How About "Tactical" Lever Actions?


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Nalapombu
February 10, 2009, 11:29 AM
Hey all,

It seems that more and more people are using LEVER ACTION rifles as their primary HD rifle instead of the "Evil Black Rifles" that scores or shooters are buying these days. Apparently there are lots of LEO agencies that are also using lever action rifles as their squad car rifle. Some of the reasons stated are ease of use, very quick learning curve, easy to become proficient quickly and the ability to use low cost ammo for training.

I had never really thought about it prior to seeing the show Shooting Gallery on the Sportsman's Channel. But it does make sense when you look at what the lever action gives you. In a pretty compact package you can get 10 rounds of 44 mag or 45LC. That is some pretty potent medicine for anything that would choose to invade your domicile in the middle of the night. That's not even looking at the 30-30 or the 45-70 rifles which would also give you the ability to stop any kind of creature that might give you trouble in camp, your hunting lodge or cabin or your home in rural America.

So now that we know there are LOTS of people and LEO's that are, BY CHOICE, using lever action rifles as their PRIMARY HD rifle, what lever action rifle would you choose as your "TACTICAL" Lever action rifle? What features would you have on it or do you think it SHOULD have? Would you go with a pistol caliber with HIGH capacity or pick one of the rifle cartridges that would give you more KO Power but less capacity?

Naturally if you have pics of lever guns that have been set up for this role, how about posting them? I know there are others out there other than me that would like to see them.

My choice would be a Winchester 94 Trapper with 16 inch barrel in 44 mag or a Marlin 1895G Guide gun in 45-70 with aftermarket picitinny rail and upgraded sights like what comes on the custom packages by several of the custom lever gun smiths.

What do you think?

BD






P.S. The use of the word "TACTICAL" in this thread is completely tongue in cheek.....

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ojibweindian
February 10, 2009, 11:54 AM
Marlin 336 in 30-30 with factory sights, or a Williams receiver peep.

Zundfolge
February 10, 2009, 12:12 PM
I'd think a Trapper with a red dot or some XS or tru-glo sights would make an excellent home defense gun.

XS makes a nice rail system for lever guns
http://xssights.com/store/scope.html

They also sell a ghostring sight setup that looks pretty cool http://xssights.com/store/rifle.html



I recently had a friend of mine that has always been mildly anti gun (and his wife is rabidly anti gun) come to me asking for advice on a home defense gun ... seems the "eclectic" neighborhood they live in has seen a bit of an increase in crime (particularly troubling is a couple of home invasion robberies). Well his wife flatly would not allow a handgun or "assault" rifle in the house, so I told him to go pick up a 16"-20" lever action rifle in .357 mag. He got a nice deal on a used 18" Marlin. Since he got it a month or so ago he's gone through close to 500 rounds of .357 mag and even his wife has enjoyed shooting it.

Its definitely a sufficient home defense weapon, and its "PC" appearance has made it easier for his anti-gun wife to accept and even enjoy. Plus its attractive enough (very nicely figured walnut stocks and excellent clear bluing) that it hangs on the wall in their bedroom so its easily accessible and most of their liberal friends don't even realize its a functional "real" firearm, simply a bit of kitschy decoration.

Big_E
February 10, 2009, 12:17 PM
Well duh, Lever actions are <wicked?. 44mag or 30-30 wouldn't be bad for LE use.

What about the Browning BLR that has a detachable magazine or the other brand that had it (Ruger?). Then you could have .308 or something similar but if they made the mags for 10 round cap then it would be pretty decent.

Eric F
February 10, 2009, 12:52 PM
If I had too, and again only if I had to, I would go with a wild west guns 500 S&W mag lever action with Iron sights. Nothing really tactical about lever actions and honestly I dont really see a use for the word tactical when speaking of a lever action. I mean really there is nothing even close to being tactical about them.

Duke of Doubt
February 10, 2009, 12:55 PM
Winchester Model 94, in .30-30 with 9x scope. That's my tactical rifle.

Duke of Doubt
February 10, 2009, 01:02 PM
EricF: "Nothing really tactical about lever actions and honestly I dont really see a use for the word tactical when speaking of a lever action. I mean really there is nothing even close to being tactical about them."

Well, our cavalry thought different back in the day. And I think different, now. A Winchester 94 in .30-30 with a 9x scope is a lot more "tactical," meaning used or useful in tactics, than a plastic .223 covered in electronic crap. I've got one of those, too.

benEzra
February 10, 2009, 01:04 PM
Gabriel Suarez wrote the following article a while back. I couldn't find the article on his website anymore, but here's the text:

THE TACTICAL 30-30 LEVER ACTION RIFLE
Copyright 1999, Gabriel Suarez
All Rights Reserved

Ask any student of small arms to name the most typically American rifle and chances are that they will name the .30-30 lever action rifle. Manufactured for over a century by Marlin, Winchester, and others - the lever action invokes images of the Old West. We see Jimmy Stewart in "Winchester '73" smiting the enemies of justice and freedom with his "repeater". We see John Wayne admonishing his adversaries to "fill their hands" as he gallops forward, a stubby Winchester in each hand. And, of course, we see photos of that most American of presidents - Theodore Roosevelt wielding his lever action against all manner of beasties in Africa. This ubiquitous and understated weapon has played a very major role in this country's history.

Today the lever action is most often seen in the hands of close range deer hunters as a brush gun. It is not likely to be the first weapon that comes to our minds when the talk turns to fighting. But make no mistake friends, as a fighting (anti-personnel) weapon, the lever action is just as useful and deadly today, on a lonely stretch of highway in the bad part of town, as it was in the dusty cow towns of the Kansas Territory more than a century ago.


Today a rifle of this sort might be kept in tactical storage in a hall closet, above the hearth, or in the trunk of a car for unexpected social unpleasantries. In such a role the lever action has several advantages over other weapons that are more commonly thought of as fighting tools.

Primarily, the lever action is inexpensive. Used examples in perfect working condition may be had for about a hundred bucks. Even brand new weapons will set you back less than the price of a night on the town for two. Compare that with the price of a more military-like, and hopefully still legal, Sturmgewehr-fighting rifle (If you can find one for sale these days)!

The ammunition (.30-30 Winchester Centerfire) has all the characteristics desirable in a mid-range fighting rifle cartridge. In fact, the ballistics of the .30-30 cartridge are amazingly similar to those for the most specifically designed fighting cartridge of all, the 7.62X39 Russian chambered in the AK-47. Shot for shot, the .30-30 will do everything you could ask from a mid-range tactical rifle. And it will do these things far better than many military weapons will!

Being "sporting guns", lever actions are usually issued with fairly good triggers which are crisp and conducive to hitting. Even if the trigger action is rough on some pieces, it is a simple matter to have it brought up to speed by a gunsmith. Additionally, you'd have to look long and hard to find a gunsmith that isn't familiar with the lever action lock-work. This is certainly more than we can say about the gritty as-issued, or modified triggers of the various SKS, AK, HK etc.

Finally, the lever action rifle is more compact in its 16 inch barrel configuration than most other rifles that might be chosen to fill the role. Equally important in this age of sensitive, touchie-feelie, felon huggers, it looks innocent. Don't dismiss this last attribute too easily. In our troubled and ignorant times, juries release violent murderers and rapists because they are not intelligent enough to discern the real facts from the spun fiction. Such things as a bayonet lug or a 30 round magazine from East Germany may confuse them enough to change your life's plans...drastically.

The standard .30-30 will suffice as issued for most duties. But enhancement may be undertaken to improve its performance. One area where improvements may be made is the sights. These weapons are issued with the old buckhorn type sights. They will do, but a rear ghost ring aperture sight with its accompanying front sight post will, in my opinion, do much better. These are available from various sources.

My .30-30 carbine has a modified 1903-A3 rear sight whose aperture has been opened up to ghost ring configuration. This rear sight, coupled with a ROBAR front sight at the end of the barrel, works very well indeed.

Also useful is a leather butt-cuff. This keeps extra ammunition on the weapon itself. This may compromise the concept of the light carbine, but if you have to grab the rifle and run out of your house at 0'dark 30 one night to repel the Visigoths, you'll be glad the extra ammo was there. I know that I was always glad to have a few extras!

Winchester still provides their lever action rifle in the "Wrangler" 16 inch barrel configuration. Marlin once made a similar model called the "Marauder". If your fighting lever gun is too long, it is a simple matter to have your excess barrel lopped off at the local gunsmithy (make certain it remains at least 16" long to keep "you know who" away). Such a conversion will greatly enhance handling, as well as keep the spirit of the compact weapon.

I thus modified an old Marlin 336 rifle that I rescued from the used gun rack at the local gun store. Total cost of the entire package was less than two hundred bucks (including a nice 4X Leupold scope, which I eventually mounted on another rifle!). It is short, light, hard hitting, rugged, cheap to replace if necessary...and well, it looks innocent. I obtained a supply of hunting grade PMC 150 grain .30-30 ammo and tested the combative utility of the carbine via a series of rifle exercises from Suarez Internationals Tactical Rifle school. The drills involve both close range reactive shooting as well as longer distances possible in combative encounters. For purposes of uniformity, all drills commenced from the Rhodesian ready position - that is gun held loosely at the belt level with the muzzle depressed to the offside.


Head shots were fired from the shoulder at 25 meters. Body shots were next at 50 meters, 75 meters, and 100 meters. Multiple targets were shot at 50 meters distance as well as up close at 7 meters. Close quarters targets were engaged both with snap shots from the shoulder, as well as from the Close Contact CQB position. Approximately 200 rounds were fired to get an overall impression of the lever action rifle in the anti-personnel role. Our findings were that there is very little that a realistic rifleman (acting as an individual - not a member of a military rifle squad) can expect from his weapon that the lever action cannot deliver.

If you are in need of an economic and effective rifle that offers as many advantages as a single rifleman can use within "defensive" or "urban" conflict distances, take a serious look at the lever action carbine. I think you'll like what you see.

Now, Suarez makes it very clear elsewhere that he considers a civilian AK or a reliable AR a superior defensive firearm, but a lever-action in .357 or .30-30 is nothing to sneeze at.

If I had a lever-action for HD, I'd probably go with a .357 for capacity reasons. And I'd definitely want an optic and a Surefire on it.

CoRoMo
February 10, 2009, 01:04 PM
...more and more people are using LEVER ACTION rifles as their primary HD rifle...

News to me.

JImbothefiveth
February 10, 2009, 01:04 PM
Apparently there are lots of LEO agencies that are also using lever action rifles as their squad car rifle.
I've never heard of any.

If I was going to use one for home defense, I'd probably use one in .44 spcl, unless I was worried about dangerous animals. I've heard that the noise from firing full-powered rifle cartridges indoors can leave you stunned. That might not be the case with .30-30, but unless I needed extra power against, say, bear, I wouldn't risk it. (And then I probably would use something bigger than 30-30.)


Primarily, the lever action is inexpensive. Used examples in perfect working condition may be had for about a hundred bucks. Even brand new weapons will set you back less than the price of a night on the town for two. Compare that with the price of a more military-like, and hopefully still legal, Sturmgewehr-fighting rifle (If you can find one for sale these days)!
This article is a bit outdated. The rifles will cost more now, and there is no AWB. (I assume he was referring to stuff banned by the '94 ban, not actual assault rifles or Sturmgewehrs.)

In a pretty compact you can get 10 rounds of 44 mag or 45LC.
This is a bit of an overstatement. The ones that hold 10 rounds of either of those calibers aren't the most compact ones, they manage to keep it about the size of a mini-14 by using a smaller stock.

bonedust
February 10, 2009, 01:15 PM
the lever gun is a very relevant HD weapon. its probably far more common than the nay sayers realize.

Duke of Doubt
February 10, 2009, 01:23 PM
Nearly everyone I know in Maine has one; for over a century the Win 94 has been the quintessential deer rifle for the woods. That they should be relied on for home/camp/cabin defense is not surprising.

Eric F
February 10, 2009, 01:28 PM
Well, our cavalry thought different back in the day. And I think different, now. A Winchester 94 in .30-30 with a 9x scope is a lot more "tactical," meaning used or useful in tactics, than a plastic .223 covered in electronic crap. I've got one of those, too.

