Does my lever rifle need upgrades?

Discussion in 'Other Guns' started by iamscottasus, Jul 28, 2020.

  1. iamscottasus

    iamscottasus Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2014
    Ahhhh, the sickness has set in, once again. Nope not the latest novel Corona virus, not the flu, not even my Teri Garr obsession (not a creepy stalker)
    Nope. Its my Lever gun thing
    OK, LEGOS are cool, but I like shooting my toys. And getting my boom sticks ready for the SHTF party.

    Does the old lever gun have a place in today's tacticool high speed low drag world? One would think not but that hasn't stopped the lever men from trying with the "Dark" packages. Even Rossi has an offering in the R92. But why bother in an AR & AK world? Nobody will ever see a lever rifle fielded by any modern military in any conflict theater. So why try to bring the lever up to spec? If I were to guess, its to get me to spend my money.

    Let me count the ways for a Marlin 1894:
    Carrier $110
    Rugged Winged Iron Sight $150

    Extractor $58

    Ejector Spring $35

    One Piece Firing Pin $25

    Load Gate Lightened $45

    Scout Optic Mount $71

    Handguard Tactical $168-$159

    Lever Large or Medium $140

    Magazine Follower $28

    Possibly a stock painting $30?

    That's $860 (not including shipping) of upgrades I can put on my Marlin right now on a gun that already does its job as is.
    And we don't stop there, nope, there's the venerable 1892 pattern to dress up also.

    Before you guys holler at me, I already pulled the trigger on the optics mount and a cheap little red dot. I figured that's the best way to bring a lever gun up to speed as a usable defensive weapon.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
    Tex Ohfive likes this.
  2. amstel78

    amstel78 Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2018
    I've got a 1-4x lpvo on my Marlin 336 30-30. Works well.

    Edit: it's a Simmons Whitetail Classic. [​IMG]
    iamscottasus likes this.

  3. ral357

    ral357 Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2015
    I’d spend my money on slicking up the action and maybe a tang or bullseye sight. All that other stuff does is take away one of the “cowboy tactical carbines” greatest attributes, low profile. It’ll be a lot harder for a liberal prosecutor to demonize John Wayne than John Wick if God forbid someone forced you to defend yourself or others.
    I have a Rossi 92 in 357, slick gun, lite and handi. I like what it brings to the table as is. Your money if you want a Rambo lever gun go for it;) It might be:cool:
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
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  4. iamscottasus

    iamscottasus Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2014
    Man, I do wants a 16" 92 in .357
    Its one of those rare times in the gun universe that perfection happened.

    Not unlike when Teri Garr happened.
    She was still hot in her mid 40s doing underwear adds.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
    Tex Ohfive and ral357 like this.
  5. WolfWings

    WolfWings Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2020
    Kansas City
    Honestly the modern 94's in 44 Magnum are beautiful to use, if I could justify having one I would but it's not a niche or ammo type I need to add to my life at the moment.
  6. Tex Ohfive

    Tex Ohfive Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2020
    Buddy! I, too, love lever actions! Although I am a Winchester fan - yeah I know Marlins are stronger and easier to mount a scope on. I bought a new Win 1894 in .44 mag in 1969 or early 1970 from that short special run Win made back then. I have the Big Bore .375 and the Big Bore .356 as well as .30-30s. The .375 is a joy to shoot! I have had to hoard a supply of .375 and .356 brass for these calibers although ( not recommended! dangerous! idiotic! don't do this! etc. ) they are supposed to be able to fire cases made from .308 Win brass since all they are is rimmed .308 necked up anyway. The one Big Bore I don't have is the most common one of all, the .307 Win. Kinda like my beloved Mossberg bolt action shotguns - I have the 20 ga and the 16 ga, but not a 12 ga ( the 185 series with c-lect choke ).

    I would truly love to get a .357 mag Marlin 1894 Cowboy. Brian Pierce writes in Handloader and Rifle magazine about his Marlin '94 .357 getting sub MOA groups with select handloads. He sings its praises as a short to medium range deer and varmint ( coyotes ) rifle. My mouth waters everytime that rifle is featured in his articles.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
  7. darkwriter77

    darkwriter77 Well-Known Member

    Mar 11, 2011
    Apache Junction, AZ
    I wouldn't change diddly-squat with the gun, really. A lever gun is generally good to go as-is. Maybe add a nice(r) optic on there if you like and/or nicer iron sights, maybe a nice(r) sling, perhaps one of those nice leather sock sleeves with loops for extra cartridges (good ones look classy and yet are functional), aaaaaand ... I dunno, buy a whole lotta ammo to play with it to make sure it's sighted in and your skills are solid with it. A lever gun offers plenty of power with roughly the same speed of follow-up shots as a pump-action shotgun (you don't hear many folks complaining about THOSE being "too slow"), so it's not really an issue of how fast or how many rounds you can throw downrange in a short amount of time as it is a matter of putting each of those shots right where they need to go. Fewer rounds spent while causing maximum damage, and not having to worry about carrying a bunch of box magazines (or magazine malfunctions), in a rugged, time-tested design ... sorry, I don't see any real NEED for any whizbang tacti-cool whatnots. It ain't like it hasn't been able to get the job done for, what, the past 150 years or so... :)

    Remember, it's more about tactics and training than the tool(s).
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
    RAT76 and iamscottasus like this.
  8. iamscottasus

    iamscottasus Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2014
    That is the only platform I want. Without buying $15 magazines and the revolving slew of AR parts, putting "done once, done right" money into a lever might make sense.

