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Discussion Starter #1
I'm considering getting a used lever gun but not real familiar with brands or calibers. This would be to compliment my 357mag in certain situations. Did a little research on 3030 win too and it's a rather respectable round. Still, i'm interested in other opinions and ideas regarding optimal caliber. Thoughts, concerns...?

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reluctant sinner
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They can be ok. I have a Winchester 94AE in 44 Mag. that was a gift. Several parts have broke and there are none to be had. I have welded most of them then back together, buy something else IMHO.

I have shot or worked on other brands. Getting them to feed properly can be an issue, bullet selection is an option. In mine the SWC Keith bullet doesn't feed near as easily/effortlessly as the round nose Saeco bullet. It does hold one more round in the tube with Saeco than it does with the Lyman Keith 429421.

If you shoot lots of Specials in you mag chamber, have a wire chamber brush to clean out the ring before switching back to the magnums to avoid extraction issues.

With the 170 gr bullet a 30-30 doesn't gain much going from the almost free cast bullets to regular jacketed stuff. At $30 a pound for powder you get +650 rounds and primers would be about $20 to load that powder. What is that 8 cents a pop. Loading your 357 will be about the same price.

The Lyman 310 hand loading tool will do either with the proper set of dies. The whole kit is less than 3# and will fir in your hand. The option full length tap in case sizer is recommend. They also made a cast bullet sizer to use in the tool. I have cast bullets on a camp fire with a mold, a big dedicated spoon and stick.

The lee hand loader was made in both and will work and yes you should get the Lyman sizer.

Lyman 310 set for 45-70 I like the feel of the steel handles (heavier) better than the aluminum ones. Huge extra premium for steel ones that take the insert.

 

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what do you think it will do or be used for

they're fun to shoot but nothing really recommends them if something better is at hand
 

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Originalist
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I'm considering getting a used lever gun but not real familiar with brands or calibers. This would be to compliment my 357mag in certain situations. Did a little research on 3030 win too and it's a rather respectable round. Still, i'm interested in other opinions and ideas regarding optimal caliber. Thoughts, concerns...?

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If it's purely for practical purposes and old west historical accuracy isn't a factor, I'd get a Henry hands down. Ever since the introduced the side loading gate they became a serious contender for utilitarian lever gun. They consistently get great reviews and the absence of the loading gate was really their only complaint. That is now solved. Unlike many of the old west style lever actions they have pre-tapped receivers to accept an optic. The "X" series are an even further departure from the traditionalist look but seem like good configurations for someone who only cares about function, especially if you want to have a threaded barrel for a suppressor.

30-30, 44mag and .357mag are all great options. 30-30 with leverevolution ammo are very capable.
 

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I have picked up a Marlin 45/70 but have been eying some of Marlin's .44 mag offerings as a more practical rifle for several uses.

I'd want to shoot it on the range, carry it during hikes and perhaps use it for driven deer. As a carry gun during hikes the prospect of coming across black bears remains real, but I would like a light handy rifle that I can shoot a lot more than I can ever do with the .45/70. I would probably also use it as a carry gun in a vehicle for any trips out of the city.

While my natural default tends towards .44Mag, as it's reputation for deer in thick bush recommends it, not to mention relatively soft recoil in a rifle, does .38/357 compare favourably? While I haven't reloaded much recently I have in the past and would only need an extra set of dies in either caliber, and would seriously consider getting back into casting bullets for such a rifle.

I would appreciate hearing peoples' opinions on the two pistol calibers. The Marlin stainless carbines, with peep sight and big loop are available in both up here, though the .44Mag seems harder to find at the moment.
 

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Retired Army
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I have had only a few lever guns in my time. They are really fun to shoot for one thing. They are also pretty light and handy unless you just happen to get a long barrel one. I lean towards the carbines. My current one (only got one now) is a Rossi 92 in .44 magnum. It is good enough in my book for just about anything short of taking to war.
 

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I have picked up a Marlin 45/70 but have been eying some of Marlin's .44 mag offerings as a more practical rifle for several uses.



I'd want to shoot it on the range, carry it during hikes and perhaps use it for driven deer. As a carry gun during hikes the prospect of coming across black bears remains real, but I would like a light handy rifle that I can shoot a lot more than I can ever do with the .45/70. I would probably also use it as a carry gun in a vehicle for any trips out of the city.



While my natural default tends towards .44Mag, as it's reputation for deer in thick bush recommends it, not to mention relatively soft recoil in a rifle, does .38/357 compare favourably? While I haven't reloaded much recently I have in the past and would only need an extra set of dies in either caliber, and would seriously consider getting back into casting bullets for such a rifle.



I would appreciate hearing peoples' opinions on the two pistol calibers. The Marlin stainless carbines, with peep sight and big loop are available in both up here, though the .44Mag seems harder to find at the moment.


I'm not sure the area you are in, but if you have brown bear population I think I'd vote for the 44Mag. They seem pretty universally accepted as much better than .357 on those big aggressive beasts. Other than brown bears I'm not sure there is any other game in North America a reasonably placed .357 of proper construction couldn't put down. The 45-70 though seems like it would be fairly comparable to 44mag in practical effectiveness.
 

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reluctant sinner
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Stainless and big loop would be good. The 44 will have more recoil than the 357, but still likely acceptable to most folks unlike heavy loads in a 45-70. I like the 86 Win but to heavy for me to carry. I really like the Win model 95 and would love to build up a takedown in 30-40 Ackley Improved. Never really like the Marlins either.

