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Kiryen
Feb 25, 2015



I've always wanted one. This year, when my birthday roles around, in August, I'm doing it. I've got a lot of experience with pistols and ARs due to 22 years of military and law enforcement, but never a lever gun before.

I'm debating .30-30 v. .357 Magnum v. 45-70, and while I want it to look nice, I also don't want to spend much over $1000 (if that). Also, while .45-70 seems pretty classic (my tastes run very much to the historical), almost $2 a shot seems excessive.

Any views or past experience (especially "stay away from this godawful gun I purchased") much appreciated.

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Action-Bastard
Jan 1, 2008



So I'll preface this with I've never owned or shot a lever action gun, but I have been lurking TFR for a decade and absorbing all the poo poo posted here.

That being said, if this is a recreational/plinking gun, and you don't need to drop a bear or moose, for practicality I'd steer you towards .357. Its a common and relatively cheap caliber and also gives you the option to shoot .38 special. Goons have also said they love their 30-30 lever guns.

Based on your budget the three major brands to look at are Rossi, Marlin, and Henry.

Rossi is easily the cheapest as you can find a lever gun in the $500 range, but also multiple goons reported the fit/finish isn't the best and there is a break-in period to get the gun operating consistently.

Beardless
Aug 12, 2011

I am Centurion Titus Polonius. And the only trouble I've had is that nobody seem to realize that I'm their superior officer.


Action-Bastard posted:

So I'll preface this with I've never owned or shot a lever action gun, but I have been lurking TFR for a decade and absorbing all the poo poo posted here.

That being said, if this is a recreational/plinking gun, and you don't need to drop a bear or moose, for practicality I'd steer you towards .357. Its a common and relatively cheap caliber and also gives you the option to shoot .38 special. Goons have also said they love their 30-30 lever guns.

Based on your budget the three major brands to look at are Rossi, Marlin, and Henry.

Rossi is easily the cheapest as you can find a lever gun in the $500 range, but also multiple goons reported the fit/finish isn't the best and there is a break-in period to get the gun operating consistently.

FWIW, I just got a Rossi 92 in .357, and it seems fine so far, with none of the extreme roughness that others have reported. I ran a box of .38 special through it with no issues, aside from a stiff loading gate spring.

Coxswain Balls
Jun 3, 2001



There's also the thing about Marlin guns from the period when they were first bought out by Remington being of poor quality, but it sounds like that's since been worked out. Someone more knowledgeable can probably go into more detail about what to look out for to avoid picking up a Remlin.

The Henry Model X looks like everything I want in a lever gun, but it doesn't look like anyone in Canada is going to be carrying it in the foreseeable future. I like my .44 Carbine, but it'd be nice to have something a little more cost effective with a larger magazine, and being able to downgrade to .38 Special with a lever action would be nice for the range.

Admiral Bosch
Apr 19, 2007
Who is Admiral Aken Bosch, and what is that old scoundrel up to?

I picked up a used Rossi 92 in .45 Colt and I love it, it's my favorite fun gun. It can handle the hottest Blackhawk loads as well(obviously if you handload do so safely and work up your loads accordingly) so it's a good match for my Ruger. Bonus for case hardened pattern and octagonal barrel. The mag follower is still the plastic one but I haven't had that cause any issue yet although I suppose it could crack with age and heat exposure. I would also say that even with a big fat slug like .45 colt it takes a little more effort than I'd like to shove a round through the loading gate especially after blasting all day, but I can live with it. As I said it was used so it may have worn in some of the issues people talk about with new purchases.

tl;dr buy one they loving slap, if you have a cowboy revolver already get one in the same cartridge.

Target Practice
Aug 20, 2004

Shit.

I had a .30-30 for a lot of years then sold.it because I shot it like twice in a decade. Pistol caliber is the way to go if you don't need the rifle caliber for game.

