When my grandfather got off the train in MN from WW2 the first thing substantial he bought was a Winchester 94 .30-30 from "Monkey Wards." He owned it, his 6 sons all shot their first deer (and many many more) with it. Grandpa passed it down to my dad when I hit hunting age and I took my first deer and elk with it. Now dad has passed it down to me, and hopefully in 11 1/2 years when my son get's his first hunting license, he'll be pulling that same trigger for the first time on his first big game animal. Call me a romantic, but there's just something about having that much family history wrapped around an object. It's not so much the rifle that is super special, it's just one of multiple millions ever made, but the family legacy that travels with it.
That being said, I also have a lever gun fetish. 3 model 94s, a Savage 99 in .303 Savage which is a sweet shooter, but finding components for reloading can be enough to make you think twice about taking it out, a Winchester 1895 in .30-06 that I picked up at an estate sale ($200 price tag, but I bargained them up to $400 because they didn't know what they had), a Henry .45-70, a JM stamped Marlin 1895 .45-70, and the newest edition is a Henry Golden Boy that Santa left under the tree for my son. Gonna be a while before he can shoot it, but he's going to be the first.
In my house there is "the gun safe," and "the lever gun safe." As long as my wife keep tolerating my odd collection, it'll just keep growing.
I have recently acquired a Marlin 336 in 35 Remington. It shoots great and pretty accurate for a lever action, have not been able to try it on game as of yet, but we have a new year and a new season coming up soon!
I realize this thread is a bit dated, but I only recently joined. I was going to ask the same question, but decided I had better search for it first. Glad I did. I greatly enjoyed reading the stories and seeing all the pics. Thought I would add mine. I have my dad's '54 Marlin 336 30/30. I love hunting with it and have taken a couple of deer. It has worn a Weaver Classic V3 and 2-7, as well as a Leupold 1-4. It currently has a Skinner peep and RPP big loop lever on it. My dad never hunted big game. This was his squirrel rifle. He would use a light load with a round punkin ball he cast. He had a Higgins 4X and would take head shots. He never missed! He always talked about getting one with a long barrel, but never did. That's why I bought the other one in the pic. It's a '49 Waffle Top that I came across at a gun show. As accurate as my dad's Marlin is, this one out shoots it.
My father gave me his 99 Savage that his father gave him after he sold the farm back in the mid sixties.. It's a 308. It's killed a pile of deer here in Michigan and in West Virginia.. I've never brought it out West.. I ended up giving it to my son. It's not super accurate but it's a 300 yard gun all day at 1.5 moa.. I hope he hunts with it this year.. Perhaps he'll bring it out to WY when we go..