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Thread: What's Your Beater Levergun?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    What's Your Beater Levergun?

    Anyone have one? Just a rifle that you carry around and do everything with. Not emotionally attached, maybe paid it dirt cheap?
    You don't care if it gets dirty, maybe you need a walking stick to get across a stream...

    Well here's mine.

    Story: I woke up one day and wanted a .44 mag levergun. I don't know why, I just did. My dad also thought it would be a great idea. So I headed to a gun store downtown and bought it a few years ago in January. I paid way to much for what it is. It was used too. It was an impulse buy. Im more of an Original levergun guy... I like the stuff that came out 100+ years ago.

    Marlin 1894. made in 2011.
    .44 Mag
    750$ ( No tax )
    I put on a safety delete
    Buffed out the WARNING on the barrel.
    Flip-up rear sight.

    I paid alot for it, and its one of my most expensive firearms! I just couldnt care less about it. It ain't old, Im not attached to it. I bought it with my Grandpa... I dont know if that counts?
    I wasn't into reloading at the time so I just looked through a reloading book and picked out a load. I dont know what I was thinking but I bought a massive box of Hornady 240gr SWC and some (terrible to reload) lever-revolution stuff. And some H-110.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Had a post 94 (loaded) behind the seat for protection for quite a few years. Action: loose as a goose ~ mediocre accuracy~ a stock made of wood I haven't a clue what tree it came from? {Far and away not the most handsome of rifle's.} Son eventually found out I purchased the beater 30-30 from a widow who's son was at one time close friend of my son before the young fellow's passing. My kid asked if he could have the 30-30. Easy come~ Easy go.
    As I recall I wasn't the first to treat that 30-30 as a Cab ride along. Although I do miss it because I wasn't afraid to leave my truck unlocked. 30-30s vacancy? Its current replacement is a IBM made 30 cal M-1. It's a WW-II para-troopers model. Now I'm worried? Did I lock that truck up or not? It matters now!
    "JUST A OLD DEPLORABLE THAT'S IRREDEEMABLE."

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    I've since sold it, but in among several weapons I'd bought from a widow who 'just wanted them out of the house'
    was a Marlin 336 in .30-30 I paid $50 for.

    Her husband had bought it new several years before to go hunting.
    He sighted it in, went hunting in wet, foul weather, came home and put it in the closet--- still in a soft case.

    A few years later, he took it out. One rusty mess, but it still functioned fine, and the bore was OK.

    That was as much of a 'beater' as I ever had.
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes.
    However; it's less painful, and cheaper to learn from the mistakes of others.


    Old age and treachery will always overcome youth, and skill.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    If I needed to beat on a lever, it would be the .30-30 Marlin 336 that I bought 20 years ago for $200. But I don't beat on any of my guns, so it's not my beater. In fact it has never been into the field with me, because I've lived so long in shotgun-only states.
    flectere si nequeo superos, acheronta movebo

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    My beater 30-30 is a Marlin from the 1950's (?) that must have laid in a wet gun case and got some bad pitting, also has a broken and glued wrist covered in tape. Probably the ugliest gun I have. Shoots jackets well, but not good with the cast loads I tried, so I don't shoot it much.
    I need to find a good mild cast load for it, as it is a perfect candidate for a truck and tractor gun.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master mattw's Avatar
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    Mine, Winchester 94 30/30 from the 70's maybe. The outside was badly pitted because it was in a wool lined case for way to long before I got it. I had to de-hair it when I got it. Mechanically, the bore is perfect and the action is very smooth. Shoots 165 cast like that was what it was designed for. It is my shop gun, would handle any varmint in Illinois, 2 or 4 legged.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    My go to utility lever action is my Mossberg 464 .30-30. The rifle is actually in really nice shape, but its not going to hurt my feelings if it gets a few dings and scratches. It wears a Williams FP rear sight and eats the Lee C309-170-RF over 17 grains 4759. I do have a beater Winchester 94 that will join it. This rifle is an 80's angle eject cheap mart special with typical loose forend and mag tube and front sight pointing to 12:30. The right side of the receiver is missing much of the finish like it had been sliding around in a truck bed. It is currently at the gunsmith getting the first three defects corrected, after which it will become my beater utility rifle. Having owned several examples of both, I can honestly say the Mossy 464 has better average build quality than the 94 Ranger. Also, Mossy will usually warranty it even if you bought it used as they have done for me.
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, .30 WCF, .45-70 Gov't.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    Mine is a Model 94 .30/30 with a bit of rust. Paid $135 for it about 10 years ago. Bad JU-JU to carry a loaded long gun in a vehicle in MI.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    Mine is a Model 94 .30/30 with a bit of rust. Paid $135 for it about 10 years ago. Bad JU-JU to carry a loaded long gun in a vehicle in MI.
    I'm so sorry for you. I always have a rifle and most of the time a shotgun as well in my every day pickup. I've thought about taking a new Marlin Youth 336 and painting the steel. The birch stock can stand some abuse. That little shorty would make a fine beater lever action.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Boolit Mold Ajohns's Avatar
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    I have a couple stand byes that pretty well take care of my property. 73 Winchester in 38 and a Remington 14 1/2 in 44. They're really not beaters, but they get grabbed the most. Mostly because they shoot good, and for the nostalgia. My ranges are for the most part pretty short, I don't need much of a boomer.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