    That Isn't me today however. Gosh, I have s Sig 556, DI AR, T-91 AR, CX4, Timberwoof, .22 mag bolt, 22 pump, RDB, SU16, 20ga tactical, various air rifles. Ive gotten rid of another Marlin, a collection of Mossberg .22s, AR Dissipator, various shottys over the years.
    But, that Marlin 1894 was the gateway drug that got me into stronger stuff and if I had to let everything go save one, it would be hard to separate me from the lever.
    Its simple, powerful, and I don't see myself shooting over 200 yards for anything.

    I also think one of the benefits of "simple" is that a lever gun, or pump gun, is easy to understand.
    Anybody can pick one up and operate it. It doesn't require a heavy manual of arms.

    I do like the Colt Lightning and considered it for a defensive weapon. But after reading about all various elevator ramp and gate jams that are prone to happen, I ruled it out. Apparently so has everyone else.
    I ruled out the Mare's leg too. TV & Movie prop.

    I think the industry has seen a resurgence in lever gun interest for these reasons.
    For the Marlin 1894, there must be plenty of room for improvement.
    The Winchester 1892, perfect. Needs not a damn thing. Keep screws tight.

    Remington was in the news this morning. They filed bankruptcy or sold out. Marlin was under Remington at one point.
  9. WolfWings

    WolfWings Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2020
    Kansas City
    I mean "Mare's Leg" is really just the sawed-off shotgun of lever-action rifles, nothing more. The original SBR that got a slick nickname. The modern ones are just manufactured as a 'pistol' initially to avoid the length requirements.

    As for Remington they've been under a big financial cloud due to the courts allowing a lawsuit against them because one of their firearms was used in a big shooting. Sales are fine, but when nobody will loan to you because of pending and entirely unique (as before now firearms makers were almost universally shielded from lawsuits) lawsuit, suddenly making large purchases for maintenance and tooling gets hard. Death by a thousand paper cuts.
  10. iamscottasus

    iamscottasus Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2014
    Great. Nobody sues a knife company when someone gets stabbed.
  11. Gunsnjeeps

    Gunsnjeeps Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2018
    I'm not a fan of "black gunning" a lever action. A scope on a .30-30 is ok more or less. A lever action can be ran fairly quick and reloaded while still shouldered for a righty.

    An AR can be run in "spray and pray" but aimed fire slows it down some. You can run a lever pretty quick just watch your trigger finger placement.
  12. mtn_chef

    mtn_chef Well-Known Member

    Mar 22, 2014
    nc mountains
    Skinner aperture rear sight.
    only upgrade on mine...
  13. iamscottasus

    iamscottasus Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2014
    No big loop lever with the tactical bottle opener?
    darkwriter77 likes this.
  14. RAT76

    RAT76 Well-Known Member

    There are a lot of these out there, I did see one with a VFG.
  15. amstel78

    amstel78 Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2018
  16. RAT76

    RAT76 Well-Known Member

    FWIW the only thing I've done to my Rossi 92 is a para-cord lever wrap. I'll eventually polish the action & lighten the loading gate spring.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
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  17. amstel78

    amstel78 Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2018
    Me too. Even the LPVO on the 336 is pushing my personal boundaries regarding aesthetics on lever guns. I only did it because the current Hi-Viz front sight on mine is too tall and I've been too lazy to get a replacement. The 1-4x is more accurate for hunting purposes, and I don't want the animal to suffer unnecessarily. I emphasize shot placement when deer hunting; one hit to the heart and it's down quickly.

    The only thing I do wish my Marlin had was a threaded barrel so I can mount one of my suppressors on it. Otherwise, lever guns should be black and brown and have wood. I also like brass receivers and case hardened finishes if I feel like being fancy.
    tx-rvr likes this.
  18. Church_Key

    Church_Key Member

    Feb 8, 2008
    I shoot Cowboy Action Shooting (CAS) where a lever action is required. The fastest are the Win. 73 clones in .38/357 slicked up by a cowboy gunsmith ($250-300). Next are Marlins. An action job on a Marlin is about $200. I use a Marlin 94 in .44 for Wild Bunch, which is similar to CAS, except uses 1911"s instead of revolvers. The really fast CAS folks can shoot 10 shots in about 5 seconds.
  19. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Well-Known Member

    Dec 6, 2019
    i have four 30-30s in my safe right now. One Marlin and three 94s. The two in the front are loaded. So yeah, there is a place for them.