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Hello all, I'm new to hunting and this forum, and am considering learning to hunt, I've never done so before (I'm 27), as it doesn't run in my family or anything, but anyways, I was wondering how much I should be looking to pay for a lever-action rifle (I read those were better for beginners). Any other suggestions/tips/ideas etc. in general or regarding gear or the like would be appreciated.

Thanks. :smile:
 

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For a new lever action rifle I would guess maybe around $500 new (give or take a couple hundred dollars). Something like a Marlin 336 in 30-30 might be what you are looking for. Or calibers such as the classic 45-70 or the new 308 Marlin Express/338 Marlin Express. If I were to get a new lever rifle it would be in 338 Marlin Express but that's my opinion.
 

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If you are looking for a gun just to start with, you can find some really good used guns from $150-$400 at local guns shops. Then once you get used to shooting, then you can upgrade to a new rifle. If you are only wanting to buy one gun, then I would stay away from a lever action, and get a bolt action chambered in 30-06. It will kill anything in north america, and the ammo is everywhere. Lever action guns are not normally used for long range hunting, 150 yards or less, due to the round bullet shape. They make an ammo called Leverlution, or something like that, that extend it some.
 
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i too would suggest the 30.06 in a bolt gun for the same reason as above. nothing against lever guns they killed many many deer, but the bolt is just a stronger platform and inherently more accurate. its important to find a gun that fits you. you would be well served to find a good local gun shop and spend time handling all kinds of rifles.
 

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where and what are you going to hunt?how far are the shots? i love my marlin 3030 and it and the 3006 have probably taken more deer than all other calibers combined
 

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I agree that you might want to try a bolt action instead of a lever for a first rifle, but for a different reason than those already stated. A lever action is not a particularly safe gun to operate. With most of them you have to work the live rounds through the chamber while the hammer is cocked (no safety) to unload the rifle. Most of the newer bolts are set up either with clips (so you don't have to work every round through the action) and/or safeties that remain on while the bolt is opened to remove the round from the chamber. Also, I would stay away from the 30/06 for a first rifle. Yes, it is a great caliber, and yes, it will kill every animal in North America. But, unless you intend to kill "every" animal in North America, it's alot more gun than you need. I hesitate to recommend it because it does have substantial recoil for a beginner. Calibers that are more than adequate for deer, black bear and even elk that have more managable recoil for a beginner are the . 25/06, .260, .270, 7mm/08, .280, 7x57mm, and if you are only going after deer, add the 6mm, .243, and .257. Good luck with your new rifle whatever you get, and don't forget to take your hunter education course.
 
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I agree that you might want to try a bolt action instead of a lever for a first rifle, but for a different reason than those already stated. A lever action is not a particularly safe gun to operate. With most of them you have to work the live rounds through the chamber while the hammer is cocked (no safety) to unload the rifle. Most of the newer bolts are set up either with clips (so you don't have to work every round through the action) and/or safeties that remain on while the bolt is opened to remove the round from the chamber. Also, I would stay away from the 30/06 for a first rifle. Yes, it is a great caliber, and yes, it will kill every animal in North America. But, unless you intend to kill "every" animal in North America, it's alot more gun than you need. I hesitate to recommend it because it does have substantial recoil for a beginner. Calibers that are more than adequate for deer, black bear and even elk that have more managable recoil for a beginner are the . 25/06, .260, .270, 7mm/08, .280, 7x57mm, and if you are only going after deer, add the 6mm, .243, and .257. Good luck with your new rifle whatever you get, and don't forget to take your hunter education course.
all great points
 

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I always forget that some people are more sensitive to recoil than other. My next choice would be a 270, a nice flat shooting round with little or no recoil, then a 308, which is almost the same as a 7mm/08. I was taught to shoot with a 12 gauge, so it was either nut up or shut up with my dad, so I figured it out. I have heard good things about the 6mm, but have never had the chance to mess with one yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the suggestions. My area would be in southeastern VA. Perhaps Dismal Swamp area if I can't find anything closer. I know of several locations that are closer that deer frequent, don't know if they are public or private land though.
 

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"A lever action is not a particularly safe gun to operate. With most of them you have to work the live rounds through the chamber while the hammer is cocked (no safety) to unload the rifle."

Come on guys! You're killing me with the false information! My Marlin 336C has a half-cock which allows the action to be worked to empty rounds in the tube.

But I have to agree with everyone else that the bolt action is a much more stable platform to shoot from. If all you are going to be shooting is deer, then .25-06 or .243 can reach out to 200 - 250 yards with little to no recoil. If you want a little more punch, then .270 has a long, successful track record. Want to reach out with a little more distance and power, then try the .30-06
 

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A scoped lever action rifle is a great short range combination. I have no problems with the safety issue of a lever action. Good luck in your shopping. Something in a 30-30, 32 special might just fit your needs. As with all guns be safe and understand the weapon.
 

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The new Marlin XL7

Several of the guys in my Fire Department were looking into buying a deer rifle. They all are trying to not pay alot and still get sometime for their money. I have seen some GREAT deals lately at our local sportsgoods stores on the new Marlin XL7. There is also a version of the rifle for short action calibers called XS7. This is a rifle that has a clean trigger (uses a copy of the Savage Acutrigger) and also uses the Savage barrel attachment system. The price on these is less then 300 dollars and offered in the popular calibers. I think that 4 guys have bought them at this point. We haven't had them out the range yet. The short action versions may not be any shorter then the long action calibers, I would check before picking one to have a shorter overall rifle length. Try to save some money for a quality scope (~150 dollars), this rates right after a clean trigger in my book.
 
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