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

Best .308 lever action ever made is the Savage 99 in .308. They are no longer made, but there are many of them for sale...........expect to pay around $500.00 for one. They have a rotary magazine, so they can handle the heaviest .308 loads. Parts are available, but expensive Absolutely beautiful gun, no other rifle except the Winchester 94, is as prestigious to own.

Browning makes a .308 level action as well. Not cheap, but well made and parts are available.

45-70 great short range caliber, but has a rainbow trajectory. Not an all around rifle to own if you have only one.
I have only had three lever actions. I agree with oathkeeper1775 that the 30-30 is iconic. I paid $79 for mine , but it is long gone. I always wanted a Marlin and got a 1895. But it was in the wrong caliber. It needed to be .45 Colt. I had a Marlin 1895 45-70 guide gun which was a hoot to shoot. If you need to mount a scope it beats the 94 . I got the 45-70 because I thought I needed a saddle gun.I also needed to shoot past 400 yards so a bolt action in a light caliber that I could shoot well was better so I still have the 338 Win. If I were you I would consider the Ruger Number One A . This is the medium caliber range falling block "lever" .308 or something like 7x57 or 35 Whelan. It is the most elegant American rifle. You can get receiver mounted peep sights or a 20mm scope. Some extraordinary wood and deep bluing. Stay away from all new lever guns including Henry cuz they suck big time. Find a used one. Look at the 35 Remington if you want a proper hunting rifle for short range.
That 20 cent ammo is not anything you would want to hunt with. Yes you can get pretty cheap "soft point" ammo, but you might be surprised by the fact that at least some of it is steel core or steel jacketed. I have plenty of 7.62x39 FMJ ammo for practice, but when it comes to self-defense or hunting, I don't buy any imported ammo (including S&B or Herters) - too often it is all made by the same plants in some ex-Soviet satellite and it doesn't expand worth a damn.
I somehow missed your comment. Good to know! BTW, what part of PDX do you reside?


Nearly always taking the road less traveled, in the 70s, I bought a Marlin 444. Recoil reminds me of a 7mm mag, but then again, you are not going to be shooting it all day. If you handload, it is an easy cartridge and a quite wide selection of bullets is available, including Hornady's polymer pointed LeveRevolition cartridge. A 150 yard gun (maybe a little more), it can certainly kill farther. I went so far as to buuy a SS pitol in the caliber. I think it safe to say that lighter bullets are the way to go in that one...

444 copy.JPG
My deer or elk gun is 308 Winchester model 88 lever action with removable box mag. It has been my favorite hunting rifle since I bought it new in 1962.
When I first got it I could buy surplus ammo for $.05 a round.



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