I am not saying they are not useful. Slaping a scope on a leveraction makes it no more "Tactical" than it does "sniper". Tactical to me means "more useful and or faster". For example on other guns a ready mag or rails or on shot guns a side saddle and especially on a 1100 the fat extended load button. There are no gadgets around that I know of that can help a lever action in any of these areas. Sights and glass dont qualify for tactical to me unless there is something extra special about them like an acog with the fiber optic. I will admit that a 16 inch barrel helps but that alone does not really count either. There is nothing wron with them just the way they are, no need to make them "tactical" to me.

Duke of Doubt
February 10, 2009, 01:32 PM
EricF: "I am not saying they are not useful. Slaping a scope on a leveraction makes it no more "Tactical" than it does "sniper". Tactical to me means "more useful and or faster". For example on other guns a ready mag or rails or on shot guns a side saddle and especially on a 1100 the fat extended load button. There are no gadgets around that I know of that can help a lever action in any of these areas. Sights and glass dont qualify for tactical to me unless there is something extra special about them like an acog with the fiber optic. I will admit that a 16 inch barrel helps but that alone does not really count either. There is nothing wron with them just the way they are, no need to make them "tactical" to me."

I don't understand your use of "tactical" then. Tactical means used or useful in tactics. Practical, maybe. A Win 94, with or without a scope, meets that definition. If by "tactical" you mean covered in gadgets, then no -- the Win 94 is not easily made "tactical" according to that definition of "tactical." But I seriously disagree with your use of "tactical," then. Why not "strategic"?

Mp7
February 10, 2009, 01:39 PM
...this is not the HIGH TIMES forum?

OMG!
I was already wondering, why all you people apparently
have so many evil black rifles and AKs to just protect
your potpatch.


:evil:

mordechaianiliewicz
February 10, 2009, 01:40 PM
While I would far rather have a lever action rifle in .30-30 than a single shot anything... I wouldn't make it my primary over an AK/AR platform.

Even in semi-auto configuration, the AK/AR/G3/FAL etc. platforms are simply superior.

That being said, at any ranges within 200 yards, the lever gun is going to be superior tactically to most bolt action and obviously, single shot rifles. But, I wouldn't make it my primary weapon, and if I were in charge of procurement for the local PD, I wouldn't dream of making it standard.

Eric F
February 10, 2009, 01:41 PM
I don't understand your use of "tactical" then. Tactical means used or useful in tactics. Well a plain river rock could be tactical then too. In this format what I mean by tactical is adding something not usually found on a gun. And it works for most guns not all but most. For example an ar-15 a1 with a 20 inch barrel is as plain as it gets then you make it into a flat top with a 16 inch barrel and ad a red dot of some sort. now it is more useful for hd than the previous format. Hence it is now tactical.

Duke of Doubt
February 10, 2009, 01:46 PM
Eric F: "Well a plain river rock could be tactical then too. In this format what I mean by tactical is adding something not usually found on a gun. And it works for most guns not all but most. For example an ar-15 a1 with a 20 inch barrel is as plain as it gets then you make it into a flat top with a 16 inch barrel and ad a red dot of some sort. now it is more useful for hd than the previous format. Hence it is now tactical."

So if I put a cupholder in my car or a chrome grip cap set on my motorcycle it's "tactical"?

Adding something to something does not make it "tactical," though I agree that term has become overused and watered down. Adding on stuff makes it "customized."

Putting stuff like that on a rifle does not, ordinarily, improve its performance anyway. It often degrades the performance.

JImbothefiveth
February 10, 2009, 01:50 PM
A Winchester 94 in .30-30 with a 9x scope is a lot more "tactical," meaning used or useful in tactics, than a plastic .223
I disagree. I can't imagine using a 9x scope for home defense. Also, there's probably a reason the people who use guns for a living use ARs instead of win 94s. I'm not saying lever actions aren't effective, but since I've no combat experiance whatsoever, I think a good method would be to see what various police forces use.

Duke of Doubt
February 10, 2009, 01:52 PM
Jimbo: "I disagree. I can't imagine using a 9x scope for home defense. Also, there's probably a reason the people who use guns for a living use ARs instead of win 94s."

My scope mount allows use of the iron sights at close distances, and you can always dial back the scope power.

I'm not suggesting the Win 94 is a superior military weapon, or even a para-military weapon, today. I AM suggesting it is just as "tactical" if not more so than some over-customized gadget platform.

JImbothefiveth
February 10, 2009, 01:58 PM
I'm not sure I understand. If it's not a superior weapon, then how is it "more tactical"?

I'm not suggesting the Win 94 is a superior military weapon, or even a para-military weapon,
I was thinking more about civilian defensive uses, actually.

Duke of Doubt
February 10, 2009, 02:02 PM
Jimbo: "I'm not sure I understand. If it's not a superior weapon, then how is it "more tactical"? I was thinking more about civilian defensive uses, actually."

While I would agree the word has been watered down and misused a lot recently, the word "tactical" is not a synonym for "superior." Nor is it even a synonym for "customized." Used in the Maine woods to defend a cabin and timber grove against a couple of assailants, a Win 94 may be a better choice than an M4gery even with all sorts of electronic gear on it. Hence, it may be the superior "tactical" choice for that environment. That doesn't mean I'd recommend arming our soldiers in Afghanistan with Win 94s (OR M4s).

Girodin
February 10, 2009, 02:26 PM
It seems that more and more people are using LEVER ACTION rifles as their primary HD rifle instead of the "Evil Black Rifles" that scores or shooters are buying these days. Apparently there are lots of LEO agencies that are also using lever action rifles as their squad car rifle.

Out of curiosity what do you base this first statement on? Please name any known agencies that are using lever guns.

I have a .357 lever gun that has killed a fair number of jackrabbits and is a handi little weapon. I would not feel too bad if it was my only HD gun. That said I have multiple other weapons of various types that I would turn to first for that role.

If one had a lever gun they could certainly press it into service but I would not go out and buy one with the proximate purpose of HD.

If one lived in a state where laws and public preception are hostile to guns then a lever gun might be a better choice.

moooose102
February 10, 2009, 03:35 PM
i dunno, i have never seen a flat black lever action rifle with a quad rail, flashligh, laser, eotech, or red dot, so it can't be "tacticool". besides, a 45/70 would go through the b.g., your walls, and the neighbors wall. just a bit much on the penetration end in my opinion.

Leadhead
February 10, 2009, 03:50 PM
This one just needs a flashlight upfront!:) (not mine by the way....)
Looks like buddy used some truck bedlinner to good effect!
http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh300/enis75/Krinkov004.jpg

Semmerling
February 10, 2009, 04:08 PM
Sorry guys, everything I wrote on this thread was thrown out (a first).

I guess that lever actions are great tactical weapons....my bad.

Coronach
February 10, 2009, 04:14 PM
No, the problem was that you contributed absolutely nothing to the discussion. If you wish to outline the deficiencies of the lever action in a modern combat environment (and it has them), feel free to have at it. If you just want to post snarky comments from the sidelines and offer nothing of any worth, your posts will vanish.

I have faith that you can see the difference.

Mike

jpatterson
February 10, 2009, 04:18 PM
I wish I wasn't in love with the rifle on post #25 :(

Call me a tactical noob, but that thing looks SLICK. I saw a guy's post here awhile back from California and he also had a couple 'tactical' lever actions, both of which were absolutely beautiful. I'd love to build one someday.

Coronach
February 10, 2009, 04:18 PM
FWIW, my opinion is this:

A lever action gun will certainly work in a "tactical" role (to me, this means the gun is being used as a weapon, not as a range toy or hunting gun). However, there are better choices. The gun is low capacity and (assuming equal experience between operators) slower to achieve follow up shots. Its advantages are simplicity, pointability, non-eeeeeeevil appearance, low cost and the capability of topping off the magazine easily.

Just because there are better options out there doesn't mean the lever action is not a viable defensive gun. It just means there are better options out there.

Mike

Semmerling
February 10, 2009, 04:23 PM
Glad that you are there to determine when my comments reach the "snarky" test, Mike.

To me, the vision of John Wayne sitting on a horse with the reins in his teeth and a lever action with a laser, scope, rail system, bipod and flashlight is my position on the tactical lever action, sorry you don't agree.

Coronach
February 10, 2009, 04:26 PM
It's what moderators do. We moderate. One method of doing this is to remove posts that don't advance the discussion. Also, I wasn't the one who removed your posts.

Now, back on topic...what is your take on the relative merit of the lever action as a tactical tool?

Mike

JImbothefiveth
February 10, 2009, 04:28 PM
low cost
I don't believe it is when compared to, for instance, an SKS, or possibly a saiga rifle.

If you don't want something that looks "tacticool", a Ruger ranch rifle might be good.

Zundfolge
February 10, 2009, 04:33 PM
A lever action gun will certainly work in a "tactical" role (to me, this means the gun is being used as a weapon, not as a range toy or hunting gun). However, there are better choices. The gun is low capacity and (assuming equal experience between operators) slower to achieve follow up shots. Its advantages are simplicity, pointability, non-eeeeeeevil appearance, low cost and the capability of topping off the magazine easily.
Basically a lever action rifle is the "tactical" equivalent of a pump shotgun. Other than door breaching (which you don't do much in home defense) any place you could use a pump shottie, a lever gun would fill the role just fine.

One advantage of a pistol caliber lever gun is you can shoot it at a pistol range (unless the range managers are schmucks). Unless you have some place to shoot clays, you really aren't going to get as much practice in with a shotgun.

And don't underestimate the "its not evil looking".

JImbo has a point, the SKS is probably the most economical "tactical" rifle out there (and with a Tapco stock can be made to look more "tacticool" than the Ruger).

Duke of Doubt
February 10, 2009, 04:46 PM
Zundfolge: "And don't underestimate the "its not evil looking"."

Particularly in the Maine woods.

"When in the Allagash look behind you; 'cause that's .. where the Warden's .. gonna be."

MADDOG
February 10, 2009, 04:52 PM
The secret is out about the "Appalachian Assault Rifle"----------

P. Plainsman
February 10, 2009, 04:55 PM
Basically, these are compact (particularly with barrel chopped to 16"), handy repeating rifles that are rarely subject to intrusive legal regulation, even in anti-gun states. They are easy to acquire for decent prices. You can find a used Marlin .30-30 in fine condition at almost any gun show for $275-300. If it's an older gun it will be very well made and probably have a nice trigger and be a good deal more accurate than an AK.

These rifles are legal (and relatively innocent looking) in a lot of repressive jurisdictions where modern self-loading defensive rifles are prohibited.

Certainly, I'd rather have, say, an AR-15 or an HK-91 for fighting in the open. I'd rather have an SBR Uzi carbine for fighting in my home. But then, I live in a free state, so I could acquire those guns if I wanted them. People in Cali or Massachusetts don't have those options (at least legally). And even in free states, some people just can't afford a modern self-loader.

However, to be fair, the SKS remains a strong option for free state residents on a budget. And yes, I would rather have an SKS in a fight than a levergun. Also, I'd rather have a Rem 870 shotgun than a levergun for defense in the home -- and pump shotguns are rarely restricted even in obnoxious jurisdictions.

All this practicality aside: that chopped black Marlin in post #25 is COOL. :cool:

qwert65
February 10, 2009, 05:13 PM
I love lever-actions, In fact it's the only action type that I have for my rifles. However, If I was going into a situation where I "knew" it was gonna get hairy I'd want an AR(hoping to get one once the hysteria dies down) That being said in a normal, defensive situation I wouldn't feel undergunned.

I personally would take a 3030 levergun over an SKS as they only hold 4 more rounds but cannot be topped up(AFAIK) Further since most 7.62 is surplus ball. If I had to kill some one I'd rather use a 170gr flatnose as I think they are more lethal

H2O MAN
February 10, 2009, 05:14 PM
Lever action rifles were tactical since day one.

KevinAbbeyTech
February 10, 2009, 05:20 PM
Lever action rifles were tactical since day one.
That's true.

Lots of law enforcement still uses them.

I think if I couldn't have a semi-auto, I would want a bolt action (I've had more practice.)

I still like the idea of a pump-action shotgun, especially when over-penetration is an issue.

JImbothefiveth
February 10, 2009, 05:20 PM
Basically a lever action rifle is the "tactical" equivalent of a pump shotgun.
A lever action is going to be slower than, say, an 870.

Also, wouldn't you use a lever action for self-defense because you want to use a rifle? There are better rifles for that purpose.

Duke of Doubt
February 10, 2009, 05:23 PM
Jimbo: "Also, wouldn't you use a lever action for self-defense because you want to use a rifle? There are better rifles for that purpose."

