Lever options.

mjcmichigan

Handloader
Dec 26, 2016
2,263
29
So while bear hunting with my son.

He’s holding a gorgeous stainless model 70 in bell & Carlson black on gray, with a magna port muzzle brake. I the 300 WSM chamber he’s got 220 Sierra ProHunter RN over Winchester supreme 780…yet, he’s looking at his old man’s 45/70 lever with longing eyes…

He starts asking me what levers I’d recommend to him.

It’s hard to talk levers without mentioning many “obsolete” cartridges.

There the Savage 99’s with 308 win and 358 Win being the classics go to cartridges(ignoring the Sav300)

Then there are the Marlins. 336 and 1895.
I have both.

The BLR is probably the one I know nothing about but my gut says that would be the lever to recommend.

His 300 WSM is an excellent out west gun, and up to anything in North America.

He was thinking a brush gun.

Certainly 45/70 is a great choice. Ammo and bullets available.

If he went to a BLR, there are quite a few chamberings available.

I would not recommend another 30 cal or less in.

Would you recommend a 325 WSM, a 358 something?

Looking for great ideas.

When I think of the 35 cals, I think 35 Whelen.

I like Dr Mikes full set of WSM’s.


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mjcmichigan

Handloader
Dec 26, 2016
2,263
29
Forgot to finish the bear story,

Yes, he got his bear. Pro hunter was seriously wicked medicine. Entrance hole in ribs was 3”, exit was 8” on other side.

Son said it’s hard to miss both lungs and heat when you enter the chest cavity with a 3” hole…

It might have cooled his jets on the lever seeing what the 300 WSM is able to do.

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Thebear_78

Handloader
Sep 30, 2004
2,953
342
I too am a fan of leverguns! Here are a few that I have and have had, that are bear worthy.

30-30
This Winchester 94 is rough around the edges but has a great trigger and will shoot 170 Partition into nice tight little clusters
139da420780aa90712d0393fa6ef9c2c.jpg


308 win-
Savage 99 in 308 I foolishly let slip away a few years ago
97e4f25a4f3760e4df53de7f3737515a.jpg


358 win-
I used to have a rebored savage 99 but currently own a pre81 BLR.
64a8ffa76a2cd236c6171f9572a6f4b6.jpg


9ee11da5b213fba4366ae15729fcc103.jpg


35 whelen-
A Winchester 1895 that’s currently at the gunsmith becoming a twin my my 411/9.3x62
5ce8d7eec27f4abf025e722fdb993cf1.jpg


411/9.3x62 wildcat scout
1394787146d0ee960a2f8344b6fda493.jpg


44 mag-
Marlin 1894 that sits over watching my chicken coop.
c3e64d4486ced3db9a57ae776064ee9c.jpg


454 Cassul-
Rossi puma that takes up space in my safe. It doesn’t get used much but it is an excellent shooter and very nearly 45/70 power. Currently wearing a skinner barrel mounted peep and safety delete.
511186774e95bbd049aabd4e6e3f2245.jpg


45/70-
I’ve had a few of these over the years but these are my favorite two.
d7180042e2fbdcc7d8b10157b3b7602f.jpg

50a859d6dd19297d56af98ef45164349.jpg


I would happily use any one of these on a bear. The 358 or 45/70 would be really hard to beat if buying a production rifle. The 358 isn’t given its due. A 225 Partition scooting along at 2400fps is no slouch.


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mjcmichigan

Handloader
Dec 26, 2016
2,263
29
Bear, that’s an awesome post!

Maybe we could get the moderators to pin it? Or copy it to its own thread.

Definitely agree, 358 225 portion would be no slouch at 2400.. which I believe is attainable with right powder.

I’ll pull this into word and send it to my son!

Huge thank you!


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Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,761
1,753
Lever actions are fun, and they work just great!

I've only got three: 22 long rifle, 30-30, and the 45-70, trust them all to do a fine job.

