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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 6/10/2002 8:30:54 AM EST
Looking for a lever action rifle, prefer Marlin but not sure what caliber I should get. I basically want a good light bush rifle with no more kick than needed. The choices would seem to be:

450 marlin
45 colt
44 magnum
357 magnum

I would be using this rifle for camping, plinking, hiking, hunting. The hunting would be from small deer to 300 lb wild pigs under 100 yards and anything else I may run across in the West-Texas desert. The 450, 45/70, and 444 all seem to be overkill except on the largest boars and I think even a 44 mag or hot 45 colt would work fine on them assuming I do my part (hit em where it counts). The 357 would also seem fine except maybe on the big pigs. I don't know where the 30-30 fits in, is it more powerful than a 44 magnum? What do y'all think?

Link Posted: 6/10/2002 8:41:15 AM EST
The old "Thudy-Thudy" is more powerful than a .44 mag, and will get the job done without a doubt. 30-30 ammo is easy to find and fairly inexpensive. 170 grain softpoints are the most useful bullet weight.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 8:44:26 AM EST
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 8:47:31 AM EST
There's a reason why the .30-30 is still so popular in lever-action rifles. It's an excellent choice. Many people still think of the .30-30 when you say "deer rifle". Of the rounds you mention, it's the one I'd choose.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 8:51:25 AM EST
I highly recommend the 45LC. I had a friend in Cinci who went to Kentucky for boar twice. He loads his hot for them and he got a swine 2ce. When he goes to the range to know down pins and such, he uses light loads. The great thing about a 45LC is that you have a wide range of bullet weights and powder charges to chose from. I is also interchangable with a pistol as is the 44. I know the bullet weights were between 195 grains and 350 grains. I don't know what make and model he bought, but it might have been an Uberti. What ever you select I'm sure you will have fun. I always wanted to get one but never save up the $$$ for it.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 8:56:55 AM EST
My vote goes for the 45-70. The 30-30 probably makes the most sense. Have you checked out the new 454 Casull? It's imported from the company that took over the Rossi line. It looks like a Rossi to me. Basic Winchester 92 action. I believe you could also shoot 45 Colt thru it. If you reload the 45 Colt would be a great choice. If not the 30-30 would be hard to beat.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 9:25:52 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/10/2002 9:26:42 AM EST by Mach1]
Right now, I'm pondering the same question. Except instead of wild pigs, it will be used for deer and defense against black bears. (Yes, they do attack occasionally.) I pondered the 45/70, but it is more gun than I need. If I ever do make it out to grizzly country, my short barreled 870 can serve that purpose. I decided to go with the venerable 30-30. Now. which lever- Winchester or marlin? I'm leaning towards the Winchester trapper, because it has a short 16" barrel and will fit inside my pack. It is also a pound lighter. Going to complete the rifle with Ashley rear peep and front post.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 11:52:32 AM EST
Marlin 336CS in .35 Remington. Variable power scope. It is a sweet little package.

ByteTheBullet (-:
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 11:58:15 AM EST
Hellraiser I recommend getting your lever action in .357 magnum. Why, because of the availability and cost of rounds. I have never seen a gunshop that did not carry .357 or .38 special ammo. I have a Winchester 94 in 44 magnum and wish I would have bought one in .357 for the reason I stated above.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 11:59:32 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/10/2002 12:02:59 PM EST by M1QJ]
I've got a Marlin 336 in .30-30. Nice rifle! The workmanship is excellent. Like DPeacher said, the ammo is common and inexpensive. Easy to load if you load your own. Not a heavy rifle, kick is quite manageable, and it's more powerful than the pistol cartridges.

This is my hog gun until my M1 gets into good accurate/running order. Haven't taken anything with it yet. It's a Marlin 336. I put one of the elastic shell holders on the stock. I can fit 7 rounds in the rifle (6 in the tube, one in the pipe) and 9 on the cartridge holder. It's still pretty light set up that way.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 12:00:31 PM EST
I'd go for a Marlin in 30-30
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 12:10:55 PM EST
Marlin 366 here in .35 Rem and for me its the perfect brush gun.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 12:14:49 PM EST
Hellraiser, you reload? If so, I'd suggest the 45/70, then you could load it as soft (quiet 500 grain subsonics sound fun) or as hot as you want. Since you said "no more kick than needed," you might want to strongly avoid the 450 Marlin. If you don't reload and think you might want to buy a large revolver sometime in the future, the 44 mag would be nice so you could share ammo. Of course as others have said, the 30-30 will do everything you need with factory ammo that you can buy anywhere.z
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 12:21:39 PM EST
There should be no question, 30-30 mate!
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 12:26:21 PM EST
lever action rifle:
get an older Marlin. you get a great gun, you wont be shelling out for the name and new guns have a separate "UGLY" (and unnecessary) safety on the side of the frame.

