Has any Army ever adopted a lever action?


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Freddymac
May 12, 2006, 01:32 PM
I was talking to one of my pro gun friends at work. Donít worry, we were at lunch. We were talking about how we both have Win mod 94ís in 30-30 handed down form our dads. Then we naturally just started talking about lever actions. You know which ones we would like, what we would like to see chambered, etc. Then, somehow the question came up, has any military ever adopted a lever action on a large scale as their main battle rifle? If anyone knows it would be interesting to find out the who, what, and when?

Thanks,
Fred

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Eleven Mike
May 12, 2006, 01:36 PM
The Turks, in the nineteenth century I believe.

AJAX22
May 12, 2006, 01:37 PM
The Russian Czars army in wwI were issued winchesters at times.

History Nut
May 12, 2006, 01:47 PM
I read about a battle between the Turks and I believe the Russians where the Turks issued Winchesters to every soldier in the trenches to supplement their single-shot breechloaders. They volley fired at long range with their single-shot rifles(that had more range than the Winchesters) until the Russians got to within 100 yards. They then switched to the Winchesters and poured devastating fire into the Russian ranks which broke their attack.

In WWI, the Russians bought a large quantity of Model 1895 Winchesters chambered in 7.62 x 54R Russian to supplement their production of M1891 Mosin-Nagants. Besides being chambered in the Russian cartridge, they were made with a stripper clip guide. They were full length rifles with bayonets. I have often wondered what happened to all those 1895s and if they survived and could be imported and sold here.

All the above is based on long-ago reading and may contain inaccurate information.:D

sterling180
May 12, 2006, 01:50 PM
Did the US army or Marine Corps, adopt the Winchester 1892 and 1894 lever-action rifles-for use in WW?,because a replica gun manufacturer called Relics,said that it was used by the US in WW1.

El Tejon
May 12, 2006, 02:00 PM
sterling, unofficially many U.S. infantry and cavalry unit adopted the Henry rifle during the American Civil War, including one of my ancestors cavalry units.

ID_shooting
May 12, 2006, 02:01 PM
Not adopted but allowed. Soldiers could and did buy and use Henry repeaters in the late 1800's.

Carl N. Brown
May 12, 2006, 02:18 PM
Tsarist Russia bought several thousand Winchester 1895 lever
actions in 7.62x54R. These were used for decades in Tsarist
and Soviet service.

Even earlier, Russian troops armed with single shot rifles got a
rude surprise from Turks armed with Winchester 1866 modified
by Hiram Maxim to semi-auto by use of a spring loaded buttplate
linked to the action lever.

Winchester 1894 in .30-30 was a common US police and prison
guard choice and probably ended up in non-standard non-issue
military use over the years, but was not officially adopted.
160 gr FMJ .30-30 was cataloged for police use for years.
There were many models of guns used in small numbers by the
US military but not officially adopted as standard issue, including
the Remington Model 8 semi-auto rifle in .30 Remington (a rimless
.30-30 cartridge). Strangly it seems the US military did not
officially adopt a lever action, the most "American" of all repeaters.

unspellable
May 12, 2006, 02:27 PM
The Russian Winchester leads to a trick beer bet question just about every body gets wrong.

Question: For what cartridge were the greatest number of Winchester Model 1895 chambered?

Answer: The 6.62x54R Russian.

Of course most people will guess 405 Winchester, 30-40 krag, etc.

I have heard some estimates that the 7.62x54R chambering accounted for more than 50% of all 1895s or more than all other chamberings combined.

ArmedBear
May 12, 2006, 02:34 PM
Even earlier, Russian troops armed with single shot rifles got a
rude surprise from Turks armed with Winchester 1866 modified
by Hiram Maxim to semi-auto by use of a spring loaded buttplate
linked to the action lever.


Any serious collector types know if any of these still exist?

I imagine they'd fetch a good price, more than I can afford, but they'd sure be interesting pieces!

Are there blueprints around anywhere? It would also be intriguing to take a '66 replica and build one.

Dave Markowitz
May 12, 2006, 02:42 PM
During the Civil War, the Union Army bought over 100,000 (I think) Spencer carbines and rifles in .56-.50 and .56-.52. A small number of Henry rifles in .44 Rimfire were also purchased.

