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.357 rifle - Lever or bolt action?

SC53SC53 Posts: 675 Officer
Going to buy a .357 mag. rifle to pair with a pistol and have the choice of a lever action (probably a Henry Big Boy Steel as Marlins are way too pricey) or a bolt action (only one that I've researched is the Ruger M-77).
I like the lever guns myself but do like the "increased" accuracy and removable magazine of the bolt action but will mainly be used for 100 yards/less close quarter shots.
Capacity isn't a big factor but the lever holds 10 rounds while the Ruger mag. holds 5.
Whatcha think guys?

Replies

  • fish_stixfish_stix Posts: 1,395 Officer
    I've owned a Winchester Model 92 in .357 Mag, still kicking myself 35 years later for selling it. I also had, until this past July, a Ruger M-77 in .44 mag. I couldn't begin to count the number of hogs the Ruger dispatched and it's a superb little rifle for stand hunting. With a good hit on anything inside 125 yds you'll have a dead animal. I've killed a good number of blacktail deer out West with a S&W .357 Mag pistol; nothing wrong with the cartridge for hunting deer and hogs. When I bought the Ruger M-77 I was actually trying to find another lever action in either .357 or .44 Mag, they were just hard to find and the M-77 was sitting there calling my name! I liked both of mine and you will too; they're fun, easy to carry and good animal whackers. Don't make the mistake of mounting a scope on these little rifles; a ghost ring rear sight is simple, accurate at these ranges and rugged. I just used the factory sights on my Ruger and never had a problem, even with my over 70 year old eyeballs.
  • mr300smr300s Posts: 282 Officer
    A friend just bought a Henry ,38/.357 I shot it this weekend. It was nice no kick and seemed accurate with open sites

    L]
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  • Mark O.Mark O. Posts: 3,450 Captain
    Can the lever action shoot .38 specials, too?
  • fish_stixfish_stix Posts: 1,395 Officer
    Mark O. wrote: »
    Can the lever action shoot .38 specials, too?

    Yes.
  • SC53SC53 Posts: 675 Officer
    Fish_stix, which one did you like better?
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 16,406 AG
    Love the look of the lever action rifles.
    You can't pet a dead dog back to life 
  • fish_stixfish_stix Posts: 1,395 Officer
    SC53 wrote: »
    Fish_stix, which one did you like better?

    I liked the Model 92 lever action best. Easiest to carry all day. Mine was an original M92 made in the early 1900s and converted to .357 mag. Just plain stupid of me to sell it. Don't get me wrong though; the Ruger is a really nice little rifle for FL hunting, perfect for treestand hunting or just carrying around in your hunting vehicle. My granddaughter and grandson killed numerous hogs with it. In .44 Mag they do kick quite seriously, but the kids had no problem with it. The Ruger MSRP is $1000.00 today but i recall paying about $400-425 about 15-18 years ago. The current Winchester M92s are about $1000-1100 if you can find one. My son has one of the Henry rifles in .357 and has had good luck with it. If I had a choice I'd buy the lever action!
  • SC53SC53 Posts: 675 Officer
    Thanks FS.
    I'm leaning towards the Henry lever gun as its a considerably less expensive option to the Model 92 and its gotten good reviews.
  • mattb78mattb78 Posts: 287 Deckhand
    One important selection is the trigger. Most lever guns it is extremely difficult to lighten the trigger.
  • lilwoodylilwoody BuladeanPosts: 1,454 Officer
    The Marlins are pricey but bide your time and watch the pawn shops. South Florida is a great place to get lever guns. Lots of people retire here and when nature takes it's course, their children come down and liquidate everything. I got a drilling from just such a heir for 300 bucks. He had no clue what he had. I got my 357 Marlin through a similar circumstance. Heirs brought in gramps gun collection to a pawn shop and got probably 1/4 what they were worth. I was watching the gun forums and found a post where someone saw one for 275$ at Gator Gun and Pawn in WPB. As soon as I saw the post I was in the car and drove the 100 miles to get it. They had quite the selection of levers and if I were looking for one that is the place I'd start. Another plus on the Marlin is it will increase in value as time goes by and remember. You get what you pay for. People in South FL want black rifles, classic guns are a far second.
    "Those who will trade freedom for security will have neither".
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,326 Officer
    I have a single shot H&R style 357 mag and a Ruger M77-357. Both will shoot about an inch at 100 yards but I worked up some loads for them. My tightest & fastest load is 158 XTP FP over a stiff load of Lil Gun powder - push 'em a little faster and the groups tighten up. I need a chrono to see how quick these loads are.

