I'd still lean to the Marlin for the side loading and its lack of potential issue with the sliding mag-tube and the mag-tube pin and notch. Using full power .357 Magnum loads they are useful hunting rifles for game up to the smaller CXP2 species at close range and can serve admirably as home defense rifles (just as they did on the western frontier), but mostly they are just plain fun to shoot.
I'm looking on Gunbroker to see if I can get one for less than Bud's or one of the other online vendors.
The Big Boy X Model does just that and marks an evolutionary step in a product line with quite the pedigree.
The loading gate on the Rossi was a finger pincher. The new Henry Casehardened Big Boy rifle is a classy lever gun chambered in favorite potent, yet surprisingly soft shooting 357 Magnum/.38 special. It’s how we progress and continue pushing the boundaries of what lever actions are capable of.
One notable improvement in the receiver of the production Henry X Rifles is they all have a King’s gate. I have a Henry .22 Big Loop and like it but I'd prefer a side loading gate which the Henry does not offer in 357. By Chuck Hawks. I want a lever 357, but I can't justify cost for a Golden Boy, refuse to buy a Rossi, and have never seen a Marlin available. While .357 ammo is cheaper than .30-30 ammo, you can buy quite a bit of ammo for the price difference between a .30-30 lever action and the significantly more expensive .357 lever action.
It’s interesting that the question lists those three lever gun manufacturers in their relative evolutionary order. I bought my Marlin 1894C .357mag lever action about a year ago on sale at Turner's.
Most modern lever-action rifles feature a side loading gate on the right side of the receiver, but Henrys feed from the muzzle-end.
I'd be content with one of the "entry" level rifles.
Explore Cabela's entire line of competitively priced lever-action rifles and pump-action rifles. Choose the lowest price from multiple warehouses. Find .357 Magnum lever-action rifles from a variety of manufacturers.
I much prefer the Henry for several reasons.
Chambered in .357/38, 44mag/spl, ..45 Colt, 45-70 and .410, these are the first rifles from Henry to be chambered in pistol calibers with a side loading gate.
It might not make much sense but pistol caliber lever action rifles command a significantly higher price than traditional calibers like .30-30 or even .45-70 Henry H006MSD Big Boy Silver Deluxe Engraved Lever 357 Magnum/38 Special 20" 10+1 American Walnut Stock Blued Barrel/Silver Receiver MSRP: $1,884.95 | Your Price: $1,636.61
... 850 yards 357 lever action wow
I don't know why Henry chose to use the loading tube but I have owned both the Rossi 92 in .357 mag and have the Henry Big Boy Steel in .357 mag.
Creating the mold and then breaking out of it is something that we take great pride in.