During World War I a small number of Winchester 1894s in .30 WCF were bought for home guard type use.

During the 1870s the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) purchased a large number of Winchester 1866 Muskets in .44 Rimfire. These were used to great effect against the Russians at the Battle of Plevna in 1877.

In the late 19th Century, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police adopted the Winchester 1876 in .45-75 WCF.

During World War I, the Russians bought a very large number of Winchester 1895 Muskets in 7.62x54R and fitted with a stripper clip guide.

Harve Curry
May 12, 2006, 03:03 PM
Spencer and Henry lever actions during our "Civil War", and the Spencer stayed in service though the 1870's Indian Wars.

The Turks bought Evans lever action rifles to use against the Russians also.

The already mentioned Winchester 1895 cal 7.62x54r went to Russia, I also wondered if we'd see them reappear after the fall of the USSR, along with S&W Russian model revolvers, maybe someday.

ugaarguy
May 12, 2006, 03:26 PM
Oh, Man if I was in California (thankfully I'm not) I think Winchester 1895 in 7.62 x 54R with a stripper clip guide would be just the ticket. I know Garands and M1As are still legal there, but that '95 lever gun would be pretty sweet.

Sleuth
May 12, 2006, 03:33 PM
Armed Bear, since you are in the People Republic of **********, you cannot make a fully auto lever gun. In fact, unless you are a "Type 07" manufacturer, no one can. Manufactuire of new MG's was banned in 1986.

I think at one point the Mexican Army (yes, there is such a thing) adopted some variant of lever gun.

Tory
May 12, 2006, 03:54 PM
and the British issued the Martini-Henry. And was not the Burnside also a lever action?

Yes, each was a single-action. But the question said NOTHING about repeaters; only "lever action."

The Spencer was, as mentioned, used by entire Federal units during the Civil War (See John Wilder's "Lightning Brigade" at Hoover's Gap, for example). So. there's a repeating lever action.

Cosmoline
May 12, 2006, 03:55 PM
The Army had a chance to adopt a prototype Savage 99, but turned them down. They wanted the same kind of toys the Eruopean armies had. Ironically, our military had nothing as good as the '99 until the Garand came out. I'll put a Savage '99 nose-to-nose against a Springfield or Krag any day of the week as a battle rifle. The Savage is easier to tote, faster to the shoulder and can fire VERY fast. I remember shooting down spruce trees from the hip, one after the other, with my '99 in .308 and wondering why the devil we never adopted this rifle for our doughboys. It would have made a legendary trench weapon, even better than the scattergun. The accuracy edge of the bolt actions beyond 300 yards isn't as great as people think and doesn't matter much in real warfare anyway, outside of a sniper's weapon.

Sleuth
May 12, 2006, 04:12 PM
Cosmo, you may have a point .... right up until it's time to reload. Then, the 1903 with chargers trumps your 99.

unspellable
May 12, 2006, 04:20 PM
The Martini is not a lever action but a martini action. I had two, one an ex-Australian training rifle, the other an Ithica 22LR designed to look like a lever action.

JesseJames
May 12, 2006, 04:33 PM
Yeah but the Spencer is not REALLY a lever-action. It's a drop breach loader.

JesseJames
May 12, 2006, 04:34 PM
Yeah but the Spencer is not REALLY a lever-action. It's a drop breach loader isn't it?

Deanimator
May 12, 2006, 04:54 PM
In WWI, the Russians bought a large quantity of Model 1895 Winchesters chambered in 7.62 x 54R Russian to supplement their production of M1891 Mosin-Nagants. Besides being chambered in the Russian cartridge, they were made with a stripper clip guide. They were full length rifles with bayonets. I have often wondered what happened to all those 1895s and if they survived and could be imported and sold here.

They were also issued at the start of the German invasion in 1941, since the Soviets were desparate for ANYTHING that would fire a bullet.

As to what happened to them, some of them apparently made it to the US, since I almost bought one from a gunstore in Cleveland in the late '80s or early '90s.

