Firearm Forums - Arms Locker banner
1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Administrator
Joined
·
2,689 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there any particular make and model of a lever action chambered in 357 Magnum that will also reliably function with 38 Special?
If not it's not a deal breaker just curious as I have a bunch of 38 Special cartridges already loaded up but I'm getting the 357 Magnum double action revolver I'm just trying to get everything set up both double action revolver and single action revolver eventually and a lever action that are cross compatible in some ways.
Pistol caliber lever actions are not exactly something that i kept up with over the years. And certainly not in much detail.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,608 Posts
I've heard of people having problems shooting .38 out of 1892 carbines, but I've had very good luck with mine. Mine's an old Rossi from (I think) 1993, so it may be due to being an older, early-production gun and they paid more attention to details back then (I don’t know what year they were introduced into the US) or it may be pure luck of the draw, but mine has been very happy with most loads, both 38 and 357. The one thing I have to watch is to not make .38 loads too short. I learned this when I loaded up some 125 cast rnfp loads a little shorter than normal, and the gun doesn’t like them at all. But to be fair to the gun, an rnfp bullet is kind of a short profile to begin with and a 125-grainer is on the smaller end of the scale for .35-caliber bullets in a rifle. So I don’t fault it too much. I don’t recall it ever having a problem with any factory .38 load, but I don’t believe I’ve ever tried wadcutters in it either. Its favorite factory load is federal’s 130-grain fmj-fp, which is pretty medium in length.

Honestly don’t know about any others; the 1873’s or 1894’s may be better or worse. For that matter, might look into the Henry’s as well – I have one of their .22LR’s, but don’t know much of anything about their centerfire guns.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,937 Posts
I have competed in Cowboy action matches since 1997 and I think I can conservatively say that I have put multiple tens of thousands of rounds down range through pistol caliber lever actions. I stopped shooting .357 in my pistol caliber carbines about 5-6 years ago. Currently the loads that I use in .38 Spl are 158 grain LRNFP, 1.450" OAL pushed by either 4.0 grains of Unique or if I'm shooting a match where 35 pound steel reactive pepper poppers are in use 4.5 grains of W231 which will put me in the +P category.

I have 2 Uberti M73 Carbines (.357/.45LC) and 2 Uberti Short Rifles (.357/.45LC). Both .357 guns were fitted with modified brass cartridge lifter as soon as I bought them, so they run flawlessly with .38 Spl. My wife has a Winchester- Miroku M73 and a Marlin M1894C, both in .357 have had a Cowboy Action job done on them and feed .38 Spls flawlessly. When I had my first M73 modified the gunsmith made a comment that it was now a .38 Special rifle and that I might have problems with it if I used magnums in it. I never tried.

In the past for 14 years, I ran a stock Marlin M1894S in .44 Magnum that would not feed .44 specials at all. I also used a Rossi Puma, in .357 with a big John Wayne style loop lever that would stove pipe .38 Specials. I put a lot of blame in that case on the lever itself. It looks cool but trying to run it as a speed rifle forget it. I also used a 1906 manufactured Winchester M92 that had been rebarreled to .44 magnum, it stove piped everything both Spl and Magnum. Also I used to own a .357 Browning B92 which was my wife's first Cowboy rifle for about 6-7 years. It would feed .38 Spl's, but not flawlessly. I also have a 12" barreled Chiappa "Alaskan" M92 in .44 Mag as a fun gun that could be used as bear protection while camping, impressive rifle as it feeds LSWC in .44 mag flawlessly. I haven't tried Specials in it.


There is a reason why any Winchester M92 or clone is considered and entry level carbine/rifle. Once you get practiced at putting rounds down range your personal ability will surpass the rifles ability to function, leading to problems like stove pipes. See how you feel on a 10 round stage and you stove pipe on the 3rd round, 8 misses.

