In my opinion the big bore levergun calibers fall between .35, such as the 35 Rem and and .50, like the 50 Ak or 50-110 WCF.
An excellent choice would be the 45-70. It can be loaded to take any game on the planet. There are several great factory and custom loads available for it; if you reload you will find components priced very reasonably, too. What more could you ask for?
You brought up a question I have had but never asked so I'm asking an honest question.
If we are saying that anything above 35 caliber is a big bore, then are we just refering to bullet diameter?
For instance, a rifle chambered for a 45-70 is a big bore.
Is a rifle chambered for a .45 Colt a big bore too?
If a rifle chambered for a 35 Remington is a big bore,
then is a rifle chambered for a .357 mag (same bullet dia) a big bore?
You get my drift. Are were deciding the "big bore class" by bullet diameter only, or by cartrige size too?
J. Miller - I've always thought a minimum of .40 caliber for big bore status. However, you bring up a good point. I'll stick my neck out and say that I think that no .40 cal plus handgun cartridge should qualify as big bore in a rifle. OK boys, start chopping!
Good question. One that I think has been bandied about by various gun writers for a long time without a satisfactory answer. I am afraid that I would have to take the position that velocity as well as bore diameter would have to play a part in classifiying a cartridge as a big bore. Perhaps bullet weight as well.
Would the 40 S&W be considered a big bore in a rifle? I think not. The 357 Mag. Not. The 35 Remington? Probably not. It is generally perceived as being in the same "class" as the 30/30. The 350 Remington Magnum and 35 Whelen would probably be considered a big bore in the states but some folks seem to draw the line around the 375 H & H. As you work your way up the power and size scale, must a line simply be drawn at some point that says from here on they are big bores? Or are there some shades of gray.
Whatever is decided will be at best an arbitrary decision based on opinion, experience and prejudice of the individual shooter.
Hmmm. How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
Keep in mind there is another side to this question.
The deciding factor as to a rifle being large bore could have less to do with the diameter of the barrel and more to do with who is behind the rifle.
In which case any caliber id a big bore!
But I tend to take it literally, as meaning the diameter of the bore. In this case a 45Colt in levergun is a big bore. My definition is something like about 40 cal and up. The 33 - <40 cal would be medium bores. Now my wife would call us all big bores!
Of course the US Army would call them all "small arms"...
I do agree with previous posters though. You can't go wrong with a 45-70 and it truely is a big bore, by most anyone's definition.
Oops. Mea Culpa. I should've said 35 WCF. dclark raises a good point. Surely the .33 and .348 WCFs classify as a big bore cartridge. They are both based on larger cases necked down to smaller bore diameter. My reference was considering big cased rifle cartridges only. Preferably rimmed for use in a traditional lever action, such as the 1876, 1886 and 1895 Winchesters, or 1881 and 1895 Marlin rifles. Fire away, y'all.
I think there is more then one criteria would help in dfining this catagory. Bullet of .35 cal, produce atleast 2000 lbs at muzzle and retain atleast 1000 out to 150 yds. That would slim the field some and yes the little 45 LC can meet this criteria. one thing to add it must be able to through a 300 gr or bigger bullet!!
Well, so far I haven't read anything I haven't heard before. I was hoping for that miracle answer.
I am still no better off than I was before. So, I think I'll just stay with what I like. I am not a big Marlin fan. I prefer Winchester. No real scientific reasons. I just like the Winchester 94 and 92 style. I prefer the SRC's so that also leaves out the Winchester Big Bore's. I do not like that glob of metal at the end of the receiver. Yech. I like the Wrangler look. Large loop lever with 16" barrel.
So, the only thing I can think of that fits what I like and be considered "Big Bore" is the Rossi 92 454 Casull. I know the barrel is 20". But that can be shortened. It has no saddle ring but that can be added.
I can still remember Johnny Ringo spinning his Winchester in Stagecoach.
But on the other hand the breakdown Marlins over at http://www.wildwestguns.com/ with a large loop lever added might be kind of handy, especially with a 16.5" barrel. A breakdown Marlin in 357 Mag, 41 Mag, 44 Mag or 45 Colt would look sweet. Even the larger caliber's look good. The only thing not sweet from Wild West Guns in the prices. I wonder if they have a lay-a-way plan?
Yanqui, folks like amd me who prefer Winchesters are definitely in the minority, these days. I have always been a fan of the '86, with it's massive frame and extremely strong design, thanks to Mr, Browning. Though most collectors seek out the earlier guns, I favor those made in the later years of the series.That's another story, however. All 1886s are Big Bores, ain't they?
I prefer the later years also. But I do have a Winchester 1892(circa 1895) SRC in 44 WCF. It's all original except it was reblued. I really do not care for it. It has no life. I prefer a 16" barrel with a large loop lever. I installed a LLL and it still does not look right. I have thought about having the barrel shortened but I have not been able to find a "gunsmith" that can install the front sight properly. I believe the sight is "sweated in". It does not have a dovetail. Every "gunsmith" I have contacted wants to put in a dovetail. NOPE. I think I'll just leave it the way it is. Maybe someone will pick it up and feel something. Maybe it doesn't belong with me.
I plan to head over to Legendary Guns to check out the Japanese Winchester 92 Trapper SRC in 45 Long Colt. I want to see how it looks. I also want to see if it is marked 45 Colt or 45 Long Colt. The list it for $895.00.
If it feels good I might put it on layaway. If it feels like the circa 1895 Winchester I have forget it.
Well, I checked out the Japanese Winchester. It looks really neat. But it is NOT worth $895.00 to me. If the price was half that then maybe. I'll tell you why. It felt heavier than any of my Rossi 92's. Maybe the upper tang was thicker to accommodate the tang safety. The wood was not a perfect fit. What I mean is that the wood was not flush with the receiver. The wood was thicker than what I am used to. Like on my Rossi's and Winchester 94's you can run your finger across the wood and receiver. Smooth, no steps. There was way to much stamping on the barrel. Oh, and the caliber was marked "Cal..45 Colt". It also had a rebounding hammer. I prefer the "old" click, click. What I did like was the walnut. VERY nice. I also liked the Winchester stamping on the upper tang. It is very well made.
If I can pick up a Winchester 94 Legendary Lawmen Commemorative NIB for $450.00 then a Winchester 92 Trapper in 45 Colt made in Japan should not go for twice the price. Regardless if is limited to 500.
If Winchester or U.S.R.A. depending on who you talk to, were to offer the Winchester 92 Trapper on their regular lineup for the same price as their 94's. Then I would gladly buy one in each caliber they were to offer. But I do not see that happening. As long as they can sell their 94's in 357, 44 mag and 45 Colt they do not need to offer the 92.
Oh, well. I did get to see the cute little Ruger Single six in 32 mag. I like it.
I'll just keep replacing the Brazilian hardwood with walnut on my Rossi's. And also on my 94's. SRC furniture on all my levers.
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