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Lever action; which one?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2008 at 13:07
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Ok you experienced lever boys.....Since I have never owned (but fired) lever rifles many times, I am going to branch out to include a lever action when hunting hogs and larger game.
 
Barrels of 20" or less, or the "Squeezer Special" rule must apply here, especially to me! I gotta maintain my rep around here!....Big%20GrinBig%20GrinBig%20Grin 
 
The choices are;
 
Marlin Guide Gun, 18.5" barrel, 45-70 (blued).
    "         "      "        "         "         "          "     (stainless).
Marlin Guide Gun. 18.5" barrel, 450 Marlin (blued only), N/A in stainless.
 
OR,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
 
Browning BLR, 20" barrel (takedown), 450 Marlin w/straight grip; scout scope
      "          "      "      "             "              "              w/ pistola grip; scout scope
 
The Brownings are the same 7 lbs. as the Marlins. Brownings are 40" in OAL, while the Marlin Guides are 37"........Tubular loading for the Marlins and detachable box loading for the Brownings........
 
Correct me if I`m wrong. For action strength, the bolt type action for the Browning BLR would have the advantage over the Marlin? Yes? No? Maybe so?
 
The BLR takedowns would have an advantage in storage and cleaning ease?
 
What concerned me was the takedown`s accuracy consistency. I did chat with a Browning factory rep, who explained to me that because of its takedown design, the BLR won`t lose any accuracy. He also reminded me that one always needs to re-zero any rifle at camp anyway, after which, don`t break the BLR down until after the hunt is over.... DAAAA! I shoulda thought of that one! Loco...........
 
What is better in your opinions, the Marlin`s tubular loading or the BLR`s detachable box loading?
 
Which lever action design is better?........For reliability? For smoothness?
 
Although I`m not a big wood stock fan, both have the wood..... Oh well!......But I will say that the BLR wood is certainly very purrrrdy!
 
The Marlins use a skimpier and harder recoil pad (must be changed), while the BLR`s use a much softer and nicer one (no change required).
 
The advantages go to which one and why?.........................Ok guys! Have at it!  
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No experience with the Browning only with the Marlins & Winchesters

1895M in 450M , 18.5 " (straight stock), and 1895 in 45-70 in 22" (pistol grip)
M94 in 444, 17.75" barrel
 
None scoped.
 
- the Winchester to me carries the best, slimmer thru the receiver but kicks like a SOB when sighting it in shirt sleeves.  If I handloaded would probably pick the 45-70 but I don't so 450 fills the bill if a want power loads for bruins - can't get Garrett or Buffalo Bore here.
 
Have not had feed issues with any of these, all are wood stocked and could benefit by switching to limbsavers.  Recoil no issue on any when hunting in cool weather.  They are all fun to play with and any would be potent for hogs, deer, moose at reasonable ranges. 
 
Have not had experience yet with the Puma in 454.  Will let you know if I ever get up to the camp to wring it out.


Edited by Dogger - July/23/2008 at 13:47
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2008 at 13:32
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Squeezer, are you going to reload?  Hogs and deer hunting, or is there "bigger" game you want to test it against?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2008 at 13:57
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Originally posted by Kickboxer Kickboxer wrote:

Squeezer, are you going to reload?  Hogs and deer hunting, or is there "bigger" game you want to test it against?

.................I`m a reloading!!..........Yep! Bison, the big bears too!......Got my 300 WSM compact and have a 375 Ruger Howa M1500 on the way. My Ruger Alaskan will be sold to my neighbor........... Thought I`d have some lever fun too!...Although the 375 Ruger certainly is no slouch when it comes to the big stuff, it would certainly overlap in the big game qualifications with the 450 Marlin or the 45-70. Its just a better long range and flatter shooter round than either the 450 Marlin or the 45-70!...............I do like the Marlin Guide gun for its western style cowboy looks, but I also like the design or the inner action workings of the Browning as well as its takedown feature.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2008 at 14:08
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Reloading, I would go with the Marlin.  I am a BIG fan of the "most available ammo you can find" concept.  45-70 is much more "robust" than the .450 Marlin, which is very limited, in my opinion.  The BLR is a really nice rifle, I have a friend who has one in .300Mag and I really like it, but even though the buttpad is better than the Marlin, I found it "less than optimum" for a Browning rilfe...probably still should replace it, at least I would.  The Marlin is an all around great performer...pumps those rounds out consistently as fast as you can work the lever.  Of course the Browning does too.  Reliability is a toss up.  I really like the box magazine, but can live without. 
However, for an all around shooter, I think the Marlin is better in the .45cal range... if you run out of hand loads, you can pretty much find 45-70 ammo anywhere (even in Alabama). 
Looks, I think, goes to Browning, convenience goes to Marlin.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2008 at 14:37
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Originally posted by Kickboxer Kickboxer wrote:

