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would like too know if a lever action 357 mag rifle could be reworked too shoot 357 maximum ? what gun would be best too start with and what you think cost would be ?thanks don
keep on bangin boys
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Hi Don,

I'd think that it would be easier to start with a .30-30 - sized action, either a Win 94 or Marlin 336.  At least you won't have to do massive modifications to the receiver, like I suspect that you would with a '92 or Marlin 1894.  I really doubt that the pistol-cartridge carbines could handle the long max round, I could be wrong.

Then it's a matter of the correct sized barrel, and fiddle around with the lifter etc. till it feeds.  Doubt if the manufacturers would sell you an unchambered .35 cal barrel, so have to get someone to turn down a barrel blank, thread it, and chamber.

I know that both the 1894 and 336 have been offered in straight-walled cartridges (.38-55, .375 Win, etc), so there is no reason that this could not be done.

Might be a neat gun.  Case head size on a .357 isn't all that big so should be able to run pretty decent pressures.

Cost?  Best find someone who thinks that it would be an interesting project!  My dad has made one 336 into a .25-20 and another into a .250 Savage.  Of course he enjoys doing such things and it's his own time.

It would be a whole lot cheaper to do this on a single-shot .357 mag, as I'm sure you're aware.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Just saw in the leverguns forum a description of a Win 1894 in .357 Mag.  So it would seem that this would be the ideal candidate for a conversion to .357 Max.  Rechamber and mess with the lifter... sounds fairly simple.
 

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Sounds like a great idea, thats how I found this thread. But folks, please remember the Max is loaded to 50 thousand cup.....FAR beyond what a 92 or even a strong 1894 is rated, true that the small head diameter limits backthrust ( and thats what we are looking at for any cartridge conversion ) I could in theory and Im sure some have done just that, be done with no ill effects...? The 357 max is built on the 3rd draw of the 223 case and uses a small rifle primer to facilitate the higher pressures that it is meant to operate. I can tell you 1st hand that in a single shot pistol, and a rechambered Handi-rifle that it is a truly underated killing machine. but to do it in a lever? You need to start with a gun that is rated foor the pressure this little imp can generate. That being said, the 35 rem is a much more viable option and the 356 the end all be all......but neither are available in a light 92 or 1894 platform. The little 35 rem lanches out of a 336 marlin rated for 48k cup, the 356 operates at 50k and (supposedly due to thicker walled brass) can be done in the same action. I have been shooting a 336 we made in 356 win for a couple of years now with no ill affects but dont push the envelope. If I was to try to convert one of the shorter and more compact 92s or and 1894, I would look at the 357Herret...it operates at a much lower pressure (42ish I think? correct me if Im wrong guys) and the length is more suitable for the action of the little levers. With the little action, 357 magnum is going to be hard to beat. I hope this means something to someone out there and they correct anything I mistyped
 

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Just out of curiousity, what do you guys percieve as the advantage of the 357 Maximum over the 35 Remington? I'm not being critical, I just don't understand the reasoning behind doing all that work.
 

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It could be an extremely useful lever-action cartridge for the handloader (and commercial .357 Maximum ammunition isn't commonly available, and isn't going to get commoner, so a handloader you had better be. You could get quite a bit better performance than the .38-40, ,44 WCF etc., without going up to unwise pressures.

The trouble is, there is no really good action for it. I agree that it seems very doubtful whether the 1892 Winchester or other short actions could be converted, and the 1894 action, besides being longer than you need, offers a host of established cartridges which are just as good.

I know Marlin made their long-action 336 in .44 Magnum for just one year, 1963-64, and then discontinued it. There was no .44 Magnum Marlin until they reintroduced their short action 1894 for it in 1969. That was a lost market niche which really hurt, and I don't think they did it willingly. So I can't believe a custom gunsmith would have better luck than Marlin in using even the Maximum in the Marlin 336 action.
 

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Just out of curiousity, what do you guys percieve as the advantage of the 357 Maximum over the 35 Remington? I'm not being critical, I just don't understand the reasoning behind doing all that work.
None whatsoever: The Max holds less powder, but operates at higher pressure. The net result is performance approaching 35 Remington levels, but still inferior. This is particularly true with the heavier 35 caliber bullets.
 
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