Tyro
Nov 10, 2009


Target Practice posted:

I had a .30-30 for a lot of years then sold.it because I shot it like twice in a decade. Pistol caliber is the way to go if you don't need the rifle caliber for game.

Totally agree with this. My Marlin in 357 is one of my favorite guns. I've just spent a fairly unreasonable amount on silly mods that I haven't had time to install yet.

I've also owned and sold a Winchester in 30-30 and a Marlin in 30-30. Unless you're going to be hunting with it or want to shoot at longer ranges, I'd recommend a pistol caliber, either 457, 44 or ,45lc depending on what other guns you already have and what you want to do with it.

And even if you are planning to hunt, depending on where you live and what's around, the pistol rounds might be adequate.

Dick Burglar
Mar 6, 2006
Check out my hot takes because I'm a straight white male

Hey, this thread is timely. I've been stupidly wanting to buy a Marlin 1895 Dark in .45-70, even though I basically never shoot anymore and I'd have no real ability to shoot anything anytime soon. I also currently have a Marlin 1894 in .357 Magnum that I never really shot much because I cannot shoot with its stock sights, and the XS sights I bought way back in the day were super jank to adjust. Maybe I should cool my jets with the .45-70 and instead order an XS sight rail for my 1894, so I can actually shoot it worth a drat, and I don't mind my lever guns being anachronistic. Although that still leaves me with the issue of the XS sights being awkward to adjust, so

ThinkFear
Sep 14, 2007





Lever guns are good. Buy a .357

DeesGrandpa
Oct 21, 2009



Counterpoint, buy a 45 70 and watch Wind River while drinking. Let the bleakness flow through you

Dammit_Carl!
Mar 5, 2013


Henry Big Boy X with me adding on Skinner sights in .357 is something I'm seriously looking at - dig the ability to load in typical Henry way, but have a side loading gate as well. Plus, iirc, they come factory prepped for suppressors too as well. May not have a traditional "blued and wood," look, but can get past that.

Cyrano4747
Sep 25, 2006



Iíll just throw out there that you can get old lever actions relatively cheap without looking too hard. Browse GB for Winchester 94s and just look for poo poo with beat finishes that the collectors arenít going to go nuts for. Lots of those guns out there that murdered a whitetail every few years and got carried in the woods a ton but otherwise werenít shot too much.

Thereís a cut off point that people get stuck on. Pre 1950 or 1960 or something. Google that and find one of the SN guides so you know what youíre getting.

A pre-ww2 Ď94 with zero finish or collector value is way up my list of poo poo to get.

Edit: most of those are in. .30-30 so not as easy to blast all day on the cheap like one in .38 but still not terrible and .30-30 is easy to reload for. Youíd be challenged to find a better documented round.

DeesGrandpa
Oct 21, 2009



If you're OK with post 64 Winnies you can get em under 300 sometimes. They're still solid guns and one's on my list eventually.

Cyrano4747
Sep 25, 2006



Oh and if youíre OK with one that had the side of the receiver drilled and tapped for a scope that can also help drive the price down. Collectors hate that poo poo but itís nothing you canít if you just want a shooter.

Captain Log
Oct 2, 2006

Captain Log posted:

"I AINT DYING! Choo choo motherfucker!"




DeesGrandpa posted:

Counterpoint, buy a 45 70 and watch Wind River while drinking. Let the bleakness flow through you

The most rear end kicking recoil rifle I ever shot was a 45-70.

Yeah, most of my experience is pistols and I was a teenager. But that still stands out as pretty punishing.

Ygolonac
Nov 26, 2007

pre:
*************
CLUTCH  NIXON
*************

The Hero We Need


Winchester 1892, .44 WCF, 14" barrel w/NFA exemption letter.



Bringeth the yeehaw.

Tyro
Nov 10, 2009


Well I just installed a mini red dot on my 1894c, I can try to take a photo tomorrow once the sun is up. I like the mount a lot. I pulled a 3MOA Vortex Venom off a 22 plinker just to mock it up, I'll probably switch to a smaller dot size though.

