Anyone know of a good lever rifle chambered in 45Colt? Looking to get into SASA pistol and would like a rifle in the same cartridge as the pistol.
I’ll try to be helpful, but not in the way you expect, sort of.
They are all good after some work and they all have issues. Specifically lever action pistol caliber rifles. Depends how much you use them of course and how much you cycle them. However, at some stage you will get a ‘double feed’ jam and that specific jam will be coming back more often after that.
In a Marlin it’s called Marlin jam (I am intimately familiar with this), Winchester and Rossi I believe have a similar issue, but I can only speak to Marlin in detail.
In Marlin the underside of the lifter wears out and you get to a point where it lets a second round in. It’s something to do with the radius on the underside of the lifter (there’s a little ridge/edge that gets worn out) and in general being smaller than others (i.e. pistol calibers).
If this happens, you are jammed and the only way out is to remove the lever screw, remove the lever, then the bolt and then shake it out. This is why I now have tools in my range bag. My Marlin has an ‘improved lifter’ that I replaced the original with, so far so good (few hundred rounds in, which is a good sample size). With the original lifter, it started happening a few hundred rounds, every 50 or so rounds. And then more and more often.
I am 98% that Winchester, Rossi and Chiappa all have a similar double feed issues. And all require field strip to remediate. A permanent fix involves either a lifter replacement (with a better one); or some polishing work on it, to stop it wearing out.
I’ve shot Marlin (44), Rossi (45), Henry 357, Ciappa (38), I imaging they are all similar.
- Marlin - good, solid. I love it, now that I pretty much rebuild it and know it inside out.
- Henry - you can have a go in a month or two I also love it.
- Rossi - had this utilitarian feel to it. One I was shooting had a lot of work done to it and it was as good as Henry in cycling. Reaaaaaaly nice. I can’t fault it, other than the utilitarian wibe it had. Like it wanted to be stored in a laundry next to brooms and mops, rather than a gun safe with its peers.
- Chiappa - haven’t shot it enough to have an opinion.
After some reading and YouTubing I’m tending towards a Rossi and spend a little extra to smooth out the action. Then upgrade parts as they break and at half the price of the Marlin there’s plenty left over for upgrades.
I think, if you’re going to compete with it, Rossi is a good choise. Solid, lite, maintainable and you won’t cry (too much) if you damage the wood, which is bound to happen in a competition.