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Thread: Southeast Lever Gun ideas for close action deer.

  1. #1
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    Default Southeast Lever Gun ideas for close action deer.

    I'm moving from Dillingham to Juneau this October and am thinking of adding a new gun to my rather limited arsenal. My only centerfire rifles are a single shot blued 270 (NEF) and a LH stainless Savage 116 in 338, shortened to 20" with open sights, quick release rings and a burris 1.75x5.

    While the 338 would certainly work, and it's stainless, and it's not all that heavy....I still like the idea of a smaller, fast shooting (handling not velocity) open sights, stainless lever rifle for sneaking around the woods of South East. I carried a model 94 in 32 special as a kid and young man in Wisconsin and it was a great quick shooter and an easy carry to boot.

    Alas, it seems there are no stainless Winchester model 94's, but what others are available. And despite my seemingly leading comments as to what I want, I'm open to ideas, have flirted with the pistol calibers, but would rather a 30 30 plus, emphasis on easy carry and quick shooting.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2

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    I'm not sure if stainless is available, but I'd look at Marlins in 35 Remington. You'll hear reco's for 45-70, and that's good too. I just happen to be a 35 fan, and have sure been pleased with performance on deer.

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    Member kobuk's Avatar
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    I own a real fun rifle. It is a stainless puma 92 in 454 casull. I installed a receiver sight and a fiber optic front sight. It is a 20 in. version and will hold 9 in the tube plus one. I think it weighs about 6 lbs. It is light, shoots nice, easy to carry and packs a wallop. It has a top eject so a scope is out and the range of the casull load is as far as I want to shoot with the open sights anyway. I used mine on a couple black bears and it is great medicine.

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    Deer aren't that sneaky.
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

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    "Perhaps you underestimate the sneakiness" (I think that was the line.....)

    Well, then could you suggest a good club or something

  6. #6

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    Marlin makes a stainless lever in 30-30 and 35 remington, 45-70, 308 Marlin, 338 Marlin, 44 Magnum and 41 magnum as well. Lots to choose from might make it hard to decide though!

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    I'd go with the Puma 92 in 454 or a Marlin in 45/70 . . . ether better power than 30/30 and with 454 you can match a handgun to it.
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    I am a big lever gun fan and a 30-30 would be hard to beat for what you describe. An outfit called Big Horn Armory is making a rather nice and nicely put together 500 S&W lever gun that would also be nice (and priced accordingly).

    The world is full of lovely old lever guns waiting to have some life breathed back into them...

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    I also am very fond of the Puma 92 in 454.

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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    I'd get a pre-Remington Marlin stainless in whatever cartridge that suits your fancy...

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I use my Handi's alot.The 454 has 20 inch barrel and my 45/70 has a 16 1/4" with a 1X scope. If you hand load the Marlin in 35rem would be a very nice rifle
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    32 winchester special with a 17 1/2 inch barrel with a 6 round tube. Getter done!
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 377PFA View Post
    Marlin makes a stainless lever in 30-30 and 35 remington, 45-70, 308 Marlin, 338 Marlin, 44 Magnum and 41 magnum as well. Lots to choose from might make it hard to decide though!
    this is one of three one shot elk kills make with the 336 marlin in .35 remington caliber. using hornady leverevolution ammunition they were shot at 248yds-217yds-and 200yds. i would highly recommend this rifle and caliber, suitable for many types of hunting.

    happy trails.
    jh

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    One more vote for the .35 Rem. Great caliber for the lever. Only the ,356 Winchester (hard to find) or the .444 might be better and reach out a little farther than the .450 Marlin or the .45-70. Then there are the new Marlin 308 and 338 also in stainless or a .358 Win in a BLR or other great rounds.

