What lever action???


May 22, 2007, 12:11 PM
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 leverrevolution rounds are tempting also.

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May 22, 2007, 12:26 PM
Do a google search on .30-30 and/or Marlin and you'll find tons of articles. I'm not a hunter myself but I have a high degree of confidence that if I needed meat on the table a Marlin 336 would get the job done. For pistol calibers the Marlin guns are also good though cowboy action shooting has driven the prices up so you may want to look around for one a used Rossi 92 someplace.

May 22, 2007, 12:40 PM
Go check out the Browning BLR. Big range of calibers, including .308, which allows shooting cheaper 7.62 NATO milsurp for plinking, and one close look at the workmanship and quality will have you throwing rocks at any other lever actions. It has a little different look than most traditional levers, and it's not cheap, but it's worth it...

May 22, 2007, 01:09 PM
30-30 hunting rounds are 1/2 the price(or less!) of 44's (and lots of others) of the same quality.. If you reload, everything changes. I own both plus others and prefer the 30-30 to all of them for the simple reason that it just feels good to shoot a legendary round out of a great rifle (Mod 94 pre63)

May 22, 2007, 01:36 PM
30-30 is more expensive then .44mag around here.
30-30 and either the .357 or .44mag would be a good choice!
The .357 will also shoot .38spl so that will save you money hitting cans.
Peeps are the way to go on a lever action, I like the williams with the firesight up front.

May 22, 2007, 01:43 PM
Go check out the Browning BLR. Big range of calibers
I'd never even heard of the BLR...now I want to shoot one in the worst way.

Darn it, how am I supposed to save money if y'all keep doing this to me!

May 22, 2007, 02:04 PM

And here you thought you were done. There's always SOMETHING to spike the interest and SOMETHING that you have to get. I myself want a Winchester model 1895 Lever action in 7.62X54R.

May 22, 2007, 02:21 PM
If you're looking at BLR's I'd suggest looking at Savage 99's as well. The late model ones in .308 go for reasonable prices. I find them far lighter and easier to handle than the BLR, which is somewhat odd and bulky feeling to me.

The biggest advantage a .44 levergoun would have over a .30-30 would be wider variety of bullets and loads, right up to very heavy hardcasts well out of the .30-30's range. The .30-30 tends to like a range of bullets between 120 and 170, with 150 or 170 being by far the most common. OTOH the .30-30 offers some of the most tried and true bullet and load combinations for hunting on the planet. Whether it's a Nosler 170 partition or a classic 150 soft point, you can be assured it's taken a great deal of medium size game and done it well. Some of the newer high-octaine .44 loads for carbines aren't as well tested.

May 22, 2007, 02:42 PM
Yeah but it comes in .243 Winchester!

May 22, 2007, 08:00 PM
I vote for the .357...

May 22, 2007, 08:11 PM
I have one each of the Marlin 336C (.30-30 in blue/walnut) and the Marlin 1894C (.357 in blue/walnut).

I luvs them both. They's purty.

Costs more to plink with the .30-30, and a serious day of plinking requires a recoil pad. My shoulder complains after the first 40 rounds without a pad.

The .357 shoots .38s and thus costs less for plinkage. Wide range of loads available. Quite reasonable for home defense. Next to no recoil with .38 special. Effective for hunting medium game with .357 out to 150 yards. Larger game inside of 100 yards.

Naturally, I recommend both.

Of course, if you really want to go over the top, you could always talk to George Hill about his "Cowboy Assault Rifle (http://www.madogre.com/Interviews/Marlin336CS.htm)" (the Black Marlin). You'll need to scroll down.

May 23, 2007, 02:22 AM
.30-30 is a quintescential hunting round for deer and up to medium sized bear; .357 magnum or .44 magnum make sense if you own revolver(s) in either caliber and then you have a matched system; if you reload, then cost factor gets reduced and volume shooting in any caliber is achievable; if you are seeking a 'traditional' lever action with tube magazine...Marlin (new or used) or Winchester (used) are the way to go; Browning BLR's offer box magazine feeding and the ability to use traditional rifle rounds; Ruger makes a neat carbine that feeds from a rotary mag chambered in .44 magnum; the Ruger is very similar to the old Savage 99's in its basic design and feeding system

I do not currently have any lever action rifles, but I have owned Marlins and a Winchester and I prefer the Marlin for overall design and appearance; kinda wish I had gone back to a Marlin .30-30 instead of 'customizing' my Winchester M70 in .270 :banghead: (I do have the option to shoot 150 gr soft tip round nose in .270 and I have a similar round to a 150 grain .30-30)

May 23, 2007, 08:26 AM

Yes it is: http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/firearms/detail.asp?value=003B&cat_id=034&type_id=013 :evil::neener:

Price is a whopping 951 so subtract roughly 20% off of MSRP and you get 761.00

Enjoy, and clean up the drool. :D

May 23, 2007, 08:40 AM
Since you already have the bolt gun. My thinking is you want the lever gun to be a handy light weight?

