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grahlaika
04-13-2009, 6:51 PM
So I'd like to add some sort of lever action rifle to my inventory, and I think I'm settling on a model that has the side eject instead of the top eject just in case I want to preserve my option for putting some better sights on top, but I'm torn on the caliber choice. My goal is to have a decent old-school hunting rifle that's good to about 125-150 yards.

1. Ideally I'd like to shoot the same cartridge as my carry handgun (1911), but unfortunately there's no .45 ACP version of the lever action rifles. The .45 Colt is kinda close to the .45 ACP, so I'm not sure how similar the reloading may be - can I use same powder/bullets/primers with .45 Colt brass?

2. I have a .357 revolver, but it's more of a curiosity than anything I'd carry for real, but at least I could re-use the reloading stuff I already have. Is the .357 in a lever action strong enough to take down some deer and whatnot at 125-150 yards?

3. If I were to forego the common caliber issue, what would be the best caliber for a level action that would be a good compromise between carry weight, recoil, take-down power, accuracy?

It's possible I'll end up someday with a second, modern lever action that uses a magazine (Ruger?) so I can fire .308 through it, but I'd like to start with an old-school lever action.

Thanks for the replies!

dmckean44
04-13-2009, 7:03 PM
1. You can use the same primers. It looks as though you could use the same bullets. There's a lot of powders that would perform well for both.

2. Yes for sure.

3. Probably 30-30 or 44 Magnum.

rabagley
04-13-2009, 7:10 PM
So I'd like to add some sort of lever action rifle to my inventory, and I think I'm settling on a model that has the side eject instead of the top eject just in case I want to preserve my option for putting some better sights on top, but I'm torn on the caliber choice. My goal is to have a decent old-school hunting rifle that's good to about 125-150 yards.

1. Ideally I'd like to shoot the same cartridge as my carry handgun (1911), but unfortunately there's no .45 ACP version of the lever action rifles. The .45 Colt is kinda close to the .45 ACP, so I'm not sure how similar the reloading may be - can I use same powder/bullets/primers with .45 Colt brass?

Get a Marlin 1895 in 45-70 and get yourself a BFR in the same chamber (joking... sort of...).

2. I have a .357 revolver, but it's more of a curiosity than anything I'd carry for real, but at least I could re-use the reloading stuff I already have. Is the .357 in a lever action strong enough to take down some deer and whatnot at 125-150 yards?

Yes. It's all about shot placement, but a hot .357 round through a Marlin 1894 is definitely powerful enough to take deer.

3. If I were to forego the common caliber issue, what would be the best caliber for a level action that would be a good compromise between carry weight, recoil, take-down power, accuracy?

Marlin 336C in .30-30 is the rifle you're looking for here.

It's possible I'll end up someday with a second, modern lever action that uses a magazine (Ruger?) so I can fire .308 through it, but I'd like to start with an old-school lever action.

Thanks for the replies!

As you can tell, I'm a fan of Marlins. Since you said side-eject, you probably will be as well. As for having matching handgun and rifle, this is much easier with wheelguns than with autos (which you already realized).

Seriously, the 336 in 30-30 is a great gun. Can't go wrong with one.

grahlaika
04-13-2009, 7:20 PM
Get a Marlin 1895 in 45-70 and get yourself a BFR in the same chamber (joking... sort of...).

LOL I've already thought about that as well =).

Marlin 336C in .30-30 is the rifle you're looking for here.

As you can tell, I'm a fan of Marlins. Since you said side-eject, you probably will be as well. As for having matching handgun and rifle, this is much easier with wheelguns than with autos (which you already realized).

Seriously, the 336 in 30-30 is a great gun. Can't go wrong with one.

I've been reading a lot of good things about the Marlins as well. Accurate and reliable. Thanks!

grahlaika
04-13-2009, 7:21 PM
1. You can use the same primers. It looks as though you could use the same bullets. There's a lot of powders that would perform well for both.

