I've had three Rossi 92s'; a good 16" 45 Colt, a great 20" 45 Colt that I still have and a 16" 357 that was a royal PITA and taught me way more about the innards of these Brazilian 92 clones than I ever wanted to know.
If I ever get another 357 carbine (unlikely) I will gamble on a Marlin or, if I'm feeling spendy, an Uberti 1873.
I have owned a dozen Rossi 92s and only had one that wasnt fine from the factory.
Steve at Stevesgunz told me the newer Rossis are better because around 2010 Rossi replaced the old worn Winchester tooling with new tooling. I’ve never had an older Rossi. All mine have been newer and they have been fine, except the one.
However, same for Marlins, except all of those have been older, at least Marlin made safety guns, or presafety. I think I’ve owned 7-8 of them. I have a new model and a presafety currently, and both are fine.
I also like my Winchester 73, but those are a little outside your price range.
I like the Winchester 92s and clones. That is my favorite action for pistol caliber carbines. I much prefer them over the Win 73 and Marlins. I will buy a Winchester or Browning as soon as i can afford one.
I am not very handy with tools or fixing things, especially guns. So, it seems like a Rossi might not be a good fit: too many stories of them needing fixing right away. And I don't want to have to take it too a gun smith right after purchasing.
On the other hand, my local Gun shop is not able to order a new 1894c (their distributor is out of stock). I wonder if they are currently in production, or if they have been halted for a while. I sent Marlin a note to see what the status of new 1894c Marlins, but have not heard back yet. There are a few places online that I can get a Marlin 1894c. But, not so sure about an online purchase.
Yet, it does seem like the marlin 1894 44 is more available (as a new gun). So, maybe I should add that to my list of contenders.
Some of the best money I’ve ever spent was sending my Rossi 92s to Steve Young for his magic treatment. In fact one of them went to him before I ever saw it. I’ve also had him slick up a stiff Browning B92 I had. He does good work.
Browning B92-probably will have difficulty finding one for $800. I sold mine for over $900. You could also have trouble finding a good Marlin for that as well.
The Marlin 44 magnum is less $$. The slower rate of twist makes it work best with 240 grain bullets, according to my reading. Many say just buy Winchester white box 240 gr ammo and be done with it. More recoil than a .357-most came with a pad, I believe.
John Taffin has written glowingly about the Marlin in .357. I'd try to find a JM stamped gun, but it will be more $.
You could see about buying a Rossi from stevesgunz.com Get Steve to work it over for reliability before sending it to you. He has a good reputation. Or find one cheap and send it to him. People seem to like their Rossi's just fine if they are running right. They won't be as good looking as the alternatives, but they seem to serve their owners well. Like with everything else-pretty costs more. So, you could spend less for a Rossi than you might a Marlin and have enough left to get it running right.
A key consideration is sights, IMO. If you want to be able to mount a scope-go with the Marlin.
Good luck and have fun deciding!
I’ve got a potful of lever guns, most I never shoot and plan to sell. I have B92s in 357 and 44 Magnum, also Marlins and Rossi’s in the same calibers along with Marlins in 30-30 and 45-70. The crown jewel is a new production Winchester Miroku 1873 Trapper in 357.
My little pre safety Marlin 357 has a Weaver 1-3x scope and is a fantastic shooter, even with its micro groove barrel. On the other hand I’ve never had much luck getting accuracy out of a 44 Marlin, and I’ve had a bunch of them. Somebody pointed me toward the SAAMI specs for 44 Mag handgun versus rifle. Inexplicably, they are different! I have a very nice JM Marlin 1894 now, if I can’t get it to shoot it may finally be time to rebarrel one with the SAAMI specs of the handgun.
Last Edit: Jul 16, 2019 20:38:15 GMT -5 by warhawk