I think you will be fine without glass but you are more then likely going to have a buckhorn sight on traditional lever guns but you can get a flip up tang sight added on for the peep.

May 23, 2007, 10:41 AM
Consider the Savage lever guns that had the rotary magazine. they were tight, good looking, and you could load spire tip bullets, since the rounds did not rest primer to tip. '
The model number escapes me. It will be a used model since they are out of production. Schnabel forend.

May 23, 2007, 11:25 AM
wow i got a lot of response with this one, thanks guys. i think i will stick with the 30-30 in a marlin 336. they look nice and seem reasonably priced. im sure one day ill get the smaller plinker when i can afford another.

May 23, 2007, 11:43 AM
Yesterday we had my buddy's old Winchester 94 out for targets. It was his dad's, made in about 1946, and is a 30-30. He has only the iron sights on it, and shoots really well. He doesn't like to take long shots anyway, and doesn't really ever shoot at a deer past about 75 yards. Yesterday he was shooting clay pigeons from about 50 yards with 100% accuracy. It's a quite light gun, which is nice for taking afield for a day. He shot two boxes of ammo with it yesterday, which (I guess) seemed worth it pricewise to him.


May 23, 2007, 12:14 PM
Only one to buy! Get a Henry

Get the best .44 Mag


May 23, 2007, 03:27 PM

Consider paying a little extra for the walnut version with a rubber buttpad.:)

May 23, 2007, 03:29 PM
Marlin and Henry make very good lever action's

May 23, 2007, 03:40 PM
Also, if you want a practice gun and plinker, Marlin's Golden 39A is a world-class takedown .22LR with very similar geometry to the 336, same sights as the 336C and SS. Great gun.

.30-30 is no fun for plinking, anyway, though the rubber buttpad helps. Lever guns tend to have narrower stocks and weigh less than bolties, so the felt recoil is a bit higher than you might expect, at least if you have a hard buttplate! No big deal for hunting; you won't feel it with a deer in your sights. But you don't want to shoot 50 rounds at bowling pins or anything, at least in Summer clothing.

I'd spend the money on a 39A, rather than on a reloading setup for .30-30, which is hardly the world's most expensive or rare round anyway.



I put my money where my mouth is, BTW. I bought one Sunday evening.:D

May 23, 2007, 04:23 PM
.30-30 is no fun for plinking, anyway, though the rubber buttpad helps. Lever guns tend to have narrower stocks and weigh less than bolties, so the felt recoil is a bit higher than you might expect, at least if you have a hard buttplate!

Funny you should say that because I'm pretty recoil sensitive but I don't mind .30-30 from my 336A at all. (Nor do I mind 50-100 rounds from my SKS). Now 4-8 rounds from a .30-06 and I'm done :D

I've looked at a 39A several times but never -quite- decided to get one as I have another .22LR that I like a lot.

May 23, 2007, 04:52 PM
I've looked at a 39A several times but never -quite- decided to get one as I have another .22LR that I like a lot.

What do you currently have and like?:)

The 336A is probably a lot better than the Winchester 94 I last plinked with.

But my .30-06 doesn't bother me at all. It's not light, and has a scope and a thick walnut stock with a nice recoil pad. It does bother me to carry it in the brushy high country here, since it's close to 9 lb. and has a 24" barrel that gets hung up on everything!:D

May 23, 2007, 05:04 PM
What do you currently have and like?
-Marlin 336A (.30-30)
-Rossi 92 (c.1979) in .357 Magnum (mostly used for cowboy action shooting)
Like them both a lot!

Will eventually get a Marlin guide gun in .45-70 for absolutely no good reason :)

The Rossi took a LOT of work to get it running like it does now but that's strictly because I was setting it up for CAS and that's tuning a gun up pretty darned fine.

The Marlin may be the first firearm I've EVER owned that I didn't do any slicking or tuneing to. Worked great right out of the box. Will probably get a replacement trigger from Wild West Guns (http://www.wildwestguns.com/) eventually but for now the stock Marlin trigger is acceptable.

May 23, 2007, 05:06 PM
Oh, I meant the .22LR, though those guns are "on my list" to buy, too.:)

May 23, 2007, 05:13 PM
Oh. My .22LR is a bottom of the barrel Savage 64 that for some inexplicable reason has a damned near perfect trigger and great accuracy. Truth is I got lucky, nothing else to it. Sorry it's not a levergun which is why I didn't go into specifics.

May 23, 2007, 05:39 PM
Sounds like a keeper.

