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Winter is coming.
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2,898 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I live in Australia and due to gun laws here i'm not permitted to own a semi-automatic rifle as i'm not a primary producer. I've decided to go for a lever action rifle as an all purpose gun.

What i intend to use the rifle for is club target shooting and feral animal hunting (rabbits, foxes, goats, maybe pigs). This would also be my 'SHTF' rifle, but that is definately a secondary priority. I want to use the rifle regularily as a tool not as a 'fantasy gun' sitting in the safe in case zombies attack.

With that in mind what would y'all recommend?

Cheers
 

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Ephemerally here
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My Model 336 Marlin, in .35 Remington, had the stuffing beat out of it before I got it. It is Ugly, and Worn, but it continues to work flawlessly. I would think that if you found a good Marlin in .30-30, you would be well served, and Your Daughter/Son, and Their Kid(s), and...
 

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Peacemaker....
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538 Posts
Ruger gunsight scout? .308 Durable, standardized round, Bolt-action, and takes magazines.

It has the ability to be quite effective out of the box or you can put a few accesories on it with out it being tacticool. Look up the pictures of them on startpage and see if thats up your alley.
 

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Death's Collection Agent
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My Model 336 Marlin, in .35 Remington, had the stuffing beat out of it before I got it. It is Ugly, and Worn, but it continues to work flawlessly. I would think that if you found a good Marlin in .30-30, you would be well served, and Your Daughter/Son, and Their Kid(s), and...
I saw a 30-30 Marlin at Wally World the other day for less than $400, before taxes.
 

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Take a look at 357 mag leaver guns. Really kill better than you would imagine. I got a old Rossi will shoot under 3 inch with peep sights at 100m and magazine will hold at least 10. never load it right up so cant really remember. 92 model lever guns have a shorter through of the action and are a lot slicker than 94 models but they are a top edject so now scope unless mounted right forward or if you want to scope it get a marlin. If you reload you can shoot cheap hard cast coated porjectils that are good for small game and out of a carbine 357's can be loaded up to 30/30 power levels so they would handle pigs ok. Pistol calibers shot out of rifles burn up most of there powder so the muzel blast is lower than say a 30/30. For what you described I recon a 357 mag would be ideal, light handy hard hiting gun that is quick to shoot, plenty of power for up to medium game and can be loaded down(38specail loads) for small game and will hold more rounds than other leaver guns. If you want a bit more power, 44mag leaver guns would be the go as well.
 

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Crusty Curmudgeon
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Marlin Model 94 30-30. Although, I wouldn't shoot a rabbit with it for obvious reasons.
I don't think Marlin makes a Model 94. Winchester does, and Marlin makes a Model 1894, but the 1894 comes in handgun cartridge chamberings only, like .44 Magnum.

I think you mean the Model 336 in 30-30.
 

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A single caliber to cover all those animals efficiently might be difficult.

My recommendations for use in killing game and varnints in those sizes you mention, would be to go with something in .44 Magnum. That way you'll have power enough for pigs (you'll need it) and the smaller targets can be taken out with .44 Specials. Otherwise, something in .30-30 Win. will be a decent choice as long as you don't care about damaging meat on the smaller game sizes.

Your best choices in a rifle model in .44 Magnum would be a Winchester 94 (if you can fund one), a Marlin 1894 or a Rossi/Puma 92. I think Henry makes something as well, but not sure.

The .30-30 may be found more likely in the Henry (don't know the model on that one), the Win. 94 and Marlin .336.
 

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Another thing with the 357 mag, a lot of projectiles over penetrate on our light skinned game here in Australia. 357 being a pistol cal most projectiles will expand explosively at rifle velocities, which maybe a problem for something like a pig, but for stuff like roos and goats and foxs is a big advantage. Plenty of heavily constructed 180 grain projectiles to load for maxe penetration on bigger game.
 

