Which 94 to get.
Well, I have had both Marlins, and Winchesters.
My current Win Trapper .45 Colt is a pre-safety model, which I swapped out the rebounding hammer tang assembly for an older style. ( I wrote the tech. article that william iorg mentioned above.) This has made a major improvement in it's feel and function.
My 94 will feed anything I have stuffed into it. From short stumpy 200gr SWC's, to overlength Keith SWC's. No problem.
It is fitted with an older Steel Lyman reciver sight and will if I do my part shoot 2" groups at 100 yards.
"The Winchester cross bolt safety is down right ugly and an affront to all sensible people. There is no good way to make the Winchesters safety acceptable, appearance wise."
The above quote is the best description I have ever read of the Win. safety. I agree completly. That is why I can't buy a new Winchester 94.
As for the Marlin 94, I had a Cowboy .45 colt and it was the most inaccurate rifle I have ever owned. Side by side, with any loads I could find, my 16" Win. Trapper would out shoot the Marlin every time.
I don't know why. Could have been tight spots in the barrel, or rifling twist, or oversize bore diameter, or well, I don't know.
I was a beautifly ballanced rifle, good to look at, but useless to shoot.
I don't shoot CAS and I expect a handgun caliber rifle to be able to group into at lest 4" at 100 yards. My Trapper will do it, but the Marlin wouldn't. As for functioning, the one I had would feed anything I put through it.
I had to sell it due to financial problems.
Today, if I had to make a choice I would try to find a PRE-Safety Rossie or Navy Arms Mdl 92.
My two bits worth.