View Full Version : Entry level, Lever Gun?

08-21-2013, 8:56 AM
Hey folks, I've had the idea of buying a my first lever-action rifle rolling around in the back of my head for some time now. Given the current political environment, I think it might be a good time to invest (if proposed legislation passes then I expect manually operated centerfire rifles' prices to spike dramatically).

I would really appreciate some advise about choosing a good Lever Gun that's not gonna break the bank. I'm also not super familiar with the common calibers of lever guns and what's most affordable. I imagine the main use of the rifle will be a target "fun gun" but if I can get a caliber that is well balanced in functionality and price then I would consider it for hunting as well.

Thanks in advance for any information you can lend.

08-21-2013, 9:02 AM
Rossi makes some good, lower priced, lever guns. I have the Winchester 1892 in a .357. There's virtually no recoil, it's light, easy to use, but not cheap.

I don't like the feel of the Rossi's - I prefer the Henry's and, obviously, the Winchester.

Calibers? Well...purpose? Range and then hunting...get something big enough to hunt the type of animal you're going to go for (30-30? .44?). They come in so many different calibers...look around. I don't think many places rent lever actions...so, grab a friend who has one and shoot it ;)

I got the .357 - instead of the .44 I wanted - because I thought it would be easier for my fiancee to shoot - and I was right. It's her new favorite of mine and won't touch the 12 ga shotgun or my AR-15, in 5.56, any longer ;)

Good luck!

08-21-2013, 9:03 AM
Oops! Didn't realize I was still in the Gallery forum. Mods, do that voodoo you do can fix my mistake! Thanks!

08-21-2013, 9:04 AM
Henry makes some nice lever guns, they make them in most common lever action calibers including .17 hmr, .22, .22 mag, .357, .44, .45 LC , .30-30, .45-70. Their .22 lever guns are some of the nicest actions out there for under $350.00

08-21-2013, 9:10 AM
Always buy quality...that said, you get what you pay for.

The Lever action rifle you choose should have a revolver to partner with it.

What caliber revolver do you have?

I bought Marlin...Pre Remington. I have 1894's in .357 & .44 mag to partner with S&W 686+ 4" and 629 5" Classic.

Today would look for an older Marlin, otherwise, Henry would be my second choice, unless you find a real old Winchester pre '64.

08-21-2013, 9:19 AM
Today would look for an older Marlin, otherwise, Henry would be my second choice, unless you find a real old Winchester pre '64.

I have a friend who has a pretty extensive collection of lever guns, including several pre 64's. He's told me in the past he plans to pass them on to the family, but I am thinking about seeing if he would part with something.

08-21-2013, 10:09 AM
I have no experience with Rossi but they are the least expensive and most available.

My Win 92 30-30 functioned flawlessly but I sold it off and bought a Marlin 94 in 44 mag.
Marlins are tapped for sights but that's about the only advantage I can think of.

I chose 44 mag because I'm trying to put together a backwoods package. I'm still searching for the right revolver to go with my new lever.

08-21-2013, 6:25 PM
Price-wise i'd get a new Mossberg 464 over a new Marlin 336. They don't call them Remlins for nothing. New Marlin lever action rifles are suffering from quality control issues ever since Remington bought the plants. (The front sight posts are cocked to one side and the stocks don't fit as well.) .30-30 is a good hunting caliber and probably the most common lever action caliber outside of pistol calibers. It has plenty of energy to take big game out to 250 yards without doping (adjusting point of aim for point of impact), Hornady has had new "lever-evolution" rounds for a while now which enable you to run Spitzer (pointy-tipped) bullets in a tube fed gun. If you can find an old Marlin 336 get it, a Mossberg 464 would probably be easiest to find, Winchesters are pricey at least the one's I've found are over $1k.

08-21-2013, 6:27 PM
I just ordered a Browning BLR in .300WSM this afternoon...I had some credit with a wholesaler and figured I'd get something a little different for my first lever action. It wasn't cheap tho...

08-21-2013, 6:40 PM
Remember every time you've gone to Walmart since the panic there has been 30-30 on the shelf.

08-21-2013, 6:43 PM
Get a 10 year or older Marlin 336 in 30-30 and you will be happy. It's a timeless classic cartridge that you can plink, hunt, or defend the home. With the Hornady Leverevolution ammo it's a solid 200 yard gun.