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Old 07-18-2012, 13:48   #1
volsbear
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Lever Action Rifles

Would any of our experts educate me on lever action rifles? Lately I've felt like I want one. I looked at the Marlins chambered in 357/38 but the 45/70 looks intriguing too.

Anyone care to offer suggestions?


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Old 07-18-2012, 13:50   #2
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I have a Marlin 45.70 and it was intriguing until my wallet had to feed it $$$
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Old 07-18-2012, 14:00   #3
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You could always get the 1894 chambered in .44 mag. I use mine quite a bit. They are very handy rifles.
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Old 07-18-2012, 14:08   #4
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I'm not sure about the other calibers but I'm very happy with the Marlin 336 30/30. IMO just a great all purpose rifle.
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Old 07-18-2012, 14:16   #5
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Originally Posted by volsbear View Post
Would any of our experts educate me on lever action rifles? Lately I've felt like I want one. I looked at the Marlins chambered in 357/38 but the 45/70 looks intriguing too.

Anyone care to offer suggestions?


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I really enjoy my Marlin lever guns in various styles and calibers. I'm not an expert on them by any measure, but I can give you some thoughts about which one might fit your needs.

Your OP mentions both ends of the Marlin center-fire power spectrum. The 1894C in .357/.38 spl shoots the good ole pistol cartridge while model 1895 in .45-70 is a heavy hitter suitable for moose, bear and all the other big game critters. The 1894C is a pleasure to shoot at the range and for hunting wild hogs and deer if you know where the bullets have to be placed for effective, humane harvesting. The 1895 is a real powerhouse that isn't so much fun to shoot because of recoil, but it will effectively kill anything we've got with 4 legs.

In between the calibers you mention are .30-30, .35 Rem, .44mag/.44 spl, and others. Knowing how you want to use a lever gun determines which one to consider. Once you've got a handle on whether you want to hunt, or shoot paper, or both, the search for your Marlin can begin. Visit the Marlin Owners forum to get all the information you'll need.

Last edited by PhotoFeller; 07-18-2012 at 14:21..
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Old 07-18-2012, 14:21   #6
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I didn't even realize there was a Marlin sub-forum. Ya learn something new every day!

It would be primarily for fun as you can't hunt in Illinois with a rifle anyway. But I do travel a bit and wouldn't rule out hunting somewhere else.

The 357/38 seems like it would be moderately fun to shoot and less expensive than other options. A .22 doesn't seem too entertaining at all though it's definitely cheap. And I can't see me ever going after huge animals with it.


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Old 07-18-2012, 14:39   #7
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I didn't even realize there was a Marlin sub-forum. Ya learn something new every day!

It would be primarily for fun as you can't hunt in Illinois with a rifle anyway. But I do travel a bit and wouldn't rule out hunting somewhere else.

The 357/38 seems like it would be moderately fun to shoot and less expensive than other options. A .22 doesn't seem too entertaining at all though it's definitely cheap. And I can't see me ever going after huge animals with it.


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The Marlin Owners Forum is a stand alone web site devoted to sharing info and answering questions just like we do here. Its populated with lots of knowledgeable folks who like to help others with info about Marlin specs, hand loading, rifle price/value opinions, etc. Check it out.

The 1894C .357/.38 is a popular rifle that is very much in demand today. Thus, they can be difficult to find and prices are escalating. If you find one and buy it, you are likely to realize value appreciation over time.

The Marlins in greatest demand are those manufactured in North Haven, Connecticut before the company was acquired by Remington. If you're serious about buying a Marlin, it would be advisable to visit the forum for detailed guidance on which ones are most desirable.
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Old 07-18-2012, 15:41   #8
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As far as chambering goes, I'd go for something like a .357 or .44 Magnum chambered lever gun for starters. Reason being is (especially the .44) they offer good short range power for generic plinking including hunting at short range, without being as hard on the wallet or the shoulder as some of the larger bottle neck rifle rounds or something like the .45-70.
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Old 07-18-2012, 15:43   #9
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See PhotoFeller's post. Post 2008 guns are of lesser quality, and seem to have many more issues than older guns. It is thought to be due to a "crank 'em out" mentality.
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Old 07-18-2012, 15:49   #10
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I have a Winchester 9422 (.22 caliber) and it's a blast to shoot and plink with. I recommend a .22 unless you plan on hunting.


