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Old January 2, 2012, 01:45 PM   #26
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Lots of's some of mine

AR10 IN .308 ,it is the only rifle you will ever need .
Sure, if you carry around 10lbs+ of rifle and optics while deer hunting.
I don't.

hunted with the Lever the last five years, it's light, handy, won't take a good scope mount, or has much option to put it exactly where you want
Not all levers fall into this category. Marlins and the BLR scope quite nicely with traditional mounts and scopes.

The AR has the advantage, now days, of being modular, and all kinds of options just bolt on and off. And if you are thinking of using the rifle for several other things, the AR is versatile. But they aren't specificly a hunting rifle. They are a different kind of rifle that will serve just fine for a lot of hunting (where legal).

The Marlin is a hunting rifle. That's all it is meant to be. There is nothing there you don't need, and everything you do.

.357 Mag Marlin will do just fine on the deer in your part of the country, at any range you can accurately hit. For most folks, that's going to be about 100yds give or take a bit.

The key is choosing the right ammo. The 125gr JHP is great for defense against humans from a handgun, but the longer carbine barrel drives it too fast to give the best performance on deer at closer ranges. The 158gr is built heavier, and even though going faster from the carbine, doesn't have such a tendency to "blow up" like the 125 can.

No matter what many say, the .357 has plenty of punch to do the job, especially on the smaller deer in your neck of the woods. Just go with the 158 bullet for best overall performance. Some 180gr will work through the short action of the Marlin, others can be too long. Its something you will have to check out if you want to use the 180gr weight. Personally, I see no need, the 158gr JHP, JSP, or a hard cast 160gr SWC will do just fine if you do your part.

Personally, I don't hold with the .22 cal anything for deer. Deer can be humanely taken with a number of .22 centerfires (using the right bullets), but only a few states allow this. You can get the AR in bigger calibers, the new 6.8mm is apparently highly thought of by a number of folks, I don't have any personal experience with it, so unlike some, will refrain from comment on that one.

The 7.62x39 has nearly .30-30 perfromance and is a bit more easily used to hit at longer ranges than the .30-30 (or the .357) due to the pointed bullets holding velocity better. Just be sure to get proper hunting ammo for it.

Being a lefty, the AR is going to throw brass across in front of your face. Older AR uppers without the brass deflector hump can throw hot brass in your face or down your shirt when fired left handed. IF shooting lefty with an AR, ALWAYS button all the way up!

The Marlin will also eject "back at you" when shooting lefty, BUT, it does it at your control, and cases are not nearly as hot as coming out of the semi auto.

The Marlin also has the advantage of shooting both .357 and .38 Specials. Great gun plinking, or taking small game & pests with .38s in the Marlin. Virtually no recoil either.

The stock sights on the Marlin are no great shakes, but do well enough for the shorter ranges common for the carbine. A smaller low power scope goes on the Marlin easily and doesn't detract much from its light weight and handling. Flat top AR are made for scopes/optic sights, so no problem there, if thats what you want to use.

Loading and unloading the lever is more cumbersome than the detachable box of the AR, and its quite true you MUST pay attention to safety (and where the muzzle is) when doing it. But people have been doing it successfully for well over a century, so it can be done.

And just so you know, folks have run tests over the years, and slight deformation to the point of the bullet doesn't affect its accuracy significantly.

THe Marlin probably won't group as tight as a new AR, but it will hold a fine minute of deer accuracy, and then a bit more, if you are good with it.

If your .357 revolver is legal for deer where you are, its fine too. And you already have that, and time for practice before next season!
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old January 2, 2012, 02:01 PM   #27
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Tirod, 250 yards with a 30 30 is not recomended
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Old January 2, 2012, 02:07 PM   #28
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Neither, assuming you mean a .223 AR.

One of the 6.X AR's would work fine.

I just finished reading a short blurb in a magazine that I agree with 100%.

You need to be equipped to take the shot that presents itself and the shot presented by the animal isn't always optimal for those calibers. Precious few are disciplined enough not to take "that" bad shot.

There are valid reasons a lot of states won't let you take a .223 Deer hunting.

Edited to add: I see you would also consider a 30-30 lever, which is what I would use. I sometimes take my Winchester Model 94 30-30 as an emergency back up should my main rifle fail in some way.

Last edited by HKGuns; January 2, 2012 at 05:48 PM.
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Old January 2, 2012, 02:09 PM   #29
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'Nuther vote for neither.

