Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by mcb, Nov 26, 2020.
On the emotions part we are going to have to agree to disagree. I see emotional aspects of firearms related topics discussed on this forum frequently and I don't think that is going to change independent of what either of us think.
As for your opinion on Henry rifles that is nice to read and I actual agree with much of it. Though if Henry had dropped the tube loading option that would have been OK with me as the aesthetics near the muzzle of a non-tube loading magazine are more pleasing to my eye than the required larger diameter tube, knob, and cartridge shape window of a tube loading capable magazine In this particular case the functionality of the tube loading (in addition to the side-gate) does not outweigh the aesthetics for me.
ETA: This thread sort of Zombied. It was dead for nearly 7 month and then back to life...
The first lever gun with a side loading gate was the Winchester Model 1866, introduced in.....................1866.
I'm no expert on the Vetterli but I believe it was first produced in 1869.
Never heard of the Vetterli before this thread. I would be tempted to make it an honorary lever-action for have a side loading gate. That would be a really cool action especially in a carbine size rifle.
Picked this Miroku up in January. When I saw it I was hoping it was a .405. But seeings how the ammo is non-existant I'm ok with "06. Win 1895 Limited edition Circa 1995 -1999 Those barrels are really heavy.
Then there's the model 94 Trapper 30-30 safe queen I got in 2019. Love side gates but the 1895 is not. obviously.
Hmmmmmm . . .
No side-gate loading, so it can't be a proper lever-action, that rifle is a very nice lever actuated rifle. (I almost bought one of those a couple weeks ago but I has spent all my fun money on a Webley)
This is pretty circular logic.
"Real lever actions have side-gate loading ports because all rifles with levers but no side-gate loading port aren't real lever actions."
And, then you further confuse things by stating that box magazines are okay, but rotary magazines are not, AND one version of front loading tube is okay, but all the rest are not.
So, according to you, real lever-actions are lever-actions you like, and if somebody doesn't agree with you, they're wrong.
I would think a more logical definition of a "lever-action" would be a action that is operated by a lever, independent of cartridge chambering (center fire, rim fire or shotgun), or magazine design.
Not circular, a good and proper lever-action rifle is actuated by a lever and has a side gate loading port to fill the magazines. If it does not have a side gate loading port is is simply a lever actuated rifle not a proper lever-action.
I don't believe I said box magazine are ok. I know I expressly said rotary magazines were right out.
So if I were to be even more pedantic I would say that a good and proper lever-action is a lever actuated rifle with a side gate loading port used to fill a tubular magazine and has both a stock and separate handguard that covers at least a portion of the tubular magazine.
Why is your definition of a lever action more correct than my own? Yes I am saying that if you don't agree with my opinion you are wrong. As wrong as someone can be when they disagree with an opinion to hold their own opinion.
I started this whole thread somewhat sarcastically or at least in fun as I know this subject is controversial and many seem to be missing that to some degree and taking it way too serious. Henry converted nearly all their lever actions over to side-gate loading ports and in my opinion that is a good thing as I am of the OPINION that a good and proper lever action should have a side-gate loading port.
I ended that original post in this thread with the following: "Lever actions have side-gate loading ports! You may disagree, it is a free country, but you can still be wrong in a free country. " <-notice the laughing emoji. Please take this thread with that in mind.
Real, not real, ok, Martian, Venusian, Klingon, Ferengi. Everyone has a preference for what they like and do not. While I believe Henry makes great firearms, I prefer side loading gates. So most of my levers have them except .22s and my 1860 Henry. That doesn't mean I think Henry rifles are bad, I simply have other preferences.
If you like rotary mags, fine. Tube mags, fine. Muzzle loaders? Just great - - - - and so are side gate loaders!
"To each his own."
So I guess by your narrow definition my 1860 Henry is not a real lever gun. No side loading gate and no forend.
I'm sure B.F. Henry would disagree. Actually, he probably would not care. He designed the first practical lever gun. Later, Nelson King patented the side loading gate, and this eliminated the need for the slot under the magazine, so a wooden forend (handguard) could be added.
