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Old November 13, 2012, 03:09 PM   #14
natman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 24, 2008
Posts: 1,429
The Winchester 71 is something of a contradiction. It is the epitome of the large cartridge lever gun. It was first built in 1937, when the blackpowder cartridges that are the ancestors of the 348 were already long since obsolete.

The pluses are the stock, which was designed by Townsend Whelen, gives it a handling that would be the envy of a fine shotgun. It comes up like lightning and the sights are lined up when the buttplate hits your shoulder.

It also has one of the smoothest actions of any lever ever made. A properly lubed 71 is a joy to work.

I'm not one of the "no lever action should have a scope" fanatics, but no 71 should have one. It's designed for fast work on big animals at short to medium range and there's no good way to scope one, as the mount on this one shows.

Original 71s are definitely collector's items now and a nice deluxe would go for around $2,000. This one would go for $500 or so less because of the scope mounts.
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