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  #1  
Old 01-10-2011, 11:18 AM
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I've seen the light: I want a lever gun


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so i've decided that my next gun purchase, finances permitting, will be a lever-gun. I've tried doing some research to best determine which caliber and make/model will work for me. here's what I came up with:

- a .30-30 will more than likely be my first choice. I plan on using the deer for light deer hunting and maybe some target practice. I also like that ammo is pretty cheap for the 30-30 win.

- as for brands, i've whittled my choices down to the following: 1) Marlin 336 2) Henry 30-30 and 3) Winchester 94. I like the Marlin because of the side-eject feature. I like Henry because they're US made and I like Winchester because, well, they're Winchesters and strike me as a lever gun that everyone should own.

- to scope or not to scope, that is the question. I don't think i'll put a scope on the rifle. since I plan on buying a 30-30 I have no intention of shooting long distances, and also keeping in mind that a 30-30 is probably best used withing 100-150 yds. I also like that the lever gun can be quickly shouldered if need be. I'm looking at convenience rather than long-distance technical shooting.

- I've looked at a couple of different military slings but I think i'm gonna go with a Montana sling. they look similar to the K98 Mauser sling and I like its ability to loosen and tighten the sling as I see fit. has anyone here used a Montana sling? care to share your opinions?

so, as you can see, i've pretty much nailed down what I want and its intended use. I'm looking for some feedback on your personal experiences with the above models and possibly some other recommendations if you have any. Thanks
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  #2  
Old 01-10-2011, 11:43 AM
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Marlin 336 would be my choice. With a set of Skinner or XS sights. If you wand to scope it a 1x4 on Warne QD rings would be my choice. You should be able to find a very nice used one for a reasonable price. The Marlingtons are getting dinged on quality control.
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  #3  
Old 01-10-2011, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curiousgb View Post
Marlin 336 would be my choice. With a set of Skinner or XS sights. If you wand to scope it a 1x4 on Warne QD rings would be my choice. You should be able to find a very nice used one for a reasonable price. The Marlingtons are getting dinged on quality control.
are you speaking of the Marlins produced by Remington? what quality control issues do they have? what years are preferred for the 336?
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  #4  
Old 01-10-2011, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl_Spackler View Post
are you speaking of the Marlins produced by Remington? what quality control issues do they have? what years are preferred for the 336?
I have seen posts on FB and Marlin Owners as to QC issues. One in the Remington FB page showed an 1895 with a full length mag tube. An extra dovetail was cut in the barrel for the shorter length mag tube. Remington rep stated it was a for holding the barrel during manufacture, which was total BS. Check out the Marlin Owner Forumhttp://www.marlinowners.com/forums/.

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  #5  
Old 01-10-2011, 03:34 PM
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Well you should get you a lever gun.
Personily I love Winchesters, or remakes of Winchesters, my first deer rifle was a 94 30-30, I don't have that one any longer But I do have a different one, this one is a rifle with an octagon barrel, I also have a 94 trapper 45 LC, a Rossi 92 44 Mag, a Browning 1886 in 45-70 and a Mrowning 71 (If it ever gets here)
What can I say I love WInchesters, or their reproductions.
Terry
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  #6  
Old 01-10-2011, 04:24 PM
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There are scads of used levers in gun shops and pawn shops across the land. You get to look them over, check for issues that you can fix or can't live with. I suggest that you do just that, instead of buying new. Especially since you want a 30-30 & not some newer cartridge.

Last edited by mogwai; 01-10-2011 at 04:26 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-10-2011, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mogwai View Post
There are scads of used levers in gun shops and pawn shops across the land. You get to look them over, check for issues that you can fix or can't live with. I suggest that you do just that, instead of buying new. Especially since you want a 30-30 & not some newer cartridge.
yeah, i'll more than likely buy used -- I've seen some great deals on lever-guns so i'm not eager to buy new. is there anything I should look for in terms of wear and tear on a lever gun?
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  #8  
Old 01-10-2011, 05:09 PM
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I do not have a 30-30 of any flavor, but I do have 3 Marlin 94's (.357, .44, and .41mag) and a Winchester Trapper in .44, and have owned a full length Win 94 in .44(and have a Savage 99 and Mossberg Palomino .22 but they are not quite the same).

I prefer the Marlin action and trigger far and away over the Winchester.

A 30-30 or .35 Rem will definitely be my next lever and it will without a doubt be a Marlin.
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  #9  
Old 01-10-2011, 06:31 PM
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My .30-30 is a Winchester, but my .35 Remington, .32 Special, .45-70 Gov. and 44 Magnum are all MARLINS, I also have a Winchester 9422, Marlin 39A and a Henry Golden Boy, I do like the 9422 better than the 39A, the Henry is just purdy, but I'll take a Marlin 336, 1895 or 1894 over a Winchester 94 any day.
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  #10  
Old 01-11-2011, 04:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl_Spackler View Post
yeah, i'll more than likely buy used -- I've seen some great deals on lever-guns so i'm not eager to buy new. is there anything I should look for in terms of wear and tear on a lever gun?
There are some well qualified gun nuts on this site who will have specific advice. I have generally found that tube magazine levers are carried more than shot. That means that internal wear is rare.

I look for signs of neglect...surface rust, barrel rust, dinged up muzzle crown, beat up stocks. Many of these will help with price negotiation. Other things are matters of preference, like crossbolt safety, microgroove barrel, rare model designation, etc. These second things do not necessarily affect function, but may affect your preference for that gun.

