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Can't decide between 44mag Rossi and Marlin 30-30

PostPosted: 01 May 2019 16
by Wakefieldad
I recently bought both within about a month of each other. Both were impulse buys at the time. I already had a Rossi in 357 mag which I slicked up using Steve's video and replaced the sights with Skinner peep. I enjoy shooting that 357 Rossi but I hadn't taken it out to shoot for a couple of years. I don't know why I decided to buy the 44 Mag recently other than it was purely impulse since it was the first time I saw a Rossi back up for retail after our recent dry spell of the past few years. It did reignite my interest in levers and when I took it out to the the range to test I took the 357 with me. About a month later I saw a used JM stamped Marlin 336 with a scope already mounted and fairly scratched up stock at a local gun store. It was priced at $549, so I thought why not.

My problem is that both the 44 mag and the 30-30 aren't that much fun on my shoulder when I went to sight them in. The price of ammo for them isn't fun either. Both are going to need their sights replaced with Skinner peeps if they stay in my collection. The action of both are pretty smooth and about equal. So I'm thinking of getting rid of one of them. I can't decide which though. The price for ammo, which would have been the biggest factor, is about equal for both. The Marlin would be a different style and make gun than what I already have in the Rossi 357 mag, so has that going for it in appealing to me as a gun hobbyist/hoarder. But it feels heavy and a bit unwieldy for me compared to the Rossi. As far as actual real world use of 44 mag vs 30-30, I have to be honest and say that I'm unlikely to use either caliber for any real shooting application since I don't hunt (too much work and planning needed for that). Which then leads to the fact that I'm not likely to shoot either of them much since it'd be cheaper and more enjoyable for me to just shoot the 357 Rossi when I feel the itch to shoot a lever.

You all have way more experience with levers than me. Which would you keep?

Re: Can't decide between 44mag Rossi and Marlin 30-30

PostPosted: 01 May 2019 18
by ddj
Go for the gun that feels the best to you. That's the gun you'll want to take out and shoot. There are ways to get the ammo costs down but that's a whole different topic. I'm one of those guys that shoots cheap

Re: Can't decide between 44mag Rossi and Marlin 30-30

PostPosted: 01 May 2019 20
by HarryAlonzo
Keep the Rossi and learn to love 44 Spl. If you only buy factory ammo, they are especially mild.

Re: Can't decide between 44mag Rossi and Marlin 30-30

PostPosted: 01 May 2019 20
by stevep1954
have you tried 44 special in the rossi? alot better for recoil in my 44.

Re: Can't decide between 44mag Rossi and Marlin 30-30

PostPosted: 02 May 2019 02
by golfish
Wakefieldad wrote:My problem is that both the 44 mag and the 30-30 aren't that much fun on my shoulder when I went to sight them in. The price of ammo for them isn't fun either.

I didn't like my 44 and found 44 special ammo to cost just as much as the magnum ammo so I sold it. I bought a 30-30 (Winchester 94) so my son would have a good deer gun. I started reloading early this year so now I'm game for any caliber.
What length barrel is your 44 ? If it's just your shoulder, I'd just use 44sp as your probably not going to get too much relief from factory 30-30.

Re: Can't decide between 44mag Rossi and Marlin 30-30

PostPosted: 02 May 2019 04
by GasGuzzler
Why not sell them both and treat yourself to something special? Not sure why you must keep one. One factor that may or may not matter to you is price paid. You're on the far edge of value on the Marlin (around here) so it might be harder to recoup. If you paid a good price (less than $550) for the Rossi it would be easier to resell and stay dry.

Re: Can't decide between 44mag Rossi and Marlin 30-30

PostPosted: 02 May 2019 05
by Ranch Dog
I'm with GG. Given what you said, I would sell both of them.

Re: Can't decide between 44mag Rossi and Marlin 30-30

PostPosted: 02 May 2019 08
by Wakefieldad
Thanks for the replies, gents.

GG and RD: I was pondering selling both as well, then the gun hoarder/collector part of me took over and said as a compromise to keeping both to sell just one. I think I'm more in love with the idea of having a 44 mag to kind of make having the 357 mag more complete, if that makes any sense. As for the Marlin, I've just wanted one ever since first getting into lever guns. Now that I've scratched both itches and have had a taste of the reality of owning those calibers for my purposes, I'm leaning towards selling both. GG your point about selling them to treat myself to something else is a very good point. I think what I'm going to do is go shoot the rest of the 44 mag and 30-30 ammo so that at least I get some more shooting in before I part with them, then put them up for sale.

Re: Can't decide between 44mag Rossi and Marlin 30-30

PostPosted: 02 May 2019 09
by Nashville Stage
The way I would recommend deciding is to take a look at The List (you know, the list of firearms that you want, like a kid looking at the Christmas toy catalog & making a list). Look at the lever guns on one hand, and compare them with something else on The List. Think about which one you'd rather have.

If you'd rather have one or both of the levers, keep them. If you'd rather have an item from The List, sell them and get the thing from the list.

From the sound of it, I'll bet there's another item on the list that you'd rather have, whether it be a rifle/shotgun/handgun/black powder/military or historical firearm.

If you want to have a lever gun just to hang on the wall to admire but not shoot, you could probably find an old or non-functioning example for cheaper.

Re: Can't decide between 44mag Rossi and Marlin 30-30

PostPosted: 03 May 2019 19
by Strawdawg
Back in the '70's, I bought a Marlin 44mag. I used to tell people it was like shooting a BB gun. When the 2000's rolled around, I begin to notice that either the loads were a lot hotter, or my shoulder was not what it once was as that BB gun was not as much fun to shoot.

A few years ago, I had a Decelerator butt pad installed that made the gun fun to shoot again. I suspect that a Limbsaver would have cut it quite a bit more. I don't have experience with the Kick-eeze pad but I hear they are very good as well.

Yesterday, I installed a slip on Limbsaver on my new KSG which was not a lot of fun to shoot a lot with. It totally transformed it. I also have one on an AR in .458 socom which tended to get old after a few magazines. No problem with it anymore, either.

I would say keep the .44 Marlin, put a good pad on it, and shoot .44 mag if that is what you get the best deal on or .44 spl if you find a sale on them.

I also have a Rossi in .357 and every one wants to shoot it because it is almost no kick at all. It's cheap to shoot a lot with, but it does not ring the gongs like the .44 mag :D