View Full Version : Good "lever-action"starter

03-12-2009, 11:40 PM
i want to get a "lever-action" rifle but dont know too much about them. I have seen some really great looking and expensive rifles but i want something that i can just learn with and shoot at the range and maybe hunt something. Any feedback is appreciated

03-12-2009, 11:45 PM
I had a Winchester '94 in .44mag that I loved. I have seen good things written about the Marlin line but have never owned one. A 16 inch lever gun in .357mag would be a good, inexpensive hunting, home defense gun.

03-12-2009, 11:48 PM
rossi makes a lever 357. i have one and its awesome!!

gun toting monkeyboy
03-12-2009, 11:58 PM
Look for a used marlin or if you can find one for a good price, a winchester. Either in a pistol round like the .357, .45 Colt or .44 Mag, or in .30-30. Most of the other rounds tend to be a bit pricier. I personally prefer Winchesters, but since they went under, they are a bit more expensive. There are also some Italian knock-offs out there that are decent. Check out pawn shops and the used gun sections to try and find one locally. Failing that, look around online.

03-12-2009, 11:59 PM
You can find Winchester and Marlin 30-30 lever guns pretty cheap on Gun Broker.

03-13-2009, 12:00 AM
I like my henry .357 and model 94 30-30.
dont know if I'd take the henry hunting though.

I friend of mine has a marlin in 45-70 and it shoots good.

any lever gun is fun to take out and shoot.

03-13-2009, 12:00 AM
How about a Marlin 39???? Henry ???

Basically any lever in 22LR.. good cheap way to master your skills before moving up to more expensive centerfire guns.

03-13-2009, 7:55 AM
I'm in the market for a lever gun also. I already have a Marlin .30-30, but I'm looking at either a Marlin or Henry in .357. That way I can have a rifle and revolver in the same caliber when out in the field.

As a starter lever gun, I'd probably go with one in .22LR or .357. Marlins and Henry's are both good. Ruger and Browning make lever guns, but they don't have that traditional lever gun look.

03-13-2009, 8:44 AM
I have shot a lever gun in .308,45LC ,44mag,45-70, and 444 marlin They are all cool to shoot and if you get one in a 'cowboy caliber' you can get a pistol in the same caliber and be ready to go....I guess it also comes down to eventual use. If you are going to hunt with it, you COULD use the 44mag for deer in brush but probably not in 357. I dont think the 45LC would work unless you have a pretty stout load...I have not heard of people hunting with the 45 so....
The rifle calibers are all good and stout and a Marlin guide gun in stainless in 45-70 is great for bear or moose country....in case...

The Marlin lever .22s are great but pretty $$ ,a rossi or henry would be cool for a starter.
Also,not to thread pounce but......
I have a nice Browning BLR model 81 in .308 for sale,with scope,4 rd detach mag. In the private firearms for sale section.:o

03-13-2009, 8:46 AM
Personally, I'd pick up a .357 Puma 1892 lever action. Big 5 sells them now, and they can be had for a reasonable price. You can shoot inexpensive .38 ammo in them, and the action is strong enough to shoot the Buffalo Bore .357 rounds that mimic a 30-30 power level at 100 yards.

I had one, and wish I had never sold it. It was a GREAT rifle.

03-13-2009, 8:59 AM
Best action, smoothest, in my experience, is the Henry. I really like the look of their "Boy" line, Big Boy, ect...

03-13-2009, 9:16 AM
Marlin 1895G in .45-70. Great starter.

03-13-2009, 9:20 AM
My first rifle was a Winchester Mod 94 .30-30 lever-action. It is incredibly reliable and 17 years later shoots as good as the day I bought it. The .30-30 round is pretty versatile and works great as a brush gun. I haven't bought any ammo for it in a long time so I can't comment on price but I seem to recall it't still easy to find and not terribly expensive.

Bad Voodoo
03-13-2009, 9:27 AM
Marlin 1895G in .45-70. Great starter.

