Lever action safety issues


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GIJOEL
November 21, 2010, 10:39 PM
Anyone know of model specific safety issues with lever action rifles? While at the cabin this weekend, there was a ND on the front porch that claimed 3 ceramic bowls and a cabinet. The rifle was cased immediately after the incident so all i know is that it was a 30-30 lever action. The owner was loading the rifle and claimed that there was no way that he could have tripped the trigger on accident. Could the primer get struck by part of the action on the way into the chamber? I know of issues with older models not having any safety other than putting the hammer down on a live round.

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R.W.Dale
November 21, 2010, 10:53 PM
Lowering the hammer after loading possibly on an older model?

Cause pulling the trigger on a loaded, cocked and hot chamber to engauge the safety couldn't possibly be dangerous as later posters will try to point out.

Tommygunn
November 21, 2010, 11:37 PM
Thing is, there are different .30-30 rifles and different designs are going to be susceptible to different problems.
The one common problem all guns have in "going off" is having the trigger pulled.

Malamute
November 22, 2010, 01:05 AM
"...I know of issues with older models not having any safety other than putting the hammer down on a live round."


Which models are you refering to? The only older lever action model I'm aware of that came without a half cock safty was the early Henry rifles, the ones made in the early 1860s. They started putting half cock notches in the hammers before they quit making the Henrys, and began building 1866 Winchesters (none of which were in 30-30 cal). Everything since then has had a half cock safety that I've heard of.

Half cock safeties are relatively safe, so long as you don't touch the trigger when clearing the gun, or fumble setting the hammer to half cock after loading the chamber. I can't think of a good reason to load the chamber at the cabin, I only chamber a round when a shot is imminent.

I don't know the person in question, but people make all sorts of claims right after they did something dangerous and unthinking. Guns rarely just "go off", unless they are mechanically damaged, such as a chipped sear or broken half cock notch. Otherwise they require a finger on the trigger.

justgoto
November 22, 2010, 01:25 AM
The owner was loading the rifle and claimed that there was no way that he could have tripped the trigger on accident.
"there was no way" speaks theoretically. He obviously knows if he did or didn't; there is no need to theorize. Dangerous dude.

jmr40
November 22, 2010, 01:28 AM
After being sued numerous times, both Marlin and Winchester added crossbolt safeties which made it safer to load and unload their lever actions. Having a ND while loading or unloading them has been fairly common over the years.

This is different from the Remington problem however. In every case someone either pulled the trigger while unloading, or let the hammer fall while trying to lower it on a live round. I don't think anyone has ever claimed one of the lever actions fired without one of the above happening.

I don't care for the safeties they have added, but they do add an extra layer of protection in case someone messes up while loading or unloading.

jsimmons
November 22, 2010, 08:15 AM
The only way the gun could have gone off was if there was a round chambered and the trigger pulled. If he was loading a weapon that had one in the chamber, it was his fault - not the gun's.

CraigC
November 22, 2010, 10:05 AM
Sounds like pure negligence to me. I abhor safeties and rebounding hammers on leverguns. IMHO, they only serve to protect the idiots from themselves.

kaferhaus
November 22, 2010, 10:09 AM
Better get this guy out of your club immediately. Next time he could kill someone or himself... which would likely get the club sued.

jerkface11
November 22, 2010, 11:21 AM
Why were they loading a gun on the front porch?

rcmodel
November 22, 2010, 11:30 AM
Could the primer get struck by part of the action on the way into the chamber?NO. If it had, the case would have ruptured and the bullet would still be inside the action.

The guy had to pull the trigger after operating the lever and closing it, which cocked & loaded it.

No lever-action will fire out of battery.
He either forgot it was cocked & loaded, and pulled the trigger.
Or pulled the trigger to lower the hammer and let it slip out from under his thumb.

In either case, he was negligent, not to mention chambering a round on the back porch in the first place.

rc

cleardiddion
November 22, 2010, 11:34 AM
It wasn't a mechanical failure, I'd put money on it.
WHat I think happened was that he loaded it, chambered a round, and was playing with the hammer and let it slip from full cock.

DPris
November 22, 2010, 12:24 PM
RC,
Actually, they can theoretically fire out of battery, at least partially.
That's the reason for the trigger block on many models.
Denis

rcmodel
November 22, 2010, 12:34 PM
Yes, I know that.

But I assumed since it was a 30-30 lever-action, it was a Winchester 94, or a Marlin 336.

Neither one can fire out of battery.
And again, you would have a ruptured case as evidence if it did.

rc

DPris
November 22, 2010, 12:45 PM
When you said "No lever-action will fire out of battery" I was adjusting the comment slightly for those who may not understand the difference between the Model 94 & earlier guns like the 92s and so on. :)
Agree on the rest.
Denis

rcmodel
November 22, 2010, 12:53 PM
Actually, the 92 can't fire out of battery either.

The mechanics are different then the 94, but the result is the same.

rc

DPris
November 22, 2010, 01:06 PM
:D
Denis

GIJOEL
November 22, 2010, 01:19 PM
I don't think the rifle was hammer fired, after looking at some pictures I think it was a marking. The guy is one of the owners of the cabin and should have known better than to load up on the porch. I suspected that he must have hit the trigger, just wanted to know if there were any known problems with lever action rifles that could have caused the round to go off.

DPris
November 22, 2010, 02:10 PM
The earlier leverguns could fire out of battery, if certain conditions occurred.
Parts wear & parts breakage could cause it.

The '66 Winchester levergun repro I have here has no trigger block & no firing pin "block" to prevent it happening.
The hammer can fall on the firing pin when still out of battery, and the firing pin will protrude through the bolt's breechface. If a cartridge happens to be contacting the breechface at such a moment, it can fire, even if the bolt's not fully closed.

There were apparently enough instances where this happened for the '73 Winchester to include a trigger block.
When Browning designed the '92, he left out the trigger block, but did include a mechanical "firing pin block" that immobilised the pin inside the breechbolt till the action was fully closed & in battery.
(The term "firing pin block" is used loosely, more of a result than a specific part.)

There were apparently still enough out of battery incidents to cause him to put the trigger block back in the '94.

I wouldn't go so far as to say "No" levergun can fire out of battery. :)
Denis

Leadhead
November 22, 2010, 02:31 PM
That's why the gun should be pointed in a safe direction when loading/unloading.

A hammer spur can help with hammer control when lowering the hammer to the half cock and for extra safety or if your hands are cold you can block the hammer with the web of your front hand or your sling or some other handy item like a piece of leather that you have brought along for that purpose...
I've got good hands and have never slipped... but I still point it in a safe direction!

Red Cent
November 22, 2010, 02:39 PM
The early 66s did not have a lever safety to prevent firing out of.battery. The later ones do as does the 73s and on.
Dpris, I was under the impression all '66 repros had the lever safety. Been shooting cowboy for over nine years and I ain;t saw one yet.
I have 73s with lever safety removed. Screws up the rythmn on a short stroke. Never fired one out of battery yet. Where is some wood to knock on?

DPris
November 22, 2010, 03:00 PM
Red,
The Uberti '66 carbine in .44-40 that I bought at the first SASS convention has no trigger block.
Don't think I've ever seen one that does. :)
Denis

bigfatdave
November 22, 2010, 07:31 PM
The owner was loading the rifle and claimed that there was no way that he could have tripped the trigger on accident.

Well, you got lied to, probably.
And if that was his exact phrasing, claiming "I didn't even touch the trigger" would have been a lot more believable.

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