I love lever guns, looking at them, shooting them. Call it an addiction.
Any Marlin .45-70 is a good choice. I'm not much for large loops, but they're great for hunting with gloves (I'm not a hunter). I prefer a straight grip for tradition's sake, but the trigger guard tends to whack your middle finger when you send that 405 grain slug down range. It's not a plink rifle, more something you can say you tolerate. It's easy to reload, and relatively cheap that way. The latest Marlins have cut rifling, which works better with cast bullets than the early microgroove versions.
.45-70 should feed very smoothly in a Marlin, almost controlled-feed smooth. If it is even a little rough, or scrapes the chamber on entry, it needs a little work. I found it helps to bevel the bottom edge of the extractor slightly, using a stone. This done, it was not necessary to bend the extractor. The original ejector is on the weak side, and the OEM trigger is gross. I replace both with https://www.wildwest...gger-happy-kit/. Instead of a rough, 6.5# pull, you get a crisp 2.5#-3.5#.without the floppy trigger effect of Marlin.
It's cheaper and more fun to shoot pistol-chambered lever guns. Marlin and Winchester (Japanese) are excellent choices for fit and finish. Rossi1872 copies look good on the outside, but are really rough inside, and that slide safety looks bad and is hard to operate. You get a 300 fps boost for .357 Mag or .44 Mag compared to a revolver. .357 Mag recoil is very soft, and .44 Mag is comparable to .30-30 at both ends up to about 125 yards (.30-30 caries further, but with less energy at 100 yards).
After sighting in two .45-70 rifles at the range, I had a bruise the size of an orange on my shoulder. Ten rounds is about as much fun as you need in one afternoon
Edited by Neumann, 14 January 2018 - 01:44 PM.