Maybe. It's hard to imagine a rifle better suited to defense in a wooded glen than a Win 94. Maybe an SKS, assuming you keep strippers on hand, and I'm not talking about that place in Rumford. But with all that practice with the 94, and its handiness, and the hunting scope ...

JImbothefiveth
February 10, 2009, 05:40 PM
It's hard to imagine a rifle better suited to defense in a wooded glen than a Win 94.
There's always the SKS, or if you're tacticool, an AR in 7.62x39.

But with all that practice with the 94,
You should practice with any gun.

and its handiness,
I'm not sure about the Winchester, but the marlin 1894 is the same size as a saiga rifle.

and the hunting scope
I'm not sure a 9x scope is really well suited to defensive use.

I'm not bashing the lever rifles, and if they work best for you, use them. I'm just saying there are, for most people, better alternatives.

Joe Demko
February 10, 2009, 05:46 PM
Guess I'll jump in here.
I've owned a bunch of "tactical" autoloading rifles over the years. Couple Colt AR's. Couple Bushmaster AR's. Yugo AK. Polish AK. Egyptian AK. Chinese M-14. PTR-91. FN-49. Couple Chinese SKS's. Russian SKS. Couple Mini-14's.
I owned a couple-three "tactical" shotguns, too. There's still a Striker 12-gauge around here somewhere, I'm pretty sure.
I'm all wore out on that "tactical" ****.
See, I had to axe myself questions like "If I buy this really expensive AR upper in .50 Beowulf, what will it allow me to do that I can't already do with this here Marlin .45-70 guide gun?"
Do, please, let's not turn this into a rant about why your "tactical" rifle is COMBAT READY (that's always all caps for some reason) and that old timey levergun ain't. There are members right here at this very board who, armed with off-the-shelf lever rifles and pump shotguns straight from Wallyworld, would visit a fearful bloodletting upon any number of dilettantes who bought their COMBAT READY "tactical" rifle just because_you know_ COMBAT READY is better and better is better.
It is, as it always has been, more a matter of the man than the gun. Work on you 'til you can't improve any more. Then it will be time to worry about the gun you use.

benEzra
February 10, 2009, 06:11 PM
Used in the Maine woods to defend a cabin and timber grove against a couple of assailants, a Win 94 may be a better choice than an M4gery even with all sorts of electronic gear on it.
The W94's main advantage in that role, as I see it, is caliber (.30-30 vs. .223). In that role, I'd personally rather have an autoloading .30-30 equivalent with a 20-round magazine and a red dot (iron sights being hard to see in low light), but that is just my personal preference, and am not knocking anyone else's choices. Certainly a lever gun will work well in competent hands.

It would be interesting to run an IDPA/IPSC style carbine course with a lever-action just to see how it would compare. I know the detachable-magazine guns would be a little faster on long stages, but I wonder how much.

a good deal more accurate than an AK.
How accurate is a typical off-the-shelf Winchester 94 .30-30 with factory ammunition? Given that most AK's will shoot 4" at 100 yards with decent ammo, I don't believe the accuracy difference (if any) between an AK and a 94 will really be significant at any reasonable defensive distance. An AK can shoot playing cards at 50 yards, and that's probably more than good enough for most conceivable defensive purposes.

Eric F
February 10, 2009, 06:40 PM
I'd personally rather have an autoloading .30-30 equivalent with a 20-round magazine remington mod 8 in 30 remington but the 20 rnd mag might be really hard to come by these days.
It would be interesting to run an IDPA/IPSC style carbine course with a lever-action just to see how it would compare cowboy action shooting........

Nalapombu
February 10, 2009, 06:54 PM
Girodin, I didn't have a pad and pen at the ready when watching the Wednesday night lineup on the Sportsman Channel. It was on one of the shows with Michael Bane hosting. He was at what was said to be the largest indoor training facility in the country, maybe Valhalla. He was interviewing one of the more popular firearm trainers, at least he's been on these shows several times before. It was he who was talking about the numbers of police agencies, especially rural ones, that were adopting the lever action rifle rather than the AR, for their primary duty rifle. He cited the ease of use and the short amount of time it takes to train people to get up and running with one when compared to teaching a newbie on the AR system.
It didn't appear that he was making the whole thing up, but who knows, he could'a been.

You can go to the website by Lew Bonitz, who makes top notch weapons, and read an article that appeared in SWAT magazine talking about one of his Big Lewie custom Marlin lever guns. I don't know why a LEO magazine like SWAT would waste time and space in their magazine talking about a product that wouldn't have any value at all to modern LEO agencies, but it's possible I guess. Maybe in the upcoming months they'll have an article about a fine Heym Double in 500 NE or a nice Browning Citori.
http://www.grizzlyguns.com//


Thanks for all the comments. Very interesting reading.

BD

AJumbo
February 10, 2009, 07:32 PM
Jeff Cooper opined that an M94 might be the choice for home defense in a jurisdiction where Evil Black Rifles were illegal. He noted that the stock of the M94 might not stand up to delivering a vigorous buttstroke, however.

If things suddenly got interesting, would I rather have something that feeds from a magazine? Sure enough. Would I rather have my Winchester 30-30 than a board with a nail in it? Indeed.

Duke of Doubt
February 10, 2009, 07:35 PM
I'm thinking the steel butt of a 94 looks like it might get a little bit more "vigorous" than that of a sissy-maid rubberized M4.

whited
February 10, 2009, 07:51 PM
The word "tactical" is really starting to bother me.

A tactical lever action rifle?

Really ?

That's scraping the bottom of the barrel. What exactly makes a gun
tactical? A light? A laser? Some black paint ? Call me old school, but
I'm confused. I sleep pretty well at night with my "tactical" baseball bat
beside the bed.

Duke of Doubt
February 10, 2009, 07:55 PM
I use "para-military" to describe semi-automatic AR- and AK-patterned rifles. "Tactical" as applied to firearms is silly. They're all "tactical."

whited
February 10, 2009, 07:58 PM
They're all "tactical."

My thoughts exactly. An inanimate object cannot be tactical. It may
however be used tactically. Its the user that lends a tactical
advantage to the gun, not the other way around.

:)

ECVMatt
February 10, 2009, 08:22 PM
This is a 16" .44. I love the size of this thing. It has more than enough power for most things I would want to do with it.

http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n431/ECVMatt/leverside2.jpg

This one is a .30-30 that is cut down to 16". It does somethings the .44 can't and my .45-70 Guide Gun does the rest.

http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n431/ECVMatt/lever.jpg

I have an AR and an AK, but sometimes simple things seem better to me. I tend to not like mags sticking out the bottom or handles on the top.

Just take a walk with these three rifles. You pretty much need a sling for the AR or the AK to be carried comfortably. The handle on the AR is nice, but most folks seem to delete that now. A levergun fits the hand like no other gun I have hunted with or carried for protection.

It isn't great for all situations, but it will work for most. I won't leave it back at the truck because it is uncomfortable to pack around. For me that makes it practical which is much more important than being tactical, to me anyways.

I know some folks won't agree, but that is how it adds up to me.

Matt

I forgot to add that I like Marlins.

BornAgainBullseye
February 10, 2009, 08:57 PM
To be a totally tacticoo lever gun it would have to be made by glock or HK and it would have to have a pistol grip. A bayonet lug and forward grip for advanced ninjas only. An d a bipod NCstar scope for sniper models!

benEzra
February 10, 2009, 09:55 PM
I'd personally rather have an autoloading .30-30 equivalent with a 20-round magazine
remington mod 8 in 30 remington but the 20 rnd mag might be really hard to come by these days.
I was thinking of this: :D

http://www.commongroundcommonsense.org/forums/uploads/1168567538/med_gallery_260_23_20379.jpg

122-grain JHP's at 2350 fps, or 154-grain softpoints at 2000 fps. Pretty comparable to .30-30 out of a 16" barrel.

7.62x39mm can be thought of as a rimless, tapered-case .30-30 using spitzer bullets and optimized for reliable feeding.

I use "para-military" to describe semi-automatic AR- and AK-patterned rifles. "Tactical" as applied to firearms is silly. They're all "tactical."
"Paramilitary" is generally defined as "of or pertaining to an unofficial force organized similarly to a military force," i.e. the Irish Republican Army, Shining Path, drug-cartel security forces, or other organized quasi-military fighting forces.

http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O999-paramilitary.html

Small-caliber U.S.-market civilian rifles with modern styling are no more "paramilitary" than Mauser-derived bolt-actions or Remington M700's, IMO. They are just civilian rifles with modern styling.

Historically, most paramilitary forces have used actual military weapons (usually full auto), not non-automatic civilian guns, although there may be exceptions.

76shuvlinoff
February 10, 2009, 10:03 PM
In my home stands a .357 Marlin lever and an 870 at the ready, sidearms are positioned to get me to those providing me with that choice if need be. Then there's a 30-30 there for other situations. Feels tactical enough to me.

coinshooter
February 10, 2009, 10:13 PM
Warriortalk has a good section on Leveractions also One of the gunshows did a good tv show last week about the lever action and as is working on a tactial side rail for a lever action.

LibShooter
February 11, 2009, 12:39 AM
I propose this tactical advantage for a lever over a semi-auto: Suppose you have a failure to fire. Pull the trigger and just get a "click."

With a semi... you have to stop and think, "Somethings wrong!" Then find the charging lever, pull it, reshoulder the weapon, aim and fire.

With a lever... muscle memory will already have you moving the lever before you realize the round didn't fire. The dud's out of the chamber and another's ready to go and your eye may never have left the target.

It's an unlikey scenario, but I've heard the same argument for revolvers over auto pistols.

TimboKhan
February 11, 2009, 01:47 AM
Sigh... The poor lever action. How did it get stuck in this silly argument?

Of course a lever action would be suitable for home defense. Look, they aren't as fast as an AR, nor do they have the capacity. I don't think at any point that anyone would argue that in many ways the average AR (or AK) isn't far more suitable as a combat/defense rifle when compared to the average lever action. But...

But, the lever action rifle isn't exactly garbage either. A lever action carbine is light, fast-handling, has a suitable capacity for 99.9% of home defense scenarios, and is available in chamberings ballistically superior to the AR, and in some cases the beloved AK as well. It has the advantage over the AR as a "survival" rifle thanks to those ballistically superior chamberings, although I fully understand that this isn't really meant to be part of this argument. In my opinion, a .30-30 or a .357 (which would be my choice for a lever action solely for HD) makes for a dandy defense weapon. There are other chamberings that would also work, but off the top of my head, those two are probably the most common and easiest to find. Plus, I really like the .357 as an all-purpose round.

Thats not to say I don't like AR's. I have one with 20 rounds in the mag and one up the pipe not 5 feet from me right now, and if I had to defend my home, that is what I would use. My go-bag, such as it is, contains another two loaded AR magazines and not a single .30-30 round. In fact, my .30-30 sits in the closet. I am simply making the argument that the lever action isn't a bad choice for HD. To further that argument, I am not convinced that there is a "best" choice in terms of rifles for HD.

Well, whatever. In the end, I just think all this labeling of tactical stuff is nonsense. Your stuff either works in the way you wish to use it, or it doesn't, and all the ballistic nylon, kevlar thread and Mil-Spec Monkey patches in the world isn't going to change that.

Duke of Doubt
February 11, 2009, 01:53 AM
benEzra: "Small-caliber U.S.-market civilian rifles with modern styling are no more "paramilitary" than Mauser-derived bolt-actions or Remington M700's, IMO. They are just civilian rifles with modern styling."

Not quite. They aren't just "modern-styled" (by whom? Prada?). They look and function almost the same as our military's guns, with the sole exception of selective fire. Many armies and police forces use at least some semi-auto-only weapons. Further, they are equipped for accessorization with the same gear used by some militaries. And they are intended primarily for combat. That's para-military, not "modern styling."

Kind of Blued
February 11, 2009, 04:15 AM
I can't add any personal experience or insight, but I do have this saved on the hard drive:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=87659&d=1226605371

Ouch. :uhoh:

Dr.Rob
February 11, 2009, 04:58 AM
I can see where a scoped lever rifle in .30-30 might have an advantage in a "hostage' situation or so...

ie putting a precise bullet on target within 'police' sniping range of 50 yards or so. Fact is there are better rifles for that, but it would do in a pinch.

I can see a small department without the budget to arm up to AR-15s etc turning to a trusty lever gun that's more about 'department approved' than about "tacticool." I'd suggest a .30-30 over any other pistol caliber for the 'rifle/carbine role.

