Lever action scout

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Dec 7, 2008
Okay, I'm planning on building my own scout rifle since the savage scout is on indefinite backorder.
I am going to build a lever action with forward mount pistol scope (have to get a gunsmith to mount this for me)/ghost ring and front post as backup. I love levers for their speed and light weight.
I'm thinking this will make a great hunting, truck, defense, etc. gun.

As I live in florida, most shots will be within 100 yards.

So, there are a few items to iron out before going out and picking one up.
1. What caliber: I was thinking 30-30 as it is a nice do anything round. But, I'm also thinking 44 mag. Why 44? Well, from what I understand I could shoot the same ammo in a 44 revolver, thus combining my weapons systems somewhat. A 44 revolver would be fine for hunting or home defense also.
I plan to reload, so pretty much everything would be the same except for overall length.

2. Brand of rifle. Obviously if I choose to go with a 44, this is limits the number of makes chambered in this round.

3. Buy it from a big box store? I understand the stocks can be cheaper with the big box stores, but with a lever action I'm not sure if this matters?
I've seen 30-30's at Gander for 300 bucks.

I would look at pawn shops for a good used Marlin 30-30. I would wait until after Jan 1 2009 because lots of hunters pawn their rifles after Christmas. The pawn shops will let them go much cheaper if you show up with cash so they will not have to keep them in inventory until Sept.

There are rails made for mounting a scout scope on Marlins that bolt right on. No gunsmithing needed.
Great advice from jmr40. The after Christmas "sales" are usually pretty good. BTW if you are in Western FL you can go over to Alabama and look in pawn shops as well. I have seen some good real good deals on rifles all through out AL. Shotguns are typically higher priced than here local (I don't understand why). Here local you can find a good used 336 in 30-30 for $200 to 250, but after Christmas they usually go cheaper. (I am looking for a "cheap" one for a project I have in mind and have been offered several very good ones locally for LT $250 this week.
For a 30-30 the Marlin 336 is a very well regarded lever gun. It holds 6 rounds.

In .44 or 357 the Marlin 1894 is a very well regarded lever gun. If you get one with Marlin's microgroove barrel you may have issues with lead bullets. Also, the 1894's twist may problematic with > 300gr. the 1894 holds 10 rounds.

XS sight systems has a scout mount for both the 1984 & 336 (and others) that does not require a gunsmith to install it.

Check www.marlinowners.com for more info on Marlins.

I hope this helps.


P.S. Also check out Hornady's leverevolution ammo, and Warne Quick Detach scope rings.
jmr40 is right about sales after christmas. I have also found that a month or so later is ever better. Thats when the credit card bills are hitting the mail. Also deer seasons over.

I have both the 44 and the 30-30. My first choice would be the 30-30. I do like my 44 and have seen several deer shot with the 44 and its a nasty round, but I think the 30-30 is just a little more useful. Thats my opinion and its worth twice what you paid for it.

No marlin is a mistake. The 30-30 will run about half what the 44 cost also.
Marlin 30-30 with ghostring sights, sling and buttcuff would be a great "scout rifle". If the shots are only going to be up to 100m then why put a scope on it ? I don't see any reason to have the same ammo in a rifle and a pistol. I prefer rifles that use rifle ammo.
xs makes a good scount mount for marlins. and a 30/30 is a lot cheaper than a pistol caliber marlin. economies of scale I guess.
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