The original buffalo load. You can feed that Marlin anything from mild cowboy to wild high-pressure African-game loads, too! :thumbsup:

I'm DROSing a Marlin 1894 in .44 mag today, by the way. I was torn between the 1895 .45-70 and 1894 .44 mag and the '94 happened to pop up locally in the for sale section on Calguns. Now I have to get them both! :43:

03-13-2009, 10:29 AM
Marlin 336 30-30 with walnut stock for $450. easy to clean, holds 4+1. delicious.

03-13-2009, 10:31 AM
Marlin 336 in .30-30 is a fantastic buy, a must have for everyone.

03-13-2009, 1:39 PM
I had a Winchester '94 in .44mag that I loved. I have seen good things written about the Marlin line but have never owned one. A 16 inch lever gun in .357mag would be a good, inexpensive hunting, home defense gun.

+1 on a Winchester 94.

03-13-2009, 1:49 PM
I have a Puma .357 which is pretty good. It holds quite a few (I think 11, but maybe less) rounds and is pretty accurate.

03-13-2009, 2:14 PM
Winny 1892's FTW!

03-13-2009, 2:28 PM
Marlin 336 30-30 with walnut stock for $450. easy to clean, holds 4+1. delicious.

That was going to be my suggestion, or get an 1894 in 357 if you have a revolver in the same cal.

Jonathan Doe
03-13-2009, 4:21 PM
I have a Browning BL-22 in 22 LR and Rossi 92 in 44 Mag. Both are fine rifles.

03-13-2009, 4:23 PM
My only lever is a 94 in 30-30. Cant go wrong with one of them.

03-13-2009, 4:35 PM
Mossberg just came with their first lever gun last year. It's reasonably priced and looks like it's a good quality rifle. I have a Puma stainless steel carbine in 454Casull / 45Colt and love it, it is my favorite hunting gun. They make them in smaller calibers too.

03-13-2009, 8:18 PM
I was just wondering the other night if I might be the only guy left outside a cowboy match that appreciates good lever actions. Nice to see some support for them.

I have a very soft spot for Marlins. Action is super strong and crisp, ejects to the side (unlike a lot of Winchesters / clones) and they come from the factory drilled and tapped for optical mounting. I have a 39A .22 and an 1984C in .357 Mag. I'm currently in DROS jail on a LNIB unfired 1970's vintage 444S.

Marlin triggers are sometimes a little floppy but they clean up good with after market parts and a little TLC. Big 5 puts 1894s on sale fairly often in both .357 and .44 Mag. I recently found a couple of rare 1894's in .41 Mag, too spendy for me.

If your needs run to more potent cartridges then either a big bore Marlin, a BLR (which I've never cared for) or the sadly out of production Savage 99 is the ticket. The 1899 Savage is the strongest and most accurate lever out of the box, period. It was chambered up to and including .308 Winchester. The FFL who is DROSing my new Marlin has a somewhat beat up 99 in .300 Savage for a really cheap price. I don't need it, but I really want it to go with the 1912 vintage 99 in .30-30 my dad left me.

03-13-2009, 11:00 PM


03-14-2009, 10:09 AM
So you can get a lever action .357 and shoot .38spl out of it?

03-14-2009, 3:26 PM
Yes you can. .38 Special and .357 Magnum have such similar exterior case dimensions that they're pretty much interchangeable as long as the chamber can handle the pressure of the .357. Same deal with .44 Spc/Mag and .41 Spc/Mag.

03-14-2009, 3:30 PM
I don't mean to threadjack, it seems like a related question: does anyone have a recommendation for a gunsmith for my Marlin 1895G in the LA area?

I know Randall does AR's and bolt actions, don't know if he's set up for Marlins...

03-14-2009, 4:02 PM
I have a Puma 16" .44mag levergun and my Taurus Tracker .44mag to match. I absolutely love both of them.

I need to get pictures of all this...

03-14-2009, 4:08 PM
Marlin Lever action 357 magnum!