In general, Winchesters & Marlins are considered entry level guns. They are common, affordable, and versatile. YOu can modify them greatly or use them as issued. Many people buy them as first guns and are satisfied. Don't overthink this. Find one that looks good and fits you well. Get a price you can live with and enjoy your new rifle.
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  #11  
Old 01-11-2011, 05:56 AM
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After having owned both, I became a Marlin fan, rather than a Winchester 94 one. I own several Marlins now and would generally say that I'd prefer an older 336, rather than a new one. On my personal guns the finish work simply seems nicer on my older ones. You can see the difference in metal polish and blue quality from across a room. I'd also at least think about which you'd rather have a pre or post safety 336. There are plusses and minuses for both, but as a general statement I prefer the NON safety models for hunting. If you peruse the online sites like GunsAmerica and prowl gun shops and pawn shops for a while, it should not be really difficult to fine a nice 336 from the '70s or early '80s in excellent condition, without the additional safety. (again, you may prefer to have the safety)
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  #12  
Old 01-11-2011, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cark_Spackler
- to scope or not to scope, that is the question. I don't think i'll put a scope on the rifle. since I plan on buying a 30-30 I have no intention of shooting long distances, and also keeping in mind that a 30-30 is probably best used withing 100-150 yds. I also like that the lever gun can be quickly shouldered if need be. I'm looking at convenience rather than long-distance technical shooting.
I have a scope on my lever gun with 1" high mounts. I find I look thru the mounts more than I use the scope. Now my lever gun is a .357. Don't overlook the .357, it make a great brush gun.
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  #13  
Old 01-11-2011, 10:51 AM
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I'd make sure I checked the bore, and especially the muzzle for cleaning rod wear on the rifling. If it looks uneven or washed out, or if the bore is rusted, pass right on by. One of the nice things about the Marlin design is that they are much easier to clean from the breach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mogwai View Post
There are some well qualified gun nuts on this site who will have specific advice. I have generally found that tube magazine levers are carried more than shot. That means that internal wear is rare.

I look for signs of neglect...surface rust, barrel rust, dinged up muzzle crown, beat up stocks. Many of these will help with price negotiation. Other things are matters of preference, like crossbolt safety, microgroove barrel, rare model designation, etc. These second things do not necessarily affect function, but may affect your preference for that gun.

In general, Winchesters & Marlins are considered entry level guns. They are common, affordable, and versatile. YOu can modify them greatly or use them as issued. Many people buy them as first guns and are satisfied. Don't overthink this. Find one that looks good and fits you well. Get a price you can live with and enjoy your new rifle.
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  #14  
Old 01-11-2011, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JNewell View Post
I'd make sure I checked the bore, and especially the muzzle for cleaning rod wear on the rifling. If it looks uneven or washed out, or if the bore is rusted, pass right on by. One of the nice things about the Marlin design is that they are much easier to clean from the breach.
Ok I don't own a Marlin, but I have looked at them, not sure I understand how they are easier to clean from the breach, how so?
Terry
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  #15  
Old 01-11-2011, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMair View Post
Ok I don't own a Marlin, but I have looked at them, not sure I understand how they are easier to clean from the breach, how so?
Terry
Because you only have to remove one screw and then pull the bolt out. You then have access to the breech.
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  #16  
Old 01-11-2011, 06:59 PM
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Start handling them and see which one fits you. Pre mid 80's guns from Winchester or Marlin don't have any lawyer cross bolt safties. Plenty of nice used ones out there , no need to buy new.
But you need to cross the river into Wisconsin to find a better selection of 30-30's. Since there is a lot of shotgun only deer zones in Minnesota. The used shotgun racks are huge in Mn . In Wi there are alot more rifles. A great gunshop close to the border is in Prescott right down town . You could spent a hour in there just looking at used guns.
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  #17  
Old 01-11-2011, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by curiousgb View Post
Because you only have to remove one screw and then pull the bolt out. You then have access to the breech.
Ok cool, I did not know that, that is simple!
Terry
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  #18  
Old 01-12-2011, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenT View Post
Start handling them and see which one fits you. Pre mid 80's guns from Winchester or Marlin don't have any lawyer cross bolt safties. Plenty of nice used ones out there , no need to buy new.
But you need to cross the river into Wisconsin to find a better selection of 30-30's. Since there is a lot of shotgun only deer zones in Minnesota. The used shotgun racks are huge in Mn . In Wi there are alot more rifles. A great gunshop close to the border is in Prescott right down town . You could spent a hour in there just looking at used guns.
What's the name of the gunshop in Prescott? there are several gun shops in the Twin Cities that have a decent range of firearms, including rifles and shotguns, so i'm not too worried about selection. i'm new to lever guns so I haven't spent much time looking for them. I only recently bought a Browning A-Bolt and i've looked at various shotguns, so i'm anxious to check out lever guns the next time I go out
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  #19  
Old 01-12-2011, 12:39 PM
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H & H guns 135 broad st n , Prescott.
Yes there is some gunshops that have a good variety. When I'm in town on business I like stopping in at the Gunstop. I just find prices a little more reasonable when I get out of the cities, smaller shops less overhead.
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  #20  
Old 01-12-2011, 07:10 PM
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The majority of my lever rifles are Winchester. Many are the old .38-55, .32-40, and .30-30. One advantage that I think of with the Marlin is being able to unload via the loading gate. This is a little talked about feature my Winchester's lack.
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