2. Yes for sure.

3. Probably 30-30 or 44 Magnum.

Thank you!

dfletcher
04-13-2009, 7:47 PM
Although it's a neat concept and I have a few combinations of 45 LC revolver and lever rifle (Colt SAA & Marlin) or 44 Magnum (Ruger bolt and Smith or Ruger) I don't think they have great applications in the field.

Personally I'd go with a Marlin Guide Gun in 45/70 and any Ruger in 44 Magnum or 45 LC. If you don't reload make sure you get the heavier loaded 45/70 ammo from Buffalo Bore.

Nothing wrong with the 35 Remington out of a Marlin either.

VaderSpade
04-13-2009, 8:05 PM
3. If I were to forego the common caliber issue, what would be the best caliber for a level action that would be a good compromise between carry weight, recoil, take-down power, accuracy?

Pre 64 Winchester model 88. Really a bolt action worked with a lever. My .308 is great.

sickboy774
04-13-2009, 8:26 PM
1. Yes

2. I don't think that the .357 or even the .30-30 are much good past 100 yards. Commiefornia passed a law last year that requires you to use copper or anything other than lead for hunting so unless this is going to be a rifle for survival situations i would go with something that uses a box magazine instead of a tube-fed style magazine.

3. If you are going with the tube-fed magazine i would try the new marlin Levalution in .308 with the soft hornady tip.

Amacias805
04-13-2009, 8:55 PM
if your getting a level action, go with 30-30 its a good round, plus it has a vintage feel to it. when people see a lever action they want it to be an 30-30 to give it that vintage feel, people say "my dad/grandpa used to take me hunting/shooting and would break out the old 30-30"

HeyZeus
04-13-2009, 9:12 PM
I love levers. Number one go with a Marlin or a model 92 remake. I would go with a 357 mag model. This will meet your requirements and give you a match for your pistol. If you get a 45 colt version look at the Puma in 454 Casul. They can also shoot 45 colt ammo. This will give you the extra umph if you need it. I have one and i love it. I have 17hmr, 22lr, 22mag, 44mag, 454 casul, and a 45/70 Lever. Actually the 17 and 22mag are pumps but close enough. I want a 357 mag version one day. I did say I love levers.

dfletcher
04-13-2009, 9:13 PM
3. If I were to forego the common caliber issue, what would be the best caliber for a level action that would be a good compromise between carry weight, recoil, take-down power, accuracy?

Pre 64 Winchester model 88. Really a bolt action worked with a lever. My .308is great.

Good choice, hadn't thought of that one. I have a Savage 99 in 300 Savage. Kind of weaker sister to the 308, but I do get to use the pointy bullets.

rabagley
04-13-2009, 10:11 PM
There's a Marlin 336 in .30-30 currently for sale in this forum:

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=169934

Fred C Dobbs
04-13-2009, 10:11 PM
As a fan of Marlin levers, (Had them in 357, 38-40 (rebarreled and relined), 44-40 (never accurate), 45 Colt, 38-55 and 45-70 I can recommend them highly.
I have two favorites, a 1894 Cowboy model in 45 Colt which holds just over an inch (So does the .357) at 100 yards with a scope. The 255 grain bullet going 900fps, but the hum dinger is the 38-55 rifle. I added a vernier tang and globe sight for shooting long range cowboy matches. It is superbly accurate and just the most fun lever rifle I have. The 45-70 kicked the bran muffins out of me and I sold it.
I shoot 250 and 300 grainers out if the 38-55. Originally, they had a throating issue where you had to have the throat opened up a little in order to shoot the proper sized lead bullet. Love this rifle. Some 30-30 versions were made but tend to be hoarded and premium price.
If that is too much heavy rifle, consider a Ruger 96 lever in 44 magnum. Now discontinued but available. I have a 96 in 22 mag and like it. The box magazine, short lever throw and handy size would make the 44mag version and ideal close range deer rifle. Pretty much a Deerfield with a lever. I'd fit a recoil pad. People say the 44 kicks like a 12 gauge. Must be the light weight.

yellowfin
04-13-2009, 10:17 PM
Everyone should have at least one lever .30-30. It's just THE must have American rifle, part of the living history that connects us.

