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Opinions on small caliber lever action?

1505 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Clyde
I need advice on which rimfire cartrige is best. I've been considering a Marlin 22LR, simply because ammo is cheap and plentiful, but I was reading through the Henry catalogue, and they had great things to say about .22mag and 17 HMR rifles. Supposedly, the extra velocity makes the guns more accurate. All I plan to do with this gun would be to kill paper targets and soup cans, so stopping power isn't important. What I really want is long-range accuracy. (No, my rifle skills are not "long range" but I'd like to start working on that). Which rimfire caliber would you guys reccomend for this?
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Get a Marlin. I'd say get a USED Marlin, at least one made before the move from New Haven as there may be some QC issues with the ones since the move, at least for a while. In my experience, neither .22 Mag nor the .17s offer much range extension in terms of accurate shooting - certainly not enough to cover the extra cost of ammo. I do have a .17, a .17 MAch 2 in a CZ 452. it s a really fun gun, but so far I don't find it more accurate than my old .22 LR Browning T-bolt.

And - there is the matter of "what do you mean by long range"? I'd suggest, if you are looking to extend past about 150 yards, maybe 200, that you go with a CF gun and handload.

Also - high velocity does NOT translate to better accuracy in and of itself. it does equal a flatter trajectory and makes range estimation in the field less critical (more likely to hit the target at an uncertain range, instead of being over or under). Accuracy is a product of a quality barrel and good bedding (and a good trigger and quality sights). After that - it is up to the rifleman....
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With good sights applied, a Marlin 39 (or its predecessor if in good order with a good bore) should give the ability to shoot reasonable scores on cans at 150 yards. Though there are other things that would make it easier. Key will be experimenting to find what ammo your gun, whatever it is, likes best (.22s tend to be picky aboiut ammuniiton; some like Remington, some Wincheter, some Federal, some CCI, some other), and then practice. you will want better sights than the open sights that come with the gun. Some sort of aperature rear sight or a scope..
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