Gun Recommendations?
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Old 05-24-2007, 03:48 PM   #1
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Default Gun Recommendations?

I just started hunting last year and currently own a tikka t3 lite 30.06. I recently have been looking into purchasing a lever action because they look pretty fun and I wouldn't mind having another hunting rifle around if I wanted to switch things up. Now I have a few questions so bare with me. First of all, what caliber should I get? I would like to use the gun for fun in the off months, but don't want to spend a ton of money on ammo. Also, it would be nice to get some hunting use out of it. I would like a 30-30 for the hunting aspect, but the ammo seems a bit pricey to be shooting pop cans in the other months. I've read a little on the .357 and the .44 magnum being applicable toward hunting. The .44 seems to pack the biggest punch, but am not sure on ammo prices? Would these be affordable rounds to have a little fun with when im not out in the woods and also be useful for west virginia deer?

One last question, is it really necessary to buy a scope for hunting with a lever action? Do a lot of people actually use peep sights in the field? Before I started hunting last year, I exclusively used peep sights for target shooting. I feel a little more confident with peep sights over glass, though I don't think I have ever tried them past 100 yards with more than a .22. I don't figure I will be shooting past 100-150 yards with this gun. Those new lever revolution rounds are tempting also.

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Old 05-24-2007, 10:07 PM   #2
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357 levergun is a short range deer hunter. 44 mag will gain a little distance, 30-30 a little more. You're still looking at a 100 yard range limit. Depend on the area you hunt, that might be fine.

I haven't priced any 30-30 ammo lately, but 44 mag is through the roof! Bought a box of Magtech 240 gr JSP yesterday, $27.00 ! Same box cost $12.00 last fall. I usually reload my ammo,but was running a little low. No more!

I find iron sights okay for the range you would be hunting with a levergun. Some guys want a scope, but I think they look kinda silly on a lever action.

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Old 05-25-2007, 05:44 AM   #3
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Any centrefire rifle that doesn't shoot cheap surplus ammo is going to be expensive to plink with.
Start reloading.

I'd go with the .30-30 Marlin, rather than a Winchester, with a 20" barrel.

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Old 05-28-2007, 12:49 PM   #4
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Be more specific as regards what game are you wanting to hunt. There are many types as well as calibers from which to choose.

I could be wrong, but I think that you want a levergun to plink with and having it in a "hunting caliber" would just be a plus. Am I right?

Give us readers the specifics! I have several answers to your questions, including my views on scope mounting on lever actions. You will have to be more forth coming with info.

I could almost write a book on this one.

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Old 08-03-2008, 10:43 PM   #5
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Default Cheap plinker that can hunt?

Is there such a caliber anymore? Ammo prices are so crazy. For years I have only owned rimfires because I only shot at papaer. About one and a half years ago I bought my first centerfire rifle for longer range shooting and immediately started looking at reloading for cost saving. Todays prices are even higher than then. If you pick up reloading than you can choose the caliber you want instead of looking for a cheap factory load suitable for plinking. You can reload rounds with cheap bullets for plinking then reload with more expensive/appropriate bullets for hunting. I bought a lee reloading kit for $70. Components cost about another $60 and now I have a new hobby I love that is directly related to shooting. Reloading can be as expensive as you want it to be, as any hobby, or it can easily be cost effective. I will say initial cost was more than I thought it would be but I always have cheap ammo as long as my brass lasts. Reloads are also as accurate as your own quality control standards. In the end any active plinker today should reload, you won't be disappointed.

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Old 08-04-2008, 01:20 AM   #6
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Get yourself a 22lr lever gun. It will add a hunting rifle to your collection if you want to hunt varmints. Can't beat a 22lr for the cheap or fun factor. You can hunt varmints squirrels, rabbits, gound hogs, woodchucks, rock chucks ect.... with it but no deer or anything. Centerfire is not the be all end all of hunting rifles. There are many times I will unload my 308 bench rifle and my 223 varmint rifle and pull out my two Remington 511's and my Ruger MkII and Beretta Neos and 2 boxes of 550 rounds and a handfull of targets for a range trip. I will sit there and shoot 1" groups at 100 yards with my rifles and if I want some fast action I will set up 4 targets at different ranges and see which pistol I can shoot the fastest and put two in each target the closest with the pistols.

Anyone who says 22lr are not fun has never shot one. If you get the right one like the Marlin Golden 39A it is a very good rifle and very accurate for a lever gun. It is adult sized so you don't have to worry about that. You don't need a scope if you don't want one. I personaly HATE peep sights, for the reason that I have to sit there and second guess myself if the front sight is in the middle. That is just me some people love them. and Palma shoters have to use them.

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Old 08-04-2008, 01:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by battyforgattys View Post
.... Now I have a few questions so bare with me. First of all, what caliber should I get? I would like to use the gun for fun in the off months, but don't want to spend a ton of money on ammo. Also, it would be nice to get some hunting use out of it. I would like a 30-30 for the hunting aspect, but the ammo seems a bit pricey to be shooting pop cans in the other months. I've read a little on the .357 and the .44 magnum being applicable toward hunting. The .44 seems to pack the biggest punch, but am not sure on ammo prices? Would these be affordable rounds to have a little fun with when im not out in the woods and also be useful for west virginia deer?

One last question, is it really necessary to buy a scope for hunting with a lever action? Do a lot of people actually use peep sights in the field? Before I started hunting last year, I exclusively used peep sights for target shooting. I feel a little more confident with peep sights over glass, though I don't think I have ever tried them past 100 yards with more than a .22. I don't figure I will be shooting past 100-150 yards with this gun. Those new lever revolution rounds are tempting also.
Hello there! Personally, I would much prefer the 35 Remington cartridge over the too overrated Winchester 30-30. It'll shoot a little flatter, uses a bigger bullet, and hits a little harder, too.

