Lever-Action Rifles for Self-Defense?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Tequila jake, Dec 1, 2006.

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  1. roscoe

    roscoe Member

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    One big plus for the .357 is its handiness. I have a .45LC Trapper for this purpose, and it is a tiny little thing that has power all out of proportion to its size.
     
  2. MinScout

    MinScout Member

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    I think one would be hard pressed to justify shooting someone at 100+ yards and claiming self defense. Assuming your house is still livable, your probably better off just patrolling your yard with your shotgun at ready. The "hoodlums" will likely bypass your place in search of an easier target.
    I have a Marlin lever action carbine for home defense, because that's what I'm most comfortable with. I'm a hunter, not a "tactical ninja" type, so lever actions suit me best.
     
  3. worker

    worker Member

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    long range self-defense is unlikely to stand up in court

    I have read several books on self-defense.
    Including specific books about Florida laws and I have never come across an incident that described long range shooting for self-defense (so this does not make in an expert... just another opinion)

    I personally think it will be almost impossible to justify, unless you were shot at at a distance, and even then.
    I can also see that one is justified in the case of kidnapping,
    shooting the kidnappers car for example... If your loved one is being kidnapped, stopping kidnapping with all the possible means is justified in my opinion.

    Having said that, I would love to get a .357 magnum companion rifle... and most of those seem to be lever action... I found this thread particular usefull because I did not know about 1897 Marlin
     
  4. ECVMatt
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    ECVMatt Contributing Member

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    I will throw my two cents in....

    I got trapped at USC during the Rodney King Riots and it was unfun! I had my Glock 17 and about 10 mags fully loaded with me. I was forced to drive down MLK Ave becuase the cops would not let me on the freeway. Fortunately I did not have to use my Glock, but my truck did get pelted with soup cans which seemed to be the weapon of choice for most of the locals.

    I would have much rather had one of my rifles. While I would not have shot at people a 100 yards away, but I would have shot them across the street to keep them away. This would be much more easily done with a rifle and the hits would be more effective.

    I think a lever action would have worked fine in this situation and would have made explaining my actions easier in court than if I had used my AR. Loading would have been a concearn, but I hunt a lot with leverguns and am used to topping them off after I shoot. I really don't think people would continue to charge you after one of their buddies got dropped. The sight of my pistol sent many folks running.

    I think either caliber would be fine, however I tend to get better feeding with the bottle neck type calibers (I have a few marlins in both pistol and rifle rounds). In a stressful situation I would go with the .30/30. It also hits harder and is better at shooting through car doors and things like that.

    Hope this helps you out,

    Matt
     
  5. tubeshooter
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    tubeshooter Contributing Member

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    I've seen this question come up before, the conventional wisdom seems to be that it will do a serviceable job if pressed into the role - doing better with "hold down the fort" than "out and about". Being relatively PC is nice also.


    Just be careful not to damage it somehow, it's not a battle rifle and was never really intended to be.
     
  6. ravencon

    ravencon Member

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    The lever action was the quintessential American assault rifle of its era. It certainly isn't as robust as a modern military rifle/carbine. But, it will do the job in any reasonable civilian tactical use scenario. If I could have only one rifle I'd go with a lever action.
     
  7. Janos Dracwlya

    Janos Dracwlya Member

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    What with Hurricane Katrina last year, I've been thinking more about SHTF scenarios (and slowly accumulating the sorts of things that might be useful in such a scenario). My relatives, however, are not so interested in preparing. I was discussing with my wife the possibility of giving them all (three families) one of those really heavy duty water filtering systems like you see in [Backwoods Home and the like. She suggested that I might want to consider giving them guns (two of the familes have guns, but ones not very useful in a home defense situation), and while I won't be able to afford that this year, it got me to thinking about the problem of what I would give, if and when I could afford to do so.

    My answer was a .357 magnum lever action rifle/carbine like my own Rossi Model 92. My reasoning was much the same as many others here: simple, reliable, easy to use, accurate, plenty of range and power for most situations, light on recoil, light to carry, and ammunition is commonly available. Sure, it has its down sides, like being slow to reload, but I think the advantages outweigh this. I also think it is easy enough to use that people like my mother and my aunt can learn to use it and they won't be put off by its weight or recoil.

    Maybe next Christmas...
     
  8. tubeshooter
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    tubeshooter Contributing Member

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    OK ravencon, I'll give you that. Point noted. :cool:
     
  9. Manedwolf

    Manedwolf member

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    That seems typical, yes. Most people would rather spend the money on a shiney new plasma TV, and then, post-disaster, moan and whine that the government isn't getting the free bottled water and MREs to them fast enough. :rolleyes:
     
  10. 115grfmj

    115grfmj Member

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    I've heard alot about lever rifles being somehow....

    not strong???? :banghead: :barf: :rolleyes: BS, my 1894c is a solid chunk of forged steel way over egineered, complete with steel barrel band, and no skinny barrel here folks . Guys that make these comments....you really gotta wonder wether they've even held a marlin before. These thing were made for rough use, we not talking free floated tricked out target rifles here boy's. Most lever rifles of the old west led hard lives, far harder than anything dealt out today, and the modern rifles are BETTER than those where. Try to imagine the kind of life a winchester 1873 lead in a cowboys scabbard in the old west, or in the hands of a plains indian..... so don't give me that bull lever rifles are'nt robust, I just don't buy it.:fire:
     
  11. tubeshooter
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    tubeshooter Contributing Member

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    It's relatively "robust"... just not SKS-level "robust". That's basically what I was saying. You'd think I called the rifles crystal goblets....


