Question about lever-action for HD


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Quoheleth
August 12, 2013, 12:28 PM
I have a 30 year-old Marlin 336 in 30-30. It shoots well, is slick enough, and I've figured out that i can shoot cast reloads in it for cheaper shooting.

Ive thought about adding a pistol-cartridge carbine to my safe as a home defense/bug out gun.

Would i gain anything over the 30-30 by getting a 1892 in .45 Colt or .357 Mag? The benefit I see is one box of ammo can double for handguns and carbine. Other than that, anything else?

Q

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Sam1911
August 12, 2013, 12:57 PM
Lighter recoil, faster follow-up shots, a bit less concussion and blast indoors, higher capacity. Plus, the '92 clones are usually VERY light and handy. I think the R92 is like just over 5 lbs and quite inexpensive. It is a Rossi, but very well regarded by many shooters, especially if you do a couple small things to slick it up.

Now, buying a whole new rifle anyway? There are things I'd choose over a lever-action, most likely, but it would sure work great, and home defense give you just enough excuse for going out and buying one because you want to anyway.

adelbridge
August 12, 2013, 02:55 PM
I wouldnt spend more money to get less power. If you are trying to justify buying a new gun I would say buy a new gun.

dak0ta
August 12, 2013, 02:57 PM
I'd recommend an 870 or 500 with buckshot.

Sam1911
August 12, 2013, 03:09 PM
I wouldnt spend more money to get less power.But home defence = human targets. You don't need MORE power. You MIGHT need more capacity. More power is just hurting you by slowing down your follow up shots, causing elevated levels of blast and concussion, and sending rounds on through a lot of stuff that doesn't need to be shot.

The difference in how quickly and well a trained shooter can engage targets with a lighter-recoiling, fast handling gun and a heavier, more powerful gun is pretty striking.

TexasPatriot.308
August 12, 2013, 03:20 PM
the sound of a shotgun being racked or a lever action being cocked puts fear in people, for HD maybe a 357/38, 12 gauge pump would still be better.

Sam1911
August 12, 2013, 03:26 PM
Ha ha! :D Yes, it sure does in the movies!

'Course in real life, if someone's in my house and they're close enough to hear me chamber a round, I waited FAR too long to mount my defense.

ATLDave
August 12, 2013, 03:41 PM
the sound of a shotgun being racked or a lever action being cocked puts fear in people

If that fear is so effective, why waste money on a whole gun? Just make a good recording of a pump being cycled, then hook it up to your home stereo. Home invasion? No sweat, press play.

Right?

MrDig
August 12, 2013, 04:26 PM
I agree that at the distances we are discussing for HD a Pistol caliber carbine is a good choice. Having a GP 100 and a Marlin 1894C to shoot .357 is quite a nice HD set up. I may get a 4" Bbl GP 100 for quicker target acquisition. That is more because I want to than I really think it is necessary.

Sheepdog1968
August 12, 2013, 04:52 PM
If you've got a revolver that you like to shoot, I think your reasoning is fine (as if any of us need much nudging to want to get a new firearm). The only other thing I can think of if if you want to do cowboy action shooting in the future, a pistol caliber lever action would work for that as well.

Quoheleth
August 12, 2013, 05:09 PM
To round out my rationale, I'm in a Houston suburb and while an AR doesnt get the stink-eye, a lever action is almost unnoticed by my neighboring tactards. Sometimes being old school and off radar isnt so bad.

The .45 gets my atention for a couple reasons - bigger, heavier, slower bullet; still loud but not the crack of the magnum; totally untactically cool (not the latest technology). Plus, the .45 is slightly less expensive than the .357 gun. But, with only a SAA clone for a handgun, I loose the versatility of the .357 out of my Ruger or S&W wheelies.

A High Point carbine is also a possible. Cheaper than the Rossi, butt-ugly, but dead-nuts reliable.

Q

Peter M. Eick
August 12, 2013, 05:20 PM
Houston suburbs? Sounds familiar as I live in one also.