I like my .444 Marlin
it will kill a deer and pigs and drop them dead on the spot!!! (actually) it has been known to knock them off their feet and throw them about 5-10 feet down range. my rifle has a red dot scope that is sighted in at 75 yds. The .444 can be brutal after about 50 rounds.

for camping and plinking I would get a Ruger revolver and a carbine in .44 MAG as a set to play with. I think the 30-30 is marginal on deer. it has the same power as a AK-47 and I would not shoot a deer sized animal with a .30 caliber bullet that travels slower than a .308 Winchester. when I am putting food on the table or trying to humanely take an animal I like overkill.

I would rather have a 44 or a hot loaded 45LC over a 30-30. I will take the larger diameter of the pistol rounds over the little bit of velocity gain. I think the .357 is a bit small and slow for deer.

keep in mind when you shoot a person he thinks:
"I've been shot" then he may slip into shock and die. a animal only knows it's hurt and it's instincts tell it that if it can escape what hurt it that it will live. when I kill a animal I want to knock it off it's feet and disorient it to the point that it can't escape. i want it to die in it's tracts and you will not get those results from a 30-30 without a head or neck shot and if i wanted to shoot them in the head or neck i would use my AR15.

Link Posted: 6/10/2002 12:30:22 PM EST
Go to www.marlinfirearms.com they will give you some help. If it was me and I had the money I would go with the Marlin 444. If you want to go 30/30 the Marlin 336W.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 12:33:13 PM EST
Another vote for .30-30. Ammo's everywhere and it gets the job done; may be a bit light for some big pigs though.

My Marlin 336, teflon-moly finish, Weaver K4, and 9 rounds on the stock. Tactical Urban Assault Carbine.

Link Posted: 6/10/2002 2:04:03 PM EST
I've got a winchester mod 94 in 44 mag has a 9 round mag 16inch barrel. it shoots good i just havent shot it enough to hit anything with it past 50 yards.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 2:12:47 PM EST
I have a Marlin 1894P in 44 mag. Ashley rear ghost ring and bigdot front. Ashley scout rail with Leupold. Ching sling set up.

I like this gun alot, great woods gun for northern VT - light, fast & accurate enough. Also a great camp gun. If I were to do it over again, I'd get a longer barrel and cut it down - the stock porting is LOUD.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 3:27:18 PM EST
Winchester Trapper 30-30. Everybody say's Marlin, but, even though its modern production, there's something about owning a "Winchester lever-action 30-30. I don't know maybe it's Texas.

Link Posted: 6/10/2002 3:53:14 PM EST
While I agree on the .30-30 being an excellent round--plenty of energy, and I could get my best handloads to group about 3" with a Williams peep sight on my Win. 94 (a better shot probably could have done better, too!).

If you are going to be carrying a handgun, I would stick with some commonality of calibers/cartridges. A .44 revolver and a .44 carbine makes an excellent combination. .44 Specials can go through both, also.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 4:01:45 PM EST
I have the Marlin 336CS. Great rifle in 30-30. I got a bushnell scope with raised mounts so I can still use the iron sights...great setup and a real pleasure to shoot...Trucker
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 7:11:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/10/2002 7:13:04 PM EST by BusMaster007]

It's BIG.
You can get some SERIOUS loaded ammo for it.
It's BIG.
The hole in the end of the barrel is BIG.
Did I mention it's BIG?

edited to say: be sure you Loc-Tite the sight hood on the front sight base...I'm still looking for mine after the first range session.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 7:22:34 PM EST
The Marlin 336 is nice. 30-30 aint bad either.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 7:30:44 PM EST
On a side note, I would get an older model (without that stupid crossbolt safety)
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 7:51:02 PM EST
If I were to acquire another lever action, it would be a 45-70, if only because I'd like to experiment with some ammo that was reviewed in the March issue of "The Accurate Rifle."
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 10:11:47 PM EST
My choice would be between either .35Rem or 30-30. I've had both. - Prob go with 30-30 if it's your first lever gun.
Link Posted: 6/11/2002 5:20:30 AM EST
I have my late father's pre-war Winchester 94 in 30-30 that has by current standards a match trigger. There is something about the snick-snick-snick of a 94 action that appeals like the original Colt SAA action does . . .

