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Most Versatile Medium Bore

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/26/2011 at 16:33
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As I am sure you all know those of us in the UK are strictly limited in the number of firearms we are allowed to own. I have a 6.5x55 that I use for my all round small predator, deer, goat and sheep rifle, and I am now looking for the most versatile medium bore to add to my battery. We don't tend to use medium bores very much over here, so I was hoping from some feedback from hunters in the US as to the most versatile cxp3/dangerous game round. I hope to use it for boar shooting in UK and Europe and future travelling taking in as many quarry species as possible, avoiding any overlap with my 6.5x55. Ideally I would like a lever action, and have been looking at a Browning BLR in 358 Win.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/26/2011 at 22:03
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358 is kinda anemic ..Why a lever action ?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/26/2011 at 22:07
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I'm not sure about the most versatile medium bore, but just wanted to say that I like your choice of the Browning BLR.  I've got one in 450 Marlin and I love it.  Big Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/26/2011 at 22:09
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I am not deeply familiar with your restrictions. Can you have a rifle with multiple barrels? There are switch barrel kits out there... For example a Savage action could have any number of barrels attached to it for the mission at hand. Not a lever action though...

.35 Whelen comes to mind, if you roll your own ammo. There a many many .358 projectiles that could be used for a variety of hunting or target scenarios. I guess rifle ammo is a real specialty item, at best, in the UK.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/26/2011 at 22:41
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I would prefer a bolt .338 Win., but I believe you can get a BLR in .325 WSM, which is ballistically similar to a .338.  The .358 is a fine, short range round, but the .325 is more versatile.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/27/2011 at 03:09
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Our licensing laws are calibre specific- you are permitted to own a rifle of a named calibre for a named purpose. So barrel changing is not an option. This is why I am after something as versatile as possible.

 

I would like a lever action for two reasons, one practical and one, umm, less practical. The less practical reason is that I handled one while travelling in the US and just really want to own one. The practical reason is that I want this to be as fast handling as possible to allow for both future dangerous game hunting and also for driven boar shooting in Europe. We don’t tend to use lever actions over here but my understanding is that with significant practice they are quicker handling than a bolt action. Semi autos are illegal over here.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/27/2011 at 05:05
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After hearing your limitations all I can say is Thank God for the NRA.Best wishes & I hope you guys get your arms freedom back!

If you are going to a lever action how about a 45-90 Marlin?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/27/2011 at 05:13
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   My neighbor just got a deal on a new Marlin GG in .450 Marlin w/3 boxes of ammo ($40 a box around here) for $400.
 
   Are we talking "dangerous game" as in Africa?  If so we need to talk .375 caliber and up (9.3x62 in some countries for some game).
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/27/2011 at 05:29
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Not a big medium bore user myself as I am pretty much a varmint and whitetail hunter myself. The 358 has a following here in the U.S. but it is relatively small. Since you are going to travel with your rifle I would pay consideration to availability of ammo where you plan to go as I understand your ownership laws are not only strict but moving around with can also be troublesome. The 338 already mentioned is the most popular medium here in the US is probably the most popular but recoil will be high. For boar I might just consider the trusty 30-06 with the heavy 220 grain bullets. I really can't imagine the 358 is much more effective than that. I would also consider the 8x57 if it was loaded to it's potential and not underloaded like in the US. Finally how available is ammo for the various 9.3 caliber rifles to you?   Really for boar one of the most readily available "fast" rifles to you might be a simple 30-06 pump. If fast repeat shots are what you want then the pump is really more natural to me than evan a lever. Just some ideas.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/27/2011 at 06:53
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Thank you all again.
 
Originally posted by powderburn powderburn wrote:

If fast repeat shots are what you want then the pump is really more natural to me than evan a lever. Just some ideas.
 

You might be amused to know that we are not allowed to own pump action centrefires. Also, the French do not allow military calibres (.30-06/.308 etc.), and as France is a key destination for driven boar this is a consideration.

 

Thank you for all the food for thought!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/27/2011 at 08:17
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Yes I see your point. I'll never understand the European adversion to pump acion firearms. The 358 is not a bad cartridge by any means and the little BLR lever is currently avaliable in that round   and so was the savage 99 in the past, so if you can get the ammo it would not be a bad choice.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/27/2011 at 08:44
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For traveling, a Browning BLR take-down may be nice. How about a 300 Win Mag or the 325 WSM?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/27/2011 at 09:27
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Originally posted by Roundhead Roundhead wrote:

Thank you all again.
 
Originally posted by powderburn powderburn wrote:

If fast repeat shots are what you want then the pump is really more natural to me than evan a lever. Just some ideas.
 

