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 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Messages:
    1,271
    Likes Received:
    1,007
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    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...

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2016
    Messages:
    1,672
    Likes Received:
    2,119
    Location:
    Mebane NC / Durham NC
    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
    Papermaker and S4f like this.
  3. RedneckFur

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2016
    Messages:
    945
    Likes Received:
    1,452
    Location:
    Orange County
    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.
     
  4. GeorgeBush

    GeorgeBush Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2016
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    513
    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).
     
    Papermaker likes this.
  5. InvisibleOne

    InvisibleOne a.k.a. LoboLoco Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Messages:
    379
    Likes Received:
    425
    Location:
    Stokes County, NC
    This ^
     
  6. CZfool68

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

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2016
    Messages:
    8,651
    Likes Received:
    11,821
    Location:
    Apex / W. Jefferson NC
    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...

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2016
    Messages:
    1,672
    Likes Received:
    2,119
    Location:
    Mebane NC / Durham NC
    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 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Messages:
    1,271
    Likes Received:
    1,007
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    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

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2016
    Messages:
    8,651
    Likes Received:
    11,821
    Location:
    Apex / W. Jefferson NC
    A can on a lever gun is worse than a scope on a lever gun. Just so, so wrong. :D
     
    gsimmons and draco88 like this.
  10. Papermaker

    Papermaker Happy to be here

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2017
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    51
    Location:
    Wilmington and Roaring Gap, NC
    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?

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2016
    Messages:
    1,366
    Likes Received:
    2,552
    Location:
    Alamance County
    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
    smithnwesley, Papermaker and draco88 like this.
  12. Papermaker

    Papermaker Happy to be here

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2017
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    51
    Location:
    Wilmington and Roaring Gap, NC
    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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2016
    Messages:
    3,526
    Likes Received:
    4,016
    Location:
    Waxhaw
    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.
     
    Papermaker likes this.
  14. JRHorne

    JRHorne Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Messages:
    1,271
    Likes Received:
    1,007
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    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

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2016
    Messages:
    527
    Likes Received:
    442
    Location:
    Oak Island
    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 Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2017
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    316
    Location:
    Chatham
    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.
     
    Papermaker likes this.
  17. Crunchy Frog

    Crunchy Frog Happy to be here

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2016
    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    149
    Location:
    Greenville,SC
    The 1873 is the top rifle in cowboy action shooting, with the Marlin not far behind.
     
    Papermaker likes this.
  18. shadowsbane

    shadowsbane Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2016
    Messages:
    654
    Likes Received:
    921
    Location:
    Nc
    If you are leaning towards the 1873 I would reccomend you check out the Uberti line. They are very well made as well.
     
    smithnwesley and Papermaker like this.
  19. Namerifrats

    Namerifrats Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2018
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    105
    Location:
    Winston Salem NC
    Marlin 1894C 357/38spl rifles are back in stock. I just got one 2 weeks ago. Put about 80 rounds through it with no issues. Can't complain on the quality either. Action a little stiff, but I'm betting it will loosen up with use. Sometimes 38spl cases don't eject completely from the action. 357 always flies out with no issue. Guess just the shorter cases. Nothing that can't be fixed quickly with fingers or tilting the rifle so the case falls out.

    I'd say quality wise Marlin has gotten it back together. I have bought 3 Marlin levers in the last 2 months. No complaints on any of them. 45/70 Guide gun, 44 magnum, and the 1894C 357 Magnum.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
  20. Flashpoint

    Flashpoint Member Charter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2016
    Messages:
    1,025
    Likes Received:
    975
    Location:
    Alamance County
    Maybe if you leather wrapped it?
     
