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Thread: Bolt action vs Lever action rifle for protection

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    Member Silver Tip's Avatar
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    Default Bolt action vs Lever action rifle for protection

    I use a bolt action rifles essentially 100% of the time while hunting....either Remington 700 or a Ruger 77 Hawkeye. If I carried a rifle for bear protection I think I would be best to carry what I'm used to rather than switch to a lever gun!!! I have a 375 Ruger and a 338 Win Mag that would work well. I also have a 45-70 Marlin lever gun but don't really use it to hunt with....sits in the safe most of the time. What do you think?? By the way I can shoot well and fire pretty darn fast with a bolt gun...always have.

    Silver Tip
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    Member Ryan J's Avatar
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    Oh man...........cross your fingers!
    You may know this, but this might get silly.
    Anyhow, I have both. I practice with and enjoy both equally. With that said I usually have a sidearm on me as well in the woods. If I am hunting the scoped bolt action is with me. If I am doing other things and my safety is a concern or I may take an animal given the opportunity (fishing trip, wilderness camping, etc) then it's the lever gun that usually comes with me. Sometimes it's just the mood I'm in that determines which gets the nod. I feel comfortable with both. It looks like any of the calibers you listed would work, as would others. It sounds like your most trained on the bolt guns though.

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    Member Ryan J's Avatar
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    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...t=lever+action

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...t=lever+action

    Someone will surely tell you to use the search function, but here is some entertaining point-counterpoint on the topic if you have a few minutes to waste.

    Ryan.

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    It all depends on the situation, but from a guy who uses bolts pretty much exclusively if it were strictly bear protection in possibly thick areas, I would go with the usually lighter, shorter, and more nimble lever. Im sure when it matters you will cylce that lever quick and not even realize you didn't reach for the bolt, and it will give you a good excuse to get it out of safe and let it breath a little.

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Ether action will do just fine, the challenge is the sighting system. You ever try to acquire a moving target at ten yards in a hurry with a 3/9 scope on top . . . God forbid the covers just happen to be closed and chamber empty. I prefer a lever with a hammer myself but a bolt is fine if itís one I fully trust the safety on because I donít want to be jacking in a round in under extreme pressure of a bear charge. They both have their good and bad points but for me bolts are generally better for distance work where levers are better up close to middle range and my guns are set up that way. Iíd not take any of my bolts into the alders after a wounded bear and Iíd not take any of my levers out sheep/goat hunting where I expect long shots. Ether action type will do but what about how the gun is set up, thatís the far more important question.
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    My Eotech XPS3 is awesome on my levergun when I pack it for camp/close range trips, swaps nicely with the Scout Scope. Looks badass too

    Open country I stick to my .338WM.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    If it is for bear protection either one with the right load will be fine. I do almost all my hunting with a .338 and I often pack a Marlin 45-70 when I am out and about.

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    "Real MEN" just carry a Big stick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    Ether action will do just fine, the challenge is the sighting system. You ever try to acquire a moving target at ten yards in a hurry with a 3/9 scope on top . . . God forbid the covers just happen to be closed and chamber empty. I prefer a lever with a hammer myself but a bolt is fine if itís one I fully trust the safety on because I donít want to be jacking in a round in under extreme pressure of a bear charge. They both have their good and bad points but for me bolts are generally better for distance work where levers are better up close to middle range and my guns are set up that way. Iíd not take any of my bolts into the alders after a wounded bear and Iíd not take any of my levers out sheep/goat hunting where I expect long shots. Ether action type will do but what about how the gun is set up, thatís the far more important question.
    I hafta agree, and that about covers it.

    But, what you're used to, is a biggy, IMO.

    I'm not a shootgun guy, but if I was, and I shot Pumps, I would surely go that route over a LA or BA strictly for Bear Protection. For those who use them, often, they can be fired bout as fast as an Auto, and are more reliable, and safer.

    (Safer because when you fire a round with an auto, and you touch that trigger again, you get another boom. With manually operated actions, you can stop after the shot, and there is no round in the chamber.

    Remind me to practice multiple shots with my LAs.

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    I would think that a person could become as proficient as necessary with any firearm with the right amount of practice and enthusiasm - there is a well known gunsmith who lives and has a shop in the coastal mountains of Oregon who used to be the pistol smith for Jeff Cooper at GunSite - He, then and now, believes that we will eventually lose our "right" to own handguns so he went out on his own and started his own enterprise - I would defy you to outshoot or outperform him with your chosen weapon and he with his bolt action rifle - it's pretty amazing what he is capable of

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338 mag. View Post
    If it is for bear protection either one with the right load will be fine. I do almost all my hunting with a .338 and I often pack a Marlin 45-70 when I am out and about.
    Me too. The Marlin is my general go to gun. My lever 45-70 lever comes out at every range trip. I'll do the longer range 338WM, 06 etc stuff for most of the time then will finish with 20 rounds of the 45-70; kneeling deliberate at 100yds to check zero, then standing off hand a bit quicker at 50yds then as quick as I can at 25 (or closer if no other shooters on the range). I'll also pop 5 'quick as I can' rounds at 25 yds with the other guns I have at the range. This ensures I stay 100% with the Marlin as my main protection, but also proficient with the others.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I agree its about sights but its also hard to short stroke a levergun
    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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    I agree that the sights also are very high on the "important" list.
    Familiaraity of the weapon probably would be my second thought.
    I would guess that most serious charges happen so fast, and close, that the first and maybe only shot is what will matter most anyway? After that it is time to buy a lotto ticket.....
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    "Real MEN" just carry a Big stick.
    And a short one at that, right . . . ?

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    I'm primarily concerned with the first round; therefore a Bolt Action with a set trigger.

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    How does a set trigger help anything???

    Silver Tip
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    If I had to choose only one rifle, I'd take a levah in 358 Winchester. If I had to choose a new bolt action, it would be a Sako Grizzly chambered in 9.3x62 mauser.

    The Sako carbine represents everything I'd want for an Alaskan hunting rifle: Carbine barrel, short rifle, fast bolt throw, rugged open sights, beautiful wood/ blueing and chambered for a cartridge that will do it all.
    http://www.sako.fi/sako85models.php?...wdata#pagedown

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    A GOOD trigger will suffice

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    I don't think the action type makes as much difference as practice with the type of your choice. If you're going to fight bear with a stick, the only fair way is to give the stick to the bear and then whup him. Anything else is just cheating.

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    Interesting thoughts mainer:

    Keeping in mind that I'm not a Great Hunter, like many on this forum, If I could only have ONE rifle, it would be a BA, and I could make do. (unless it broke)

    I'd much prefer TWO rifles, and one would be a LA.

    When I DID, own only TWO rifles, one was a Rem. 700, 280 Rem, and tother war a LA 30-30.

    The 280 was for huntin, and the 30-30 was for being armed when stompin around in the swamps for reasons other than huntin. And, I used them both that way.

    I still perfer my LA 30-30s for a protection gun.

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