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Wicked Willie, SASS#9377

1873 - 1892 or Marlin...and why

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Currently shoot parts gun Marlin in .45 Colt.  Looking to downsize to .38/.357 to lessen cost of feeding.  POLITE opinions sought on the three rifles mentioned.  (Please no Henry posts...I want a side loader.)  Please be complete in your answers.

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I would say the 73 platform is the most complete, with more aftermarket parts available and more gun plumbers that know how to make them run.  66 close behind, but the ability to pull side plates for quick inspection/cleaning leans towards the 73 again. Set up properly all three designs are probably going to run about the same speed.

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When I started this game, I tried a Marlin and a 73.  At that time the Marlin felt like a better fit to me, so that's what I bought.  After a number of years I tried a 73 again, and it felt more at home in my hands that my old Marlin.  So I bought a 73.  After shooting the 73 for a number of years, I tried shooting the marlin just to see how it felt.  It was ok, but the 73 had become part of me.

 

I say all that to say this...it's more about what feels right in your hands than the statistics and specifics of the design.  Sure there are considerations like resale value, reliability, parts availability, etc. that always come in to play when making a purchase decision, but if it feels like a brick in your hands, then what good is all that other stuff.

 

All the options on your list are, or can be made fairly reliable, so if you haven't figured it out yet, my advice is get that feels at home in your hands.

 

That's the view from my saddle, other will undoubtedly vary.

Grizz

 

Edit to add - The category you want to shoot may also impact your decision.

Edited by Grizzly Dave
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To a certain extent this will be determined on how fast you want to go and how much you have to spend.  THE most popular is the Uberti 1873.  Well made, lots of barrel choices (length & shape) and loads of after-market speed parts.  Not cheap.  Next up is probably the Miroku 1873.  Well made, very few choices, very few after-market parts.  Not cheap at all.  Next up is the 92.  Several versions, Miroku made '92s, Rossi made '92s, Chiappa 92s, Spanish made '92s.  Mostly well made.  many choices for barrel length and shape.  A few after-market parts.  With action work, can be made to run very fast.  Marlin use to be a really good deal.  Now, not so much.  The Remington made Marlins aren't so bueno although work on the street has quality improving.  A few after-market parts to improve function.  Reasonable price (unless you get a lemon).

 

Understand.  NONE of these guns are acceptable for serious CAS use out of the box (NO - MIROKU 73s need work too).  The best "Bang for your Buck" is a good action job or at the least, a set of reduced springs.  ALL of the choices will need at least, reduced springs to be CAS user friendly.  Judicious rubbin and buffin of moving parts will also be beneficial.  The only one you can "reliably" have short stroked is the Uberti.  Short stroke results with with Miroku are spotty.  You pays your money and takes your chances.  At the beginning of CAS, the "go-to" rifle was the '92.  Still a very good bet.

 

PS:  PLUS ONE to Grizzly Dave.  

Edited by Colorado Coffinmaker

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Willie,

Although I don't shoot the 1873, most folks prefer the 73 for various reasons, including those mentioned by GOODY.

Common comments are more favorable if the new buyer either buys a good one from a Cowboy OR, buys

one that is already slicked up, smoothed, short stroked, etc..... from the vendor.

As GOODY mentioned, there are many top quality smiths that know how to set em up right for you.

 

As for the 'NEW' Marlin's, (those made by Remington) they have gained some favorable comments on the SASS Wire recently, but only those made during the past year.   Hopefully, Marlin (Remington) is producing quality

1894 rifles again.   BUT, it has also been noted that a good spring change, 1-piece firing pin, etc..... will

make em feel better.

As for Gunsmiths to work on the 1894, they are getting a little scarce and hard to schedule.

 

Good luck.

 

..........Widder

 

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WIDDER!!  1892.  1892.  

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Just now, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

WIDDER!!  1892.  1892.  

 

Hey CC.

