Best lever action rifle?


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Tenn870
March 19, 2010, 12:15 AM
I have that insatiable itch to get another gun, I have been looking at lever action rifles, primarily the winchester 94 and mossberg 464, but I need some other opinions.

What, to your experience, has the best reliability, accuracy, and price? Oh, and I want one that is a side-loader, not too crazy bout the marlins but I don't know much about them.

What is the best cartridge to get it in (if there are choices) ... 30-30??

I am new to lever action rifles and need help!

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Ridgerunner665
March 19, 2010, 12:20 AM
Do some more research on the Marlins...they are very reliable (the 336 and 1895 are both damn near bulletproof), accurate and affordable.

The only reason I left out the Marlin 1894 is the "Marlin jam" issue...the 1894 is a fine rifle, but the Marlin jam does happen sometimes in the 1894's.

Calibers...I like the 45-70 myself, but if I had to pick another caliber it would be the 35 Remington.

wyocarp
March 19, 2010, 12:22 AM
What's wrong with Marlins? I would purchase a Marlin over either a Mossberg or a Winchester lever gun.

luckyshotbrooks
March 19, 2010, 12:25 AM
Go for a marlin. I have a marlin that was my grandpa's, then my dads, and now mine. I have never seen such a accruate rifle and talk about a tack driver!!!

ECVMatt
March 19, 2010, 12:29 AM
I have Winchesters and Marlins. I would go with the Marlin. It is just a better gun and more accurate than the Winchesters. I know there are some great Winny's out there that can shot some super groups, but across the board my Marlins out shot them.

The 464 is a good gun, but with the 336 being available and cheap why try for something new and somewhat unproven?

I would suggest going to the gunstore and trying the Marlin and the 464 to see which one you prefer.

JEB
March 19, 2010, 12:32 AM
a win '94 is nice and thin and light which i like. but if you ever want to put a scope on it i would go with the marlin. i own a marlin 336 in 30-30 and when using winchester 170 grn. rounds it will put down one crazy tight pattern at 100 yards. on a good day with a good rest i have got 3 rounds in just less than an inch. i dont have any experience with the mossbergs but would strongly reccomend the marlin 336.

skiking
March 19, 2010, 12:43 AM
I would go with a Winchester 94 as long as you get one that doesn't have the cross bolt saftey. The Marlins are good guns, but I just can't warm up to them.

esheato
March 19, 2010, 01:18 AM
I bought the Win 94 initially...the quintessential lever gun. Shot it a little bit but it wasn't anything special. Eventually sold it for what I had in it.

Ran across a good deal on an 1895 in .45-70......absolutely freaking love it! In fact, I've got two now. Wouldn't trade 'em for a truckload of Winchesters.

Ed

Zebraranger
March 19, 2010, 01:58 AM
Definitely Marlin 1895M, tough as nails but yet a smooth refined very reliable lever action. Mine pictured is a .450 Marlin.
http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb204/zebraranger/Collection/DSC04268-1.jpg
http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb204/zebraranger/Collection/DSC04490-1.jpg

Deaf Smith
March 19, 2010, 02:31 AM
Marlin 'Texan' 18" barrel 30/30 is it. But then, I'm a biased Texican who got his first 5 deer with that rifle!

Oregun89
March 19, 2010, 02:45 AM
Buy a Marlin and you'll be happy.

Hers my 1895XLR
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss299/geokeoki/DSCN0194.jpg

But if I were buying another Lever right now, I would choose this beauty...
http://i585.photobucket.com/albums/ss299/geokeoki/photo_1895SBL.jpg
Then again, you're brand spankin' new to levers, so you may not be worthy of such a cool gun. :D

oldfool
March 19, 2010, 03:23 AM
I like 'em all

Marlin and LSI/Rossi and Henry and Browning and Winchester and Savage, etc.
although, alas, I do not own them all (only five)
"best" depends on the "feel & fit" individual preferences
various flavors come in just about every popular caliber there is

the Browning BLR is my nominee for "accuracy expectations", essentially a bolt action rifle with a lever, shoots pointy bullets you know (uses a magazine, not side loading).. similar to the old Savage 99
easily scoped (as is the Marlin) if so inclined

"woobie wars" aside, the other classic lever actions tend to be at an inherent design disadvantage re: accuracy, sensitive to barrel bands an what not
(though can be free-floated and all that if put serious effort into it)

for "to-die-for" factor... a mint Browning '92 in 357 would make my day
about as commonly found as hen's teeth, though

Nematocyst
March 19, 2010, 03:24 AM
Well, the Mossberg is getting at least some good reviews (http://www.shootingtimes.com/longgun_reviews/ST_mossbergmodel464_200806/index.html).