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Winter is coming.
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2,898 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Take a look at 357 mag leaver guns. Really kill better than you would imagine. I got a old Rossi will shoot under 3 inch with peep sights at 100m and magazine will hold at least 10. never load it right up so cant really remember. 92 model lever guns have a shorter through of the action and are a lot slicker than 94 models but they are a top edject so now scope unless mounted right forward or if you want to scope it get a marlin. If you reload you can shoot cheap hard cast coated porjectils that are good for small game and out of a carbine 357's can be loaded up to 30/30 power levels so they would handle pigs ok. Pistol calibers shot out of rifles burn up most of there powder so the muzel blast is lower than say a 30/30. For what you described I recon a 357 mag would be ideal, light handy hard hiting gun that is quick to shoot, plenty of power for up to medium game and can be loaded down(38specail loads) for small game and will hold more rounds than other leaver guns. If you want a bit more power, 44mag leaver guns would be the go as well.
Good post dillin. Thanks.

I hadn't considered reloading for different game. Do .38s cycle ok through a lever action? I know they are used interchangeably in revolvers.
 

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Lever actions are great but don't expect stunning accuracy from them...The barrel are short for handling but also doesn't deliver great velocity to add range to the cartridge.

Models:
Winchester and reproductions will range from the .44/40 Henry rifle to the Model 1895 in .405 Win with numerous variants between but available in pistol or slower, primarily BP calibres that have been modernized but still have short range ballistics...While the 1895 is a great gun due to it firing modern rifle calibres, it also has a number of items against it as well...Firstly, the box magazine was not used for loading by exchanging magazines it was loaded from above either singly or via stripper clips but the biggest drawback is the butt stock...Unless you intend to shoot ONLY standing up then the hooked/crescent shaped buttstock will be fine except for the .405 round where the shotgun butt is far better...Under severe recoil or in any position other then standing the butt will cut your shoulder up and/or bruise it badly.

Marlin Model 36 or 1894 in the older guns are really good shooters but the newer ones since Freedom Group took them over the quality has gone down hill considerably.

Models in newer true rifle cartridges and can easily mount scopes:
Savage Model 99 in .250 Savage (.250/3000) would be the ideal rifle for you, if you could find one as they've been discontinued for over 50 years.

Winchester Model 88 in .243 Win would be another ideal cartridge but the gun, like the Savage, is also discontinued.

All that means is that you'll have to buy them used.

Browning BLR is a superb rifle, can be loaded from a box magazine and comes in calibres from .22/250 to .450 Marlin and can be got brand new as they are still produced...223 Rem, 22/250 Rem or .243 Win would suit your needs especially the
BLR Lightweight ’81 Takedown
http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/firearms/detail.asp?fid=003B&cid=034&tid=011
 

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Young Blood
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.32 Winchester special, it's best because its what I use ;)
 

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Crusty Curmudgeon
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Marlin Model 36 or 1894 in the older guns are really good shooters but the newer ones since Freedom Group took them over the quality has gone down hill considerably
That's not exactly true. It would be more correct to say that the quality has been spotty in the past, but it is getting better. For a while, there was about a 15% chance you would get a rifle with problems. There are still problems, but the incidence is much lower now. Also, Freedom Group has had to step up their warranty processes and they have.

I am not associated with any Freedom Group company, but, I don't like internet legends, and I do like truth.
 

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Si vis pacem, para bellum
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Marlin Model 94 30-30. Although, I wouldn't shoot a rabbit with it for obvious reasons.
30-30 is in the 336, the 94 is pistol calibers.

However I agree with the 336 in 35 Remington. Full power loads for the big stuff. If you reload you can load bullets for 357 Magnum in the 35 Rem case at reduced power. They tend to be very accurate and don't chew up the meat on small game.
 

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That's not exactly true. It would be more correct to say that the quality has been spotty in the past, but it is getting better. For a while, there was about a 15% chance you would get a rifle with problems. There are still problems, but the incidence is much lower now. Also, Freedom Group has had to step up their warranty processes and they have.

I am not associated with any Freedom Group company, but, I don't like internet legends, and I do like truth.
I said they've gone downhill and you supported that statement so how can it not be completely true.

Their QC in the past was about 2% lemons, you're stating 15% and getting better...Of bloody course they had to improve their customer service dept..

Look at the quality of the finishing, wood quality, wood to metal fit of say between one from the 1980s, late 1990s and today and you'll see the gradual deterioration of the product.

I don't want to chance a 15% failure rate here in North America with a factory just a post away; what's he going to do in Australia?
 
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