I didn't have any comments about the 1892.   I've always liked the way they feel after being

slicked up, but just never handled them much.   And as you know, the Marlin became

my favorite... :)

 

..........Widder

 

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I have tried a 73 and didn't like it. I like the fit, balance and reliability the 92. I shoot 45 Colt in both my pistols and rifle. Nice thing about the 92 is it will handle "Ruger only" loads so if it needed to pull double duty and be a hunting rifle, it will effectively drop every creature in North America. Like it was meantioned before, the 92 was the go to gun before the speed parts were legalized for the 73 and in reality most SASS shooters will never outrun a 92 anyway, I know I sure won't. And of course, 92 shooters don't carry screw knives...

Edited by Boomstick Bruce
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3 minutes ago, Boomstick Bruce said:

I have tried a 73 and didn't like it. I like the fit, balance and reliability the 92. I shoot 45 Colt in both my pistols and rifle. Nice thing about the 92 is it will handle "Ruger only" loads so if it needed to pull double duty and be a hunting rifle, it will drop every creature in North America. Like it was meantioned before, the 92 was the go to gun before the speed parts were legalized for the 73 and in reality most SASS shooters will never outrun a 92 anyway, I know I sure won't. And of course, 92 shooters don't carry screw knives...

I got to float my stick with Bruce.  I have a pair of Rossi '92's, the older Puma and a M65, both with 20" barrels, one in .44-40 and the other in .44 Extra-long Russian (aka .44 Mangle-em).  Depending on what ammo I have loaded, I'll install the appropriate cylinder in my OMV Rugers, grab the matching caliber carbine and go!  As to toggle-link rifles, I used to shoot a M1860 Military Henry, but the extra weight out front got to be a bit much for my achin' lower back, and the Rossi's can almost be shot on-handed!  Never cottoned to the feel of the Marlins.  But that's just me. ;)

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Marlin 94 is much lighter than any '73. Way stronger action than the '73.

The M/94 is the KISS of all lever rifles, and the easiest to maintain.

You can also clean the barrel from the chamber end with ease.

OLG

 

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I have all 3, I like all 3, you'll end up getting all 3.......Bought the 92 Rossi first in 45 Colt, then the Marlin 94 (Stainless Steel) in 357 next, and then the Uberti '73 in 357. After those I bought an original Winchester 92 in 32-20, another Uberti '73 in 32-20, another Marlin 94 (std blued version) in 357, and a Browning 53 (modeled after a Win. 92) in 32-20. Wife shoots the Rossi, and I have a couple of grandsons getting to the age to participate.

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51 minutes ago, High Spade Mikey Wilson said:

I have all 3, I like all 3, you'll end up getting all 3........

 

Resistance is futile.

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PLUS ONE to Lead Friend (You WILL be assimilated)  :rolleyes:

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When I started the 94 was the gun to go with then Marlin came and it ran better, The 92 started, after that Uberti 66/73 which worked better out of the box.  Then the gunsmith race started.  I have all 3 that you have listed, .45 Colt in the Marlin and .44WCF the other two.  I like the 92 best and hit the best with it.  I use the 73 the most as it will run the fastest for me and fills the best in my hands.  You have to handle the 3 and go with the one that fits you the best.  You can not go with what XYZ likes or uses you have to go with what feels the best to you.  Try both short and long or hex or round barrel to find which one holds where you want.

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Folks, if one thinks a Marlin 94 can't 'run' as fast as the others. Please watch this video that was just filmed at WR yesterday.

YES-The shooter is a BORG.....:lol:

https://www.facebook.com/jonwarnerscott/videos/10215595211048166/

 

OLG

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I prefer the Uberti 1873.  I like the look over the other options, excepting the Miroku Winchester.  The Uberti 1873 is available in a ton of configurations, barrel length caliber and stock. Although other guns can be made to run as fast as an 1873, I'm unaware of any than can be made to run faster.  There are tons of aftermarket parts and upgrades.  Lots of Cowboy gunsmiths can work on them.

 

Having said that if I found myself gifted with a Marlin or a Winchester that had been set up by a good gunsmith I wouldn't feel that I was at a disadvantage compared to Uberti shooters, at least not in terms of the gun.