Buddy of mine has taken a lot of elk with his BLR in 358 Win... At least 15 elk with that rifle now, I'm thinking he's actually up over 20 with it.

Regards, Guy
 

JD338

Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
22,106
1,763
I love my lever actions. For a thick cover do all, it's tough to beat a Marlin 1895 in 45/70. Hits hard and very accurate out to 300 yards.
I also have a Marlin 1894 44 Rem Mag. It's a little power house and with 10 rounds in the magazine, there is a lot of quick firepower if needed. Mine wears a Leupold VX-3 1.5-5x20mm scope for a bright sight picture in low light. Don't overlook Henry, they make several models in an assortment of chamberings.
In addition to the 308 and 358, the 375 Winchester is an excellent thick cover hammer. The classic 30-30 or 32 Win Special would also get the job done.

JD338
 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
35,443
2,199
Lever guns have been favourites for me for many years. I own (or have owned) four Model 94s chambered in .356 Win. I know they will drop elk, moose, black bear, grizzlies, and mule deer. To be sure a 220 grain Speer flat nose or a 250 grain Kodiak delivers an awesome blow to game. I own (or have owned) two Model 94s chambered in .307 Win. Again, a great rifle that handles well in thick bush. I own (or have owned) three Model 94s chambered in .375 Win. I have owned three BLRs chambered in .358 Win. Each of them shot far better than I was able to achieve with the consistency they deserved. I've worked up loads for 45-70s, 338 Marlin, .32 Win, and several other cartridges that I don't immediately recall. I believe that at one time or another I loaded BLRs chambered for about every cartridge chambered in that particular rifle during the 90s and early 2000s. Each of them shot surprisingly well for the guns in which they were chambered.
 

Rednek rampager

Beginner
Oct 4, 2020
108
4
I own 4 lever action rifles at this time. A .22 long rifle, Winchester 94 & Marlin 336 both in 30-30, and a Winchester 71 in .348.

If I was going for a bear hunt I would not hesitate to take the model 71. I have not doubt that a 250 gn slug from it would knock one down.


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ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,898
1,561
Cool rifles Bear for sure. I have 4 here. A Win 94 in 30-30, a M71 348, a 99 Sav in 250 Savage, and a BLR in a 257 Roberts.

Someday a 358 Winchester is on the list. I've no idea if it'll end up being a bolt gun or in something like a BLR.
 

Blkram

Handloader
Nov 25, 2013
1,977
525
The lever that has been in my possession longest is a Marlin in 375 Win, and it has accounted for its fair share of black bears, moose and a caribou. I also have a Win 94 Big Bore in 375 Win, that I need to try out with HSM's 200gr Sierra FP ammunition.

My main go to rifle for a number of years for back up for archery, guiding, and for a saddle/ATV rifle has been my pre-81 BLR in 358 Win. It has accounted for a number of elk, moose, black bear, and even backed up DrMike with his Big Bore 356 Win on his grizzly bear. Has given years of great performance with the 220 gr Speer Hot-Cor bullet. It has seen the most use and carry over the years. This would also be my recommendation for your son!

I also own a Marlin 336ER and Win Big Bore in 356 Win, but haver yet to take game with either, although both have been hunted.

I also own two Winchester Model 88's; one rebarreled to 338 Federal which has taken a nice caribou, and a 7mm-08 which still has to be hunted with. Would love another rebarreled to 250 Savage.

I also currently own Marlins in 30-30, 35 Rem, 41 Rem Mag, and .410. For Winchesters we can also add a 94 XTR Deluxe in 30-30. All which have yet to be hunted.

I have also owned over the years Browning Model 71's in 348 Win, a Winchester 1886 in 45/70, a Win Big Bore in 307 Win, a Win Model 88 in 284 Win, and a Belgium Browning in 243 Win (the latter two being ones that I shouldn't have parted with - alas life happens! LOL).

