Lever action rifle caliber???

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by NC1760, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. NC1760

    NC1760 New Member

    Hello everybody. I've been considering getting a lever action rifle (currently do not own one... but learn to shoot on a 22lr version as a child).... Strongly leaning toward the 30-30 or 357 models, but I would like to ask the more experienced shooter here about a caliber recommendation (and maybe a specific model/manufacturer if you have a favorite). I would be using it mostly for range firing... but would like to have something for woods trekking and possibly bringing down medium to large sized game (deer/ferrel pigs).

    As always, thank you in advance for the sage advice (again).
  2. masterPsmith

    masterPsmith New Member

    A 30-30 or .44 mag would probably do you just fine. Your caliber choices will be determined by the make and model you decide on.


  3. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Well-Known Member Supporter

    BLR in 308

    Browning lever action in 308.

    Second choice .35 Remington and Hornady Lever Revolution ammo.

    Just my 2 cents.
  4. NC1760

    NC1760 New Member

    You know, I never considered the 308... That might be an option also. Does anyone have any experience with a lever action chambered in 45Colt?

    PS... Nice rifle you got there MasterP. Is that a M1??
  5. alxltd1

    alxltd1 Member

    I have a lever (Marlin) in 45 Colt that I use for Cowboy Action events. However, if I were to recommend a caliber for the usage as you have described I would be inclined to say get a 30-30. Ballistically it will do everything you want and ammo is always plentiful. I also own levers in 44 Mag and 444 Marlin and 45-70. They have specific uses, but as an all around utility round it is hard to beat the 30-30, again for what you plan to use it for. Good luck.

    HOSSFLY New Member

    If you decide on a 30-30 I'd go Winchester or Marlin - Both great :cool:
    BUT if you decide on any pistol cartridge I'd stay with Marlin!
  7. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    There ARE powerful lever action rifles- the BLR in .308, Winchester 71 in .348, etc. However, for use described, agree with the 30-30.

    The most popular deer rifle in the US is the Winchester 94 in 30-30. However, I prefer the second most popular- Marlin 336, in 30-30. The Winchester is now made in an alloy steel that will not blue, so is iron plated, then blued. Means you can not touch up the bluing. The open top action does not lend itself to a scope easily.

    HOSSFLY New Member

    2nd that-
    Mine-DOM 1950 :)

  9. TimKS

    TimKS Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

    The .357 Mag. (either Rossi or Marlin) are nice guns if you happen to have a handgun in the same caliber.....less ammo to keep in stock. Mine shoots the .38 Spl. real well too. :D
  10. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

    This is another personal preference thing.

    I prefer the .44, in the lever action

    short (16-1/4", don't get excited)

    barrel. Goes with my .44 pistol.

    The wonderful thing about lever guns is

    there's such a large selection of calibers to choose from...
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  11. NC1760

    NC1760 New Member

    Tell me about it....:D... That's why I came here. Does anyone here hunt with the 357 version? If so, how did it perform in terms of accuracy and takedown (never hunted with that caliber... I've always considered it a personal defense round myself) ?
  12. Jay

    Jay New Member

    I've been deer hunting with a Marlin 1894 in 44 mag. The deer pretty much stop right there. I've taken 'em out to 165 yards with a 4X scope.... I know, but I'm old.....
  13. Rex in OTZ

    Rex in OTZ Well-Known Member

    Lever Action Calibers

    Browning offers the greatist selection in ther Model 81 series rifles from .223 Rem all the way to .300Win mag
    Savage model 1899/ 99 in all sorts of savage calibers .22HP,.303sav, 250-3000, .300 as well as .243, .308, .22-250, 264win? and couple others I cant recall....think they even had a 410 shotgun barrel for the swappy barrel model.
    Seen the Ruger 96 lever in .22lr and .22mag and .44mag all rotary mag fed.
    winchester levers

    Just last Fall I saw on the local gunshop rack a new Rossi 92 in 454casull, I suspect they also come in 460 Ruger and .50 S&W
    Marlin 63 in .30carbine, 256Win
    32 H&R mag (1980's era marlins)
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  14. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

    I'd go with the 30-30 Winchester but the Marlin is ok I guess.
  15. miles_fan

    miles_fan New Member

    I just bought the Marlin 1894css in 357. I cannot wait to clear my waiting period and get to the range. Any suggestion for ammo other than Hornaday Leverevolution is greatly appreciated (I have lots of that on order).
  16. JonM

    JonM Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    other than the leverelution stuff any flatpoint ammo will work
  17. Triumphman

    Triumphman Well-Known Member

    There's so many choices in Lever Actions out there, and all of them have a price to pay. Highest being either the Browning BRL or the Savage 99 which have some great calibers in long or short action type ammo. Next comes the newer Marlins/Winchesters with their 358, 444, 450 and some other heavy shoulder thumpers. This is not even counting the 45-70 that has been around for over 100yrs. The most versatile would be the old stand-bys and that would be Marlin/Winchester/Rossi/Mossberg/Glenfield in the ever popular 30-30, 44Mag or 357. I own a WesternField model 740 in 30-30 which is a Marlin through and through, but was made for Montgomery Wards in 1965 and it's a great shooter and also came with a walnut stock, whereas most store brands of either Marlin or Winchester came with a hardwood stock in birch and stained to look like walnut. I also own a Marlin 44MAG that's a little shoulder thumper with it's heaver 240grain bullet. Also don't forget to look at older sales of Marlin or Winchesters in some store brands like JC Penny, WesternAuto, Wards, Sears, Coast to Coast, and lots of other non-existant stores from long ago. Remember that if it ejects from the receivers side, it's a Marlin. If it ejects from the top, it's a Winchester. Mossberg 30-30's eject from the side like Marlins do, BUT when you "Cock the Lever", you'll find that the trigger will travel with the lever. While being good rifles, they don't have the parts availability that a Marlin/Winchester(Clones) will have. Most of the time you'll also find that the older rifles work better than the newer ones, due to the pride that the Manufacturer's Employees put into the gun, which they don't seem to be doing nowadays. You'll also find that a good "USED" 357 or 44Mag pistol cartridge rifle will have a "higher premium" cost, than a standard 30-30 will. If you find a Marlin with a "JM" stamp on left side of barrel, it will be good, BUT ONLY if serial number shows it to be from 2006 or older. If the Marlin has a "REP" on right side of barrel, it's now made by Remington and has lots of faults, feed issues, barrel problems, iron sights canted off, and other issues. There really is NO MARLIN's made after 2007 after Remington bought them out.
  18. cuate

    cuate New Member

    Lever Action Rifles

    I have several which include a Winchester Mod. 1895 in 30-06 which was Dad's. And a Winchester Trapper's model 30-30, A Marlin in .357 Magnum,
    and the one which is not a gun safe queen, a Winchester Mod. 92 in .45LC and which I love to shoot because it is the same caliber of my 1858 New Army
    converted to .45LC... I used to shoot the Mod. '92 in Cowboy Action meets,
    Now just for fun.
  19. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Well-Known Member

    If you want a pistol cartridge,and a nicer higher end rifle,look at Uberti.
    They make some very fine copy's of the 1860 Henry,1866 Yellowboy,1873 Winchester and others.

    I really like my 1873- 45 Colt,and I also have a Winchester 94- 44 Mag,and an old Rossi 38/357 carbine.

    A. Uberti Firearms
  20. willfully armed

    willfully armed New Member

    I had a Winchester in 44RM way back when, but the novelty wore off pretty quickly.

    I'm strictly Marlin now.

    I keep a 1978 39A 22lr, 1976 336 30-30 and a 1964 336 35Rem.

    35 rem gets my vote.