But for my opinion, click on the first "levers" in my sig line ...
... which will take you to one of the longest running
threads on THR, and it's not about a Mossberg. ;)

mgh
March 19, 2010, 04:34 AM
I've got a Marlin 1894 and a Winchester 1894, I prefer the Marlin

vaupet
March 19, 2010, 04:51 AM
I like my Marlins (336 in 30/30 and 39a in 22lr) and am considering the latest 336 in 30/30 with bigloop lever and 18" barrel.

If you look at the two biggest threads right here (the 336 club and the 39 club) you see wath these rifles mean to "society"

But hey, you should try to do some shooting with the models you like, just to feel the "fit" (for instance, I have huge hands and in the straight stock versions, the hammer touches my hand wereas the pistol grip is just perfect for me)

have fun, be safe

peter

murdoc rose
March 19, 2010, 05:32 AM
Didn't even know mossberg made a lever, anyway +1 for a marlin in 30-30 or 45-70. Nothing wrong with the Winchester just would rather have a marlin. model 94s do tend to be lighter than marlins but not enough for it to be an issue. Looks like a little of everyone has made a lever at one time or another.

76shuvlinoff
March 19, 2010, 06:02 AM
The only Winchester-ish lever I have is a pretty old Ted Williams labeled version. For one reason or another that is probably not the same thing but I also have an 77 1894c Marlin and a 79 39A. Not a lever but I also have a good old Marlin 60 plinker. The Marlins just feel, fit, operate and shoot well for me.

Abel
March 19, 2010, 07:07 AM
I like both the Marlin & the Winchester. But, across the board, Marlin makes a better lever action. Winchester 94's made before 1964 are generally considered high quality, but the years after that are hit & miss. Marlin, to my knowledge, has only experienced one hiccup in QC, and that was 2008-2009 when they were initially bought out by Remington. They have since fixed those issues I think.

A Marlin 336 has come in at least a dozen configurations since 1948, and all of them are sweet. I have a 336C in 35Rem. that was made in 1980. It is a real joy to shoot. I love a 200 grain 35 caliber bullet on deer. I also have shot deer with my dad's 336RC in 30-30, and I found that caliber to be more than adequate. I recently picked up a Marlin 30TK that is in 30-30, and it has an 18.5" barrel instead of the standard 20". Marlin also made a few models for Western Auto & under the Glenfield name...maybe even a Sears.

If I had to pick between the three that you are looking at, I'd go Marlin. You can take them apart very easy, scopes mount easy, & they come in several calibers/configurations. To me, they look better than a 94...by a smidge.

eastbank
March 19, 2010, 07:56 AM
here is one of the nicest carrying big bore rifles ever made,a win timber carbine in 444 marlin. its light,short and has enough power for all animals in the u.s.a. i have marlins and like them,except for their bulkyness. i have written marlin in the past to ask for a more trim rifle( the cowboy rifles are nice and trim and i own three). eastbank.

Daveboone
March 19, 2010, 08:00 AM
Willl you be hunting with the gun, doing "shoots", plinking, or what? If hunting, what will you hunt?
I am a die hard traditionalist, so I love the Winchester 94, or one of its configurations, and own two. That said, I agree the Marlin is a stronger design, but heavier. I love the way the Wiinchester carries, and I leave the gun in its open sighted configuratin (with the addition of aperture sights). The Marlin is easily scoped, but it ruins its fine carrieability. (such a word?) for fun plinking, the Henry is a well made fun gun in .38, .22 or whatever. (For a .22 though, the Marlin 39A reigns supreme as king of .22s in any confuguration).

Quoheleth
March 19, 2010, 08:01 AM
I think the Marlin 336 is an excellent gun.

.30-30 is a fine short-to-medium range deer-size cartridge. With a scope and good ammo, you may be able to stretch to a 150 yard shot.

