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Joined: 10/14/2009
Posts: 1
Brush gun advice

I'm going to purchase a brush gun to augment my existing hunting rifle (30-06). Open sights, lever action style. Probably a Marlin. I've hunted with a 30-30 in the past, and it was the good old standby. But, I'll be using the gun for elk as well (maybe bear). I think I'd like a little more thump. But, would also like it to be serviceable for deer as well by going with a smaller grain bullet. I'm giving serious consideration to the .444, 45-70, and maybe the 308/338 Marlin Express (although those I'm concerned about ammo, as only Hornady seems to make them). Does anybody have any experience and advice with the larger caliber lever actions?

Don Fischer's picture
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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3190
Brush gun advice

Welcome to BGH!

I'm not so sure a brush gun is so much about caliber as it is about handling. The shorter lever actions will certainly handle great. Of the cartridge's you choose, do you handload? I don't buy factory ammo but I hear it's also hard to come by now. Seems like the only ones without ammo problems are handloaders and they have component problems. The .444, 45-70 and 308/338Marlin Express might be hard to come by. But if I were to choose one I think I'd get the 338 Marlin. Or if you coul;d find one the 358 Win. I think that both are made on the 308 Win case and if you decided to handload,assuming you don't now, cases are easy to come by. Both those cartridges use very good bullets also.

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Location: eastern Washington
Joined: 03/02/2009
Posts: 40
Brush gun advice

I have a marlin in the 444p it is obviously a 444. This rifle is very short and is perfect as a saddle gun.

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Location: Curlew Washington
Joined: 10/17/2009
Posts: 29
Brush gun advice

450 Marlin.

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Location: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02/04/2009
Posts: 11
Brush gun advice

My vote is the 450 Marlin or 45-70 with 350 or 405 bullets loaded to 1800 to 2000 fps.

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Joined: 10/24/2009
Posts: 2
Brush gun advice

From what i read that 338 & 308 marlin sound pretty good, just a little long for the brush. On the other hand the the 45-70 & 450 marlins are perfic until you get to a clear cut.

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Location: Curlew Washington
Joined: 10/17/2009
Posts: 29
Brush gun advice

We were shooting a friends 450 last Sunday out to 260 yards at a medium sized rock. About the size of a tire. We had no problem hitting it after a few shots. All shots were within a few inches of the rock.

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Joined: 11/29/2009
Posts: 9
Brush gun advice

Look into a Springfield armory Socom in 308. I think it has the shortest barrel you can get away with and still be legal, making it a good brush gun....

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