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10 Best Lever Action Rifles of 2023

Looking to get a lever gun? Whether it's for hunting, plinking, or winning the West...we've got you covered with some history and our favorite picks.

I grew up on Western films and series, so few things have been as iconic to me as single-action revolvers and lever-action rifles.

Top to Bottom Winchester 94 in 45 Colt, Henry 22LR, Winchester 94 Carbine 30-30, Savage 99 in 300 Savage, Winchester 94 Trapper 30-30, Marlin 30AS 30-30
Top to Bottom Winchester 94 in 45 Colt, Henry 22LR, Winchester 94 Carbine 30-30, Savage 99 in 300 Savage, Winchester 94 Trapper 30-30, Marlin 30AS 30-30

Let’s be honest; who saw Young Guns or Tombstone and didn’t want to run around cleaning up the bad guys with a badge and a rifle?

Today’s uses for these classic rifles look very different, but the lever-action rifle is still a beloved firearm with many applications for gun owners.  

45 Colt Reloads

So, what makes lever-actions stand out amidst the sea of options in the firearms market?

Well, we’re going to talk about that today. I’ll run you through why these guns stood the test of time, and I’ll even throw some options your way if you’re in the market for one.

Summary of Our Top Picks

  1. Best Tactical Lever Action

    Henry Big Boy X

    Classic design paired with an all-black finish, Picatinny rail, and M-LOK slots brings this gun into the modern, tactical era.

  2. Best Classic Lever Action

    Winchester Model 94

    Classic design that's stood the test of time, smooth cocking action, very reminiscent of lever actions of the past.

  3. Best for Deer Hunting

    Marlin 336

    Legend among deer hunters, this lever action is perfect for the field and is easy to disassemble and clean.

  4. Best for Beginners

    Henry Repeating Arms Golden Boy

    Great beginner gun for those new to lever actions, available in three rimfire caliber options: .22 (short, long, long rifle), .22 Magnum, and .17 HMR.

  5. Best for Big Game

    Marlin Model 1895

    Chambered in .45-70, this lever action is great for taking down big game.

  6. Most Durable

    Henry Repeating Arms All-Weather Lever Action Side Gate

    This gun is great for all environments and weather conditions. It's a sturdy, durable model ready for the field.

  7. Best for Cowboy Action Shooting

    Winchester Model 1892

    A must have for Cowboy Action shooters, the Model 1892 brings a classic design perfect for competition.

Table of Contents


Why Lever-Actions?

With a ton of firearms on the table, why would anyone choose a lever-action?

For some, like myself, it’s nostalgia.

Seeing and holding these guns brings back memories of childhood and the heroes of yesteryear.

Henry .45-70 Gif

For others, these guns serve as a practical solution. Hunters find that lever-action rifles are an excellent choice for different landscapes and game types where speed matters.

There are also many collectors out there with lever-action showpieces, some rich with history, others unique in their aesthetics.

Henry .45-70 Case Hardened

These have weathered the test of time and don’t appear to be going anywhere soon.

The Big Three

Three big names dominate the lever-gun market, each with slight differences and a variety of options.

So, let’s take a look at the companies that are renowned for lever-actions.

Henry Repeating Arms’ rifles date back to 1860, when they established the first patent for a lever-action repeating rifle.

Henry .45-70 Accuracy Testing
Henry .45-70

In 1996, Louis Imperato and his son bought the trademark to the Henry name and began producing rifles inspired by the original Henry rifle designs.

Today, their goal is to produce well-crafted, classic firearms that are affordable for all.

Every gun is “Made in America, or Not Made at All.”

Henry Case Hardening
Henry Case Hardening

Henry rifles are high-quality, reliable guns that feature several different styles, options, and calibers to suit the needs of a broad base of customers.

On the other hand, Marlin Firearms has more than 150 years of continuous production. The company started in the late 1800s.

Though they have changed owners a couple of times, and the quality of some of their products has been questioned as of late, their lever-action rifles have continued to be excellent quality, dependable guns.

Marlin .45-70 angled
A little side-by-side look at an older Marlin Model 1895 in .45-70 Gov’t and the new Dark Series version.

Some form of the Winchester Arms company has been around since the mid-1800s.

Started by legendary gun makers Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson (yes, of Smith & Wesson fame), their first version of the company was Volcanic Repeating Arms.

The “Volcanic” lever-action rifle was an improved design over the Volition Repeating Rifle of 1848.

