I guess it would depend on the caliber, but lot of folks will tell you the 30/30 has taken more deer than any other round - often in a Winchester or Marlin. There is a lever action for just about any civilian purpose (there are even a few military examples).
30/30=30 gr smokeless powder not black powder.Lever guns are for the most part limited by their design to relatively low pressure rifle rounds like the .30-30 (a 19th century blackpowder cartridge), handgun cartridges, and of course .22 rimfire. There are some exceptions, notably the Browning BLR, which essentialy adapts a modern semi-auto action design to be manually operated by an underlever, and similarly the now out of production Winchester Model 88, both of which could handle modern, high-pressure rifle rounds. Tubular magazines common to most older lever gun designs also limit bullet design, requiring flat nosed projectiles that won't set off a bullet/primer impact chain reaction in the magazine. (Hornady has some polymer tipped bullets that get around this problem, and allow more ballistically efficient bullet designs.) There are also inherent accuracy challenges with most designs, owing to structural integrity, trigger complexity, scope mounting problems, and other issues too lengthy to discuss in this post. On the other hand, the handy little traditional carbines like the Winchester 94, Marlin 336, and such are delightful to carry, fun to shoot, and have an intangible nostalgic value. And there's no denying that the little carbines, while obsolete by modern standards, still account for truckloads of deer and other medium size game in the 21st century.
the title is not accurate but where have you been most guns after the civil war were lever acton(not all)the henry/73/76/86/93/94/win plus marlin and spencer and others.there were few bolt guns and not popular.the 88 german started the bolt guns.(1888).short history not complete.
My Winchester 94 30-30 carbine has been hunted probably 10 times as much as my scoped Remington 30-06. Not because it is a "better" gun, but because it is just too darned fun! Ya gotta do a little John Wayne strut when you carry the lever as well
I've been thinking about getting a Henry for my boy. He is only 5 right now, so I might wait another year or 2, but he does love to shoot the pellet and bb guns!I love my Henry "Golden Boy" for shooting squeeks.