Tactics used to mean stuff like fire and manuver and using concealment and cover. Don't know when it transformed into 'black and rubbery and having lasers."

If you practice, (and SASS shooting shows it's possible) it's possible to turn a lever gun into a fighting arm, as opposed to a deer rifle. Thing is in SASS shooting, they DON'T teach cover, concealment, shooting around barriers and under them in the way they do in practical rifle matches. Most lever guns are not 'controlled feeding' and need to be held with the action in a certain range of horizontal to load properly. (Esp the Marlin 1894 series.) Not that it CAN'T be done, rather it adds time to doing it.

Also these guns do have other ergonomic drawbacks, hence the practical leather wrapped levers. Some people have a VERY bad habit of looking down at the action while operating it, or taking it off the shoulder to do so. These habits can be trained away.

Fact is the idea of handing a 'cop' (or civilian in need or militia man or whatever you want to call yoursel) a deer rifle he's already used to is better than handing him a rifle he's never seen.

Dookie
February 11, 2009, 05:16 AM
I like them both. A good lever costs as much as an AR and more than an AK. The lever would be perfectly fine in a close (proximity) situation, especially since most people who own a lever are probably older as that is what they grew up with and are most comfortable to shoot.
Would it be better than an AR or AK in a fight, no, but this is not combat situation, it's the hallway. It would be best to use what you are more comfortable with. Me I would prefer an AR over a lever.

With a semi... you have to stop and think, "Somethings wrong!" Then find the charging lever, pull it, reshoulder the weapon, aim and fire.If it's for home defense why isn't it loaded to begin with, especially if it has already been shouldered? That would be the whole point of preparedness.

AR or Marlin, I don't want to see the forward hole on either one.

nipprdog
February 11, 2009, 07:22 AM
If it's for home defense why isn't it loaded to begin with, especially if it has already been shouldered? That would be the whole point of preparedness.


It was loaded. He was referring to a 'failure to fire' situation.

Nalapombu
February 11, 2009, 08:35 AM
I am enjoying the discussion. One thing that has crossed my mind that I would like to get your thoughts on and that is whether or not it gives any of you pause to use an AR or an AK as your primary HD weapon based on the times that we live and the demonization these firearms have endured over the past several years.

Lets say that you have the latest, greatest rigged out AR as your HD weapon and Heaven forbid that one night you are forced to use it to defend your family. There are LOTS of locales in this country these days where a sniveling prosecutor or plaintiffs attorney could gin up lots of hatred and resentment with a jury based solely on the type of weapon you used to defend yourself. Would you want to place your freedom in the hands of people the likes of those that awarded a woman 3 million bucks for spilling hot coffee in her lap while leaving the McD's drive thru while a prosecutor is holding up your "EVIL, BLACK KILLING MACHINE" loaded with enough rounds to take on a platoon and asking that jury to ask themselves "what was this guy afraid of or preparing to do with such a weapon of mass destruction."
That is sadly how things are in a great many areas including several STATES. You can almost hear the gasps from the mouths of the female jurors when the Prosecutor or Plaintiffs attorney stands in front of them for the first time with YOUR perfectly legitimate and appropriate AR in his hands showing them what YOU chose to "defend" yourself. To a great many people an AR or AK only belongs in the hands of the military or police officers. You are not going to get people like that to rationally think through facts when such a weapon is sitting in front of them every single day of the trial. They will form all sorts of nefarious thoughts and opinions about you based on nothing else other than your AR.

If on the other hand, you had chosen a Winchester lever gun in 30-30 to defend yourself and your family, regardless of what area of the country you were in, I doubt very seriously you'd get the abject hatred and resentment from the jury that you would get if your chosen weapon was an AK or AR. In fact I think your choice of a "Cowboy" gun would almost be a non-issue in their minds and they certainly wouldn't be pre-disposed to punishing you.

Shouldn't things like this be taken into consideration when selecting a weapon to protect yourself and family with? I am not saying a lever rifle is the best choice or superior to the AK or AR. I am just raising the point that like it or not, there are millions of people in this country who would be potential jurors that hold the belief that anyone that would own an AK or AR could be capable of anything and cannot be trusted and quite possibly could be mentally imbalanced.

Thoughts?


BD

bikerdoc
February 11, 2009, 09:03 AM
I dont use the words, taxticool, or ass salt, I just have rifles. I call them by their name, lever action (my favorite) AK, AR, SKS,( none of which I own)
That said, a Marlin 357 lever gun and a mossberg 12 ga. along with a carbine are enough gun for all my needs.
Me to officer "I dont know what happened, I was being attacked in my home so I grabbed my Rifle, I need to see a doctor now for chest pain and then talk to my atty."
Just my deflated .02 about staying below the radar .

clarence222
February 11, 2009, 10:04 AM
I'm no expert, and don't know much about tactical or tacticool. What I do know is this, if things get so bad that my family and I are forced to leave our home, I will be taking along my lever action rifles in 357 as well as my revolvers in 357. I will not be taking any ARs, AKs or other military style weapons. I have thought about this for along time, and have several reasons for this decisions.


Ammuniton availability, it would be very difficult to not find ammo for a 357. since both my lever guns shoot 38 special as well as 357 I have two options. There are many places right now that are out of military calibers, 223, 7.63x39, 308 you name it if its a military caliber it is in short supply right now. Ease of use, I can teach some one how to use a lever action in minutes, in fact if you live in this country and have for very long you should know how to use a lever action or at least have seen someone use one. Stopping power, ok I agree the 357 isn't the most potent caliber or the farthest reaching, however it is a proven man stopper and would be quite useful against many types of animals. Fewer parts, no magazines, everything self contained.

Don't get me wrong the gun closest to me at home is either an 870 in 12 guage or a 1911 45 depending on what room I'm in at the time.

Personally I like all guns, have several military style weapons and am always looking for more. However when its time to leave my home for whatever reasons my "Go Guns will be a Marlin, Puma, Ruger and a Smith and wesson.

Can I carry all 4? No, well at least not very well, I'll carry a rifle and a revolver, my wife will carry the other revolver and my son will carry a rifle as well.

Just my 2 cents worth

Revolver Ocelot
February 11, 2009, 11:16 AM
I've considered getting a 16 inch in 44 mag, cuting the stock down to a chicken head grip and leaving it by my door, call me crazy but I think it sounds cool

Coronach
February 11, 2009, 11:39 AM
Just mind the legalities. :uhoh:

Mike

Landlocked Pirate
February 11, 2009, 11:49 AM
In my home stands a .357 Marlin lever and an 870 at the ready, sidearms are positioned to get me to those providing me with that choice if need be. Then there's a 30-30 there for other situations. Feels tactical enough to me.

Hey, that's my current set-up, too.

Gordon
February 11, 2009, 11:50 AM
Kind of Blued: What kind of light mount is that? Where and how much?

SWC Bonfire
February 11, 2009, 11:50 AM
I propose this tactical advantage for a lever over a semi-auto: Suppose you have a failure to fire. Pull the trigger and just get a "click."

With a semi... you have to stop and think, "Somethings wrong!" Then find the charging lever, pull it, reshoulder the weapon, aim and fire.

With a lever... muscle memory will already have you moving the lever before you realize the round didn't fire. The dud's out of the chamber and another's ready to go and your eye may never have left the target.

It's an unlikey scenario, but I've heard the same argument for revolvers over auto pistols.

Never have had a "tactical" situation other than trying to rid my place of hogs... have had that exact thing happen with my Yugo SKS... never would have been an issue with my 94... I know because I am used to el-cheapo rem .22 rounds being duds once every 500 or so. I am also much more acccurate with my winchester.

That said, if I had to shoot someone or group of people and knock them down and neutralize them, I would rather have a winchester loaded with 6+1 170 gr. flat-tips and nine more on the bandolier on the stock than the SKS with a couple of stripper clips. The shock/trauma of flat-pointed projectiles is underrated IMO.

benEzra
February 11, 2009, 03:15 PM
benEzra: "Small-caliber U.S.-market civilian rifles with modern styling are no more "paramilitary" than Mauser-derived bolt-actions or Remington M700's, IMO. They are just civilian rifles with modern styling."

Not quite. They aren't just "modern-styled" (by whom? Prada?). They look and function almost the same as our military's guns, with the sole exception of selective fire. Many armies and police forces use at least some semi-auto-only weapons. Further, they are equipped for accessorization with the same gear used by some militaries. And they are intended primarily for combat. That's para-military, not "modern styling."
And the Mauser was....?

The U.S. military issue sniper rifle in Vietnam (itself a Mauser derivative) was....?

The .30-06 cartridge the Vietnam military sniper rifle used was originally developed for....?

The current U.S. military issue sniper rifle, the M24/M40 sniper system, is...?

A Remington M700 with synthetic stock is functionally a lot closer to an M24 than an AR-15 is to an M16.

And as I said, the word "paramilitary" does not describe weapons that look vaguely like some military weapons. The word "paramilitary" refers to a non-state-sanctioned fighting force organized along military lines, like the Irish Republican Army or the Shining Path, and using it to refer to civilian guns plays right into the "assault weapon" fraud, IMO.

Dravur
February 11, 2009, 03:59 PM
Silliest... thread....ever

Shoot whatever you want, sheesh. Who cares if someone thinks the lever gun is more tactical than an ar-15. just smile and let them go by. You never know when someone like that might go nuts and shank you.

If you want to think that lever guns are equivalent to ARs and AKs, go right ahead. I choose not to. I own both lever guns and ARs. Guess which I am going to go to if the SHTF or the zombies attack....

Nalapombu
February 11, 2009, 05:14 PM
Thanks for your equally regarded contribution Obi Wan.

BD

Kind of Blued
February 11, 2009, 05:16 PM
Kind of Blued: What kind of light mount is that? Where and how much?

I haven't a clue. I found the photo on this site many months back and saved it to my hard drive.

Hawk
February 11, 2009, 05:41 PM
Kind of Blued: What kind of light mount is that? Where and how much?
I am not Kind of Blued, nor do I portray him on the internet but I believe that's a picture of Wild West's Alaskan Guide in .457WW Magnum, SBR / "Mare's Leg" mod, big loop lever, etc.

http://www.wildwestguns.com/alaskanguide.html

If memory serves, the light rail was a WWG back room concoction but was available separately and on the non-tax-stamp stuff. I could be wrong on this part.

Give Ken a call and he'll fix you up.

X-Rap
February 11, 2009, 05:47 PM
I carried a 94 behind the seat of my truck when I worked in SoCal years ago and kept it loaded in the RV I lived in.
Sucked keeping it cased and unloaded in the truck but beat the alternative in that wonderful state.
A lever ain't no AR but I sure don't feel naked with one and that famous AK bank robbery shootout in Hollywood could have probably been stopped with one.

Travis Bickle
February 11, 2009, 06:13 PM
During his time with the Texas Rangers, a lever action was Joaquin Jackson's weapon of choice, even though he could have had anything else he wanted.

IMO, Jackson's opinions on gun laws are dubious but his opinions on guns are not.

thunder173
February 11, 2009, 06:54 PM
I think I'll jest sit on the porch with a hot cup of mud and watch the children play. Of course my old Winchester .44 Magnum Trapper with 10 rounds in it,...will be at me side. Just to make sure the children play nice.

"Beware of the man with one gun,...."

stratus
February 11, 2009, 08:59 PM
I think it's a good idea, and to add a rail to my M1895 would be interesting. It may happen. I am a fan of the .45-70 regardless of the environment, though some will disagree with me on this. If you are surrounded by sheet rock it may be best to reach for your PISTOL or a cheap SxS that works, and use the rifle if the SHTF. My vote for a tactical lever gun goes to the M1895. Chop the barrel, install ghost rings and a rail and an aimpoint. Use LeveRevolutions in it and you have a round with high velocity and plenty of power for tactical application. So if you can afford it, why not? I'd love to see any pics if someone has anything like this.

Duke of Doubt
February 11, 2009, 09:03 PM
benEzra: "And the Mauser was....?"

Military.

"The U.S. military issue sniper rifle in Vietnam (itself a Mauser derivative) was....?"

Military.

"The .30-06 cartridge the Vietnam military sniper rifle used was originally developed for....?"

A military cartridge.

"The current U.S. military issue sniper rifle, the M24/M40 sniper system, is...?"

Military.

"A Remington M700 with synthetic stock is functionally a lot closer to an M24 than an AR-15 is to an M16."