As far as the Maxim converted Winchester 66s, to the best of knowledge, NONE of those ever made their way into combat. In fact, I believe that only a handful at best were made for testing before Maxim moved onto bigger and better things.

Regarding Winchester '92s and '94s, the U.S. military made repeated small purchases of them as utility and "pot" guns. As an interesting trivia item, in the movie Destination Tokyo, the landing party sent to spy on and spoof the Japanese is armed with at least one Winchester '92 or '94. I don't know if this is an accurate portrayal of smallarms issued to submarine crews, or if it was a substitution for unavailable M1 Carbines.

Cosmoline
May 12, 2006, 04:56 PM
Then, the 1903 with chargers trumps your 99

There's no reason the '99 couldn't have been rigged with chargers for military use. The Greek Mannlicher-Schoenauer also used a rotary magazine and fed off chargers. I was able to feed my .308 off chargers, though without the clip feeder built in it was tricky.

http://gunboards.com/forums/uploaded/tplan/20041212194418_53R%20006.jpg

Dave Markowitz
May 12, 2006, 04:58 PM
Yeah but the Spencer is not REALLY a lever-action. It's a drop breach loader isn't it?

The Spencer is a 7 shot repeater. The magazine is in the buttstock. You may be thinking of the Sharps, which does bear some cosmetic similarities to the Spencer.

Leonovicz
May 12, 2006, 05:09 PM
The Modern Firearms website has a page on the Winchester 1895 (http://world.guns.ru/rifle/rfl25-e.htm), complete with a picture of the Russian variation. Interesting to see a full-length stock and upper handguard on the '95. I once saw a fine page on the Spencer carbine, but can't seem to remember the URL. Here is a website (http://www.aotc.net/Spencer.htm) that includes a cross section picture.

Jac
May 12, 2006, 05:22 PM
Oh, man... I really like that '95 Saddle Ring Carbine. *drool*

Mikee Loxxer
May 12, 2006, 05:22 PM
Not having much experience with lever guns (the only one I ever fired was a Marlin chambered for 45-70) I have to wonder "can you shoot one easily from the prone position like you can a bolt gun?" If not is this the reason why the lever action is not used by professionals (except maybe as a guide gun) anymore? I would think a bolt or autoloading gun would be a much better choice than a lever action on the post WWI battlefield.

roscoe
May 12, 2006, 05:36 PM
Some of Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders carried 1895 Winchesters in 30-40.

Detritus
May 12, 2006, 07:01 PM
Cosmo, you may have a point .... right up until it's time to reload. Then, the 1903 with chargers trumps your 99.


unless i am gravely mistaken the Savage 1895 (first model of the 99) rifles submitted for the army trials DID have a form of charger guide. used to have a picture (lost when my last Comp. "got Ebola" so to speak) of one of the rifles submitted for evaluation along with 5 rounds of clipped 30-40 Krag, this is the ONLY pic i have ever seen of clipped 30-40.

Cosmoline
May 12, 2006, 07:19 PM
Not having much experience with lever guns (the only one I ever fired was a Marlin chambered for 45-70) I have to wonder "can you shoot one easily from the prone position like you can a bolt gun?" If not is this the reason why the lever action is not used by professionals (except maybe as a guide gun) anymore? I would think a bolt or autoloading gun would be a much better choice than a lever action on the post WWI battlefield.

You can certainly fire them prone. Any additional clearance can be had by simply tilting the receiver. But it's no more difficult than trying to manipulate a WWI era bolt action prone. Plus, the levergun has substantial advantage in moving combat. So why would a primitive autoloader or long bolt action rifle be superior?

Tory
May 12, 2006, 07:38 PM
"The Martini is not a lever action but a martini action. I had two, one an ex-Australian training rifle, the other an Ithica [sic] 22LR designed to look like a lever action."

That "Martini action" is LEVER operated. On BOTH guns.

