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Shooting & Reloading - Mausers, Big Bores and others >> Rifles

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Ripp
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Top-5-lever-action-rifles-of-all-time???
      #306308 - 13/10/17 12:15 AM

https://www.americanhunter.org/articles/...m_campaign=1017

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Daryl_S
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Re: Top-5-lever-action-rifles-of-all-time??? [Re: Ripp]
      #306320 - 13/10/17 04:21 AM

They missed the best one, the 1876 Centennial in .50/95.

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Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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Al333
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Re: Top-5-lever-action-rifles-of-all-time??? [Re: Daryl_S]
      #306326 - 13/10/17 05:08 AM

My vote would go to the 1886 and the 92. Granted the 86 is a little heavy, but one of John's better actions. Al

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Daryl_S
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Re: Top-5-lever-action-rifles-of-all-time??? [Re: Al333]
      #306328 - 13/10/17 05:55 AM

Yeah - the 86's were great rifles.
Bro has one of the Browning 86's, as well as a Pedersoli 86/71, both in .45/70. The Ped has a pistol grip, beautiful stock and handles really well, quick to swing and attain a good sight picture - NICE hunting rifle. The Browning is not as smooth in the action and with it's full length octagonal barrel, is overweight.
My 76 is overweight as well - 11.4 pounds when loaded, 10.4 pounds when empty.
The Pedersoli handles beautifully in comparison.

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Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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Homer
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Re: Top-5-lever-action-rifles-of-all-time??? [Re: Al333]
      #306351 - 13/10/17 11:47 AM

Quote:

My vote would go to the 1886 and the 92. Granted the 86 is a little heavy, but one of John's better actions. Al




+1 but then...... I'm horrendously biased!

Doh!
Homer

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"Beware the Lolly Pop of Mediocrity,
Lick it Once and You Will Suck Forever"


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Wayne59
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Re: Top-5-lever-action-rifles-of-all-time??? [Re: Homer]
      #306353 - 13/10/17 11:59 AM

I would have dropped the Henry and went with the 1873 win. Simply because of the varying chamberings and the length of the production run.

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Grenadier
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Re: Top-5-lever-action-rifles-of-all-time??? [Re: Wayne59]
      #306356 - 13/10/17 12:36 PM

The author included the Marlin 1895 in the list. But they should have listed it as Marlin 336 instead. The Marlin 1895, 444, .450M, and .308MX are just different caliber variations of the model 336. They're all the same rifle. They share the same receiver. The bigger bores have fatter barrels and fatter magazine tubes, and the loading gates and ejection ports are altered for each caliber. But those are the same types of variations used to offer any rifle in different calibers, including Winchester Model 70, Remington 700, FN Mauser, the AR-15.

It's interesting to note the Marlin has never had a break in production and is the only rifle in the list that is still being made.

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SharpsNitro
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Re: Top-5-lever-action-rifles-of-all-time??? [Re: Grenadier]
      #306360 - 13/10/17 01:33 PM

Agreed on the 1886 and 1892. An interesting spin on the design is what Bighorn Armory in Wyoming is doing, they have a midsize action that chambers the 500 and 460S&W rounds. They also have one for the 454.

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Ripp
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Re: Top-5-lever-action-rifles-of-all-time??? [Re: SharpsNitro]
      #306365 - 13/10/17 02:14 PM

Quote:

Agreed on the 1886 and 1892. An interesting spin on the design is what Bighorn Armory in Wyoming is doing, they have a midsize action that chambers the 500 and 460S&W rounds. They also have one for the 454.




http://www.bighornarmory.com/catalog/big...a-454-casull-8/

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NitroXAdministrator
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Re: Top-5-lever-action-rifles-of-all-time??? [Re: Ripp]
      #306373 - 13/10/17 06:32 PM

Interesting article. The only lever action I own is an odd one compared to most of them, the Browning BLR. Mine is in .308 Winchester. Surprisingly accurate, trigger is not bad, and fast to shoot. Carbine length, good to close bush hunting. I can shoot it more or less as fast as a semi auto, if talking about quick aimed shots, not just pulling the trigger.

I like the list in the article.

I could see a Winchester 94 in .30/30 in the safe. Amazed if they are no longer being made!!! Whatever has happened to you Americans!

A Savage in .22 Hi-power and/or .250/3000 would be nice.

A Henry LA in some usuable cartridge in modern times would be cool.

A Winchester 1895 in .405 Winchester would be cool.

Not that interested in the Marlins. Even though they do make a nice woods rifle for bigger game in .45/70.

And of course one day some one may leave be a Sako Finnwolf in .308 in their will.

And for when the zombies arise, the world turns to shit, everyone should have a revolver and a leaver action in a common pistol cartridge. A good survival idea is a handgun and a rifle with the same cartridge.

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John aka NitroX

...
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


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Homer
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Re: Top-5-lever-action-rifles-of-all-time??? [Re: NitroX]
      #306374 - 13/10/17 06:54 PM

G'Day Fella's,

Thanks for sharing Ripp, Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Donuts!

