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Gunshop Advice: Levers a big no-no.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by bg226, Jun 18, 2007.

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  1. bg226

    bg226 Member

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    Was looking for a general purpose rifle, woods protection (black bear and lower) and deer hunting. Something quick shooting with enough power to get the job done. I want something that is very reliable.

    Went to the gunshop looking at some 30-30 levers, but the gunshop guy told me that lever guns are not as solid and strong as bolt actions. He said that lever-calibers are not effective at distances.

    He recommended a Remington bolt action in 243.

    I never shot a lever so I cannot personally decide. I guess what draws me to lever-actions is the ability to stick more rounds in the tube while rapidly shooting (atleast thats my understanding).
     
  2. tinygnat219

    tinygnat219 Member

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    The gun store guy doesn't exactly know what he is talking about. Lever actions are fine guns and have collected more deer than any other rifle. .243 is ok for deer, but I wouldn't go for a bear with it. Get the .30-30 and some Lever-Revolution Ammo from Hornady. You won't be sorry.
     
  3. Cheeseybacon

    Cheeseybacon Member

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    I think he's right about it as far as strength is concerned. The design of the bolt action is probably as strong as they get. Calibers are probably a different story though.
     
  4. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    traditional levers are not as strong as bolt guns.still a good old 30-30 will put deer,black bear down just like it has for 100 years.
    while I would not advise trying to load one while shouldered you can top off mag with out opening action therefore its ready to reshoulder.
    and speeking of shouldering go to a gunshop and pick up 336/94 30-30 hold in your weak hand by the action letting arm hang,this will feel very natural like you could do it all day hunting, then throw it to your shoulder and notice the sights are already lined up for you.then try this with a bolt gun.there is a reason marlin and winchester have sold a bazillion levers
     
  5. GILROY

    GILROY Member

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    Your shop guy is just plain wrong. The bolt may be a little more accurate, but not enough to miss a deer or bear at reasonable range. For dangerous game, the lever will be faster in most hands than a bolt, and a marlin micro groove will not fail you. However for Black Bear, I would get the 35 Rem or even 45-70.
     
  6. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    If you won't be shooting at really long distances, and you want a gun that points quickly for defensive use against bear attacks, you will be much better served by a Marlin 336 than a bolt-action Remington.

    Bolt guns ARE stronger than traditional lever actions. That's why they're used for magnum rounds. That doesn't matter to you at all, if you're not going to be shooting the kind of rounds that require that strength. That's like bashing the rear suspension of a Honda Civic because it's not as durable as the suspension on an F-350 work truck. A fine high-MPG commuter car, and a fine durable work truck. Different purposes, with different tradeoffs.

    The Marlin will point a lot quicker for defensive use than a bolt gun, and the .30-30 has brought home more meat than anything else in the 112 years since its inception. The .30-30 is a better round for stopping a bear, too, since the bullet is a lot heavier different in shape than the .243, which would be about my last choice. (.45-70 will stop a bear even better, though you'll pay the price in recoil when hunting deer -- your decision, depending on which use you foresee being the most likely).

    That said, if you DO need a bolt-action round in a quick-handling gun, there are several that do that a lot better than a Remington bolt gun, some of the better choices also being from Remington: the 7600 pump rifle and 750 semiauto; then there are the Browning BLR and BAR, and the Ruger Frontier, which is a very short bolt rifle with a forward-mounted "scout scope".

    Given your needs, these are all guns that I'd look at before considering a regular boltie.

    Sounds like he has a .243 boltie he hasn't been able to sell.:)
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2007
  7. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Member

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    A lever action may not be as strong as a bolt action, but that really isn't the question. The question is, are lever actions strong enough? The answer is yes.

    There's a reason so many Marlin "Guide guns" have been sold for use in the brush in Alaska and other places.
     
  8. RubenZ

    RubenZ Member

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    I have a .30-30 Lever and for walking around the brush it is my go to gun. It feels perfect in the hand, holds enough rounds to get you to safety, the sights are just awesome and the caliber has just enough power that if I were attacked by any game in North America, with the amount of loads the gun holds and the quickness I could survive.
     
  9. McCall911

    McCall911 Member

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    Hmm...I guess that's news to owners of Browning BLR's, Savage Model 99's, and Winchester Model 1895's in such calibers as .30-06 and .405 WCF.
     
  10. TCB in TN

    TCB in TN Member

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    I have a Browning BLR 308 that shoots about 1 1/2 to 2 moa at 200yards, The first Browning BLR 81 I had was in .270 and it shot even better. And as for the old Marlin and Winchester 30-30s well they are as good in the field as you can get. They do shoot very accurately even with reg ammo out to about 150 yards, and as mentioned above they handle, point, and shoot off hand in the field better than just about anything you will find. Counter jockey is just trying to push you into a bigger sale!
     