If you want longer range or better performance, look into the Marlins with their Leverevolution technology - you get a SOLID 150+ yard rifle.

Or, even more, look at their rifle chambered in .308 Marlin. Yeah, it's a gimmic round - it basically emulates the .308 Winchester but in a rimmed case and with polymer-tipped bullets. But, hey - if you can get .308 Win performance out of a lever gun...it's a win/win. (I think there's a pun in there somewhere...)

edit to add: If you shoot revolvers - specifically .38/.357, /44 Spcl./44 Mag, or .45 Colt - there are some nice repro lever guns out there that would let you shoot the same loads out of it as your revolver. I believe Yuma is making one as is Henry. Price is a little steeper than a .30-30, but you make up for it in the smile factor, I hear.

Q

hogshead
March 19, 2010, 08:03 AM
Marlin 336 35 rem. nuff said.

Abel
March 19, 2010, 08:07 AM
A 30-30 is a solid 150 yard gun without rubber-tipped Hornady bullets. ;)

jmortimer
March 19, 2010, 09:25 AM
I like all the Henry rifles and the new .30-30 looks good as well.

ECVMatt
March 19, 2010, 09:25 AM
This one is coming home with me soon....

http://www.rrarms.com/cat_images/G336BL.JPG

It is the new 18" model with a big loop. They are on sale here local for 480.

Old Time Hunter
March 19, 2010, 09:37 AM
here is one of the nicest carrying big bore rifles ever made,a win timber carbine in 444 marlin. its light,short and has enough power for all animals in the u.s.a. i have marlins and like them,except for their bulkyness. i have written marlin in the past to ask for a more trim rifle( the cowboy rifles are nice and trim and i own three). eastbank.
Eastbank, I absolutely agree with you...the Timber Carbine combines all the positive attributes of the lever gun into one package, I too especially appreciate it chambered in .444. Of course I personally would not put a scope on mine. Lost count of how many leverguns I currently own, some where around fifty to sixty, Marlins, Winchesters, Savage, Browning, EMF, Uberti's, and a couple off brands. Use 'em all for various activities, but for hunting it seems that I lean towards the Winchesters because for ME, they are quicker to shoulder and easier to carry all day long. Before my Timber Carbines came along, my primary woods gun was a '94 Trapper chambered in .44 Mag, that one has taken 13 Whitetail, one Black Bear, and one Bull Elk up in the Bitter Roots dwon by the Clark Fork. Got a Moose up in Quebec with a Glenfield 30a(Marlin copy) chambered for .30-30 too. I find the Marlin's are little more clunky, not as streamlined and handy...that's why it doesn't bother me to put optical enhancers on my Marlins.

Oic0
March 19, 2010, 09:55 AM
Marlin 1894 in .357 for a plinker / medium game gun (out to ~150 yards with the proper shells)
Marlin 336, 30-30 for a dedicated medium game gun out to ~200 yards
Rossi M92 clones if you need a compact light kick in the pants gun (they make a .454 casull that comes close to 45-70 in an M92!)
Then of course it goes up from there but those are the only ones I'm familiar with since we just have white tail at short ranges down here.

Geno
March 19, 2010, 10:06 AM
I like both the Winchester and the Marlin. Check both to see what fits best. Depending on what, and where you will hunt, I suggest looking into the three best rounds ever devised: .30-30 Win, .444 Marlin or a .45-70 Gov't.

Geno

wyohome
March 19, 2010, 10:14 AM
Model 88, .308. It was my father's rifle, shoots 1"+ groups.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y156/Deaver/IMGP1912.jpg

smokeyandthebandit05
March 19, 2010, 10:42 AM
I love my Marlin 336. Im actually thinking of buying one in a different caliber but dont know which yet...:evil:

Float Pilot
March 19, 2010, 12:47 PM
The original Winchester Model 71 in 348 Winchester.
Followed by the Model 86 Winchester in 45-70.

* the M-71 was an improved and beefed up M-86 action

jimmyraythomason
March 19, 2010, 12:49 PM
The best levergun for my money is the Marlin 1894 in .44 Remington magnum.

