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Opinions wanted for lever gun...

667 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  B_Koes
Howdy pards...

I'm wantin' to add a long range lever gun to the stable and I'm lookin' fer a few opinions. I thought that I had it all figgerd out, but now I've gots my doubts.

The two ponies in this race are....

1. Marlin 336 Cowboy .38-55
2. Marlin 1895 Cowboy .45-70

The two requirements are that it must shoot well out to 200m and I can shoot it well for at least 50 shots.

I have never shot a .45-70 with smokeless powder from a lever action rifle and didn't know how bad the kick would be. I have shot a Sharps with a heavy octagon barrel off the bench using 500gr projectiles and that didn't seem too bad.

So there ya have it...I'm at a loss as to which one I would rather have. I sort of like the fact that the .45-70 has standardized on a bore size and I like the history of the cartridge...not to mention that it could take down any rampaging animal on the continent without too much trouble.
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At that range I think most will agree that the 38-55 is the way to go. I like it also but have noticed for the most part componenets are cheaper for the 45-70. I'm a cost, I'm a cheap guy. You should be happy with either. Good choices. I'm never any help am I?
My problem is that I never hav enough money :) There was an engraved winchester 94 in 38-55 that came through my local gunstore (pawn shoppe) that I fell in love with!! I just couldn't swing it financially. What's this got to do with your question?? Not much, I just wanted to fuss. :-D
Seriously, I'm a fan of the 38-55, I really want one, but I have a 45-70 and won't trade it for the 38-55. So I guess by elimination, I prefer the 45-70 if I can only have the one. It is a venerable old cartridge that, like the 30-06, can be loaded WAY up or WAY down. The cowboy is a pretty light rifle for 45-70 but even still can be quite comfortable to shoot with 35 or so grains of 3031 and a 350 to 400 grain bullet, this load is safe for trapdoor, if that gives you an indication. I believe the cowboy is ballard rifleing, which might give some edge if you should want to consider shooting black powder in the future. The 336, I believe to be button rifled, and I have no experience in shooting cast bullets through this type of rifleing. Someone else will tell ya how well that does or does not work.
Man, don't it make you wish you could have both!!! :-D :-D :-D

Well, how did I do at talking a lot and saying nothing!!?? :)
Let us know which you decide, always intrested in pards getting new guns, it helps when I can't get a new one for myself!
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Both guns are listed on Marlin's website to have Ballard style rifling so they should both be "cast bullet" friendly. I've got the notion that the .45-70 would be the choice if I could only be sure that I wouldn't get flinchy after a day of shooting.

Of course, there is that nice sleek .38-55 cartridge...darn it, there I go again. Just as conflicted as ever. I just might debate this in my mind for so long that both guns and cartridges go out of existence before I'm able to make up my mind!
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