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Best lever rifle ever made

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BEAR View Drop Down
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    Posted: 21 December 2018 at 11:13
Certainly many may disagree, but I'd vote hands down for the Winchester Model 71, probably one of the last lever rifles designed (excepting the win 88, which was a sort of bolt action made as a lever).

One of the few commerical rifles ever made that came in only one cartridge, the 348 Win.  And no other rifle would ever be chamber in that cartridge.

The rifle was designed during a post WW-2 period in which US arms probably had the best workmanship.  Cost was certainly a cause for its discontinuation; but the public had falled out of love with lever rifles,  maybe surplus military turn-bolts push it out.

 
An excellent article on the Winchester model 71.





Edited by BEAR - 21 December 2018 at 11:14
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote d4570 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 December 2018 at 11:45
WELL
 I'm very partial to my Marlin 1895 CB 45/70.
It's not a wimpy trap door and is made to shoot modern loads and bullets and sport a scope.
It holds 10 rounds and shoots like a dream.
I get under an inch group at 100 and under 2 at 200 yards.
I run 300 gr. hornady HP ay very close to 2500 fps and Barnes 250s at 2600 fps.
 DONT DO THAT IN YOUR TRAP DOOR.
AND give your self PLENTY of eye relief on the scope, did I ever show you my scar/ 5 stiches over my eye?
Anyway I like the marlin pre Remmy.Clap
Remember: Four boxes keep us free ,the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box, AND the cartridge box
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEAR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 December 2018 at 12:12

Marlins are nice guns, got a 30-30, 35rem and a 44 mag, no safety!

The 348 win cartridge with a Hornady FTX has a BC of .320 and get 2650 fps.  That compares to the  35 Whelen, actually matches the factory load and has a better BC for flatter shooting.  A few of my eastern friends shoot 45-70 marlins and one has a 450 Marlin.  All good but more than needed for deer sized game.  And many have scope scars.


Marlin 336s and their clones, do get slick with wear and some GunSlick; but not a smooth as the winchester 71.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jsgbearpaws1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 December 2018 at 14:02
I still like irons so I'm in the Winchester camp. 94's have a special place in my heart, so too the ugly step-child 95. The 86's and 71's though could bring some heat. I recall an article on the rarest of Winchesters I came across. Seems the largest one they ever made was a special order exhibition grade 86 in 50-150 at the turn of the last century and it could use the smokeless loads available for it....I just cringe at the thought of touching one off with a slim steel butt-plate....YIKES!!
...oh yeah! thats gonna hurt!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jsgbearpaws1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 December 2018 at 14:04
...I have always wanted a modernized lever in 375 H&H....wish in one hand....
...oh yeah! thats gonna hurt!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wing master Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 December 2018 at 00:23
I have always thought the Winchester 1894 was the most classic lever action rifle. I'm old school. I like the 1894 in 30 WCF. 

Wing master
I have always considered myself to be quite the bullshitter, But ocasionally it is nice to sit back and listen to a true professional......So, Carry on.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jsgbearpaws1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 December 2018 at 06:57
Well we can't ignore the Savage either....try as we like. Henry as well. All have a following and good and bad for all.

So just for sgits and higgles, my mind wanders a little from time to...squirrel!...where was I?...Levers are complex clockworks compared to most repeaters. How is it nobody has ever worked up a design that hybridizes both bolt and lever? As the lever drops, the bolt would rotate and slide elegantly back, so to the forward and upward cocking with that last satisfying takeup of the lever would also be the locking the bolt into battery. It could remain with a hammer or go without. Lockup would be better and rimless ammo a breeze.....was just a leaf!....So too the age old argument of tubular magazines and pointed projectiles. We live in an age whereas modularity is strong. A detachable tubular, though ovaled stack magazine would allow the ammo to be loaded angled and stepped, even a 10 round tube would be shorter then the standard carbine forearm and would grant a purchase on the carbine the same as an over-under shotgun....thoughts?
...oh yeah! thats gonna hurt!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 788Fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 December 2018 at 07:35
I had a BLR in 308 done up for my dad a couple of years back. Stock shortened to his LOP and barrel bobbed to carbine length for ease. He likes the box mag as opposed to having to shove rounds through the loading gate. With the rotating bolt the thing is as accurate as any of my bolt hunting guns.

