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I want a lever action rifle.


Snaveba

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I want a lever action rifle, kind of old-school cow boy cool. I just don’t know what caliber I should go with.  I don’t have plans hunt with it, but it could happen one day. And it does not need to look like a safe queen. Maybe more like I won it in a game of poker while out on the trail running the cattle. 
 

what sayith  the wisdom of the lords of the TGO?

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I love lever guns. I have 6 of them ranging from .22LR up to .45-70. I like the Winchester style rifles. There's just something about the way they feel and handle that suits me to a "T".  I'm also partial to the 16" Trapper rifles in handgun calibers. However, original Winchesters can be expensive these days. Fortunately, there are some very good clones out there. 

For what would basically be a range toy, I'd suggest something in a handgun caliber as it would be cheaper to feed and easier to shoot. I have a Rossi 92 Trapper in .357 magnum that I really like. Excellent little rifle and could take up to deer sized game if you wanted to. Of course a nice .22 is always fun and a great way to get into the lever action game.  Trust me, you won't stop at just one. 😉

Henry makes some great rifles in a wide variety of calibers. I've never owned one, but their reputation is outstanding. The Marlins are legendary and used ones are pretty easy to find. Then there are the various clones by Uberti and others. But to me, nothing equals the classic Winchester 94 .30-30.  

 

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I have a Henry Big Boy lever gun in 38Spl/357Mag. I purchased it about 8 years ago. They have new ones with side loading gate which my rifle does not have. That has been the knock on Henry rifles in the past, only tube fed. You might consider that although it has not been a problem for me. I like being able to take the unfired ammo out the magazine tube without needing to run every unfired round thorough the chamber to eject.

If you plan to ever hunt, IMO,  I would get the rifle in 44Spl/44 Magnum or 45 Colt, if you really want to cowboy up, although I have no experience with that caliber Lever guns, The 44 Spl is much easier to shoot (recoil) for plinking. They are not cheap nor is the ammo! I I paid 739.00 for the one I have new.  My family and I really like the Henry I have.  I shoot 38Spl and 357 which is my EDC. I wanted the lever gun to match that caliber.  It takes a dedicated man to shell out big bucks for a lever gun. I know, I fought the urge for years, while not finding any pistol caliber levers in good used condition except for 30 30's.

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 The only used lever guns I see anymore are either 30-30 or .22 and even they are getting hard to find. The Henry's appear to be of outstanding equality and craftsmanship but are much heavier than the Rossi, and Italian clones. 

 Buds has a few Cimarron's in stock but they're up there in the 4 digits and the Sportsman's outdoor superstore has a Rossi 92 in 44 mag for a little over $700.

 You might want to wait until hunting season is over, there might be a few more showing up then.

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I've been meaning to take a picture of mine for a long time. Just never got around to it. This thread has prompted me to get off my butt, dig 'em out of the safe and do just that. 😉

 

0ZPKrhz.jpg

Left to right:

Browning 1886 SRC .45-70

Winchester 94 .30-30

Winchester 9422 .22LR

Winchester 94 Trapper .45 Colt

Winchester 94 Trapper .44 magnum

Rossi 92 Trapper .357 Magnum. 

😃

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1 minute ago, Grayfox54 said:

I've been meaning to take a picture of mine for a long time. Just never got around to it. This thread has prompted me to get off my butt, dig 'em out of the safe and do just that. 😉

 

0ZPKrhz.jpg

Left to right:

Browning 1886 SRC .45-70

Winchester 94 .30-30

Winchester 9422 .22LR

Winchester 94 Trapper .45 Colt

Winchester 94 Trapper .44 magnum

Rossi 92 Trapper .357 Magnum. 

😃

Nice collection.

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I bought a Rossi M92 Trapper in .357/38 in May of 2020, from Bud's in Seveierville.  Compared it to the Henry and Marlin (neither a trapper).  I found the Henry to be heavy at almost 8lbs and the price on the MArlin and Henry was almost twice that of the little Rossi. So I went with the Rossi.  I have not regretted it at all.  The Rossi is fine little rifle. 

Later shot it against a friend's Remington made Marlin.  The Rossi was more accurate and had zero issues.  The Marlin kept locking up.  It was sent back to the factory once already for the same issue.  Beware of the Remington made Marlins.

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17 minutes ago, Grayfox54 said:

Rossi 92 Trapper .357 Magnum. 

😃

 I looked for one of these for several years and finally had to settle for a 20 incher. 

I'm going to have to find another lever, you have one more than me  icon-smile-1.gif

I've only got one Winchester in .22 mag, 2 Rossi's in .45 Colt (1 24" and 1 16"), 1 Rossi in .357 (20") and a Henry .22. I sold both my Winchester 30-30s a few months ago.

Edited by xsubsailor
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5 hours ago, gregintenn said:

What sort of budget are we working with here?

Not really sure on my end as I have not yet explored the cost of the different calibers and makes. I just know I want one. I was originally thinking 30-30, but with ammo prices, one of the pistol calibers might be better. 

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Just now, Snaveba said:

Not really sure on my end as I have not yet explored the cost of the different calibers and makes. I just know I want one. I was originally thinking 30-30, but with ammo prices, one of the pistol calibers might be better. 

I would strongly recommend a pre 64 Winchester or an older, pre safety Marlin as opposed to anything of new manufacture.

I can also recommend a 99 Savage.

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With the cost of ammo these days, you might want to start with a .22. A Henry is reasonably priced and readily available. That way you can find out if you really like 'em or not. 😉

I was just waiting for Greg to chime in. I've seen the pictures of his guns before. 👍

I'd love to add a Savage 99 to my collection. Just haven't come across the right one at the right price yet.  🙄

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12 minutes ago, Snaveba said:

Not really sure on my end as I have not yet explored the cost of the different calibers and makes. I just know I want one. I was originally thinking 30-30, but with ammo prices, one of the pistol calibers might be better. 

The price, availability, and quality of pistol caliber lever guns is completely out of hand.  Especially for .357 versions.

When I was a kid I thought a .30-30 was the ultimate cowboy gun.  Got one for Christmas in 6th or 7th grade....a Marlin 336T (straight grip).  Man, I sure wish I had the foresight back then to ask for the .357 Marlin!

Edited by Garufa
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You can't stop at just 1!  I've got 7 of them including .22 (2 Henrys), .22 mag (Henry), .357 mag (2 Rossi and 1 Uberti) and a 1961 Win94 in 30-30.  Revolvers to pair with them all as well (except the 30-30).  Looking for a 45-70 and/or 45LC now.  They are all good.

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