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.
Let me start by telling you the story of two Johns.
John number one went on a day hike with a couple of friends in the Cascade Mountains about an hour from Seattle. He somehow got separated from his buddies and became lost. John was dressed in casual cloths for a warm weather day hike and had nothing but a lunch with him. He spent three days in those mountains and luckily made it out to tell the story.
John number two, a friend of John number one, was much better prepared when...