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RC3

Going down a dark path

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It pains me to say this, but I need some help in finding a lever action rifle. I shot my friends marlin 30-30 and for all the #### I have given him over the years for having a "cowboy gun", it sure was a blast. What are some good brands and models and what to stay away from. This is will be a range toy, so .357 or .44 would be cool. .45-70 would be way out there, but looks to be the most fun.

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Henry makes some very good lever action guns. I've got a golden boy in .45 LC an it's one of my favorite range toys. I've also got an older marlin in .45-70 that's a pig killing machine... it's pretty awesome but does date to pre-remington. I've been told Marlin quality has gone down since then.

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I would go for a brand new Marlin 1894c in .357.  Marlin has retooled and more or less fixed the problems of the past few years with this model.  The fit and finish on one I almost bought was excellent (for a gun made in 2018).  The only reason I didn't buy it was because the Ruger PC carbine was a more immediate need.

Edited by Garufa
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7 hours ago, RC3 said:

It pains me to say this, but I need some help in finding a lever action rifle. I shot my friends marlin 30-30 and for all the #### I have given him over the years for having a "cowboy gun", it sure was a blast. What are some good brands and models and what to stay away from. This is will be a range toy, so .357 or .44 would be cool. .45-70 would be way out there, but looks to be the most fun.

Take your time, find something vintageb to antique in your caliber of choice (I like 44mag/spl, 30-30, and 32spl) that's in acceptable aesthetic and good working condition and don't look back. If it's a little beat up but still in good working order, it just means it got a lot of love and use from the previous owner(s).

Estate sales, garage sales, pawn shops, etc are worth checking out.

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29 minutes ago, Ronald_55 said:

That offends the eyes.  Not as bad as that Mossberg abomination that came out a few years ago, but still awful.

Edited by Garufa

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4 minutes ago, Garufa said:

That offends the eyes.  Not as bad as that Mossberg abomination that came out a few years ago, but still awful.

Really?  I kind of like it, and I'm not the biggest fan of lever actions.  I broke down and got me one on a trade, a Browning in .308 just to have a lever in my stable, but was highly disapointed in my last one, a Winchester in 30/30.  With the side mounted scope, big drop and limited ammo, bullet, choice it just didn't stay with me long.

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I am partial to the older Marlins.  They just seem to fit me better than other brands of lever guns.  

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53 minutes ago, TomInMN said:

Estate sales, garage sales, pawn shops, etc are worth checking out.

People always say this, but I have never been to one that has guns. I have seen a couple advertised, but they clearly were gun sales with some househod crap on the lawn. 

I am still waiting to run into the $25 .22 Or $20 shotgun like I always hear about at one.

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1 minute ago, Ronald_55 said:

People always say this, but I have never been to one that has guns. I have seen a couple advertised, but they clearly were gun sales with some househod crap on the lawn. 

I am still waiting to run into the $25 .22 Or $20 shotgun like I always hear about at one.

They're definitely less common than estate sales or pawn shops with guns (and generally less obvious, you might have to ask) but they do exist.

Now, the $25 .22 or $20 shotgun is something I can't say I've ever bumped into. Sure would love to though! 😁

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Must say, these Henrys sure look good:

 

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The most desirable to me would be a Winchester Model 94 made before 1980. I had one a few years ago in 30-30, but sold it because I really didn’t care for the caliber. A .357Mag would be nice.

If I was buying something made today, I guess it would be a Henry.

If you just want a range toy at a low cost, take a look at the Mossberg 464. In centerfire its only available in 30-30, but its under $400. Or under $300 in a .22.

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What is your budget?

The market is currently soft for the best lever rifle made...the 99 Savage.

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1 hour ago, Garufa said:

That offends the eyes.  Not as bad as that Mossberg abomination that came out a few years ago, but still awful.

I sort of like it. lol 

But that's an old man of low taste for ya'. 

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9 hours ago, RC3 said:

It pains me to say this, but I need some help in finding a lever action rifle. I shot my friends marlin 30-30 and for all the #### I have given him over the years for having a "cowboy gun", it sure was a blast. What are some good brands and models and what to stay away from. This is will be a range toy, so .357 or .44 would be cool. .45-70 would be way out there, but looks to be the most fun.

Check GunPro.com sales today. An 1894 in 45-70 for under 600. Looks cool. 

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10 minutes ago, hipower said:

Check GunPro.com sales today. An 1894 in 45-70 for under 600. Looks cool. 

I’ve been getting a hankering for a lever action in 45-70 myself these days. I’m pretty sure it’s a sign of advancing age. I’m ok with that. 

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42 minutes ago, Chucktshoes said:

I’ve been getting a hankering for a lever action in 45-70 myself these days. I’m pretty sure it’s a sign of advancing age. I’m ok with that. 

My old Ruger no. 1 in 45-70 might be the last rifle I’d let go of. 

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2 minutes ago, MacGyver said:

My old Ruger no. 1 in 45-70 might be the last rifle I’d let go of. 

Oh, niiiiice. The Ruger No.1 is a gorgeous rifle. 

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I know the .45/70 is a real cannon. However, I made up some light loads using XMP 5744 powder and the standard 405-gr bullet. Recoil was mild and accuracy was really good. BTW, I have a Savage 99 in .303 Savage. That should qualify for the Cowboy Action shoots. Hope you do well. 

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4 hours ago, gregintenn said:

What is your budget?

The market is currently soft for the best lever rifle made...the 99 Savage.

I shot mine for the first time today.

There is something about a lever action, and this one takes care of my immediate desires.

A .357mag would be practical, since I've got handguns in the same caliber.

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19 minutes ago, A.J. Holst said:

I shot mine for the first time today.

There is something about a lever action, and this one takes care of my immediate desires.

A .357mag would be practical, since I've got handguns in the same caliber.

I have a Rossi copy of a 92 Winchester. With 38 target loads, it’s like shooting a BB gun for big guys. With full power 357s, you know you’re shooting a real rifle.

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4 hours ago, Chucktshoes said:

I’ve been getting a hankering for a lever action in 45-70 myself these days. I’m pretty sure it’s a sign of advancing age. I’m ok with that. 

If it was advancing age (or wisdom) you wouldn’t be considering a 45-70 in anything.

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1 hour ago, gregintenn said:

I have a Rossi copy of a 92 Winchester. With 38 target loads, it’s like shooting a BB gun for big guys. With full power 357s, you know you’re shooting a real rifle.

 This is the unicorn that I'm still looking for.  :)

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3 hours ago, DaveTN said:

 Thanks, I guess I should have been more specific.  I'm after the unicorn with the short horn (16 inch barrel) but it's starting to look like I'm going to have to settle for the 20 incher. 

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