  11. DogBonz

    DogBonz Member

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    He was trying to sell you

    Thats all. He is right that a bolt action is stronger, but who cares? For a walking around protection rifle you want something that is fast handling and nimble. A nice light 30-30 lever carbine will be much easier and comfortable to carry around and what not than a blot action. The 30-30 will put down black bears and deer with no problem. Also, you may want to look at one in 44mag. That could fill the need that you have and also be a very fun little rifle. Plus, a heavy 44 load from a carbine barrel is quite potent, and the rifle may weigh a little less and hold a few more rounds.

    Just my $.02
     
  12. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    BTW I have seen a deer that a hunter thought was down, but was only stunned and hunkered down in the brush.

    When he approached, it jumped up and came straight for him. He had a bolt-action rifle. A final, lucky neck shot killed it, but only after he'd given it slight wounds with the rounds in the rest of the magazine.

    If it'd been a bear, he'd probably be dead.

    A standard scoped bolt-action hunting rifle is the last firearm I'd want to have in my hands if I was surprised by an attacking bear.
     
  13. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    BTW I have seen a deer that a hunter thought was down, but was only stunned and hunkered down in the brush.

    When he approached, it jumped up and came straight for him. He had a bolt-action rifle. A final, lucky neck shot dropped it, but only after he'd missed or given it slight wounds with the rounds in the rest of the magazine.

    NOT ONE ROUND he fired at close range came anywhere NEAR center-mass, which is where he thought he was pointing.

    If it'd been a bear, he'd probably be dead.

    A standard scoped bolt-action hunting rifle is the last firearm I'd want to have in my hands if I was surprised by an attacking bear.
     
  14. Essex County

    Essex County Member

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    This works for Me....

    Whenever I feel the urgent need to find an ignorant and biased jerk I head directly to a Gunshop and look for the hired help behind the counter. I am rarely dissapointed...........Appoligize to the folks thart are sharp. Essex
     
  15. George Hill

    George Hill Member

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    Marlin rifles are plenty strong enough for the calibers they are chambered for. I don't know what that guy is talking about.
     
  16. arctictom

    arctictom Member

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    I have shot a lots of lever guns at dangerous game and large game (over 1000 lbs) , so far their all dead. 45-70,405, 444 marlin all good reliable large bore levers and work like a charm.
    Levers are good and I personaly love them ,
    but a 223 ????????. You might go for a 30-06 in a bolt action rifle if you like that sort of thing.
    Consider a 45-70 or a 450 marlin if you want a large caliber lever rifle.
     
  17. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Remember the dealer was pushing a .243 bolt action. Look at the energy figures, it is little harder hitting than the .30-30. What it gains in velocity and "shock" it gives up in penetration.

    (But if you find your self trying to "stick more rounds in the tube while rapidly shooting" you have worse problems with your approach to the problem than action types and calibers can handle.)
     
  18. Quiet

    Quiet Member

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    Do your own research.

    Lever guns were the goto gun for years before bolt actions came on the scene.
     
  19. kds99

    kds99 Member

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    if your avg shot will be less than 125 yards, a 44 mag would be a great choice in a lever
     
  20. PercyShelley

    PercyShelley Member

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    If your biggest threat is potentially a black bear, I don't think that .243 will do you.

    If you would prefer a lever rifle, there are a goodly number of models chambered in 450 Marlin, some quite lightweight and manageable. Being that 450 Marlin is essentially a high-pressure 45/70, I see no reason to believe that lever rifles are not of sufficient strength.

    If you run into a bear while carrying a lightweight BLR or 1895M in that caliber, simply place the buttstock on the bear's forehead and squeeze the trigger. The bear will be immediately incapacitated. In a pinch you could shoot it, although at this point the rifle may be counter-productive to preventing injury.
     
  21. BADUNAME13

    BADUNAME13 Member

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    I have leverguns in .308 and 30-40 (Amoung others)

    + 1 on the 'strong enough'

    and, I'd wonder about someone who advised .243 for bear...
     
  22. Old Time Hunter

    Old Time Hunter Member

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    I'd never go back to that gunshop, at least until they had someone more knowledgeable and with practical experience. Maybe a loose wrist turn bolt is stronger WHEN chambered for larger magnum loads, but the leverguns handle up to 50k of CUP in Winchesters/Marlins chambered for .30-30 and almost 60k CUP in the BLR's, M95 Winchesters, and such chambered for .270's, .308's, .30-06's, and .405's. Heck, the M71 Winchester was chambered for the .348 and could be loaded to almost 4k of energy. Marlin has the .308XLR that is dead nuts even with a .308 and Winchester had the .307 BB that was a rimmed .308.

    You can do more with a levergun chambered in .30-30 than you can in any of the boutique turn bolts, especially at the end of the day. Leverguns carry easier.
     
  23. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Member

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    I'm pretty sure a .243 would do for -hunting- a bear (when you get to choose the confrontation situation). Now if you were -surprised- by a bear that would be a different story.
     
  24. BADUNAME13

    BADUNAME13 Member

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    He said
     
  25. bg226

    bg226 Member

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    Thanks for all the help.

    I'm impressed with how much the folks on THR know.
     
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