Reloading, I would go with the Marlin.  I am a BIG fan of the "most available ammo you can find" concept.  45-70 is much more "robust" than the .450 Marlin, which is very limited, in my opinion.  The BLR is a really nice rifle, I have a friend who has one in .300Mag and I really like it, but even though the buttpad is better than the Marlin, I found it "less than optimum" for a Browning rilfe...probably still should replace it, at least I would.  The Marlin is an all around great performer...pumps those rounds out consistently as fast as you can work the lever.  Of course the Browning does too.  Reliability is a toss up.  I really like the box magazine, but can live without. 
However, for an all around shooter, I think the Marlin is better in the .45cal range... if you run out of hand loads, you can pretty much find 45-70 ammo anywhere (even in Alabama). 
Looks, I think, goes to Browning, convenience goes to Marlin.   
..............Well! You could say that each have their certain little advantages over the other! As far as the recoil pad issue, a slip on Limbsaver would solve that issue for both I suppose.....Though the Browning is 3" longer (no big deal), they both have the same weight and both should be equally as handy and to carry............Looks wise? Depends on one`s style preference! Brownings IMO, are more elegant, while the Marlins are probably more of the rough it bush type.........That takedown feature of the Browning though is really nice, as it will also fit in my 36.5" long rifle case (really a shotgun break down case), side by side, right next to my 300 WSM compact. I can carry both to the range in the same case!.........While the factory ammo selection for the 45-70 is much greater, for a reloader though, brass and good bullet selections are available for the 450 Marlin. I won`t be seeking out any factory ammo, because I`ll have plenty of reloads.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2008 at 14:40
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You need to just buy both...
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2008 at 14:56
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The Marlin's come with a really nice Decelerator pad on them already.  I love my Marlin 45-70, very nice carry rifle.
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I prefer the look of the Marlin, although the Browning is a fine rifle.  Not a fan of that hump at the rear of the receiver.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2008 at 15:58
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I like the box mag because it doesn't limit the type bullets you use!  If it comes down to a tie in all other aspects, I'd go with the BLR....... but as my avatar suggests, I'm partial to Brownings  Big%20Grin
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Marlin 45/70 it's a classic. 
 
http://www.wildwestguns.com  Try that with a Browning...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2008 at 16:22
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I've always stuck with Marlin for my lever gun. Partly because I'd heard too many stories about Winchester hanging up when someone would throw a partial ratchet being in a hurry and then missing the oppertunity on whatever got them all stirred up. The Marlin seems to have enough spring assist in it's throw to help prevent a hang up. I know that the ones I've had have never miss fed or hung up. That being said If you have no problem paying a Ben or two more you will likely have the best rifle in the Browning. Especially since you are reloading. I believe Browning will give you a better barrel and as mentioned before the box mag will allow you to load any bullet you choose. A quick check at Gunbroker shows that the Marlins are running 400 to 950.00 and the BLR's are 600 to 995.00 Didn't see any 45/70's in the BLR right now. Look forward to seeing your choice.
 
 
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To my eyes, the Marlin looks more like a "classic" lever action rifle.  However, the BLR has a stronger action due to the rotary front locking lug / recessed bolt face design.  It is therefore capable of safely handling higher pressure rounds.  I also like the selection of chamberings with the BLR better, and you don't have to concern yourself with a tubular magazine, so you can use any spitzer bullet you wish.  I think the Browning's lever travel is smoother operating than the Marlin as well.  I'd get the Browning if it were me.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2008 at 17:22
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YOu got a tough decision, 2 nice guns of course.
I like tip69, kickboxer and rifledude's comments.  Buy both you know you'll want the other if you buy just one! but its easy for me to say... otherwise I'd be partial to the BLR, for bullet selection flexibility, no tubular magazine. But I wouldnt get a takedown model, it just bugs me to split a gun in half.  The Marlin is just what a lever action should be, rugged good looks, balanced and a classic, etc but same with BLR.
Here's another to add to the list if your into them; Nice replica gun.. but have not heard much about these ..http://www.uberti.com/firearms/1873_rifle_and_carbine.php
 
Good luck and enjoy making the decision...
 
