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Old 05-03-2016, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Marineguy View Post
Making a case for Lever action rifles when SHTF

I would like to submit my justification for a lever action rifle. First, I’m a proponent of having a pistol and rifle chambered for the same round, my logic being having to carry different types for different guns. In the old west it seemed to have served them well. If you run out of one type, the weapon is no more than a club or rock top throw. There are rifles chambered for .22, ( some magnums) 9mm, .38 or .45, some more common that others. (haven’t seen too many .45 cal revolvers and having to use spacers for rimless .45 in a revolver seems to defeat the purpose)

Budget wise, if you can only afford protection on a shoestring, the minimum I would say is a pistol and rifle. For those with bigger budgets having at least 1 lever action rifle and a revolver should be a must. Lever actions and revolvers are purely mechanical weapons. I contend aside from springs, which having 4-5 spares for each weapon are not that expensive and most parts can be made with as little as a file and piece of metal.

My wife is only 5’1 and weighed only 100lb when she first started to shoot and the kids weren’t much bigger at the time. A J frame .38, 5 round was just the right size for her hands and the kids. She tried a M1 Carbine and the .30 cal. Ball kicked a bit and she tried one of the 9mm carbine and didn’t like it. We saw a 357/.38 carbine she wants to try and provided it’s not too heavy she may go with it.

What’s your take? Pro & Con?

Thanks all.
I have owned 4 lever guns, and have sold 2 of them. They are fun, potent, and excellent 1800s technology. While relevant, like a bolt action, there are far superior choices for high capacity and rapid firing.

1. I'd only seriously consider it if I were in a region where pre-SHTF prevented possession of high cap magazines.

2. Lever guns cannot be rapidly fired laying prone. Huge disadvantage over semi-auto or bolt.

3. The common ammo caliber solution is totally unimportant to me. My guns are high quality and aren't likely to fail. Of the two scenarios, I'd just take my chances with a proper rifle caliber and proper handgun caliber.

I'm not a big fan of relying on pistol caliber rifles in a fighting situation; perhaps it's fine if you're a very frail person or a small woman or a young teenager. Why pay the size and weight penalty of a rifle if you're just shooting pistol rounds? Just get a 8" .357 pistol and call it good. If I'm carrying a 5-10 pound long gun, it's going to be firing rifle rounds. Rifle rounds are FAR superior to pistol rounds in any fighting or hunting situation.

But for an adult, an AK with say 5 magazines is easy to carry, fire, and reload. That's 150 rounds of instant suppression or rounds on target. Far superior to a lever gun with .357 or .30-30, and a tube that is slow to low, requires cocking the lever, and only hold 5-10 rounds.

If you want precision accuracy, step into a scoped bolt gun. Scopes mount better and they are inherently better for laying prone and shooting and follow up shots.

I live lever guns a lot; but one would not be a top contender in my SHTF scenario, except perhaps as a brush gun to take game. Here is where the .30-30 shines.
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Old 05-03-2016, 12:51 AM
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I'd go so far to say that the AR15 is one of the most popular rifles in America right now. Everyone has one or 2. Good guys, bad guys, young / old, male / female, you name it.

What does the AR15 offer?
Range, barrier penetration, capacity, quick reloads, and accuracy.

I like lever guns and single actions revolvers. They have some class to them. Fun guns to shoot and own.

SHTF I want the best. I won't limit myself to the old west romanticism.
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:13 AM
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Lever guns are a viable option for those that don't own or want a semi-auto rifle. While their rate of fire is inferior to a semi, they are nothing to sneeze at. Modern bullet tech makes lever guns ballistically equivalent to virtually every other type of rifle available, there is no reason to shy away from lever guns, if they are your preferred action.

Since I have owned lever guns in everything from .38/.357 to .30-30 to .308 to .45-70, the lack of power and limited range arguments are BS. In a post-SHTF situation, an AR platform would be my first choice, followed closely by a lever action rifle.

Now, if they would just make a .308 revolver, I'd be set!
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by bigg777 View Post
Now, if they would just make a .308 revolver, I'd be set!

Now yer talkin'!
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:51 AM
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Nothing wrong with a lever - it might not draw the attention of 'THE MAN' or the Hildabeast nearly so much. That is it's less likely to be confiscated, maybe.

I contend a lever gun much like a pump shotgun is much more prone to user induced malfunction than a quality semi auto.

