The familiar Marlin 1894 returns in .357 Magnum. (Marlin)

Good news, cowboy action shootists – the Marlin 1894 is back on the market in .357 Magnum chambering. If you’ve been paying attention, you should remember the Marlin 1894 returned to the market last July, after months out of production when previous brand owner Remington went bust. Now, Ruger is building these rifles in North Carolina, but upon their reintroduction, they were only available in .44 Magnum.

Marlin @ TFB:

Now, that’s changed. The .357 version is back in Ruger’s catalog, although it’s currently listed with “Limited Availability,” same as the other models in the Classic Series. Remember that Ruger had to build a factory line for the Marlin rifles, and it seems that production still hasn’t completely ramped up yet.

The .357 Magnum version of the Marlin 1894 is similar to the .44 Magnum version, with checkered black walnut straight-grip stock and satin-blued finish. But the .357 Magnum model has a shorter barrel (18.63 inches vs. 20.25 inches in the .44 Magnum rifle). The .357 Magnum rifle has a 1:16 twist, with six-groove rifling. The magazine capacity for this rifle is 9 rounds or 10 rounds of .38 Special.

Adjustable semi-buckhorn rear sight comes standard, with a hood over the brass bead front sight. The flat-top receiver is drilled and tapped for scope mounts as well. The Marlin 1894 weighs 6.2 pounds, which should make for a low-recoil shooter when combined with light cowboy action loads. Even full-power magnums will not be enough to make this rifle an unpleasant kicker.

Bringing back the good and the bad of the Marlin 1894

In general, this rifle looks a lot like the old classic Marlins that were built in Connecticut. One carryover feature that many shooters will dislike is the cross-bolt safety. Many lever-action fans will want to replace this with a safety-delete kit. At least some of the kits that fit JM Marlin and Remington-made rifles are also supposed to fit the Ruger-built rifles, so that’s an option that’s available if you prefer to only use the hammer as safety on your lever gun.

Speaking of the hammer: The new Marlins come with an offset hammer spur in the box, a handy add-on if you’re mounting a scope.

MSRP for the new rifles is $1,239. See more info at Marlin’s website here.



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