Charshooter
March 19, 2010, 01:42 PM
That is my close cover rifle choose! The Marlin in 44 magnum. I have two, the 1894 very clean, gold trigger and more rare rough gun on the 336 action and that is my hunting rifle. Both are great, I just like the 336 gold trigger most.

I looked up all model years, the came from 1972 to 1980.

jimmyraythomason
March 19, 2010, 01:47 PM
My Marlin 1894 .44 has a gold trigger and gold saddle ring. It was supposedly from 1971 though I bought it in 1972.

Old Time Hunter
March 19, 2010, 03:14 PM
Do Browning's count?

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g48/OTH_2006/1886Browning021.jpg
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g48/OTH_2006/TheShooterShop082406017.jpg

1886 and M71

Tenn870
March 21, 2010, 12:31 PM
ECVmatt, is that a marlin? that is a beautiful gun and its simple and cheap which I like.

haha, old time hunter, yes they do count and that looks like a nice gun too.

Tommygunn
March 21, 2010, 01:17 PM
Do Brownings count???????????????????????????


Ask me again when I get the drool out of my keyboard .. . . . . . . . .

Maverick223
March 21, 2010, 01:29 PM
Right now, for me, it is the Winchester (or Browning) 1895. One of the most peculiar lever rifles made, but a interesting action that will accommodate powerful cartridges such as the .30-06 amongst others. It looks like a grown-up version of the Winchester 1894, and it doesn't hurt that it was the rifle used by the Teddy's Rough Riders (in .30-40Krag) and Mr. Roosevelt's chosen "lion medicine" rifle (in .405Win.). I should have one here by the end of next week. :D

...however, with your requirements (side loader) I would lean towards a Marlin 1895SBL, chambered for the venerable old .45-70Govt., one of these will follow me home soon. What can I say, 1895 was a good year.

:)

cleardiddion
March 21, 2010, 01:35 PM
I can't find anything wrong with a pre-safety Winny 1894 with Lyman tang mounted peep sights.

dan3
March 21, 2010, 02:48 PM
I would suggest Marlins - you have a great selection depending on what you want to use it for: Model 336 in .30-30 and .35 Rem, Model 1895 in .45-70 (my favorite), or for small game & fun, the model 39a in .22 LR. They all are well made, reliable, strong, and accurate. Also very versatile - plinking, hunting, home protection, - they have even been "Bubba"d into a CAW (Cowboy Assault Weapon) - big loop,ammo butt cuff, scout rail, flashlight rail attachments, painted black - you name it!!

win71
March 21, 2010, 04:15 PM
The original Winchester Model 71 in 348 Winchester.
Especially when loaded with 250 gr. bullets........................

natman
March 21, 2010, 04:51 PM
The original Winchester Model 71 in 348 Winchester.
Followed by the Model 86 Winchester in 45-70.

* the M-71 was an improved and beefed up M-86 action
If the question were "What's the best lever action rifle ever made?", I'd be right with you guys. The 71 has a wonderfully smooth action, the stock is designed so it handles like a fine shotgun and it has plenty of power. It is also, IMHO, the best looking rifle ever made.

However, the OP wants to get his first lever action. I strongly suspect that the $3 per round ammo cost, the four figure cost of Model 71s and the recoil of the 348 are going to rule it out for him.

I'd suggest a Marlin 336 in 30-30 as a more appropriate starting point.

Abel
March 21, 2010, 05:22 PM
I'd suggest a Marlin 336 in 30-30 as a more appropriate starting point.

...And a good stopping point. The 336 is the Alpha & the Omega, the beginning and the end. Look no further. :fire: ;) :evil:

Maverick223
March 21, 2010, 06:02 PM
The 336 is the Alpha & the Omega, the beginning and the end. Look no further.:scrutiny: The 336 is a great rifle...but, what if you need to knock down big stuff?

Abel
March 21, 2010, 06:20 PM
Mav, I mean as a lever action that fulfills the requirements of the OP. I'm jus' funnin' anyhow...I already answered the OP on pg1. But if you need to smack sum'n big, there's always the 1895!