Yes, in some ways.

Your definition of "para-military" (IRA, Sundero Luminoso) is not one I'd agree to, but it's not totally out there. But "modern-styled" is a neologism at best. Semi-automatic M16-pattern rifles are used in theater, BTW. When I first settled on the term last week, I posited that nobody would like the term "para-military" but me. It isn't perfect, but it's a darned sight better as a weapon descriptor than "tactical" or "assault rifle" or even "modern-styled." Sometimes you have to call an entrenching tool an entrenching tool.

Art Eatman
February 11, 2009, 11:24 PM
Back some forty years or so, "para-military" was used to designate semi-auto versions of the military selective fire weapons. ARs, AKs, HKs and such.

E.g, the G-3 was a battle rifle; the HK 91 was the para-military civilian version...

Daizee
February 12, 2009, 12:29 AM
I am a fan of the .45-70 regardless of the environment, though some will disagree with me on this. If you are surrounded by sheet rock it may be best to reach for your PISTOL...

Apparently most pistol rounds over-penetrate thru walls too. Wall safety might actually be better achieved by a light, fast bullet driven way beyond its designed operating velocity. Like a 125gr .357 soft point from a carbine. There are similarly equivalent loads in the .30-30. If they hit at close range they probably come apart pretty fast.

A set of comparitive barrier tests of various pistol ammo thru carbines would be very cool to see. I can only shoot paper around here or the produce section would be in grave danger. :-(

-Daizee

chuzy2
February 12, 2009, 12:50 AM
I just bought a Marlin 1894C in 357 magnum. My HD and carry gun has been a S&W M19 2". For in the house I would stick to the 19 just for close quarters and light manipulation. I'm old school when it comes to separation of light and gun. For exterior of the property I would opt for the carbine. I wouldn't feel underarmed with it. The .357 is my personal favorite cartridge. It has excellent terminal ballistics and is an economical plinker. Here in Indiana it is now legal to use carbines that fire handgun cartridges for deer hunting. The all around perfect gun?

Daizee
February 12, 2009, 01:54 AM
I love the .357 too.

A 2" anything is way too short for in the house, IMO.
you give up power, sight radius, and shootability in favor of noise, blast, and flash. Bad trade unless you're talking concealment.

The carbine is a much better choice.
Personally I like a 4-6" .38spl+P. And the same round out of that carbine would hit like a .357 in a 4" barrel, but with drastically less noise and blast.

I have no experience with it personally, but on paper from a carbine, the right (buffalo bore or lil'gun handload 158gr) .357 load at 180yds hits like a .357 from a 4" barrel at the muzzle. Out at 300yds (assuming a ladder sight?) it hits like a .38spl+p at the muzzle. Good for the zombie-paranoid to that range if you can compensate for the drop. A .30-30 gives you more margin for error, but the .357 gives you versatility, capacity, and compatibilty. That's a killer app if I ever heard one.

Too bad Marlin only seems to make a few dozen a year. If I could have the 1894c for the same $279 as that 336 down the road we'd have his and hers models already.

-Daizee

stratus
February 12, 2009, 03:28 AM
Apparently most pistol rounds over-penetrate thru walls too. Wall safety might actually be better achieved by a light, fast bullet driven way beyond its designed operating velocity. Like a 125gr .357 soft point from a carbine. There are similarly equivalent loads in the .30-30. If they hit at close range they probably come apart pretty fast.

A set of comparitive barrier tests of various pistol ammo thru carbines would be very cool to see. I can only shoot paper around here or the produce section would be in grave danger. :-(

All true; my point was that pistols are often much handier in close quarters and good shot placement to the vitals with a pistol may be your best option if one lives in a beehive like the one I'm trying to get out of right now. Fortunately there are a few JHP options out there that do not meet penetration requirements that certain agencies require so if you HIT your target, the odds of collateral damage go way down. I'd hate to imagine what a miss from a .45-70 in low light, or even overpenetration, would affect my immediate surroundings.

If it's pitch dark and my magnetic door alarm goes off, I'm reaching for the P99 with the X5 light. If I hear machinegun fire outside, I'm loading and slinging the M1895G (thus bringing us back on topic) and all the ammo and the pistol, bugout bag and all that good stuff. And getting the hell outta there with my reasonably full gas tank.

Dookie
February 12, 2009, 05:16 AM
Would you want to place your freedom in the hands of people the likes of those that awarded a woman 3 million bucks for spilling hot coffee in her lap while leaving the McD's drive thruThis is not a legitimate argument, look into the case and see what really happened. Then you will know why she was awarded money.
Even if it was true, a prosecutor would be bound by law to only state the facts. I even had a hard time typing that. And the first thing out of your mouth should be, "I thought he was going to harm me/family/friends/stranger, I want a lawyer." It's a good point, but in the eyes of the law it has no justification.

But the legalities are not in question, especially with a good lawyer.

The lack of available ammunition is a good line of reasoning. But there are so many conversions to the AR that it makes it a superb all around tool.

But it does not matter which is better, what matters is what you are better with.

JFrame
February 12, 2009, 10:49 AM
I just bought a Marlin 1894C in 357 magnum. My HD and carry gun has been a S&W M19 2". For in the house I would stick to the 19 just for close quarters and light manipulation. I'm old school when it comes to separation of light and gun. For exterior of the property I would opt for the carbine. I wouldn't feel underarmed with it. The .357 is my personal favorite cartridge. It has excellent terminal ballistics and is an economical plinker. Here in Indiana it is now legal to use carbines that fire handgun cartridges for deer hunting. The all around perfect gun?

chuzy2 -- we have very similar approaches. My nightstand gun is a S&W Pro-60 .357 (3" barrel). For longer reach, I maintain a Winchester Trapper, also in .357.

I'm not advocating this combo as a "perfect solution" for anyone else, but it works for me and I feel comfortable with it...

MGD 45
February 12, 2009, 11:27 AM
As an LEO, there was a time, that our wonderful City Counsel wouldn't allow us to carry the "evil black rifles" in our patrol cars, because they didn't want their "Mayberry PD" looking too military to the locals.

So for quite a while, when I was in the Patrol Division, I kept my Winchester Model 94, .30-30 rifle in the trunk. Kept the tube fully loaded, had a buttstock cover with 9 more additional rounds. No optics, so it could be dropped, banged around & didn't have to worry about scopes being knocked out of alignment.

When the rifle was used to dispatch some larger animals injured during car wrecks, no one seemed offended or scared, because it is such an iconic American rifle ( as seen in westerns), that no one gave it a second glance.

The rifle has a plenty powerful enough cartridge to kill any human or animal within 200 yards in my neck of the woods......Now that we can carry the AR-15's........I've got one, & the lever-action is now in my closet, waiting for hunting season.

It worked perfectly fine for LE work & I wouldn't have a problem using it again in the future if needed. :cool:

Rifleman 173
February 12, 2009, 01:30 PM
About the police using lever action rifles. If you google the name John Bowman you will find that he was a firearms instructor for many years at the Police Training Institute. The Police Training Institute, aka PTI, is a part of the University of Illinois at Champaign - Urbana. John was also a firearms instructor for Jeff Cooper for many, many years. Cooper and Bowman experimented with use of lever action rifles for hunting and tactical purposes. They both looked for ways to make any firearm more usable or practical for honest people, military personnel and police officers. Bowman would also work, part-time, for a small town police agency to keep himself current in law enforcement techniques. One of the things that Bowman found out was that certain lever action rifles CAN be used effectively by police officers.

Bowman practices what he teaches. His primary firearm is a 1911 pistol that shoots .45 caliber ammo. His primary shoulder mounted firearm is a .44 magnum lever action rifle. Based off of what Bowman was teaching policemen, some officers began to carry and experiment with lever action rifles. Some of the results that have surfaced have been interesting. Not a lot of policemen or police agencies are using lever action rifles but some are.

A lever action rifle is slimmer and more compact than an AR-15 rifle. It is also a lot more maneuverable in tight areas than most other rifles. Many years ago, the .44 magnum lever action was actually used by hunters and people to shoot and kill small bears so it is effective. They are easy to use. Easy to sight in with and fire. The ergonomics are really very good for use by most people to include left-handed people. A lever action rifle is pretty much an ambidextrous firearm.

A few years ago a sheriff in Arizona went to a trailer to look for and arrest a suspect wanted on a murder warrant. The sheriff took a lever action rifle with him that use .45 Long Colt ammunition. When the sheriff got to the front door of the trailer, he came under fire from the suspect. The sheriff returned fire and dropped the suspect. Before it was all over the sheriff had shot 4 bad guys, killed 3 of them and wounded 1 of them. So that sheriff proved that a lever action rifle can be very effective in some tactical situations. So when information on that shooting situation made the rounds in law enforcement circles, officers began to take a more serious look at the lever action rifle in the large calibers and the more effective hunting calibers. So don't be surprised to see the occasional policeman showing up at a call with a lever action rifle of some sort.

Right now, the calibers of choice among policemen carrying lever action rifles are pretty much the .357 magnum, the .44 magnum, the .45 Long Colt and the ol' faithful 30-30 lever action rifles. Some of the guys are using scopes and red dots on their rifles and some are just keeping their rifles clean and compact. How the rifle is used and equipped is up to the individual officer.

JImbothefiveth
February 12, 2009, 04:03 PM
It is, as it always has been, more a matter of the man than the gun. Work on you 'til you can't improve any more. Then it will be time to worry about the gun you use.
I'm going to have to disagree with you. A semi-auto will allow you to shoot faster than a lever action. Why handicap yourself.

It's similiar to how I can shoot better with a target rifle than a sporter rifle. I can't outshoot either, but the target rifle is designed to be easier to shoot better.

JImbothefiveth
February 12, 2009, 04:13 PM
Lets say that you have the latest, greatest rigged out AR as your HD weapon and Heaven forbid that one night you are forced to use it to defend your family. There are LOTS of locales in this country these days where a sniveling prosecutor or plaintiffs attorney could gin up lots of hatred and resentment with a jury based solely on the type of weapon you used to defend yourself.

Here's one. It uses AR mags, but I wouldn't use it for home defense because it's a target rifle, and will probably be unreliable.
https://www.volquartsen.com/pictures/11.jpg?h=400&w=630
It certainly would be better than this.
http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n431/ECVMatt/lever.jpg

JImbothefiveth
February 12, 2009, 04:22 PM
I think where it could be better than a semi-auto is where you can't carry loaded magazines, even seperately from the firearm. In that case, it would be quicker to get ready to fire.

eye5600
February 12, 2009, 05:10 PM
I'm going to have to disagree with you. A semi-auto will allow you to shoot faster than a lever action. Why handicap yourself.

I wonder. The internet's supply of traffic-stop-gone-wrong videos includes a lot where the officer does a spray-and-pray. The advantage goes to the guy who aims before he shoots.

As an LEO, there was a time, that our wonderful City Counsel wouldn't allow us to carry the "evil black rifles" in our patrol cars, because they didn't want their "Mayberry PD" looking too military to the locals.


Now available in camo and designer colors. Maybe the law enforcement industry should come up with some standard, recognizable alternative to black. Same theory as the Coast Guard putting diagonal slashes on the bows of all their boats.

JImbothefiveth
February 12, 2009, 05:19 PM
The advantage goes to the guy who aims before he shoots.
I didn't say don't aim.

A semi-auto will allow you to shoot faster, aimed or not.

geologist
February 12, 2009, 05:31 PM
In Canada, most AR stle rifles are "restricted" meaning that they can only be brought and used at registered shooting ranges.

Here's my non-restricted 1895GS in 45-70. The nice thing about a 45-70 is that with it's penetration there is very little "cover" for the BG's.

http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i155/pbgeologist/S5000002edt.jpg

VictorySong
February 12, 2009, 05:56 PM
It won't give your family cover either. Looks sweet but I would worry about Over penetration in home defence more than anything.

TimboKhan
February 12, 2009, 08:41 PM
but I would worry about Over penetration in home defence more than anything

Not me. Everything penetrates, and in the end, I want the advantage over the criminal.

ECVMatt
February 12, 2009, 09:20 PM
But I would rather have my 6 lb. 32" 336 that cost me about 275 bucks to set up than a 10-12 lb. 42" .223 that cost 2,000 bucks with no sights.

That seems pretty silly to me...

http://www.gunsmagazine.com/Ftr0706/graph1.jpg


But again, to each his own...

