Are lever action carbines really just for fun?


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Balrog
April 22, 2010, 09:47 PM
I have a Marlin 44mag and a 45-70, and enjoy shooting both at the range but dont have much use for them except as plinkers... does anyone really use these for hunting, and if so, what?

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Sheepdog1968
April 22, 2010, 09:50 PM
The Hornday LeverEvolution ammo has breathed some new popularity into lever guns. I'd say the flat nosed ammo still had enough reach for many hunting. I've got a 30-30 lever action for hunting deer.

adobewalls
April 22, 2010, 09:52 PM
Winchester '94 Trapper model from the '80's in 30-30. Accurate with irons out to 130yds; lethal a bit further.

Hatterasguy
April 22, 2010, 09:57 PM
All my guns are for fun. Lever action's are like a slice of the old west to me.:cool:

R.W.Dale
April 22, 2010, 10:17 PM
All my guns are for fun. Lever action's are like a slice of the old west to me.:cool:
This deserves a quote.

skiking
April 22, 2010, 10:28 PM
I have a Win 94 30-30 I have used for deer and elk. A Win 94 in .307 Win and one in 32 Special along with with a Marlin 1895 45-70 are in my future, all three of those are used for deer and the 307 and 45-70 are used for elk. Leverguns make great hunting rifles as long as they aren't fitted with a scope on top, that is just a mean thing to do to a levergun.

Sheepdog1968
April 22, 2010, 10:31 PM
Every time I bring out my lever gun, I am smiling from ear to ear. It's tough in today's world to find things that do that as an adult.

Al LaVodka
April 22, 2010, 10:33 PM
In my neck of the woods the average deer is taken within 30 yards. Men lamented the demise of the first Ruger 44 Carbine and women cried. I have a few but a long Browning 44 is complimented by a very handy, useful, FUN Win. Trapper in 44 Mag too. You ask an odd question as far as I'm concerned...
Al

Ridgerunner665
April 22, 2010, 10:35 PM
I've used my 45-70 for quite a few black bears and also a few deer...its hard to beat a lever gun in thick cover.

I don't subscribe to the belief that it is "only good for 100 yards and less"...300 yards is my limit with the sights I have.

wvshootist
April 22, 2010, 10:36 PM
Lever actions are pretty serious medicine. They are excellent for hunting and are just fun to shoot. I have considered returning to deer hunting this fall after having not been for nearly 20 years. Back then I carried a Rem M700 .270 Classic. I will be carrying either my 45-70 Marlin GG or my Win M94 44 mag. I feel well equipted with either.

Zack
April 22, 2010, 10:39 PM
Originally Posted by Hatterasguy
All my guns are for fun. Lever action's are like a slice of the old west to me.:cool:

I picked up a Marlin 30-30 Thanks to the guys of this forum for helping me pick it out. I really want a SxS, then a six shooter. I like western guns :D

oldfool
April 22, 2010, 10:43 PM
this being THR, that surely can not be a troll post
guessing you just really just don't know

lever action carbines come in a pretty impressive range of calibers, with no shortage of what can kill any game animal on the North American continent, and during that time between "then and now" some few folks have actually hunted with some of those caibers
(but it's only been thataway for a century or more now, friend, a long long time before some people started sticking pointy plastic in the end of bullets)

30-30 out of 18" barrel kills oversized goats today same it used to way back when
357 mag at ~2000 fps out of a carbine can do things that 357 out of a 6" Colt Python or S&W 27 cannot really do

some guys have even been known to hunt sizable game with even them wussie old cartridges like 45 colt, 44 mag, 454 casull in just them obsolete old revolvers... go figger... mebbe they thunk it was just for fun (because it was ;))

dmazur
April 22, 2010, 11:02 PM
Your reference to .44 Mag and .45-70 spans quite a bit of capability.

I've read of several hunters who successfully use lever-actions chambered in .44 Mag to take deer. I don't remember reading about any .45-70 hunts, but I assume that cartridge has its "hunter enthusiasts" as well.

I admit to having a lever-action .30-06 that I haven't used to take a deer, yet. It has peep sights, and I would have to choose it deliberately over a scoped rifle.

I might use it for a "brush gun", as it is almost as fast on follow-up shots as a semi-auto.

If I get better at snap shots at cans at 50 yds, I'll consider using it... :)

benzy2
April 22, 2010, 11:30 PM
I have a 336 in .30-30 and use it for groundhogs and plan on going black bear hunting with a levergun in .45-70. One heck of a smack with one handy rifle.

velojym
April 22, 2010, 11:30 PM
Wow. Even just the lowly .30-30... if you laid all the deer taken with that caliber alone... you'd have... let's see... crunch the numbers... carry the three...

...A heckuva lot of deer.

chicharrones
April 23, 2010, 12:15 AM
I always thought that the .357 and .44 mag leverguns would make excellent home defense carbines.

