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Lever Action Rifles?


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#1 lukem

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 08:05 PM

as i am researching what rifle to buy, i am having trouble deciding weather or not to get a lever action rifle. i know the advantages of a bolt action gun; reliability, strength, simplicity, ruggedness, and perhaps accuracy. but what advantages does a lever gun have? i have only hunted with bolt guns so i know little about lever guns. the area i hunt is generally pretty brushy with lots of hills, so it seams to me that a lever gun would be good because they are known to be fast, and the shots i have taken have been under 150 yards. but how good are they at farther ranges, say 150 to 300 yards? (i am assuming i have bought a lever gun than can accept a scope). i am aware that lever guns are often fed by a tubular magazine, which would limit the varity of cartridges for me to choose from, but has anyone had any experience with the magazine fed ones? i know i have asked a lot of questions, so let me make it simple. In your experience, is a lever gun worth having over a bolt action? I hunt a brushy, hilly area, would like to be able to take anything from cyotes to deer to pigs, and if possible, i like shooting the .308. any feedback will be greatly appreciated.sincirely,an overwelmed greenhorn

#2 ehd

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 08:09 PM

I have never owned aBrowning Lever, BLR , but they seem like they would be nice. Clip fed ,and I think they are accurate.

#3 4RHUNTS

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 08:31 PM

You should check out the Marlin 308 and 338 Express calibers. I own on in 308 express and it is a shooter!

#4 gmoney

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 08:39 PM

I really like my big bore marlin but it is only good to 150yds, very short and easy to drag through the briar. If the country you hunt is anything like the country around oakhurst then you cant go wrong, this is not an open country gun. I could shoot that gummy tip ammo and get out to 200 probably. Any time we leave the area we always have this one in the truck, it rides in the truck pretty handy.

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#5 clampdaddy

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 09:16 PM

I worked up a load for my friends .308 BLR and it would keep five 150 grain Swift Scirroccos easily under 1 1/2 inches. His was the old style with the straight grip and barrel band. I tried to buy it but my friend got attached to that rifle once he saw how well it could shoot. I also shot a Savage model 99 in .300 savage that would put factory Remington cor-lokts under an inch.The box magazine rifles offer the advantage of handling flatter shooting cartridges loaded with pointed bullets but tube feeders do have one advantage when hunting dangerous game. Elmer Keith liked the tube fed lever guns over any other type of rifle because if a hunter were to get in a sticky situation with a nasty wounded critter you could top off the magazine without opening up the action or removing the mag which effectively turns the gun into a single shot.
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#6 CA Desert Dog

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 09:37 PM

I have three Marlin lever rifles. Two are model 336s in 30-30 and 35 Remington. The third is a model 1894 carbine in .357 magnum. Thanks to Hornady Lever Revolution ammo, all of these rifles shoot amazingly well. That is very accurate ammo. The little 357 carbine sports a scout scope and is quick handling for the types of areas you're talking about. It hits hard with 158-grain bullets and is quite accurate to 150-yards. My Marlin lever in 35 Remington is also some bad medicine. You can pick up an older 35 pretty reasonably if you shop for a bit. Good luck finding what you're looking for.
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#7 gmoney

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 04:45 AM

you know the other option would be an 1899 and cut it down some to a carbine, my son has one built in 1909 still shoots well, and its not fragile or anything

#8 Jason

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 08:06 AM

I shot my first deer and hogs with a bolt action 243 with scope and box magazine. I found it just as fast if not faster than a bolt gun once you got used to it. Range was excellent with the 243 cartridge. I shot it starting at age 12 and eventually stopped around 16 because I wanted to try another cartridge. It is a great gun still that I'll probably put my own kids on eventually.

#9 dangerranger

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 09:00 PM

I have three lever guns that I use regularly. my two favorites are a Marlin 94 in 45 colt, and a Winchester 94 in 30 30. at less than 150 yds they will take deer, hogs, coyotes or dogs easily. these come into their own when hunting in deep brush where shots are expected to be short. neither of these guns wear a scope. both have reciver sights. they are short and thin, and easily carried through thick brush where I may have to crawll at times to get under some of the thickest places. they are also very rugged. a good choice for carry on an ATV, or a horse. both are kind of hard on guns. the down sides are that they are not target guns, not for long shots, and if hunting from a vehicle loading and unloading is a pain. my third lever gun is a Marlin in 4570. it will take anything on four legs if I can get within 150 yds of it. but its light weight lets it put a pretty good thumping on my shoulder. earlier models had long heavy barrels, and later they took to porting them to tame that recoil some. But if I were face to face with a bear its good to be able to throw 450 grains of lead at him . if you are mostly hunting in close where your longest shots are less than 150yds they are a good choice. DR

#10 clampdaddy

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 06:32 PM

:puke: Aw geez!!! This thread just reminded me that I have a '94 chambered for .375 win. in the safe that I intended to buy ammo components for so I could actually shoot the darn thing, but instead I totally forgot about it. :1106:
My guns are mine, they aren't for sale, and I only give guns to people that I really like. So I guess the government is **** out of luck.