I went for a 30 carbine M1 (WWII Inland) that I picked up down at collectors. I have two mags on the butt stock and one in the gun giving me 45 rounds. Even with the recent home invasions we have been seeing I don't think 45 rounds of 30 carbine (soft-points) would be too bad of a choice.

Like you I have considered a lever action pistol caliber round. I have been debating 92 or switching over to my 870.

The carbine is easy, handy, reliable, not overly powerful, easy to move around with and accessible.

Might want to drop by Collectors and pick one up.

Delford
August 12, 2013, 05:38 PM
One of these days I'm going to get a Marlin 336. I'm a mature citizen and I've liked them for a long time. I'm saving up discretionary cash. First comes the Rem 870. For me the HD version 18.5" barrel setup gives me 95 hits on target out of 100 (having borrowed one from a friend) at various home defense distances. It comes up to my shoulder quickly and on target.
I have a .45 for HD and CC and am accurate enough at home defense distances. It gets back on target very quickly and sitting in a chair, drawing and shooting across my body to my left puts the round within 2" of the target every time. I'm working on getting it on target. I need a bigger target :) Punching holes in paper isn't as much of a challenge so during practice we vary height, distance and direction within the safe confines of the range. Having a rifle and pistol with the same caliber is handy but my choice would be a Henry Big Boy and a Dirty Harry S&W remake or a Ruger Super Blackhawk. Call me weird but I seem to do better with larger calibers, although .40 can be fun.

Dr.Rob
August 12, 2013, 06:02 PM
A slicked up lever gun in .357 .45 or .44 mag can be a handy defensive carbine.

Again, there might be better choices but if its what you are used to and practice with.. heck yes.

HexHead
August 12, 2013, 06:13 PM
Since you reload, have you considered loading for your .30-30 using the 170gr bullet over TrailBoss? About 1000fps or less.

dak0ta
August 12, 2013, 06:46 PM
Dogs are also great HD tools. A well trained German Shepherd isn't something to scoff at.

gbran
August 12, 2013, 09:31 PM
7 or 8 shot .357 revolver and a hi cap .357 levergun is a great combo for HD/SD.

Ohen Cepel
August 12, 2013, 09:35 PM
I really like a lever gun for HD, need to find a cheap way to put a light on it though. Options I have seen were pricey or required a bit of mods to the rifle which I didn't want to do.

19-3Ben
August 12, 2013, 10:31 PM
My HD rifle IS a levergun. I use the Rossi M92 16"bbl, .357mag.
I like it because it's VERY light, shoulders very naturally, and I can instinctively get on target faster with that rifle than I can with any other long gun I've ever tried, with the exception of the Browning Buckmark carbine, which would obviously not be first choice for HD.

With the M92, i have something short enough that it is very maneuverable indoors, I have no doubt about its power, and as you pointed out, it's totally untacticool so in the aftermath of a shooting, I don't have yet another obstacle to overcome, although the obvious ones will still be there.

One thing I will say, is that the M92, being light, does kick with the magnum loads. It's a pussycat with .38spl, but you do feel it with .357mag. It's not bad at all, probably slightly harsher than my Chinese SKS.

Schwing
August 12, 2013, 11:02 PM
I love my Rossi 92. It is also nice, as others have mentioned, to have a caliber that I can use for a rifle and my GP100. I would have no hesitation about using it to defend my family.

I would also agree that the racking of a shotgun is NOT going to stop a home invasion, especially if they are armed as well. If I am defending my family, the bad guys don't really need any warning.

A great man once said "If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck."

AKElroy
August 12, 2013, 11:20 PM
There is nothing wrong with that .30-30 for defense in the home. Run it with hot 150's in the house, and the OP issue is no better or worse than any other decent defensive pistol round. I would avoid the slower, heavier loads. They will have the better chance creating OP issues. That .30-30 will certainly do the job, and if you can shoot it well stick with it.

If capacity is your concern, that does make the pistol caliber a bit more attractive. Since I would still want the ability to hunt with it, I would likely stick to a .44 mag in any of the guns suggested. I would avoid a 94AE in a pistol clambering, Winchester never really worked out getting a rifle length action to be reliable with the shorter cases.

I feel pretty well protected with my 5 shot .30-30 trapper at the bedside.