    A 158 gr XTP flat point puts a world of hurt on a deer or hog. Have only shot 1 pig and that was DRT over a feeder - went in ribs and took out shoulder on opposite side. The single shot took 1 deer thru both shoulders at 40-50 yards w/full penetration - DRT. M77 has 3 DRT up to 6 pt buck and one runner - shot a 180# class buck thru the ribs at 30 yards or so and found him quite dead after the obligatory 100 yard trailing job for double lung shots...heavy blood trail out entrance wound.

    I'm not a lever kind of guy but they are nice and will shoot 38 specials better than the M77.

    I really can't say enough nice things about the gun, the round's killing capabilities, or the way the M77-357 handles and shoots. Nice little gun.

    Remember that it is a handgun round and you'll be good. You will get full penetration on close shots and almost full penetration on further shots. I see it as a 100-125 yard gun.

    My wife took a 6 pt this year at 75 yards - it was a frontal quartering shot - bullet was found inside skin about 6 inches in front of the hindquarter. Deer never twitched. Something like 18-20 inches of penetration, but no real bone encountered.

    Whatever you get, you won't regret it.
  • TGunnTGunn Posts: 1,921 Captain
    mattb78 wrote: »
    One important selection is the trigger. Most lever guns it is extremely difficult to lighten the trigger.

    Wild West makes a drop-in trigger for the Marlins and they break right at 3-3.5lbs. Takes about ten minutes to install, no fitting.
  • SC53SC53 Posts: 675 Officer
    Thanks guys. I ended up getting a smoking deal on a new Henry. Only got to run a dozen rounds thru it real quick one day and its a blast to shoot and seems very accurate right out of the box. I'll be tweaking it this summer.
  • dotroddotrod Posts: 43 Deckhand
    SC53,
    What kind of Henry rifle did you get and what kind of deal?
    I have been following this thread because I am trying to decide between a Henry in .357 or .44.
    20" barrel or 16". I am leaning toward 20" due to ammo capacity and muzzle velocity. Though the short barrel would be nice for maneuverability. Any feedback is appreciated.
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 4,847 Captain
    SC53 wrote: »
    Thanks guys. I ended up getting a smoking deal on a new Henry. Only got to run a dozen rounds thru it real quick one day and its a blast to shoot and seems very accurate right out of the box. I'll be tweaking it this summer.

    I'm late to the thread, but I think you made a good choice. A family member has the .357 Henry and I've never wanted someone else's gun more than I want that one. It shoots like a dream.
  • SC53SC53 Posts: 675 Officer
    Dotrod, I got the Big Boy Steel model Henry. https://www.henryrifles.com/rifles/henry-big-boy-steel/
    20" barrel. As for the deal, I have a buddy that owns a gun shop and got it through him.
  • buckfeverbuckfever Posts: 171 Deckhand
    Does anyone have a M77 in .44 and shoot it suppressed?
  • fish_stixfish_stix Posts: 1,395 Officer
    For what purpose?
  • buckfeverbuckfever Posts: 171 Deckhand
  • buckfeverbuckfever Posts: 171 Deckhand
    didnt know a gun really needed one.
  • fish_stixfish_stix Posts: 1,395 Officer
    buckfever wrote: »
    Purpose?

