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Thread: Marlin / Winchester / Henry???

  1. #1
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    Marlin / Winchester / Henry???

    Iím 6 months into retirement, and it is time to start having a little fun and pick up a few toys - toys that could always be put into serious use if need be. A few questions....

    1) I will likely start with a lever gun - with 30-30 being the likely caliber. Researching has brought up problems associated with carrier misfeeds - at least with Marlins and Winchesters. Rare, but of concern to a function freak like me:). Nothing I could find about this occurring with Henrys.
    Any comments to this??????

    2). Second rifle will be a short 308, scout type. Looking at either a Ruger GSR or a Savage 110 Scout.
    Any comments to this??????
    jmoore (aka - geezer john)

    "The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." Thucydides

  2. #2
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    I wouldn't worry too much about carrier misfeeds in a Winchester or a Marlin, no experience with a Henry. If you are after a Marlin the older rifles are preferable given how bad the late guns were before they went under. Not sure how current guns are under the new owners.

    My own preference for a scout rifle is the Steyr, and prices have come down on them a lot compared to when they were first introduced, but still not in everyone's budget.

  3. #3
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    I personally prefer the Marlin design quite a bit, but Coal Dragger has a good point that recent guns had issues. Older 336s are great rifles. The Marlin receiver and bolt design is less particular than Winchester, and somewhat easier to field strip. Marlins are much easier to put a scope on if you want. I also like the pistol grip more than the straight pull of most Model 94s. I grew up handling lever guns and I’m perfectly happy without a safety, but some people like the cross bolt on Marlins. That’s not to say there is anything bad with about Winchester, I like them and there is a reason the design has lasted over 120 years.

    If I was buying new I’d get a Winchester. Depending on what you wanted do, I might suggest looking at a .44 Mag like the Model 92 instead of a 30-30. I like the 30-30 and still hunt with it occasionally, but thanks to the interest in handgun hunting and big bore revolvers there’s a lot more ammo options in .44 Mag than 30-30. The pistol caliber lever guns are also just fun to shoot. I think there’s very little difference in performance on deer and hogs at close range—in fact I think the 240 grain .44 JSP is better than the 150 grain 30-30. The 175 grain 30-30 round nose is a solid hunting load, though.
    Last edited by TBAR_94; 02-23-21 at 15:39.
    OEF / OIR / OFS

  4. #4
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    I have 2 Marlins. One of their older "Sears" brands and a newer 1895CB. Just sold a Winchester 94.

    I prefer the Marlin over the Winchester when it comes to optics mounting and smoothness of the action (I realize those could just be my examples and not necessarily representative of the entire line). The 1895CB i bought used but it's only a few years old, 2016 I think?!? No function issues but then again they don't get shot like Glocks

    Sent from my moto z4 using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    I dunno why, but I've never liked the Henry rifles. The first ones I ever handled when they were new to the market just seemed chintzy to me and I've never gotten over that initial impression. I'd much rather scounge around and find an older Marlin or Winchester.

    On the Scout rifle, get the Ruger over the Savage and a Steyr over either one.

    OR, have a gunsmith build one for you- and it doesn't have to be a "commissioned work of art"..... I bought a half assed sporterized 1903A3 Springfield out of a pawn shop for $200. I had some stock modifications done, cut the barrel down a bit and had a gunsmith mount a scout rail- all of that cost me another $350. Excellent scout rifle and cheaper than any of the previous options listed. You do realize Coopers first Pseudo Scout- and several others, were based around the Springfield? If you are ok with not having a "perfect scout", it's a good option....And even now, you can find the old 1950's and 60's basement converted "Sporters" for reasonable money if you look around a bit.

    A couple things that the old military rifles have over the modern versions is--- 1. Absolute reliability- I have heard and seen of both Rugers and Savage Scout rifles going down when run hard. You never hear that about a military issued Mauser/Springfield. I ran mine in a Scout Rifle class and it ran like a top for 3 days. 2. They retain the ability to stripper clip feed ammo- Cooper felt that was important- maybe less so now with the good detachable mags, but a nice option. A man that knows how to run a rifle can keep up a good rate of fire with the old military rifles.
    Last edited by Esq.; 02-23-21 at 09:06.
    The truth can only offend those who live a lie.

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    I am a fan of the JM branded Marlins. I have a few of the 30-30's and a couple of the 1894's in 44mag. So far no issues with them. At the time I was buying them Winchester's quality was up and down plus as TBAR 94 said they are easier to scope. Some folks are even mounting Red Dots on them.
    Henry has a good reputation and good customer service from what I have read.
    If you are a patient man supposedly Ruger will have their version of Marlin out in less than a year.
    I spend a fair amount of my time over on the Marlinownersforum. There is a lot of tips and tricks on maintaining the guns. If you are so inclined give it a visit. They are a friendly bunch.

  7. #7
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    Thanks all - just the type of info I was looking for!

    geezer john
    jmoore (aka - geezer john)

    "The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." Thucydides

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    As one who had an 80’s Marlin 336 & still owns the family Win.94, the biggest difference is weight.

    336 is a heavy receiver & a god platform for a scope, 94 is much easier to carry all day but the top eject makes optics a PITA. My 336 was in 35 REM vs 30-30 for the 94 so can’t say which was more accurate.

    The only Henry I have is a rimfire pump but it’s well made & reliable.

  9. #9
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    My parents have a Henry 30-30. It is nice looking, but makes my scoped 336 feel like a featherweight.

    Andy

  10. #10
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    I also have this inexplicable soft spot for the Browning BLR, it would be my choice in a lever gun that wasnít a pistol caliber or .45-70.

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