I'm a Marlin guy and have the 1985 GBL. Trapdoor loads work just fine and don't beat the snot out of me.

Leverguns have a special place in the heart of hunters. Keep warm 788
"We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the universe. That makes us something very special." Stephen Hawking 1942-2018
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEAR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 December 2018 at 08:54
jsg, you just described the Winchester Model 88 (replacement for the expensive to produce M71).

The Winchester 88 had a solid frame, front locking 3-lug rotating bolt, side ejection, short throw lever, crossbolt safety, one-piece walnut pistol grip stock, black plastic butt plate, and a steel 4-shot detachable box magazine, 308,243, 284, and 358.  It is often called the lever operated bolt action.  So good it was copied years later in the Sako FinnWolf, and the BLR. 

To boot, the 88 had a trigger that moved with the lever for fast operation.  But while winchester now understood the bolt wave of post WW-2,  the 88 never caught on.  Same with the copy Sako.


Edited by BEAR - 22 December 2018 at 08:56
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jsgbearpaws1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 December 2018 at 17:41
….thus answers the original question!

...oh yeah! thats gonna hurt!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Irish Bird Dog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 December 2018 at 18:38
Lever guns are really neat things! My first CF was an 1894 Win in .32 Spl., that caliber by default cuz there weren't any 30-30's in stock the day me n my dad went to get my first deer rifle at the local Monkey Wards store in our small town. Cost $89.95 new in the box. It now resides in my son's gun safe. Both my wife and several years later our daughter used it for their first deer gun as did my son a few years later again. 
Not sure I can make the call which was/is the BEST lever gun ever made....many have been mentioned already.  I have several from 5 different makers and like them all. Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jsgbearpaws1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 December 2018 at 22:55
Just was browsing through gunbroker….88's and BLR's are fairly reasonable. Wonder if a good smitty could customize a 375 Ruger into one?
...oh yeah! thats gonna hurt!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wing master Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 December 2018 at 00:36
You're right JSG. The 99 Savage is a really nice lever gun. I have been keeping an eye out for one in 250-3000.

Wing master
I have always considered myself to be quite the bullshitter, But ocasionally it is nice to sit back and listen to a true professional......So, Carry on.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEAR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 December 2018 at 07:43
Wing, if you find 2 let me know.

Wanted a brass mag 99 in 250-3000 (aka 250 Savage) for years.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Irish Bird Dog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 December 2018 at 09:00
I agree the Savage M99 is indeed a fine example of a great lever action rifle....as many said ARTHUR SAVAGE was ahead of The times. That being said the 99 with safety button at trigger is NOT LH friendly.

Edited by Irish Bird Dog - 23 December 2018 at 09:01
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEAR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 December 2018 at 09:29
while I rate the Winchester M71 the greatest, a close 2nd is the Winchester 1892.  The 92 is the smoothest lever I've ever shoy, just takes small cartridges.

Mine is in 25-20, wish it was in 218 Bee.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jsgbearpaws1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 December 2018 at 22:59
Just found a nice BLR for 580 bucks in 358...may have to call on that one.
...oh yeah! thats gonna hurt!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEAR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 December 2018 at 10:43
Sounds good to me.  Never saw a 358 that was shot out...too much kick.

Good cartridge, was the rimless replacement for the 348, based on 308, so cases for reloading will always be around.

And the BLR has a rotating bolt, and DM box.  I have heard that most gunsmiths refuse to work on them as they are to complex with too many finely fitted parts.  So if any problems don't let 'buba' play with it send it back to Browning service.

Congratulations.  Look out black bears.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wing master Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 December 2018 at 20:24
Their was a 99 Savage in 250-3000 at a pawn shop locally a couple years ago. It had been refinished but was in good condition. Asking price was over $1000.00. I pointed out the refinish and offered $600. The guy said "we don't accept offers"  I passed. 
Last time I was in that shop, a couple months ago, it was still there. 

That's the only one I have seen locally. 

I'll let you know if I find another one Bear. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 December 2018 at 09:54
I honestly don't "need" another rifle - but if I were to get one, it's probably be a savage m99.                                 
TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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