    I'm asking why you would want a suppressed Ruger 77/44. If you're hunting deer the noise is of no consequence, assuming you hit the animal on the first shot. Same with hogs unless you can hunt at night over a feeder and are shooting multiple critters. But if that's the case then a semi-auto will work a lot better since you don't have to operate the bolt after each shot.
  • buckfeverbuckfever Posts: 171 Deckhand
    you can shoot .44 specials, which are subsonic. bolt actions are a little quieter than a semiauto.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sI6aCnh-99o
  • fish_stixfish_stix Posts: 1,395 Officer
    OK! But, what is the purpose of having a silenced/suppressed 44mag/Special. Your video showed a Ruger 77/44 with a huge "can" on it. My Ruger was carried while hunting/walking in the woods and it was a perfect little carrying rifle. I wouldn't want that huge piece of steel/aluminum screwed to the barrel for extra weight and length and it would make no difference to me if the rifle goes "BANG" very loudly. So what is the perceived advantage of having a suppressed 44 mag rifle? Keep in mind that I'm shooting deer and hogs and not people! I can see where the current crop of wannabe SEALS, etc want them. I'm totally amazed every time I go to the range nowadays at the number of wannabes who are all decked out in tactical gear/clothing with the latest gun magazine touted (suppressed) firearms. Why don't they just join the military like all us old farts did back when there was a draft? Oh wait, I know; people actually shoot right at you in the real military!
  • FloridaODFloridaOD Posts: 4,340 Captain
    Either Bolt Action or Lever Action in .357 are appealing. The lever 357 Marlin is considerably more trim than other Marlin versions.
    The Ruger bolt 357/44 is,well,,,,,, also superb.

    Maybe worth saving $ up for Best Choice.

    Suppressed muzzle blast?????
    Skip it,we only have a statewide population of (XXXX) milion- still places to let'em Boom!!
    Hunters are present yet relatively uncommon in Florida :wink
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,326 Officer
    Nothing wrong with a suppressed rifle. There are some solid arguments for having them - hearing protection being a big one.

    The M77-357/44 are really great guns.
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 4,847 Captain
    fish_stix wrote: »
    OK! But, what is the purpose of having a silenced/suppressed 44mag/Special. Your video showed a Ruger 77/44 with a huge "can" on it. My Ruger was carried while hunting/walking in the woods and it was a perfect little carrying rifle. I wouldn't want that huge piece of steel/aluminum screwed to the barrel for extra weight and length and it would make no difference to me if the rifle goes "BANG" very loudly. So what is the perceived advantage of having a suppressed 44 mag rifle? Keep in mind that I'm shooting deer and hogs and not people! I can see where the current crop of wannabe SEALS, etc want them. I'm totally amazed every time I go to the range nowadays at the number of wannabes who are all decked out in tactical gear/clothing with the latest gun magazine touted (suppressed) firearms. Why don't they just join the military like all us old farts did back when there was a draft? Oh wait, I know; people actually shoot right at you in the real military!

    If you pair the suppressed gun with subsonic ammo, it makes all the difference to the world with animals. You can shoot a critter and other animals 100 yards away won't pay it any mind. That's a fact, I've seen it happen too many times. In fact you can sometimes even confuse groups of animals and kill 2 or 3 critters in a pile before they figure out what's happening. Most I've ever killed with a suppressed weapon was 5 coons who didn't know what the heck was happening as they each got thumped one at the time. I am aware of people killing entire sounders of hogs with suppressed weapons.

    It also doesn't litter the woods with loud gunshots

    Trick is you have to be using subsonic ammo that doesn't "crack" when you shoot it. The right ammo will make the sound of the impact a lot louder than the sound of the shot.
  • SC53SC53 Posts: 675 Officer
    Ok guys, finally got to take the Henry up to the hunt camp and break it in.
    What a blast to shoot. Real easy to burn thru a lot of ammo.:rotflmao
    Got it sighted in at 75 yards and shooting a pretty good group.
    Front brass sight sux and hard to see. Took a little dab of flo-orange lure paint on it and what a difference.
    Ordered a set of Tru-glo sights for it as that was what Henry recommended for aftermarket.
  • Reel TealReel Teal Posts: 3,963 Captain
    I've always liked those guns. Glad you're having fun with ut

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
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