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Caliber for Lever action deer rifle

Discussion in 'Guns & Hunting' started by Pearcem87, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. Sep 2, 2013 at 10:49 AM
    #1
    Pearcem87

    Pearcem87 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  2. Sep 2, 2013 at 10:59 AM
    #2
    TACO TX

    TACO TX Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
  3. Sep 2, 2013 at 11:07 AM
    #3
    Taco 12

    Taco 12 Well-Known Member

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    I would recommend a 308 instead. It has more power and more readily available ammo.
     
  4. Sep 2, 2013 at 11:14 AM
    #4
    TACO TX

    TACO TX Well-Known Member

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    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 JMO but dont get caught up in all the hoorah that the 30-30 is old and outdated, old fashioned and what not.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.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
  5. Sep 2, 2013 at 11:30 AM
    #5
    hurley842002

    hurley842002 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  6. Sep 2, 2013 at 11:36 AM
    #6
    PCTaco

    PCTaco Well-Known Member

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    .45-70 gvt

    Just because.
     
  7. Sep 2, 2013 at 12:12 PM
    #7
    TACO TX

    TACO TX Well-Known Member

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    There is just something about this caliber, cant believe i ever got rid of mine.
     
  8. Sep 2, 2013 at 7:03 PM
    #8
    Bobert14

    Bobert14 .

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    hahahaha! Correct. God, I want a nice stainless lever action in that caliber so bad.
     
  9. Sep 3, 2013 at 9:24 AM
    #9
    rleete

    rleete Grumpy old man - get off my lawn

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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.
     
  10. Sep 3, 2013 at 9:38 AM
    #10
    Rupp1

    Rupp1 Well-Known Member

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    Tom Horn used a 30-30.


    (Althought the move with Steve McQueen referenced a 45-60).
     
  11. Sep 3, 2013 at 9:39 AM
    #11
    aficianado

    aficianado Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  12. Sep 3, 2013 at 2:43 PM
    #12
    TailDrag

    TailDrag Well-Known Member

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    My first deer rifle was a Winchester .30-30. It's a great rifle, wish I still had it.
     
  13. Sep 3, 2013 at 2:46 PM
    #13
    Jester243

    Jester243 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

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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.
     
  14. Sep 3, 2013 at 2:54 PM
    #14
    miniceptor86

    miniceptor86 Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  15. Sep 4, 2013 at 9:44 AM
    #15
    aficianado

    aficianado Well-Known Member

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    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?
     
  16. Sep 4, 2013 at 10:28 AM
    #16
    TACO TX

    TACO TX Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  17. Sep 5, 2013 at 6:20 AM
    #17
    oldstick

    oldstick Middle Age Member

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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.
     
  18. Sep 8, 2013 at 9:47 PM
    #18
    DD977GM2

    DD977GM2 Member

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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.
     
  19. Sep 8, 2013 at 9:52 PM
    #19
    95 taco

    95 taco Redneck rich

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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.
     
  20. Sep 12, 2013 at 6:25 PM
    #20
    Noelie84

    Noelie84 Semper Procrastinus

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    OP mentioned that he was looking at a BLR.
    Unlike Marlins and Winchesters, which use tubular magazines, the BLR has a box magazine that allows for spitzer (pointy) bullets. Kind of like the old Savage 99's, but updated some (the 99 used a rotary magazine that wasn't removable).

    Personally, I've never been a fan of the 30-30. I've always hunted either thick cover or long distances, and the 30-30 isn't ideal for either. For distance hunting I use a Remington 700 in 7mm Rem Mag, but for thick cover I love my Marlin 336 in .35 Remington. The 200gr bullet in .35 doesn't deflect off of twigs nearly as easily as a 30-30 (or my old .32 Win!) does.

    Personally, I would have preferred a BLR in .308, but I couldn't justify the price premium over the Marlin. I paid $300 for the Marlin used, with a 4x scope and see-thru mounts. The cheapest BLR I could find chambered in .308 was $800, which was nearly twice what I paid for my 700...:eek:
     
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