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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm including some photos... taken seconds ago... of an 1894, 357mag rifle.

Just perusing a local gun show, I learned that you could buy a 357mag caliber rifle. cool! So, I went about finding one.

So, I bought this 1894... probably paid a bit too much. $530 for a model made in 1982 as far as I can tell from a serial number search. It doesn't appear heavily used at all. I see that these models sell new for $560 (at least from a quick internet search)... so perhaps I was too hasty on the purchase. :eek:

I'm going to try inserting some photos, and hope to get some comments and answers. I think I'd like to change the sights or possibly get a reasonable scope for it.
Any suggestions?

Is there a way to get a shoulder strap on this model without special drilling?

Is the scope mount (pictured) good enough, or should I remove it? (and will the mounting screws serve to "fill" the holes if I do remove it?...or will I need to get new, shorter ones?)

(now let me do a bit of experimenting to see if I can insert some photos...






 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ok.... perhaps I can just refer you to my flickr page for the relevant photos.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157622763437422/

You can find my rifle photos in this group. Click on the image thumbnail and, if you want to see it real big, click on "all sizes" just above the photo.

Again, I'm interested in an economical scope or some easy-on-the-eyes sights that are easy to install on this model without need for creating new holes in this rifle.

Just playing around with it in my living room, the action feels really slick!

Are there any essential modifications to make this rifle even more reliable? I think it has had a trigger job of some sort. 3lb trigger. Pretty darn light.

Thanks!
oB
 

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[I think I'd like to change the sights or possibly get a reasonable scope for it.
Any suggestions?
]

Many prefer a receiver peep sight, but just as many prefer scopes and/or open sight. YMMV, depending upon how an owner plans on using the rifle.
A .357 isn't considered a particularly long range rifle, so unless there's vision issues, one of the iron sight options may work better at close distances.
Many also are fans of "red dot' sights, which will mount on that scope base, just like a scope.

[Is there a way to get a shoulder strap on this model without special drilling?]

Yes, "shotgun slings" are available from Cabela's & elsewhere that have a loop the goes around the barrel/mag tube, with a rear cup for the buttstock.
Standard sling swivels can be used that require only a small hole in the buttstock, halfway between the buttplate and the bullseye - the front swivel loop/eye can be a simple clamp that attaches to the magazine tube ( Uncle Mike's).

[Is the scope mount (pictured) good enough, or should I remove it?]

It's a Weaver, or a Weaver-type, base - which has satisfactorily been fufilling riflemen's needs for over 50 years, so YMMV here also.

[ will the mounting screws serve to "fill" the holes if I do remove it?] - No.

[will I need to get new, shorter ones?] - Yes, filler plug screws are available from just about any gunsmith - be sure to tell them it's for a Marlin, as Marlin uses larger screws than most other manufacturers.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info!

Man, I'm such a newbie... surely my questions are annoyingly basic. I'm just starting to build my arsenal of reliable and useful firearms.

With regard to the short range and peep sights:
Good!.... not getting a scope will save money...and I like the look of basic sights anyway.

Are there any specific models of sights that are highly recommended? My photos show the front and rear sight just in case there were model changes since the early 80's.

I'm hoping to find sights that won't require a gunsmith!

oB

P.S.
And also, thanks for posting my photos for me! I couldn't do it because I don't have permission, right?
 

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[Man, I'm such a newbie... surely my questions are annoyingly basic.] - Not really, don't sweat the small stuff. ;)


[Are there any specific models of sights that are highly recommended?]

It's more a matter of what YOU want & can afford.
There's several choices, depending upon whether or not you wish to stay with open/barrel sight, similar to those on your rifle now (maybe upgrading that type) - or - decide on a receiver peep sight ILO the rear barrel sight.

Williams, Marble's & Lyman all make replacement barrel sights, buy with different/additional sighting options like Ivory or Gold bead or fiber-optic front sights, different contour rear sights and some (Williams & TruGlo) offering fiber-optic rear sights also.

Williams makes 2 or 3 different receiver sights that should fit your rifle, either in the two rear scope mount holes, or in factory-prep holes in the top/rear left receiver wall's side.
Lyman makes side-mount peeps; and Williams, Skinner & XS Sights all make a top-mount peep for your rifle that fit with a screwdriver.

Williams, Skinner & XS sell their peeps also as a "package" with the proper front sight - leaving the only thing else to buy/make a rear barrel sight slot filler blank (the rear sight should be bye-bye if a receiver peep's installed - to give a clean sight picture)


[I'm hoping to find sights that won't require a gunsmith!] - Read the above carefully.