    Sorry to ruffle any feathers. :evil: :p
     
  12. Leanwolf

    Leanwolf Member

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    JANOS DRACWYLA - "My relatives, however, are not so interested in preparing [with firearms]. ... while I won't be able to afford that this year, it got me to thinking about the problem of what I would give, if and when I could afford to do so."


    Why would you bother wasting your money on people who are too apathetic and lazy to be responsible for their own safety and self protection in a life threatening situation???????????????? Obviously they are living in denial. "It can't happen to me!" :uhoh:

    If they don't own firearms now and know how to use them, plus practice with them, then they most assuredly wouldn't know how to use them in a SHTF situation, and more likely would be a danger to you and to themselves.

    The last thing I want in a self defense situation is a bunch of ignorant-of-firearms-&-self defense yahoos around me, waving guns around. :eek:

    Just my take on the issue.

    L.W.
     
  13. streakr

    streakr Member

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    The use of a rifle (even pistol caliber) at 100 or more yds in the event of civil strife, riots, etc. is OFFENSIVE in nature. You are initiating the action and will face consequences.

    On the other hand, in most criminal situations your primary area of defensive action is generally within 50 feet! A handgun or shotgun is far better in this role.

    As a cowboy shooter I have a number of lever rifles, mainly Marlins. They are accurate and cycle quickly but this is the result of tuning and use. An out-of-the-box lever rifle may not work that well.

    My defensive choices are pump shotguns and pair of Glocks, with a 1911 backup.

    That's my opinion...
    streakr
     
  14. cslinger

    cslinger Member

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    Yes and no. I have two Marlins that were smooth as silk right out of the box. The same can be said of pump shotguns as well. Most require some use to smooth out but you can get decent stuff out of the box.
     
  15. AgentOrange

    AgentOrange Member

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    i just purchased a brand spanking new unfired winchester 94 ranger 30-30 that was manufactured in 1984 thats smooth as a babies butt .

    do you know how rare a brand new 1984 manufacture winchester 94 ranger in unfired condition is?

    but for a SHTF situation, i have 2 AR-15 rifles ( one setup for CQB and the other setup for long range shooting), a 580 series mini 14 ranch and an M1 carbine.....all of which have several high cap mags,ect....i also keep around 5K rounds of 223/5.56 and about 2K rounds for the carbine. all of them are easly converted to F/A if the situations called for it.
     
  16. Leaky Waders

    Leaky Waders Member

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    If you google Jerry Shriver and Marlin Lever Action you'll learn about how one man used that platform in Viet Nam.
     
  17. Wes Janson

    Wes Janson Member

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    On the contrary, rifles are still arguably a better platform at close distance.

    Tell me how many SWAT entry teams use handguns as their primary weapon?
     
  18. Victor1Echo

    Victor1Echo Member

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    It all depends. Are you stepping outside on some disturbance? Or is someone in your house and its dark? Lever for one, however, for dealing with self defense a semiauto shotgun of co urse.
     
  19. goon

    goon Member

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    On economics the 30-30 wins. I paid about $240 for mine a little over a year ago. I'd love to have an 1894 in .357 and an 1895G in .45-70 but good luck finding a used one for what I found my 336 for.

    BTW - the first lever actions WERE the battle rifles of their day. The Henry and Spencer rifles of the civil war led hard lives and came out functional on the other side.
     
  20. telomerase

    telomerase Member

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    Well, the government actually blocked the Red Cross from getting to NE during Katrina. Some of the whining is legit.

    But yeah, if you don't have a few days of food and water you don't need a plasma TV.
     
  21. robctwo

    robctwo Member

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    Ask the Indians.

    I have a .45 Colt Rossi Puma '92 in the closet next to the Winchester Model 70 .243. Anything over 100 yds, .243, anything under 100 yards, 10 rounds of 250 gr lead real quick. The AR is available, but not necessary for most of my rural issues.
     
  22. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    Lever action is a great way to defend yourself at home it is small enough that would make it difficult for an intruder to grab the barrel and take it away from you. With practice you can shoot it while walking towards the intruder. I am a member at a range where it is only open to members on the days it is closed. I do practice drills at 25 yds. walking towards the taget and shooting at the same time you get good with practice. I have a 35 rem and 450 marlin. The 450 I use only if I have to shoot through concrete walls.
     
  23. LEVRLOVR

    LEVRLOVR Member

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    These posts about distance do not take into account each persons situation.

    We don't all live in urban areas.

    If I am taking fire from the treeline 200 yds from the house I most certainly intend to respond in kind, with whatever is handy.
     
  24. Story

    Story Member

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    Today, 11:36 AM
    Ask the Indians.


    First thing I thought of...
    [​IMG]
     
  25. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    Last edited: Dec 19, 2009
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