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Thread: Which lever / semi / pump rifle, and why?

  1. #1
    Member Flyblown's Avatar
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    Which lever / semi / pump rifle, and why?

    Fellas

    Hoping to gain some experience based insights here to help me with my next new rifle decision.

    99% of my deer are taken in steep but quite open country, old let go farmland a lot of it, running up into bush above about 500m. Usually medium range shooting, 200m-600m, small bore stuff, .243, 6.5CM, .308. After the kill I watch a lot of big fat reds scarper up into the forest and I often think... one day... I’m gonna follow you in there.

    The forest is quite open understory under tall mature regrowth, pretty good light but quite gnarly underfoot. So the deer get a good look at you from quite far and its bloody tough to get real close unless you have enough wind in your face to cover your noise, or you sit up on a good trail to clearings where you know they’re feeding. Really important to put them down fast, if they take off down slope it gets way steep real quick and recovery is a freakin’ pain in the ass. I aim well forwards for the CNS and front lungs, but in the woods time isn’t on my side and sometimes I miss the CNS. So I need a fast follow up option that with practice I can basically double tap ‘em if they don’t go down immediately. There’s some real big suckers in there and a bit of low lying brush to get through sometimes, so a heavy pill seems the go, and not too slow either. There’s also a shed load of pigs in there and some nasty bastards too, my mate has started carrying a short tactical type 12ga when checking the traps after he got charged in there last year.

    Problem is all my rifles are set up for shooting at open country ranges. I need a proper woods gun, short barrel, quick to shoulder, fast reload & follow-up, 1-5x scope or maybe red dot. Probably minimum 200gr capable. Never owned a medium bore or big bore, but have shot plenty. Am pretty conservative about recoil usually, have never forgotten the Marlin 1895 SBL shooting a 405gr pill at 40000+psi, that was a kick all right. But manageable, if you’re use to it, just gotta practice. Options I’m looking at are:

    Lever: Marlin 1895 SBL in .45-70 Govt (18.5" barrel)
    Lever: Browning BLR in .358 Win (20" barrel)
    Lever: Henry All Weather in .45-70 Govt (18.5” barrel)
    Pump: Remington 7600 Carbine in .30-06 (18.5" barrel)
    Semi-auto: Browning BAR in .308 (18" barrel)

    I reload and so far the components for these cartridges look good supply wise, except for the .358 for obvious reasons it being the only rifle still made in this chambering.

    If any of you have advice on which way to go and why, would be good to hear from you.

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    This doesn't help but had a hankering a few years back for the rem pump 308 in the short police version. I even emailed Remington help desk to see what made them better than the civvy jobbies. Stronger springs was one thing-I forget the rest but there was a couple of minor things. Why not the pump in 308?
    The BLR should go alright and a the same goes for the BAR.
    Another classic lever action is the savage 99. they seem to go from none around to 4 in a couple of days on trademe for around the 6-8hundy mark. They are a smoothy.
    You have given some details, and the next gun doesn't quite fit, but have you considered a Rossi 44 mag lever? 240gr pill and out of the rifle pretty stout. Not the same as a 4570 mind you but a super little bush gun.
    The next one is for the old timers sake. Rattly old 303 smle-punchy round and one of the quicker bolts to cycle but not really what you are after either I reckon.

  3. #3
    Member Walker's Avatar
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    30/30 lever gun, don't underestamate the 174grn factory loads. I've seen big elk dropped on the spot out past 100m quick as. With a modern marlin and hand loading you can run higher pressures and run 180grn round noses quicker then factory 170's
    GSP HUNTER likes this.

  4. #4
    Member scotty's Avatar
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    not exactly on your list but almost....... i know where theres a really good blr in 308 for sale if you go down that road......im sure some really knowledgable guys gonna chime in soon with some good advise re calibres and action types

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    I like your thinking on the 358. I,m getting one built on a mod 7 bolt action.

  6. #6
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    I have a Winchester M94 30-30 lever action with a 16 inch barrel, it's a great bush gun but for fast followup you can't beat a semi.

  7. #7
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    BLR in 308, shot lots with one. accurate as hell until you shoot the whole mag rapidly and heat up that slender barrel.
    miss that gun
    Micky Duck and xtightg like this.

  8. #8
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    forgot to say, never a henry. zinc alloy crap. if you want a lever get a rossi, might weigh more but at least its metal not plasticine

  9. #9
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    Sounds like a dreamy hunting block you're on. BLR in 308 would be plenty though the 358 would be cool. They seem reasonably priced these days
    xtightg likes this.

  10. #10
    Member viper's Avatar
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    Hi flyblown, I don't have experience in those calibre's but I do in a couple of those models.
    I had an excellent Rem 7600 pump in 308. I liked it alot as it shot very well and once you learnt to ride the recoil you could harness it into the chambering of the next round.
    The negatives though out wayed the positives for me.
    I found chambering a round into the empty chamber ( hunting super safe , empty chamber till animal seen and time to load ) very bloody noisy , pumps are noisy and it cost me animals.
    I ended up chambering a round and relying on the safety. They are great like a lever gun for standing shooting but not so good at prone position and having to reload for a follow up shot.

