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Best lever action rifle?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Tenn870, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. Tenn870

    Tenn870 Well-Known Member

    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!
  2. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. wyocarp

    wyocarp Well-Known Member

    What's wrong with Marlins? I would purchase a Marlin over either a Mossberg or a Winchester lever gun.
  4. 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!!!
  5. ECVMatt

    ECVMatt Well-Known Member

    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.
  6. JEB

    JEB Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. skiking

    skiking Well-Known Member

    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.
  8. esheato

    esheato Well-Known Member

    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.

  9. Zebraranger

    Zebraranger Well-Known Member

    Definitely Marlin 1895M, tough as nails but yet a smooth refined very reliable lever action. Mine pictured is a .450 Marlin.
  10. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Well-Known Member

    Marlin 'Texan' 18" barrel 30/30 is it. But then, I'm a biased Texican who got his first 5 deer with that rifle!
  11. Oregun89

    Oregun89 Well-Known Member

    Buy a Marlin and you'll be happy.

    Hers my 1895XLR

    But if I were buying another Lever right now, I would choose this beauty...
    Then again, you're brand spankin' new to levers, so you may not be worthy of such a cool gun. :D
  12. oldfool

    oldfool Well-Known Member

    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
  13. AStone

    AStone Well-Known Member

    Well, the Mossberg is getting at least some good reviews.

    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. ;)
  14. mgh

    mgh Well-Known Member

    I've got a Marlin 1894 and a Winchester 1894, I prefer the Marlin
  15. vaupet

    vaupet Well-Known Member

    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

  16. murdoc rose

    murdoc rose Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. 76shuvlinoff

    76shuvlinoff Well-Known Member

    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.
  18. Abel

    Abel Well-Known Member

    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.
  19. eastbank

    eastbank Well-Known Member

    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.

    Attached Files:

  20. Daveboone

    Daveboone Well-Known Member

    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).

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