Good caliber choices in a lever action? Well, in my opinion, that would be 35 Remington, 45-70 Government, and 44 Magnum. I'm going to differ with many and say that any of these calibers fires what is essentially an accurate 80 yard maximum bullet. You can certainly fire these calibers at 100-150 yards; but, there are much better calibers for that task. (You already own one!)

As a matter of fact, I already own the perfect lever action rifle for most of what you want to do - A Winchester 9422M! (22 Magnum) It's a perfect 100 yard shooter that is remarkably accurate and doesn't cost a fortune to feed. My experience with lever action rifles is that all of the better ones are (almost) as accurate as a good bolt action; and, I've proven this to myself and others on numerous occasions! The big disadvantage to the lever action is that it's invariably chambered as a relatively close range, 'deep woods' or, 'brush' gun.

Peep sights are OK for hunting - especially on standing game which is what most hunters end up aiming at and shooting, anyway. Nothing, however, beats a good low power scope - Nothing! I've used 4X scopes on my lever action rifles for more than 40 years, now; and I would prefer it no other way. Perhaps I should, also, tell you that all the mounts on my lever action rifles are the Redfield, 'See-Thru' type; this allows me to freely choose between the scope and iron sights whenever I might want or need to.

Yes, the 44 Magnum hits hard - real hard! I've consistently knocked down heavy steel targets at 150 yards with a 44 Magnum; but, no lever action hits harder than the brutal 45-70 Government! Problem is that the 44 Magnum shoots much flatter and more accurately than the 45-70; consequently, a 44 is easier to use over distance. Distance, however, is not something that you usually go for with a lever action rifle.

You do realize that lever actions require specialized ammunition, right? You can't just go out and buy any bullet in a suitable caliber and use it in a lever action. There are point configuration and pressure issues that must be taken into consideration.

All this being said: If I lived in West Virginia (Where I used to hike and camp.) my first choice for an affordable lever action rifle would be a 22 Magnum. Conversely, my first choice for a hunting lever action would be a 44 Magnum fitted with a nice Leupold 4X scope and a pair of, 'See-Thru' mounts.

(Did you know that you can see, clearly, in every kind of light - except pitch dark - with a Leupold scope? I've often tracked game that was completely invisible to the naked eye through one of my Leupolds!)
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Old 10-13-2008, 05:16 AM   #8
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Contrary to what has been said, you can now get lever guns in just about any standard caliber you want, including some magnum calibers. Browning puts out a very fine BLR that uses a box magazine so you aren't even limited to round nose bullets. They are not the old saddle gun type so famous in the western movies, but they make some fine shooting rifles. I have one in the 223 cal and it is as accurate as most off the shelf bolt rifles. It is available in calibers ranging from the .243 Winchester, 7mm-08, 308 in the short action version and the .270, 30-06, 300WinMag, and others in the long action.

For cheap centerfire levergun shooting, the Marlins and Winchester94s make great saddle guns. The .357 is probably going to be the cheapest centerfire you can plink with, especially if you reload.

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Old 10-14-2008, 02:47 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by G21.45 View Post
Hello there! Personally, I would much prefer the 35 Remington cartridge over the too overrated Winchester 30-30. It'll shoot a little flatter, uses a bigger bullet, and hits a little harder, too.
Um, I don't think so. I don't own a 30-30, but I do own a 35 Rem, and I reload for it, so I understand it pretty well. Remington makes ammo for both chamberings. Here is their information from their ballistic program:

30-30 Winchester:
0 yards: Velocity=2390fps. Drop=-1.5 in. Energy=1902 lb-ft
35 Rem:
0 yards: Velocity=2300fps. Drop=-1.5 in. Energy=1762 lb-ft

30-30 Winchester:
100 yards: Velocity=1974fps. Drop=-3.5 in. Energy=1297 lb-ft
35 Rem:
100 yards: Velocity=1874fps. Drop=-3.75 in. Energy=1169 lb-ft

30-30 Winchester:
200 yards: Velocity=1607fps. Drop=-16.0 in. Energy=860 lb-ft
35 Rem:
200 yards: Velocity=1506fps. Drop=-8.6 in. Energy=755 lb-ft

30-30 Winchester:
300 yards: Velocity=1305fps. Drop=-42.3 in. Energy=567 lb-ft
35 Rem:
300 yards: Velocity=1218fps. Drop=-47.0 in. Energy=494 lb-ft

So, with the same bullet weight, the 30-30 is clearly ballisticly superior.

Now, where the 35 Rem comes into its own, is when you load it with the 200 grain bullet. The typical heavy 30-30 load has a 170 grain bullet. However,
because the 30-30 has more velocity, it's downrange energy is still superior.

The 35 Rem is a great short range game getter. Under 200 yards with the 200 grain bullet, I believe that its total knockdown potential is greater than a factory 170 grain 30-30 load, so you may be right about "hitting harder", even though the energy figures indicate differently. Caliber counts for something. But flatter, it is not.

Good recommendation, though. I like it better than the 30-30, which is why I own one. It hits like a sledge hammer under 200 yards.
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Old 10-24-2008, 08:33 PM   #10
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If your wanting a lever gun for plinking and hunting I would recomand a .357. With it you would be able to plink with .38 SP. ammo which is about the cheapest stuff on the market. With 170 gr. bullets you`ll be able to get abt.1,650 fps with a rifle where you can only get abt 1,100 fps. with a 6 in. barreled revolver. There is a real big difference between a that round between a revolver and a rifle.

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