Trying to decide, help with lever actions.

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by Hunterdan, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. Hunterdan

    Hunterdan New Member

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    I've pretty much decided my next rifle will be a lever gun. Now I'm trying to decide which caliber. I will say I've always wanted a 45-70, but don't want the cost of factory ammo to keep me from shooting it. I will be using it for general shooting and hunting a thick swampy area from a tree stand. Shots would generally be under 100 yards, with an occasional 150 yarder on deer. Would I better suited to a 357, 44, or 45 colt? I've got a ruger super blackhawk in 44 mag to use for hunting, but also a SAA clone in 357. Also any opinions on rifles? I would like something I can mount a forward mounted scope on as well. Thanks for any help.

    Dan
     
  2. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

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    A Marlin lever gun in 45-70 would be an excellent choice. I would also consider a Browning Lever Rifle (BLR) in 308.
     

  3. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

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    Factory ammo and 150 yard range. Just buy a older used 336 in 30-30 and go hunting. None of your choices bust brush ether. I love the short handgun cartidges but if you want a solid hunter get a 30-30. Not sure about the forward scopes ether. been hunting in heavy swamps and creek bottoms and allways used a 308 bolt rifle and enought scope, 2.5-10 to pick a shot thru the branchs instead of hopeing theres nothing in the way that a scout scope can't pick up.

    http://www.xssights.com/index.php?nID=scopemounts&cID=Scope Mounts&pID=scopemounts
     
  4. Dearhunter

    Dearhunter Supporting Member Supporter

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    I have and use a Marlin 35 , 336 for deer hunting since 1970. It has never let me down. It is highly accurate and will take down any big game in North America. But, I only use it for game shoots up to 150 yards.
     
  5. onenut58

    onenut58 New Member

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    There are so many good choices in lever guns for the type hunting you describe. All the calibers mentioned would be a good choice. Im not sure of the 357 magnum. I have no experience with them in a rifle and dont know any one who does so I will leave that to those who do. But as far as ammo goes and price. I would go with a 30-30. The marlin 336 os a geat choice and so is a model 94 winchester. If your shooting skills require a scope then the marlin is the better choice of the two.
    There are also other brands and models and they are equal in quality but cost more. Henry and browning being two examples.I didnt see the marlin mentioned in 35 remington and they are great guns also for what you describe. But I say go for a 30-30 because of ammo being available every where and at reasonable prices.
    Mosseburg is building a lever gun that I have no personal experience with but hear they are great guns to.
    If you choose a caliber to go with you hand gun calibers I would go with a marlin in 44 magnum personaly. About the same balistics as a 30-30 and punch a larger hole with a heavier bullet.
     
  6. Hunterdan

    Hunterdan New Member

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    I should have mentioned my current only hunting rifle is a ruger 77 in 30-06. I'm not looking to bust through any brush, just saying that because of the thickness shots will be limited. Mostly to about 75 yards or less. The 30-30 hasn't crossed my mind since I already have a 336 in 35 rem available to me. I would prefer the 35 over the 30-30. I guess I'm trying to justify buying something I've always wanted. Either the 45-70 or 357/44. The 45-70 is something that I look at and just envision shooting and having a ton of fun with. Same with the 44 mag. I've never shot any of the mentioned calibers in a rifle, but I know the 357 would have very minimal recoil, with the 44 being noticeable similar to the 35 rem. Not sure how the 45-70 would feel. I don't mind getting thumped a little and with a good recoil pad I'm sure I wouldn't mind the pain.
     
  7. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    I cant think of a better round than a 45-70. Get a nice little rcbs single stage and ammo isnt an issue
     
  8. hiwall

    hiwall Active Member

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    If you want it for hunting, I would not get a 357 or 45 Colt. I've shot many of the lever 45-70's, it is a great caliber. Like everyone says the 30-30 is most likely the most practical one(cost wise).
     
  9. Hunterdan

    Hunterdan New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. I know 30-30 would probably be the most practical, but it isn't on my list of must haves or wants. Atleast right now its not. So it looks like out of the calibers mentioned 44 mag and 45-70 seem to be the consensus. I wouldn't be opposed to reloading, as it is something I want to get into anyway. Again, thanks for all the input.

    Dan
     
  10. JimRau

    JimRau Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hard to believe but a 357 Marlin SS used just sold for $2,225 on Gun Broker!!!:eek: The 44 Mags are not quite as expensive, but they are up there.
    The blued ones for $700 to $900!
    If you want a good John Wayne Assault Rifle get a Marlin 336 in 30-30! Both the rifle and the ammo are 'affordable'!:D
     
  11. Hunterdan

    Hunterdan New Member

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    That's one of the reasons I'm open to other manufacturers. A few years ago the only logical answer was marlin, but recent quality issues and some other companies stepping up their game have me looking elsewhere. But I don't want to spend more than $500-600 on a good solid gun that might get used hard and carried through some nasty stuff.
     
  12. onenut58

    onenut58 New Member

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    Well sounds like you have it covered from what you need in a lever already.But just want another gun. Nothing wrong with that. The 45-70 pretty much speaks for itself having been around many years and in recent years rifles built a little beefier can handle some more powerful loads.
    I would go with a 45-70 personaly since it leaves behind a 35 remington or a 44 magnum in performance. Should you decide to go hunt elk in large bear territory etc you have a caliber that will put a serious hurting on any thing on most of the planet but dont tear meat up for hunting smaller game.
     
  13. HockaLouis

    HockaLouis New Member

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    That BLR in .308 is a fairly sweet (albeit expensive) all-around rifle, especially with take-down capability, a removeable box magazine (5 rounds in .308 I believe), and the Scout Scope Mount they have for it. Cheap and universal cartridge in North America.

    Otherwise, the .30-30 in some other gun I'd say.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
  14. fmj

    fmj New Member

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    I've been drooling on a Henry Big Boy in .44 mag for a while now. Its purpose is the same as you describe. Deer hunting thickets. I live in a PCR state so the dirty tirdy and 308 are not options...altho i have .35 rems in pump action and 30-06 in semi.

    It may come home to roost this spring....but with all the hoopla right now...i may end up with a couple lowers, some threaded barrels and 30 rd mags....
     
  15. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Winchester or marlin in .30-30.
     
  16. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    Well if you already have a .30-06 for hunting and there is a 336 available to you in .35 Rem and you admit you are really just looking for justification. Don't worry about what we think a d pick up what you want. A .44 would make a mice companion for the handgun you already have.

    For thick swampy woods hunting I like the handiness of the 336 but I opted for .30-30 because its enough gun, ammo is affordable, easy to find and not punishing to shoot.

    Like I said though, sometimes it's just about what you want.
     
  17. Hunterdan

    Hunterdan New Member

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    Yeah, I guess its more about something I really want. Not sure if I should look for the Marlin, or if the new Rossi would be just as good at a slightly less expensive price point. I'm leaning towards finding an older Marlin since my family has always been a Marlin family.
     
  18. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No No No!!!! Gert the Marlin.
     
  19. Hunterdan

    Hunterdan New Member

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    I've got a line on a marlin 45-70 that I may jump on if the price is right.
     
  20. fmj

    fmj New Member

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    IMHO regardless of Cal.....go AMERICAN or GO HOME!

    A.k.a. Henry, marlin...NO rossi!