Cosmoline
April 23, 2010, 12:34 AM
The .45-70 has a very long history as a hunting round. In fact it's been vastly more successful in that role than it ever was during its brief life in the service of the government. There's a book called "45 years with the .45-70" that covers the range of game the author has hunted with his various rifles in that chambering. Works great with everything from small game roundball to massive bear killers. Lots of people use them for bear defense around here. After the 12 ga I'd say it was probably the most common bear defense and inland fishing rifle. Esp. the Marlin 1895G. It can certainly be used for hunting as well but lacks the flat trajectory of the .338 WM. I'm sure it could be used a lot more if folks weren't so fixated on scopes.

jmr40
April 23, 2010, 12:43 AM
I have over a dozen lever guns, more than any other type. I love them. They are still perfectly capable of doing the job they were designed for over 100 years ago. But honesty forces me to say that anything a lever gun can do a bolt rifle can do better.

Other than just enjoying using something that is purely American they offer no advantages. But that is not a bad thing. I know people who have sold all their guns and have chosen to hunt strictly with a long bow. They just get more enjoyment that way and I can respect the guy who chooses a lever gun for the same reasons.

Oregun89
April 23, 2010, 01:09 AM
I have a Marlin 44mag and a 45-70, and enjoy shooting both at the range but dont have much use for them except as plinkers... does anyone really use these for hunting, and if so, what?

I bought an 1895XLR on my 18th B-Day, it was my first purchase, and is still my favorite gun. It's the prettiest gun in Elk camp, and has taken three Elk in three years. I mounted a Nikon 3-9x40mm Team Primos scope with their BDC reticle. I would take it anywhere to kill anything. I also don't hesitate to take a rested shot out to 300-400yrds, I understand the ballistics of the round and will use it to its full potential. The rifle will also shoot <1/2 MOA consistently with appropriate ammunition.

ndh87
April 23, 2010, 01:10 AM
I have a 44 mag lever action marlin, I absolutely love it. It drops deer on the spot inside 100 yards.

cleardiddion
April 23, 2010, 01:28 AM
I have my 30-30 1971 vintage Winchester '94.
Use it for HD, car gun, hunting, plinking, and soon with the approperiate hat feeling like a cowboy.

ScratchnDent
April 23, 2010, 02:15 AM
Hmmm...my model 94 30/30 has put more meat in my freezer than any other rifle I own.

Greg Koziol
April 23, 2010, 03:51 AM
The .45-70 cartridge was originally designed for the Army but was too big for anti-personnel uses. Too much power and was unnecessary. Luggy around a 7 pound rifle all day that could kill an elephant was unnecessary. They were also used to kill buffalo as well. Then they started seeing use a good dangerous game rifle, due to its short barrel length, fast cycling due to lever and high capacity tubular magazine a lot of hunters/hikers/homesteaders/ranchers started using them to defend against the great bears or any other large marauder like a big bull moose in full rut.

One important thing you should keep in mind is that factory .45-70 loads are down-loaded by the manufacturers for example the 405 grain remington soft points or 300 grain hollow points that are sold all most anywhere including wal-mart. The manufacturers put LESS POWDER in them because they don't want people putting it in some 120 year old clunker and trying to fire it and the gun blow up in their face. Thats why you hear alot of people say that .45-70's are underpowerd for dangerous game or inaccurate... thats cause they are firing the $20/box junk ammo thats down-loaded to prevent LAWSUITS. Factory .45-70 loads are great for deer or black bear sized game, and plinking, however there are a few manufactueres such as GARRET cartridges, Buffalo Bore, Double Tap, Cor-Bon, and Grizzly Ammunition who make .45-70 ammo that can push out a 430 grain bullet at 2000 fps... thats way more than any 1oz slug in a rifle shotgun. not event oo expense about $60/box for most of these... expensive but still half the price of any safari caliber box of ammo

This guy named VINCE LUPO took Africa's Big Five with a .45-70 marlin guide gun, he used Garrett cartridges to accomplish this feat. He used the 420 grainers and 540 grainers from hard cast lead. Both made from hard cast lead and powerful enough to penetrate and down all big 5 ssafely and effectively

Nematocyst
April 23, 2010, 04:19 AM
Trick question, right?

Wonder what kind of response
you'd get with the question,
Are AR's really just for fun?

Same here.

Abel
April 23, 2010, 06:28 AM
Lever actions...They're not for fun, they're only for hunting.

But they often get forced to do double-duty as good fun!

content
April 23, 2010, 07:01 AM
Hello friends and neighbors // Yep, I have a lot of fun every time I pick up a lever gun hunting, plinking, teaching the young ones.