As I own both a Mk. IV Martini-Henry and an Ithaca Saddle gun, I think I know how they work. :scrutiny:

Crosshair
May 14, 2006, 01:35 AM
For those of you who want to know, the first time that the use of repeating rifles resulted in a significant strategic advantage for one side was during the Plevna Delay (http://www.militaryrifles.com/Turkey/Plevna/ThePlevnaDelay.html). The link goes to an interesting read on how the Turks used the repeating rifle to repell several Russian attacks. I like to call the lever rifle the 19th century submachine gun. That is basicly what it was at the time. A short range weapon with a high rate of fire. (Compared to other weapons of the day.)

Eleven Mike
May 14, 2006, 02:00 AM
That "Martini action" is LEVER operated. On BOTH guns.Yes, but it's not a lever-action. A lever-action has a bolt, but we don't call it a bolt action. Lever-action and bolt-action are just terms that indicate a certain type of gun and the Martini is neither.

A Martini-Henry is a single-shot breechloader, putting it in a whole different category from a lever-action.

Gunstore Commando
May 14, 2006, 10:01 AM
The Frontier Battalion of the Texas Rangers, effectively more of a paramilitary than a law enforcement organization, of course made great use of Winchester 73's, 76's, etc. Someone has also mentioned the RCMP, another similiarly constitued group.

Speaking of Canada, I have a vague recollection that some Canadian Home Guard units had Savage 99's.

MikeJackmin
May 14, 2006, 10:53 AM
I (think) I recently read about a flaming-bomb-marked Winchester lever gun that was issued to a few folks in the Northwest US during WWII. They were some sort of forest ranger/home front military outfit. I don't recall the details, sorry.

I sure would have prefered a '94 to an '03 in the trenches, personally...

Tory
May 14, 2006, 11:56 AM
"Yes, but it's [the Martini action] not a lever-action."

Really? A quick use of GOOGLE produced the following information:

Martini-Henry website says:

The Martini-Henry Rifle is a weapon of Empire....This robust weapon utilized a falling block, self-cocking, lever operated, single-shot action designed by Friedrich von Martini of Switzerland.

Guns & Ammo website says:

The Ithaca Model 49 was a lever-action Martini-type single-shot.

Note that the "LEVERGUNS" website also includes the Ithaca . :scrutiny:

Now explain how a gun that requires the user to operate a lever to function is NOT a "lever action".......... :rolleyes:

Cosmoline
May 14, 2006, 02:27 PM
Simple. The lever does not actuate the action. The shooter's arm and hand function in that capacity. Hence a Martini-Henry has a lever (long or short) but that lever does not cycle the action, it merely opens the breech and ejects the spent shell. A lever ACTION will eject the spend shell and load up a new cartridge with a stroke forward and a stroke back.

The 49 is best described as a faux lever action, but it was clearly designed to look like a true levergun and is better classed with the true leverguns than with the Martini-Henry's, Farquarsons and other single shots which have a breech opened by some sort of lever device.

Eleven Mike
May 14, 2006, 02:28 PM
Now explain how a gun that requires the user to operate a lever to function is NOT a "lever action".......... It's very simple. When the term is used, it means a repeater, not a single-shot.

You might as well say, "explain how an AR-15, which uses a bolt to cycle and fire, is NOT a bolt-action."

Eleven Mike
May 14, 2006, 03:26 PM
Now that I think of it, Tory, we still call a single-shot bolt-action a bolt action, so you may be partly right. However, would you say that a Ruger No. 1 is a lever-action? This doesn't make sense to me. Maybe single-shot bolt guns should not be so called.

Cosmoline, I would say that the lever of the Martini does "actuate the action," but that said action is very different from a lever-gun in that it doesn't reload the gun.

tinner man
May 14, 2006, 04:07 PM
They had the lever action, why they were so dangerous. According to John Wayne movies.:)

Tory
May 14, 2006, 06:55 PM
"The 49 is best described as a faux lever action, but it was clearly designed to look like a true levergun and is better classed with the true leverguns than with the Martini-Henry's [sic], Farquarsons and other single shots which have a breech opened by some sort of lever device."

Nonsense. The Ithaca is, by your definition, LESS less of a "lever action" than the Martini-Henry. The former does nothing more than drop the breech block, allowing the case/cartridge to eject; the hammer must be manually cocked for the gun to fire.

The Martini-Henry cocks the striker with the action of the lever, making that an integral function of the "lever action."