I realize that deer hunting varies with location (the first time I saw deer back east I did not recognize them as deer at first- they were far too small to be deer.... There are fawns here, yes, but whoever saw 5 fawns and no doe with them ... and fawns don't have antlers ... turned out that was all the bigger they got around there.....) ..... but both of those are marginal calibers for deer, in my book.

A 30/30 would be a good lever gun if you want to go after deer.
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Old January 2, 2012, 02:18 PM   #30
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Where I lived in the South East, the deer were small and I recall stepping on Copperheads was a valid concern for both hunter and dogs if used.
Between the AR-15 or 357 Lever, I'd go with the 357.
You might also carry your handgun loaded with snakeshot if that is a factor in your area. The 357 gives you flexibility: Long gun, hand gun, hunting loads, snake loads. And then you might be able to shoot 38 specials at bowling pins or plinking targets during the non-hunting season.
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Old January 2, 2012, 02:31 PM   #31
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The .30-30 lever gun really is America's deer rifle.
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Old January 2, 2012, 03:52 PM   #32
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AR- with a trigger job. Then get a 6.8, 6.5, or 300 Blackout scoped upper.
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Old January 2, 2012, 05:08 PM   #33
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I would take either, with proper bullet choice (and good sights/optics help, too!)

It all comes down to what you shoot better, and what you want to carry in the woods.
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Old January 2, 2012, 05:28 PM   #34
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An AR in 556 will kill anything that walks the earth with more then a few of the bullet selections commonly found. I see the 357 as a small deer 100 to 150yd gun.
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Old January 2, 2012, 05:35 PM   #35
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The .30-30 lever gun really is America's deer rifle.
Maybe 50 years ago ......

It's 4th or 5th on the list for annual hunting ammo sales these days, behind .30-06, .270WIN, .308, and sometimes the .243 .....

Where I hunt, darn few people tote a 30/30 .....
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Old January 2, 2012, 05:43 PM   #36
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An AR in 556 will kill anything that walks the earth with more then a few of the bullet selections commonly found.
So will old age ...... but will it kill before it loses the hunter, or worse yet, gets him?

Feel free to use whatever bullet you want outa that toy on a Cape Buffalo, or a Brown bear ...... just make sure I am nowhere near when you try it.
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Old January 2, 2012, 07:11 PM   #37
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if he does jimbob, i'm gonna trip you when i'm running away.
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Old January 2, 2012, 07:51 PM   #38
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No chance of that, VINCE - I don't hunt with dummies.
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Old January 2, 2012, 08:34 PM   #39
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If you like a lever gun I would look for a Savage 99 in any of several calibers, probably a .308 (more common) but, 300 Savage, 303 Savage, .243, .250 Savage. Great rifles, and you are not limited to flat nosed bullets like you are with the Winchesters or Marlins. Not that there is anything wrong with a M94 in 30-30. Not trying to start any fights, 30-30 is a great round for hunting in the South East. Especially for heavy brush country, thick woods where you are unlikely to get a shot over 100 yards. Personally, a .243 is my no 1 deer killer. Never lost one yet at any range with a .243.
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Old January 2, 2012, 08:54 PM   #40
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The original Wins were top-eject so it didn't matter if you were shooting right or left, but, that caused scope issues. "Angle-Eject" was Win's solution, right? Maybe an old used top-eject is what he needs. I remember The 336 C being a robust arm.
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Old January 3, 2012, 03:41 AM   #41
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if i'm going for deer I prefer a little more juice and the 44mag out of a lever action can be a really effective round. also the recoil is pretty tame since you have that much more mass.
better check on your regs. I know 243/6mm is the smallest legal deer cartridge in my state(wa)
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Old January 3, 2012, 02:31 PM   #42
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Given those two choices I'd stay home , as neither are deer calibers in my world !
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Old March 9, 2013, 01:33 PM   #43
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Neither are adequate in real world hunting. Sure with accurrate shot placement under ideal conditions, and within range, both will do the job, but even the most skilled marksmen rarely see perfect shot placement when its not on a bench rest and paper target standing perfectly still at the exact angle you placed it. In Ohio the .223 is a groundhog gun, and the .357 is for burglars.

I am a longtime handgun hunter. When Ohio legalized my .454 Casull for deer, I dropped my Ruger Redhawk .44 Mgnum instantly. Good cartridge, but still light duty for whitetails from a 7 2/2" barrel.