Sold my 336 short barrel .30-30 to a friend who owns the brush land we hunt on.( I use my Rem. 760 pump) It was perfect for the type of hunting and the guy lived there, I was glad to do it. He only had a .308 bolt, great rifle in its own right. One rainy day he took out the 336 and got two deer at one time down by the creek, not with one shot it did take two, one with the scope one with the see thru rings. His 13 year old nephew just got his first deer with it this fall. Probably the best $120.00 he ever spent on a rifle.

Yep they are just for fun many different kinds of fun.
I'd like to have a 45-70 but they seem to be made of gold around here.

JustsayMo
April 23, 2010, 07:56 AM
I have a lot of fun with my lever actions. I don't understand why some put range limitations on them. A couple of weeks ago we had a shooting fiesta at a friends place shooting out leverguns, 45-70, 30-30 and 32-40 at targets out to 560 yards (lasered).

Here's the 400 yard dinger - the firing line is back there at the shop.
http://www.myhostedpics.com/images/Pathfinder/ind400yarddrooler.jpg

With the wind (L to R) we needed to hold on the lower left corner - factory open sights, elevator all the way to the top notch
http://www.myhostedpics.com/images/Pathfinder/400yarddingerhits.jpg

Off the sticks it was easy
http://www.myhostedpics.com/images/Pathfinder/400yarddinger.jpg

Offhand was a bit more challenging but could be done with regularity.
http://www.myhostedpics.com/images/Pathfinder/ind400yardoffhand3240.jpg

The next day we had more fun knocking down these guys (offhand 200 yards) at the local silhouette match.
http://www.myhostedpics.com/images/Pathfinder/ourramhits.jpg

Yup, Leverguns sure are fun. Mine have made some meat too.

Tirod
April 23, 2010, 08:52 AM
Well, I got a lever gun because hunting was fun. The range - 22 years USAR - was a chore to be endured.

A Winchester 94 .30-30 is a good hunting rifle, accurate for most shots to 250, less drop with Leverevolution, and once I got over the Elmer Fudd dislike, easier to use, carry, handle, transport, feed, and store than a bolt gun or battle rifle like a HK91. It's now my got to hunting gun because the boys grab the bolt guns and stuff. Goooood.

Of course, it's not quite like carrying a AR, which I did regularly in the Reserves, or the HK for hunting almost 20 years. I won't sell the lever, I am building an AR, something that will functionally match in an improved way. It will likely be shorter, lighter, easier to use, even handier, and more fun hunting. The lever gun is a good baseline of standards, and it takes work to improve on it.

CraigC
April 23, 2010, 10:13 AM
Just about all I hunt with are leverguns. Even bought a late model Winchester 1895 .405WCF for an ill-fated trip to Africa. Not one stainless/synthetic boltgun in the stable. The lone centerfire boltgun that I own is a Ruger 77MKII .270 that I only bought because of the wood. Haven't shot it or hunted with it in at least five or six years.

dom1104
April 23, 2010, 10:45 AM
My state requires pistol caliber cartridges to hunt deer...


So yeah leverguns are pretty popular.

huntsman
April 23, 2010, 10:54 AM
Are lever action carbines really just for fun?

A Marlin .30/30 IS my assault rifle.

flipajig
April 23, 2010, 11:14 AM
lever guns fun YOU BET THEY ARE. A 30-30 was my first deer gun and now its my sons first deer gun. I now shoot a M94 in 44Mag for fun and hunting when im not useing my TC contender in 30-30 and 44 Mag

wriggly
April 23, 2010, 11:39 AM
In my neck of the woods the average deer is taken within 30 yards. Men lamented the demise of the first Ruger 44 Carbine and women cried. I have a few but a long Browning 44 is complimented by a very handy, useful, FUN Win. Trapper in 44 Mag too. You ask an odd question as far as I'm concerned...
Al

I was just at my local gun shop yesterday, and back in a corner, I spied something I had never seen before. A Ruger 44 magnum carbine, with a factory Mannlicher stock. I used to own a regular stocked Ruger 44 mag, and it was fun and yet still a serious game getter.

Seeing that Mannlicher stocked carbine got my wallet hand itchy. They want $800 for it. Just a tad too rich for me. If there was any manufacturer support for it anymore, I might have considered it more.

paintballdude902
April 23, 2010, 12:03 PM
i use a .30-30 marlin for deer. and i also have a .44mag wichester and a .45-70 marlin i use for bear

One-Time
April 23, 2010, 12:05 PM
They are great hunting guns, just remember they were the 'assault rifle' of their day and IMO have a very legitimate place still. I have wanted one for years but they are pricey

foghornl
April 23, 2010, 12:37 PM
Have had several over they years...still have the Marlin Mdl 30AW in .30-30


Love my "Smoky Mountian Machine Gun"

BruceB
April 23, 2010, 12:55 PM
Balrog's original post , whatever his motivation may have been, has given rise to a very entertaining and educational discussion about the "why" of owning lever-action rifles, and also the "why" of their very existence.