#11 gmoney

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 07:52 PM

the hardest thing is getting them to shoot in the leadfree zone, 30-30 is available easily, but all the other chamberings seem to be harder to come by. Usually corbon or buff bore, and you always have to order that stuff. that is my only complaint with the levergun chamberings. Reloading always takes care of that though.

#12 hydehunter

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 08:47 PM

my brother has a browning lever in 7mm it shoots like a house a fire I was impressed when I shot it

#13 Braz

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 11:31 AM

Gotta love the lever action.Posted Image
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#14 ShooterJohn

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 11:37 AM

Nice bunch of guns Braz!

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#15 Braz

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 11:54 AM

That top on is really special to me too. It is a Winchester Model 88 in .308 and was my mothers deer rifle until she died in 1980. somehow I lucked out and got it.
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#16 CA Desert Dog

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 04:25 PM

Glad to see you back in the saddle Braz. There were a whole lot of folks praying and pulling for you. It's nice to see you back in print. That sure is a very nice stable of lever rifles.
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#17 Braz

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 04:29 PM

Thanks RED, good to be back. I still hae some problems hough, he biggest one being how difficult a ime I hve typing. AS a result I do't post that much. But i need to do more as it is jut practice and rebuilding he electrical signals in my brain. So i may be doing a bi more posting. I did miss the site a lot While hospitalized. MY Next goal is to get my DL back. DMV removed i when hey learned i had a stroke. Dang it. Hard to do much if I have o get mama to dive me around where ever I go.
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#18 Thumper Dunker

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 06:07 PM

Nice rifles. I love my Marlins , 30-30 and 45-70 and my old winnie in 32 winchester. At one time I could bust eggs at 100 yards with the 45-70. But it realy lets you know you shoot it.
You can hop but you can't hide. Yahi Bowmen. Its not how far you can shoot but how close to the game you get when you shoot. Sights we don't need any sights. Why waist time reloading when I can be making arrows.

#19 Rimrock

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 06:32 PM

Braz, that is a fine bevy of rifles. The Winchester 88 is something special, I'm sure.

#20 homemade

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 07:39 PM

if you buy a BLR dont buy a magnum we get a lot of those in the shop for repairs.

#21 Leonten

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 11:02 AM

My first rifle was a Marlin 336c in 30-30. I knocked off several deer in the same type of terrain you mention. With the mico-groove barrel that gun was a tack driver. However, I traveled up to the Shasta National Forest (late '70's) and had a problem with that rifle. I came over the crest of a hill, sat down and glassed the opposite hill. I found the biggest 4X4 Mule deer (to this day I haven't seen another one as big), on that mountain. But the range was...350? 400? 450? yards away. It was just to far away for me to guess the holdover so I let it go. Ever since then I always use a rifle that can fire spitzer bullets. I also have a Winchester model 88 in 308, its my pig rifle as I usually (but not always) find pigs in more open terrain than deer. But my favorite rifle for hunting in thick cover is a Ruger M77 RL Ultra Light in 257 Roberts (Ackley) improved. It has a 20 inch barrel and weighs (loaded with scope & sling) 7 1/2 pounds. It's a dandy rifle to hunt with. Some people may criticize my caliber choice for the brush so let me make it clear. I don't shoot through the brush, I hunt in it. If I'm going to take a shot I make sure there's no obstacles between me & the target. For that reason I don't use a "brush busting" gun. If you decide to stick with a lever action, get one that you can shoot spitzer bullets with.

#22 Mick17

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 12:42 PM

I have an 1894, Marlin Chambered in 44mag. I love this gun. It's easy to lever another round into the receiver while staying on target. I was thinking about taking it out for a coyote hunt one of these days as it would be good for those close in shots (instead of carrying a shotgun), yet it would be good for those shots out to 150+ yards (so I wouldn't need to carry my .223). One gun would serve the purpose of two so it makes less to carry. As I hunt in the forest, there is not a big chance of getting a shot over 100 yards anyway. Having the 44mag round makes me feel safer in the woods in case something larger comes along!
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#23 jeager

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 03:38 PM

If I didn't have Grandpa's Savage 99 in 300, I'd be looking for the same in a 308.




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