Notice the follower tab extending through the bottom of the magazine. There is a slot running the length of the magazine that the tab runs in. That is how you pull the follower forward to open the front of the magazine for loading, as depicted in the photo I posted earlier. There is no forend so the slot can be clear to grab the tab. There were a few experimental Henries made with halves of a forend attached to either side of the barrel, still leaving the slot free, but they were just experimental and never went into production. I can tell you that on a hot summer day, after firing 10 rounds of Black Powder 44-40 cartridges, the barrel and magazine gets very hot. Too hot to hold, I always wear a glove when I shoot my Henry in the summer.
Yeah, I could shoot a '73 or a '92, but everybody has one of those. I have a few myself, but I won't take up so much bandwidth posting them all again.
opinion is that any thread entitled "It's settled ... (insert whatever) ..." is intended to be a click-bait thread in order to hook differing opinions, and the OP shouldn't be surprised to collect a bucket-full of such, and if he was hoping to hook walleye and ended up with a bucket of catfish, well, hey, don't blame the catfish.
I am a big fan of and would love to one day add a Henry (or faithful reproduction) to the collection. I have always sort of considered the 1860 Henry Rifle a sort of proto-lever-action; the last of the proto-lever-actions really, as the next generation would mature the design with the side gate loading and the addition of a forearm.
I thought that was a fair portion of what a forum like this was for. I created a thread on an interesting (even slightly controversial) topic where for the most part we have had a fairly robust discussion of the side-gate loading port and its importance or lack there of to the lever-action rifle. I have offered my opinion and defended it as best I could. Clearly there are some that agree with me and there are a good number that disagree to various aspects of my original premise and that has spark interesting debate for the most part.
If you want to talk about 'proto-lever-actions" how about the Volcanic?
The Volcanics were the direct ancestor of the Henry.
Smaller, and firing a pitiful 'Rocket Ball' cartridge that did not have much punch. When Oliver Winchester took over the production of the Volcanics, a couple of guys named Smith and Wesson moved on to create a new company for making revolvers. Winchester hired B. F. Henry to make a better cartridge than the Rocket Ball ammo, then he designed a bigger rifle to fire the new ammunition.
It is arbitrary to a certain degree. I believe I have said so in not so few a word several times now in this thread already.
Would you consider an Martini-Henry, 1885 high-wall, or Ruger Model 1 a lever-action the same as an 1860 Henry or a 1892 Winchester? They are all lever actuated actions?
Uh.... who is "B. F. Henry???" I thought it was "Benjamin Tyler Henry. Or has my 65 year old memory missing another brain cell?
Ooops. 70 year old memory missing another brain cell.
Here is my take on that. From the very beginning, with Hunt's experimental Volition Repeater, and Jenning's improvement on it, the whole idea behind lever operated rifles (and handguns) was to make a practical Repeater. A rifle with a mechanism that could be manipulated so could be fired multiple times without taking the time to reload.
Hunt's Volition was crude, there was only one made.
Jenning's design improved on what Hunt had started, but it still was not perfect.
Soon after, B. T. Henry became involved, then Daniel Wesson, Horace Smith, and finally Oliver Winchester all pitched in to make the first successful Repeating lever guns.
So to answer your question, no I would not consider any of the Single Shot rifles you mentioned to be Lever Action Rifles, simply because they are not repeaters. To my mind, even the 1885 Winchester, invented by firearms genius John M Browning, is not a Lever Action Rifle. In my mind, to be a Lever Action Rifle it has to be a repeater, no matter whether or not there is a loading gate present. Or a tubular magazine for that matter. I certainly consider the Model 1895 Winchester to be a Lever Action Rifle, and the same with the Savage Lever Action Rifles.
Here is a great video by Ian McCollum describing the interrelated history of all of these Lever Action Rifles. I find this stuff to be fascinating, to realize how many of these guys knew each other, and were working to improve the same basic design.