Maverick223
March 21, 2010, 06:28 PM
I mean as a lever action that fulfills the requirements of the OP.I can agree with that. Isn't the Α & Ω though...only the beginning. ;)

SwampWolf
March 22, 2010, 01:53 AM
I'm buying what Float Pilot is selling. And, if the cost of ammunition is an over-riding factor factor, go with an 1886 Light Weight carbine repo, chambered in .45-70. You won't find a smoother, better handling rifle, suited as well for moose and elk as it is for whitetail and black bear.

paintballdude902
March 22, 2010, 02:20 AM
marlin 1895 in .45-70. easy ammo to find all over the country and very reliable. but to top it off its enough caliber to hunt any ammo in north america and i wouldnt feel out gunned for anything except elephant rhino and cape buffalo. even those i think you would have enough gun

or a winchester 1895 in .30-06 or .405win .405 is a decent round and we all know the .30-06 is proven.

hmm 1895 musta been a good year

Maverick223
March 22, 2010, 02:32 AM
but to top it off its enough caliber to hunt any ammo in north americaYou sure need to ensure that you have enough cartridge for that big ammo hunt. :p

hmm 1895 musta been a good yearRead post No. 38. :neener:

Sav .250
March 22, 2010, 07:49 AM
Looks of folks like a Marlin,336. they are a fine lever and will give you years of service.
How bout a Savage 99? Lots of different cals to chose from. That is if you can find one.
Not to sound nasty but "you" need to do some more home work on the subject. :)

Abel
March 22, 2010, 07:51 AM
Man, I was hoping for a little more info on the Browning. Not to hijack the thread but that was going to be the next purchase for me is a BLR in .308.

Start a thread of your own. :eek:

Maverick223
March 22, 2010, 10:37 AM
How bout a Savage 99?Great rifle, but I always thought they were butt ugly. http://forums.nitroexpress.com/images/graemlins/smilies/general/dunno.gif

Tenn870
March 22, 2010, 04:37 PM
that savage may be one of the ugliest guns I have ever seen

Calibre44
March 22, 2010, 05:15 PM
Winchester 94 Trails End in .44 Mag (one of the last off the production line) - safety on the tang. I just love everything about it except maybe the crescent butt which tends to 'pinch in' on full loads - still the pain is worth it!:)
http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg230/woodsy_2008/Guns/misc4202-1.jpg

1895ss
March 22, 2010, 07:37 PM
Tenn870, I would take a Marlin over any Winchester, Browning, Mossberg etc. Pick up a Winchester for example, and work the lever and then pick up a Marlin and do the same. The Marlin action is so much smoother and isn't sloppy like a Winchester. I have 3 Marlin levers, a model 1895 in 45-70 and a model 336 RC in .35 rem and a model 39a 22rimfire and out of all my other rifles, Remington, Winchester etc, in bolt action, pump and a Browning lever, the Marlins are by far my favorite. I have also found the Marlins to be every bit/more accurate as any other make. JMHO

Abel
March 22, 2010, 10:13 PM
I have also found the Marlins to be every bit/more accurate as any other make.

Amen!

wrs840
March 24, 2010, 08:47 PM
I have and love a pre-safety 336 in .35 Rem, but reading this thread, I get the impression the OP wants a traditional "cowboy-look" to his lever-purchase. The 336, wonderful as it is, doesn't do that, unless he's looking for something high-dollar and/or collectable. A pre-64 Winchester 94 I would also put in that category of "too-nice-for-a-pasture-truck rifle".

That's where the Mossberg 464 comes in. I bought four new in October of 2008 for $350 each. One for Dad, one for my brother, I kept the two that had consecutive serial numbers :). They're good rifles that I don't mind using and carrying in a window rack of a pickup or leaning-up behind the seat of a cab-tractor. They're a little stiff-cycling for the first 200 rounds or so, but that goes away. I don't like the tang-doohickey that you must depress with the lever before it will fire, but you get used to it.

So... If you want a utility-lever that's not a crossbolt 336 or 94, or something that's really too nice to beat-up on the farm, the 464 is a good choice.

Les

igordon81
March 24, 2010, 08:58 PM
It breaks my heart to hear people call the Savage "ugly". The Model 99 is one of the finest lever guns around. Partnered with the .300 Savage, the list of things that gun can't do is short.

