I've been slowly doing research on buying a rifle for hunting and target shooting. Someone suggested to me to look at lever action rifles, as they don't appear to be on the gun banner radar as such. So I've been slowly working my way around the internet looking at lever action rifles.
Do you (or any of your readers, if you're willing to post this) know anything about the Marlin 336 line of lever action rifles? Reviews appear to be generally good. Some notes about some used models having some issues, that the person in question thought was due to Remington manufacture. And they're not overly expensive, at least in comparison to some.
Can you suggest any other lever action rifles I should add to my list to look at? I'm open to suggestions. This will be both my and Hubby's first rifle. We're looking for something to shoot distances in the 100-200yard range. Preferably in a caliber that's (normally) easy to find (I realize there's not much normal about the ammo situation right now). And preferably without being overly expensive.
Well, I own a Marlin 336 in .30-30 Winchester, but it's a 50+ year old rifle - it was my grandfather's deer rifle, and he's owned it at least as long as I've been alive (and I don't think he bought it new right before I was born). I've only shot it once, and 5 rounds at that, but it was dead-nuts accurate at 25 yards with iron sights and ancient ammunition. I've got a Marlin 989 (magazine-fed semi-automatic) and a 39A lever action, both in .22LR. The 989 is finicky - although that may be from having several thousand rounds through it with no cleaning or lubricating whatsoever. The 39A is one of my favorite guns, hands-down.
Mossberg carries a line of lever-action rifles, although they only have them available in .22LR and .30-30. I haven't heard much about the action or reliability; seeing as how Mossberg isn't really known for lever action rifles, there's not a lot of history. They also have a new line out of bolt-action rifles that take AR-15 magazines, their MVP series. Haven't heard much feedback on them, though. One of the nice things about the bolt-action mechanism is that there's a lot less dependence on finding the right ammo the gun "likes" when shooting (my Bushmaster AR-15 will not load anything with a soft point. At all). Also, the less expensive steel-cased ammo shouldn't be an issue; not to mention bolties are much easier to clean... MSRP starts at $681; I would imagine the off-the-shelf price would be under $500 (at least once prices come back down to something resembling normal).
Henry has a few pistol caliber lever action rifles out there, like their Big Boy in .44 Magnum. I've shot a friend's Henry .22LR lever action, and the mechanism is smooth like butter and the gun is quite accurate. Price is pretty decent as well - and with .357 Magnum or .44 Magnum, you're definitely good out to 150 - 200 yards. Rossi - as evidenced by the model 92 I've been testing, also has some lever action rifles in pistol calibers.
One last non-semi-automatic option would be something like the Remington 7600 series of pump-action rifles. They're based on the tried-and-true 870 shotgun pump-action, and even the .30-06 variant doesn't kick too terribly bad. They're only available in hunting calibers, although they do have a G-d's Own Caliber version available. Of course, their fine 700 series of bolt-action rifles is also something to consider.
Any other thoughts on lever guns or other actions out there?
That is all.