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Caliber for Lever action deer rifle

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Old 09-02-2013, 10:49 AM   #1
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Caliber for Lever action deer rifle

Well, this will be my second season hunting deer, and I have no rifle. My first few trips were with a shotgun, and I picked up a bow midway through last season. I want to get a lever action rifle mostly because I like them, want something that is fun to shoot around with when I am not hunting, and have always loved how easy and convenient they are to use and carry. My two fore runners are anything by Marlin and the BLR.

All of my hunting is in VA and the Carolinas, so where I hunt I rarely have any possible shots over 75 yards or so. I don't have any intention of scoping the rifle at this time. I also hunt pigs from time to time, but the rifle will be mostly for deer and shooting for fun. My problem is that most of my previous rifles have been in military calibers, so I am not that familiar with a lot of the offerings in lever actions. From what I have been able to find, 30-30 seems to be a pretty good all around choice, but are there any other calibers anyone could recommend? Any specific models? Thanks.
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:59 AM   #2
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Marlin 336 in 30-30win. Slap on a good set of sights such xs ghost sights and ready to rock. 30-30win is cheap and always available. This happens to be my favorite version. http://www.marlinfirearms.com/Firear...fire/336BL.asp
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:07 AM   #3
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I would recommend a 308 instead. It has more power and more readily available ammo.
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taco 12 View Post
I would recommend a 308 instead. It has more power and more readily available ammo.
Not going to start a big debate, but stroll down to your local Wal-mart and or academy and see whats more available. 30-30win or .308win. They only make the .308 Marlin express in a leveraction anyway which is only available in Hornady leverevolution i believe. JMO but dont get caught up in all the hoorah that the 30-30 is old and outdated, old fashioned and what not. Its bagged more whitetail that any gun on the planet.
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TACO TX View Post
Not going to start a big debate, but stroll down to your local Wal-mart and or academy and see whats more available. 30-30win or .308win. They only make the .308 Marlin express in a leveraction anyway which is only available in Hornady leverevolution i believe. JMO but dont get caught up in all the hoorah that the 30-30 is old and outdated, old fashioned and what not. Its bagged more whitetail that any gun on the planet.
This ^^^

During the great ammo shortage, 30-30 was almost always available. It will serve you just fine for your intended use. IMO .308 at your distances would actually be overkill.
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:36 AM   #6
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.45-70 gvt

Just because.
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:12 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by PCTaco View Post
.45-70 gvt

Just because.
There is just something about this caliber, cant believe i ever got rid of mine.
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PCTaco View Post
.45-70 gvt

Just because.
hahahaha! Correct. God, I want a nice stainless lever action in that caliber so bad.
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:24 AM   #9
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My Winchester 94 carbine is chambered in .44 Rem Mag. Yeah, it's a pistol cartridge. I've never failed to take a deer with the first shot using CCI pistol ammunition.

The gun is a tack driver - I can put three bullets in (almost) the same hole at 50 yards. So, the size of the round is less important, because I can get a kill shot every time.
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:38 AM   #10
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Tom Horn used a 30-30.


(Althought the move with Steve McQueen referenced a 45-60).
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:39 AM   #11
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i dont know anything about lever guns. but these .308 bullets are round nosed for the tube magazine? at my wally world, they only have pointy bullets.
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:31 PM   #12
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another vote for 30-30
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:43 PM   #13
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My first deer rifle was a Winchester .30-30. It's a great rifle, wish I still had it.
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:46 PM   #14
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I was given my first rifle for deer hunting by my dad, it was a Winchester .30-.30 and I still have it. Great gun, always fun and it has never failed me in over 22 years.
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:54 PM   #15
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Don't know much about big guns but I do recall reading in one of the outdoor mags while waiting my turn for a hair cut that the writers favorite caliber was 30-06, ammo availability and variety of loads available were two of the reasons I recall. Outdoorlife or sports afield and a fairly recent issue, might be a good reference to look at.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:44 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TACO TX View Post
Not going to start a big debate, but stroll down to your local Wal-mart and or academy and see whats more available. 30-30win or .308win. They only make the .308 Marlin express in a leveraction anyway which is only available in Hornady leverevolution i believe. JMO but dont get caught up in all the hoorah that the 30-30 is old and outdated, old fashioned and what not. Its bagged more whitetail that any gun on the planet.
all that 308 ammo will be pointy bullets. i have never seen a 308 round nose bullet at walmart.

i ask again. doesnt a rifle with a tube magazine require a round nose bullet?
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:28 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aficianado View Post
all that 308 ammo will be pointy bullets. i have never seen a 308 round nose bullet at walmart.

i ask again. doesnt a rifle with a tube magazine require a round nose bullet?
Yes, But marlin introduced a caliber called the .308 Marlin express in there Leverevolution line that is comparable to the .308win balistics. It uses there flex tip bullet which is safe for tube mags.
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:20 AM   #18
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For traditional lever action styling go with either the Marlin or Winchester in 30-30 or .35 caliber for deer hunting.

But there are other lever action styles like the Browning BLR having box magazines that come in .308, 243 and such.

But heck I use spire point bullets in my Winchester all the time (custom reloads). You just limit it to a max of one in the mag tube and one in the chamber. Perfectly fine for a hunting situation.
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:47 PM   #19
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Get either a 30-30 as it probably has taken more deer in Canada then any other caliber or get a 44 Mag as the distances you are speaking of taking a deer at, you will have enough bullet to drop a deer with proper shot placement.

Both calibers are relatively easy to find even during ammo shortages.
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:52 PM   #20
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30-30 is awesome, my old deer gun as a old mohawk 600 (?) in .243, i got my dad to trade me his old marlin 30-30 for that.
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