Notice that I can get a Winchester 94 for $300 and the Marlin 94's are running around $550. Looking at 45LC. Does anyone have an opinion on the Winchester? I already have a Marlin 94CS in .357 but would like to standardize my ammo.
Hiya, Walt! I see this question asked alot over at the SASS Wire. Personally, I use a Winchester and have no problems. One of my shooting pards uses one too. Usually the die hard Marlin fans will seriously trash the Winchester, but the truth is it is a great gun. I hear complaints saying it doesn't hold up well, but the folks who use them regularly and TAKE CARE OF THEIR EQUIPMENT don't seem to have this problem. After a while, I always hear the Marlin folks ask, very quietly, how to fix such-and -such. The truth of the matter is that BOTH are very good rifles and will do you right. The biggest advantage of the Marlin 1894 is that it is designed around a pistol cartridge while the Winchester 94 was designed for the longer .38-55 and the .30-30. The Winchester is a bit slower, but since I shoot black powder this is not a real problem. A serious, top-notch competitor would be better served by a Marlin because of the shorter lever throw. Another rifle you might want to look at is the Navy Arms M-92 made by Rossi. It is a copy of the old Winchester 92 that was designed around pistol cartridges just like the Marlin. I believe it is about the same price as the Winchester. Hope all this helps.
I have to agree with Holiday. I hear about how much better the Marlins are because of the length of the lever throw, and they were designed for the shorter cartriges. PHOOEY!! Unless you are in they same speed catagory as Quick Cal, Tequila, Stick Boy, or Ded Eye Dalton, it is not a factor.
I have been shooting a '94 Trails End for 5 years and it has served me well. No action job no fiddling with it. The only thing I have done with it is to wrap the lever with a piece of leather to make it a little easier on the fingers when I work the lever.
The next rifle I am going to get is a '73. Not because I want to replace myy '94, I just like the looks of the '73, and I couldn't justify spending the money on one when I started out.
Well.....I think I have rambled on enough and haven't really said much, so I'll quit while I still can. :grin:
I'll add my vote to the others opinions! The 94 is a solid gun and will serve you well, unless yer a major competitive type. Then the longer lever throw will be a factor. And yes, they do tend to jam up when you start running the speedometor up towards the higher end.
For the most part the Marlins are fine guns, but a bit pricey for what yer getting, and not really all THAT much better than thier competitors.
The Rossi 92s are about the best gun going for sheer ease of use and cost savings. Some of them have feeding problems but there are a lot of good instructions out there on the net that can help a gun hacker to straighten them out. The single biggest problem the Rossi's have to my notion, is the same as the original Winchesters had, they are a bit of a butt pain to disassmble/reassemble!
My .357 Rossi was purchased a long time before I ever got into CAS and it was a great little brush gun for deer hunting. When I started CAS, it started to have feeding problems, when running really fast. So I looked around on the net and found Bull Schmidts Rossi Primer over on the CAS City list. I was able to tune my gun up and git it really slick, using those instructions. If I can do it, anyone can!
I'll have to agree with Cuts on the Rossi. It is a great gun for the bucks and can be really slicked up! I had one in .44 Mag but traded it off to get the Winchester 94 'cause I needed a rifle in .45Colt and the 94 is much easier to dissasemble and clean when using black powder! Really, of the three, pick the one you like the best. You won't go wrong. The Marlin Cowboy is a bit pricey, but the plain Marlin 1894 with the round barrel is close to the Winchester price, if you can find one! The Winchester 94 is slower, but sturdy and reasonable in price. The Rossi is fast, but can be a little rough out of the box.
Well, this is kind of a plug for a guy I have been buying from this year. He uses the name Ultona on gunbroker.com and has the EMF 92s for right at $400 and 66s under $600 and 73s under $700. They are Uberti's but Tristar or EMF importation. I also got a Longhorn from him at a good price. Give him a try when you are in the market. Not sure if he is a cowboy shooter or not. He has a shop and does some internet sales on the side so he usually only answers questions once a day. I've been real happy with him and didn't want to post this info on the SASS wire as I always get blasted over there. Since this forum is only the cream of the crop I thought I would share.
I saw some discussions posted back in 2002 about the Winchester 94 versus the Marlin 94 for Cowboy Action Shooting. I have Winchester 94 that has been giving me some trouble and I wonder if anyone could recommend a solution. Out of the box the rifle had a stiff action and and very heavy trigger pull. A gunsmith smoothed out the action for me and adjusted the trigger pull to a decent amount. I am still having problems working the action fast and get numerous missfeeds (3 or 4 out of every 10) if I try to work the action in the conventional way (i.e. lever the action to cock the hammer and chamber a new round). I notice, however, that if I manually cock the hammer before throwing the lever forward, the rifle works fine 10 out of 10 times. Having to work against the hammer spring when I cock it is causing me to short-stroke the action, causing the missfeeds. Now I can compete in Cowboy Action Shooting events and cock the hammer before levering a new round into the chamber. This obviously slows me down. Has anyone experienced a similar problem?
Do you think it is possible to lighten the hammer spring to make the rifle easier to cock, without making the fall of the hammer too light to set off the primer? Any help would be appreciated.
Arizona Ed, the hammer spring CAN be lightened up some, but care must be taken not to go too far. However, let me ask you this. Do you notice the shortstroke/missfeed happening when you go slow? Or does it happen only at speed? I'm not trying to sound like a smart alleck, but if it only happens at match speed it isn't the gun. I,too, have a tendancy to short stroke my rifle when I go too fast. Try slowing down a bit, and try to notice when the lever "bottoms out" in the stroke. Try to make it a practice not to pull back till ya feel the lever slap against the stops. Hope this helps ya, and keep yer powder dry!
There are several modifications that you can make to the Winchester 94 that will increase it's reliability at "match" speed. I think you will find less help than with other guns because many of us have decided against spending the money and the time to get the Win 94 into race form.
The Marlin, or even the Rossi 92, are similar in cost, much easier to work on and will sell easier with a better price. This is not to say that a W94 is a bad gun or that it can't work. Most have just decided to not invest in it.
Good luck to you sir!
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