On the bucket list is a Marlin 444 and a 338 Marlin Express. Either of these would also be good recommendations for your son. And a Winchester 94 in 25-35 (as cool as the older rifles are, I think I would prefer a newer model produced in the 2000's), and a BLR in 257 Roberts.

And I keep looking at the Savage 99 in 250-3000, and the Sako Finnwolf in 243.
 

Thankful Otter

Handloader
Oct 8, 2012
784
93
I made a post on this thread yesterday with more information but it appears to have been removed ?

Win 71, Savage 250/3000, and the Blr 7mmWSM are the three we use regularly .

Gil, hope you find the Finwolf
 

salmonchaser

Handloader
Dec 13, 2013
3,556
1,044
These are my great lament; I own or have owned quite a few from .22 up to 45/70. My ex got quite a few of them. Others I have sold or swapped and I now wish I had all of them back. My favorites were a MDL. 92 in .25-20; 94 in .25/35, .30/30 and a 99 in .250/3000.
Currently just a 22, 30/30 45/70 and a 45lc.
I was in a gun shop over in Ennis Montana last weekend. OMG. I had at one point, eight different winchesters on the counter. IT’s been a long time since I’ve seen a collection of used winchesters like that. The most intriguing were a pair of 95’s in 30/40 Krag and a mdl 71.
A good selection of well love mdl 70’s also.
Walked out of there with nothing but a fly reel for Catherines 6wt.
If you’re ever in Ennis you should drop in.


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ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,898
1,561
Reading back over these posts I forgot I have a lever 22 also, guess I was thinking centerfire rifles. Sure has been a lot of game killed over the years with lever action rifles. I'm glad modern manufacture's have kept the old design up and running.
 

Rednek rampager

Beginner
Oct 4, 2020
108
4
ShadeTree":63ceg3u7 said:
Reading back over these posts I forgot I have a lever 22 also, guess I was thinking centerfire rifles. Sure has been a lot of game killed over the years with lever action rifles. I'm glad modern manufacture's have kept the old design up and running.
I’ve had my 9422 since 1977. It’s still a great shooting little rifle. I’ve taught my kids & my grandkids to shoot with it.

It was a gift from my dad & I suppose I’ll end up passing it on to my oldest grandson. But not yet.


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SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,398
756
I love the 45-70 Marlins, my BLR in 358 is a hammer, the M71 in 348 Win is a classic, the Marlin 444 is a great all arounder too. I just don't think you could go wrong with any of them. The 325 WSM in a BLR might be pretty neat too.

Lotsa fun options, but if you can get into a Marlin 45-70 or 444 you really can cover a bunch of ground. Must more capable than most folks give them credit for.
 

Scrumbag

Beginner
Feb 22, 2021
129
40
Only every owned 2 lever actions

94-22 which I let go.

.44 mag Chiappa Alaskan.

(you can also get the takedown in .45-70 as well)

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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Shoot a plinking load with a 240gr cast RNFP and a hunting load with N110 and a 240 gr Nosler JSP.

raNYXCJl.jpg


(50 yd group with N110 and 240gr JSP)

Best wishes,

Scrummy
 

mjcmichigan

Handloader
Dec 26, 2016
2,263
29
SJB358":sdolx6yw said:
I love the 45-70 Marlins, my BLR in 358 is a hammer, the M71 in 348 Win is a classic, the Marlin 444 is a great all arounder too. I just don't think you could go wrong with any of them. The 325 WSM in a BLR might be pretty neat too.

Lotsa fun options, but if you can get into a Marlin 45-70 or 444 you really can cover a bunch of ground. Must more capable than most folks give them credit for.
Scottie, the BLR 358, which 358? Win or REM?

I think a 35 would be a good way to go.
Decent chance he’ll get my 45/70 some day..
He’s likely to get his Grandfathers 99f in 308win. Grandpa thinks he shot the barrel out(my experience is his guns ain’t that clean… so I take a “shot out” 308 with a grain of salt)

Hence the thinking of BLR in a 35


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