308 Lever gun

Slimfinn

Handloader
Nov 28, 2018
870
668
Well it is that time of year again to put in for tags and every year I think I need to get an ambidextrous rifle for my daughters incase they for some reason pull a moose tag. My latest thought is a lever action 308. Easiest to find seems to be a Browning BLR, or maybe the Henry, I know there is also the old Savage 99, Winchester 88, and Sako Finnwolf. Harder to come across these as the gun shows have really slowed down around home. Is a pistol caliber rifle enough? Single shot is another option. What are your thoughts?
 
In my experience moose are not difficult to stop. A .308 would work great. I have a Savage 99 that was my grandfathers (I’m actually just the caretaker as I gave it to my oldest son). Excellent rifle, accurate and does not require its own set of wheels. I also have a lever action 45 Colt. I would not hesitate to use it on a 50 yard moose with a good heavy cast bullet and a healthy charge of H110 or Lilgun. Then there’s always the 30/30 lever gun, has probably taken more moose in Alaska than anything else.
 
Savage 99 in 308win is my father in laws primary hunting rifle and is shipbuilding MOA for 50 years using core locks.
I think my youngest is the likely heir apparent. I know I’d carry it.

BLR is a great choice.

I have seen a 99 in 358 Win. I think that would be an excellent choice too.

The BLR’s are great.

I carry a 45/70 Marlin 1895 with a 22” barrel. It shoot.sub MOA. I use it for bear but would not be afraid to use it on Moose.

I’d think a 44 mag would work.

If you can swing a 308 lever, that’s a great choice.

Lots of options.


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mjcmichigan":32ybb7m5 said:
Savage 99 in 308win is my father in laws primary hunting rifle and is shipbuilding MOA for 50 years using core locks.
I think my youngest is the likely heir apparent. I know I’d carry it.

BLR is a great choice.

I have seen a 99 in 358 Win. I think that would be an excellent choice too.

The BLR’s are great.

I carry a 45/70 Marlin 1895 with a 22” barrel. It shoot.sub MOA. I use it for bear but would not be afraid to use it on Moose.

I’d think a 44 mag would work.

If you can swing a 308 lever, that’s a great choice.

Lots of options.


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Mark summed it up pretty well.
I would add the BLR in 358 Win as another excellent choice. And don't overlook a Marlin 375 Winchester.

JD338
 
A lever action in 308 Win would work well on a wide variety of big game, including moose.
The BLR is a great handling firearm and is easy to shoot. Triggers are not great, but can be learned with practice. A practiced shooter will know where the trigger breaks and can produce decent groups. I would put a better recoil pad on it for your daughters. I have one in 358 Win that my daughter used for her first mule deer when she was 15.
The Win Model 88, with its extra drop in the stock for shooting with irons, produces heavier felt recoil for many shooters with its plastic recoil plate. Again, replace it with a better recoil pad. Here too, triggers are not great, but look for rifles with later s/n's as they had the improved trigger mechanisms that worked better and broke cleaner than the earlier models (pre-186,000 iirc)

The Marlin 375 Win mentioned above is a great moose/black bear rifle, as is the Win 94 Big Bore, out to about 130 yards with the 200 gr factory loads. HSM is also now offering ammunition with the Sierra 200 gr bullet at a better price than the Winchester ammo. It is a mild mannered cartridge that punches moose and bears well. I have taken several with my Marlin.

The Marlin or Winchester lever action in 356 Win would also work well, and be comparable to the 358 Win in performance. Solid out to 300 yards

Sorry, I cannot provide any first hand knowledge on the Savage 99's or the Sako lever action.
 
Here's something to consider. Why limit the rifle choices simply due to be a left handed shooter?

Allow me to elaborate. Most all right handed shooters remove their right hand to cycle a bolt, after a shot, and rifles are pretty much designed along that practice.

If everyone follows that practice of removing the 'trigger hand' to cycle the bolt a left handed shooter has to reach over the action to cycle the bolt, it's a slow awkward move.

Consider this. Keep the left hand holding the pistol grip area and move the 'forearm hand' to smoothly & effortlessly slide back and cycle the bolt.

Using this method is easy to learn and get accustomed to......and opens a world of rifle options.
 
Gunner46":1cv7d7jx said:
Here's something to consider. Why limit the rifle choices simply due to be a left handed shooter?

Allow me to elaborate. Most all right handed shooters remove their right hand to cycle a bolt, after a shot, and rifles are pretty much designed along that practice.

If everyone follows that practice of removing the 'trigger hand' to cycle the bolt a left handed shooter has to reach over the action to cycle the bolt, it's a slow awkward move.

Consider this. Keep the left hand holding the pistol grip area and move the 'forearm hand' to smoothly & effortlessly slide back and cycle the bolt.