Volition Repeating Rifle
Volition Repeating Rifle

Fast forward 10 years, both Smith and Wesson left the company, and Oliver Winchester and John Davies purchased the rights.

In 1866, they produced the first version of the Winchester Rifle.

The model 1873 was dubbed “The Gun That Won the West” due partly to its use of the new .44-40 Winchester Center Fire round.

Legendary Model 1873
Legendary Model 1873

Versions of some of their earliest guns, albeit with updates to design and function, are still available from Winchester today.

So, with that said, what are some models you should consider if a lever-action is on your buy list?

Best Lever-Action Rifles

1. Henry Repeating Arms X Models

The X Model line of rifles from Henry takes the classic feel of the lever-action and adds modern tweaks to it.

7. Henry Big Boy X with EOTech Surefire Scout Light
Henry Big Boy X with EOTech Surefire Scout Light

Available in .30-30, .410 shotgun, .45-70, or the Big Boy (.45 Colt, .357/.38 Special, .44 Mag/.44 Special), each X Model features synthetic furniture, a Picatinny top rail, M-LOK slots on the forend, and a rubber recoil pad on the buttstock.

19. Henry Big Boy X Group Shots

A blued steel barrel with a threaded muzzle allows for a suppressor on any of the models, and fiber optic sights round out the package.

Best Tactical Lever Action
at Guns.com

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Want more Henry X action?

Check out our full review or see the video review below!

2. Winchester Model 94

This rifle is part of a legacy.

John Moses Browning designed the original Model 1894 to use the then new .30-30 smokeless cartridge.

Winchester 1894 Deluxe Short Rifle Guns and Ammo
Winchester 1894 Deluxe Short Rifle (Photo: Guns and Ammo)

This gun radiates sentiments of that lineage…steel and wood, just as Browning would have wanted it.

Today’s version does have button rifling for increased accuracy and round locking bolt trunnions to help smooth out the lever-action.

Winchester Model 94 in .30-30
Winchester Model 94 in .30-30

But otherwise, it remains reminiscent of the original.

Few guns are as comfortable to operate as the Model 94 with its slightly radiused lever and smooth cocking action.

Six current production versions are available, each with a slight tweak to the original design, but all sleek and appealing.

Best Classic Lever Action
at Guns.com

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

3. Marlin Model 1894

The 1894 is the first flat-topped, side-ejecting receiver on the market for lever-action guns.

Marlin’s patent dates back to August 1, 1893, and though it evolved to include some modern improvements, the spirit of the gun remains the same.

Marlin Model 1894 Ammoland
Marlin Model 1894 (Photo: Ammoland)

The Marlin 1894 is available in 12 different configurations, determined by caliber, ranging from .357 Magnum/.38 Special up to .32 H&R Magnum.

All versions include a black walnut, straight grip stock, with most sporting some form of adjustable sights.

at Guns.com

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

What do you think of the Marlin? Let us know by rating it below.

Readers' Ratings

4.91/5 (1702)

Your Rating?

4. Henry Repeating Arms Big Boy

The Big Boy models of Henry rifles focus on handgun calibers, with many available in 16-inch or 20-inch barrels.

Big Boy Steel Rifle and Carbine
Big Boy Steel Rifle and Carbine

Big Boys also come in each finish and style that Henry offers, from Case Hardened side gates to Steel finishes and the X models.

They also come in your choice of .45 Colt, .357/.38 Special, .44 Magnum/.44 Special.

45 Colt Reloads Lever Action
.45 Colt

Barrel finish, sight setup, and lever-style will all be determined by the model and size (long or short) of the Big Boy you select, but any model will be rugged.

Available Coupons

5. Marlin Model 336

The 336 is a legend amongst deer hunters, and for good reason.

Since its release in 1948, two calibers have endured with this model — .30-30 and .35 Remington.

Marlin Model 336C
Marlin Model 336C

The 336 is an updated version of the Model 36, improving the gun with features like an open ejection port machined into the receiver, a chrome-plated breech bolt, and an improved extractor.

One of the unique things about the Model 336 is that it is designed for easy disassembly and can be cleaned from the breech, unlike many other lever-actions.

Super Easy gif

Several versions are still available, with Ruger producing more under the Marlin name.

Most models will sport a 20-inch barrel with a walnut grip stock and full-length tube magazine.

Best for Deer Hunting
at Gunprime

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

6. Winchester Model 1873

This rifle is as close as you can get to stepping back in time to the late 1800s.