Note that TWO sources support my position; you have yet to cite any supporting yours. Try again...........:rolleyes:

Eleven Mike
May 15, 2006, 12:03 AM
Tory,

Your first source, the Martini-Henry website, does not support your contention. It says "lever-operated," but it does not say that the gun is a lever-action.

The other two sources you haven't actually cited, so give me some URL's and I'll take a look. Are these websites reliable, credible sources? Perhaps they are wrong in their statements.

What I'm trying to tell you is that a single-shot rifle that uses a lever to operate it's action is not in the same category with a repeating rifle. The Martini-Henry may be an improvement over a rifle that must be manually cocked, but as a military rifle it is worlds apart from a gun that can fire several shots without reloading. So, it would be silly to call both guns by the same name when their capabilities are so much different.

Harve Curry
May 15, 2006, 01:13 AM
Don't forget the Evans, 32 rounds in the old model or 28 rounds in the new sporting models, 44 caliber centerfire like a hot loaded 44-40.

Carl N. Brown
May 15, 2006, 10:44 AM
Martinis are lever operated action just like the Sharps,
but most folks think of the Sharps as a single shot
and leveraction implies lever action repeaters like the
Winchester and Marlin, that's the common usage.

The Spencer is a lever-action, drop breech loader like many
single shots, but it is also a repeater with a buttstock tube
magazine. Unlike the Winchester and Marlin, working the
lever on the Spencer does not cock the hammer: you
have to do that by hand. Spencer was one of its kind.

Spencers and Henrys were issued by the military. Have we
settled whether they were officially adopted as standards?

Tory
May 15, 2006, 12:13 PM
"What I'm trying to tell you is that a single-shot rifle that uses a lever to operate it's action is not in the same category with a repeating rifle."

Absolutely - NO repeater is in the same category as a single-shot, regardless of how operated. My contention is simple: If the gun requires manual operation of a lever to function, it is a "lever action." Whether said gun is also a repeater is a separate analysis.

As the question referred to "lever action" guns adopted by any army, the Martini-Henry, which ruled the British empire from 1875 through 1888 and was expressly referred to by Kipling in at least 2 of his poems, qualifies.

GOOGLE "Martini-Henry" for its site; "lever action" for a LOT more.

rbernie
May 15, 2006, 12:51 PM
Plus, the levergun has substantial advantage in moving combat. So why would a primitive autoloader or long bolt action rifle be superior?Most leverguns do not have the extraction or feeding power of a boltgun, and do very poorly when asked to feed and extract ammo that's muddy, dented, or otherwise not quite in spec.

I love my 99's, but they *do* have their limitations to being viable choices as military firearms. Of course, the same could be said of ANY of the modern push-feed semiauto designs.... :D

Cosmoline
May 15, 2006, 01:09 PM
Most leverguns do not have the extraction or feeding power of a boltgun, and do very poorly when asked to feed and extract ammo that's muddy, dented, or otherwise not quite in spec.


I don't know that that's true at all. The '94 has loose tolerances and can certainly deal with muddy ammo. In fact I can't remember a single instance where any lever action I've owned, including '94's, Savage '99's and Marlin '95's have failed to extract in spite of being used in extremely rough and dirty environments. OTOH I know of many cases where old Mausers have failed to extract.

Absolutely - NO repeater is in the same category as a single-shot, regardless of how operated. My contention is simple: If the gun requires manual operation of a lever to function, it is a "lever action." Whether said gun is also a repeater is a separate analysis.

You're the only one I know of who considers Ruger No. 1 and Martini-Henrys to be true leverguns. Firearm classifications are by their nature fuzzy around the edges. But if you take them to the extreme and include as many firearms as possible in the definition, then the definition ceases being useful. A definition of "lever action" which includes a huge array of single shot rifles isn't a useful definition. Both as a matter of firearm taxonmy and historical analysis, the Martini-Henry belongs with the other single shot breech loaded early cartridge firearms where the user feeds his own cartridges by hand, such as the trapdoor springfield. To claim it should be classed with the subsequent and unrelated line of leverguns because they both incorporate levers is silly. Once you get beyond the surface, the two kinds of rifles have nothing in common.

