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Best caliber for lever action Whitetail rifle?

Old 08-09-2003, 02:06 PM
  #1  
Fork Horn
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Default Best caliber for lever action Whitetail rifle?

I suspect this has been addressed before but here goes........

After having been a diehard bolt action lover, I' m thinking about buying a lever action rifle with iron sights/peep sight to hunt whitetails here in Michigan. This gun would be used exclusively for that purpose. I just think it would be a fun challenge. I' m thinking about the .35 Rem, .30-.30, .444, .450, .45-70, etc......right now I' m leaning towards the .35 Rem. Is there a reason I should look at something else? I really like the Marlin 336 gun, but am willing to consider other options. Would love other supported opinions!

clattin
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Old 08-09-2003, 03:01 PM
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Nontypical Buck
 
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Default RE: Best caliber for lever action Whitetail rifle?

Browning BLR 7mm-08 or BLR 450 marlin.
Any questions.
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Old 08-09-2003, 03:06 PM
  #3  
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Default RE: Best caliber for lever action Whitetail rifle?

sounds like you listed all the classic lever rounds. if your looking for modern flat shooting look into the browning lever blr. comes in 7mm08 and 308. they also have a long action version with 30-06 and 300 win mag. it has a detachable box that i like also. i would suggest going down to the local store and see how they feel in your hands. good luck with choosing!
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Old 08-09-2003, 03:06 PM
  #4  
Nontypical Buck
 
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Default RE: Best caliber for lever action Whitetail rifle?

If you could find a Savage 99 in 308 you would have a great deer rifle. If you have your heart set on a Marlin then anything other than a 30-30.
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Old 08-09-2003, 03:49 PM
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Default RE: Best caliber for lever action Whitetail rifle?

Calibers for a lever action deer rifle: .35 Rem, .30-.30, .444, .450, .45-70, .308, yes, any of the above would do fine, although for most deer I have seen the .450 Ruger and .45-70 might be a bit much.

I would add the .44 Remington Magnum to the list. I have a Winchester Model 94, 20-inch barrel, in that caliber and " deerly" love it. I can pick off veggie cans at 50 yards at will as fast as I can work the lever.

Of course, there is no real need for anything other than the 30-30 in a lever action deer rifle.
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Old 08-09-2003, 04:50 PM
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Default RE: Best caliber for lever action Whitetail rifle?

I think you are on track with the classic lever action calibers. I use both a .44 and a .45-70. Don' t let people tell you that the old govt round is too much. I bought mine for hunting on public land in norther michigan thinking it would knock the crap out of the deer. It does put them down but no faster than my .25-06 or 7 mag. The big differance is the lack of blood shot meat with the big slow bullet.
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Old 08-09-2003, 05:18 PM
  #7  
Nontypical Buck
 
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Default RE: Best caliber for lever action Whitetail rifle?

Myself, I would go with the 444. The 35 remington would be good too. I wouldn' t look too hard for something " flat shooting" since you want iron sights.

Really about any will do. I just like the 444 because of the knockdown power. The 35 doesn' t have a hard kick at all, so you may want that.
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Old 08-09-2003, 05:31 PM
  #8  
Typical Buck
 
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Default RE: Best caliber for lever action Whitetail rifle?

they are all good short range rifle calibers that you mentioned , personally i' de go for a marlin in anyone of those calibres but i' de still put a scope on it anyway , in certain areas of the woods it can get dark enough to prohibit properly seeing the sights to make a safe shot. just remember to use the caliber you choose to it' s realistic capabilities

BTW-What type of shots are you looking at making , yardage and terrain wise , i had assumed wooded because of the short range cartridges you chose .
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Old 08-09-2003, 06:17 PM
  #9  
Fork Horn
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Default RE: Best caliber for lever action Whitetail rifle?

I like the idea of the BLR but I already have a .270 and 7mm-08....so that' s why I was looking more at the other " brush busting" calibers....not that I think they actually bust through brush at all....I would like to use just pure iron sights or a peep sight rather than a scope just to add the " authenticity" aspect. Plus, I won' t take a questionable shot at a deer, if it' s too dark, then it' s too dark. I won' t wound a deer just cause I can' t see it good.

Most of these shots will be in timber.....50-100 yards, maybe an occasional 150 yard shot across a hay field, but if I' m gonna hunt someplace with longer shots than that, I' ll resort to one of the long bombers.....

Love the ideas guys.....keep em comin'

clattin
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Old 08-09-2003, 06:47 PM
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Default RE: Best caliber for lever action Whitetail rifle?

u left out the 32 special. i own three levers, a 30-30,32 special and a 35. I would have too say the 35 is my favorite. Next on my list will be a 44 mag lever action though.
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