Currently there are 3 tiers of rifles for speed shooting in Cowboy Action where 2/3 of all serious competitors shoot .38 Spl. that are looking for fast and flawless functioning:

01) Winchester M73 or clones
02) Marlin M1894
03) Winchester M92 or clones
10) Henry or Winchester M94 (pistol caliber)
 
  • Like
Reactions: John in AR

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,608 Posts
There is a reason why any Winchester M92 or clone is considered and entry level carbine/rifle. Once you get practiced at putting rounds down range your personal ability will surpass the rifles ability to function...
I don't doubt that at all. I’ve been running 1892 versions for a long time; my favorite one more than 25 years. And as much as I like it & have praised it here, in the short two years I’ve had the 1873 and had an action job done on it, I’ve come to like the 1873 much more. That’s really weird to say, because at first I couldn’t stand it; I assume because it was just so different than what I was used to.

Running the 1873 slow still feels ‘off’ to me, I assume due to so many years shooting 92’s. But something about its linkage system (for me, anyway) means that running it faster is almost beyond automatic; it feels like the gun almost runs itself without me doing much of anything. Even the first time I ran it (on the short video from when I got it back from Cody-matic), at 45-50 feet I got four hits in around 3.2 seconds on an 8” plate. I’m not totally sure I could do that with the 1892, and I’m much more familiar with that one. If I were going to buy another levergun – which I’m not – it would absolutely be a ’73 version, no question.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,937 Posts
I can relate to your first impressions with the M73, I had the same feelings. They dissipated by the 3rd match I used it in. This thread has gotten me thinking and sometime in the next couple of weeks I'm going to build 10 Dummy .357 rds and see if or not, they cycle through the Uberti since the cartridge lifter was changed/modified. Given the ability of the M73 to rattle off additional shots quickly, this aids the carbines usefulness as a defensive firearm for someone living in a jurisdiction where AR style firearms are legally frowned upon by those that feel that emotion is more important than facts.
 
  • Like
Reactions: John in AR

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,608 Posts
(y) This thread has also made me think about my levergun selection. Currently I have two 92's in .357; a 16" with a red dot and threaded muzzle, and a really nice 24" stainless octagonal-barrel one. The long-barreled stainless one is a beautiful & great-working gun, but it's one of those that I simply never use, and I'm wondering how much it would cost to trade it out for an 18"-20" 1873 in the same caliber instead. That would probably be a gun I would actually use, probably even more than the 16" one that I've liked for such a long time.

Edit : Garand - Forgot to mention; even if your gun isn’t happy with .357 cases and you’re stuck with .38’s, in a carbine they can still do a lot. Back when I first started chronographing things (shortly after I got the 16” 1892), I was struck to find that my .38spl lead handloads were more powerful from the 16” carbine than my .357 lead handloads were from the 4” revolver. I wasn’t documenting things at the time, so I can’t say specific velocities or bullet weights, but the muzzle energy of the .38’s from the carbine was higher than the muzzle energy of the magnums from the revolver. (In that one instance. I’m sure it wouldn’t be anywhere near universally true.)

I know Buffalo Bore lists some of their .38 +P loads as running between 450-500 ft/lbs from a revolver; I bet they’d do substantially more from a carbine, and you could definitely load your own .38’s for that matter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,937 Posts
Hypothetical scenario, your in a SHTF/defensive scenario you can chamber 1 rd of .357 in the rifle's chamber, lower the hammer down and have 10 rds of .38 Spl+P's in the tubular magazine, if the .357's don't cycle.
 
  • Like
Reactions: John in AR

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,937 Posts
An update, I was just looking through my box of dummy ammo and I found Qty 6 .357 Magnum snap caps (that I bought for my wife 10 years ago and she never used). They measure 1.540" OAL. I tried them in my Uberti M73 Carbine and the first rd chambered really well, that is the end of the good news. It appears following rounds hung up, briefly and stopped the motion of closing the lever when it got to the halfway point. With a little more pressure in closing the lever it closed, overcoming the part of the projectile end that hung up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,937 Posts
If you are in a jurisdiction where your choice of a defensive firearm for use under 100 yds is limited to something like a lever action pistol caliber carbine, I would recommend a front sight addition from Home (surehitsights.com) My wife and I have been using them for over 6-7 years now and when you need to engage a target or multiple targets at close distances, these are the sights that you want. Both our pistol and rifle sites are from this company. The brass front sight is unbelievably easy to pick up quickly. With the Carbine I've used their rifle sights on multiple targets from 10 to 57 yds at matches regularly. The Rifle sight looses its benefits at targets past 100 yds, I have tried them at long range pistol caliber matches out to 300 yds, with poor results, but then the effectiveness of a .45 Colt (Long Colt) is also limited at that range.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
2,689 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah okay scratch one "Unicorn" and see about investing in two rifles if needed.