Matt

JShirley
February 12, 2009, 09:32 PM
ECVMatt,

What is silly is posting a dedicated target/varmint gun as though it's a typical defensive setup AR rifle.

Why not compare it to a TYPICAL 16" barrel AR-15 style carbine? Let me help:


Bushmaster 16" Heavy Bbl. A2 (http://www.bushmaster.com/catalog_military_MCWA3F16.asp)
Caliber: 5.56mm or .223 Rem.
Operation Gas Operated
Magazine Capacity: 30 Rounds (accepts all M16 / AR15 type)
Overall Length: 36.25” [100.3 cm]
Barrel Length: 16” [40.6 cm]
Rifling: 1 turn in 9” [22.8 cm]
R.H. Twist / 6 grooves & lands
Weight w/o magazine (A2): 6.93 lbs. [3.14 kg]

Incidentally, can your 336 nail prairie dogs at 400 meters? Just curious, since you seem to prefer it to a varmint gun.

John

JShirley
February 12, 2009, 09:41 PM
After a few years around firearms, I can say that it would be wise for most of us to use what we enjoy using. Yes, if the Huns are coming, we should perhaps grab our most fearful implement of directed doom, but absent the Horde, we may as well use what we want and can reasonably use.

If we enjoy a tool, we are more likely to practice with it. Perfect practice makes perfect. Anyway, I have to agree that a good lever action feels good in the hand, and is a pleasure to use, even if a dedicated warfighting piece like an AR may be more effective against the masses of Red Chinese that might roll over a border at any minute. For the threats we are likely to encounter, the lever gun should work pretty well.

John

ECVMatt
February 12, 2009, 11:00 PM
I could be wrong though..

I have a RRA 16" that I have been shooting a lot lately. While it is a great gun, I wouldn't use it to shoot 400 yards at pasture poodles either. First I wouldn't want to chase brass all over the prairie and it won't quite shoot minute of PP out to 400 yards. I have different rifles for that sort of thing.

This is the upper I am currently using, it is really great:

http://www.rockriverarms.com/images/products/uela407.gif

I am going with your last statement. I really think folks should use what works best for them and that they shoot a lot. Whatever you enjoy or practice with is what you should choose first.

Matt

JShirley
February 12, 2009, 11:32 PM
Good, we're in agreement, then. It just seemed a little unfair to pick a dedicated varminter to compare to a lever gun, when most home defense types are picking a 16" version.

Personally, I think I'm going to start using my "new" 1894M because it's cool and will tend to cause less hearing damage if I haven't had time to get to my Peltors...Yeah, I have thousands of rounds of trigger time on an M4, and my own "4gery", but I'm not that concerned at this point that GA will be overrun by blue helmets or anything!

John

JESmith
February 13, 2009, 12:00 AM
Back a long time ago, I did a stint as a radio repairman for Motorola. Whenever a Texas DPS (state highway patrol) car came in, they always had a pump shotgun, a mini-14, and a lever action 45-70. I asked one one of the troopers what for. He said they used them for road blocks. Apparently they considered them a good car stopper. He said with a mini-14 you had to target the driver. With a 45-70 you just had to target the engine. Not sure if this was true state-wide or just in my neck of the woods.

JImbothefiveth
February 13, 2009, 12:22 AM
What is silly is posting a dedicated target/varmint gun as though it's a typical defensive setup AR rifle.

I only posted the target gun as an example. I wouldn't use one for self-defense, because a semi-auto target gun might be unreliable.

A better example might be a Ruger ranch rifle. They can be had in "non-tacticool" format, and I think they are less expensive, and I hear they are usually reliable, but not consistently accurate. Other than that, I don't know too much about them.

Gordon
February 13, 2009, 12:24 AM
I want to see a picture of the elusive WWG light mount! They (Wild West Guns) don't even advertise it!:confused:

geologist
February 13, 2009, 12:27 PM
It won't give your family cover either. Looks sweet but I would worry about Over penetration in home defence more than anything.

In the house I have these with 2 3/4" OO buck.

http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i155/pbgeologist/S5000001e.jpg

http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i155/pbgeologist/jtum3n.jpg

geologist
February 13, 2009, 12:29 PM
I want to see a picture of the elusive WWG light mount! They (Wild West Guns) don't even advertise it!

Look at post #96 in this thread.

1911 man
September 26, 2010, 06:10 PM
I had decided to bring an old 100+ yr old design into the 21st century. This is my first and only lever action; it is a Marlin 336cs chambered in 30-30. 30-30 has similar terminal ballistics as the AK47's 7.62x39 cartridge, a cartridge more than acceptable to be similar to. Here are some of my photos. The gun was bought used for $250.00 and using ebay, over seas vendors, spare components I happened to have, and other connections and deals, this end project cost less than $500.00.

It started with a 20” barrel which was cut to 16.5” (16.5” so that the matching magazine tube was long enough for 5 a 30-30 cartridges without excess space), it has an 11 degree crown cut into it, Ram-Line synthetic stock which was painted with charcoal grit paint for extra grip potential, the finish is brownell’s paint, it has XS Sights Lever Rail, Magpul AFG; MBUS sights; and rails, Pachmayr 250D recoil pad, Wolff reduced hammer and lever spring to reduce trigger pull, Specter Gear ERB 200 sling, GGG front Sling Thing, a multi-reticle red dot, and a Surefire G2 light mounted with a generic 1” sight ring with a generic pressure switch. I wanted to place a 3-point sling AND have extra ammo on the buttstock. There is no such buttstock suspension device, so I made one with 550 cord. I also used charcoal 550 cord wrapped around the lever to match the stock grit paint. Here are some of the pictures of this project.

http://i856.photobucket.com/albums/ab122/mkm1911/guns/nana/SSPX1137.jpg
Original 336cs

http://i856.photobucket.com/albums/ab122/mkm1911/guns/nana/SSPX0777b.jpg
Completed tactical modification - left side

http://i856.photobucket.com/albums/ab122/mkm1911/guns/nana/SSPX0783.jpg
Completed tactical modification – right side with light and cartridge carrier

http://i856.photobucket.com/albums/ab122/mkm1911/guns/nana/SSPX0760-1.jpg
Light

http://i856.photobucket.com/albums/ab122/mkm1911/guns/nana/SSPX0792b.jpg
Front view with flip-up sights raised

http://i856.photobucket.com/albums/ab122/mkm1911/guns/nana/SSPX0785-1.jpg
http://i856.photobucket.com/albums/ab122/mkm1911/guns/nana/SSPX0778-1.jpg
Buttstock suspension

http://i856.photobucket.com/albums/ab122/mkm1911/guns/nana/SSPX0756-1.jpg
Lever wrap

http://i856.photobucket.com/albums/ab122/mkm1911/guns/nana/SSPX0801-1.jpg
With 3-Point sling

Badlander
September 26, 2010, 07:42 PM
Nice work 1911 man. You spent some time digging up old posts this weekend.

kwelz
September 26, 2010, 07:44 PM
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=60078

Ragnar Danneskjold
September 26, 2010, 07:53 PM
A Winchester 94 in .30-30 with a 9x scope is a lot more "tactical," meaning used or useful in tactics, than a plastic .223 covered in electronic crap.

The fact that you call it "electronic crap" just tells me that you probably don't understand the utility optics, lights, NODs, and designators can have in a combat situation.

As far as "tactical lever action", it's essentially an oxymoron. Like a "tactical" muzzle loader. The fact is, you just cannot put as many rounds on as many targets fast enough with a lever action. Their very design makes them slow to reload, and needing reloading often. That is inherently inferior in a situation where many rounds on multiple targets is required. In fact, the idea that one could make a lever action "tactical" is kind of the mall-ninja mindset in action. As if a flat black pain job and an Eotech could make a slow rifle into something more useful than an AR-15. "Tactical" does indeed pertain to something that gives the operator greater ability in achieving a mission, and the tactics he uses in that mission. "Tactical" starts long before the engagement. That means picking a rifle you know will give you the most utility in an engagement. No serious SWAT/mil/LEO team considers lever action rifles as a reasonable choice when choosing long guns. You simply cannot shoot them fast enough, reload them fast enough, or carry as many rounds into an engagement. They are obsolete in terms of being a combat weapon. Good for coyotes or other pests? Sure. Good for having a good time at the range? You bet. But good for real combat against real enemies? Not a chance. Anyone who knows anything about really going into building against armed bad guys will pass over a lever action every time.

As far as LE agencies switching to lever actions, that's news to me. None of the agencies I interact with have them. Only AR-15s and shotguns.

Girodin
September 26, 2010, 07:54 PM
The AFG looks like it is in a little close. Of course that is just looking at it w/o handling it and without even seeing the thing being shouldered, but still.

I'm also curious what kind of cheek weld one can get with that optic and the MBUS.

788Ham
September 26, 2010, 08:47 PM
TimboKhan, I agree with the Win. .375 comments, 220 gr Flat nosed Hornady's await the BG in my house. The noise level, when one is deprimed inside the house is something I'm not worried about, if it was, I wouldn't have the Win. .375! A .30-30 is a good round, not going to argue that fact, but imagine how the BG's going to look running across the street, with one leg blown off at the ass! Tin cup time, and wishing he'd have thought of a different line of work before he bothered to break in my front door.

Thanks for your service Jar-head, I was Navy 67-71, Brown water navy, USS Gunston Hall LSD-5 OORRAAHH ! Semper Fi

Dookie
September 26, 2010, 10:17 PM
I had a discussion with a friend who thinks all AK/AR style firearms are bad and are made to kill. He hunts with a 94 30-30 (he hasn't caught on yet that a firearm made for hunting is made to KILL also). I asked him if he realized that by his definition of what makes the AR style bad, hi capacity, fast shooting, black, the usual, is what makes his firearm so nice.
Say what you want about lever versus semi, the lever action is a great firearm. It has decent capacity, it cycles really fast, and it shoots a hi power load, more powerful than the standard AR and about equal to the AK.
So I told my friend that if he painted his rifle black it could be considered a "tactical" firearm just like the ones he didn't like.

I am just thinking that in the days before semi auto's were common the lever would be an amazing short range military firearm. The only issue is reloading.

Dionysusigma
September 26, 2010, 10:22 PM
I am just thinking that in the days before semi auto's were common the lever would be an amazing short range military firearm. The only issue is reloading.
Indeed. You load it once and shoot all week long. ;)

Nematocyst
September 26, 2010, 10:40 PM
Holy moley.

That lever rifle up in post 109 is wicked.

Big Bill
September 26, 2010, 11:04 PM
So, I guess we've decided that if you're expecting a war to break out in your neighborhood, then you'd better have and AR with hundreds of loaded magazines readily available. Otherwise, a lever action gun is suitable for everyday defense against BGs and home invaders. But, in reality, has anyone considered how dumb it would be to use either an AR or lever action gun inside their own home? My big fear is overpenetration and thus killing some innocent neighbor.

BTW, I have an SKS in case war breaks out down the block and a couple of 30-30 leverguns in case I want to "deploy" ( :) ) a capable rifle when I go to the mountains. I think this argument about what is tactical and what ain't, is kinda funny. Instead, maybe we should be analyzing what is practical and what is impractical in an urban environment.

Hello 1911 man, welcome to the forum and thanks for the pictures. You did good, Sir!

Trebor
September 26, 2010, 11:06 PM
I recently wrote an examiner article on this topic.

Tips on using the lever-action rifle for self defense (http://www.examiner.com/firearms-in-detroit/tips-on-using-the-lever-action-rifle-for-self-defense-use)

Big Bill
September 26, 2010, 11:24 PM
Rob - that's a very good article. Thanks!

Do you think or believe a lever action rifle can be safely used as a defensive weapon in a home in a residential neighborhood? I've seen how easily a high powered pistol or rifle round penetrates walls ect. in a residencial home. I'd never use my 30-30 Marlin or Winchester in my own house. I like my neighbors too much and don't want to do any jail time for killing someone in an adjacent room or house accidentally.

Girodin
September 26, 2010, 11:31 PM
has anyone considered how dumb it would be to use either an AR or lever action gun inside their own home? My big fear is overpenetration and thus killing some innocent neighbor.

Not only has it been discussed ad nauseum it has been pointed out countless times that rifles firing the proper bullets pose less of an over penetration threat than do pistol bullets or even buckshot. In terms of over penetration a 5.56 round with proper bullet is possibly about as good as you are going to get in terms of minimizing over-penetration in something that also has enough penetration to be adequate for defensive use.