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'73 - because it is the fastest, smoothest gun.  It will require gun smithing to get to that point, though!  Buy it already tuned for Cowboy shooting for maximum satisfaction.

 

Go to your local cowboy shoots and try out ALL the guns.  DO NOT BUY ANY COWBOY GUN without trying that model  on the range!

 

Quote

Please be complete in your answers.

 

What the heck, I thought I got out of high school many years ago!  :lol:.    

 

 

Good luck, GJ

 

 

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708

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Don't sell the 1866 Short ,,,, It can be Short Stroked just like a 73 ,, Lighter Lifters ,,, Springs ,,,, Etc ....

And I find it just feels and fits me better than the 73 ....

My favorite 66 Is a Uberti Sporting Rifle in .38-40 ... Next is My Uberti 66 Short Rifle in .45 Colt ....

And there is nothing wrong with my 92 ....

My Marlin 94 is the gun that needed the most work to be made to run ....

 

Jabez Cowboy

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All of the aforementioned rifles can be fast.

In the right hands...

In the right state of tune...

With the correct length of ammo...

 

But there is a definite order.

1892 Winchester/ clones

The 1892/ clone was the starter rifle for a large number of us; they were cheap and plentiful (not so much anymore).

They are also the strongest action of the three; but for CAS purposes, that is immaterial.

They were (25 years ago); the most common rifle in the winners circle.

But they are very ammo length sensitive.

Require extensive cleaning up and polishing to make functional at current competive CAS speeds (25 years ago; targets were significantly further out and spread further apart meaning that the speed with which a rifle action could be cycled mattered "less" than today)

They are the least user friendly for cleaning, disassembly and repair.

Twin locking lugs require timing and polishing to provide the least amount of cycling interference.

They have the least amount of aftermarket parts and tuning available.

 

1894 Marlin

The standard by which the other rifles are judged and "if" aftermarket internal parts were outlawed would likely own our game. 

The short stroke kits for the toggle link rifles came into existence as a way to get the toggle link rifles on to even footing with the 94.

The Marlin is easy to work on.

Easy to clean.

It also responds well to easily installed tuning parts (firing pins, spring kits, etc.).

Overtime, if not addressed, the lifter will develop a divot in the underside and develop feed two, Marlin jam.

Their bolt locking lug has less interference than the 1892; but it still benefits from proper polishing and fitting.

Prices on JM versions have sky rocketed.  Remington knows full well how to make guns; but the Remington versions require examination and purchase decisions based on the individual guns merits at this time.

 

The 1873/ 66 toggle link rifles

One of the weaknesses in the toggle link design also leads to its speed abilities.

The absence of additional action locking interference beyond the simple act of straightening the links.

This lack of moving or interlocking lugs allows for the free movement and significant changes to the link geometry that short stroke kits entail.

But because the only locking is the straightening of the links; a shot out of battery (66 without lever safety, 73 with safety removed) is almost certain to damage the internals and components.

The toggle link rifles are available in the widest range of factory configurations (straight grip/ pistol grip, barrel lengths and shapes {round, octagon, half and half}, buttstock designs (rifle, carbine, shotgun).

The toggle link rifles have the greatest variety of aftermarket parts to modify the gun for whatever the shooter desires (multi generations of short stroke throws, leaf, coil and mousetrap style mainsprings, brass, lightened brass and aluminum elevators, etc.).

The 1873 with it's side plate construction is incredibly easy to disassemble for cleaning or repair (66 not so much).

 

The 1873/ toggle link is the number one choice in our game for its wide variety of choices.

Wide availability - stock or already tuned.

And ease of use.

 

As I said above; any of these rifles, properly tuned, properly ammo supplied...

And in the right hands "can" be fast.

 

But we are not all as skilled as Deuce Stevens or Smokestack or Widder.

 

In my opinion, all things being equal; the 1873/ toggle link rifles when properly tuned and fed are the easiest rifle for the majority of shooters to run fast.