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Old 07-18-2012, 15:53   #11
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If you have a pistol already, it makes sense to get a rifle in a matching caliber. That's what I did at least. I've got a S&W 10-7 in .38, then got my Marlin 1894 in .357/.38, then bought my GP100 in .357. All 3 can shoot the .38 for plinknig and affordability, but I can use the latter 2 for hunting with .357s. The Marlin is probably my favorite rifle that I own. I highly reccomend it. Also, with the new ammo available(specifically Hornady Leverevolution), longer shots are possible with increased accuracy out of a lever gun. Good luck.
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Old 07-18-2012, 15:53   #12
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Volsbear,

I just noticed you are from Illinois, if you are anywhere near the Bass Pro in Gurnee you are welcomed to try out my Winchester.


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Old 07-18-2012, 15:55   #13
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Browning BLR is available in almost every centerfire caliber. Its detachable box magazine is handy and allows you to use spitzer bullets.
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Old 07-18-2012, 15:56   #14
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If you have a pistol already, it makes sense to get a rifle in a matching caliber. That's what I did at least. I've got a S&W 10-7 in .38, then got my Marlin 1894 in .357/.38, then bought my GP100 in .357. All 3 can shoot the .38 for plinknig and affordability, but I can use the latter 2 for hunting with .357s. The Marlin is probably my favorite rifle that I own. I highly reccomend it. Also, with the new ammo available(specifically Hornady Leverevolution), longer shots are possible with increased accuracy out of a lever gun. Good luck.
Good suggestions. My pistols are either 22 or 45.


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Old 07-18-2012, 15:56   #15
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I would love to have a Marlin in .357mag.

Be a great deer rifle and could shoot cheap .38's for practice.
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Old 07-18-2012, 17:09   #16
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Lever gunz R gud.
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Old 07-18-2012, 17:09   #17
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Browning BLR is available in almost every centerfire caliber. Its detachable box magazine is handy and allows you to use spitzer bullets.
The BLR's are very nice, and just a real success in the levergun category...

I like the Marlin's and Winchesters too..
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Old 07-18-2012, 17:51   #18
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Aren't the Browning models like $1100+?


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Old 07-18-2012, 18:13   #19
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I have to agree with brianfede. I have 4 .22's (2 Walther P22's, a Marlin 795, and a Henry lever action) The two .22 rifles are by far my favourites. I have other rifles for big game hunting, home defense, and whatnot, but if you don't plan on hunting anything a .22 is the way to go. Loads of fun and loads of ammo out there for good $$$. .22's also won't rip through my steel targets like all my other rifles will, and as a guy who fashions his own targets from metal in the shop, it saves me some extra $$$ on materials.
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Old 07-18-2012, 18:24   #20
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I have lots of lever guns. Got a thing for them I guess. Not sure how many...Let's see if I can remember.

Winchester 94 Trapper in .44. Perfect gun with maybe 6 rounds through it. Beautiful wood and I never use it. I'll keep it around to give to my son.

Winchester 9422 .22. Early production and really nice. Too nice to use so it sits in the safe.

Winchester 9422M .22mag. First year production that I bought really cheap on GB. Not sure why I got it for that price, but I did. Another gun that sits in the safe waiting for the boy to grow.

Henry Golden Boy in .22. Built and serial numbered with my son's birthday and initials. He'll get that on his 10th birthday. Thank you again Mr. Imperato.

Henry Youth in .22. Probably gets shot more than any rifle I own. Just a fun and inexpensive little rifle that does exactly what it should. I think it was $200 and probably the best money I ever spent on a gun as far as use goes.

Marlin 1894C in .357. Great range and deer rifle. Looked for one for a while and found this last year. Can't wait to get out with it again.

Marlin 336 in 30-30. Got it for free from a guy that bought it new, never shot it and left it in his damp basement. It's rusty and crappy and I don't really care what happens to it. It spends most of its time in a scabbard on the fender of my tractor. Good to have a bang around gun.

Marlin 336 in .35 Rem. Great woods gun for deer. It's my go-to gun when I'm hunting in the woods out back of the house.

Marlin 336A in 30-30. Nothing special...A gun I traded someone something for. Ugly wood. Never seem to use it.

Maybe a few more...I love lever guns. My friends tease me. But for under 100 yards, walking around in the woods or in the brush, I always grab a lever. Simply, they do what they are made for. I think the most useful is probably the .357 with a good load like Leverevolution and 30-30 second. Both are good deer rounds, both are best under 100 yards and both are cheap to shoot. When I go camping in Maine I always take a .357 revolver for my hip and my 1894C...and one box of ammo.

Last edited by Mercedesrover; 07-18-2012 at 18:26..
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