    I also had a Marlin in 30-30, hated it. I found the round quite gutless and limited in performance and range. The Marlin was solid but had some annoying features that didn't work for me.
    If it's close range give me a 44 mag all day long, 240 -300 gr of smack down.

    I don't know about the various cals you are asking for and there are some guys on here with a lot of knowledge.
    One calibre you haven't entioned that will do up close and a heavy long range hitter is the Rem 7mm Mag. ??
    Ton's of ammo, ton's of rifle choice.
    xtightg likes this.

  11. #11
    Member Beavis's Avatar
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    Try and find a Valmet .243/.308. I would say an AR in xyz calibre, but it might not be to your taste or outside the budget.
    xtightg likes this.

  12. #12
    Member Flyblown's Avatar
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    Thanks fellas for the ideas so far.

    csmiffy - the Remmy pump is only available in .30-06 as a carbine. Listening to Viper’s comments about noise though kinda puts me off though, exactly the kind of advice I was looking for thanks.

    Hadn’t considered the Savage or Rossi so will look into them. I see the Rossi is available most places. That’s part of the problem, not such a great choice for these types of guns here.

    Walker - Should have said this in the first post, but I’m not gonna go for a 30/30, I want something with a bit more thump. That’s also why I’m shying away from the pistol cartridges in the lever guns like the .44 Mag. If its shooting a 200gr, its gotta ideally be travelling at .30-06 velocity, 2500fps. I had a look at the numbers for the 30/30 and .44 Mag and agree they’re proven alright and bloody good at what they do, but they don’t quite give me the oommppff I want if I don’t smack the animal spot on.

    There’s merit in the 7mm Rem Mag suggestion thanks Viper, the problem Ikve seen with super high velocity in the woods at close range is bullet construction, gotta use hell of a tough bullet to get it to hang together. I haven’t listed any of the magnums for that reason - too fast for my application? Not 100% sure on that one.

    Yeah Beavis, MSSA not really my scene, I did look at the AR10 though just to understand the numbers, don’t know anything about the Valmet. .243 defo too light for this application though.

    Looking for real authority with this rifle, the .308 is on the list in the BAR cos I know I can use 180gr Partitions with a hot load, but to be honest its right at the bottom of the list power wise for what I want this time out.

    I know that sounds bloody daft, not enough power out of a 180gr Partition????But most of us will have seen runners hit with .30cals eh, that’s what I’m trying to eliminate, or reduce the risk to as low as possible without using a .50 BMG. Maybe wishful thinking!

    Interesting that no one has gone into bat for the .45-70 yet, still a bit early, maybe they’re lurking. Funny cos they seem readily available here. I’ve got a ways to go to get comfortable with one of them though, man they kick like a camel in a modern Marlin 1895 that can handle high pressure loads. Far out. But the reason I’m still interested in them is cos of how they clean bowl a 220kg sambar stag! Like Dennis Lillee in a really bad mood.

  13. #13
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    Rossi in 454 Casull will fix most things up. Easy to carry too.
    Overkill is still dead.

  14. #14
    Member Flyblown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7mmwsm View Post
    Rossi in 454 Casull will fix most things up. Easy to carry too.
    That looks interesting. Never even heard of a Casull before. Very interesting looking ballistics. Thanks for the suggestion.

  15. #15
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    Neither the pump or semi are quite to load, I have had both, still have a 6mm Remington in a 742 semi, unless you hunt with just the safety.
    If you don't reload, I would stay away from the .358 win, and I have one and really like it,
    I normally say a lever in 30-30, they are a great bush rifle, carry well, and have plenty of range and power. 45-70 too but it's not a great, if the range gets stretched,
    The BLR, Henry long ranger, are likely good options in say 308, I have a takedown BLR .243 can't warm up to it, only comes in as a spare, on long fly in trips.
    Have you concidered a chopped bolt action, plenty of med bore options, can then be built, say a model 7 on a .358 win. 18" Perhaps.
    It won't matter what you hit them with if shot placement is poor, I've seen a elk, in Canada soak up, 4 shots from a 375 H&H, three were too far back, and the fourth did the job,
    mind you a bigger hole, does let in more light and out more leakage,
    I've seen a few big animals (moose, buffalo) shot with the 220 gr round nose in a 3006, a very effective combo in my view.
    there is a few pump and semi, action rifles around in 9.3x62, if you want a medium bore that's got plenty of power and range, with slightly quicker follow up, I also know of 35 wealan, in pumps and savage has chambered the .358 win in a 99.

    Or spent the $$$$$ on a straight pull bolt action, you be as quick as any pump or lever with sum practice.

    Personally I think you likely going to be better off with compact bush rifle, in with a carbine lever 30-30,308, or a bush pig bolt action, semi and pumps are neither slim or light, and are noisy.
    good luck. There is no perfect bush rifle, boat or woman.

 

 

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