With early single shot bolt actions, OTOH, you can see a direct line between the first single shot Mauser and the tube fed version, which then followed into the magazine fed varieties. The Martini-Henry did not evolve into the Henry or the Winchester. Nothing about it did.

Stop confusing lever-operated with lever action.

Correia
May 15, 2006, 01:21 PM
Tory, I would be hard pressed to find any firearms historian, curator, or bonafide arms expert that would agree with your terminology. Regardless of what a couple of hobbyist webpages have to say. Even the NRA hunters education packet and basic rifle course disagrees with you. Lever actions are universally considered to be repeaters.

rbernie
May 15, 2006, 01:32 PM
The '94 has loose tolerances and can certainly deal with muddy ammo. In fact I can't remember a single instance where any lever action I've owned, including '94's, Savage '99's and Marlin '95's have failed to extract in spite of being used in extremely rough and dirty environments. OTOH I know of many cases where old Mausers have failed to extract. I can't get my '99s to accept neck-sized ammo or ammo that's been deformed in the body in any way with 100% reliability, but those same rounds will chamber and fire in my bolt-actions every single time. The bolt action simply has the leverage to close the breech under conditions that the levergun can't handle.

And I can't count the number of times that each of my 99s have slipped that silly teeny weenie little extractor hook off the rim and failed to extract a round that was a little hot or a little dirty. My C Model Series A in 243 was the worst, but i've had both of my Model Es in 308 and all four of my Model Fs in 308 fail to extract at least one round per one hundred during load development.

The Marlin '95 has been more reliable on extraction for me, presumably because it has a bigger hook. But it still lacks the camming action needed to chamber casings that are not dangerously close to SAAMI minimum spec.

Cosmoline
May 15, 2006, 01:43 PM
But if leveractions were inherently poor at extraction, the same would apply to automatic actions and make them improper as military firearms. There's nothing preventing a stiffer or stronger extractor from being used.

rbernie
May 15, 2006, 01:48 PM
Don't disagree - in fact, if you go back and read my original post in this thread that's exactly the point I made. :D

The issue with the Savage 99 is that Savage never did address the poor design of their extractor, and (not being spring-loaded) it doesn't lend itself to aftermarket 'fixes'.

Eleven Mike
May 15, 2006, 01:52 PM
Is the bolt handle of a bolt-action firearm also a lever, widening Tory's definition even more?

Sleuth
May 15, 2006, 04:30 PM
Take the next step. Since all semi and fully automatic firearms utilize the principal of the lever (including revolvers), let's distort the meaning to "All firearms that have levers in them are lever guns!"



(You don't think they do? Look at triggers, safetys, extractors, etc.)

rbernie
May 15, 2006, 05:07 PM
"Give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the whole world."
[Archimedes]

Who'da thunk Archimedes was a closet gunnie? :D

akodo
May 15, 2006, 05:52 PM
Simple. The lever does not actuate the action. The shooter's arm and hand function in that capacity. Hence a Martini-Henry has a lever (long or short) but that lever does not cycle the action, it merely opens the breech and ejects the spent shell. A lever ACTION will eject the spend shell and load up a new cartridge with a stroke forward and a stroke back.

What about hinge action, as in a single shot or doublebarreled break open shotgun? Same thing there, the hinge is only opening the breach and ejecting the case.

The lever on a single shot was around before the repeater, I see no problem with labeling a single shot rifle that operates by means of a lever as a lever action, just like a single shot bolt action is still a bolt.

I've also heard the ruger single shot rifles referred to as lever action

freedom and guns
May 15, 2006, 06:11 PM
The russians and the US used this rifle. http://world.guns.ru/rifle/rfl25-e.htm

unspellable
May 15, 2006, 06:27 PM
Guess my break open 12 gauge double is now a lever action.

more seriously, many types of actions have levers. The point that distinguishes a "lever action" is that the lever moves the breech block or bolt back and forth by pivoted lever action and in the process reloads the chamber. It was conceived from the beginning as a repeater and I've never heard of anything that could be construed as a lever action that was not a repeater.

