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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.
 

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Nothing wrong with a lever action rifle for SHTF. As a matter of fact, nothing wrong with choosing a bolt action. Maybe not as sexy as "Black Rifle's". But these still get the job done.

Personally I think something along the lines of Jeff Cooper's Scout rifle concept would be a fine SHTF rifle.

Regards,

Rob
 

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Renaissance Man
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Whatever works. I have a variety of guns for different purposes, and I'll pick the best weapon for whatever scenario I'm in. A hunting rifle is better for hunting, but I can conceal an SBR under a vest. It just depends.

I don't sweat the "carry one kind of ammo" philosophy for several reasons, but the main one is that the pistol is generally just a backup and there's no need to cripple my rifle with a pistol round just so they can use the same ammo. For most cases, there's no real need to carry a ton of pistol ammo anyway.

And for those that envision some kind of post apocalyptic world where we're all wandering around scrounging for provisions, that's the very least likely scenario. For that specific scenario, I guess it makes sense. Although having at least 2 different calibers would allow you a better chance to scrounge one you could use.

At any rate, I think it's not important. Pick the gun you like, shoot best, and stack the ammo deep. If you can afford it, have a whole armory.

Az
 

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Likely this thread will get moved to the firearms section, but what the hey, I'll bite.

I think lever actions are more viable in some parts of the country than others. They make decent brush guns where ranges are generally limited (particularly in the case of rifles using the same ammo as revolvers). They have serious limitations against two legged varmints in today's world though. Lower magazine capacity, faster ballistic drops and equivalent or higher cost than the ubiquitous military style semi-automatics that are in common usage these days. Lever actions are fine for hunting, but don't quite make the grade for defensive use unless your local laws make them the only legal choice you have. In addition, they lack accuracy at the longer ranges I encounter in my area because they transition to subsonic velocities too quickly.

I am also not a proponent of using the same ammo in a rifle as your pistol. I understand the logistical appeal, but when I need a rifle I want better performance than a pistol bullet will provide. In my opinion, the benefit of a single caliber to maintain isn't enough to offset the loss of capability that results. What worked for the cowboys of old won't work as well when the opposition has access to full powered semi-automatic rifles with better range, faster rate of fire and larger magazine capacity.
 

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reluctant sinner
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I have a Win 94 AE in 44 mag. to go with my 29's. It is POS and there are almost no parts. It had head space issues as new. I welded up the back of the bolt to correct the sting in your hand.

The right cartridge guide cracked in the screw hole. I drilled and tapped in a bushing to repair it because there are no parts.

The lifter is about 1/2 short where it broke off. I filed out a piece to weld in just haven't done it yet. It would function if you work the lever quickly (normal). There are no parts.

Then the ejector broke. I'll weld it up too. I found a part for $30 but the POS isn't worth spending a nickel on IMHO.

Rossi don't have a good reputation.

Maybe go to a cowboy action event and see what they are using for lever guns.

I like my model 60. It's the smallest personal defense weapon I would carry. A 38 Special isn't a long range cartridge even in a long barrel like a carbine vs the 2" snub nose. Back when I shot it a lot I could hit 1 gallon milk jugs at 100 yards or beer bottles out of the air if you threw them. With the 29's I could hit the milk jugs at 200 yards but the they have 10 5/8 barrels with adjustable sight on both ends. The brace of 29's weigh less than the 94 and hold 2 more rounds.
 

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Awesome
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i have no issues with the concept of using pistol ammo for a rifle, many rounds will double in muzzle kinetic energy between a 4 inch pistol and a 10 inch carbine and 357 mag from a longer rifle delivers serious amounts of energy.. however its the limited capacity, slow reloading tube magazines and the rimmed cartridges i see as a disadvantage to other options.. for general survival it doesnt matter but for defense it would become an issue

thats why for a pistol/rifle combo i prefer pistol cal carbines, straight blowbacks based off WWII and cold war sub guns that are mechanically a hell of a lot simpler and more robust than even lever actions or bolt actions because theres no locking system at all, just a big weight, a spring, and a barrel basically, and they feed from box mags, not tube mags, which are much easier and faster to reload, and hold more and these will make pistol ammunition effective and lethal out to 200

ill take a sterling SMG and a CZ75 over a lever action and a revolver
 

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Learning
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In my opinion a .357 lever action will have more felt recoil than a m1 carbine. Imo a m1 carbine is perfect for smaller women. This way you still get semi auto. I have a couple for my wife and daughter. FYI they do make .30 carbine handguns. I have one in ruger Blackhawk. Can't say what the felt recoil is on that gun though. I hear it is loud.
 

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Awesome
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In my opinion a .357 lever action will have more felt recoil than a m1 carbine. Imo a m1 carbine is perfect for smaller women. This way you still get semi auto. I have a couple for my wife and daughter. FYI they do make .30 carbine handguns. I have one in ruger Blackhawk. Can't say what the felt recoil is on that gun though. I hear it is loud.
or you could just use 38 special for women.. 38 special from a 16 inch barrel becomes quite lethal
 

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I'm pretty flush with "combat" rifles and handguns and EDC pistols. Ammo and training are also checked off the list. Now, I'm just buying the "fun" guns that I always wanted.