You might be amused to know that we are not allowed to own pump action centrefires. Also, the French do not allow military calibres (.30-06/.308 etc.), and as France is a key destination for driven boar this is a consideration.

 

Thank you for all the food for thought!



Lever actions are smoking fast.  Once you spend some time with one it would amaze you how fast you can run that action.  You run the action in recoil and by the time you are on target again you are ready to shoot.

I was hunting elk with my cousin one day and I had my marlin 45-70.  A bull came running out of the trees right towards us.  I dumped two rounds into him so quick my cousin thought I was using my semi auto.

I have a couple Marlin lever guns and really like them.  I would recommend a Marlin in 45-70 or .450 Marlin.  Unless you want to shot traditional pointed bullets then the Browning would be the better choice as they have a box magazine. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/27/2011 at 10:48
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+2 for the 325 wsm in a BLR.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/27/2011 at 12:18
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I own a BLR (Pre '81) in .358 Win. and I like it a lot.  Very quick with a follow up shot.  But with proper shot placement of a 225g Nosler these are seldom needed.  However, for your stated purpose I would have to agree that the BLR in .325 would be a better choice.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/27/2011 at 13:55
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Originally posted by Roundhead Roundhead wrote:

<P style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt" =Msonormal><SPAN style="COLOR: #1f497d; mso-ascii-font-family: Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family: Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi; mso-themecolor: dark2"><FONT face=Calibri>Our licensing laws are calibre specific- you are permitted to own a rifle of a named calibre for a named purpose. So barrel changing is not an option. This is why I am after something as versatile as possible.<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></SPAN>


<P style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt" =Msonormal><SPAN style="COLOR: #1f497d; mso-ascii-font-family: Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family: Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi; mso-themecolor: dark2"><o:p><FONT size=3 face=Calibri> </o:p></SPAN>


<P style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt" =Msonormal><SPAN style="COLOR: #1f497d; mso-ascii-font-family: Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family: Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi; mso-themecolor: dark2"><FONT face=Calibri>I would like a lever action for two reasons, one practical and one, umm, less practical. The less practical reason is that I handled one while travelling in the US and just really want to own one. The practical reason is that I want this to be as fast handling as possible to allow for both future dangerous game hunting and also for driven boar shooting in Europe. We don’t tend to use lever actions over here but my understanding is that with significant practice they are quicker handling than a bolt action. Semi autos are illegal over here.<o:p></o:p></SPAN>



Guess that kind of tosses the barrel swapping idea. I knew about the semi-autos. I don't see the logic of banning a fellow having 6 barrels for his single shot? Oh well.

You don't have to explain the attraction of a lever gun. I love my Marlin. If you are ever back on this side of the pond get someone to take you to a cowboy action shoot!

Throwing "dangerous game" in there really makes me wonder about the best caliber.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/28/2011 at 01:05
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The .325 hasn't really taken hold in the USA.  Neither has the .450 Marlin.  You aren't likely to find either on the shelves in a foreign country if your ammo doesn't make it onto your flight.
 
If you reload and get either, you should stock up on brass.
 
I might be more inclined to get a .300 WSM or .300 Win Mag in the BLR (which is a fine rifle, by the way...and the takedown feature is really appealing).  The .300 WSM is a lighter handier version of the BLR, while the .300 Win Mag BLR is longer, heavier, and probably has somewhat more power. 
 
If you are willing to settle for a Marlin rifle, the .45-70 has been around (and will be around) for a very long time.  With heavy loads, this should be a real boar-stopper.
 
Real dangerous game hunting (except for bears, an occasional nasty boar, and crocodilians) is pretty much confined to Africa.   An African dangerous game safari is a specialized trip calling for specialized rifles.  You are probably talking about a bolt-action rifle in .375 or bigger.  Be prepared for some serious recoil.  This is not a rifle you will enjoy using for general hunting, unless you load it down. 
 
You can slap the bolt open and closed very fast on certain bolt-action rifles (such as the Remington) if you use the palm of your hand.  You should keep the rifle mounted and ready to fire when you do this, after an important  preliminary check to make sure the bolt stops short of your eye.   
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/30/2011 at 04:53
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/15/2011 at 19:05
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Browning BLR  300 Win Mag. Thunbs Up You should be able to purchase 300 Win Mag cartridges anywhere in the world as it is a primary sniper cartridge and long time hunting cartridge.  If you can find ammo the 300 WSM is about 50 fps slower but ammo is harder to find.
I like the stainless Marlin guide guns in  45-70 also  and of those I like the one with the large loop lever and full length tube mag with short barrel but they are hard to find Ive seen some in blue but I would want the stainless.   1895 SBL  model
Anything truely dangerous you need  .375 H&H or  416 Rigby or a 458 Lott etc. But a 45-70 can be loaded pretty darn hot almost as hot as 458 Win Mag running the same  bullet.  You can load a 45-70 with black powder too as that is what it was originally designed for and you can hand cast bullets for it so it is a very versitile caliber but trajectory drops like a rock its at most a 160 yd gun where the 300 Win Mag is a 1000 yd plus gun.


Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - July/15/2011 at 19:15
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2011 at 10:34
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Howdy Roundhead,
I think you nailed it with your choice of BLR in .358 Win.
I disagree that the .358 is anemic... they're around .30-06 power and that's nothing to sneeze at.
A 200 gr. at over 2600 fps or 220 gr. at over 2400 fps is anemic for big ol' boars/bears?
Both .358 Win and the .325WSM would make a good rifle for just about any game animal on the planet, but if you want to go to Africa, you might want to step up to a thicker bullet. Some BLR models also come in .450 Marlin, which is like a .45-70 in power. While not exactly medium bore, it better fits your description of a dual- purpose rifle.
Keep in mind that all loads would have to be with flat- point bullets... an extra hindrance to finding 'magnum' ammo, .300 Win would probably be the best choice for ammo selection

Marlin makes a few interesting lever actions in both .450 and .444 Marlin.
.45-70 Gov't was a military cartridge, so that might be off the table.
Winchester doesn't seem to offer much in the mid-bore lever rifles except in .38-55 and .348 Win calibers. Both would under- perform the .358 Winchester. I've no idea why they don't chamber the .375 Win anymore as it's better than the .38-55.
Winchester does offer some interesting calibers in their single- shot lever rifles.
Ruger offers their #1 single shot lever rifle in a wide array of calibers, as well, but single shot?

I think your idea of a fine medium bore .358 Win lever rifle for European game is just right, but for a dangerous game rifle -ala 'African' dangerous game- you might be talking 2 rifles.
Some locales in Africa won't allow hunting of dangerous game with less than a .375. You'd definitely want to step up to the .450 Marlin, but for the really bad boys, no need to fool around- I'd be nervous packing a 'mere' Lott.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2011 at 19:03
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45-70 and 450 Marlin are essentially the same thing if you reload it is just a slightly different case. The idea here was to get everything that modern firearms were capable of out of the 45-70 where old 45-70 guns were not as strong as current production. If a guy has a strong 45-70 like the stainless Marlin Guide gun or a Thompson Center  Encore or a Ruger #1 the cartridge can be loaded plenty hot and offers huge flexability.  You really are not into an african cartridge until you get to  375 H&H.  The 375 H&H is a fine choice and quite flexable now that some lighter weight bullets have become available to load. Still if a guy is going to hunt most game The 300 Win Mag is the solution as I can easily drop something at 600 + yds where a 45-70 is a 160 yd gun.  The trajectory of the ammo really should be considered.  The 338 Win Mag is also a fine choice as it retains almost as much energy at distance as a 375 H&H and the 338 Win Mag seems to be the favorite in Alaska for hunting were bears are a constant worry. One really must ask ones self - can I find ammo for this caliber everywhere in the world
.308 = yes     30-06=yes     300 Win Mag = yes   .375 H&H = yes 
 
8shots could probably tell us more about ammo available in Africa.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2011 at 22:04
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i think the .375 is the only medium bore you need period.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2011 at 20:28
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Originally posted by pyro6999 pyro6999 wrote:

i think the .375 is the only medium bore you need period.
Yeah, you and your .375! When are you gonna let me take 'er out for the weekend?

If they fit that H&H into a BLR, it would get the nod for best mid- bore. Gotta go with what you got.

By the way, Roundhead- Welcome to OT!
I misspoke, earlier. I had Marlin on my mind when I mentioned flat- point bullets- not needed with a BLR and box magazine. All apologies.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/22/2011 at 06:57
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   OR one of these in .270 or .30-06 bored out and rechambered for the 9.3x62.
 
   BLR Lightweight Stainless with Pistol Grip
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2011 at 09:48
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Originally posted by Alan Robertson Alan Robertson wrote:

Originally posted by pyro6999 pyro6999 wrote:

i think the .375 is the only medium bore you need period.
Yeah, you and your .375! When are you gonna let me take 'er out for the weekend?

If they fit that H&H into a BLR, it would get the nod for best mid- bore. Gotta go with what you got.

By the way, Roundhead- Welcome to OT!
I misspoke, earlier. I had Marlin on my mind when I mentioned flat- point bullets- not needed with a BLR and box magazine. All apologies.

if you want it, come and get it my friend.
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