14 replies [Last post]
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 07/18/2010
Posts: 137
Big Bore Advice Needed

As I have mentioned before in some of my other posts.  I am a huge lever action fan.  I would like to buy a big bore lever action rifle. To state the obvious by big bore I mean .357 or larger.  I do have a short list with some favorites out there.  But there is always something I over look.  I have a friend that gun smithed, if that is a word, his own 45-70 from a 12 guage. I loved it when I got a chance to shoot it but still not for sure yet.  I am open for suggestions.

CVC
CVC's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Kansas
Joined: 03/04/2006
Posts: 3586
I'd look at the Henry rilfes

I'd look at the Henry rilfes as they look good and are made in the USA.  I think I see their ads on this site so you may find them through here.  With that said, I really don't know anything about their quality or accuracy so you'll have to research them a bit.

Winchester makes some lever action large bore rifles too I believe. 

What caliber do you want and what game do you want to shoot with it?

Critter's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4018
Most of the Henry rifles are

Most of the Henry rifles are not really what you would consider a big bore type of rifle.  They offer mostly calibers that are common pistol rounds such as .22lr, 22 magunm, .357 magnum, .44 magnum, and the .45 long colt.  They also offer a couple of other calibers along with the good old .30-30. 

So if you are looking at a higher powered round you may want to look at the Marlins.  They have the largest selection up to and including the .444 Marlin and the good old .45-70 rounds.  Also if you don't mind buying used you can look for a Whinchester 1886 witch came in a varity of calibers along with some odd ball ones.  It was discontinued around 1935 when the Whinchester 71 came out in .348 Whinchester caliber.  Browning has made replica models of both the 1886 and the 71 and can be found with a little looking but they can be spendy. 

Now if you are just looking for a good reliable lever action you may want to look at the Browning BLR.  It comes in quite a few calibers all the way from the .223 Remington to the.325 WSM.  Or you can even try and find a Savage M99. 

So there are quite a few options out there for you depending on what you want.  An old style western type rifle all the way up to a modern high powered magnum. 

Tndeerhunter's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Tennessee
Joined: 04/13/2009
Posts: 1110
Big Bores

I happen to be both a medium and big bore fan my own self. I own lever rifles in .356Win, .358Win, .375Win, .444Marlin, .45-70 and .450 Marlin. I also own a couple in .308 and one in .325WSM. There's just sumpthin' about holding those big ole bullets in your hand, prior to loading up! Yes  As far as a medium goes, I think that the .358 BLR is the pick of the litter. The .356 is pretty much a ballistic twin. The BLR is a fine rifle, smooth operating with it's shorter throw and easier to load and unload than tube levers. Downside might be a few less rounds in the magazine though.

I'm fairly new to the .375 just started hunting with mine this season. It did a fine job on a big bodied Ky buck though. The big three of .444, 45-70 and .450 may seem a tad redundant, but I don't see me selling any of them any time soon. If pressed, I'd suppose the 1895/45-70 would be my choice to go. The .450 BLR is simply a nicer rifle (personal opinion) and has a stronger action, also being much easier to load/unload. It has one other plus I like, no double safety as the new Marlins have. I think that a good thing, especially if hunting game that might hunt back. The BLR simply has a typical hammer (pivoting) and can also be carried safely hammer down on a loaded chamber (transfer bar).

All my levers wear scopes save one, the .444. It wears a peep sight and is darn accurate so equipped. I prefer a scope 99% of the time, except in heavy rain or snow, actually. The other levers all wear scopes of 1-3 or 1-4 or 4X. The two in .308 (Win and ME) might could use something a tad higher in magnification, but I'm more than satisfied with what they wear. With 4X available, they're still good to 200-250 yds, should that need arise.

I think that the .444 gets not nearly the respect it deserves. There are loads available to take any N.A. game animal. The 265gr LE load gives it 200+ yd MPBR and it carries over 1000 FPE past 300 yards and nearly 3200 FPE at the muzzle. That ain't chopped liver fellas. In a perfect world, my .444 would be scoped and my 45-70 wear a peep sight. But the .444 came with the peep sight and it will not fit the 45-70 without tapping it. So, again, this ain't a perfect world... :lol:

A good medium or big bore lever rifle with a quality 1-4x20 or 2-7x32 scope can deliver serious performance over a wide range of circumstances. It's NOT just a short range woods set-up, IMHO!

Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 07/18/2010
Posts: 137
Great advice

Thanks guys for the input.  I have one stupuid question though.  Does the .444 chamber in a .44 mag? I gonna to create a data base with all of the info I collect so I can be an educated buyer. Thanks again.

Tndeerhunter's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Tennessee
Joined: 04/13/2009
Posts: 1110
.444 & .44

jonesklan71 wrote:

Thanks guys for the input.  I have one stupuid question though.  Does the .444 chamber in a .44 mag? I gonna to create a data base with all of the info I collect so I can be an educated buyer. Thanks again.

 

The .444 Marlin is much longer than a .44 mag. It uses the same bullets, but factory loads are a good 400- 500 FPS faster. The rifle itself (new one) is about two inches longer than it's Marlin .44 mag carbine counterpart (22" vs 20" barrel). Factory 240gr loads are claimed at 2350 FPS and the 265gr LeverEvolution is claimed at 2325 FPS. The use of the shorter .44 mag cartridges in a .444 is NOT a safe practice. 

Hope that helps.

 

Ca_Vermonster's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5746
I don't have anything that

I don't have anything that big, but my father does have a .348 Winchester.  That's a pretty darn big hunk of lead to be throwing down range.

Tndeerhunter's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Tennessee
Joined: 04/13/2009
Posts: 1110
loads for the .348

Ca_Vermonster wrote:

I don't have anything that big, but my father does have a .348 Winchester.  That's a pretty darn big hunk of lead to be throwing down range.

I wasn't sure if you'd seen, but I put a link in another posting where you mentioned the high cost of .348 ammo. That place has some reasonably priced loads your Father might be interested in.

 

groovy mike's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 03/19/2009
Posts: 2496
Marlin guide gun

I'd suggest reading up on the Marlin Guide Gun.  They make it in 450 as well as 45-70.

Here's a picture of mine with the moose it dropped.

Marlin is of course a well established company so parts are widely available if needed and the 45-70 has been dropping critters for well over 100 years.  It is THE big bore of North America in my humble opinion.

 

PreviewAttachmentSize
105_0294.JPG
105_0294.JPG1.28 MB
105_0282.JPG
105_0282.JPG1.11 MB
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 07/18/2010
Posts: 137
Thanks

Thanks for the info.  The Marlin 450 is on my really short list.  I think I am gonna shop for a coyote rifle next then go after the 450.  I have an old Sprinfield 22 and then a 30-30 dont really have a varmit gun.  But right after that the 450 is probably my next addition.  Great pics too.  You are making a good run towards the top, shooting for that .300.  Good luck 

groovy mike's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 03/19/2009
Posts: 2496
You are not doing too bad on

You are not doing too bad on the points board yourself! lol, good luck and good hunting!

My brother just bought a Marlin in .444

I've never seen one before but it looks like teh same rifle as teh guide gun just with a different chambering.  I'm a traditionalist - love those old cartridges, so my pick is the 45-70

But do what makes YOU happy!

Mike

 

Related Forum Threads You Might Like