What do you think is better to use? Please explain exactly why it would be dumb, and what would be smarter to use in its place and why.

A 5.56 being a huge over penetration risk is a myth that some people just cannot seem to get past.

Girodin
September 26, 2010, 11:33 PM
I like my neighbors too much and don't want to do any jail time for killing someone in an adjacent room or house accidentally.

I like my neighbors too and have no more desire to unintentionally hit an innocent than does any one else but I suggest you also research the legal doctrine of transferred intent.

Old krow
September 26, 2010, 11:47 PM
"Tactical" is essentially derived from "use in battle" or the ability to do so. It's basically the battle (or your adversary) that decides whether or not a weapon is tactical. In truth you could interchange "practical" and "tactical" it would have the same effect basically.

I'd say every scenario warrants thinking it through for each individual. I would not go into combat with one (not willingly anyway) or put myself into a situation where there are multiple targets in close quarters. But, if I found myself there I think that I could manage. I also would not choose an AR for HD either.

If I had to choose one for the sole purpose of HD it would be one of the 1894 variants or the 1892 Win Trapper because of the calibers and the smaller barrels. Both come in large pistol calibers and have a mag cap of 9-10 with 16" (ish) barrels.

What features would you have on it or do you think it SHOULD have?

Enough ammo to do the job, a way to aim it, and most importantly, proficiency in making the weapon serve it's intended purpose. Most home invasions happen at night so being able to quickly acquire a target at night is essential. Otherwise I (meaning me personally) wouldn't gadgetize a HD weapon.

I am sort of an advocate of laser sights for HD, and here's why; hopefully none of us will ever have to go thru this, but... When it all happens the fight or flight switch is going to kick in and it results in adrenaline. There's an intimidation factor as well. There's also an "I gave my position away" factor too, but I think that it's still worth it in the end. My girlfriend and I will both grab our pistols, I keep mine until I clear my sons room and then I using the street howitzer. I'd go with night sights for sure, but that and a laser is about as far as I would go with "accessorizing" that weapon... or any HD weapon for that matter.

Cost of ammo isn't a factor for me, I do not have to be accurate to be lethal with a 12ga so I do not practice as much as I do with my CCW, but if I did, I'd want a fairly common caliber. .357,.45,.44 should all do pretty well.

What do you think is better to use? Please explain exactly why it would be dumb, and what would be smarter to use in its place and why.

Not to answer for the poster, but, 12ga. I'd chose it because the risk of ANY collateral damage is extremely low and I (meaning me) cannot acquire and neutralize a target faster with a rifle or more accurately with a pistol.

benEzra
September 26, 2010, 11:52 PM
in reality, has anyone considered how dumb it would be to use either an AR or lever action gun inside their own home? My big fear is overpenetration and thus killing some innocent neighbor.
.223 with suitable civilian JHP penetrates less, not more, in typical building materials than 9mm JHP, .45 JHP, .357 JHP, or 00 buckshot. If your situation is such that you can't safely shoot .223, you can't safely shoot much more than birdshot.

I am just thinking that in the days before semi auto's were common the lever would be an amazing short range military firearm.
A fair number of soldiers during the Civil War thought so.

Big Bill
September 27, 2010, 12:13 AM
Girodin - thanks for the info. I don't read many threads that concern EBRs. Perhaps I will re-consider the topic. However, I don't think I'll be buying an AR anytime soon. I'll probably just keep using my 9mm with the appropriate ammo.

I was thinking about this test. It says this at the end:

"Lessons learned:

1. Sheetrock (drywall) doesn't slow any round down much. If you shoot in the house, walls will not stop any serious round.

2. Twelve pine boards will not stop a .223 round.

3. Shooting stuff is fun."

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot1.htm

336A
September 27, 2010, 12:18 AM
Wow a lot of folks here are very dis illusioned, post # 43 stated it best. All of the gadgets and widgets in the world will not make up for crappy marksmanship and lack of tatics. Nor will owning a AR/AK with all the bells and whistles make the owner a soldier, operator or SWAT team member.

I have said this before and will stick with it till the end. It does not matter one iota what firearm you decide to use for those worst case scenerios. Whether it is a revolver or semi automatic for handguns or a levergun, semi auto, or pump action rifle. The difference maker will always be and will continue to be the individual behind the trigger. A very good example of this occured back in 2007 while I was instructing a advanced rifle marksmanship class. During this particular class we had two Canadian counter parts enrolled. They're carbines were a cross between the old M4 and the M4A1 with no capability of mounting optics.

When it came time to conduct Close Quarters Marksmanship they would just flip the rear sight aperature to the low light visibility aperature, which is more like a ghost ring. During this particlar part of the course of fire each student will fire 2 30 round mags for 90 degree controlled pairs L&R, 2x30 for 90 degree turns L&R Rapid pair with Failure drill, 2x30 for L&R 180 degree turns firing controlled pairs, and 2x30 for L&R 180 degree turns doing Rapid Pair with the Failure drill. All shooting was done on a standard M9 qual target and in full kit. The one Canadian student did better than any of our Soldiers which were using Aim Point optics. He literally ate the center (the 5 ring) out of that M9 qual target compared to our guys who had shots scattered all over the target for the most part.

This example clearly demonstrates that as long as one applies the fundementals of marksmanship correctly, along with good tatics the extra gadgets don't mean squat, though they do help. However they will not compensate for bad marksmanship technique or tatics, the same holds true about the platform the individual is using as well. You should have seen the looks on some of the faces when we pulled that guys target and showed it to the class to drive home this point.

The lever action rifle and the cartridges they house are probably one of if not the most practical rifles around. The .30-30 alone has slain all N. American game and will continue to do so into the forseeable futrure. Heck back in the 60's the largest grizzly bear ever taken was slain with a 30-30, that record stood for some time. When was the last time that was done with a AR? To the best of my knowledge there are exactly zero. Every year there are still hunters that use Marlins/Win in .30-30, .35 Rem, .444, .45-70, and .450 Marlin to harvest deer, hogs, black bear, caribou, elk and moose. A good portion of those are taken with the lowly .30WCF to boot.

From puttin' meat on the table to saving your bacon in a worst case scenerio the lever action is very hard to beat.

Again if you can't properly apply the fundementals of marksmanship backed with good solid tactics, your going to be one hurtin' unit at the end of the day regardless of your hardware.

Girodin
September 27, 2010, 12:20 AM
I do not have to be accurate to be lethal with a 12ga

I strenuously disagree with that assertion. You certainly do (unless we are talking about a shot that has missed being lethal when it hits something else) rounds off target do not produce the desired effect and if one is not accurate where are the rounds going? It is well within many peoples ability to miss cleanly even at HD ranges with a shotgun. The spread is not that great and you need to fire accurately to make hits.

I am sort of an advocate of laser sights for HD, and here's why; hopefully none of us will ever have to go thru this, but... When it all happens the fight or flight switch is going to kick in and it results in adrenaline. There's an intimidation factor as well.

I've never bought that lasers have much intimidation factor. It would require the person to look at their chest and realize a red dot was there, and then properly infer that it was coming from a weapon mounted laser. There is a very good chance the person never bothers to look down at their chest to notice the laser. Lasers can have benefit but I personally find playing find the red dot slows me down versus using the sights of my go to weapons to say nothing of point shooting at close distances. I'd advise using tools like shot timers and force on force training to see if that proves true for you or if the laser really brings something of value to the table. A light is a better nighttime accessory IMHO.

12ga. I'd chose it because the risk of ANY collateral damage is extremely low

By collateral damage do you mean someone hit as a result of penetrating walls and or the BG?

If so what are you loading that 12 gauge with that results is less of a danger on that account than does a proper load in a 5.56 rifle?

Big Bill
September 27, 2010, 01:12 AM
...a proper load in a 5.56 rifle?Girodin - what do you mean and recommend by "proper load" in this statement? (just curious)

Dr.Rob
September 27, 2010, 01:33 AM
To me, customizing a lever gun means a few brass beads in the stock and a bit of leather wrapped around the lever. Maybe a sling. Adding all that stuff designed for an AR series rifles takes away from the advantages of a lever gun, namely that they are light and manuverable and the flat shape makes them a good saddle gun (or behind the seats in a truck) or whatever.

I can't fathom bolting on sights calibrated for a 5.56mm 2.5 inches above the muzzle I doubt the 200 yard setting (if those are indeed sights for a 5.56) would be 'right' even if the 100 yard is 'on'.

Biggest draw back I have found with a pistol cal models popular in cowboy action shooting, is the drop at 100 yards. They are great close up, but at distance your 300gr .44 or .45 is dropping like a rock and most factory sights don't have the flexibility to get you 'out there' which is why tang sights were popular on lever guns. Still you have 10+ rounds and you can top them off 'on the go' just like a pump shotgun.

With a .30-30 you don't have much capacity, but you have the energy to defeat any soft armor a bad guy might wear. You also don't have much drop out to 150 yards. Add any 4x scope and you have a 200+ yard capable rifle, and the ability to take a more precise point of aim.

I had a friend that hunted in Florida with a 30-30 with a see through scope mount, it left his scope a tad high for my taste, but it allowed him to use his iron sights in close. It was a good compromise for his needs hunting in pretty heavy cover. That MIGHT be a reasonable compromise in a 'defensive rifle' role as well, and more useful, not to mention cost effective than some of the modifications I've seen in this thread.

Old krow
September 27, 2010, 01:51 AM
What i actually said was;
I'd say every scenario warrants thinking it through for each individual.

I was merely using the 12ga as the example, my logic if you will, of how I determined what the HD weapon would be. I just happen to be more proficient with one (under those circumstances) than I am with a pistol or a carbine.

I strenuously disagree with that assertion. You certainly do (unless we are talking about a shot that has missed being lethal when it hits something else) rounds off target do not produce the desired effect and if one is not accurate where are the rounds going?

I should have said "as accurate." I do not spend nearly as much time as I would with even a pistol. I'm didn't mean to say that accuracy isn't important, just a lot less effort for me as opposed to a pistol or rifle in that situation. Ultimately hitting the target IS the goal.

I'd advise using tools like shot timers and force on force training to see if that proves true for you or if the laser really brings something of value to the table. A light is a better nighttime accessory IMHO.

A 12 ga is what I was trained to use for CQC and that's the recipe that I use now. If I ever used a light it would be because I had practiced with one. I have friends that swear by them, and that's great, I maintain that I have no opinion on them because I have never used them. And I can see a laser in my house, of course, it could be the dust and hair from the livestock we have that pass for dogs. I don't use one, my girlfriend does. Before she confiscated (for herself) my pistol with the laser, I could find it at night considerably faster than with just sights. I find that practice ultimately means more, but some way to direct a weapon at night is essential.

Force on force would be really cool. I have taken a couple similar classes, although the library of weapons was limited. I'm actively trying to get my girlfriend to go with now. We get our own free training now, but I personally think that you can never have enough and for CQC. I think it's good. Oddly enough she's the reason we go to the range, it wasn't me that got her to go, it was the other way around.

By collateral damage do you mean someone hit as a result of penetrating walls and or the BG?

If so what are you loading that 12 gauge with that results is less of a danger on that account than does a proper load in a 5.56 rifle?

I mean there's no kids, no houses, if they made it to us they killed the cow-like dogs so it's only BG stopping power from there on out. I like the 5.56 and I'm accurate with it, but I am less confident with it. Not that it isn't a viable choice, just not my choice. I'm not at all against the EBRs, I love mine, and if the BG would be so kind as to break into my house during the day I'd grab it.

My personal philosophy is "whatever works" or "whatever you'd stake your life on." I'm not against a lever action, an AR, or any other weapon for that matter, I just said that I wouldn't use them and that's only because I have considerable more trigger time with the 12 ga and I'm operating under the assumption that %80 of the break in happen at night.

Ragnar Danneskjold
September 27, 2010, 02:25 AM
the extra gadgets don't mean squat, though they do help.

Those two statements don't mesh. Either having extra gear on your weapon helps or it doesn't. If it helps, don't knock it.

The problem with "the only thing that matters is training" mindset is that most people who spout that assume the BG is an idiot, or that somehow one has to choose between good training/mindset or good gear. Most people who rip on good gear seem to see only two possibilities.

Poor skills and training + trying to make up for it with the best gear
or
Great skills and superior training + doesn't matter what they're using

But what about the third option?
Great skills, superior training and the best gear?