Maverick223
March 24, 2010, 11:26 PM
It breaks my heart to hear people call the Savage "ugly".In my defense I did say it was a great rifle...just not great looking. http://forums.nitroexpress.com/images/graemlins/smilies/general/dunno.gif

fydler
May 8, 2010, 02:16 AM
Well, fellows, I am certainly no "expert", but I own and shoot several kinds of lever-guns. I guess I would have to say the Winchester 88 is the prettiest, but it has one of the worst trigger pulls on any rifle. I do like it well enough to put a custom Turkish walnut stock on my .308 WCF. But when I go coyote hunting, I reach for an old Savage 99 take-down in .250-3000. When I go deer hunting in the brush, I reach for a Marlin 336-SC in .35 Remington. And when I need to stop something in it's tracks, I reach for my Marlin 1895 in .45-70! Heck, they're all GREAT rifles, and just like single-malt Scotch, each one has it's own taste and beauty!

gunsandreligion
May 8, 2010, 09:52 AM
It breaks my heart to hear people call the Savage "ugly".its not ugly, the lever just makes it look a little off balance without a tube or a hammer.

aka108
May 8, 2010, 10:03 AM
My Son owns a Savage 99. I think it's beautiful and the rotary mag is the cat's rear end.

pmeisel
May 8, 2010, 12:40 PM
Because of different applications, there is no "best" -- but there are many great choices.

For hunting big stuff in close country, hard to beat a Marlin 1895 in one of its several versions.

For deer-size and smaller game 150 yds and in, or paper punching -- 30/30 -- in one of several. The Marlin 336 (several versions) are great, some people like Winchester 94s but that's only available used so you have to know about used gun shopping...

And I have to say I really like the looks of the Mossberg 464. I am really seriously thinking of buying one.

Vern Humphrey
May 8, 2010, 12:56 PM
Find a good used 99 Savage in .300 Savage or .308 Winchester.

hardluk1
May 8, 2010, 06:35 PM
Our local indoor range has a octigon barreled 303 rifle version of the savage 99 for sale. Nice but well worn finish and a price of 750 with 2 box's of ammo. I would love to have it but not at that price.

Vern Humphrey
May 8, 2010, 06:40 PM
That's about twice what it's worth -- particularly a .303 Savage, which is strictly a handloading proposition, with brass hard to find.

KodiakBeer
May 8, 2010, 07:42 PM
Actually (and I'll brook no arguments on this!), the best lever gun is the Browning BLR. It comes in about a dozen modern calibers from .223 to .300 Mag to .450 Marlin. They have take-down models and lightweight aluminum frame models. They're magazine fed, so you can reload as quick as it takes to drop a mag and slap a new one in.

One might argue aesthetics - that the Winchester (or whatever) is more stylish, but for pure function, accuracy and practicality, the BLR can't be beat.

http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/images/034015m.jpg

SwampWolf
May 8, 2010, 07:50 PM
One might argue aesthetics

I do! :) IMO, the BLR is one ugly rifle. No quibbles with the more pertinent things you argue.

Maverick223
May 8, 2010, 10:28 PM
I do! IMO, the BLR is one ugly rifle.I agree, it is ugly and doesn't have good ergonomics compared to other lever rifles (at least for me). It is also prone to failure if it is not kept clean, due to the "geared" operating system, but that isn't an issue for most folks, and is part of the reason that the action is so smooth.

:)

chad1043
May 9, 2010, 11:38 AM
Marlin 336 in 35 Rem gets my vote. I still own a 336 is 30-30 because I have to.

Kentucky_Rifleman
June 21, 2010, 10:13 PM
I picked up a nice Savage 99 in .243 this weekend. I haven't shot it yet, but I traded into the gun for 225.00, so I'm not hurt.

The wood is the stamped checkering and the bluing is worn around the bottom of the receiver, but I LOVE the rifle. It's the smoothest lever I've ever racked.

While I realize I'm in the minority, I think the old Savage is just beautiful.

It certainly doesn't look like a Winchester or Marlin lever, and I like that. I see Wins and Marlins everywhere, but my Savage is a different animal altogether.

And whoever wrote, "the rotary mag is the cat's rear end" is spot on. It's fluid and smooth - nothing short of genius.

If this thing shoots anything like I expect, I may have to take up collecting the 99s in different calibers.

All of this comes from the original #1 Remington fan! :eek:

KR

Abel
June 21, 2010, 10:29 PM
While I realize I'm in the minority, I think the old Savage is just beautiful.

