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Trying to Decide Between a Lever Action 308, 30-30 & 45-70

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I am new to this forum and currently own a semi-automatic shotgun. I am retired and finding out I love guns! In the next few months, I would like to buy either a .308 or a 30-30. I am considering my next gun may have something to do with my son, since he will inherit it. He prefers the 30-30, because of the low-recoil, but admits he is not acquainted with the .308. If I choose the .308, he can't complain because he will eventually be getting it for free. I will use one of them as a deer gun, and I'm not sure that I would ever go after Elk. I have always had a love for a lever action rifle, so I want a lever action in the worst way. I am leaning towards the 30-30, but I wanted to put this out there for someone to help me decide. I haven't decided on a brand yet. I would like to get a Henry, because of gun quality, but the Henry rifle doesn't have a side-loader. The Winchester is over-priced in my opinion, thus it comes down to the Mossberg 464 or Marlin 336. I'm leaning towards the Mossberg because it's totally made in the US. I am thinking the 45-70 is way more gun than I will need but feel free to talk about the 45-70, if that is your favorite rifle.
 

Joe13

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Im not familiar with a lever .308. I assume they don't make them because all of the rounds have points that could set off the round in front of it if stacked in a tube.

That's why .308's are either simi automatic or bolt action that feed from a mag of some kind (fixed or detachable).

The 30-30 was made to stack in a tube of a lever action.

.308 recoil isn't bad for most people.

If your going to get a lever gun for fun, I would suggest a .22lr or .357(so you can shoot .38sp as well). Would be cheaper then a 30-30 for ammo.

If your dear hunting only then buy the 30-30 if you gotta have a lever gun.
 

osprey

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Yep they make lever actions in 308. Just need to use ammo made for tube mags. It will be either flat nose soft lead tips or gummy tips. If you only ever plan to hunt areas where shots are 200yds and under then a 30-30 is fine. Otherwise a 308 will give you the capability to shoot game further.
 

jbett98

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Hornady has fixed the problem with pointed vs. flat 30/30 ammo in a tube fed rifle with their LEVERevolution Flex Tip ammo.
For a quality vintage lever action, I would choose a Marlin 336 over a Winchester 94 just for the side eject feature and ease of cleaning.
Marlin made these rifles for department stores brands nthat can be found for less money.
 
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Mister Bisley

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Sounds like 30-30 will suit your needs. Personally, .308 in lever action doesn’t really do anything to tickle my fancy. If you’re entertaining the idea of a 45-70, I would check out the Marlin 1895 series. I have been lusting over this one for a while now, just never put together the funds to make the purchase.

Model 1895SBL
 

11Charlie

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Sounds like 30-30 will suit your needs. Personally, .308 in lever action doesn’t really do anything to tickle my fancy. If you’re entertaining the idea of a 45-70, I would check out the Marlin 1895 series. I have been lusting over this one for a while now, just never put together the funds to make the purchase.

Model 1895SBL
Damn you my friend! That is a sweet looking rifle!
 
OP
G8rHunter
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Sounds like 30-30 will suit your needs. Personally, .308 in lever action doesn’t really do anything to tickle my fancy. If you’re entertaining the idea of a 45-70, I would check out the Marlin 1895 series. I have been lusting over this one for a while now, just never put together the funds to make the purchase.
Wow, the Marlin 1895 is a sweet gun and has good reviews!
 

41mag

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Welcome to the Site of Difficult Decisions!!!

Those rifle calibers all have considerable history and wide variety of potential load choices. The sheer pleasures and ballistic usefulness of any of them alone is enough to them ALL being a great choice depending on your own use. I too prefer lever long guns. As geezeritis tries to confront my shooting shoulder, my fascination with 45-70 has somewhat dwindled.

If you get into reloading, you can load that 45-70 up to any mammal on the continent, or down to rabbit size with suitable custom loads.

Winchester/Browning/Savage/Henry and others all have current or recent models in 308....which happens to be my own personal favorite caliber for my needs.

In reality, 30-30 was ample for much of the settling of the frontier, and loads now are better performing that any time in the past.

In any case, enjoy your new hobby.
 

titsonritz

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Yep they make lever actions in 308. Just need to use ammo made for tube mags. It will be either flat nose soft lead tips or gummy tips. If you only ever plan to hunt areas where shots are 200yds and under then a 30-30 is fine. Otherwise a 308 will give you the capability to shoot game further.
Hornady has fixed the problem with pointed vs. flat 30/30 ammo in a tube fed rifle with their LEVERevolution Flex Tip ammo.
For a quality vintage lever action, I would choose a Marlin 336 over a Winchester 94 just for the side eject feature and ease of cleaning.
Marlin made these rifles for department stores brands nthat can be found for less money.
Then you are limits to very limited loads. For a tubular fed mag I'd stick with 30-30, 45-70, 44 mag or others with a flat nose

The are lever guns without tubular mags the work fine with .308, check out Savage 99 and Browning BLR
 

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