It's settled... Lever Actions must have side-gate loading port.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by mcb, Nov 26, 2020.

  1. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    I too have a few of the Miroku guns. A 1866 rifle in .38SP, a 1873 in .45Colt, and ---- speaking of .32-20 ---- an 1892 deluxe takedown in that caliber. They are out there ~~~ atleast in about 2015 when I found the .32-20 1892 NIB at a local gunshow. Dunno about .25-20 caliber.
    I also really like the Miroku rifles. I have a Browning BL-22 that was also a Miroku made gun.
    Btw, my 1873 is a "long rifle" --- 26" octagonal barrel, half magazine, and VERY NICE color case hardening on butt plate, lever and receiver.
    Miroku is a step above Uberti in color case hardening, IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
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  2. 3Crows

    3Crows Member

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    I do not really agree that the 39A can only be manufactured by hand fitting. That is old think. There is little that cannot be accomplished better with CNC which eliminates the need for hand fitting. Now in reality it does not always work exactly that way, easily anyways. But we (the company I worked for) were able to convert complex, precision, formally hand fitted parts into cloud data and produce a superior product. Having been involved, at least marginally, in such things, I would rekon the 39A can be reproduced, perhaps not exactly as original, some parts may need, shall we say, improving, to allow CNC, precision casting (Ruger is expert at that and in steel alloy) and other modern manufacturing capabilities that were unimaginable 120 years ago. Okay, call it a 39 Model B or a "New" Model 39A, Ruger is good at that too. Cheap, that is hard for me to define, yes, it would be a more expensive rifle than the Henry zinc .22 rifles, a premium piece of equipment is never cheap, which is how the Henry .22 rifles feel to me compared to my 39A and my 9422M.

    IMG-1373.jpg
     
  3. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    I'm thinking if Chiappa can make a mechanically different 39, that Ruger could do better at the same task.

    Give a new model name to mechanically different rimfire lever gun that externally looks like a 39, fine by me.

    Just offer it in a few different versions than the 24" barreled version that has been the one and only for the last 30 years.

    I want a 16.5" to 18" barreled new "39" from Ruger, please. Show me both traditional styling and one with 21st century utility, too.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
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  4. mcb

    mcb Member

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    It's not that it can't be done without hand fitting it's that it cannot be done on modern CNC equipment and still be affordable for what the 22LR market is willing to pay. The tolerances required on some of the internal parts so that a 39A would go together without hand fitting and still work reliable makes the manufacturing process prohibitively expensive for a 22LR (not my opinion, Remington's opinion). I agree some changes to the design to make it more friendly to modern manufacturing process could be done and would help keep costs down but that hurt its marketing value as it's no longer a 39A but a "cheapened" nock off. In addition the market for an high-cost premium all steel 22LR level-action is pretty small and that makes the risk to sink the NRE into such a project a hard pill to swallow for most gun makers in today's market. The only way I would be interested in a new 39A would be if it was actually it's earlier version the 1891 with its side gate loading port. :D I believe it is one of the few if not the only true lever-action 22LR with the requisite side-gate.
     
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  5. 3Crows

    3Crows Member

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    I do not think CNC and minor redesign that does not affect function or durability or aesthetics to improve manufacturability is in any way cheapening the product. As I said, call it a 39B, or something else. We have to get away from the idea that old rifles cannot be made anew and that everything new is cheap or junk because that simply is not the case. But I understand what you are saying, established legacy products have a history and expectations from the consumer and intangibles that are difficult to capture and define. Ruger, listen up, do not screw with the 336, build it like Marlin did and Remington tried (and IMO finally succeeded). Do Henry .22 rifles suffer from zinc pest? Anything with zinc in it I think is certainly a cheapening factor I have difficulty getting past. Kinda a show stopper. Real brass is fine, I will take a Henry .22 Magnum in solid brass, not zinc alloy with faux gold colored plating. Or in like 25-20. Yeah, that would get me to the gun counter. I might have done that without the loading gate :).
     
  6. Buzznrose

    Buzznrose Member

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    Disclaimer: I own and like Ruger firearms. Not bashing, just telling it as I see it.

    Neither Rossi nor Ruger have ever taken out or any competitor nor dominated any niche market that I know of. I’d argue their three most dominant markets are semiautomatic 22LR (rifles and pistols) and center fire single action revolvers. And even they never took out a well established competitor. I doubt highly that they will somehow eradicate Henry lever guns any more than Remlin did.

