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youngvr4 01-23-2013 03:39

Tell me about lever action rifles
I found myself lately watching westerns like my old man and grandfather. hell my dads only two channels are espn and the western channel. that goes for my grandfather who passed a couple years a go.
I often wondered as a kid what made my dad and grandfather watch those westerns all day like they did. i believe its because it brings them back to the reality of the good old days, when men were men. before cars and freeways. when man lived off the land and natural resources.

Anyway, watching these westerns lately makes me want to buy myself a Lever action rifle. not sure if i want it in .357 mag or 30-30.
Anyone have any suggestions on the best kind to get for the money. or best bang for the buck. right now i own two glock's a norinko ak-47, my grandfathers hawes .357 mag 6 shooter and my 270 hunting rifle. What are your outlooks on lever action? anything to look out for? i'm completely dumb to them.

Kozel 01-23-2013 04:25

If you want to get lever gun that shoots empty shells into your forehead get Winchester. If you want side ejecting lever gun get Marlin.

Outer Rondacker 01-23-2013 04:41

I have a old school marlin in 44 mag that is mint. I have wanted one for years and just could not make it happen untill just weeks ago. It is now my most favorite gun to shoot. I could shoot it all day long. Next I want a 357 lever. I like the pistol rounds becuase I cast lead and it cost me pennies on the dollar to shoot. 30/30 is great too if you reload and cast even better. Prices on 30 30 are starting to jump past a dollar a round. If you really want a lever like the old days get a 45/70. I think there getting to be around 2 dollars a round. What ever you decide to get in a lever you will love. I would even say a henry 22 for a fun plinker.

Bob Hafler 01-23-2013 05:25

I have a 1981 Marlin 336 30/30 and like so many other people I love lever actions. I'd stay away from the new Marlin (Remlins) if I were you and look for an older one in good condition. I'm paying about 70 cents +- per round for new stuff. I also have a friend who reloads, so when I can I get some from him for target shooting.

SouthernBoyVA 01-23-2013 05:41

I have a Marlin lever action in .44 Magnum and it is one sweet rifle. Extremely well made, this is a gem to own. And in .44 Magnum, it is a perfect compliment to a .44 Magnum revolver. Great in heavy brush country and powerful enough for black bear.

Kentucky Shooter 01-23-2013 06:18

All posts in this thread are giving you great advice. Look for a JM stamped, CT made Marlin (2009 or before). These are great rifles and many good used ones on the market. All of the calibers are great in these rifles and each will have their pluses. Just get one (or two) you like.

Actionmonkey 01-23-2013 06:31

Man this thread has me wanting to pick up a lever action now! I try and focus my new guns based on ammo prices and nothing is at a good price right now!

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faawrenchbndr 01-23-2013 06:31

Kentucky Shooter nailed it.

A JM proofed Marlin is a sweet's my 1894

SJ 40 01-23-2013 06:53

The best lever action if you intend to shoot it regularly would be in pistol caliber chambering.

Of those the Winchester 94 is the worst choice, the rifle was designed for a cartridge length of greater than 2" in length and most of the pistol caliber rounds are 1.575 or shorter. That difference makes for a frustrating experience when it comes to proper feeding.

While on the subject of Winchester lever actions or copies there of the winchester 1892 in pistol caliber would be a good choice. Be it the Miroku manufactured, produced for both Winchester and Browning or the Rossi versions of the venerable 92.

The Marlin if it is a JM marked barrel not Remlin, Rem,marked barrel,Remington produced 94 is a solid choice. They tend to be slightly more Cartridge Over All Length sensitive.

The Uberti Henry 1860,1866 and 1873 rifles while more expensive are good rifles.

If you want a 30-30 length round the Winchester 1894 and JM marked Marlins are hard to beat.

I left one out I don't even consider it a option
the Henry Big Pile aka Big Boy,I would rather have a decent muzzle loader than Big Pile as they are more reliable. SJ 40

SJ 40 01-23-2013 06:55

Double Tap. SJ 40

tnedator 01-23-2013 06:58

Just remember, the lever action rifle is a civilian version of a military assault weapon. For this reason alone, I don't think it's appropriate for you to buy one.

meangreenlx50 01-23-2013 06:59

I have both pistol and rifle caliber Marlins (1894 and 1895) and a Rossi 1892. All have pros and cons. Right now good pistol caliber Marlins (1894s) are probably hard to find. I bought a Rossi 1892 in .38/.357 and once I put a spring kit in it from Brownells it was awesome.

Dawolf 01-23-2013 07:32

I have a sweet Mossberg brush gun in 30-30. With the fiber optic sites, it is great without a scope up about 75 yards.

sns3guppy 01-23-2013 07:50


If you want to get lever gun that shoots empty shells into your forehead get Winchester.
My Winchester 94AE in .45 doesn't eject into my forehead; that's why it's called an angle eject.

It feeds just fine, too.

My Marlin 1895GS in .45/70 feeds great, is accurate enough, compact enough for easy handling, and is a lot of fun.

Ranger1759 01-23-2013 10:00

I have 2 Marlin's....I have the guide gun in .444 and a .357 lever carbine with micro groove rifling...and I love them both....I have taken several deer with both of these guns in PA...I like the .357 the best because is the pistol caliber. PA allows the carry of 2 firearms while deer hunting, If I'm posting all day, I wear a red dotted Rugar Blackhawk in .357 and carry the .357 rifle....if my shot is within my comfort level with the pistol, I use that, if not, then I use the rifle....and only have to carry one type of ammo...

Travclem 01-23-2013 10:14

I prefer the pre-'64 Winchesters to all others, but a pre-Remington Marlin is a fine gun as well.

Wishoot 01-23-2013 12:35


Originally Posted by sns3guppy (Post 19900555)
My Winchester 94AE in .45 doesn't eject into my forehead; that's why it's called an angle eject.

It feeds just fine, too.

My Marlin 1895GS in .45/70 feeds great, is accurate enough, compact enough for easy handling, and is a lot of fun.


I've got the 94AE in 44mag and everything ejects to the right. It's a decent rifle, but it doesn't have the smoothest action in the world. I've only put a few hundred rounds through it though, so maybe it will get smoother with time.

Fox 01-23-2013 12:49

Consider buying an M92 Winchester carbine chambered in .44-40 WCF.

CU4X4N 01-23-2013 13:01

I'm a big proponent of conserving calibers, so since you already own a .357 mag revolver I would go for a lever action rifle chambered in .357.

Can't go wrong with a Marlin 1894c, Win 94, or a Rossi 92.

scottz0369 01-23-2013 14:01

I'm following this discussion with interest. I do 3 Gun shoots for fun, and I've been considering using my GP100 instead of my 1911, and would love to shoot a 357 lever action for the rifle stages. I know that I won't be competitive, but I'm not now when I look at the gear and practice many of the other shooters have.

Generally, what kind of accuracy can I reasonably expect from a 357 lever action? I'm a fair shooter (11x rifle expert on the Marine Corps qual course), but not a sniper by any means.

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