Friday, July 25, 2014

An Argument for the Lever-Action Rifle

D.W. Smith at offers a 3-page argument mostly in favor of the lever-action rifle.

He includes the cool picture of John Wayne with the oft-seen big-loop Winchester 92 first carried by Ringo in Stagecoach.  As you probably know, Wayne and Yakima Canutt welded up the loop for a more dramatic and unique appearance.

While there are good reasons, I suppose, to own a lever-action, the reason I own one is because I like it.  It is a traditional design that carries me back to simpler, more sensible times.  The lever gun still works just as well as it ever did.  The Space Age didn't give us rayguns or deathrays or phasers. A well-placed bullet is still the best way to humanely bring down game, and the lever-action is perfectly capable of doing that job in the hands of a practiced shooter.

For self-defense, I would say whether or not to choose a lever-action "depends".  It would work fine for me, and if I thought I needed more range than my shotgun gives me, my Model 94 is probably what I would use.  Mine is the Trapper model with a 16.5 inch barrel chambered in .30-30.  It is quite handy and easily manipulated in close quarters.  It is also extremely loud.  I have tested it with factory ammunition and a mounted scope.  Contrary to much conventional wisdom, it routinely shoots 3-shot groups of about an inch to an inch and a quarter under a cheap 4x scope.  I don't know if the shorter barrel (which gives up some velocity) is stiffer, or if I just lucked onto a good one, but I'm not complaining.

Most of the time, except for handload development and testing, I do not have the scope mounted and use a Williams receiver sight instead, which makes it more compact and isn't so disruptive to the classic lines.

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