Using this method is easy to learn and get accustomed to......and opens a world of rifle options.
Actually, on the stand I like right handed rifles better as a lefty.
But when hunting, it is faster to use the hand pulling the trigger to cycle.
Depends on how often you need a second shot.

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Dad bought a 308 Browning BLR back in the 1980's - one of the all-steel Belgian made rifles. He gave it to my oldest son 20 years or so ago.

I haven't shot it a lot, but it's always been accurate and reliable.

BTW - if you find one of those old Belgian rifles... The magazines do NOT interchange with other BLR's made after that and are scare as hen's teeth. Expensive when found too. I hear stories of guys paying $200 - $250 per magazine! I mentioned that to my son a while back and his eyes got wide. :) Told him "Just don't lose those two magazines you have!" LOL!

Great rifle, shoots well.

*Buddy of mine bought a Henry Long Ranger lever action in 6.5 Creed, but hasn't shot it yet. He's not a very experienced rifleman, so I'm going to help him mount the scope and sight it in when he's ready. He wants to hunt mule deer with it this fall. I've known him nearly 30 years and he has only hunted birds that entire time. Pretty good with his shotgun, but this ought to be interesting. :) I'll let you know how his rifle works out.

Guy
 
Also - I've never shot a moose - but I have no doubt about a 308 doing a fine job. :)

Moose hunters - you think the 308 Win with a 165 grain Nosler Partition at about 2600-2700 fps is a decent choice for Shiras moose?

Guy
 
Guy Miner":2fpglj6t said:
Also - I've never shot a moose - but I have no doubt about a 308 doing a fine job. :)

Moose hunters - you think the 308 Win with a 165 grain Nosler Partition at about 2600-2700 fps is a decent choice for Shiras moose?

Guy

A 165 grain PT sent forth from a .308 cartridge will work quite well on a Canada moose. So, I have no doubt it will work on a Shiras moose if the shooter does his work and places the bullet in the boiler.
 
Guy Miner":33483tdk said:
Also - I've never shot a moose - but I have no doubt about a 308 doing a fine job. :)

Moose hunters - you think the 308 Win with a 165 grain Nosler Partition at about 2600-2700 fps is a decent choice for Shiras moose?

Guy

Moose aren't terribly hard to kill, but they can take a while to die. At moderate range, a .308 with a Partition or AccuBond is a good choice. Put it behind the shoulder and let biology run its course.

I prefer a .300, but that's because I hunt moose in dead open country and ranges tend to be longer than typical for moose hunting in general.
 
Thanks for all of the input guys!
Hate to admit it but, there most be some underlying/subconscious reason I think I need a 308 lever. Why you ask...well I forgot a couple years ago I had picked up a used Rem 700 youth 7-08 lefty, just for this reason, and squirreled it away in the back of the cabinet as I didn't have permission from the wife and was in no hurry to do anything with it. :? :roll: What reminded me was reading NYDAN's post on his m70's and thinking there was a LH 300wsm bolt gun to the market soon, then the sps email about 7mmPT's and I was like wait a second! boy do I feel silly.

Regardless I have located a BLR 308 at a local shop back home and if its still there in 2 months when I get back down there I will still probably going to check it out, or send the wife and girls to look. I still think a 308 lever action would be a handy all around rifle to have for about anything.
 
Those BLRs are nice rifles. I’ve got a 358 and it’s a heckuva good hunting rifle.
 
BLR 81(all steel) in 308 or 358 is your ticket. Had one for years. It handled like a shotgun - smooth and fast. I had a 1x5 scope on it. Slayed a lot of blacktails on the run and in thick cover. It carries almost as well as a '94.
 
One of my most treasured hand-me-downs is a late 70’s vintage Savage Model 99E in .308 WCF. The super thin profile 22” barrel swings fast and is quite handy in the brush. I have an even older Leupold M8-4x scope on top. I’ve never had much luck handloading for this rifle so I typically shoot the Remington Corelokt 150 or 180 grain Spitzer Point factory loads.

With it I’ve taken a couple of Russian hogs, several elk and one deer. It’s a pleasure to carry and more than enough gun for the PNW where I live and hunt, and a lot of other places too.

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I'm sure you will make a good choice. Like I've told others, practice to the point of confidence and muscle memory established for the whole loading, aiming, shooting, unloading and safety is really key. With that comes quicker reactions and clearer thinking on shot placement, use of rests, and the decision to squeeze that trigger. Best wishes for success!!
 
Dr. Vette":7l7ytc9q said:
Marlin 336 in 35 Remington. Proven on deer, bear, elk and moose.


I can't speak from experience on the 336 as I've never owned one, but I'll enthusiastically second the 35 Remington. One of the most rarely talked about, under rated cartridges around IMO.

Rolling slowed down recoil that feels softer than typical cartridges, but thumps on the other end.
 
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