Marlin 1894 Classic in 44 Mag – Fully Tested [Video]

in Authors, Gun Reviews, Historical Guns, Lever-action, Rifles, True Pearce

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Check out the video where we run drills with a shot timer, test ammo, run-and-gun, blow up a turkey, and go over all the features of the Marlin 1894 Classic in 44 Magnum!

If you’re looking for a lever-action rifle that can handle anything from deer to bear to home defense, you might want to check out the Marlin 1894 Classic in 44 Rem Magnum. This rifle is a modern version of the classic cowboy gun, with a few upgrades that make it more reliable, accurate, and comfortable to shoot. In this review, I’ll go over the specifications, accuracy, and pros and cons of the Marlin 1894 Classic, and why I think it’s one of the best lever-actions on the market.

Marlin 1894 Classic in 44 Mag shown with cartridges
Marlin 1894 Classic in 44 Mag FC: Marlin


The Marlin 1894 Classic is a lever-action rifle chambered in 44 Rem Magnum, which is a powerful cartridge that can take down large game. However, the 44 Rem Magnum is really a close-range or straight-walled pistol cartridge so putting it into a rifle really wakes it up but doesn’t make it a long-range setup by any sense of the imagination.

The rifle has a 20-inch barrel with a 1:20 twist rate, which is ideal for stabilizing heavy bullets. The Marlin has a tubular magazine that holds 10 rounds of 44 Remington Magnum, or 11 rounds of 44 Special. The receiver and lever are steel with a blued finish. The stock is American Black walnut with a straight grip and a thin rubber recoil pad.

The 1894 has a semi-buckhorn rear sight and a brass bead front sight, which are easy to align and provide a clear sight picture. A small point of contention is the cross-bolt safety but if you don’t like it you don’t have to use it. The Marlin 1894 weighs 6.4 pounds and feels light. The rifle has an overall length of 37.75 inches, which makes it handy and maneuverable.

Accuracy and shootability

The Marlin 1894 Classic is an accurate enough rifle, especially for a lever-action with iron sights in 44 magnum. It features a hammer-forged barrel and best groups at 50 yards were right at an inch. The rifle has a smooth action that got noticeably smoother the more I shot and worked the action.

The trigger was my biggest complaint as I felt it was a little heavy and a little gritty and the gun might have shot better groups with a lighter trigger. The rifle has a good balance and a comfortable stock, which make it easy to hold and it throws up really fast. The Marlin 1894 can handle a variety of loads, from light plinking rounds to heavy hunting rounds. I’m a big guy but felt that the recoil was extremely mild and almost unnoticeable.

Pros and Cons

The Marlin 1894 Classic has many pros and cons, depending on what you’re looking for in a lever-action rifle. Here are some of the main ones:


  • 44 Magnum is a Powerful cartridge
  • Accurate and reliable
  • Smooth action and trigger
  • Good sights
  • Beautiful and classic design
  • High capacity tubular magazine
  • Got a non-threatening look


  • The trigger could be better
  • Short to medium range only
  • Not very customizable or modern


The Marlin 1894 Classic is a great lever-action rifle for hunters, plinkers, enthusiasts, and home defenders and those who appreciate the history and tradition of the cowboy gun. The Marlin 1894 Classic is powerful, accurate, and reliable, and has a beautiful and classic design. The rifle is not cheap, and neither is the ammo, but it’s worth it for the performance and quality. If you’re looking for a lever-action rifle that can handle anything from deer to bear to bad guys, you might want to check out the Marlin 1894 Classic in 44 Rem Magnum.

Learn more about the Marlin by clicking HERE.

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About the author: True Pearce is the Managing Editor at GunsAmerica. He’s a competitive shooter, hunter, instructor & attorney. You can see and follow his adventures on Instagram. @true1911

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  • Chelly November 20, 2023, 11:32 am

    1:20 twist? That seems really slow.

  • Ro November 20, 2023, 9:50 am

    did I miss the price

  • Mike in a Truck November 20, 2023, 8:42 am

    I dont care what anyone says…the rifle isnt expensive in today’s inflation destroyed dollars. Especially when compared to the must have latest phone and stupid video games for the kids. Everyone should treat themselves to an 1894 for thire collection. It’s the one rifle you can sit by the fire and hold admiring its heft and lines long after that stupid phone is obsolete ( 6 months).

    • Kane November 22, 2023, 11:27 am

      All those phony environmentalists have too regularly get a new phone to store their mundane selfie life history while a firearm like the 94 should be handed down from one generation to the next.

      I believe that much of generation Z has been duped into thinking they are so liberated from the mistakes of previous generations yet this is a generation of zombies programmed by corporate/government think tanks.

  • Walleye November 20, 2023, 8:36 am

    A recoil pad on a pistol chambered rifle?
    What kind a Nancy-boy thought that was a good idea?

    • Mike in a Truck November 20, 2023, 8:45 am

      Yes it does seem ridiculous- until that plastic or steel butt pad slips off your shoulder in the rainy swamp just as that buck trots by!

    • jr November 20, 2023, 11:46 am

      you ever fire a bunch of 300 grain with max load of h110 off the bench?

  • Idaho November 19, 2023, 6:56 pm

    Your horse is a riot! Bring it on more.
    Like the rifle but would prefer a grip like they do on their 45-70.

  • paul I'll call you what I want/1st Amendment November 19, 2023, 6:31 pm

    hey, i’ll take the wings!!!!

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