Edited by Creeker, SASS #43022
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I faced this debate recently.  I own Marlin, Winchester (Rossi) and have had good experiences with the Marlin, not the Rossi. 

 

I wanted a "tuned" gun with a more traditional look out of the box (buy once, cry once) and the Taylor 1873 Comanchero with 18 inch barrel holding 10 rounds of .45 LC was the answer.  From the Taylor factory it iis slicked, tuned, timed and short stroked (and warrantied as they sold the gun and did the action work).

 

I felt most comfortable with it (though the cost was a pill at first).  And once I shorten the length of pull to under 12 inches, the weight will balance perfectly for me.  $1507 shipped, and transfer fee total.  I personally wish I could get it under 7 lbs though, but this is not a carry rifle--it is a gaming rifle.

 

Oh, and it is GORGEOUS :D

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1873…...captive loading system is much more forgiving. 

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Anytime you are playing a game you are always looking for some sort of an advantage. Cowboy action rifles are all pretty good out of the box, not to say that everyone is but most are. However we all think the other guy has a better gun than we do thats the only reason their times are better than ours so off to the gunsmith we go.

Mr Stevens made a video of himself shooting a box stock Winchester 73, very few shooters could beat his time with their "smooth as glass wonder gun".

Before you deside, time yourself with your stock 73, load and cycle 10 dummy rounds thru your stock rifle, do it 100 times. Take a close look at the times from #1 to 100 and you will see some improvement. Now send it with a blank check to "billy makes them purr"  for the treatment. When you finally get it back do the exercise again and study the results of both tests.

So what do we really need? Maybe practice makes perfect is the way to go. But then how an I going to brag about my wonder gun?

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Winchester 73. Cause it's the gun that won the west -after Sharps made it safe! LOL. 

Seriously, IMO get the new Winchester 73. It will run right out of the box and will last for years. Clean it and run it. I started with a Winchester 94, then a 92, then went to Marlin and now the Miroku 73. Hands down the best is that 73. Best money I've spent so far, right next to my old model Vaquero's.

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18 hours ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Folks, if one thinks a Marlin 94 can't 'run' as fast as the others. Please watch this video that was just filmed at WR yesterday.

YES-The shooter is a BORG.....:lol:

https://www.facebook.com/jonwarnerscott/videos/10215595211048166/

 

OLG

 

Can't view without a Facebook account... :(

 

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2 minutes ago, Dutch Wheeler said:

 

Can't view without a Facebook account... :(

 

SORRY-I don't know what to do then.

It was a 2.51 second run.

OLG

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On 2/21/2019 at 12:08 PM, High Spade Mikey Wilson said:

I have all 3, I like all 3, you'll end up getting all 3.......

 

I wouldn't have believed that a few months ago.  I have the 2 winnies and I never even looked twice at a marlin. 

 

But now there's a marlin at a pawn shop that's caught my eye.  I don't remember if it's a 94 or 336, and it's not in a good SASS caliber (32 special), but that don't matter.  Once I buy one I know there will be others. 

 

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18 minutes ago, Ramblin Gambler said:

 

I wouldn't have believed that a few months ago.  I have the 2 winnies and I never even looked twice at a marlin. 

 

But now there's a marlin at a pawn shop that's caught my eye.  I don't remember if it's a 94 or 336, and it's not in a good SASS caliber (32 special), but that don't matter.  Once I buy one I know there will be others. 

 

336 parbly. .32 Winchester Special was my Grandpa's deer rifle. Was a Winchester 94 though. $27.00 new at the hardware store.

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I'll give ya $54 for it right now.  You can double his money!

 

I noticed that the marlins call themselves "32 special", but it's the same round as the "32 winchester special" or "32 WS".  I thought it was a different caliber when I first saw the marlin.  But the shop had a box of ammo and the ammo wrote it both ways. 

 

 

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If you were Marlin would you print WINCHESTER on your barrels? :lol:

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Well I started in B Western so either 92 or Marlin.  For me I liked the Marlins better.  I am not hyper fast so getting a 73 over the Marlin is not going to make much difference. 