It's too bad the Marlin Camp 9 and Ruger Patrol Carbines are like Hen's teeth these days
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:45 AM
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Their is no case for a lever action rifle because every ones got a AR or AK so you are vary under gunned.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigg777 View Post
Since I have owned lever guns in everything from .38/.357 to .30-30 to .308 to .45-70, the lack of power and limited range arguments are BS.
I've never had a complaint about the power, but most lever actions I've tried (with the probable exception of .308 or .338 Marlin Express) went through the transition from supersonic to subsonic inside of 500 yards. The "pistol" caliber ones usually do it inside 200 yards. That is with "Leverevolution" type ammo, it happens even faster with standard flat tip or round nose ammo. So yeah, range suffers compared to other rifle types. Once you go through that velocity transition, your accuracy normally goes to pot. If you never need to shoot that far, it isn't an issue. If you find yourself needing to hit something at 500+ yards, your chances are better with a different type of rifle with suitable ammunition.

Edit: I looked it up and a .308 Marlin Express or a .338 Marlin Express should be good to go to 600 or 700 yards with the best ammo before they become unstable, which isn't too shabby. The vast majority of lever actions out there are the less powerful types though. Your .357 Mag or .44 Mag for example are only good for 150 yards or so before they go subsonic. 30-30s are good to 450 or so.
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Old 05-03-2016, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by justin22885 View Post
or you could just use 38 special for women.. 38 special from a 16 inch barrel becomes quite lethal
To me felt recoil is still less in a m1 carbine, but both are so little not sure how it could bother anyone. Go shoot 3.5 in mags out of a 12 gauge and some 9.3x62 and others seems very tame.
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Old 05-03-2016, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Heal View Post
Their is no case for a lever action rifle because every ones got a AR or AK so you are vary under gunned.
uh well uh sure I guess

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Old 05-03-2016, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Preacherboy View Post
To me felt recoil is still less in a m1 carbine, but both are so little not sure how it could bother anyone. Go shoot 3.5 in mags out of a 12 gauge and some 9.3x62 and others seems very tame.
then use 125 grain bullets rather than 158s and 180s, or do more push-ups.. the .30 carbine is a far more rare and expensive caliber than 38/357, and the 38/357 has many more weapon options too

though i think the M1 carbine weapon itself is very outdated, the concept of a 5lb weapon that has a bit more performance than a pistol caliber carbine isnt necessarily a bad one, however, should a new concept arise in a similar category to the m1 carbine i think youd be far better off with something based on cheap and plentiful 223 brass (such as rimless 38/357)
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Old 05-03-2016, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heal View Post
Their is no case for a lever action rifle because every ones got a AR or AK so you are vary under gunned.
Great arguments for the pistol caliber lever gun would be that you simply don't subscribe to the idea of Mad Max TEOTWAWKI. You can visualize realistic scenarios involving elevated crime and situations where a rifle may be handy for a 100 yard shot, but can't imagine actually ever needing a tactical vest or AK. I get that. As a cop, I'd feel just as capable if they replaced my AR with a .357 lever rifle.

OP, Since you're living in NY state, the local laws there make an AK or AR difficult to own anyhow.

I also get the idea of only having to stock or reload one caliber being desirable if you're on a budget.
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Old 05-03-2016, 12:24 PM
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I have 2 lever guns, a 357 Mag and a 45-70.
The 357 is paired with a 357 revolver.
Nice guns, but they never get fired.
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:17 PM
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I like the heck out of my lever guns, but for most scenarios for SHTF, a semi-auto or automatic rifle is far superior. This is especially true when you consider rate of fire, range, ease of reloading (magazine vs tube fed ), and raw energy. The only scenario that I see lever guns as being OK is post SHTF when things are winding down. Pistol rounds vs modern high speed rifle rounds is a no-brainer.

Where does a lever gun have an advantage, other than possibly sharing ammo with a revolver ? Conventional arms are often seen as being less evil than the EBR ( evil black rifles ).
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marineguy View Post
My wife is only 5í1 and weighed only 100lb when she first started to shoot and the kids werenít much bigger at the time. A J frame .38, 5 round was just the right size for her hands and the kids. She tried a M1 Carbine and the .30 cal. Ball kicked a bit and she tried one of the 9mm carbine and didnít like it. We saw a 357/.38 carbine she wants to try and provided itís not too heavy she may go with it..
Any firearm is better than rubber bands and paperclips. Personally, I think there are better choices but that's my opinion. Everybody has one. Now having said that, I'll add:
I have a Rossi in 38/357 caliber and I love it. I've shot it quite a bit and it does well in the accuracy and reliability areas. However...and that's a big however, it has some thwack to the recoil when shooting .357's. I was pretty shocked the first time I shot it. I had been shooting .357's out of pistols all morning and decided to try out my new rifle. The same .357's went into it. It hurts! The Rossi has a solid hard plastic butt pad but still, it's only .357's, right? It hurts! Now I have one of those slip on softy sissy pads that I put on it when I shoot it. Friends laughed at me the first time "Good grief. It's only a .357" Then they shoot it a few times without the pad and they look at me and say: It hurts! What I'm telling you, is to not assume that just because it's a pistol round, it won't kick. Let your wife try one out before buying one.
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Old 05-03-2016, 11:22 PM
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A lever action carbine chambered in a full power cartridge makes a good short range hunting rifle. Perhaps the best chambering offered in the last 20 yrs was the 356 Winchester (rimmed 308 case firing a 35 cal, 200 grain JFP bullet at 2400 f/s).

