I've owned several BLRs over the years, maybe 7 total. I own three right now, all S/A guns. I've only owned one L/A and simply could not get used to the difference in action length, overall length and longer throw of the lever.
If you look closely at the specs of the BLRs you will find something quite interesting. That is that the magnum versions in some calibers, namely .300WSM & .270WSM are shorter and lighter than their counterparts, the 30/06 & .270 BLRs. You can also get a 7mmWSM (vs a 7mm mag) or a .325 WSM (which I do own), which some might call the most powerful production lever gun made.
You may not need the additional power of the .300 & .270 SMs, but the feel of the rifle in S/A form would make me decide, as I did before to go the SM route. Of course, the .308 or 7/08 in the S/A 20" barrel version might be a good alternative pick for you as well. I've owned both of them and liked them both a lot, simply great handling deer rifles.
Your comments are noted and appreciated. I notice that the current BLR has an aluminum receiver and the older models have steel receivers...is there a significant weight difference and does either one handle better than the other?
Well, I cannot tell a lie, and I like my one steel receiver rifle (a .358 win) a bit more than my two other, newer alloy guns. Now, my BLR in .450 Marlin is one of my absolute favorite rifles of all that I own, but the steel gun is something really nice. They've not been steel receivers though, for a long time now.
Good information to know. I have looked at them before also but don't know of anyone else that owns one. If buying new I would have to give the 300 or 325wsm a try. Looks like it would make a great fun gun. I grew up with lever guns but it's been a pretty long time since I've used them more than just a little.
Here is a tip that was passed along to me - and I have not tried it yet - but it looks (and smells) like it will work fine! The gentleman that gave it to me regards it as his secret weapon and he is a VERY successful hunter.
Get a fresh tarsal gland off of a decent buck - I think the ranker, the better. Taking them off of bucks that are hot in the rut seem to be the best because that is when the glands are the darkest and have the most "male buck" scent...
Take that gland and put it in a good,...