[ thanks for posting my photos for me! I couldn't do it because I don't have permission, right?]

You're welcome, and remember - most of us "got it wrong", on our first date too ! ;) :D

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To add a bit, perhaps..

First, that's a great little rifle!! I have one just like it, only a year or two older.

The sights on your rifle can be driven out of their dovetails and a new sight (or a blank filler for the rear sight) driven in. Use a brass drift and a smallish hammer, you don't need a lot of force.

If you want to add a scope, all you need to do is buy Weaver style rings to fit your mount and your scope. Scopes come with 1 inch and 30mm tubes, with the 1 inch being most common. As was already said, if you remove the scope mount, you will need 4 filler screws for the holes.

You rifle should be drilled and tapped on the left side of the receiver, just in front of the hammer (see picture). For a peep sight, you can use a Williams FP-94/36-TK or 5D-94/36 from Williams, a Lyman 66, or an older Redfield sight. The Williams and Lyman sights can be purchased from Midway USA, Brownells or directly from the manufacturer. These reciever sights should work OK with your current front sight, a Different peep or receiver sight will require you to change the front sight.

Picture shows a Lyman receiver sight mounted on a lever action rifle, yours should have two filler screws in the same location as the sight in the picture.

Andy

P.S. I would recommend against drilling the stock for a sling swivel, these guns are going up in price fast. As was pointed out, you can use a shotgun style sling without modifying the gun.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Andy!

I'm trying to decide if I want to get a scope or not. I might be purchasing an AR-15, so perhaps I'll reserve my scope cash for that thing. (I'm considering a Rugar Mini-14 as an option, too)

This little rifle feels lovely and looks gracefully smallish... scoping it would defeat that aesthetic. So, I'll try to find those "filler screws" (thanks for the vocabulary on that) and look for a decent, usable sort of sight system.

Is there anything particularly desirable about the older 1894 models? In talking to someone at the gun show, he said he preferred the models without that safety thingy on the side. Is that a common sentiment?

I know I'm asking questions that probably should be asked in separate threads... but here is another...

In terms of reliability (ability to function even when not perfectly clean), serviceability/ease of maintenance, how does the Marlin 1894 rank among other rifles of it's size and type?

oB
 

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Nice little rifles, aren;t they? Very light and quick-handling. Yours looks to be in nice shape.

I have one too, in .44Mag, made in about the late 70's or 1980 or so. I could be wrong (because I'm dumb and losing my memory), but I think I only paid about $150 for mine - a private sale back in about 1981 I think. I took a Weaver K4 scope off of it a couple of months ago and put the scope on a new 336 Marlin. For filler screws, I went to a large gunshop in Albuquerque and the smith had them. $5 for four. You could also get them from Marlin.

Now, I bought a Bushnell 2.5-7x32 for the 336, so the Weaver scope went back on the 1894, with a Weaver base just like yours has.

As far as reliability goes, I can't speak for the .357, but my .44mag has jammed a couple of three times. I think it has "let in two" (released two cartridges at once from the tube) but I can't be sure that's what's happening. I know that my loading gate screw will work loose and then it'll jam. When it does, the lever will jam open rock solid and, without a screwdriver to take the lever off, the day is over. Done. So, a screwdriver lives in the rifle case for that rifle. Keep the loading gate screw tight with blue Locktite.

I may take my scope back off. You're right, as are others - a scope ruins the natural "carry" of these little carbines, but it sure does help with grouping at 75 or 100 yards! A nice little Williams or Skinner peep sight (top-mounted for me) might be a better option.
 

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I don't know if its truly correct to say the older 1894s are more desirable, all the 357 1894C carbines are somewhat scarce, and that has driven their cost up quite a bit in the last few years. To give you an idea, I bought mine about 3 years ago and paid around $300, and yours wasn't really overpriced today. I personally prefer the earlier guns for the slimmer, non-checkered stocks and traditional (not ramped) front sight. But the next guy may want more hand-filling stocks, checkering and a cross bolt safety.
To get close to our earlier guns, you would have to buy a Cowboy model 1894, and they have an octagonal barrel and cost a good bit more than you paid for your gun.
I haven't really shot mine all that much (maybe 1000 rounds), but mine has been reliable and trouble free. Stretch called it just right, you really have to look after the screws on the Marlin lever guns.
I left mine stock, sights and all, to me they are just nice, light, handy, attractive lever guns in a useful caliber.

Andy
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, if I paid too much, the damage isn't unbearable. I notice that Bud's 357 Marlin is out of stock. With transfer fee and background checks, a new one would be about $130 more than I paid anyway.

