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Ok, I want a lever gun... Some questions inside. Login/Join 
posting without pants
Picture of KevinCW
posted
As the title says, I want a lever gun.

I had a chance to pick up a new Marlin in .30-30 a while back for cheap and passed. Now kicking myself and have the itch again.

FWIW, I've only shot them in .22 long rifle (Henry) and .357mag (Henry)

I see tons of different options out there... .22, .38/.357, .30-30, .45-70, etc.

I know I don't want a .22 as I have other plinking rifles (and could do that easily any other day)

This will be pretty much a range toy, but just like any other gun, I want the OPTION of using it defensively, although I can't fathom many situations where I wouldn't reach for one of the many AR/AK rifles instead. I'm not a huge hunter at all, but of course, it wouldn't hurt to be able to use it for that if I choose to.

So I've poked around online and looked at Marlin and Henry rifles. Any other brands to consider? What's the best bang for the buck?

What caliber would you choose? factor in fun, ballistics, cost of ammo, and capacity of the rifle in your response.

Anything else I should consider when thinking about this?

Anything else I need to know about these rifles?

Educate me friends.

Kevin





Strive to live your life so when you wake up in the morning and your feet hit the floor, the devil says "Oh crap, he's up."
 
Posts: 32936 | Location: St. Louis MO | Registered: February 15, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peripheral Visionary
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When I bought my 336SS years ago, 30-30 was still cheap and I bought quite a bit of both Winchester and Remington ammo. Unfortunately it has gone up a lot and has been less available like all the rest. That said, it is slim, handy, and fun to shoot. It holds six rounds in the tube, and out to 200ish yards very comparable to 7.62x39. Ghost ring sights and/or a low power fixed scope give it fast handling and great utility within its useful range.

Really, everyone needs a thutty thutty.

I'm still looking for an 1894 in .357, preferably in stainless as well. More capacity, less recoil, and ballistics of .357 in a rifle can come somewhat close to 30-30. Hopefully Ruger will get their act together and start cranking them out.

I also like the idea of a 45-70, but it doesn't make much sense unless you reload.




 
Posts: 10595 | Location: Texas | Registered: January 29, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Delta-3
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The new Ruger/Marlin or Henry should serve you well.
I prefer the 45-70 but wouldn't mind one in 357 mag.
(My 2019 Marlin GBL)



Rom 13:4 If you do evil, be afraid. For he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.
 
Posts: 538 | Location: NW Ohio but Montana is always home. | Registered: September 30, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Troll your local pawn shops and look for used JM Marlins or Model 94s. I have had good luck doing that. And dont overlook the Sears branded Model 94s which can be had a little cheaper.


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Posts: 13013 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Dies Irae
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The Henry side-gate in 327 Federal Magnum seems like it'd be fun if other rifle options are already covered.
 
Posts: 5686 | Location: Fort Heathen, Texas | Registered: February 25, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Wait, what?
Picture of gearhounds
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+1 on hitting all the gun/pawn stores and looking for a used Marlin or Winnie. Hand gun calibers are the most attractive option as ammo is a bit less expensive as well as being a good home SD choice (.357/.44 from a 16-20” barrel is very formidable indeed) but expect to pay a premium. Gun sellers are getting very savvy to the higher perceived value Marlin pistol caliber lever guns are bringing.

As I understand it, Henry makes a good product and has excellent customer service so you can buy new if a Marlin does not float your boat. Or perhaps bide your time to see how the new Ruger Marlins pan out- I’m guessing a good bit better than Remington did. Personally, having been boned by a Remlin, I’d not buy another unless it was such a good deal that parts alone would be worth it.




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Posts: 13253 | Location: Martinsburg WV | Registered: April 02, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of ruger357
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quote:
Originally posted by Delta-3:
The new Ruger/Marlin or Henry should serve you well.
I prefer the 45-70 but wouldn't mind one in 357 mag.
(My 2019 Marlin GBL)



Nice! Who did the customizations and what all did they do?


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Posts: 7547 | Location: Hoover, AL | Registered: November 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Delta-3
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A good buddy of mine is a gunsmith in Wisconsin. I sent it to him & he did a lot of internal work. Smoothing things & making it reliable. Shortened the stock (because I have stumpy arms). Upgraded with quality parts from Wild West Guns. I added the XS sights & scout rail. Scope is a Burris 2x-7X scout scope. I can't begin to tell you how smooth the action is. Like no other lever action I've ever used.
I shoot 405g hard cast, powder coated lead bullets @ 1650 FPS in nickel coated cases. I could go a little faster but it has enough kick for me at that speed. Accuracy is great but range is limited to about 150 yds.


