Lever-action rifles?

Baldrick

Well-Known Member
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?
 

monynut

Well-Known Member
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.
 

Baldrick

Well-Known Member
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.
 

Drew

Well-Known Member
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.
 

Thar

Well-Known Member
Grantoliver said:
My original intention was to look for a rifle I wanted to use on boar, but was also deer legal.

Grant
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

Thar
 
G

Grantoliver

Guest
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.

http://www.marlinfirearms.com/Firearms/xlr/336.aspx

https://www.hornady.com/shop/Ammo_LEVER_popup.htm

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. http://www.leverguns.com/ The marlin 444 is well thought of by the contributors to the site and they use http://www.ct-safaris.com/ 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.


Grant
 

Thar

Well-Known Member
300wsm said:
Thar,

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. :lol: :lol:

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

Thar
 

Thar

Well-Known Member
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

Thar
 

jon2

Well-Known Member
Thar

I like your style and these have appealed to me over the past but after having shot a .44 mag 1894 (short barrel version) with full chat rifle loads it is not that pleasant to shoot and I would think the .444 would be even worse.

In danger of sounding like a girl here but I found the lever would jar on the knuckles a bit when you were holding on to it. Perhaps I wasn't holding tight enough.

For your intended purpose (tracking wounded game) I would have thought you would be better off using slug in a 12 gauge semi which as I am sure you know has little recoil and plenty of energy. I have even found out you can get rifle sights from Brownells which attach to the rib. This is what I was considering after finding I was having difficulty in mounting a red dot sight on my Berretta. Could be the answer.
 

Thar

Well-Known Member
jon2 said:
Thar

I like your style and these have appealed to me over the past but after having shot a .44 mag 1894 (short barrel version) with full chat rifle loads it is not that pleasant to shoot and I would think the .444 would be even worse.
Hi Jon

Did the rifle have a pistol grip a striaght grip, I have been advised that a pistol grip is the way to go, and on the rifles I handled the inside of the lever did feel sharp and would need some work if you were to use them a lot, wearing gloves I am sure would help a bit.

I have a big bag of what the Ausssies call “Toughen the f**k up pills” :D :D and I like you say using a big bore lever action is not for the faint hearted but I wouldn’t think it any worse that a .375 magnum rifle.

I thought off a old O/U skeet gun ideally one with 25” barrels then run it on slugs as an alternative for a gun to follow up wounded deer with, but this would make this gun pretty much a one trick pony still it would be cheap. I see in Europe battue style rifles are popular for following up deer/boar with when using a tracking dog.

Best rgds

Thar
 

jon2

Well-Known Member
Hi Jon

Did the rifle have a pistol grip a striaght grip, I have been advised that a pistol grip is the way to go, and on the rifles I handled the inside of the lever did feel sharp and would need some work if you were to use them a lot, wearing gloves I am sure would help a bit.

I have a big bag of what the Ausssies call “Toughen the f**k up pills” and I like you say using a big bore lever action is not for the faint hearted but I wouldn’t think it any worse that a .375 magnum rifle.

I thought off a old O/U skeet gun ideally one with 25” barrels then run it on slugs as an alternative for a gun to follow up wounded deer with, but this would make this gun pretty much a one trick pony still it would be cheap. I see in Europe battue style rifles are popular for following up deer/boar with when using a tracking dog.

Best rgds

Thar

You are right it was a straight grip and yes I have thought that the pistol grip would give you more purchase over the swan neck version.

I like the Aussie toughen the f**k up pills hee hee and yes I reckon I would need some shooting one on a regular basis.

The 12G with slug with sights does make it a sole purpose machine but there is something about brennekes that has always appealed. I think it comes from my dad having some when I was a dink and I always remember the packaging and the fins on the slug which appealed to me. That and shooting at 5 gallon water containers :D

Best
 

Dalua

Well-Known Member
Pete E said:
I know a chap who uses a Sako Finnwolf for stalking...As lever actions go it was supposedly one of the best...
I handled one of these in a shop. It seemed a very solid bit of kit, apparently the bolt as their .243/.308s with underlever instead of ordinary lift-and-pull handle.
 

legaleagle69

Well-Known Member
I have a 30-30 Marlin from the 1890's stashed at a mates who is a RFD
I asked for it to be put on my FAC for stalking the FEO said it was fine but his boss although didn't give it an outright no, was very icky about it as it was only just legal? Well either it is or it ain't bit like Saddam was a little bit naughty maybe.. ;)
I gave him the chapter and verse with all the ballistics how my mates sweas by them in the States.. well they would do wouldn't they was the retort... we agreed that he would give me a spare rifle and I could have the 30-30 at later date as a range gun..so I now have a 308 and a 243 slot and confirmation that it is legal for the 30-30 although it's frowned upon.. apparently :rolleyes:
Still they are great fun, love em to death and have fancied on of the big old winnies like Teddy Roosevelt used for bear hunting ...oooh yeh :p
 

zaitsev

Well-Known Member
The 30-30 can be made deer legal quite nicely. In any case how can several million whitetails etc be wrong? As a friend of mine said about it 'at what point does the animal know that the rifle wasn't deer legal?'
Now I'm not saying use rifles that are under the 1700ft/lb limit but muzzle velocities/energies etc decay with range etc etc etc etc
The subject is too complicated for the finest ballistic experts. What hope do the politicians and police have?
The 30-30 in question belongs to Steve Bowers. The photo was taken when he took the guy out stalking who had to go on a mountainbike cos he was disabled in some way. Article was last year at some point.

Ta

Z
 

reiver

Well-Known Member
hi just read this discussion and thought i would add to it.
As i own a Marlin u/l in .444 marlin with a pistol grip stock which is used for both deer and this winter for wild Boar with a 5 shot tube mag for back up this gun can kick with full loads 240,265,or 300gr bullets but when the Adrenalin is flowing you do not feel it this round is not for shooting prone but that goes for most big bore rifles.I also have probably the best type of under lever the Browning BLR81 in .308 w with a box mag points well and is fast to re load which is a big help when driven shooting. Both shoot well out to 150 -175 yards. which is fine for me
Ps .if any one wants a U/L get a Marlin as they are far more reliable than the Winchesters.
Bob
 

gundog

Well-Known Member
Marlin 30/30

Regards 30/30 being Deer legal the 110 grs bullet gives 2668 Mv 1738 Me legal for roe only information taken from Deer Commission best practice document 2003 i hope this clears the 30/30 puzzle
Chris Wright
 

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