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Thread: Lever-action rifles?

  1. #1

    Lever-action rifles?

    I've just been leafing through Shooting Times, which landed on my doormat today along with the 'Better Stalking' supplement. The photo on page 14 leapt out at me, as the stalker in the high seat is armed with a Marlin lever-action rifle - not a tool that I've ever seen being used in a UK stalking scenario. Note that the Rifle obviously forgot to cock the hammer before posing for his photo...

    I would have assumed that such a rifle was laden with disadvantages for stalking: bullet heads being deformed in a tubular magazine, a noisy action when reloading and mediocre build quality. I can see the obvious value of a big-bore lever action for driven boar, but not shooting from a high seat.

    Do any of you use a lever action for stalking?

  2. #2
    l dont have one as a stalking rifle but l do have one in 22 for the bunnys, its a great wee weapon holds 15 in the tubular mag and re loads very well, nice to use if you are faced with a dozen or so in front of you the only drawback is that each time you need to refill the mag the mod has to be removed.

  3. #3
    I inherited a pretty crappy Remington .22 Fieldmaster semi-auto, with a tubular mag. It didn't have a mod, but it was both slow to load and the bullets were compressed in the mag. A lot less accurate than my CZ and Anschutz.

    I checked in my Home Office Guidance to see if lever-action centrefires are prohibited, but it seems not.

  4. #4

  5. #5

  6. #6
    I spent a few days up a tree in Nova Scotia with a venerable old Winchester waiting for the right bear to come along (that's another story). I didn't get to fire it in anger but thoroughly enjoyed shooting a cardboard box with it over iron sights. It was in .32 Win Special (big bro of the 30-30) and was a little cracker. In fact, I'm sorely tempted to get a lever at some time.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Grantoliver
    My original intention was to look for a rifle I wanted to use on boar, but was also deer legal.

    Hi Grant while at the IWA show in Germany at the weekend I took a close look at a Marlin 450 with thoughts of using it for boar and it did impress me, even the trigger didn’t feel too bad, however for a rifle that I could use in the UK as well as just boar then the 444 Marlin looks a better bet, easily deer legal, it would be fine out to 200yrds if zero at 150yrds not a rifle for the Scottish hill but in broad leaf woodland on fallow or Munties it would be great. I would fit it with a 1-4X26 flash dot or a red dot sight.

    It would be a useful rifle to carry when tracking wounded deer with my dog, especially in guild format (18” barrel). The need to crawl into thick stage spruce and the possibility of a running shot would make this rifle ideal.

    He is one below.

    Best rgds


  8. #8
    Hi Thar, thanks for that. I have just typed you a long response and then lost it, so this is my second attempt. During typing it however I do remember my foremost thought was, 'what must the recoil be like in a rifle with an 18 inch barrel firing the 444'. It was this issue that drove me to look at the 30.30. The new hornady ammunition in this calibre fires a 160g round out of the muzzle at 2400 fps, which equates to 2046 foot pounds. They have also introduced a 308 round for use in the new marlin 308MXLR.

    I can certainly see this calibre being of interest to you as your hunting tastes are a little more exotic than mine (very jealous). I used to read this site on occasion and it certainly gave me a desire to experience this kind of hunting especially on ther African Safaris they go on. The marlin 444 is well thought of by the contributors to the site and they use or at least used to.

    It will be interesting to see if this new range of rifles and ammunition results in more UK stalkers using this type of action. Overall I think it is unlikely.


  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by 300wsm

    It is not deer legal in Scotland for either Red or Roe even with a 24" barrel
    Why not 300wsm, the 200gn bullet with 55.4gn of Vit' N120 is doing 2754fps so it would be well deer legal, OK the ballistics of a brick but for close range stuff it would be fine. Not that I am Advocating a 444 marlin as the ideal Scottish deer rifle.

    If you are tracking a wounded deer you would be exempted from the Deer act 1996 anyway, so you could load it with some big 300gn bullets and so long as you were not temped to shoot at any other deer apart from the injured one all would be above board.

    My point is that if I invested in a big bore level action rifle for in the main Wild Boar I would like to use it more that 2 weeks in a year, I think it would make a good firearm to follow up on wounded deer with, and handy in close woodland on munties.

    All the best


  10. #10
    Not problem 300wsm

    In theory you could use some 180gn jacketed bullets and go even faster but that would defeat the purpose of a big bore rifle. I have to admit it would be a reloader job and I assume that the velocity quoted would be with at 24” barrel. Which would not be the rifle I would want to use.

    For the most part I would stick to my bolt action rifle and would only use the lever action for niche situations.

    Best rgds


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