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    MARLIN 39D from the early 1970's. Stock looks like It's been run over by a tank, then chewed on by a beaver.
    Still shoots great.
    I HATE auto-correct


    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

    My Experience and My Opinion, are just that, Mine.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

    Hickory's Avatar
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    I bought a Marlin 336 10-12 years ago from a guy who twisted off a base screw in the receiver and he really messed things up trying to get it out. He wanted $100 for it, offeredhim $75 and he took it.
    Political correctness is a national suicide pact.

    I am a sovereign individual, accountable
    only to God and my own conscience.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Several years ago I saw a Winchester '94 (post '64, probably early '70s) in a local gun shop for $125. It was a true beater. Painted receiver with the paint chipping, dings in the stock, loading gate just kinda floating with stripped threads and a caphead screw semi-locating it and staying in place by friction alone. I originally planned to fix that but well, it still works and the screw isn't falling out. If it ever does maybe I'll stick a bit of duck tape over it to hold it in.
    That rifle has the tightest chamber of any of my .30-30s; I can't NSO a case from any other .30-30 and shoot it in this one. That's a good thing. Also has a really good bore in spite of its outward appearance. And it's killed every deer I've ever fired it at.

    I have nicer '94s I've never even hunted with. But this old dawg has performed flawlessly for the 20ish years I've had it. It would be a shame to "fix" it now.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I have a Savage 99 300 Savage, has been loaded since 1981(?) except when shooting, practicing, cleaning. Shoots 150 grain Hornady Spire Points into MOA with 44 gr IMR 4064 or now 44Gr Varget. Had a Burris 3-9 Compact on it when I hunted it. Recently put a 4-16 Nikon Monarch on it. A little heavy, but it is not my all day mountain rifle, wears a green and tan paint job to cover the shine. Do still use it for antelope.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    TCFAN's Avatar
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    This is my beater 30-30 that used to ride behind the seat of my pick-up.Sold my pick-up so it is not used much any more,just sits behind the door waiting on a bear to attack my bird feeder.
    Winchester model 94 made in 1975. Photo makes it look a lot better than it really is.Shoots the NOE version of Lyman's 311440 very well..


  16. #16
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    Looks like everyone has a marlin 336 or a Model 94!

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev18 View Post
    Looks like everyone has a marlin 336 or a Model 94!
    Or both!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    And then some, but even my pitted Frankengun 336 I cannot bring myself to call it (or treat it) a beater. Blasted, JB filled pits and painted I call her Xtreme duty!

  19. #19
    Boolit Master bikerbeans's Avatar
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    All of my lever guns are beaters. I have guns to shoot, not look at.

    BB

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerbeans View Post
    All of my lever guns are beaters. I have guns to shoot, not look at.

    BB
    Yes I couldn't agree more. But some get used for more then shooting. I use my winchester 1886 the most, but I love that gun.
    I dont use that marlin alot but when I do, If I need to jump a log or a fence I have no problem throwing it over and getting it after.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
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LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check