Featuring the same oil-finished walnut stock and 20-inch round barrel, little has been done to modernize the 1873. Frankly, it doesn’t need it.

Winchester Model 1873
Winchester Model 1873

Available in some pistol calibers that would have been seen on the frontier, the Model 1873 comes in everything from true blue frontier guns to slightly modified sport shooting versions.

There is even a carbine variant if you need to shoot from horseback!

Legendary Model 1873
Take it horseback riding!

Find the model and caliber that best suits your needs, and hold on for the ride. These genuine pieces of Americana are still some of the best rifles on the market.

at Gunprime

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

7. Henry Repeating Arms Golden Boy Rimfire

The Golden Boy is an ideal gun for plinking or use on small game, whether the shooter is an experienced rifleman or a younger child shooting for the first time.

Henry’s full-size Golden Boy is crafted with a 20-inch blued barrel and outfitted with an American walnut stock, brass buttplate, and Brasslite receiver. 

Henry Golden Boy
Henry Golden Boy

It is available in three rimfire calibers, .22 (short, long, long rifle), .22 Magnum, and .17 HMR.

Pricing on the Golden Boy line is extremely modest, making it the go-to gun for many beginner shooters.

Henry Golden Boy with Scope
Henry Golden Boy with Scope

The youth version features a smaller barrel and length of pull, making it slightly lighter and compact.

Handle one for yourself, and you’ll see what it was the first rimfire rifle to win Guns & Ammo’s rifle of the year.

Best for Beginners
at Gunprime

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Make sure to read our review on the Golden Boy!

8. Marlin Model 1895

This model is a tribute to the past with a touch of the modern.

Working off the design of the 336, the Model 1895 pays homage to the Model of 1895, produced from 1895 to 1917.

Marlin .45-70
The Marlin Firearms Dark Series Model 1895 chambered in .45-70 Gov’t.

The Model 1895 comes chambered in .45-70, designed to be the first choice of anyone needing to put down bigger game in a hurry.

Several different finishes and styles are available. My personal favorite is the 1895 SBL with a stainless finish and grey laminate stock.

Marlin .45-70 angled
A little side-by-side look at an older Marlin Model 1895 in .45-70 Gov’t and the new Dark Series version.

Both the SBL and dark variants feature a flat-top Picatinny rail. So, if you plan to add some optics, look for one of them from the jump.

Best for Big Game
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

See our review of the Marlin Model 1894!

9. Henry Repeating Arms All-Weather Lever Action Side Gate

All Henry rifles are tough, but the All-Weather line is built to be used and abused.

Built from materials like stainless steel and hard chrome plating bonded to steel, these guns take the finish to the next level.

They can be used in just about any environment someone is likely to encounter in their day-to-day life.

Two caliber choices are available — .30-30 or .45-70.

L to R - 22 LR, 45 Colt, 30-30 Win, 300 Savage, 45-70
L to R – 22 LR, 45 Colt, 30-30 Win, 300 Savage, 45-70

You will be hard-pressed to find a more durable lever-action rifle on the market today.

Available Coupons

10. Winchester Model 1892

Another gun produced by John Moses Browning, the Model 1892, is used most often in modern Cowboy Action shooting events.

For over 125 years, it has been the go-to rifle for some of the biggest names in history and on screen alike.

Winchester Model 1892

John Wayne, Chuck Connors, Annie Oakley, and many more trusted a version of this rifle, and you should as well.

This is one of the lighter guns on the list and yet has insanely low recoil to make it one of the easiest to handle.

Annie Oakley with her Winchester 1892.

Available in several pistol calibers and six different styles, the Model 1892 is a gun that you shouldn’t waste time second-guessing.

Best for Cowboy Action Shooting
at Guns.com

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Final Thoughts

Lever-actions have seen a resurgence of popularity in the last 20 years, and I, for one, am glad.

These iconic guns evolved with the times, but not so much as to forget where they came from.

Urban Firearm Setup Winchester 94

Figure out what caliber and style will fit you best, slap on your hat and duster and get ready to mount up.

Stick to a gun that offers good quality and a great reputation behind it — you won’t be left looking for much more in the way of a long gun.

What’s your favorite lever-action? Let us know in the comments below. Ready to hit the Wild West? Check out Cowboy Action Shooting: Ultimate Guide to get in on the action, or just watch some of our favorite guns in Famous Western Movie Guns.