Next week when my in-lb torque wrench arrives (mine's in storage) I'm installing the Midwest industries mlok forend. Hopefully that's not sacrilegious on a JM, are those verging on collectible now?

ryanrs
Jul 12, 2011



Coxswain Balls posted:

There's also the thing about Marlin guns from the period when they were first bought out by Remington being of poor quality, but it sounds like that's since been worked out. Someone more knowledgeable can probably go into more detail about what to look out for to avoid picking up a Remlin.

Last year I compared a new Marlin 336 side-by-side with a used one from the mid-1980s. The old gun had better sleeker lines on the lever and much better fit between the metal and wood.

I had already started the purchase on the new one, but when I saw the used gun on the shelf, I told the store to not submit the DROS paperwork and sell me the old gun instead.

Another thing to keep in mind, I found the recoil from the 30-30 to be pretty punishing at the range because of the hard butt plate. I stuck a limb-saver on it which made it much nicer to shoot. 357 would be much easier, I think.

Action-Bastard
Jan 1, 2008



drat you guys got me thinking about a cheap Rossi M92 now

https://dahlonegaarmory.com/product/rossi-m92-357mag-16-8rd-bl-rnd

wheres my beer
Apr 29, 2004


Tryin' to catch me ridin' dirty


Fun Shoe

I really wanna grab a Henry Big Boy X whenever they become available but I hate the plastic finish, and I wish they were nitrided instead of blued.

Captain Log
Oct 2, 2006

Captain Log posted:

"I AINT DYING! Choo choo motherfucker!"




Rossi still makes that asinine revolver rifle. Even if it slowly burns you hands, it still looks cool as gently caress. Like a gun from Firefly.

Coxswain Balls
Jun 3, 2001



DeesGrandpa posted:

Counterpoint, buy a 45 70 and watch Wind River while drinking. Let the bleakness flow through you

I hear people say how it's the weakest of Taylor Sheridan's movies all the time (well, at least until Day of the Soldado), but to me it has the best setting and atmosphere by far, and that's saying something considering how amazing I thought Sicario was. It also made me reaaaally consider starting to reload for 45-70 until I got talked out of it.

Admiral Bosch
Apr 19, 2007
Who is Admiral Aken Bosch, and what is that old scoundrel up to?

Coxswain Balls posted:

I hear people say how it's the weakest of Taylor Sheridan's movies all the time

who says this

it is phenomenal

tarlibone
Aug 1, 2014

Am I a... bad person?
AM I??





Fun Shoe

Oh man... haha now I'm wishing I had got the lever gun.

Don't get me wrong, I still am happy. But I definitely know what my next gun'll be. And I'm 99% sure that 357 is the way to go.

Coxswain Balls
Jun 3, 2001



Admiral Bosch posted:

who says this

it is phenomenal

It's still good but Sicario and Hell or High Water are insanely well done and, most importantly, had much more experienced directors. Wind River was the first film he directed and wrote and it shows.

I Demand Food
Nov 17, 2002


Leverguns are awesome. Leverguns in .357 are great.

I can speak for Henry, Rossi, and Taylor all being solid. My Rossi did have a few issues, but their customer support is very good and there are a few gunsmiths who specialize in them if you ever want to have action work done in the future.

Admiral Bosch
Apr 19, 2007
Who is Admiral Aken Bosch, and what is that old scoundrel up to?

Coxswain Balls posted:

It's still good but Sicario and Hell or High Water are insanely well done and, most importantly, had much more experienced directors. Wind River was the first film he directed and wrote and it shows.

I suppose. Can't dispute that either of those two aren't amazing, but Wind River conveys a bleakness that I think a lot of westerns lack. I went to Standing Rock when all the poo poo was going down and even though I was only there for a short time(and the fact that it's a different community) there's just... nothing out there for these people. It's hard to see.