Quoheleth
August 13, 2013, 08:37 AM
The .44 Mag is definitely a salty load in a carbine, but I don't load for it and don't have any handgun in it, either. So, the idea was a single pistol/carbine "kit" that I could grab and go, either for home defense or bug-out situation.

Are the .357 versions more expensive (on Gunbroker, at least) because of the popularity of SASS and being cheaper to feed than the .45 version? Cant think of any other reason that is logical.

Q

AKElroy
August 13, 2013, 02:46 PM
The .357 is just higher in demand. Allows cheap practice w/ .38 SPC, much stronger factory loadings than all but a handful of .45LC.

TimboKhan
August 14, 2013, 01:20 AM
I have a Marlin 1894 in .357, and while it is not my first choice for a defensive rifle, its not a bad choice. My biggest issue is really just reload speed. I love the caliber for home defense, and it shoots smooth and easy. Honestly, my AR is my go to rifle, but this .357 rifle sits loaded and accessible at all times.

sent from my Galaxy Note II.

Panzercat
August 14, 2013, 06:22 PM
I wouldn't trust your life to a NIB rossi; at least not without being having a sombody familiar with the brand taking a pass at it first.

BCRider
August 15, 2013, 12:08 PM
....Are the .357 versions more expensive (on Gunbroker, at least) because of the popularity of SASS and being cheaper to feed than the .45 version? Cant think of any other reason that is logical.

I'd say that's a "BINGO!". A lot of us less intense cowboy shooters go for the Rossi for the lower cost and live with some of the rapid feed issues. My own 92 has been through a few working/tinkering sessions but it's now to the point where I can cycle .357Mag casings with light reloads through it as fast as I can rack and pull and the previous jams are pretty well a thing of the past.

Speaking of which if you have NO intention of using a possible Rossi rifle in cowboy action note that the 16" barrel version does not hold 10 rounds. So the cowboy shooters may be turning away from them and the price should be a little lower. And a 16" gun would be that much handier in a house than a 20". Then again a 20 inch rifle seems to balance a little nicer in the hand when walking the woods. The 16" seems a little butt heavy where the 20 sits neatly level with a hand wrapped around the receiver just forward of the trigger guard. The 16 wants the hand to be on or in the guard/loop to balance the same way.

A lot of "us" have found that while the Rossis feed .38Spl that the loading lever has to by cycled a little slower and deliberately to avoid a kick up jam. Switching over to loading .357Mag cases with .38Spl like loads for cowboy action cures a lot of woes in this regard. And for HD I'd want to stick with .357 cased ammo regardless of how much powder and what bullet is inside the case. Something to keep in mind.

On the other hand the .38Spl's work fine as long as the shooter pauses for about a 1/4 second with the lever full forward and down before racking it back. That slight pause seems to be all that is needed to let the round lay back down on the elevator.

There's a lot of advantages to having a common ammo supply. So I think you're on the right track for sticking to finding one to match your handgun caliber.

coyote315
August 20, 2013, 09:19 PM
put a light on a lever gun w/ the same figure 8 mount you use on a 12g; clamps right on the mag tube. I've got one on a .357 rossi hanging on a hook above the door: granted we shoot more oppossums out of the chicken coop than two-legged varmints, but anything between the door and the mailbox (about 100 yards) is gonna feel 158gr of unwelcomeness. A peep sight makes it handier at night, and it's light enough and handy enough with low enough recoil that anyone in the household who's tall enough to reach it, can handle it with ease. Plus, without one in the chamber it's safe as can be, and it costs us about 12 bucks to shoot 50 rounds as a family on sunday afternoons.

Limey46
August 21, 2013, 09:00 AM
The idea that the sound of a shotgun being racked or a lever gun being levered scares bad guys is dangerous. If they're really bad, it just tells them where you are so they can start shooting at you.

jim243
August 21, 2013, 09:24 AM
Warning an intruder is never a good idea. Racking a shotgun or lever action rifle, will give your position away. The first thing someone breaking into your house should hear is NOTHING. (you never hear the shot that kills you)

As to using the 30-30, that would be fine and you do not need a PCC unless you just want to buy another gun.