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43 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    Brian Kowalski

    My favorite gun (out of hundreds of pistols, revolvers, rifles, and shotguns) is the Marlin 39A 22 lr lever rifle.

    May 18, 2023 8:53 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Eddie Young

    I have the Browning 45-70 falling block and the marlin guide gun. I am skinny 60+ year old dude and I love to shoot both. When you put 40 rounds down range, you know that you are firing a great fierarm. It does get expensive, but worth it. I like them more that an M-60

    October 29, 2022 9:28 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Why are the Rossi 92’s left out. Granted, they are not collectibles but they are sturdy and practical. I’ve got a Rossi ‘92 in .44 Mag/.44 Spl, two in .45 Colt (one blued with a .20 in barrel and one SS carbine with .16 in barrel), and one in .357/.38 Spl. All are very good shooters and have been very dependable. Having said that, I DO have two Henry’s, one .22 and the other is a Big Boy in .327 Federal Magnum. The .327 is a real sweetheart and I love it. If it could cook I’d marry it.

    August 5, 2022 12:51 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Beau Sandland

    The modern day Henry USA, has no association whatsoever to the original Henry rifle of 1860 or the inventor Benjamin Tyler Henry. Kind of misleading in your article. All they share is the name “Henry” cause the rights to the name were bought. Just like todays Springfield Armory, has no connection at all to the actual real Springfield Armory formed in 1780s, though Springfield always tries to falsely claim that they are one and the same.

    December 22, 2021 4:24 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I have find lever action rifles. Mod. 94 .30-30 Winchester, Savage .22 high power, Henry .22 cal. Golden Boy, Henry .117 HMR Golden Boy, and a Henry .22 LR. Of all of them I like the 30-30 best for hunting.
    For plinking and small game I love the Henrys. It is the sweetest shooting .22 I have fired. The action is
    extremely smooth and with practice you can cycle of with it still at the shoulder. I have not had too
    much problem with the big plate slipping.

    December 10, 2021 10:59 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Glad to se the trend in Cowboy Tactical Rifles. I have a Model 92 in 44mag - 16" barrel with three-dot fiber-optic sights and it's great fun to shoot fast.

    October 7, 2021 5:42 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    John Christensen

    I had a Marlin lever action 22 Mag. with a 20 deg. lever action which could be used without taking it from your shoulder and the rifleing was micro groove, that I purchased in the 60's. It was a very accurate gun. You cannot buy any parts for it because in in not made any more. The fireing pin broke and the gun smith had to make one to fix it. They should bring that gun back it was great.

    October 7, 2021 5:41 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Doug Temoin

    I have an early .303 (no typo) Savage which I still use for island blacktail hunting in BC, Canada. The brass rotary magazine is a thing of beauty...

    October 7, 2021 5:18 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      T. J.

      Interesting to know. I have a Savage 22 high power, ammo is hard to find, I have taken
      mule tail dear with it. I have not gone after any thing bogger. The.303 sounds like you could
      bring down moose. As you said the rotary magazine is great. Wish more manufacturers
      would adopt such a magazine. Good hunting.

      December 10, 2021 11:12 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Doug Temoin

        Ammo is no longer available for the .303 Savage (I have the dies and a reload buddy), but you are right about the knock down power. I have also used it for spring bear, with good results.

        January 11, 2022 5:18 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    John S Kovach

    Dont mean to be critical, but you obviously dont shoot lever guns much. No one who knows proper technique with lever guns dismounts the weapon when they work the action (finger lever). Neither should you dismount a bolt gun if you need to make a quick follow up shot. Just sayin'. Dont trust me - ask a CAS shooter.

    October 7, 2021 5:01 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Gallo Pazzesco

    The correct answer is (All JM stamped, that's a very important caveat)
    Marlin 1894
    Marlin 1895
    Marlin 336
    Marlin 36
    .... then the Ruger
    .... then the Henrys
    .... then the Winchesters

    October 7, 2021 4:26 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      ronald cash

      spot on sir

      October 7, 2021 5:00 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      ronald cash

      yes sir

      October 7, 2021 5:01 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    T. A. Kinsey

    My father-in-law has a few Henry’s and they just didn’t fit my body very well. I haven’t had the opportunity to shoot any others mentioned. I am left handed but I don’t think that was the issue. The cheek weld was off and the stock was really long. I am primarily a military shooter so I like to be up close. Great article as always.

    October 7, 2021 4:06 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Richard Calkins

    For me it isn't the cost of the gun, it's the cost of the ammo. Some of those rounds are $3+ a shot; no thanks.