Also this scene WHEW boy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jc1Z6uYXcv0

"You didn't see it."

stealie72
Jan 10, 2007

Their eyes locked and suddenly there was the sound of breaking glass.


Yeah, .357/38 is the way to go.

Also, if you dont care if it makes a big bang and are open to a 22, an old marlin 39 is hard to beat.

Nitrousoxide
May 30, 2011

do not buy a oneplus phone





Dammit_Carl! posted:

Henry Big Boy X with me adding on Skinner sights in .357 is something I'm seriously looking at - dig the ability to load in typical Henry way, but have a side loading gate as well. Plus, iirc, they come factory prepped for suppressors too as well. May not have a traditional "blued and wood," look, but can get past that.

I thought Henry didn't make a .357 side loader?

tarlibone
Aug 1, 2014

Am I a... bad person?
AM I??





Fun Shoe

Nitrousoxide posted:

I thought Henry didn't make a .357 side loader?

They didn't. And even now, their more affordable and popular 357 leverguns are all tube-loaded.

That's not the case anymore.

Nitrousoxide
May 30, 2011

do not buy a oneplus phone





tarlibone posted:

They didn't. And even now, their more affordable and popular 357 leverguns are all tube-loaded.

That's not the case anymore.

Neat. I hope their 357's get side loading as well soon too.

Edit:

I was looking at their more traditional offerings. Not the big boy x. I guess that one does have a 357 side loader.

Nitrousoxide fucked around with this message at 15:54 on May 3, 2020

wheres my beer
Apr 29, 2004


Tryin' to catch me ridin' dirty


Fun Shoe

I want one with wood pretty badddd.

Democratic Pirate
Feb 17, 2010



My FIL has an early 1900s Win94 thatís loving rad. Itís killed a bunch of deer and cycles beautifully. If I have a kid thatís into hunting, I hope itíll be their first deer gun so it will have filled freezers for 5 generations of family.

Democratic Pirate fucked around with this message at 22:06 on May 3, 2020

The Pigeon
Feb 8, 2008

I have nothing to say here.


College Slice

Pew pew.. Win94 in 30-30.

DeesGrandpa
Oct 21, 2009



The Pigeon posted:

Pew pew.. Win94 in 30-30.


Yes this is the correct choice. Rifle scabbards are my fetish

TheNothingNew
Nov 10, 2008


Oh my, yes.

Anonymous Robot
Jun 1, 2007

Lost his leg in Robo War I


Captain Log posted:

Rossi still makes that asinine revolver rifle. Even if it slowly burns you hands, it still looks cool as gently caress. Like a gun from Firefly.

Oh my god, this stupid thing is so cool.

Parts Kit
Jun 9, 2006

durr
i have a hole in my head
durr


.30-30 is a good caliber that wonít slam you around. I think itís worth considering.

(The solution is to buy both a 357 and a 30-30)

stealie72
Jan 10, 2007

Their eyes locked and suddenly there was the sound of breaking glass.


Parts Kit posted:

.30-30 is a good caliber that won’t slam you around. I think it’s worth considering.

(The solution is to buy both a 357 and a 30-30)
30-30 is great, but $$$$ compared to .357/.38 for little benefit if you arent killing deer.

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Cyrano4747
Sep 25, 2006



Itís $$$ if youíre buying hunting ammo (which is all your typical store carries) but itís also pretty easy to reload on the cheap-ish. Brass is common and cheap, you can use a poo poo ton of different powders including ones that work well for other calibers, and the bullet is the same .308 that you can find for all the other popular American .30 cals. Glancing at some load charts online it looks like the cheap 150gr semi-spritzer (so round enough for a lever action) I already buy would work fine.

If reloading just isnít in the cards that yeah anything pistol caliber is going to be much cheaper to shoot. If you donít mind reloading you can get it down there to where you arenít breaking the bank. My cpr on reloaded .30-06 with reused brass is about $.37/rd, to put things into perspective.

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