Get the .30-30 lever gun in case that desired perfect shot placement doesn't happen. If you want to go with the pistol catridge, go with the .44 Magnum or larger (.444). recoil from a .44 Mag rifle is relatively mild.

With any pistol hunting round, avoid comercial soft lead semi-jacketed hollow point man rounds. Used premium limited expansion hunting bullets, and the heaviest available such as Hornady XTP, or even a cast semi-wadcutter that is more likely to leave and exit wound.
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Old March 9, 2013, 06:56 PM   #44
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If you use 1000ft/lbs as the amount of energy you need to take down a deer, a 223 bullet in the 70gr range will have that energy out to around 200yards.

At around 200yards a 75gr 223 bullet will have more energy than a 150gr 30-30 bullet.
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Old March 9, 2013, 11:21 PM   #45
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357 lever action or AR 223 for Deer

Everyone has their opinion and most rifles mention are more than enough to take the whitetail deer. Hunting conditions should determine your choice of weapon. The 357 lever action rifle is good for 100 yards or less. I have no hesitation on shooting a deer or hog with it at close range. 158grain bullet is plenty of lead to kill a dee. I have kill some big hogs (250 lbs plus) with the 357 round. It will bust through the shield on the shoulder of a big boar and pass through the body and usually hang up just inside the hide on the other side. Small hogs get a complete pass through. The 55 grain 223 round from an AR or bolt rifle is fast but light. It will kill a deer just as well but my experience is that the deer will usually run after being hit, unless a head, neck or spinal shot is made. I believe that addresses your question. However I hunt deer with a 30.06 bolt rifle. I have plenty of gun for short shots as well as for long range ones. If I were going to choose between the two guns in question, I would take the 357 lever and keep my shots 75 yards or less. Good hunting.
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Old March 10, 2013, 02:25 AM   #46
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I guess a lot of people have armored deer where they live. In Virginia, we're not allowed to use 223 bore rifles to take deer, but that law was not made based on any research, it was fairly arbitrary. I know many people who have, regardless of the law, taken deer with 223 at ranges at which it maintains reasonable energy, and gotten DRT shots. The idea that the 223 isn't enough is laughable, when people in other states have no problem taking good shots with 22 Hornets. Either gun is absolutely fine with the right bullets for decent shots out to 150 yards. Put it in the boiler room and they'll drop. Shoot them in the hindquarters with a 300 Win Mag and they will run away. If it were me, I'd take the 357 and handload it for the longer barrel.
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Old March 10, 2013, 09:37 AM   #47
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Granted, I don't hunt but have plenty of close friends who do.

.223 is legal in my southeastern state, where deer rarely get more than 150 lbs. Guys I know who use it have no issues whatsoever. You still have to get your round into the kill zone, all that matters after that is adequate penetration. With careful selection, there are a number of .223 rounds that can do that (again, assuming it is legal in your state). A .223 hit to the vitals that penetrates sufficiently beats a .300 Win Mag to the gut every day.

The only problem you run into with .223 is it's more sensitive to passing through brush and small limbs than other heavier projectiles. So you have to keep that in mind.

Yes, proper shot placement with "anything" will do it, but I've seen too many weekend warriors maiming game with their ARs and Mini 14s (in .223 that is).
It's not the AR's or the Minis, it would be the weekend warriors that can't hit the broadside of a barn.

I wish I could locate the info now, I think it may have been in The Rifleman a few years ago. Anyway, on some game lands in the upper mid west some years ago it was found that most common cartridge used where wounded animals that traveled more than a few dozen yards was the 300 Win Mag. The theory being the people using that cartridge, in that particularly area, were using more gun than they could handle, resulting in a higher percentage of less than ideal shot placement when compared with lighter kicking calibers.
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Old March 10, 2013, 10:18 AM   #48
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Of the rifles you mentioned I would vote for the 30-30. Contrary to popular belief it has a lot more energy than a 7.62x39 due to the heavier bullet weights available.
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Old March 10, 2013, 10:19 AM   #49
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If it was me I would get a DPMS AR-10 or equivalent brand in 6.5 Creedmoor. If you want minimal recoil get an AR-15 in 6.5 Grendel.

Heck, you can even get your DPMS AR-10 in .338 Federal if you want.

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Old March 10, 2013, 10:24 AM   #50
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Both will work.

Of the two, I'd choose the .357.
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