Jim

PedalBiker
August 21, 2013, 09:42 AM
Capacity vs power is a tough choice.

A 30-30 is a good deer round. Most deer are sized similar to humans.

A .30-30 deer load will defeat most body armor. More crooks are working in teams and some of them do use body armor.

I would not fire a 30-30 in my house, but I have kids and close neighbors.

CarolinaChuck
August 21, 2013, 09:49 AM
Worked for 100+ years... I guess Jim never though of just beating the perp to death with one.

CC

ECVMatt
August 21, 2013, 11:22 AM
I have a couple of 16 Winchester Trappers in .357 and really like them. They shoot great, hit hard, and carry like a dream. I have killed some hogs with them using a Hornady 158 SP and it worked very well. I would have no hesitations using one of these in my home.

You might also look at the 125 Grn. .30-30 load. It is a real sleeper and most folks brush right over it. It would work well in your situation and be very lethal. I used to correspond with a rural police officer who used the Federal load in his .30-30. He shot lots of injured game and one bad guy. All died almost instantly. He swore buy it, and still kept it in his rifle after he retired.
Here is the ammo he used:

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/927609/federal-power-shok-ammunition-30-30-winchester-125-grain-jacketed-hollow-point-box-of-20

DeadFlies
August 21, 2013, 03:36 PM
I have a couple of 16 Winchester Trappers in .357 and really like them. They shoot great, hit hard, and carry like a dream. I have killed some hogs with them using a Hornady 158 SP and it worked very well. I would have no hesitations using one of these in my home.

You might also look at the 125 Grn. .30-30 load. It is a real sleeper and most folks brush right over it. It would work well in your situation and be very lethal. I used to correspond with a rural police officer who used the Federal load in his .30-30. He shot lots of injured game and one bad guy. All died almost instantly. He swore buy it, and still kept it in his rifle after he retired.
Here is the ammo he used:

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/927609/federal-power-shok-ammunition-30-30-winchester-125-grain-jacketed-hollow-point-box-of-20

That 125 grain 30-30 load is 800fps faster than a Double Tap bonded defense .357 load from a 6" barrel and has a better SD to boot.

I load something similar (though not quite as hot) with a Sierra bullet. If I didn't have a pistol, this round in my M94 would be my go-to HD setup. I plan on taking it deer hunting this year; hopefully I get to see what it does on delicious, man-sized game.


Off topic just a bit-

Houston Suburbs? Used to live near the old Westbury Mall myself. Lots of shady characters wandering around at all hours of the night and day. Never had to use the 870 (only gun I had at the time) but I'm glad I had it.

hipoint
August 21, 2013, 03:56 PM
I'll second the shotty here... although no where near as fun to shoot as a carbine. The racking action would be my first bet, I mean personally I want any intruder to leave WITHOUT me shooting them and the idea that I'll have a team of bad guys coming with the sole purpose of taking me out is highly unlikely. If someone is coming to steal your t.v., knowing someone is awake and armed is enough to send them scurrying along.

The levergun in a pistol caliber would be fun to take to the range though!

DeadFlies
August 21, 2013, 04:20 PM
The levergun in a pistol caliber would be fun to take to the range though!

True that.

I load 30-30 rounds down to pistol velocities with cast bullets. Cheap and easy. I can blast and plink at the range all day long.

Averageman
August 21, 2013, 08:52 PM
I made this one for my Brother who then gave it to my Mom when he could affoard a better HD Carbine.
http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r263/Averageman1/336SC001.jpg (http://s146.photobucket.com/user/Averageman1/media/336SC001.jpg.html)
It was beat to smithereens when I bought it. Barrel crown was badly damaged and the stock was split.
Anyway, I'm gad it is staying in the Family.

Panzercat
August 22, 2013, 12:03 AM
I made this one for my Brother who then gave it to my Mom when he could affoard a better HD Carbine.