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Originally posted by Charlie-bolted Charlie-bolted wrote:

Here's another to add to the list if your into them; Nice replica gun.. but have not heard much about these ..http://www.uberti.com/firearms/1873_rifle_and_carbine.php
 


Those are all pistol caliber guns.  Good for plinking and rabbit hunting but not for large dangerous game.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2008 at 18:25
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I like lever guns,,,,Always wanted a Browning BLR, but stuck with Marlins ( and a 94 ) just cause they fit me . I have 2 Marlin 1895's , both in 45/70. I sent the XLR to my gunsmith to cut'r done to 20 inches . I  plan to send it out to Wild West guns and have their trigger kit installed once I get it back. The XLR also now wears a 4200 1.5-6 , which I really like the power range and fit.
On the blued 1895 , I did have a grind to fit Limbsaver installed, and it was a good move. I am gonna swop out the 2.5-8 Vari-X III on the blued 1895 and install a 1.5-6 4200 on it also.
I would go with the 45/70 over the 450 Marlin for the plethora ( good word-huh?) of ammo  available . Mild to Wild-- or in between,, lots of stuff the pick from. Thunbs%20Up


Edited by martin3175 - July/23/2008 at 18:26
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The 45-70 option is the reason I would choose the Marlin over the BLR. I LOVE Browning rifles, but think they missed the boat by not offering the BLR in 45-70 (or 458 LOTT).
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Here's a new twist for you to consider: How about a Winchester model 88 chambered in .284 (my favorite), .308, or .243 . Even more beautiful but pricier - SAKO Finnwolf in .243 or .308 .  - just a thought , and I promise you would LOVE the throw of the actions .
Derek
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Not nearly 'enough gun" for Big Squeeze. He wants a 16" lever action 20mm.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2008 at 20:47
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The thing I hate about some of the newer BLR's is the aluminum receivers.  I know that the older ones had the steel, and I know it adds more weight, but none that you would really notice.  I am a Marlin man myself.  Browning make fine weapons.
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Originally posted by Dogger Dogger wrote:

I prefer the look of the Marlin, although the Browning is a fine rifle.  Not a fan of that hump at the rear of the receiver.
.......................Don`t like those "HUMPS" UH???????............SHHHHHHH! Don`t say that around your wife, girlfriend, honey bunch or female companion!!!!...............Laugh
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2008 at 21:05
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Originally posted by Tip69 Tip69 wrote:

I like the box mag because it doesn't limit the type bullets you use!  If it comes down to a tie in all other aspects, I'd go with the BLR....... but as my avatar suggests, I'm partial to Brownings  Big%20Grin
.......Very true! That is one advantage the Browning has with the box magazines. More pointed bullet variety than just the Hornady Lever Rev ammo that one is restricted to by the tubular magazines....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2008 at 21:08
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Originally posted by silver silver wrote:

Marlin 45/70 it's a classic. 
 
http://www.wildwestguns.com  Try that with a Browning...
.....................I love that one!! But not for $2K!!!!!! A great lever custom though...
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Originally posted by Pred6D 1CD Pred6D 1CD wrote:

The thing I hate about some of the newer BLR's is the aluminum receivers.  I know that the older ones had the steel, and I know it adds more weight, but none that you would really notice. .
+1 well said.
Derek
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/24/2008 at 00:59
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Well guys! I did go and spend some time in comparing the two today.........Is it just me or does the pistol grip feel more,,, wrist or user friendly (more comfortable),,, after shouldering and while aiming??
 
For me anyway, the pistol grip seems more natural and more comfortable than the straight grip. I guess I`m use to the normal pistol grip rifles.
 
The pistol grips are available in the Marlins,,,,,,,,,,Yeah! ONLY IN THE 22" ERS!!!... NOT in a true "Squeezer Special" @ 20" or less! Will I get a longer barrel to get the pistol grip?? Don`t know!
 
In comparing the handling, the slightly longer Browning handled equally as well as the Marlin Guide gun. No advantage there either way!
 
Well! I`ll decide soon but either way, I really cannot lose! I`ll just have to figure out what the best compromises are going to be, based on what I want to do!
 
Thanks so far guys!
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