I have several leverguns and enjoy them all but it is hard to find a "do it all" gun. If hunting is primary I like the 30/30 in a traditional levergun like the Winchester 94 or .308 in the Browning BLR. Both are a little strong for plinking.
For defensive use I like the .357, especially if it will handle .38 specials. The .44 mag/special is a great caliber too, and comes as close as any for a "do it all gun" for close in hunting (magnum loads) and defensive use with .44 specials. Both of these work well with matching handguns in the same calibers.
My personal favorite is an 1873 Winchester in .45 Colt matched up with a SAA. If you are looking for a levergun just for fun, don't forget about the little .22. Not great for defensive use or hunting of anything bigger than pests but everyone should have a .22.
All of these suggestions mean nothing if you can't find ammo. Perhaps you should make your decision based on ammo availability in your area.
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