It might do for short range defense against one or two aggressors, but truth is, it's not much of a combat rifle.

Is that good enough for you after the SHTF? I don't know, you'll have to decide that for yourself.

I own four lever guns and I like them. But if some crisis disrupts the rule of law, I will grab my semi auto carbine and a couple 20 rd mags.
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Old 05-04-2016, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heal View Post
Their is no case for a lever action rifle because every ones got a AR or AK so you are vary under gunned.
1 round placed properly vs 100 sprayed. I have both. And both have their place. If you get shot with a lever action or a black gun - does that make a difference? Either will ruin your day.

I'm fine in semi auto mode. Pick & choose. 1 shot. 1 dropped. Reacquire the next. Repeat.

I can do that with a Henry or my AR. Same principle. The AR will cycle faster - and you can drop a mag & reload quickly. Not the same as a tube gun. Get that. But what are you shooting? People or grr animals?

ARs may not be the best saddle guns. Though you can make a case for them and the AK as well.

Choose your poison for your reasons. We all have to.
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Old 05-04-2016, 01:13 AM
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Choose what works for you and your (anticipated) situation. I have a Marlin .30-30. Love it. I also have an EBR. Love it, too. And 9 mm pistols, and a 380, and some 22lr guns, and a 44 and finally a 12 gauge. Love 'em all and wouldn't want to get shot by any of them.In my experience, the range at which most people can effectively shoot (much shorter than they think, even when no one is returning fire)combined with the fact that in at least many of our wars a huge number of rounds were fired blindly (and that many simply did not fire their weapons at all) suggests this: if you will train with quality instructors with real world experience and continue to train frequently and consistently, you'll be far ahead of almost everyone in the event the Bad Thing actually occurs, regardless of the rifle you use.
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Old 05-04-2016, 02:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac's View Post
Any firearm is better than rubber bands and paperclips. Personally, I think there are better choices but that's my opinion. Everybody has one. Now having said that, I'll add:
I have a Rossi in 38/357 caliber and I love it. I've shot it quite a bit and it does well in the accuracy and reliability areas. However...and that's a big however, it has some thwack to the recoil when shooting .357's. I was pretty shocked the first time I shot it. I had been shooting .357's out of pistols all morning and decided to try out my new rifle. The same .357's went into it. It hurts! The Rossi has a solid hard plastic butt pad but still, it's only .357's, right? It hurts! Now I have one of those slip on softy sissy pads that I put on it when I shoot it. Friends laughed at me the first time "Good grief. It's only a .357" Then they shoot it a few times without the pad and they look at me and say: It hurts! What I'm telling you, is to not assume that just because it's a pistol round, it won't kick. Let your wife try one out before buying one.

Try some 38 specials in your Rossi 92. Mine will feed everything except full wadcutters. Semi wadcutters work just fine. If you get into reloading a starting load of Clays + a 158 lead semi-wadcutter 38spl = a mouse fart - no hearing protection required round. It's suppressor quiet and has less noise than a unsuppressed 22LR.

My 357 / 38 Rossi 92 is one of my favorite - fun to shoot guns.

There was a younger college age fella in the general discussion board trying to argue that using crossbows and throwing knives was better than owning firearms.

While a lever action wouldn't be my 1st go to, it's better than nothing. If stuck in a legally restrictive society, I would gladly take one over a crossbow. When "playing" cowboys and indians with real consequences, I'd rather be the cowboy.
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Old 05-04-2016, 03:13 AM
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put a suppressor on the .357 lever action and load up some ammo using 220 grain .358" soft point bullets.. with no gas system and a powder thatll give you the closest to a 100% burn while still reaching your target velocities would make for a VERY quiet game getter
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Old 05-04-2016, 03:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longhorngnu View Post
1 round placed properly vs 100 sprayed. I have both. And both have their place. If you get shot with a lever action or a black gun - does that make a difference? Either will ruin your day.

I'm fine in semi auto mode. Pick & choose. 1 shot. 1 dropped. Reacquire the next. Repeat.

I can do that with a Henry or my AR. Same principle. The AR will cycle faster - and you can drop a mag & reload quickly. Not the same as a tube gun. Get that. But what are you shooting? People or grr animals?

ARs may not be the best saddle guns. Though you can make a case for them and the AK as well.

Choose your poison for your reasons. We all have to.
Name a single modern military or police agency that has a currently issued lever action rifle in use.

Perhaps there's a reason none do.
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