I've owned Bolt Rifles, semi-autos, single shots, and levers, ARs, M1As, 308s, 30/06s, 30/30s and others. I think the Lever 45/70 is the coolest, handiest, simplest most compact and versatile rifle that I've ever owned. I do reload and cast for it so the cost of the crummy factory ammo is of no concern.
Moulds can be had from 145 gr small game collarbutton boolits all the way up to 405s for the Marlin 45/70. It does not need to be loaded with shoulder bruising loads for general use and hunting, nor does it need a scope. I put peep sights on it and a big loop lever for use of gloves, and of course...the Happy trigger from WWG which makes it superb. It just doesn't get any better for a general use rifle for short range use (<150 yds). I've taken two deer with it and they were both DRT. Highly recommended.
"Always place your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark"
"Understand that the enemy is not the enemy in his own eyes ;this may offer you an opportunity to make him your friend. If not, you can kill him without hate, and quickly."