I grow weary of people criticizing other shooters for using modern equipment and weapons and the latest additions to their weapons. It is always with an air of condescension as if the shooter who has the most stuff for their weapon must in turn be the worst marksman or some sort of mall ninja. Don't forget that all those gadgets were invented for real operators, not just internet commandos. Real SWAT teams use Eotechs. Rangers and SF do use night vision or IR designators. Telescoping stocks, forward grips, and single point slings can be found on weapons of guys who do real shooting against real bad guys all over the world. Guys who have much more tactical skills and training that any of us in this thread will ever have. And do they use lever-actions? No, they don't.

Big Bill
September 27, 2010, 02:52 AM
Guys who have much more tactical skills and training that any of us in this thread will ever have. And do they use lever-actions? No, they don't.Ragnar, most of us here are not professionals and don't have the training to use all that specialized equipment. I grew up with a lever action rifle beginning with a Daisy BB gun. At the age of 12, I graduated to a Winchester 94, which was my primary hunting rifle till I was 30. And, I've owned my Winchester 94 all my life and am more proficient with it than anything else I own.

I was trained on an M16A1 in the military (1970 - Fort Ord), but never saw any combat and wasn't in law enforcement. And, so when I got home I went right back to my 30-30. I'm not an operator and don't want to be one. All I want is a rifle that I can hunt with, that I'm very familiar with, and that I can defend my family with. A standard Marlin 336 or Winchester does that just fine.

I think what we're trying to say here is that there are acceptable alternatives to an AR. I have nothing but admiration for anyone who is profecient with whatever firearm they choose for HD/SD. And, there is NO DOUBT that an operator with state of the art equipment and great tactical training is formitable indeed. But, in the meantime, I'm not going to rush out and buy an overpriced AR. I guess I'm just too old to change.

Ragnar Danneskjold
September 27, 2010, 03:02 AM
I'm not an operator and don't want to be one. All I want is a rifle that I can hunt with, that I'm very familiar with, and that I can defend my family with. A standard Marlin 336 or Winchester does that just fine.

Then you're not really looking for a tactical lever action, just a lever action. My point is that you cannot really paint a lever action black, put a red dot and a single point sling on it and all of a sudden have a rifle that a SWAT pointman would want to use. Lever actions are great for all the things you mentioned you want out of a rifle. They are not great for the things tactical teams need out of their rifles. And no amount of add-ons will make them so.

Big Bill
September 27, 2010, 03:25 AM
Ragnar.. ++ 1000

336A
September 27, 2010, 07:23 AM
Those two statements don't mesh. Either having extra gear on your weapon helps or it doesn't. If it helps, don't knock it.


If your going to quote someone then quote the entire sentence or two that was used. Don't just take a snipit of a sentence as you did from my last post and make it fit your agenda which in this case is your opinion. What I said makes complete sense if you read the two sentences in it's entireity. A CCO/ACOG on a rifle will will not turn a crappy shooter into a good shooter. The equipment does indeed help an individual who is already a good marksman when it comes to reflexive (CCO) firing vs using iron sights for reflexive firing.

Don't forget that all those gadgets were invented for real operators, not just internet commandos

Right along with a handful of other useful stuff such as the hand held GPS.

Rangers and SF do use night vision or IR designators. Telescoping stocks, forward grips, and single point slings can be found on weapons of guys who do real shooting against real bad guys all over the world. Guys who have much more tactical skills and training that any of us in this thread will ever have. And do they use lever-actions? No, they don't.

Correct so do the rest of us. NOD"s, lasers, and gun lights are all standard equipment for all Soldiers that are in a manuever element. BTW IR lasers are just that lasers not IR designators. Their use as a designator is secondary to it's main role which is a weapon aiming light/device. Of course the military don't use lever action rifles, the lever action was never a military issued weapon in the U.S. None the less that does not mean that a individual can't use one (lever action) to save they're hide from a BG during a home invasion type scenerio, nor is it any less effective.

Of course SWAT teams don't use lever actions either as they like to fashion themselves after us (the military). This means for the most part using the same equipment and modifieing our tactics for entering a building and clearing rooms to fit they're purposes.

Ragnar Danneskjold
September 27, 2010, 07:26 AM
Are you....making a point or just trying to rip on me? Seriously. I'm having trouble seeing exactly what you are postulating in that post beyond picking apart my previous post.

Old krow
September 27, 2010, 07:51 PM
I love looking at other people's point of views, especially about guns. This thread has made me realize that I have really over looked something... I no longer have a lever action rifle and I must now remedy that situation. :)

Girodin
September 27, 2010, 08:28 PM
Girodin - what do you mean and recommend by "proper load" in this statement? (just curious)

My current "proper load" is a 75 gr Hornady TAP round. I'm sure there are others that could work but this round does the two things I want. First and most importantly it offers adequate penetration on the BG. If a round wont do that then it is automatically disqualified in my mind. If I need to use a weapon in defense it is because I am in imminent danger and I need to stop a threat now. That threat is much more serious, or perhaps proximate is a better word, IMHO than possibly hitting something/someone else. If I cannot stop that person from killing me nothing else matters much. Things like glasser slugs and birdshot may penetrate walls less but they do not meet this first very important criteria.

The second characteristic is that it tends to breakup when it hits other stuff like a dresser or a wall. Because it breaks up it penetrates such things much less than many pistol rounds or even buckshot rounds.

I use a 75 grain round because my "go to" AR has a 1:7 twist.

The opposite end of the spectrum would be rounds designed for max penetration through barriers.

I'm sure others may have particular rounds they think are better but these are the general characteristics that I want a round to have for indoor HD use where overpenetration is a great concern. Anything that can get the job done on a BG poses some risk of penetrating walls and the like. There is a spectrum though and some choices will penetrate more or less.

http://www.hornadyle.com/

benEzra
September 27, 2010, 08:31 PM
1. Sheetrock (drywall) doesn't slow any round down much. If you shoot in the house, walls will not stop any serious round.

2. Twelve pine boards will not stop a .223 round.

3. Shooting stuff is fun."

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot1.htm
Do be aware they were testing 5.56x45mm FMJ in that test.

Here's a test of .223 JHP and SP against drywall:

http://how-i-did-it.org/drywall/results.html

Deaf Smith
September 27, 2010, 11:11 PM
If you want to get a 30/30 to stop after a wall or two I can see four ways.

1) One of those Remington 'accelerator' sabots with a .223 JHP in it.

2) Handload a .30 cal 'Plinker' 100 grain slug on the 30/30.

3) A Glaser 30/30 round (yes they don't make that yet but if they did....)

4) If Speer would put the 110 gr Gold Dot M1 Carbine load on the 30/30 case!

Deaf

ECVMatt
September 28, 2010, 12:16 AM
Don't overlook these:

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=927609

Federal 125SP.

They are a pretty good load for an urban setting if over penatration is a concern.

I spoke with a police office who worked a rural job and he used this load in his .30-30. He praised it highly and swore by it.

Nematocyst
September 28, 2010, 01:40 PM
About a year and a half ago, I started this thread (http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php/topic,41593.0.html)
about light loads for .30-30 over on Marlin Owners Forum .

It's up on page 21 now.

My motivation then had more to do with small game loads, but I think it's relevant here, too,
since full on 150 or 170 gr factory loads aren't really necessary for HD, especially given penetration concerns.

I've learned a ton there.

Big Bill
September 28, 2010, 05:51 PM
Thanks Girodin! Great information... Nematocyst - that's a great thread. Thanks for sharing it.

animus_divinus
September 28, 2010, 07:50 PM
i just found this thread.. and i have to put in my 2 cents... after doing various testing, and research, it turns out when you load a .357 magnum cartridge to the upper end of its SAAMI rating itll achieve muzzle velocities and muzzle energies similar to that of a 30-30, with a shorter throw, and a cartridge you can fire in your handguns as well.. screw .30-30, go with either a 357 or a 44 mag lever action, either one is going to have more impact than a 5.56mm, plus you can hold 10 rounds in a 20 inch...

Domino
September 28, 2010, 09:19 PM
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a57/Mudd262/SB.jpg

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a57/Mudd262/SB2.jpg

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a57/Mudd262/SB3.jpg

Marlin 1894CSS .357 Magnum
-XS Sights & Rail
-MPI Synthetic Stock
-Burris 2-7X compact scope
-Leupold QD rings (high)

PR-NJ
September 29, 2010, 12:46 AM
Who is this "operator" you speak of?

Sheepdog1968
September 29, 2010, 01:16 AM
When I travel, as many of you do, it's impractical to take a large number of firearms. It can lead to friction with my significant other, plus it can be a pain to haul all the stuff in and out of hotel rooms. I like to take a lever action to the range to practice as it's my primary hunting rifle. When visiting friends on road trips, we often go shooting. As such, often my lever action is my only long arm. It is set up for hunting 16.75" barrel, 2.5X Scout scope w quick release rings, XS ghost ring sights. I could easily use it for self defense as well if I had to and feel quite comfortable with it since I practice a lot with it at the range to stay sharp for hunting. I would never call it tactical. I would say that it lends itself to being a practical self defense weapon. The only thing I've done to allow it serve as a role for self defense is to buy an adaptor so I can mount a light in case i need it when it is dark. As for capacity, I don't worry about it as I also bring a semi-auto pistol along as a back up weapon. I often don't travel in states where I need to worry about pistol laws.

OrangePwrx9
September 29, 2010, 01:32 AM
I've got a couple of accurate Marlin 1894s I've considered for HD/SD. One is .44 Mag., the other .357; both bought new and babied. The problem is I don't quite trust them...or more accurately, I don't quite trust me using them. Seems like I get at least one jam in every range session. It may be me short stroking or maybe they're not quite broken in; but whichever it is, it destroys confidence. If I've got a serious problem, I'd rather not be thinking about how to operate the lever to get the next shot.

Long story short, a Mini-14, an AR or a Saiga are better choices for the roles being discussed here. The gun is 'programmed' to get the next round into battery; no familiarity or practice needed. If the semi-autos weren't available, the lever guns would be a good second choice.
Bob

1911 man
October 2, 2010, 12:42 AM
This is in reference to post 118, about using certain firearms in the home.

So, I guess we've decided that if you're expecting a war to break out in your neighborhood, then you'd better have and AR with hundreds of loaded magazines readily available. Otherwise, a lever action gun is suitable for everyday defense against BGs and home invaders. But, in reality, has anyone considered how dumb it would be to use either an AR or lever action gun inside their own home? My big fear is over penetration and thus killing some innocent neighbor.

In reference to my 30-30, I made this just for fun, I wouldn't use it as a first line firearm in a home.

BUT....

A 5.56x45 55gr round would more likely bounce around in a target. Even if it did over penetrate, it would have deformed so greatly it would do little damage. Should a person miss, the 5.56 in 55gr has such velocity it would deform or shred apart and over penetrate less than other calibers.

Now... handguns. The four primary handgun calibers (9x19mm, .357sig, .45acp, .40s&w), even with hollowpoints, will almost certainly over penetrate within the ranges of a home. Remember firearm safety; know what’s behind your target. Although a handgun cartridge will be deformed, it will over penetrate. And let’s not talk about using FMJ’s for defense… that’s GUARANTEED over penetration. This IS NOT a defense designed/intended bullet.

If a miss occurs, the popular 9x19 is one of the worst over penetrating calibers, second only to the .357sig, but the .357sig was designed by speer and sig sauer to have similar terminal ballistics as the .357 magnum… and if you know history, s&w created the .357 magnum to penetrate what was used as body armor during that time. The .357 mag, and by extension the .357 sig, was made TO PENETRATE. That was the goal of the .357sig as requested by law enforcement - to accurately penetrate barriers such as dense clothing, windshields, and other barriers without losing significant penetrability to the target or being deflected to the point of losing significant accuracy.

To minimize over penetration of both the target and missed shots, consider frangible rounds. Even a frangible round in a human target can cause sufficient damage to cause the assailant to reconsider their motivation in continuing this course of action.

The firearm used in our lives is important, but spend an equal amount of time learning about ammunition and ballistics. More time even. Ask yourself if you know what frangible ammo, a bonded bullet, or a nosler tip is? If you don’t, more time needs to be spent learning about ammunition. Yes, the firearm is important, but in the end it’s your ammunition that does the work and it is the ammunition that can cause collateral damage. It’s the ammo that does all the work and provides you the end results you will have to answer for and pay the consequences for. Take time to learn about it. Trust me, being a firearms instructor, range safety officer, gunsmith, and custom [ammo] reloader is what I do.

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