Lever Action Rifles

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,765
1,764
Just felt like posting up some photos of lever action rifles. I've been doing some 30-30 handloading recently, and it got me to thinking about levers. Please join in and post 'em if you've got 'em. :)

My 45-70 JM Marlin 1895 which I sold to a good friend about 12 years ago. Nice rifle. I kept the 2.5x compact Leupold scope and it's on my newer 45-70 Marlin now.
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My newer Remington-built 45-70 Marlin 1895 isn't as nicely finished but works great. Reliable and accurate. Same old scope that I bought used over 20 years ago. This time it's mounted in Quick Release rings:
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Some old dude shooting my rifle a few months ago:
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30-30 Glenfield, photo by my friend Tyler Hale, a professional photographer. I sure do like the little Glenny! Shoots well. Am handloading for it today:
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I've had fun with the 30-30, using the factory sights, a Williams receiver sight, a 2.5x Leupold and a 3x Leupold. All worked well. I shoot it better with the scopes.

How 'bout yours?

Guy
 

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,905
1,589
Nice pictures Guy. Cool old rifles.

I've managed to acquire a decent selection of lever rifles. I like them well enough for sure! Along with being handy functioning rifles, they got the cool factor going for them. Although I can't say I got them because of a pre-set affinity with them or a plan to do so. Most of them were acquired because of random happened to run across something too good to pass up.

I do have my Dad's M71 348 Winchester which is in a league of its own with me. Also have two M94's.......one my Mom's and one recently acquired. I have a BLR 257 Roberts, and a Savage 99A in 250 Savage, and a Erma Werke lever 22, which was made in Germany and is a 94/22 clone. I like them well enough it would be hard to talk me out of most of them.
 

JD338

Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
22,125
1,805
I have 2 lever action rifles, Marlin 1895G 45-70 with a Leupold VX-3 1.75-6x32mm and 1894 44 Rem Mag with a Leupold VX-3 1.5-5x20mm scope.
They are fun to shoot a a joy to carry and lay across your lap when sitting in the woods.

JD338
 

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Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,765
1,764
I think that a lot of us who usually hunt with bolt action rifles... Have a lever action rifle or two in the gun safe. :)

They're just an absolute hoot to shoot. I spent part of today loading 30-30 ammo. It's fun, just handling the old cartridges, let alone shooting them from the old-style traditional lever action rifles!

Regards, Guy
 

JD338

Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
22,125
1,805
I agree Guy. At some point I'm going to get a 30-30 just because. And if I ever stumble on a 32 Win Special in decent shape and a good price, it will probably follow me home.

JD338
 

Blkram

Handloader
Nov 25, 2013
1,984
537
Started hunting big game with levers...partly due to being a left handed shooter...just worked better for me...and a love of the old westerns (books and movies) probably had a lot of influence on me too.
Today, I have a number of levers - 13 current count:
Winchesters:
3 Model 88's rebarreled to 250 Savage, 7mm-08 and 338 Federal
2 Model 94 Big Bores in 356 Win and 375 Win
1 Model 94 in 30-30
Marlins:
3 Model 336's in 30-30, 35 Rem, 356 Win,
1 Model 375 S in 375 Win
1 1894 in 41 Rem Mag
1 Model 410 in .410
Browning:
1 pre-81 in 358 Win
Just too much fun and enjoyment in carrying, shooting and hunting with to ever be without one...or more!
 

grry10

Handloader
Dec 7, 2007
303
70
Like many, I started with a lever and moved to bolts, pumps, semi-autos, single shots (#1s), and back to bolts. The gun safe contains remnants from each era. But I must say that I drool a little anytime I see a nice Winchester model 71 or 64.
 

maverick2

Handloader
Dec 22, 2013
344
21
I think that a lot of us who usually hunt with bolt action rifles... Have a lever action rifle or two in the gun safe. :)
This made me chuckle a bit. I started hunting with lever actions (Savage 99) and then gravitated towards bolt actions when I developed an interest in long range coyote hunting. Over the years, a lot of bolt actions have come and gone from the gun safe, but the lever actions have never left. For the past 10 years, I realized that more often than not, it's been the lever actions that comes out most in hunting season as well, so I've slowly sold off all but one bolt action (family keepsake) and plan to do 95% of my hunting with lever guns. Currently building a 6mm Creedmoor on a 99 action for coyotes and varmints, plan to re-barrel a second project 99 with a .358 barrel for moose and bear, and will use my original 99 in .308 for everything in between.
 

SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,398
757
This made me chuckle a bit. I started hunting with lever actions (Savage 99) and then gravitated towards bolt actions when I developed an interest in long range coyote hunting. Over the years, a lot of bolt actions have come and gone from the gun safe, but the lever actions have never left. For the past 10 years, I realized that more often than not, it's been the lever actions that comes out most in hunting season as well, so I've slowly sold off all but one bolt action (family keepsake) and plan to do 95% of my hunting with lever guns. Currently building a 6mm Creedmoor on a 99 action for coyotes and varmints, plan to re-barrel a second project 99 with a .358 barrel for moose and bear, and will use my original 99 in .308 for everything in between.

That is a darned cool idea! The 6 CM on a M99 is a cool blend of old school meeting new school!

I have some pictures of the lever guns I need to get up on this thread. They are certainly quite handy and fun to use.
 

wvbuckbuster

Handloader
Nov 5, 2015
1,506
622
The first deer I ever shot at was with a Win mod 94 32 Spl. Like the looks of levers just never got into them much. One of my grandsons keeps talking about wanting to shoot a deer with a 30-30. Might be a project to work on. Dan.
 

maverick2

Handloader
Dec 22, 2013
344
21
That is a darned cool idea! The 6 CM on a M99 is a cool blend of old school meeting new school!
The epitome of fun for me is to find a coyote trotting out across a snowy open field and me "exercising" him a bit with my rifle -- I can put a lot of lead in the air in a short period of time with my 99.

I hope this project works out. From an accuracy standpoint, the best I've been able to do with a 99 so far is 1.5 in groups (and then the groups start to open up fast with repetitive shooting. I think the light contour barrel and forearm hanger are probably the biggest culprits there, so I'm putting a medium bull contour carbon fiber barrel on to stiffen things up considerably while keeping the weight, balance and handling pretty close to original. (Will also hang a custom forearm off the action instead of the barrel.) It's going to be an odd looking 99, but it's meant to accompany me on snowshoe and x-country ski treks in winter/spring and in my saddle scabbard while riding in the fall, so I'm not too concerned with how it looks as long as it fits my needs. Will see.
 

Vince2

Beginner
Jan 21, 2022
224
244
I’ve got my Remlin 45-70 loaded with 405 grain Cowboy loads to repel boarders when I travel to non freedom loving states.

Vince
 

possum

Beginner
Jan 17, 2016
59
27
I usually pull out a lever action when I get drawn for antlerless mule deer. I love shooting these guns and they are likely the guns I shoot the most for fun, albeit they are very capable for putting meat in the freezer; Although the 45-70 does cut a quite a swath through a deer with a factory 300 JHP or a handloaded 400gr SPEER SPFN.
I have a Marlin 336 JM stamped 30-30 WIN
A Remlin 1895 CB 45-70.......Pic taken from the net
A Winchester (Miroku) 1886 45-70 that I let get away.........Idiot
And an Original Winchester 1892 44WCF (44-40) , that was my grandmothers gun. Made in 1896 IIRC
 

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Scrumbag

Beginner
Feb 22, 2021
129
40
I am getting more into my lever actions. Currently only have the one at present:

Chiappa Alaskan in .44 RM, Currently with a Leupold 2.5x28 Scout Scope

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Skinner carry case:

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Reckon should be good for a cleaning kit / rod and an MTM box of 50 rds.

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And when you unpack it:

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And out on the range:

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Got a decent enough hunting load with N110 and Nosler 240gr JSP. Also a plinking load with 240gr Cast lead RNFP and Unique but I hate Unique as a powder. (Doesn't got well through a powder measure and sticks to very vessel, implement, tool you might use)

Best wishes,

Munty
 

Scrumbag

Beginner
Feb 22, 2021
129
40
Must admit the .307W has always intrigued me. "Proper" speeds out of a 30 cal lever action sounds good...
 

diverdown

Handloader
Apr 29, 2015
469
89
Over the years I've owned a lot of Lever Actions and the one I miss the most and continually kick myself in the butt for selling was a Marlin 336 Texan in 35 Remington built in 1968. That particular rifle was my first Hunting Rifle. Four years ago I attended my local gun show and made it a point to show up when the doors opened. Sometimes you just happen to find guns and other extras that don't sit on the table for very long. I stopped at a small table with an old gent and a mixture of roughly 8 to 10 rifles and shotguns. On the table was an old Win. 94 in pretty good condition. (Circa 1956) I picked it up and found the caliber to be 32 Winchester special. That rifle never left my hand again till I placed it on the rear seat of my truck. Price was definitely right at $550.00. Put a Lyman peep on it and now it's going out for it's first deer.
 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
35,460
2,228
Lever guns do have a certain mystique about them. There is no question but that a thirty-thirty will do most of what one needs throughout North America. I confess that I always wanted a bit more horsepower, but still in a lever gun. Guess that is why I've gravitated to the .356 Win and the .307 Win. Still, there is a certain je ne sais quoi about lever guns. It is a disease, but one which I'd surely hate never to have caught.
 
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