Rom 13:4 If you do evil, be afraid. For he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.
 
Posts: 538 | Location: NW Ohio but Montana is always home. | Registered: September 30, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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For hunting I prefer the 30-30, but a range toy, a 357 magnum or 44 magnum can be a lot of fund. I'm not a huge fan of the Henry rifles. I'd look for a Marlin. The Marlins should be hitting the shops in the not too distant future.
 
Posts: 831 | Location: WV | Registered: May 30, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hop head
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I'm not a fan of the Henry's,,
I've send a few of the long range (Browning BLR kinda clone) back for repair,
and the rest seem to be over hyped,

but that is just me,

pistol caliber, the one to find is the Browning 92's,
Miruko made copies of the Winchester's, in 357/44mag/45Colt,

very well made, faithful (of sorts) clones,



www.chesterfieldarmament.com
 
Posts: 9390 | Location: Beach VA,not VA Beach | Registered: July 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a Marlin 1895 LTD-IV .45-70 Government full length 24" octagon barrel. There were only 1001 of this version was made. It is my favorite rifle.

I have taken many deer and hogs as well as a few turkey with it.
 
Posts: 607 | Location: McKinney, TX | Registered: February 20, 2018Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
pants

Marlin, Henry, Winchester...

Caliber?
Do ya have one of them .357's or one of them .44's in a pistol?
Me?- I'd go with one to match my pistol caliber.

Or just "go for the gold" and get you a 30-30 or 45-70.


_____________________________________________________________________

"When its time to shoot, shoot. Dont talk!"

“What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It’s not good at much else.” —Author Tom Clancy
 
Posts: 6968 | Location: Attempting to keep the noise down around Midway Airport | Registered: February 14, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I grew up shooting my dads Browing 22 a lot. When I started hunting I used a Winchester 94 30-30. Ended up with a Marlin 30-30 and a Winchester 94 30-30.

In the 1990s I ended up buying a new Marlin 1895 45-70 played around with it for about 6 years. Of all the lever guns I had over the years just could not warm up to that Marlin 1895 at all. Sold it and picked up a than new Marlin 16.5" 1894P in 44 Mag and later a 1894 in 357 mag. Of a fair amount of CF lever guns over the years I like the Winchester and Marlin 30-30s and the Marlin 1894P 44 the best.

If you want a classic lever gun it is hard to beat a good Winchester 94 in 30-30. Especially a pre 1977 pre rebounding hammer version.
 
Posts: 2313 | Registered: March 15, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Please consider the Browning BLR.

Mine is a .308, and shoots steel case ammo just fine, so the ammo cost is lowest.

It just reeks of quality to me. Found it used at the local gun store.

I also have a Henry Long Ranger in .243. It works but lacks the silky smoothness of the Browning.


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Posts: 2014 | Location: Eastern Virginia | Registered: October 12, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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For your stated purpose of range toy, a pistol caliber gun is definitely the way to go. Mine are my favorite long guns that I own. Low recoil, fast and light, and more accurate than such a gun has any right to be. If you don't reload, I'd recommend .357 over .44 or .45 Colt, just for the price of factory ammo. If you do reload, pick you favorite and go with that.

I'm a Marlin guy myself, and love my 1894s, but have also been jonesing for an 1873 clone, probably in .45 Colt. I have not had a chance to shoot one, but I hear the toggle-link action is incredibly smooth, albeit not as a strong as the more modern designs.
 
Posts: 5350 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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(Pssst: .38/.357)


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Posts: 13464 | Location: Florida | Registered: June 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a Winchester 94 in .30-30 I got on the cheap and it is a mighty fine gun.

Very likely my next firearm purchase will be a lever gun in .45-70.
Looking forward to checking out the new Marlin. Though the color case hardened Henry’s are beautiful. Though they are 22” barrels and I want as short as I can get.


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Posts: 23069 | Registered: September 06, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Go Vols!
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Hard to beat a Marlin 30-30. Mines a 35. A little more expensive to shoot.
 
Posts: 17136 | Location: SE Michigan | Registered: February 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Mine's a 45/70 1895SBL

 
Posts: 1832 | Location: Lake Country, Minnesota | Registered: September 06, 2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a Marlin from 1973 in 444, then a newer Henry in 45-70. For the range toy, plinking, home defense type use I’d look for one of the pistol calibers, 357, 44, or similar.

I’m kinda a fan of the Henry rifle, seem well built, tight. If you were to drop down to a 22, a bunch more options come up, mine is a BL-22, Browning.
 
Posts: 5174 | Location: WI | Registered: February 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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