This weekened I had the chance to experiment a bit more with a lever action pistol caliber carbine. A couple weeks ago I tried some “cowboy” shooting. The drill started by shooting two single action 45 LC revolvers, 5 rounds each, then 4 shotgun shots and 6 lever action carbine shots. I found the little Rossi 357 magnum to be well made and accurate in spite of the open sights not being that nice.
This weekend I tried a Marlin, also in 357 magnum, and man it’s a nice little carbine. The sights were a pleasure to use, hitting a cardboard plate 50 meters away from standing position was easily done. This was rather fast and informal shooting and the rifle is clearly capable of more accuracy at that range. But this 4-round group exemplifies the difference between shooting the same round from a rifle or a revolver.
Right after shooting the lever action carbine I shot a Ruger 357 magnum with a three inch barrel and its obvious what happens when shooting without a stock and great distance between sights. Same ammo, yet a world of a difference. You could even hear the rounds slapping the dirt behind the target with more authority, thanks to the extra couple hundred feet per second made possible by the longer barrel (powder burned inside the barrel=more power, burned outside=more flash and noise).
While a semi auto would no doubt be my number one choice, when that’s not possible a little lever action works as well today as it did a hundred years ago. Handy and also pretty fast when you get the hang of it, its an ideal partner for a 357 magnum revolver.