A good mate of mine (HH), has a Rossi (?.... an 1892-ish copy) in .454 Casull.
It is a hand full, off the bench!

Avagreatweekendeh!
Homer

--------------------
"Beware the Lolly Pop of Mediocrity,
Lick it Once and You Will Suck Forever"


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Grenadier
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Re: Top-5-lever-action-rifles-of-all-time??? [Re: Homer]
      #306378 - 13/10/17 10:59 PM

The Winchester 94 was an iconic symbol of the American west and the American hunter. But during the last several years of production, Winchester was having most versions the Model 94 made for them in Japan.

You bring up a good point, John, about the BLR. They are incredibly accurate for a lever action rifle. I have owned five of them over the years. Two were in .308 but I had one of those rebored to .338 Federal. Two were in .358 - oh did they kick. One was is .243. All were the older, slender steel version (pre-1981) that many people are on the lookout for. For some reason I get one, have lots of fun with it, then sell it after 2-3 years only to get another one again later. I don't own any now but I'll probably end up going through the drill again. I wonder if that's a recognized syndrome.

As to the Marlin, I think you're selling it short. They eject to the side so they can be fitted with scopes, top mounted aperture sights, red dots, and Picatinny rails that can attach all sorts of things. The Marlin is stronger than the Winchester 94. When Winchester offered theirs in .375 Winchester and .444 Marlin calibers they had to reinforce the rear of the action with so much material it made the rifle look like a pregnant teenager. The Marlin doesn't need any reinforcement for those and other big cartridges because it is already strong enough to handle them. Marlin also makes a stainless steel version of their rifle and where I live that's a real plus. Winchester offered some 94s that were plated in nickel, chrome, gold (yes!), and other materials but all of those have a tendency to flake if you use them much at all.

The Marlin rifle is also very easy to adapt to other cartridges. Custom shops offer a wide assortment of specialty big bore chamberings and wildcatters can roll their own Marlin loads with a simple rechamber or barrel change.

The .405 Grenadier wildcat is just one example. I think you will appreciate a couple of loads I shoot in my rebarreled Marlin 1895:
  • 300 grain Woodleigh .412" SN, 49.8gr IMR 3031 --- 2138 fps/3045 ft lbs
  • 400 grain Woodleigh .411" SN, 39.5gr RE-7 --- 1871 fps/2818 ft lbs (its a freight train!)

Yes, I think you're selling the Marlin short.

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Igorrock
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Re: Top-5-lever-action-rifles-of-all-time??? [Re: Grenadier]
      #306381 - 14/10/17 02:12 AM

They just forget SAKO Finnwolf:



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Maxim
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Re: Top-5-lever-action-rifles-of-all-time??? [Re: Igorrock]
      #306386 - 14/10/17 05:09 AM

Have had my hands on a large number of Marlins and Winnies in my life. The Marlin in .35 was cool but reloading for it presented a problem of light primer strikes and I fussed with the die to get proper head space as it head spaced on the shoulder to solve it. A friend has a 32.20 and that is a sweet shooter. I have a late 94 'Ranger" plain Jane 30.30, nice and shoots well and real fun with cast or jacketed. Never took a deer with the 30.30 but mountains of them have fell to it. This Ranger ejects more to the side it would work scoped without the off set. At the gun shows there are always a bunch, some well worn from days afield. I like mine iron sighted as they were intended to be. To me, Marlin or Winchester...no matter.

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Daryl_S
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Re: Top-5-lever-action-rifles-of-all-time??? [Re: Maxim]
      #306389 - 14/10/17 06:28 AM

One must/should be careful with die settings for ANY rifle, more so with rimless cartridges.

Creating excessive headspace is more common today than it used to be - seemingly with companies keeping and re-sharpening die cutting reamers past their useful life.

If sharpened (shortened) past their useful safe life, they make the FL die undersize in the neck and short & tight in the body, thus with lads setting the shell holder to touch the die's base (as used to be printed - ie: Lyman #44 and 45 loading manuals, the reloader pushed the shoulder back creating excessive headspace for their rifle.

Full length sizing does not mean pushing the shoulder back as that should not be necessary as the case will shrink approx. .001" after firing - this clearance is enough.

If a fired case will not re-chamber in THAT rifle, the chamber is either oval in shape, or the load was too hot for that rifle & brass, thus exceeding the elastic limits of the brass in that rifle. If it does not shrink back that thousandth's of an inch, proper limits have been exceeded. BR shooters are prone to doing this and needing to "bump" the shoulders of their cases, from time to time.

I have never had to do that, as neck sizing only works in all my rifles- yet some think MY loads are too hot & they may be, but - neck sizing is all I ever have to do.

Cartridges like the .35 Rem and .35 Whelen must be carefully sized. Failure to do carefully & properly adjust dies may produce excessive headspace, thus create weak primer strikes, case head separations. excessive headspace also produces backed out primers in low pressure rounds, for instance those producing less than about 45,000psi.