    Ruger’s MK series pistols are popular and well loved, but they never took out the Buckmark

    Their 10-22 has sold millions of copies, but the Marlin Mod 60 was still going strong at the end and had lots of fans of their dated tube fed design.

    I don’t know that Ruger ever really had a lot of competition in their SA revolvers other than in .22LR, but that’s a pretty small market in most parts of the country.

    The Ruger SR, then American pistol were supposed to be one of the Glock killers...never came close.

    The American rifles compete fine, but definitely do not dominate while Savage, Tikka, and CZ are here at similar prices.

    The SR1911 is a good gun but hasn’t unseated the other guns in its price class by SA or RIA.

    Their DA revolvers are nice but S&W isn’t going anywhere, and Colt and Kimber are eating into their market share.

    By most accounts, Ruger is a solid company with a reputation for great value and customer service. I’m sure they will sell a lot of “American Lever Guns”, and sure, some folks will compare them to Henry and give SR the nod. But I would bet a cold beer that Henry will continue to thrive as they continue to put out good guns.

    Personally, I like the option of loading initially with the tube and topping off on the side. I also like the unloading option through the tube. I believe it’s gonna be a solid lever gun company for the foreseeable future.

    YMMV
     
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  7. P89DCSS

    P89DCSS Member

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    Nice post but nowhere did I explicitly say or imply that Henry was going to go out of business due to Ruger or Rossi. I did say they are in for some real competition after several years of almost none. That is a simple fact, anyone following levers understands it. Straw man much?

    I guess Ruger dominating the single action niche market doesn't count....oh, never mind you take both sides, lol.
     
  8. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Agree, and competition is good for the consumer in both cost and quality.

    ETA: as long as they don't forget the side-gate... :D
     
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  9. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    That’s right brother!
     
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  10. Buzznrose

    Buzznrose Member

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    I agree that “eradicate” was a poor choice of wording.

    The fact that Henry chose to use a tube fed magazine wasn’t really eccentric, was it? Lots of companies use tube fed mags, albeit mostly for rimfire cartridges. Still, by the standards set by Winchester and Marlin, it seems irregular. But lots of Henry fans didn’t seem to mind, and there wasn’t any inherent problems with the action that I’m aware of, we’re there?

    For the record, I do not own any centerfire lever action rifles at this time. Only one I’ve ever owned was an old Winchester 94 in 30-30 that I do foolishly sold in my youth. It was a great little rifle!

    Still looking and trying to decide what I want. But I was fondling a Henry X in .45 Colt last week, and it had a very nice action based on my limited lever experience. Didn’t care for the reduced capacity of the X model, but now that the Big Boy has a side gate and 10 rounds, I’m pretty excited that this may be the one for me in the near future. Just got to chose between the all weather or the case hardened model...

    https://www.henryusa.com/rifles/big-boy-all-weather-side-gate/

    https://www.henryusa.com/rifles/big-boy-color-case-hardened-side-gate/

    And as always, YMMV.
     
  11. John#2

    John#2 Member

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    That case hardened model is under my skin too. But the 7.84 pounds sort of stops me in my tracks. Part of me says that’s good for recoil, but then I ask myself what happened to the idea of a light and handle lever? So I end getting all tangled up.
     
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  12. 3Crows

    3Crows Member

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    My 336 S is right at 7 pounds, 8.5 pounds with Montana sling and Leopold 1.5X4 scope and Warne steel QR rings. The Henry with an octagonal barrel, just under 8 pounds seems about right. You should get it. It is not just weight but balance and I bet that rifle feels good in hand.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
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  13. mcb

    mcb Member

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    My Rossi M92 with a 16-inch barrel in 44 Mag weighs in right at 5lbs. Very light and handy for sure.
     
  14. John#2

    John#2 Member

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    OTOH, an over eight pound lever can be easily rationalized for a 45-70.
     
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  15. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Really?