Of course, the 39A is a completely different gun, and a takedown. There's no good reason not to buy it, also. Trust me.:evil:

stan in sc
May 24, 2007, 05:09 AM
I have the Marlin Model 1895 in 45/70.I relly like this rifle and find it very accurate.The recoil is nowhere as bad as people think it is.Much less than a 12 gauge shotgun in fact.


May 24, 2007, 07:03 AM
i started deer hunting with a winny mod. 88 lever in .308, and currently own a 94 in .30/30 (with rubber pad installed). they both beat the crap out of my shoulder in opposition to my .308 700 rem, but i'll vote for the .30/30.

can't go wrong with marlins! love their guns to death and good used ones can be had for not a lot of dough. the 39A's are gorgeous, but PRICEY! :what:

May 24, 2007, 07:52 AM
WRT the 39A's price...

It seemed high until I realized that, whenever I go to the range or plinking with a group, there are 10/22's that cost their owners anywhere from $500 to $1000, maybe even $1500, not counting scope.

The ones for $500 weren't even nice. My new 39A cost less, and it's beautiful.

Compared to a Marlin 60 for $150, a 39A isn't cheap. But among its peers (SA22, 552, 572, etc.), it's not expensive, IMO more appealing though I like those others too, and it's made in USA, too.

May 24, 2007, 09:21 AM
Went and looked last night. Store near me had a new Marlin 39A on the rack
$500.00! WOAH! :what:

Okay, I handled it and you can see/feel the quality and solidness of the gun but for crying out loud it's still a .22 rifle! I mean $610.00 gets me my stainless .45-70 guide gun!

(Disclaimer: Firearms prices in the Northern Virginia area have gone through the roof recently).

Joe Demko
May 24, 2007, 09:58 AM
Get yourself a Savage Model 99. Seek out one with the rotary magazine. I own one in .300 Savage that is my primary hunting arm. I recently acquired another in .308 with the detachable box magazine. It's newer, of course, and in a more easily located cartridge...but it lacks the panache the other has.

May 24, 2007, 03:24 PM

I can shoot a .22 down the street from my house in the city, at an indoor range, for practice, 'til 9 or 10 at night. I can't shoot the big stuff without driving out a ways.

The 39A is built like the centerfires, and it's a takedown. It stands to reason that, if it's made like a 336C, it can't be much cheaper.

Compared to a Marlin 60, it's expensive. Compared to the other guns in its class, it's not expensive. Depends if you have a reason to get an adult .22. It beats the hell out of the 10/22's I see with a rubberized stock, some trigger parts and a heavy barrel stuffed into them. That's also a $500 gun, and not nearly as nice.:)

Depends on what a .22 is worth to you. I've seen some that were $3000 -- not that I would get one, or could at the moment.:)

May 24, 2007, 03:38 PM
I guess since a new 336 can be had for around $350 I was expecting the 39 to be somewhere in that range.

May 24, 2007, 03:42 PM
Not a 336C, with polished steel and walnut, like the 39A has. Well, not around here, anyway.:)

336C is $430-440 new here.

June 5, 2007, 09:10 PM
I have a Winchester Wrangler in 32spl with a 16" barrel. And a marlin 444S ....both are fantastic and no scopes.

June 5, 2007, 09:50 PM
I would have to agree with armed bear! I was reading these posts and deciding what I would share as advice... I am of course a Marlin Finatic.

I was going to suggest a Marlin 336 in 30-30 and get a reloading outfit and have a lot of fun, but armed bear has cleared my train of thought. Go ahead and buy a 336 & 39A and enjoy life! I look over in the gun cabinet and thougt, man that is the best of both worlds isnt it!

by the way with the 30-30 you may also want to check into the new model of Marlin that was designed around the new lever-lution ammo, I found articles pushing 300 yards with that gun and that ammo.

I also used my Marlin 30-30 for varmint hunting. Remington makes ammo called Accelerator, which is a .223 bullet in a teflon sabot in a 30-30 casing. These were specially designed for lever action rifles and they perform beyond expectations! I was grouping 1-3/4" - 2" at 200 yards with these out of my Marlin 336. They do do not do as well out of my winchester 94, but they were still acceptable.

In my opinion the Marlin is the more accurate of the two guns due to the micro groove rifling that is in all Marlins. They have 6 lands and 6 grooves and more twist than the winchesters. I have also taken deer with the accelerator but really would not reccomend that to everyone. They leave the muzzle at around 4000 fps I believe ( they actually leave slower and accelerate...hence the name!) but they are fun.

But anyway Enjoy!

When the time for action has come...the time for preperation has passed!
Abraham Lincoln

June 5, 2007, 10:06 PM
PS you can go to www.remington.com and look at ballistics charts for various calibers and bullet weight and designs, including the accelerator!

Here is also the 336XLR! nice.....................

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