That said, the lever action that I reach for most is a Marlin 1895 in 45-70, with 300 grain Hornady JSPs over 52 grains of IMR 3031. Kills at both ends, but the group is less than 2 MOA using a Williams FoolProof receiver sight. It has literally knocked down RIGHT FREAKING NOW anything that I've hit with it, including whitetail, coyotes, and bear.

I also have a Marlin .375 that is like a "little brother" to the 1895. It does very well on whitetail and coyote also, using 220 grain Hornady reloads.

My personal recommendation in response to the original post for an all-around lever and chambering is to get either a Marlin (my personal preference) or a Winchester in .30-30. The ammo is ubiquitous, much like the .357 Magnum recommended by an earlier poster, only more powerful. I'd go with the heavier weight loads, 170-180 grains. Wal-Mart has .30-30 year-round at unbeatable prices. There was a time when a 200 grain flatnosed JSP was offered, but it has been 20 years since I bought any .30-30 ammo and it may not be offered.

Incidentally, lever gun accuracy can often be improved by loosening the screws on the front band and at the end of the mag tube and firing the weapon several times, then just snugging the screws. I had a Winchester 94 Big Bore in .375 that patterned until I cut the tip off the screw in the end of the mag tube that engaged a recess in the underside of the barrel. I shortened the screw and eliminated contact with the barrel, loosened the front band, fired it (groups shrank to 2.5" from 6") then tightened the front band just snug.

Good luck,

Link Posted: 6/11/2002 5:52:02 AM EST
I had to go with the 44 magnum, cause I shoot a 44mag. handgun (one less extra caliber to stock or reload)... Works real well that way and is still nasty beyond 100yds...
Link Posted: 6/12/2002 1:38:39 AM EST
How about a Marlin 336 in 35 Rem, I'm about to try one myself...
Link Posted: 6/12/2002 10:33:00 AM EST
The .35 Remington is a wonderful cartridge. A better thumper then a .30-30, but not as stiff in the recoil department as a .45-70. I just can't remember the last time I saw .35 Rem on a store shelf. But you can always find .30-06, .30-30, 12 ga, and .22 lr at ANY place that sells ammo.

If it were MY rifle, I'd go with a Marlin Guide Gun in .45-70. In my book there is no such thing as over kill.
Link Posted: 6/20/2002 2:37:37 PM EST
Thanks guys, I went and bought 2, both marlins, one is a 30-30 in stainless steel which I will use for camping, plinking, all around truck gun. Also got the 45-70 guide gun (with ports) for my pig hunting. Damn, should have got both in the blued models so the wife will think I just got one new rifle, oh well. I stood there thinking about which one to buy then just said the hell with it and bought both.
Link Posted: 6/21/2002 5:36:54 PM EST
Legacy arms has a Mod 92 in 454 casul shoots 45LC also.
Link Posted: 6/21/2002 8:54:56 PM EST
I have lever guns in .38-40, .357mag, .30-30, .300savage, & .45-70.

The .38-40 & .30-30 are my favorites.

For your purposes, get the .30-30. Should be able to find a used one for $200.00 to $250.00 depending on condition. Get one from before they added the cross bolt safety.
Link Posted: 6/21/2002 9:12:31 PM EST

Originally Posted By Gun Guru:
Legacy arms has a Mod 92 in 454 casul shoots 45LC also.

Where can I find some info. on that ??

Web site maybe ?
Link Posted: 6/22/2002 6:23:19 AM EST
for a pack gun, i'd go with the 44 mag trapper. all the power you'll ever need, plus the magazine will hold a significant amount more ammo than the 30-30. a second though was one rechambered to take the 357 maximum.

Link Posted: 6/22/2002 6:30:16 AM EST
LEGACY SPORTS INTERNATIONAL (LSI), importer and distributor of affordable, high quality sporting arms, announces the first lever action carbine chambered for the powerful .454 Casull cartridge.

The Puma M92 product line, faithful recreations of Model 1892 Winchester rifles and carbines, has fast become a favorite with hunters, plinkers, and especially with cowboy action shooters.

Now, for the first time in the U.S., these fast-shucking lever actions are available in one of the world’s most powerful handgun cartridges. The Puma .454 Casull is offered as a 20-inch round-barrel carbine with a full-length magazine that can be loaded either through the traditional loading gate or from the end of the magazine tube.

Magazine capacity in the Puma .454 Casull is nine rounds plus one in the chamber. The finish is full blued steel, and the hardwood stock sports a fitted rubber recoil pad to make shooting this heavy-duty round a pleasure.

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