I have to confess that I've NEVER hunted with a lever-gun in over fifty years of pursuing various critters. So, WHY do I have a Winchester 64 in .32 Special, and a pair of Marlins...one being a M36 in .32 and the other an early 336 in .35 Remington?

Easy answer! I just like them. The history, the handling, the quality, the certain knowledge that they are the most "American" of all my rifles...yep, I just like them.

No better excuse for my ownership exists than that.

Hanzerik
April 23, 2010, 01:16 PM
Are lever action carbines really just for fun?
I have a Marlin 44mag and a 45-70, and enjoy shooting both at the range but dont have much use for them except as plinkers... does anyone really use these for hunting, and if so, what?

http://home.bresnan.net/~hanzerik/pics/Forum%20Stuff/not_sure_if_serious.jpg

Well, seriously :) I have two leverguns in .44Mag. I use them for plinking, defense, and hunting. I own leverguns because I like them. They have a classic styling that many guns today just don't have. Most levergun calibers are easy to reload, and cheap to shoot. Some like the .357/.44/45-70 in modern guns can be loaded mild to wild depending on what you want to do. My plinking loads are a fun round to shoot at the range, but my heavy loads will put the hurt on whatever I'm aiming at downrange...and your shoulder :)

There is nothing a levergun properly loaded won't do. Sure it's not a wiz-bang 30rnd semi-auto, but in the hands of someone who knows how to use one, will do almost anything a modern styled semi-auto/bolt action will do. Don't put off a good levergun just because it may have a rainbow trajectory, shoot big heavy slow moving bullets, etc. They are still a potent firearms capable of taking any four legged animal in the world, and effective against two legged varmints also.

MachIVshooter
April 23, 2010, 01:45 PM
I have a Marlin 44mag and a 45-70, and enjoy shooting both at the range but dont have much use for them except as plinkers

Plinking and .45-70............does not compute ;)

Seriously, the .44 Mag out of a 16-20" rifle is a formidable short range game getter, developing as much energy as a .30-30. I would confidently use my Marlin 1894 .44 mag on deer at reasonable ranges with an appropriate bullet (like 300 gr. XTP's).

And the .45-70? With loads suitable for Marlin Rifles, it is a sledgehammer cartridge. Not a long range number, but with 500 grain (or heavier) hard casts or solids, there's only a couple animals on the planet that it won't penetrate through and through. For normal big game hunting (deer, elk), the 405 gr. soft point at about 2,000 FPS gives a little better trajectory and delivers remarkable terminal performance on the animals.

If you're hunting on the plains, both of these cartridges are a bit handicapped (the .45-70 will still kill at 300, 400, 500 yards and more, but has a rainbow trajectory). But where shots will be inside of 150 or 200 yards, these fast handling leverguns are supreme critter slayers.

ms6852
April 23, 2010, 01:50 PM
I use my 30-30 for deer and wild pigs in thick brush or vegatation. It is also a good defense weapon for home. My 450 for bear/back up and I need to shoot through walls or cars my 450 is first choice. For plinking I use all my 22's.

merlinfire
April 23, 2010, 04:05 PM
Wow. Even just the lowly .30-30... if you laid all the deer taken with that caliber alone... you'd have... let's see... crunch the numbers... carry the three...

...A heckuva lot of deer.

I lol'ed at that. Good one.

I've been seriously considering a lever gun in .357

content
April 23, 2010, 04:12 PM
Hello friends and neighbors // Love my Inter Arms (Rossi) .357 lever, fun to shoot but you better take along some .22 rifles too or you'll go broke.

ronto
April 23, 2010, 04:13 PM
Any White Tail would answer this question in the negative.

summerhelp
April 23, 2010, 11:10 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't the Winchester 94 have the title as the rifle that has harvested more deer than any other gun.

MachIVshooter
April 24, 2010, 12:29 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't the Winchester 94 have the title as the rifle that has harvested more deer than any other gun.

Not really a verifiable claim, but I've no difficulty believing that was probably true for many years, if not into the present.

lobo9er
April 24, 2010, 12:32 AM
really you guys bit on this thats a troll question if i ever heard one

Loosenock
April 24, 2010, 11:47 AM
Well...now. The Volition Repeating rifle was 1848 and it is 2010 now.....so we have 162 years of lever actions. They tamed the west, fought in several wars, favored by the Texas Rangers and lawmen the world over. Also protected many a homesteads, cattle herds, banks and rail roads. And we haven't even began to talk about the eastern, canadian, western, alaskan and southern hunters. They are very popular south of border all the way to the bottom of the globe. The spread of the lever gun does not stop with our Australian friends and brothers but continues around back to where it all started.

Lever guns just for fun? I think fun is at the bottom of the list. Over 162 years of popularity...think about it.

'Loose

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