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Thread: For no reason, i want a lever gun

  1. #11
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    Iíve owned a couple of levers, and shot a few more. IMHO, what caliber to get depends on what is useful where you live, what you are interested in, and what you can afford to feed. Which brand and model to get depends on preference and possibly purpose.

    You can get levers that will run any .22 rimfire from short through long rifle loaded at the same time in the same tube. You can have .22 Magnum. Pistol calibers include pretty much any rimmed cartridge of the ďcowboyĒ or frontier era up through the most modern bear stomping revolver rounds of today. Rifle rounds include the cross-over rounds of the frontier - .25-20, .32-20, .38-40, and .44-40, the .218 Bee, and on up to the largest rifle cartridges of the era including things like .38-55, .444 Marlin, .450 Marlin, and .45-70. Speaking of the .45-70, thereís a Marlin on display in the Tombstone history museum housed in the old courthouse that was used by a bear hunter in the late 1800s. It was discovered by his partially consumed remains when he failed to return from his last bear hunt - apparently, the old adage ďSometimes you get the bear, and sometimes it gets youĒ was true then as it is now.

    In my family, people who prefer lever actions have mostly used and hunted with Winchester or Marlin .30-30s. One rifle in my wifeís family was a Winchester 64 in .30-30 an old cowboy bought at some point before WWII. All of his sons remember shooting it and hunting with it, and when he passed at 102, the rifle was the only firearm in his house, and still sat ready behind his bedroom door in the old ranch house. One of his sons has it now. Other family members had 1894s, but there was also a Savage 99 in .308 a WWII vet bought and used for elk and deer for decades.

    The first rifle I ever saw was a Marlin 336 in .30-30 my dad had when I was a small boy. He kept it locked up in the old coal room. It got sold to pay the rent, IIRC, well before I would have ever been old enough or large enough to get to shoot it.

    Iíve owned a Marlin 30AS (plain birch stocked 336) in .30-30 and now have a Marlin 1894 in .357. Where I live, the .30-30 is used for deer by some, but I rarely hear of success with it or stories where a hunter would have found success with it. Perhaps we donít know how to hunt anymore, but hunters around here rarely find success at ranges the .30-30 and other traditional lever rifle calibers are usually considered useful for, so I sold mine when I realized I didnít really enjoy shooting it and hadnít found a use for it. My .357, on the other hand, is a very enjoyable rifle to shoot, a handy size and weight, and my very slightly build adult daughter will shoot anything I can load in it and be perfectly happy.

    My dad owns a Henry Golden Boy, and everyone loves it, but who doesnít love a .22 lever action with a slick action and tube full of fun?

    I have fired a couple of .45-70s. They were tolerable for a few rounds, but not really something Iíd spend a lot of time shooting. If I needed a bear stomper, Iíd consider getting one. But I donít, so my lever action ďjust to have one, and maybe hunt a little with itĒ rifle is the .357. I have a few .38 and .357 revolvers, so a lever in the same caliber is kind of cool because I can load for it with the same supplies on the same equipment, and carry one type of ammunition when hiking or backpacking. Iíd probably be just as happy with a .44 Magnum or .45 Colt pairing.

    Just my viewpoint on it: Iíd get a .22 or a revolver caliber compatible with your favorite revolver. At shorter ranges, the revolver calibers from a lever action will be quite effective on deer, useful for small game with the right loads, and a lot more enjoyable to shoot more than the heavies. And a .22 will be fun for everyone and useful on smaller game or for pest control.

  2. #12
    I can add more later, but if the Winchester you're looking at has a steel crescent butt plate, it will not be your friend.
    I was into 10mm Auto before it sold out and went mainstream, but these days I'm here for the revolver and epidemiology information.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Lester Polfus View Post
    I can add more later, but if the Winchester you're looking at has a steel crescent butt plate, it will not be your friend.
    This. Even in 44 magnum the take down carbine I have is not a lot of fun to shoot, which surprised me.
    Last edited by Snapshot; 10-24-2020 at 07:49 PM.

  4. #14
    As a southpaw I have always been fond of lever guns and have and have had several.

    My favorite is a Browning BLR in 308 with a 20" barrel. It uses a detachable magazine which has some advantages and possibly some disadvantages compared to typical tubular magazines. I was already shooting 308 in other guns and wanted a lever action to keep the caliber creep to a minimum (this has been a failure but not because of the BLR).

    One of the reasons I like it is that I was _extremely_ lucky one day and out-shot a pretty accomplished and dedicated buddy who was shooting his 30.06 bolt gun.

    Mine is in stainless with a matching VX III 2.5-8, it has a polished wood stock with a curved pistol grip and gold colored trigger, so it is quite shiny. It is made by Miroku in Japan. For me it is just a target gun so can't speak to durability, but with all the bling probably not ideal for hard field use.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Lester Polfus View Post
    I can add more later, but if the Winchester you're looking at has a steel crescent butt plate, it will not be your friend.
    Iíve all but ruled that one out, for that and the price difference. Canít find a Marlin locally to handle, so leaning Henry at the moment.

  6. #16
    King of Craft Clusterfrack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snapshot View Post
    This. Even in 44 magnum the take down carbine I have is not a lot of fun to shoot, which surprised me.
    This girl weighs 99 lbs... Iím not calling you guys pussies, but...
    "BJJ is sort of like nonconsensual yoga"
    "You donít really graduate from certain problems or certain thingsÖ like you always have to work on trigger control and pulling the trigger straight. " --Ben Stoeger 1/24/2018

  7. #17
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    I own a Browning 1886 carbine in .45-70. The barrel is 22Ē.
    Adding a lace on butt pad from Lion Country Supply made the gun very pleasant to shoot with my heaviest load, a 330 lead hollow point, aka the Gould bullet, at 1750 FPS. This load shoots to the sights at 100 yards.
    The Black Hills cowboy loads are very mild by comparison.
    I have some 300 grain Partitions squirreled away that travel just shy of 1900, but they hit 4Ē high at 100.
    Do not get a .45-70 with a crescent butt plate. Period.
    I also own 2 Shiloh Sharps, an 1892 Springfield Trapdoor and a Browning 1885, all in .45-70.
    The 1886 is my favorite in the woods.
    The Winchester 93 and Marlin 336 are better general purpose guns IMHO.
    But the 1886 is more FUN!
    Take the plunge.
    Shumba

  8. #18
    Site Supporter Lon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rd62 View Post
    For knocking around a pistol caliber is probably more practical. The .45-70 will take any big game in North America. The .30-.30 is a great way to go if you're just going to have one.
    .30-30 isnít legal for deer in OH. Think he wants that as an option. Stupid laws.
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    Formerly known as xpd54.
    The opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not reflect the opinions or policies of my employer.
    www.gunsnobbery.wordpress.com

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    .30-30 isnít legal for deer in OH. Think he wants that as an option. Stupid laws.
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    Spot on.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    .30-30 isnít legal for deer in OH. Think he wants that as an option. Stupid laws.
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    Well, that sucks

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