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Bolt or Lever action for hunting newbie?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by army_inc, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. army_inc


    Jul 22, 2010
    Ok guys. I plan on learning how to hunt deer in the near future. I'm debating on getting either a lever action or bolt action. I've always loved the classic look of the lever action and the fact that most of them have wood stocks. I do like the accuracy of the bolt action though (not that the lever action isn't accurate, but bolt just seems to be more accurate).
    I plan on either getting the rifle in .308 or 30-06. Which one would be a better hunting rifle? I haven't decided if I want to mount a scope on the rifle. I'd like it to be more challenging and sharpen my accuracy skills at the same time. THen again, I've never shot with a scope so it would be cool to figure out how with the distances and everything. Any recommendations on rifles, scopes, and whether not I should get a lever or bolt action?
    Savage Edge seems like a pretty good starting bolt action. Any thoughts?
  2. A few big difference as you know it & need to be considered.

    The lever-action will be restrict to certain types of Ammo and nose and bullet types, hornady has certain ammos out just made for this reason.

    Most modern days LA are very accurate for hunting in the normal distance & ranges

    Bolts action would be cheaper imho and better for a 1st timer and more plentiful and numerous in calibers.

  3. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 Grumpy Old Guy

    Jan 25, 2008
    Clarksville, Tn.
    For medium to longer ranges I would go bolt and for closer fast shooting a lever, just my opinion.
    A good bolt gun is, in my opinion, simpler and easier to become good with.
    A bad bolt gun is not as good as a good lever actiom so get the best you can whichever way you go.
    Also good bolt guns will have a better trigger and mount scopes better in most cases.
  4. army_inc


    Jul 22, 2010
    Either one I choose I will be good with. I am no stranger to rifles and target shooting. I'm just thinking about broadening my horizons to other things like hunting (plus I like to eat and venicine (spelling?)) is good.
    I read that mounting optics on LA are someone hard. I'm thinking about getting a .308 or 30.06 so the calibers aren't the issue. I believe they make both types in those two calibers.
    As for mounting optics. I'm not sure if I want any. It would be more of a test of skill to shoot one without them. I may just end up getting two rifles. A BA with a scope and a LA without. Any recommendations for either type of weapon? Optics as well?
  5. K.Kiser


    Jan 23, 2010
    Shreveport, La.
    I can give My answer easliy, and given the choice I will take the bolt gun every time .... I own a Lever 30-30 that I sometimes use when the shots are up close, but never can it do a single thing that is useful in the woods that a bolt gun wont...
  6. If you are looking for a lever action in .308 or .30-06 you don't have a lot of options.

    It think Browning with their BLR is the only one currently being made.

    I would think it would be the equal of most production bolt action rifles.

    When my 2 boys started hunting they started with a Winchester 94 Trapper in .44 magnum with a cut down stock. The older boy moved to a Marlin 336 when he could handle the longer stock and extra weight. Luckily about the time the younger one needed the Winchester.

    As the older one grew and started making money he wanted to buy some guns. Last couple of seasons he's used his WASR10 in 7.62x39. He's got a Savage 110 in .30-06 now as well as a Ruger Super Blackhawk.

    The younger one used the Marlin last year, not sure what he wants to use this year, he has a .30-06 Mossberg 100ATR but we haven't sighted it in yet.

    Anyhow, guess what I'm saying is that my boys started out with a lever action and they hunt just fine. You can learn to work either type of action. The bolt action will have a slight edge in accuracy.

    But if what you really want is a lever action, get the BLR.
  7. UtahIrishman

    UtahIrishman BLR Silver Member

    Nov 11, 2001
    I bought my Browning BLR in .308 as the best all around rifle I could find. It is in my opinion hands down the best lever action rifle you can buy.

    They are not cheap though. I paid about $800.00 for mine.

    However, I wasn't looking for a dedicated hunting rifle. I was looking for a scout type rifle and the BLR fits that role very well.

    I can't speak about bolt rifles as I don't own any. But that's my two cents on levers.
  8. ebm1973

    ebm1973 CLM

    Dec 22, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Marlin 1895 SBL looks like fun!

  9. Lot to be said for a BLR in .308 as a scout type rifle.

    Reliable action, accurate enough, fast repeat shots, and it doesn't look like a scary "assault" rifle.
  10. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002

    You are correct as far as I know as well. My brother in law has the lever action Browning in 308. It is VERY accurate for a lever gun, and hits hard and harvest a lot of game for him. He has stood on the front pourch and popped prairie dogs with it at some very impressive ranges. Excellent gun for a lever.

  11. duncan

    duncan Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Feb 15, 1999