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Thanks for all the replies thus far.  I'm not really interested in a "race gun."  I'm just wondering about the current state of affairs.  Marlin's quality  is still questionable, though improved.  Uberti rifles and Miroku are beautiful but cost more than I'm willing to pay.  Rossi quality is all over the place and I have'nt seen one for sale for quite a while.
The original idea is to get a .357 to lower the cost of feeding it and possibly get a short rifle or trapper style carbine to do double duty as a defense rifle.

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1 hour ago, Wicked Willie, SASS#9377 said:

Thanks for all the replies thus far.  I'm not really interested in a "race gun."  I'm just wondering about the current state of affairs.  Marlin's quality  is still questionable, though improved.  Uberti rifles and Miroku are beautiful but cost more than I'm willing to pay.  Rossi quality is all over the place and I have'nt seen one for sale for quite a while.
The original idea is to get a .357 to lower the cost of feeding it and possibly get a short rifle or trapper style carbine to do double duty as a defense rifle.

 

There's several Rossi 92's on GunBroker right now. 

 

As to Marlin, the newest release seems to be pretty good from everything I've heard.  

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1 hour ago, Wicked Willie, SASS#9377 said:

Thanks for all the replies thus far.  I'm not really interested in a "race gun."  I'm just wondering about the current state of affairs.  Marlin's quality  is still questionable, though improved.  Uberti rifles and Miroku are beautiful but cost more than I'm willing to pay.  Rossi quality is all over the place and I have'nt seen one for sale for quite a while.
The original idea is to get a .357 to lower the cost of feeding it and possibly get a short rifle or trapper style carbine to do double duty as a defense rifle.

With all due respect - why did you ask for "complete" answers; when you had no inclination to make use of the information provided?

 

Cheap is rarely good and good is rarely cheap.

 

You state you don't want a "race" gun.

You state you don't want to pay for an Uberti or Winchester/ Miroku.

You state are not satisfied with current Marlin/ Rossi quality (and I'm assuming not desiring to pay for an older Marlin either).

 

So you want a pistol caliber rifle...

Not Winchester/ Miroku or Uberti.

Not Marlin or Rossi.

And it has to be a side loader.

 

So truthfully; your post should have simply asked if anyone had thoughts about pistol caliber Winchester 94's.

Could have saved a number of us a lot of typing.

Edited by Creeker, SASS #43022
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I enjoy the experience, not the speed. Of course, if I could do the speed, I'd probably enjoy that too, but... :D

 

For me, it just doesn't matter - I'll never be better than solid middle-of-the-pack, no matter what I shoot. I might shoot a Spencer one match, and a short-stroked, tricked out 1873 the next. Or anything else in between 1860 and 1894. It doesn't affect my placement much. Well, maybe the Spencer does... :lol:

 

I'd guess I probably use a pre-safety Marlin 1894c .357 more than anything. Beat up, scarred, rusted/pitted outside... comfortable, like my patched up old easy chair. :)

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3 hours ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

With all due respect - why did you ask for "complete" answers; when you had no inclination to make use of the information provided?

 

So truthfully; your post should have simply asked if anyone had thoughts about pistol caliber Winchester 94's.

Could have saved a number of us a lot of typing.

I apologize for my lack of clarity.  I was merely asking for information and personal experience...which I received.  I will be looking at the Marlin again, since it is local to me and I'm partial to the Marlin, since I have one in .45 Colt.  If I could find the same rifle stamped "JM" for nearly the same money...I wouldn't even be typing this.  I will also be trying my hand at 'smithing the Rossi, to see if I can make it smoother, since I like the light weight and smaller forearm of the 1892 pattern.  I no longer have quite the interest in CAS that I once had, so "racing" my rifle isn't that important.  Most "race" guns walk the fine line between speed and breakage, if the opinion of Nate Kiowa Jones means anything.
For those of you that did invest a lot of time typing and outlining your reasoning, Thank you again.
 

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