Amacias805
04-14-2009, 8:48 AM
Everyone should have at least one lever .30-30. It's just THE must have American rifle, part of the living history that connects us.

I agree, of all my guns, the only 2 i will never sell is my Ar and my win 1894 30-30 lever.

ripcurlksm
04-14-2009, 8:56 AM
Marlin 336 in 30-30, Marlin 336 in 30-30, repeat.

sierrawoodsman
04-14-2009, 9:05 AM
I agree everybody needs a 30-30, I'm a winchester fan but marlins are also very good. The .357 is a whole new animal out of a rifle, Buffalo Bore has a loading that surpasses the 30-30 out of a rifle. Check out leverguns.com and do some searches on .357 carbines.

MrNiceGuy
04-14-2009, 11:43 AM
I have a Winchester 30-30, it's ok.
I don't like how the level is so "knotchy", not smooth at all.
Loading rounds into the tube sometimes shave your finger nail when your finger is on the way out, annoying.
Of course my 30-30 is bone stock with no smithing.

Just putting it out there when you go buy one.

grahlaika
04-14-2009, 8:44 PM
Thanks, all! I've decided to start with a Marlin 336C in 30-30. I'm leaning toward getting an older one without the safety, and I'll probably upgrade the open sights on it. Otherwise I'll keep it as stock and as 'tactical' as I can.

Eventually I'll probably get a scoped lever, maybe a Marlin 336XLR that's optimized for the new cartridge (which I'll try in the 336C anyway). I'll also end up with a cowboy action lever, likely in .357. LOL!

9mmlaw
04-15-2009, 7:19 AM
"Commiefornia passed a law last year that requires you to use copper or anything other than lead for hunting so unless this is going to be a rifle for survival situations i would go with something that uses a box magazine instead of a tube-fed style magazine."

This MISINFORMATION as it is only partially correct. All copper has to be used in designated condor zones. It does not apply to the entire state. Check the DFG website. http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/condor/

RAMCHARGER
04-15-2009, 9:37 AM
There is a 45ACP conversion:

http://www.castbulletassoc.org/forum/view_topic.php?id=535&forum_id=18

remington
04-15-2009, 10:06 AM
I really like the Savage 99, I like the vintage character of it. They make many calibers but the .300 Savage is by far the most common and most affordable. Good enough for just about anything in North America up to 200 yards. The one I personally am looking for is the .250-3000. I have two in .300 Sav and they both are more accurate than my Marlin 30-30, Winchester 30-30 and Winchester 44. But Freds post above on the 38-55 has my interest! But, the 30-30's and especially the 44 are alot of fun to shot. I would like 45LC some day as well to go with my Vaquero.

http://www.huntingmag.com/guns_loads/savage_0702/

grahlaika
04-15-2009, 10:32 AM
There is a 45ACP conversion:

http://www.castbulletassoc.org/forum/view_topic.php?id=535&forum_id=18

I figured there most be something like that out there. For now I'll stick to pairing my 45 ACP AR-15 conversion with my 1911 carry. Once I get a cowboy lever in 45 Colt, I'll get an SA revolver in 45 Colt as well for that period feel =).

RAMCHARGER
04-15-2009, 11:45 AM
I have both a .357 and .45 Colt Marlin 1894s.
By far the most fun is the .357. Think of it as a lever action m1 carbine.

Unless you load the .45 to 44 mag levels the .45 shoots like a 260 grain .38 special outta the Marlin. But the .45 does HIT a target like a sledgehammer!

buffybuster
04-15-2009, 11:54 AM
My .02

Pistol Caliber: Marlin M1894 (.357Mag or .44Mag)

Vintage Rifle Caliber: Marlin M336 (30WCF AKA: 30-30)

"Modern" Rifle Caliber: Savage M99E (.308Win or .243Win)

Savage M99's are more common in .300Savage but if you look around you can still find them in .308Win or .243Win. The only thing that shy's my away from the .300Savage is ammo is not that common so you just about have to reload.