By the way, another interesting side note is that when Winchester Vice President Thomas G. Bennett struck the deal with a very young J. M. Browning to buy the patent rights to Browning's single shot, Browning mentioned that he was working on a Lever Action Rifle too. This would eventually become the Winchester Model 1886, which Browning would later downsize to become the Winchester Model 1892. Winchester wisely chose to buy the patent rights to everything Browning came up with for almost the next 20 years. They bought the rights to everything Browning patented, even stuff they had no intention of producing, just to keep the patents out of the hands of their competitors.
It wouldn't be a proper internet if you didn't post them all again.
I appreciate it when you do; thanks for spending the time you do to share your knowledge. Always a nice read.
Your definition is well defined and more broad than mine but just as arbitrary in the end is it not?
I assume that a spencer would under you definition qualify as a lever-action?
By your definition would this gun below be a lever-action, revolver, both, neither?
The Rossi circuit judge lever action, it's a lever actuated gun that use a lever to cock and advance the cylinder of a revolver carbine. I don't think they ever got imported into the US.
I don't have a 'definition' of what a Lever Action rifle is, I just have a bunch of them.
Spencer? I suppose.
That thing you just pictured, I couldn't care less. I have always thought the S&W and Rossi giant revolvers that chamber both 45 Colt and 410 shotgun were ridiculous, I will never own one. I wouldn't own one of those things either.
Here are a few more classics. A 44-40 Marlin Model 1894, made back around 1895. It is worn, no blue left, and the bore is pitted, but it still shoots straight.
A 38-40 Marlin Model 1889. Not sure when this one was made, probably made in 1891.
A 22 Rimfire Model 39A. Dunno when it was made, but it has Ballard rifling, not microgroove. Nope, no loading gate, the inner tube of the magazine gets pulled out halfway so fresh rounds can be fed in the opening in the magazine, like lots of other 22s. (I won't clutter things up here posting all my Winchester 22 pumps that load the same way.)
Yes, it is a Lever Action Rifle.
The other thing I dislike in a hunting rifle is the external hammer. They contribute to misfeeds and misfires by letting spills and other stuff into actions.
Okay, most hunters don't mind these faults, but I'm kinda fussy about my rifles. I also don't often shoot more than one shot at a quarry, so semi-autos and lever rifles tend to be heavier than I care to carry while hunting. I also don't really NEED to shoot a critter to eat my next meals, so can be choosy about the critters I shoot and the shots I choose to make.
It isn't my intention to speak against anything that other hunters like, just for what I appreciate.
Just to quibble a bit, it is usually the magazine follower slamming the column of cartridges in the magazine backwards that tends to telescope bullets into the case, not recoil. Every time a round is stripped out of the magazine the magazine spring shoves the follower back pretty violently, then all the cartridges come to a dead stop. That is usually what telescopes bullets into cases, not recoil.
I started the thread as I enjoy the topic and then later did not want to abandoned my own thread. I though the thread was dead until you restarted the thread after six months months of dormancy this past Sunday.
I thought we were having a discussion, if you think its an argument then I apologize, it was not intended to be that just a rousing if slightly contentious discussion in fun. I don't expect everyone to agree with me and for the most part have enjoyed reading the various definitions people apply to the term lever-action, many do not agree with me and that is fine. That said, some seem to take my strongly held opinion as some challenge to their own opinion. I don't expect your opinion to change either that does not mean we cannot discuss it.
The lever action circuit judge carbine I presented in my previous post that you scoff at was put forward not to say you must like that gun but as an interesting anomaly. It, implausibly, bridges lever actions and revolvers and that at least seem slightly applicable to the topic at hand. You don't have to like it to discuss it. For the record I agree with you the 410/45 revolvers of all configuration are sort of ridiculous.
Finally the predecessor to the 39/39A was the Marlin 1891 and I believe that was the only 22LR lever action ever produced with a side gate loading port. It apparently has issue being difficult to manufacture and thus has reliability issues. It would be interesting if with modern CNC machining technique if the design could be revised/modernized and if we could afford to hold the tolerances needed to make it work. Wonder if Ruger some how miraculously got prints of the 1891, I highly doubt that but one might dream. A modern replica of a 1891 would sell well assuming it was not priced too ridiculously high.
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