    October 7, 2021 3:57 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    My truck gun is a saddle ring carbine marlin 1894 in 44 mag. I threw a red dot on it and handload for it. I've got a sling that utilizes the saddle ring. It's accurate and hard hitting. I carry it with me in the vehicle because it would serve well enough in a bad situation, but it's also not a rifle that raises eyebrows. People love talking about it if they catch a glimpse of it. I've also got a pre 64 winchester 3030 that drives tacks, and a winchester 9422. My grandpa only used savage 99 in 300 savage and I subsequently bought, refinished, and sold one. I finally picked up a six gun recently to compliment my arsenal.

    October 7, 2021 3:57 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Chris McLaughlin

    The Miroku built Winchester and Browning models 1886 and 71 rifles are better than many that appear on this list. The '86 extra light definitely offers more kick for the buck than virtually anything on the list., but the shotgun stye buttstock helps to mitigate the discomfort.

    July 17, 2021 2:09 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Dave G.

    Always had a soft spot for classic lever guns. Over the years, I've also aquired some nice bolt actions, but I'll never forsake my lever guns. My first new deer gun was a meat & potatoes model 94 in 30-30 topped with a Weaver 4X. A couple years later, I got a 94 XTR in .375 big bore. Followed by a Browning BLR in .308 and a Marlin 1894P 16 1/4" barrel in .44 mag. My very first "real" gun was an Ithaca model 49R .22 lever. Still have it. Along the way, I traded away a Savage 99CD in .308, a move that I will always regret. I still shoot these guns at the range and occasionally in the hunting woods. I'm pushing 70 now, but if I could, I'd take them with me when I die. Good shooting, everybody!

    May 22, 2021 12:09 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Tom Morin

    Looking to buy a lever cation rifle in .243 caliber for Hog hunting . Witch is better Browning BLR or Henery Long Ranger.

    January 5, 2021 1:58 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I used to to hogs with a BLR LWT in .308. Loved it. Killed several hogs with it and it was a tack driver with 150 grain Remington Cor-Lokts. Super easy to carry and that's important. You'll carry it more than shoot it. Sadly it was stolen! Only thing I didn't like, it had a heavy trigger. I've only owned rimfire Henrys, loved them to, very smooth actions. Looking to purchase a side gate Henry.

      January 5, 2021 2:57 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Rick Robinson

    Best explanation as to what the history and use of rifles I've seen. When investigators g in rifles, this is a great example for those of us who want to buy rifles that will hold or increase in value.

    October 18, 2020 7:12 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    Now, if you can only find any of these, you are lucky.

    October 11, 2020 10:07 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    james mcknight

    You forgot two, the lever action Winchester 94 357 and 44 mag.

    October 5, 2020 5:22 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    I bought a Henry Big Boy in 357/38. If loading the tube with round nose 38's, you couldn't put the tube down w/out it hanging on the bullets and making the lever come out of battery. Then it wouldn't chamber the rounds. If would damage the bullets if you tried too hard. And if that isn't enough, slowly cocking the rifle would cause it to lock up about every 15 cocks and almost impossible to get unlocked without great force. I'll never buy another Henry.

    June 13, 2020 7:45 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Sounds like you found a terd ... I have 5 or so of their rifles ranging from 41mag , to a 45-70 , 22 mag , 22 lr and 44 mag . Never had any issues from any of mine . Of my collection , my terd lever gun is my marlin 1895 stainless guide gun in 45-70 made around 2008 , the same gun so many swear by . Moral of the story. Talk to henry , let them fix it and enjoy , you can get a terd regardless of brand , action or caliber .

      June 15, 2020 9:41 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      User error.....

      August 29, 2020 6:47 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Great work as usual but just a historical correction. The rifles the Confederates complained about were the Spencer Carbine. They loaded 7 shots, unlike the Sharps. Had Buford’s Calvary not had them and not been able to hold off Heth’s Infantry Division for some three hours, Gettysburg would have turned out differently because the Confederates would have been able to advance to Cemetery Ridge and the surrounding high ground.

    April 30, 2020 7:11 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Henry 22, 94 in 30-30, Marlin in .357. My eyes are on a BL-22. I had the Marlin at an indoor range shooting at 25yds at my leisure. Folks a couple of lanes down were spraying their tactical rifles all over the paper...then remarked at the ragged holes the 'old-school' guy was making.