Excessive headspace may be a rifle problem or created through improperly adjusted dies.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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Maxim
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Re: Top-5-lever-action-rifles-of-all-time??? [Re: Daryl_S]
      #306393 - 14/10/17 07:16 AM

You are absolutely correct. I also have experience with the .35 Whelen and the decrease in the amount of shoulder for headspacing after expanding the neck to .35. .257 Roberts Ackley Improved as well. There can be a a lot of reamer variations, particularly in wildcats.

Fortunately, for the topic of this discussion, Levers are not too quickly wildcatted.
One I have not fired is the Savage. I shall have to root one out and fling a few rounds downrange. I always thought they are so elegant.


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Daryl_S
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Re: Top-5-lever-action-rifles-of-all-time??? [Re: Maxim]
      #306409 - 14/10/17 12:14 PM

The early 99's were quite elegant, but got humpy in the tang area, later on, though.

I shot a whack of jackrabbits near MooseJaw Sask. while I was in basic training, using a .300 Savage M99 - one from the 50's or 60's iirc. Couple coyotes too.

I used 110gr. Hp's driven close to or just over 3,000fps. Worked a treat, but not much left of the bunnies for 'fare'- ended up being dog food on the cousin's ranch.

The 99's were good rifles too. Classics, just as the 95's were.

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Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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NitroXAdministrator
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Re: Top-5-lever-action-rifles-of-all-time??? [Re: Grenadier]
      #306422 - 14/10/17 07:12 PM

Quote:

All were the older, slender steel version (pre-1981) that many people are on the lookout for.




Mine is also the older model. The newer model leaves me cold. Not interested in that newer model BLR at all.

Quote:

As to the Marlin, I think you're selling it short.




I just think they are ugly. And do not have the "cowboy" look. Which the Winchester 94's and 92's usually do. A half and half look. So I would go for a Win 94 or 92 or somewhich different like a Win 95 or Finnwolf instead.

A Finnwolf or older model BLR rechambered in .338 Federal would be quite cool.

--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


Edited by NitroX (26/10/17 05:56 AM)


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CarlsenHighway
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Re: Top-5-lever-action-rifles-of-all-time??? [Re: NitroX]
      #306698 - 23/10/17 12:04 AM

I don't think much of that list - the top lever actions of all time doesn't include either the Winchester 73 or the Winchester 1892? that's ridiculous!

(No surprises though, the writer says he doesn't even care about lever actions in the first paragraph! Which is the same thing as admitting he doesn't know anything about them. No wonder he's got so many Marlins on the list.)


It is interesting to see that all of them are still being manufactured apart from the Savage 99 and the Winchester 95.

I like the Winchester 92. Winchester made a million of them - but the Spanish made a pretty good quality version from about 1920 called the El Tigre, of which they made a million too. These El Tigre rifles were so popular in South America that they directly inspired Rossi in Brasil to continue making an 1892 carbine, which they are still making. (By now Rossi have been making model 92's for longer than Winchester ever did.)
When you lump in the modern Browning company version, and the Winchester brand ones they do today in Japan, the total numbers of the 1892's manufactured worldwide must be at least three times the number usually quoted.

The Winchester 94 is still current production for Winchester and being made by Miroku in Japan, another version is made by Mossberg, and most recently this year Pedersoli have announced they are making an 1894 model too. I would get a Pedersoli made 94 carbine in .38-55 in a heartbeat...

While the Winchester 1873 has been recently started up again by Winchester (at Miroku), more familiarly the Uberti rifles dominate Cowboy Action Shooting. I have one myself in .44/40 which I use for deer hunting with black powder loads.

The 1866 Yellow Boy is going stronger now than it ever did in the 19th century I would warrant, with fine quality rifles being made by Uberti, and now also under Winchester's name too.

Pedersoli are still doing '86 rifles and also their Winchester model 71 version, while Winchester are once more making 1886's too, trying to compete with the Italians, although the prices are too high for the average shooter I think.

Marlin are still around despite the buy out, and a factory and staff change that caused them some quality issues. The Marlin 336 is still selling well I believe.

I never 'got' the Savage 99. I had one briefly. I always thought them an ugly rifle, and being a shallow person, found it difficult to get past that. If I was to get another one, it would have to be one of the old straight stock versions from the 1920's or so; with a tang sight.

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Daryl_S
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Re: Top-5-lever-action-rifles-of-all-time??? [Re: CarlsenHighway]
      #306700 - 23/10/17 04:10 AM

As to 'originals', the 1881 Marlin was pivotal in the lever gun development as it showed that the military's ctg., the .45/70 could be chambered in a lever gun.

Winchester's breakthrough into this same line was held back until Johnathon B. invented the 86, in 87, seems to me.

There were some Winchesters that should have been there, for sure, but also the rifle that started it all.

The First successful Lever gun.

"Designed by Benjamin Tyler Henry in 1860, the Henry was introduced in the early 1860s and produced through 1866 in the United States by the New Haven Arms Company."

At cowboy action shoots, I have shot my bro's Henry, a reproduction in .45 Colt - what a fun gun to shoot, but it is slower than his .45 Colt Lightening - for me.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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