Anything good or bad about the Henry brand? Even if not personal experience? Is it discussion and or cussed among the cowboy action people?

I was looking at this Henry as a possible entry level rifle but more of a "it's not an assault rifle" rifle for woods walking.



Note not the one with the angular large loop.





 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,608 Posts
The only one I have is there base-model .22LR lever action. It's a very smooth gun and more accurate than I am, but no experience with their centerfire guns. Might check out 22plinkster on youtube; I think they sponsor him now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,937 Posts
Currently there are 3 tiers of rifles for speed shooting in Cowboy Action where 2/3 of all serious competitors shoot .38 Spl. that are looking for fast and flawless functioning:

01) Winchester M73 or clones
02) Marlin M1894
03) Winchester M92 or clones
10) Henry or Winchester M94 (pistol caliber)
I put the number 10 next to the Henry for a reason. I love when someone shows up to a match with a Henry, at that moment you have a good idea who will end up in last place! They are well made and ideal for hunting (providing the game is color blind, if not being made color blind by that nice shiney (the brass one) receiver that sticks out like a Russian T72 in a Ukrainian Lettice patch) or great for plinking. Henry suffers from a lack of aftermarket accessories and the fact that most competent lever action gunsmiths I've known in the last 20+ years won't touch them. It is a functional rifle, no doubt there, but if you are in a situation where you are using a lever action carbine as your primary defensive firearm I'd want something that put lead downrange as fast as possible in case of multiple opponents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,608 Posts
When I picked up the pc charger at the gunshop today I asked the owner about the cost difference in selling the 24" 1892 for an 18" 1873. His response was that there are absolutely no .357 magnum, .45 colt, .44 magnum or .30-30 lever actions in stock anywhere in the country that he can find. Said he's looked for them for several customers over the last few weeks due to our deer season starting mid-November, and hasn't been able to find a single levergun in any of those calibers, in any make, model or barrel length at all.

If I'd been quicker-thinking, I'd have asked him if he'd be interested in selling mine. But it didn't occur to me, and a bright stainless gun with 24" octagonal barrel really isn't ideal as a brush gun anyway.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
2,689 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yesterday when I went over to Ozark Armory and put some money down on my revolver I noticed they had one of the Winchester Miroku made reproductions for sale.
But I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to model detail or chambering. But I think it might be a '73....but cost had my eyes a popping.
I'd guess it was roughly $400 more than what for example some of the Uberti models are listed at suggested retail.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,937 Posts
My wife likes her Miroku a lot, but she likes my Uberti slightly more. Both are quality guns, you get what you pay for these days. In my case for the purpose I bought the guns, buying quality means in the future I don't need to ever upgrade again.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BigEd

·
Administrator
Joined
·
2,689 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm about thinking a Henry for now for the brush/truck gun and one of either the Winchesters or Uberti's for competition or to replace the Henry ...future's too much in flux to say for certain. Heck I gotta finish sorting out this place and moving first.🤪
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,937 Posts
Buy a Uberti, you will never regret it and you will never have to upgrade.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,608 Posts
+1 the uberti recommendation if you can get past the price. After 25-30 years of using and REALLY liking 1892’s, I got my first and only uberti about two years ago. In that short time, it’s become my absolutely favorite.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
2,689 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well, I see a couple of things. In the future none of which I intend to do quickly.
After I decide where I'm going and what's available for ranges and competitions nearby.

This has to do with long range competition vs. CAS/SASS. Nothing wrong with both and all but...I don't know yet.

If I pursue the CAS/SASS route the Uberti '73 is definitely on my list.

Even if I don't it wouldn't be a bad choice but I could entertain the option of the Henry or something else for
a truck gun and the Uberti for competition action tuned and used for only .38spl.. I've still got enough of those cases anyhow for the S&W 442 I used to own. Somewhere around +/- 500 IIRC.

In a week I'll know where and possibly when I'm going. I don't like to get into state or local politics much but how this election goes will be a factor in where I go.
That's. All I'll say for now on that.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top