    December 14, 2019 9:17 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Always wanted a lever rifle since "The Rifleman". Never got one like Lucas McCain but got a 1894 model .32 Winchester Special made in 1956. Ammo is expensive so don't shoot it as much as my AR but going to keep it and pass it on.

    November 11, 2019 6:44 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I have a Henry steel 22 mag lever action. My next purchase will be either a Marlin in 38/357 or a Henry steel in 38/357 to compliment my Colt SAA in 357.

    October 5, 2019 8:04 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    Maybe did not fail fifth grade English, just missed one on the test..
    Became a writer by writing.

    What is the particular error that got your OCD's all twisted up?

    September 15, 2019 5:01 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    ken miracle

    I also have a Smith 66 and complemented mine today with a Henry Bigboy Steel in .38/.357. Great minds think a like. You won't be disappointed.

    July 20, 2019 2:19 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Alan Judd

    My first rifle was a 94 Winchester. 30-30. Circa 1930. Purchased it in 1968 for $30. Killed several deer with it and still use it. Also have a Savage 99 300 Savage circa 1960. Love them both. On my list is a Henry .38/.357 to complement my S&W 66.

    June 12, 2019 11:21 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    I bought a marlin 45.70 at a rod and gun club in Hanau Germany when I was serving there. It was amazing. I had six power Dr Optics on it and loved going to the German outdoor range and put five rounds through a single hole consistently at a hundred with factory Remington ammo. From a sand bag it was like a laser. But with a rainbow trajectory. Spencer converted a bunch of their .56 caliber butt loads to .45-70. My gramps had one but it stripped the lever. My dads first white tail was with a 250-3000 and he still has it. He also has a safari browning in .458. He doesn’t shoot it often.

    January 8, 2019 2:40 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    I have killed a few pigs and deer over the years with a Marlin lever action. Both a .44 Mag with open sights and a .357 Mag with a scope on a raised mount to clear the factory sights. Great way to spend an afternoon in a tree and get some meat with 30yd shots.

    Love both those rifles.

    November 8, 2018 9:22 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    I hunt with a Marlin 336 chambered in .35 Remington. With a 2.5 power scope, it's about ideal for the Missouri woods. The .35 Remington is a little heavier and a little slower than the .30-30 with typical loads. I've never had a deer run after getting hit with one.

    October 27, 2018 2:42 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    C Hopkins

    YOU KEFT OUT THE 1886 wIN AND THE 1892 wIN I have an 1886 45=70 and 1892 Win carbine in 25-20 and
    would not take anything for them .

    October 26, 2018 11:58 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    I too learned to hunt with the Winchester 94 in 30-30. You hit it right on when you wrote we had to get close and stay low. With iron sights and the absolute focus on a clean and ethical kill, I really had to hone my skills. This gun taught me more about hunting than most any other source. Many a deer and coyotes have been taking with this gun andit still shoots straight and never experienced a failure (even with my early years of neglecting it). Great article. I would love to have a Marlin in the 45-70.

    October 26, 2018 9:18 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    My first lever action I got for my 18th birthday. A pre-64 Winchester 94 in 30-30 that I got for $450. The gun shop didn't realize they could have listed it for 3 times that price, so I was more than happy with it.

    October 25, 2018 5:38 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Unfortunately, you left out what many consider "The Best of the Breed". Browning BLR and BLR 81 solve all the problems of tubular magazines with a drop box mag and in my humble opinion, the best feature of all - the take-down model for easy transport and cleaning. Wide variety of calibers and barrel lengths to suit the caliber, walnut or laminated, blue or stainless, pistol grip or straight stock. Priced to compete with the other crank actions and available in the best woods caliber of all - 358 Win.

    October 25, 2018 4:47 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      You're absolutely right! The BLR's are great options. The take-down versions make for compact travel rifles and the magazines allow use of "pointy" bullets. I've had the opportunity to use a BLR in both 243 and 308 in years past. Fine firearms to be sure.
      Thanks for reminding us about the Brownings!

      October 26, 2018 5:41 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I bought my first lever action rifle when I was 13 years old (47 years ago). It was a used Mossberg .22 with a low power 3x scope. I remember I paid $13.50 and had to have a gunsmith repair the firing pin before I could shoot it. Last week I purchased a new "single shot" Henry in .223 / 5,56. I always wanted a Henry but decided on a single shot for target practice. I'd love to try a 45/70 but I'm not sure my 60 year old shoulder could take the recoil.

    October 25, 2018 4:36 pm
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