Count me in the minority as well....they are fine lookin' guns!

Leaky Waders
June 22, 2010, 12:34 AM
I think every American should own or at least shoot a 30-30 lever action and a colt SAA in 45 long colt at some point in their life.

As far as the best...it's hard to beat the fit and finish of a Browning. Uberti makes some classic levers too. If I got Marlin, I'd strive to get one in the chamber you like with ballard rifling.

If you search youtube for hickok45 you'll find a very nice review and comparison of some lever actions. I like his history lesson (and shooting) of the 1886. If you search for paco kelly and lever guns you'll find some break down of different models by strength etc.

Right now I have a 9422, a newer production 1895 in 3006, and a beretta/uberti 1873 in 45 long colt. We put 200 rounds through the 1873 last Saturday...we killed a paper box and a tree trunk for sure. My 14 year old didn't want to put that gun down.

I recommend looking for an older model lever or one by browning or uberti without the features of tang or cross bolt safeties and rebounding hammers. Right now i'm sorta kinda looking at 1886's and 1871's right now - classic looks in big calibers...what's not to like?

LeontheProfessional
June 22, 2010, 12:36 AM
I really don't think you can beat the Marlin. My dad has one and with all my AR, AK and other evil guns that I have shot it is one of my favorites.

sprice
June 22, 2010, 10:45 AM
I have a marlin 336 and a winchester 94. I prefer the marlins.

Red Cent
June 22, 2010, 03:22 PM
Marlin with tang rear and globe front sights and chambered for the 38/55.

CraigC
June 22, 2010, 04:59 PM
I think the Savage 99 has an appeal all its own and it certainly does not appeal to everyone. I like `em and would love to have one in .250 or .300.

The BLR however does not appeal to me in the least. I love leverguns and own more than any other rifle action type but the BLR is too ugly and non-traditional for me.

SwampWolf
June 22, 2010, 07:10 PM
the BLR is too ugly and non-traditional for me.

Sorry Browning guys, but same here.

Leaky Waders
June 22, 2010, 09:48 PM
Here's one of the videos I was mentioning above...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBwEv5Ve56g&feature=channel

1858
June 22, 2010, 10:31 PM
Not sure of the "best" but I finally managed to find a Marlin 1895SBL ... :D . It'll be here on Monday!!

http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/marlin/1895/sbl_gbl/1895sbl.jpg

It'll make a nice companion for my 1895 Guide Gun which is almost the same with the exception of the big loop lever and extended magazine tube.

http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/marlin/1895/guide_gun/guide_gun.jpg

:)

kbbailey
June 22, 2010, 10:56 PM
I have Marlins in .357 and .30-30

I vote MARLIN

Guncollector1982
June 22, 2010, 11:00 PM
I like the Pre64 Winchester 94s, have a couple marlins also. Like the way the winchesters fit my hands better its the way the woods shaped in the forend is all that i mean. Some would say its not true prob but i have two pre64 winchester 94 ones like new ones been used alot and both lock up tight and are smoother than any newer model 94 ive had or used. I prefer the 32 Win special over the 30-30 have one or two of each and one post 64 thats been rebored to 38-55 that i can definately tell the difference in the tightness and smoothness in the action compared to my one made in 52 and 42.

Tentwing
June 23, 2010, 07:09 PM
I actually posted this response in another thread about lever action and truck guns, but I think it applies to your thread as well.

Many of the aforementioned rifles are great choices, so for many of us it will come down to personal preferences or just what we learned to shoot with when we were young.

I love my Marlin 336c in a 30-30. Cheap ammo, accurate with open sites, un-noticable recoil, and here in the Southeast it will put down every critter out there.

If I could only keep ONE game rifle out of all that I own that Marlin lever action 30-30 would be it. It may not be the best at anything, ( accuracy ,distance,power etc..) but it covers so many bases so well that it just might be the best all round.

Now that I have said that I will also say that I own to Henrys one in a 22Mag GoldenBoy and the other in a 17HMR Varmit Express. They are the smoothest lever actions I have ever picked up. And the 22 mag shoots golf ball sized groups on target at 100 right out of the box with any factory load I put in it.

Man, I love lever actions :).........Tentwing

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