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    Catch it I bought a Marlin 1895XLR in 4570 a few years back and just absolutely love that gun. I did have a trigger job done and a larger loop installed, and it is very sweet to shoot. I can shoot unbelievable groups at 100 and 200 yards with the Hornady 325 grain red tipped bullets and have shot deer and bear with it and it def puts a smack on them.
    Now some would argue the longer XLR bbl may not make for a brush gun - well I beg to differ as I have left many footprints in heavy brush and cannot think of one time having a 6in shorter bbl would have made any difference as far as the shot goes. - Now carrying it through the tangles may be a different story....
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  16. #16
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    I have to say that my favorite leveraction deer rifle would have to be the Marlin 336sc chambered for the 35 Rem. The old SC or sporting carbine if you prefer it the long way is set up just the way I think a brush gun should be, 20" bbl, 2/3 mag and light weight. Add a Lyman 66 to the left side of the receiver to give yourself the benefits of an aperture sight while looking sn***y and nostalgic and your ready to go. The 35 Rem is about the perfect woods range deer and black bear cartridge in my eyes, providing more bullet weight and penetration than the 30WCF, with about the same recoil. The 35 is easy and economical to reload, and if you don't reload the factory 200gr loads are a sure killer. If you watch Gunbroker you can find good deals on the older Marlins from time to time, I found my SC on Gunbroker for around 200$ last year, although it is a 30-30. I recently picked up a 444 which I'm going to start fooling around with as soon as I can find some brass. I may take it along to Kodiak this winter to chase Blacktails. Probably loaded with 270gr Speer Golddot SPs, gotta chop that 24" goosegun bbl off a little first though, thing just feels terribly unwieldy as it stands. 444 would also be a good caliber for your needs too, but only if you handload. Factory ammo can be mighty hard to find up here.

  17. #17

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    You have multiple options. There are Marlins in .30-30, 308 Marlin, 338 Marlin, 35 Rem, 444 Marlin, and .45-70. The word of advice to buy a pre-Remington Marlin is very wise, as Marlin has had QC probs ever since Remington took them over. I would think stainless would also be a good choice. I have a Guide Gun in .45-70 with AO sights and a 444 Outfitter with a Leupie Vari-X III 1.5-5x20, as well as a .30-30 with a Vari-X III 1.5-5x20. They all work great. Having said that, I will also vouch for the 35 Remington caliber. It is one of several cartridges that performs out of it's weight class. People that have them tend to be very satisfied with them.

    Another option, depending on how you feel, is the Browning BLR. It can be had in .308 Winny, 358 Winny, and 450 Marlin, among others. I dunno if you are set on a Marlin or have an interest in the more modern BLR or not. I've never owned a BLR, so I can't really proffer an opinion on them, although I'm sure someone can.

    My personal inclinations would be for a pre-Rem Marlin in stainless in .35 Rem, 444, or .45-70, or for a stainless BLR in 358 Winchester.

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    Thanks for all the suggestions, I love how lever gun questions get such enthusiastic responses.

    I read up on the Puma in 454, it seems it can often outperform a 45 70 but extra kick comes along with it, especially considering it's wonderfully light specs (6 pounds). The gun looks great, and gets good reviews on handling, quality and accuracy....but I'm still chewing on the recoil aspect. But it has been suggested that with 45 long colt it can be a softer recoil and no doubt it would take a deer or bear at 100 yards and less with ease. Anyone tried the 357 or 44 mag versions of these or others?

    I guess in a lot o ways I'm not looking for a thumper, my 338 takes care of that aspect just fine, and I'm not so into the leverlution aspect as I have little desire to shoot more than 150 anyway (as someone said, blacktail aren't that sneaky). I think that stainless puma in 30 30 would be fantastic...but, not available. I definitely want to stay with open sights (taking care of scopes in lots of rain drives me to distraction).

    Sounds like the 35 rem gets lots of kudos, I'll have to read more into that as well. And if a Marlin comes up, I'll definitely look into the pre Remington era....were stainless available then?

    Backtracking a bit, for those of you who hunt southeast with some regularity, including road and boat based trips, is stainless that big of an advantage, or does it still just come down to gun care (which I admit I'm not exactly consistent with)?

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    Just make sure to wipe down your gun at the end of the day and it will be fine. My dad has a mid 70's Rem 700 blue/walnut that he's hunted with since we move to AK in '84. It doesn't look any worse for wear than it did back then. He's not real consistent with gun care either. A quick wipe down in th evening makes all the difference.
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

  20. #20

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    I think everything will need some care, it's just a question of how much. I think synthetic and stainless requires a lot less care, and you don't have to worry about weather-induced stock warpage causing changing points of impact.

    Now, this other thing. The 454 can outperform the .45-70????? Ummm....respectfully, no. It can't. Now when the .45-70 is loaded properly. If you're comparing the 454 to .45-70 cowboy loads, or the 300 gr. factory loads, that's one thing. Compare the 454 to Buffalo Bore or Garrett hammerhead loads, and the 454 can't touch it. That's one of the advantages of the .45-70, it can be loaded or bought from mild to wild.

    Look into that 35 Remington cartridge, though. It's the little engine that could!

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