Not to be too right-wingish/paranoid, but I am trying to build a very practical and small arsenal should life become rather trying in the future. Personal protection and the ability to hunt small/medium game are my interests. In addition, I see firearms as a kind of commodity that hold a high percentage of its value. This is very cool. Unlike motorcycles, cars, and jet skis... buying a firearm isn't such a total financial loss... not at all. So as far as "expensive hobbies" go, this one isn't so expensive. You can liquidate your firearms and recoup a surprising % of your original investment.

With that, I want efficiency. With this Marlin, I can shoot the two different kinds of calibers: 38 and 357. I have also purchased a S&W 686 (357mag). So two very different firearms that can exchange bullets... no need to have a different stock of bullets for each individual gun! The S&W is very reliable, too.

I wish they made a glock that would shoot one of these rounds as well.

I did find those screw plugs at Midway for $2.95 each... I'm out about $10 on that, then.

Thanks again,
oB
 

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I think right wing really means regular, everyday American (American being the operative word here), so my uncalled for opinion is that you're on the right track with looking toward self-sufficiency..... to one degree or another.

I agree with the others too, oB, that the price you paid is fine. For whatever reason, ALL of the 1894 rifles are in high demand and carry a pretty healthy price tag. Anyway, you have yours now, so don;t look back! (:)D))
 

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My 67 year old eyes do not do well with open sights anymore so I scoped my 1894/357 I got a Bushnell with a 6" eye relief , positions the scope better. and really does not change the character of the gun too much for me. Set on the lowest power i can shoot the rife fine offhand and the higher power is useful for load testing and precise shots. Just what works for me.
BTW on price ? One just sold on gun Broker for close to 1K so I bet your price was not that bad !!
 

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[I did find those screw plugs at Midway for $2.95 each... I'm out about $10 on that, then.]

FWIW, many REAL gunsmiths, and not AR parts-changers, will usually have a scrounge box stash of take-off filler plug screws leftover from scope mounting jobs, which I've been usually able to buy (if not get free) for $1 each.

Your Marlin takes headless plug screws with an 8-32 thread size, and not the smaller 6-48 size that most other CF rifles are prepped with.

(clue: take the rifle with you, with the scope mount base removed/unscrewed, when shopping gunsmiths for the screws.)


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I have several of these rifles, and it all started from being actively involved with Cowboy Action Shooting. These rifles are fast handly in the hands of an experienced shooter. As they wear they do jam on occasion. I picked up a 1894 Cowboy Competition in 38 special caliber because it jammed, come to find out it was sensitive to bullet length. They are easy to repair, easy to slick up, disassemble and re-assemble. I use a tang sight on all of mine, I hate the looks of a Redfield receiver sight on the side of one of these rifles...
 

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very nice gun.

On my 1894 Marlin I have "Fire sights" Brownell's) and i have Weaver flip over scope mounts with a 3-9x Bushnell. My older eyes like the scope and on 3x it is a wide field of view. But the 9x is available for the 100 yard groundhog shots.

The Weaver flip overs are 100% return to sight-in position all the time, great mounts, but a little pricey.
 

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I think you did very well in your purchase, and nice looking gun. From what I am seeing 357,s are the hot gun for 1894,s. I have it in a 44 mag and that gun puts a smile on your face when you are shooting it. Hardly any recoil and very versital for ammo light 38,s to heavy .357 hardcast boolits. I think you will love that rifle and post pics when you scope it.
 

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........
The Weaver flip overs are 100% return to sight-in position all the time, great mounts, but a little pricey.
OhBehave hasn't been in the Forum for a couple of three years now, so I don;t think he'll mind if I use this thread for my own question:

Harry, where do you get those Weaver flip-over rings? I've looked for them, but I must be looking in the wrong places. Do they mount on a normal Weaver 63B mount?

One thing I can't stand are the see-though rings, but the flip-overs I could see being useful.
 

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No, they don't use standard Weaver bases - search for "Weaver Pivot mount" (the proper name) instead.

They were made with either a long one-piece base for whatever rifle, or two small separate bases for bolt actions, etc.

I used them, once upon a time (about 45 years ago), until I was shooting a .444 with the open sights and the scope pivoted out of theway.

After the scope conked my left temple, right next to my non-shooting eye (drwaing plenty of blood, BTW), I made the decision (for the rest of my life) that, if I didn't want to use the scope, I wanted the scope OFF the rifle (so I've always used QD rings since then).


BTW - The pivots in the Weaver Pivot Mounts WILL wear if pivoted more than once or twice, usually loosening at first (which may/may not require rezeroing). BT, DT - NTS.





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