Calling anything with a lever a "lever action" would be the same as labeling any self loader as "gas operated" because utimately it's gas pressure that operates it regardless of whether its blow back, blow forward, short recoil, long recoil, or gas operated. But we still divide self loaders into the five categories because their operation is so different.

And then most operated firearms have a bolt so that would make them bolt actions? The Ithica 22 is clearly a faux lever action and not a true lever action.

I've always heard that one of the reasons the lever action was not more widely regarded as a military arm was the risk of denting a tubular magazine and rendering it inoperative or at least into a single shot.

Eleven Mike
May 15, 2006, 07:02 PM
I've always heard that one of the reasons the lever action was not more widely regarded as a military arm was the risk of denting a tubular magazine and rendering it inoperative or at least into a single shot.
Wouldn't make a difference now, of course, as we have tube mags on military shotguns and box mags which are not exactly indestructible. I would imagine a tube magazine on a rifle could be pretty tough, if made from steel of the appropriate guage.

I have no experience with levers. Have dented magazines ever been a problem?

KaceCoyote
May 15, 2006, 07:13 PM
I would kill for a 7.62x54R Leveraction, man that would be AWESOME!

Nashmack
May 16, 2006, 05:53 AM
The United States Army issued limited numbers of Winchester 1895's during the Philipene Insurrection for field trials against the Krag. These 95s were never adopted, soldiers believing the Krag was easier to load. The American 95s were in caliber 30-40.

Nashmack
May 16, 2006, 05:56 AM
Unspellable, Eleven Mike, the Winchester 1895 used a 5 shot box magazine, not a tube. That argument does not apply to that situation.

Eleven Mike
May 16, 2006, 07:23 AM
Unspellable, Eleven Mike, the Winchester 1895 used a 5 shot box magazine, not a tube. That argument does not apply to that situation.You don't say. Next thing you know, Winchester will make a lever-action shot gun, perhaps a 94 chambered in .410. :neener:

Nashmack
May 16, 2006, 07:43 AM
You can get a 10 in lever action, but those old Brownings are pretty hard to find;)

unspellable
May 16, 2006, 10:11 AM
Not all lever actions have tubular magazines, but as far as I can remember all center fire lever actions had tubular magazines up until the Winchester Model 1895. I'd suppose a tubular magazine could be made pretty strong if you were willing to put up with the weight, something that never seemed to give the military pause unti lafter WWII. But in the era of Custer and Little Big Horn the military supposedly did not like the tubular magazines. The indians seem to have had nothing against it though. The lever action would have lent itself to the light calvary techniques the plains indians specialized in.

Another strike against the lever action from the military viewpoint at the time was that the available lever actions were short actions and could not handle longer more powerful cartridges. John Browning came to the rescue once again and developed the compound lever action to handle longer cartridges.

I am thinking there was one model before it, but the 1894 is a long action. The locking lugs at the rear of the breech block meant it would compress and allow the cartridge case to stretch, limiting it to cartridges in the 30-30 class.
In the 1895 the locking lugs moved forward, making a more rigid assembly and allowing use of the 30-40, 405, 7.63x54R, etc.

Sleuth
May 16, 2006, 02:22 PM
Much of the objection to lever action rifles was an objection to all repeaters:
"The troops would waste ammo, and increase the need for supplies".

Our wonderful Ord. Dept. tried to keep single shot rifles because:
1. We had lots in inventory
2. They had a much lower rate of fire
3. They were a lot cheaper.

So much for worrying about the troops on the sharp end!

Even the 1903 rifle, which is magazine fed, has a cutoff. Troops were taught to fire the rifle as a single loader unless authorized by an officer to use magazine fire. I have a 1917 dated field manual to back this up, as well as several books about the history of our Ord. Corps.

(Sounds remarkably like the fiasco with the early M16's, where they changed to remanufactured leftover powder (with a high calcium content) to save money. That killed a lot of our troops as well.)

Art Eatman
May 17, 2006, 12:20 AM
One of the few rifles on which I made a profit and have regretted ever since was a high-grade 1895 saddle-ring carbine in .30-'03 with US Army markings on it.

So, yeah, for a while the US Army used the 1895.

Art

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