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Thread: Looking for Recommendations on lever action rifle that uses a hand gun cartridge?



  1. #1
    Tinhorn
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    Looking for Recommendations on lever action rifle that uses a hand gun cartridge?

    The state of Ohio is considering allowing the use of rifles that use pistol cartridges for deer hunting in 2014, currently we can only use shotguns, muzzleloaders and handguns for our gun season. The proposed rifles are the same caliber and use the same straight-walled cartridges that are currently legal for use in handguns. The calibers they may allow are 357 Magnum, .357 Maximum, .38 Special, .375 Super Magnum, .375 Winchester, .38-55, .41 Long Colt, .41 Magnum, .44 Special, .44 Magnum, .444 Marlin, .45 ACP, .45 Colt, .45 Long Colt, .45 Winchester Magnum, .45 Smith & Wesson, .454 Casull, .460 Smith & Wesson, .45-70, .45-90, .45-110, .475 Linebaugh, .50-70, .50-90, .50-100, .50-110 and .500 Smith & Wesson. I have no experience with any of these calibers and I would like recommendations on which caliber would be good for me to watch for a good used rifle in to add to my Marlin collection which I started earlier this year with the purchase of a (pre Remington buyout)336 in30-30 which I really like. I would like to find a caliber that should be relatively easy to find ammo for and I don't want to go with a bigger caliber than needed for deer sized game. Thanks for the help.
    msharley and Steve_In like this.

  2. #2
    Gun Wizard
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    Cool

    For deer, you don't want a big bore or when you shoot the animal there might not be much meat left. I thought deer were scarce in Ohio, and for the most part, not very large. I know a guy that shot a doe with a 375 Winchester and he said it was pretty much skin and bone after he blew a hole in it. For buck I wouldn't want anything bigger than a 357, but I am not exactly the great white hunter. The 30-30 is the most popular deer rifle in PA. You should get more comprehensive replies than mine. Sit tight.


    Mike T.
    The difference between Genius and Stupidity is that Genius has its Limitations - Albert Einstein


    Marlin 336a 30-30
    Team 30-30 #918
    Marlin Model 1895 45-70
    Team 45-70 #1231
    (2) Winchester Model 94's 30-30
    (both Pre-64 models)

  3. #3
    Tinhorn
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    You could go with a .357 mag. they are good to about 100 yards. A .44 mag would be good to about 150 -160 yards. either one of those calibers would be good deer calibers. My personal preference is the .44 mag. because it has a little more range and power.

  4. #4
    Site Contributor Super Moderator
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    What distances will you be hunting?

    If you wait long enough you will hear the virtues of every caliber on the list. LOL

    The 357 is good if shots are well placed and the right bullet used. The 44mag accentuates this a fair amount. The 45 Colt with factory ammo is probably somewhere in between. Handloading the 45 makes it an equal to the 44 for deer sized game. Generally speaking these are 100-125yd cartridges.

    The 38-55, 375, 444, and 45-70 are effective also and offer more authority along with higher recoil and ammo cost.

    If you will be taking shots out around 200 yards then the choices start to hover more toward the 375, 444, and 45-70 with factory ammo.

    Of course some of our members can testify that their prowess with xyz caliber and rifle model are exceptions to my very general categorizations above. And they are right.
    papajohn likes this.
    Jeff

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    I vote for the 1894/44mag or the 1895/45-70! Both are Great guns and will fill the freezer for you. Both are readily available and ammo might be the toughest things these days to find for Any/All you listed!? Don't think either is "Overkill", IMO there's no such thing! You want a gun that performs when things don't go "As Planned"!! These are up to the task and won't destroy game with the correct bullets.


    I hope this helps!
    Good luck

    BloodGroove4570
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  6. #6
    Tinhorn
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    Thanks for all the responses, to answer a question asked above , most Of the places I hunt have shots at 100 yards or less but some could be in the 150 range .

  7. #7
    Deadeye
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    I can't imagine why the .30-30 would not be on that list. There are some bizarre calibers listed as "pistol" calibers. Unless they include the TC Contender, they have never been chambered in a handgun and the Contender has been chambered in .30-30 for a long time.
    MM22UC likes this.

  8. #8
    Site Contributor Super Moderator
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    It is actually listing straight wall cartridges, but it is a proposed list at this point I believe.
    Jeff

    "I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me."
    Willard Duncan Vandiver

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cp1969 View Post
    I can't imagine why the .30-30 would not be on that list. There are some bizarre calibers listed as "pistol" calibers. Unless they include the TC Contender, they have never been chambered in a handgun and the Contender has been chambered in .30-30 for a long time.
    Reason being, is because the 30-30 is under .35 caliber. The DNR or whatever they have in OH is attempting to allow rifles to be used while still trying to keep handgun cartridges .35 cal and over. If you really want to see some goofy rifle cartridge regulations, check out Indiana's rules. Indiana game wardens are going to need a set of calipers to measure bullet diameter and case length in the field.
    BFPGW likes this.

  10. #10
    Sidewinder
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    Ohio has some really strange rules for hunting. With that said, a scoped .44 mag. should fill the freezer out to 100 yds. After that I'm not so confident as the trajectory really starts to look like a rainbow. You can find reasonably priced lever guns in .44 mag that won't break the bank and ammo is usually available. You will have terrible time trying to find factory ammo for these: .357 Maximum, .375 Super Magnum (?), .375 Winchester, .38-55, .41 Long Colt, .45 Winchester Magnum, .45 Smith & Wesson, .454 Casull, .460 Smith & Wesson,.45-90, .45-110, .475 Linebaugh, .50-70, .50-90, .50-100, .50-110 and .500 Smith & Wesson. Unless you are a bullet caster and/or reloader, I would stay away from these. None of your options are very flat shooting. .444 Marlin and .45/70 are also good choices but probably over kill for white tail deer.
    SC Reb likes this.


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