Winchester 1873 or Henry Big Boy in .38/.357

Discussion in 'Lever Guns and other cowboy rifles' started by JRHorne, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. JRHorne

    JRHorne Active Member Supporting Member

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    Ok folks, quick discussion here. I want a lever action .357/.38 as a fun range toy. Not sure I'd ever do more with it than that. The 1873 and HBBs seem to be about the same price for similar setups. With the Henry, I can get the 16.5" barrel or the 20". Winchester only has a 20". I'm not worried about the reduced capacity of 7 rounds vs 10 (I don't think) on the 16.5" Henry. I also know for sure I want a steel or color case hardened receiver, not anything silver or gold.

    I *think* I want to put this new 1.5 to 4X Leupold VX-2 on it that I just got. It's got intermediate eye relief. Leupold calls it a scout scope, but based on the eye relief it definitely isn't. So I think it'd be perfect for a lever gun. However the 1873 isn't drilled and tapped for a scope, so it'd have to be modified.

    So which should I buy? Based on the above, it seems like the Henry is the better purchase. However I know people love the new production 1873 (as does Winchester based on the price tag). Any guidance?
     
  2. Slacker

    Slacker Liquor and Whores...

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    Fyi, marlin has a factory threaded 1894 in the 2018 catalogue.
    38spl in lever gun with 9mm can= silly quiet.
    Side load is cooler than tube loading.
    The M92 design is the nicest pointing, IMO. However, optics are scout setup only.
    The Marlin is factory drilled/tapped and has side ejection, so traditional optics are fine.

    So my answer is "other."
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
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  3. RedneckFur

    RedneckFur Smith & Wesson is a religion of peace. Supporting Member

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    I've never had a Win 73, or HBB, but I do have a Marlin 1894 and a Rossi M92. Between the two, the Rossi has the smoothest action. If I were buying another 357 lever gun, I'd get another Rossi M92.
     
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  4. GeorgeBush

    GeorgeBush Member

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    I have had both, feel free to PM me any questions you might have, but I think for a range-toy the Henry is probably a better bet.

    They are very nice guns, great quality, but I have no qualms about shooting the snot out of it. The Winchester is so expensive and so "perfect" I can't bring myself to do anything except stare at it.

    The 1873 action tends to be a little more picky about overall cartridge length... which might make some cheaper 38 special problematic (Henry has no such issue).
     
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  5. InvisibleOne

    InvisibleOne The boy ain't right ... Life Member

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    This ^
     
  6. CZfool68

    CZfool68 Int'l Man of Mystery Charter Member Sponsor Supporting Member

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    Never shot the Winchester, but they are beautiful. I have a Henry in 44Mag that is smooth as silk. For range use and fun tube loading is fine. Maybe in a 30-30 or hunting caliber you could argue the side gate is handier, but in your case it likely won't matter.
     
  7. Slacker

    Slacker Liquor and Whores...

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    Except if you plan to maybe thread it.
    Taking the can off to load is the ghey.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  8. JRHorne

    JRHorne Active Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the all the input. Ryan, yes, my other thought was a can because I intend on ordering a 9MM can soon. I have shot a buddy's Rossi and really liked it, so I wouldn't be against one of them. I forgot about Marlin because I read that the recent production guns have been absolute SHIT. Have they corrected the issues in the last few?

    EDIT: Also remember now the deal with the Marlin CST, I have YET to see it in stock anywhere. Hell, there isn't a single one listed on Gun Broker.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  9. CZfool68

    CZfool68 Int'l Man of Mystery Charter Member Sponsor Supporting Member

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    A can on a lever gun is worse than a scope on a lever gun. Just so, so wrong. :D
     
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  10. Papermaker

    Papermaker Happy to be here

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    Ed's Gun Shop recently had some Marlin 94s in 357/38 for $619 IIRC. I have read and been told that Marlin quality is better now with these new guns. Marlin just recently started making the Model 94 in 357 again, so maybe they have it right now.

    Rossi's in 357 are hard to find. When you do see one, the price is jacked up. I have been told that Rossi is relocating part/all of their manufacturing facility, and the 357/38 M92 are temporarily out of production. Don't know for how long. The 45LC is easier to find. I did see two (2) Rossi M92 in 357 earlier this week in Jamesville, NC at Mackey's Gun Shop, priced at $627 out the door. That seems high. Seems like they were selling for $450-$475 a year or so ago. I've been looking for a used one for 2-3 months with no luck.

    I have a Henry Big Boy Steel in 357/38 and really love it. It will serve you well at the range. Nice rifle.
     
  11. Crazy Carl

    Crazy Carl seriously?

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    Between the '73 & the Henry, I'd go Henry. I grew up hunting rabbit & squirrel with tube-feeding Marlins, so the loading gate vs. tube thing for hunting argument doesn't fly for me. If you just can't abide a tube-loader, I get it (not really, but this'll be your gun, not mine), but I've never seen anyone turn their nose up at a Marlin 39A over its feeding method. If yer considering a can, though, tube feeding would be less than ideal.

    I was not as impressed with the Rossi 92 as some others here. Tom-ATE-o, tom-AHT-0, I reckon, but the sights didn't work for me & I wasn't impressed with the action. If Marlin's gotten their shit back together, I'd be very interested in one of the new .357s. If not, I'm more than happy with what Henry's putting out.

    I love my Henry .41Mag carbine. Smooth action, great trigger, great shooter & very nice fit & finish. Regardless of whether or not Marlin can get things back on track, my next long gun will be one of the Henry color case hardened, octagon barreled .357 carbines. The Henries are D&T'd for scope mounting as well, which yer not gonna get with the Win re-pops. IMO, unless a suppressor is a must, you can't go wrong with the Henry.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
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  12. Papermaker

    Papermaker Happy to be here

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    I think the Rossi's are lightweight and are considered good for cowboy action shooting. They are much lighter than any of the other rifles mentioned in this thread. I am considering getting into CAS. That is why I may be interested in a Rossi, if I can find one at a decent price. Otherwise, I will shoot my Henry.
     
  13. JimB

    JimB Picking it up slowly. Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    I’m thinking of selling my Rossi, I think it’s 20”. I have a couple marlin 1894’s and am thinking that I’ll take a chance on buying a new one that is factory threaded, assuming that I can handle a few and pick the best of the bunch. It won’t be as slick as the Rossi, but it’ll break in and hopefully the parts will interchange.
     
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  14. JRHorne

    JRHorne Active Member Supporting Member

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    Please send me the details on the Rossi if you decide to sell it. For the right gun and price, I would pass on the threaded barrel for now and then when the damn Marlin was regularly in stock and came down on price some, I could grab one.
     
  15. Charlie

    Charlie Member

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    If you really want to put a scope on it, the Marlin is your best bet. If you want slick, get the 73
     
  16. dman24

    dman24 Member

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    My vote goes to Henry. I have a big boy steel 20” and love it, one of the few guns I own that I wouldn’t part with. It’s plenty accurate for range use, and hunting. I was shooting plates at 115 yards one day with 38’s. You would shoot and have enough time to look up and watch the impact. I plan on hunting with it this year if I bag a deer with the Marlin 336 my grandpa left me.
     
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  17. Crunchy Frog

    Crunchy Frog Happy to be here

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    The 1873 is the top rifle in cowboy action shooting, with the Marlin not far behind.
     
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  18. shadowsbane

    shadowsbane Member

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    If you are leaning towards the 1873 I would reccomend you check out the Uberti line. They are very well made as well.
     
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