After I pick up my .44 mag, next in line will be a matching Henry Big Boy. Maybe one in .357 for the Mrs. at Xmas.

I'd primarily shoot it for the heck of it or perhaps even to hunt with.

But I wouldn't discount it's "grey man" worth, either. In a time when Black Rifles attract too much attention or are out and out banned, the lever gun and its wheeled partner just might fly under the radar.
 

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Agree

While I have a few weapons that were not lost in the tragic boating accident some years back, a lever gun is a some what useful addition to your tools I have a Henry in .44 Magnum, carry a Smith .44 when I ride. Takes down most game (bears) where I live and provides a "feel good" effect when out riding the property. You have commonality of ammo, more than a bit of knock down power and it fits the holder on the horse. Now for Elk, the .375 is my go to, I am do have a few other black guns that scare Hillary, but I think you are on the right track. Now, .44 Mag does pack a punch, maybe a .22 Mag over a .410 might be right for someone small frame. That's what I have for the grandkids and women (no insult intended). The .22 M has some snap and the .410 with buckshot does deliver some pain. JMHO.

BTW, Semper Fi.

Ez
 

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Semper Vigilans
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Don't get me wrong, I grew up on a ranch, listening to old sons of the pioneers watching old westerns and wanted to be a cowboy when I grew up. So much so that my Grandmother even painted my portrait of me dreaming about becoming a cowboy.



And every time I am in my LGS I stop and drool all over their Henry Lever Actions, specifically the one in .44mag. And I just can't justify the purchase yet until I feel like I have filled all my other Gun needs first.

The Henry is a WANT.

Would love to have one in .44mag along with an old Ruger or Colt in .44mag to match, find me an old leather drop leg cowboy holster and then go find me a horse............sigh..............I'm dreaming again.

I don't have anything wrong with someone making that choice for their SHTF gun but it isn't mine. I want Rifle ballistics out of my rifles and I want capacity and ease of use out of my SHTF pistols.
.
 

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Heliphobe
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I have 2 357 Lever guns, a Rossi and an EMF, both 20" barrels. My intent was like yours, a good carbine for my wife to use. I upgraded them with gunslinger kits, following the Kiowa Jones videos, put some nice leather on the levers ... sweet little shooters.

But my wife will grab her custom 10/22 TD every single time. Just a week ago she put nearly a brick of ammo through it - if she knew how much it was worth she'd have cried. I was just overjoyed she was getting the practice in. No mag dumps for her, she sighted every shot, on the steel range at variable distances - she's getting good, and she's completely oblivious to it. So at this point I'm just getting her a few more BX-25s and scrounging all the stingers I can find. There's a whole mess of "better" guns she won't/can't shoot, but dog gone it if push came to shove, I'd hate to be on the receiving end of her precision inside 100 yds.
 

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Errrrr
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Don't get me wrong, I grew up on a ranch, listening to old sons of the pioneers watching old westerns and wanted to be a cowboy when I grew up. So much so that my Grandmother even painted my portrait of me dreaming about becoming a cowboy.



And every time I am in my LGS I stop and drool all over their Henry Lever Actions, specifically the one in .44mag. And I just can't justify the purchase yet until I feel like I have filled all my other Gun needs first.

The Henry is a WANT.

Would love to have one in .44mag along with an old Ruger or Colt in .44mag to match, find me an old leather drop leg cowboy holster and then go find me a horse............sigh..............I'm dreaming again.

I don't have anything wrong with someone making that choice for their SHTF gun but it isn't mine. I want Rifle ballistics out of my rifles and I want capacity and ease of use out of my SHTF pistols.
.
Get a Henry in .22 and call it a day with the lever action.
 

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Semper Vigilans
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Get a Henry in .22 and call it a day with the lever action.
Maybe for my Grandsons but if I get a Henry it will have a full on cartridge like the 44. Ain't no real cowboys running around with a .22lr! ;)

I don't think there was much difference in price anyway.
IIRC he has them sitting in a row from .22lr, 357, .44 and about 2 or 3 other calibers that I don't recall.

And in .44 it could actually be useful if needed.
.
 

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Like posted above this is a "want" of mine - Henry + colt both in .45 long colt. I also "want" a .338 Lapua or .50 BMG. There are places I could get a 1,000 + yd shot here in NM, but at $5.00 a round - not sure I could get proficient.

The saddle gun & pistol has an appeal. .45 long colt isn't quite as bad ass as the .44 magnum- but would suit my purposes. That would be a 100 yd & under range anyway. There are better options available for distance.

The black guns are purpose built & ranged too. 500, 100-300 & sub 100. The .308's are good out to 800. The pistols & .12 guage cover close in.

So I don't NEED a lever action & wheel gun. But if I ever do go that way, they would be the same caliber. If nothing else just for convenience. Something to be said for carrying one type of ammo.

JMHO
 

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Not Trying to be the Bad Guy

What’s your take? Pro & Con?

Thanks all.
I live in a very small rural town of less than 4,000.


The majority are uneducated and poor. Most subsist on EBT cards and if they hunt it is solely for recreation.


Not trying to be a naysayer. Just saying that a lever action pistol combo would leave me out gunned once the locals get anxious. :)
 
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