    Tell it to these guys:

    https://www.soldy.com/aluminum-die-casting/
     
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  16. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Howdy Again

    I guess I need to chime in here. The lever gun I shoot most often is my 44-40 Uberti 1860 Henry, which I posted a photo of much earlier in this thread. When I load 44-40 I always run about 5 rounds through mechanism of the Henry to make sure my die settings have not changed and the rounds will cycle properly. Then I go ahead and continue to load up 200 rounds or so.

    poov6vjTj.jpg




    Clearly there is no side loading gate on the 1860 Henry, the magazine must be loaded from the front. The follower is run up the entire length of the magazine which allows the 'false muzzle' to be rotated about 90 degrees, so fresh ammo can be loaded into the front of the tube. There is no 'pull out' type internal spring loaded insert in the magazine as there is on my 22 rimfire rifles.

    pm0ZS3cHj.jpg




    Anyway, I carefully load five rounds into the magazine, then point the rifle in a reasonably safe direction and carefully and slowly run all five rounds through the mechanism, being extremely careful to keep my finger far away from the trigger.






    Most interesting. I just tried running five rounds of 44-40 through my old Winchester Model 1892, and yes I was indeed able to run them through the action without ever fully operating the lever. It required some careful operating of the lever just far enough to run the rounds into the chamber, then turning the rifle upside down and doing a bit of jiggling to pull the rounds out of the chamber and drop them into my hand.

    pmYZ22BAj.jpg




    However I absolutely was not able to do this with my toggle link Henry. No way, no how. Once the lever was cycled far enough to drop the cartridge elevator, the hammer had already gone to full cock. Tried a bunch of times and I could not run ammo from the magazine and eject it without fully operating the action.

    I will continue to load the first five rounds off the press into the Henry, point it in a safe direction, and slowly and carefully work them through the action with my finger far away from the trigger.
     
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  17. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    Edited
     
  18. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    Well, when given a choice, there's never any "final nail" because there's always going to be someone who makes a different choice. I think that the way Henry has done it: with a side loading gate, but retaining the end loading magazine tube option was the smart way to go.
     
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  19. mcb

    mcb Member

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    We really need a standard font or font color that represents sarcasm.

    That said, in my not so humble opinion, a proper lever-action needs to have both a lever actuated action and a side gate loading port filling a tubular magazine. The original Henry rifle is a proto-lever-action IMO and it would not be until the side gate load port was added in subsequent models would the lever action reach its maturity. There are lots of lever-actuated rifles out there but only those with side gate loading ports are lever-action rifles. :neener: You are entitled to your own opinion and I am OK with you being wrong about it too. :p

    -if we had a sarcasm font much of the above would be in that font.
     
  20. Oldschool shooter

    Oldschool shooter Member

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    So what came first, the side loading gate on a lever gun, or the Vetterli bolt action?
     
  21. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    How's that for your sarcasm font? Nearly unreadable. Remains in the background. Translation: you're welcome to keep your feelings to yourself. Standard English in the default font to state a polite response when you disagree is adeqate. No additional textual emphasis is needed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2021
  22. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Actually if you're using the Black Responsive forum style that font works really well actually, but we would need to find a "sarcasm-font" that works well with a three potential styles.

    This forum would be a much more boring place to converse if we kept our feelings and opinions to ourselves. Discussion of those differences in feeling and opinions is what makes a forum interesting. Sarcasm is sometime part of that discussion.

    My opinion, as stated in the original post in this thread is that a proper lever-action has a lever, AND a side-gate loading port. A rifle with a lever but missing the side gate loading port is simple a lever actuated rifle not a lever-action. That is my stated opinion with some sarcasm (the final nail comment) included. You are free to agree or disagree with my original assertions and share that disagreement in this thread and we can discuss it to our own ends and enjoyment. Quite a few people have already disagree with me already and some have agreed, but few have told me not to express my opinion...
     
  23. JCooperfan1911

    JCooperfan1911 Member

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    Ruger has already states they have no immediate plans to reintroduce the 39A.

    In a recent interview, someone asked the question and they said it was not on their radar for the time being.
     
  24. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    No, I suggested that you express your opinion without simultaneously desiring to express your emotion of sarcasm at a differing opinion.

    Emotion has no place being expressed in connection with firearms.

    My opinion was that introducing the side loading function while retaining the tube loading function was a smart move on Henry's part. I don't think I'm wrong and I stand by that opinion. Anyone who disagrees with that viewpoint can simply refrain from purchasing Henry products. For my part, I put my opinion into practice by purchasing a Henry lever-action rife with side loading gate and tube load.

    Henry Big Boy X.JPG
     
  25. .45Coltguy

    .45Coltguy Member

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    This is really the best answer in this entire thread. Buy what floats YOUR boat. Gadzooks. My two Henry BB's aren't going anywhere except the desert to plink. Right along with my Marlin and Winchester.
     
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