  21. KnotRight

    KnotRight Active Member Charter Member Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Messages:
    956
    Likes Received:
    692
    Location:
    Savannah, GA
    I have the Rossi in 44 and 357. The 44 was bought after the PO put a spring kit in it and worked on the loading gate. I got the 357 NIB and it was stiff. Bought a spring kit and cleaned up all the touching parts in the trigger. Got the trigger pull down very low but had to have a smith put it back together. The ejector spring is a bitch to get back together. I have a couple marlins but think the Rossi shoots as good as them or the Winchester,
     
  22. Red Marley

    Red Marley Authorized person Charter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2016
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    386
    Location:
    Central NC
    Winchester pre-64 mfg, open sights. It’s such a natural pointer, it’s the most fun to shoot this way. Adjust your range to the gun. If you want optics you might as well have a bolt gun.
     
  23. KnotRight

    KnotRight Active Member Charter Member Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Messages:
    956
    Likes Received:
    692
    Location:
    Savannah, GA
    Red Marley, I agree with the pre-64 Winchester 30-30. I do not shoot mine anymore and bought a post 64 to play around with.
     
  24. Papermaker

    Papermaker Happy to be here

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2017
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    51
    Location:
    Wilmington and Roaring Gap, NC
    Looking for a Winchester 1873 carbine in 357. Any ideas where I can find one in NC. I have found the short rifle in several places, but not the carbine.
     
  25. dalek

    dalek Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2016
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    179
    Location:
    There
    Just a FYI, I saw a Rossi 92 in 44 Magnum at Smokin Barrels for just over $500. He also has a few Marlin 336 and Henry carbines; the action of those two indeed look very similar.

    JRHorne, one thing Henry has going for it is its High Point-like warranty attitude/length. I do not know how Marlin's is, But Rossi is only 1 year on long rifles and, well, check rossi-rifleman.com for good and bad stories. Over there you will also find people using them with scopes.

    M92s and M94s are politically correct regarding left or right hand shooters. There are scope brackets you can mount on its left side but it requires drilling the receiver.

    However, the 336 based ones -- Marlin and Henry -- are much easier to find than the Rossis and you can put your scope right on the top. And cheaper, at least the Marlin 336, but the smallest caliber I've see in the 336 is 30-30
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
  26. CZfool68

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

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2016
    Messages:
    8,651
    Likes Received:
    11,821
    Location:
    Apex / W. Jefferson NC
    Just saw a Cimmaron 1873 over in Maple Syrup land. Might be what you were looking for.
     
  27. Crunchy Frog

    Crunchy Frog Happy to be here

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2016
    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    149
    Location:
    Greenville,SC
    One reason the carbine is not as popular with cowboy shooters is that it is not as easy to switch the front sight. The buttstock also has a different shape than the ones on the rifles.
     
  28. Mightyox04

    Mightyox04 Das Ox

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2016
    Messages:
    2,600
    Likes Received:
    2,649
    Location:
    NC
    I was looking over Winchesters 73s yesterday. I'd go with the Winchester because I think it looks better and it has a loading gate. It also won the west.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
  29. Papermaker

    Papermaker Happy to be here

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2017
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    51
    Location:
    Wilmington and Roaring Gap, NC
    Why is there a need to switch the front sight?
     
  30. GoWolfpack

    GoWolfpack Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2016
    Messages:
    935
    Likes Received:
    1,151
    Location:
    Suffolk, VA (Formerly Rolesville and Tarboro, NC)
    Not even a contest in the looks department. The Henry is hideous by comparison.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
     
  31. Crunchy Frog

    Crunchy Frog Happy to be here

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2016
    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    149
    Location:
    Greenville,SC
    I would not say it is a “need” but many competitors exchange the factory front sight with a larger bead for faster target acquisition. On the other hand there is also an aftermarket sight that slips on over the factory bead. I can’t remember, though, whether the 1873 carbine factory front sight is a bead or a post.

    The round barrel of the carbine makes for a lighter rifle than the octagon or “half round” barrels. Some folks like more weight up front; it all comes down to personal preference.
     
  32. dalek

    dalek Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2016
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    179
    Location:
    There
    Can't you cheat and put some lead inside the handguard?