlin jam", which apparently was common. I put up with it as a two-shot rifle for most of those years, one cartridge in chamber and one in magazine tube, to avoid the nose of the cartridge on lifter jamming against rim on next one coming out of the tube. I was able to replace the lifter at fault (determined by logging onto Marlin owners' forum) with a new one from Brownell's, of slightly different geometry or dimensions. Now with 240 grain jacketed bullets crimped at cannelure, it feeds slickly and reliably. My favorite Elmer Keith designed cast bullet Lyman 429421 is apparently too long, and so I still use as a two-shot with that bullet. The rifle is nicely accurate with all bullets mentioned, and is a perfect woods rifle. I don't know if current Marlin 1894's have an improved lifter.
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    AmbroseAmbrose Member Posts: 3,173 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have a Winchester 94 that I bought when they first started making them in .44 mag.; the ones with the stamped internal parts and the non-walnut stocks, etc. Must have been in the 70's. I've never had any trouble with it. It feeds handloads with the Keith lead bullets and any others that I've tried.
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    tsr1965tsr1965 Member Posts: 8,682 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    If you are going to use it with open sights, the Winchester 1892, made by Miroku, are the best, as are the Browning 92's. If using a scope, then the Marlin 1894, is the best, and preferably the ones JM marked, that were made in the original Marlin plant
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    ruger41ruger41 Member Posts: 14,663 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have a 100yr Anniversary 94AE with the big loop in .44 mag. I've owned it since 1994. Never had any problems with it. I've shot everything from .44 Special to 300 grain hollowpoints in .44 Mag.
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    fordsixfordsix Member Posts: 8,722
    edited November -1
    marlin 1894 bought new in 83 feed everything i asked it to??
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    geeguygeeguy Member Posts: 1,047
    edited November -1
    Steve: I purchased a Henry Big Boy .44 mag about 18 months ago. Have shot only 100 rds in Mag (factory and my reloads) and about 50 in Spec ammo (my reloads). So far no issues. I like the tube load.

    Also had a friend with the Rossi, and he had no issues I was aware of.

    Both are somewhat new, so I can't state any long term issues.

    Best of luck
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    steve45steve45 Member Posts: 2,940 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks everybody. I was asking because I seem to remember something about problems with 70's era model 94 Winchesters.
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    rsnyder55rsnyder55 Member Posts: 2,526 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have a Marlin 1894 Big 5 special and an 1892 clone which was imported by LS1 in Reno.

    No problems with either, however, since these are guns used by SASS, there are several smiths who work on them and make them more reliable.

    As SASS guns get shot a lot, they've seen almost everything and have devised fixes to prevent them from happening.

    Stevesgunz, I believe comes to mind.

    **Just checked his site, it appears he specializes in Rossi 1892's.
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    25-0625-06 Member Posts: 466 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    The Marlin 1894's are very good. If it was me, I would look for one of the older 336's that were made in the 60'S. That is, if I used it for hunting and plinking. Not cowboy action shooting.
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