Lever-operated arms all started out as carbines (less than 30" barrels) as they were meant for cavalry. Ammo was ammo, without a lot of distinction (think of such things as the .40volcanic or .40RF). Lever-action arms were the first to typically use self-contained metallic cartridges, too. So, there was no reason to differentiate between "rifle" and "pistol" rounds--both of those were loaded from loose powder and ball (or from paper cartouche). It's only in the last 75 to 25 years that "we" have seen all this muddying of the waters. Which is related to century or so that "we" have become used to metallic cartridges being of a certain size relating to their use. And "we" are not exactly pedantic in our usage, either. We do not consider the Remington Mountain rifle at 18" a carbine of the Rem 800 at 24", even though, that is exactly what the "book" designation would tell us. So, it's just words that now have very blurred meanings. Not even at the level of clip and magazine; this is more an argument about whether a revolver is a pistol or not.