I like bolt guns. The 788 Remington was a tack driver for a then cheaper rifle - you will pay extra to find one now. Ruger made a bolt and lever in 44 Mag. plus the #1, maybe in 357 too, plus the autoloader in 44. Browning had a 92 Win clone plus a single shot model 78? I'm sure there was 44/20ga and several single shot break opens. Mossberg surely made something in 357 and 44, I'm not into Mossy's. Rossi made some levers and even rolling blocks in 357 not sure about 44, plus some multi barrel single shot sets. Henry might be ok, I didn't like the first ones I looked at years ago. I always thought the pump 357 IMI TimberWolf was interesting, they should have scaled it to 44.

Pistol rounds in rifles doesn't really interest me as much as rifle rounds in pistols.

Have fun there can be lots of choices used.
 

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What would Mal do
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theres nothing in north america the 357 wont kill with proper placement. and the 30 30has put more meat on the table then most.
yep..and plus one for the Lever-evolution rounds.

I have an old winchester 30-30..it's got plenty of cosmetic abuse..but still gets the ride in the boot on the 4wheeler at times...very accurate irons out to 100yds..the evolution ammo is supposed to give me another 50yds on top of that, but I'd question my old eyes and steadiness of hand at that distance.

ton of fun to shoot.
 

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Beware of the dog!
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I have a Winchester in 30-30 and it is OK, well proven for white tail. When I bought my Marlin in .44 Magnum it was an excellent shooter, very smooth action, accurate with the iron sights out to 100 yards, and it held more rounds compared to the 30-30.

The 30-30 has more velocity and energy, but it comes with more kick to the shoulder.

Assuming ammunition is available, 30-30 comes in a box of 20, .44 Magnum comes in a box of 50. I think if you do the math round for round the .44 is more affordable, but with the crazy ammo rush and prices now I don't know if that price claim is still accurate.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
what do you think it will do or be used for

they're fun to shoot but nothing really recommends them if something better is at hand
We like to travel and are considering a small bumper pull travel trailer. Figured a lever and revolver would be less problematic if we strayed accidentally into one of the Soviet satellite states on the left coast or NE else I'd just take ARs and 10mm's. In another thread someone also suggested a 20ga or 16ga pump too. I'm just looking for a long gun that is practical without looking scary tactical if that makes sense...

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I have a Rossi 92 in 357 magnum and Winchester 94 in 30-30.

I shoot the Rossi in Cowboy Action Matches off and on and enjoy it. It's fun to shoot gun. Low noise with 38 special.
 

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That'll be the day...
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I wasn't a lever fan for the past 30 years. I was a bolt-action, bench-rest, long range shooter.

Enter... Thanksgiving of 2018.

I entered into a "Thanksgiving Pumpkin Shoot", where I had to use my Dad's ole 30-30 Winchester, open sight and I won it. Instantly, I was in love with levers.

Since then I have added a Rossi 44mag stainless and it has turned into my "go-to" camp gun, along with my Taurus 44mag revolver. They are an awesome pair.


.........
 

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I'm considering getting a used lever gun but not real familiar with brands or calibers. This would be to compliment my 357mag in certain situations. Did a little research on 3030 win too and it's a rather respectable round. Still, i'm interested in other opinions and ideas regarding optimal caliber. Thoughts, concerns...?

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I have several including a 94ae and 92 Delux both in 44mag. For .357 as an example i like these: https://www.gunsamerica.com/9196743...teel-357-Mag-24-1-4-34276.htm?isPartner=false

https://www.gunsamerica.com/9795604...-Octagon-18-357-MAG-34244.htm?isPartner=false


For 30-30 there are used Marlins and Winchesters everywere
 

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I'm not a lever fan, that said, I used to hunt deer with a 92 in 25-20 never shot a deer, a friend did knock down a bear with his 45 colt and I put a round in its ear while it was down. If I could find lead free ammo, I would still hunt with it or a bolt action 25-20. I also have a 357 winchester 94. Nice gun. I used to carry it in deer season but I now have a Ruger 77 in 357. I did put a fire sight up front and a williams peep with a twilight ring on the back. I shoots any jacketed ammo I feed it. It does not like cast SWC due to the shoulder. Nothing wrong with 357 mag for hunting or social work. there are bigger more powerfull rounds, I'm not sure they are better for most of what we do.
 

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I'm partial to the 'JM Marked' Marlins. My preference is the 45-70.
You will pay more for the JM, but it is the best lever gun on the market.

You already have a 357, stick with that cal.
 

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Karens and commies do fear obsolete firearms less than the more efficient ones

In that role they do shine though sometimes i wonder just how much an advantage it is real world - Karens and commies being who they are ...

We like to travel and are considering a small bumper pull travel trailer. Figured a lever and revolver would be less problematic if we strayed accidentally into one of the Soviet satellite states on the left coast or NE else I'd just take ARs and 10mm's. In another thread someone also suggested a 20ga or 16ga pump too. I'm just looking for a long gun that is practical without looking scary tactical if that makes sense...

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I sold most all my JM Marlins for a profit and I am rebuilding the fleet

The new CNC Marlins can be better tuned
If you work with a skilled SASS gun-smith, just ask them

CNC > hand fitting in the end

One reason the Remlins had so many early problems was the mess they got from Marlin in terms of manufacturing based on rough/crude out-dated technology

The newest Marlins are good to go
 
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