Better? Pfft. Nothing better than a little 30-30 medicine for HD situations ;)

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii110/ozzallos/loadout.jpg

Panzercat
August 22, 2013, 12:56 AM
Dup post.

goon
August 22, 2013, 01:06 AM
The other thing about the 30-30... it's a serious cartridge. It's old and outclassed by huge supermagnum rounds, but it still packs a hell of a wallop.
Honestly, unless you're rural or have nothing better, I don't know if I'd use it as a first line defensive round. I think it's just a little too powerful in most scenarios.
No doubt it would work, but it may also pass right through an attacker and through a wall and work on something you don't want it to work on too.

Anyone got gelatin tests on the 125 grain loads? They may be a solution if they basically penetrate enough but don't exit.

Eb1
August 22, 2013, 02:10 AM
If you hand load, Speer makes an awesome 110 grain half jacketed HP for the 30-30. It can be loaded to 2300 fps with very little to no recoil out of a 30-30. I'd load it to 2000 fps it it were me for home defense. You can do what you like.
I'd either load that bullet or the Sierra 125 grain FNHP at the same velocity 2000-2150 fps. It has about the same recoil out of a 30-30 as a 20 gauge bird shot if not less. Probably less.
Those two loads would be great HD loads as far as bullet weight, expansion, and velocity without going to a pistol cartridge.

The only thing about a 30-30 I don't like is that it is bottle necked. The more I handload the more I want straight walled cartridges. That is why one of my 30-30s is becoming a 445 SuperMag.

If the 30-30 has the history, and it does have a wonderful history of being a firing squads choice, police rifle, Calvary rifle, Mounty rifle, farmer's everything rifle for the last 100+ years. There is no reason it will not work in 2013 when called upon to do what it has been doing for years.

As a matter of fact. I have a 1972 336 30-30 next to my bed with a 5 shot sleeve on the stock holding those 125 grain Sierra FNHPs. I do have a 20 gauge in the closet with #3 buckshot, but sometimes I like to have that old lever gun next to me. It just feels right. Especially when you watch a full days worth of "The Rifleman"
That guy had it right. Always bring a rifle to a gun fight. I have a warm spot in my heart for a lever action 30-30, and much respect for the cartridge. I think you would be wasting money buying a .45 colt or .44 Magnum for home defense if you already have a 30-30.

If you don't handload you can get 125 grain Sierra FNHP from Federal in the PowerShok line, or just load it up with Core-Lokts or Winchester PowerPoints in 150 grain, and you'll be sure to stop the threat invading your home, but that is all up to you to use a firearm in that situation. I can't tell you to do that. or if you should do that.

ECVMatt
August 22, 2013, 09:34 PM
.357's out of a rifle are a whole different animal. I tried to find some rifle info and found this from Brassfetcher:

http://www.brassfetcher.com/index_files/351Winchester.htm

it is a .351 SLR which would be fairly close to the .357. It hits pretty hard.

AKElroy
August 22, 2013, 09:47 PM
.30-30's with 125's or even 150's would be just fine for HD. OP is going to be no more severe than 9mm duty loads, particularly that screaming 125gr load. It is going to be target devastating, and it will fragment quickly.

Noise and flash are another story....

goon
August 22, 2013, 10:20 PM
Yeah... I guess there is the blast thing to consider.
FWIW, the .357 Marlin I owned was a great rifle and made full power .357 loads very tame on the shooter. On the dangerous end... they weren't so tame.

I've got no doubts on the .30-30's effectiveness though. It's more serious than any handgun round you'll be likely to use for defense and most rifle rounds. I guess since the 125 grain loads exist as a factory load (I wouldn't use handloads for SD), that makes it even more versatile. I guess if it's what you got or what you like, more power to you.
I've never felt unarmed when I had a .30-30 in easy reach.

coyote315
August 22, 2013, 10:33 PM
I think we're overthinking it, gents.
That said, I still vote .357. A 30-30 is fine for deer, in a steady hand out to about 300 yards.
Anyone who is that far away, isn't really a sudden threat, and I'll take the extra 5 rounds in the tube in case they keep closing the distance....

spectralman
August 29, 2013, 01:49 AM
I've used my Model 94 Trapper in 44 mag as a HD weapon for awhile now. You just have to download it from the hot hunting loads. It's at my bedside along with my M&P 40.

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