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Farmer, House Sitter and Cook
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Hi. I'm late to the discussion.

Pistol Caliber Lever guns are super easy for which to make reloaded ammo. You can kill a decent hog with .357 Magnum or .44 Magnum. Yeah, a .good ol' .30-30 is super for that job but lubing and sizing and trimming bottleneck rifle is well.... it just sucks.

I bought a Henry Big Boy Steel Carbine and out of the box the trigger weight (as measured by my gunsmith three times) averages 3-lb 10-oz with no creep or overtravel. Put an aperture rear sight on it (I know you are a fan of iron sights) and maybe tweak the front sight post (Henry will send you a set of three differing heights for free) and it would check all your boxes.

They are a bit spendy as new ones go over $825. But 100% Made in USA or not made at all.

Holding a lever rifle in your hands is a feeling like no other in the gun world can give you.
 

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... I am looking for a plinker that could work as a hunting rifle, probably boar/pig because there are plenty around here, and if needed home defense. I've probably got a half a dozen guns I can use before it got used but just case.

I have it narrowed down to a Ruger Scout, left hand of course and a lever gun in .357 most likely although other calibers are a maybe. .357 makes sense because I reload for it.
Years ago I talked to a professional hunter that was killing the feral pigs on Catalina Island. His pig rifle was a Winchester Model 94 in .44 Magnum. You reload so the ammo will be affordable and pigs do not need heavy artillery to bag them. I once shot a 150# pig that was stuck in a barb wire fence with my Marlin M60 .22 LR and all I needed was one shot to his head. :fred:
 

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I've shot both the ruger scout and the styer scout . If you have the means the styer scout is the best. Styer has expanded the scout with more clambering options they offer 7mm08 and 6.5 creedmore now. Unfortunately I dont believe they do a left hand but I could be wrong.
No left hand. I grabbed one in 243 win a couple of years ago which is now discontinued.
 
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I really like the Browning BLR. Hard to beat in 308. Fast like a lever action. Accurate and powerful. It is basically a box magazine fed, lever actuated, rotary bolt action. I think it is available in 22-250, 308 win. 325 wsm, 450 Marlin.
 

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My go to deer rifle these days is a Marlin .30-30 with a fixed 2.5x scope.

It’s perfect for tree stands in the woods.

I save the .270 bolt action for hunting over large fields.

A Henry 357 magnum would be a fun little shooter if they weren’t so damn heavy.

I’d be looking for an older Marlin in .357 mag.
 

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Easy for me. The Scout. I have plenty of bolt guns, levers and semi-autos. The Ruger, IMHO is not much to look at. However, it seems to find its way in my hands when an AR is not the ticket. .308, box magazine and good optic options. You can work that bolt just as efficient as a lever and with the box magazine you are way ahead of the game. I would trade all of my levers for a scout any day of the week.

Levers are cool, no doubt. The scout is much more practical.
 

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DEPLORABLE ME!
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A lever action would fit your bill. A pre Remarlin .357 mag out of a 16" barrel gives you 30 carbine stopping power.
 

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GlockaMania
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Lever is faster than a bolt for the second shot, but as a person who has used Browning B78 single-shots for most of my rifle hunting and varminting, I do not see the need for a second shot if you have exercised due diligence in the first place. So, in my estimation, either is good enough.
 

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You can get a 357 in a Ruger 77, they are pretty scarce but are very nice rifles. Personally I would skip the Ruger Scout, they are over engineered for what you get.

A Ruger Ranch rifle bolt gun in 350 Legend would be a good choice. It's like a 357 Max on steroids. Give very good ballistics and a wide range of ammo is available. There is a guy here who has been shooting it out to 300-400 yards sub moa.

Now my other 357 rifle is a H&R single shot with the barrel cut to 16". Shown with my some of my two Dan Wesson and Security Six 357 revolvers.

 

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Since I have reitred I've stopped shooting guns centered around my police job. Meaning slowed down on my semis, hand gun and long gun, and picking up more on revolvers.

The one gap in my collection is a long gun that isn't semi auto. Basically I am looking for a plinker that could work as a hunting rifle, probably boar/pig because there are plenty around here, and if needed home defense. I've probably got a half a dozen guns I can use before it got used but just case.
As for me, I'm a lever-action guy.

I have Winchesters and Marlins (and 1 Henry, I'm not as big a fan of them), in .22 LR, .357 mag, .44 mag, and .30-.30.
 

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Director of civil unrest
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You name two great options, but for the purpose you describe I’d give the nod to the lever gun. This is based on my experience with Marlins in .22LR, .44Mag, & .30-30.

probably the best answer is to eventually get both.
This however, a .357 lever gun is the best compromise between real rifle power and great pistol power. The best of both IMHO. I'd go for the .357 lever gun. Great ballistics out of the longer barrel.
If not that, a lever gun in either .44 mag. or .45-70.
Oh, I'm excited for you!
 

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If you don't need a scope, consider a '92 if you're sticking with a pistol caliber.
 

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If you want a lever gun, nothing wrong with that. Depending on average weight & distance, I’d be inclined to get a bit more energy than the 357. That’s not to say it wouldn’t work. I just don’t think it’s the best choice to ANCHOR a 125lb boar at 80 yards. I do realize one gets more FPS out of the longer barrel.

Splitting the baby would be getting that lever gun in 243 or 308. The 44 mag is an option, though I’ve not been overly impressed with it as a deer cartridge, 75+ yards, average hunters.

Another part is % of what type of hunting, verses range shooting or H.D.. If mostly reloading, then casual shooting & limited hunting, the 357 is fine. A 308 seems a staple for any collection though.
 

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Lever gun in .357 is a fantastic and versatile rifle. Throw some skinner sights on it and a good .357 on your hip and you have a combination made in firearms heaven. In my opinion.
 
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I'm all for lever actions but as far as hunting goes it's hard to beat a Ruger American 308 with a decent scope sitting on top of it.
 
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I'm all for lever actions but as far as hunting goes it's hard to beat a Ruger American 308 with a decent scope sitting on top of it.
Ditto,

I have 3 or 4 lever guns and 2 bolt guns. All are fairly sleek and handy but my go to is an old Winchester Mod 70 "carbine" with 20" bbl in 308. Since I bought it Ruger has come out with the "Ranch Rifles" w/ 16" bbls and detachable mags. A small, light, reasonably inexpensive bolt gun in whatever caliber is hard to beat particularly with the crazy expensive prices lever guns bring these days.
 

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I looked at the CZ527 3 years back and its real pretty but I put it back because I truly did t have a need for it.

CA Cop I would go with the lever action and hot rod the heck out of a hog load.
 
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