Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Purpose of the loop on a lever action

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Dobe, Jul 16, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Dobe

    Dobe member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Messages:
    1,583
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    Besides looks, what is the purpose? Is there one, or is this just something made famous or infamous by the silver screen?
     
  2. AethelstanAegen

    AethelstanAegen Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    1,260
    Location:
    Virginia
    I'm not quite sure what you're asking, Dobe. The loop on a lever action rifle is generally part of the lever, allowing you to easily cycle the rifle.
     
  3. cmdc

    cmdc Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2010
    Messages:
    354
    Location:
    kansas city, mo
    Are you talking about the small ring on the side of the rifle? If so, that was used with a leather thong through it to secure it in the scabbard while on horseback.
     
  4. David E

    David E Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,455
    They come from the carbine ring which was common to most weapons used by Dragoons (the US Army didn't use the term Cavalry until the Civil War). The Dragoon wore what was called a Carbine sling which was a wide leather band which went over the left shoulder and hung down the right side. The sling had a large snap which snapped into the carbine ring and was what supported the carbine while the trooper was mounted. To keep the gun from flopping around, the barrel went through a leather ring called a Carbine Boot which was mounted on the saddle rigging. This Boot was merely a tube, open at both ends usually, which only controlled the gun but didn't support it. As the trooper rose in the saddle to dismount the carbine would pull free from the boot and he didn't need to take any particular mind of his weapon as it was attached to him, not the horse.

    (copied and pasted from elsewhere)
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011
  5. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2007
    Messages:
    5,957
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    The loop lever allow a shooter, with careful practice, to "twirl" the rifle, which chambers a round and brings the lever up locked, all in one fancy motion. The standard lever is too small to let the lever "twist" around the hand. It DOES work, with a properly tuned rifle, and is SAFE, as the action is not closing on the live round until the muzzle is forward and downward, and thus "downrange". Think I'm kidding? Try it with a dummy round.................
     
  6. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2010
    Messages:
    6,988
    Location:
    East TN
    The large loop on the operating lever, as opposed to the more standard oval, race track shaped loop, was a creation of Hollywood, I believe. I think it was part of the john Wayne mystique, but I could be mistaken--frequently am.

    It allows you to cycle the action by swinging the rifle in a big circle. There is enough room for your hand to rotate in the loop. Not so with the conventionally shaped lever.
     
  7. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Messages:
    7,384
    Location:
    Alabama
    The large lever loop was made popular by The Rifleman tv show starring Chuck Connors back in the '60s.
     
  8. Dobe

    Dobe member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Messages:
    1,583
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    Sorry fellows. I didn't mean to be cryptic, the operating lever on a lever action. I was just drooling over the 1892s on the Winchester site. I saw one with a large lever, not a saddle ring.

    I can really think of no reason for it, other than the use with gloves. Yet, and maybe because I grew up watching and admiring John Wayne and Chuck Norris, I actually would like to shoot one.

    Just wondering if there were any real benefit to the looped lever.
     
  9. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    22,072
    John Wayne had a large loop lever carbine in Stagecoach, 1939, which considerably predates The Rifleman.

    Notice that these are short carbines - IMFDB says Wayne's was a Trapper, even shorter than standard - and both John Wayne and Chuck Connors were tall men. If you are of short to medium height, you can get ground contact trying to twirl a lever action. Or foot contact.
     
  10. Dobe

    Dobe member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Messages:
    1,583
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    Being on the short side, I consider myself well-grounded, I don't think twirling a carbine is meant for me. I was wondering how it cycles. Do you keep your hand in the ring, or grasp the outside?

    I realize Chuck Norris' show rifle was fitted with a set screw, which pushed the trigger as the action closed. I was just wondering, if anyone on this forum shoots one, and if so, how do you operate it, hand inside or outside the ring?
     
  11. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Messages:
    7,384
    Location:
    Alabama
    That is true but more sixty's era boys (myself included) saw The Rifleman" than saw "Stagecoach" and were influenced by it.
     
  12. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    14,364
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    Still trying to figure it out. IMHO, it's more gimmick than anything. I know that I will never own one.
     
  13. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Messages:
    7,384
    Location:
    Alabama
    Yeah,that's how I see it too. I have one (for a 94 Winchester) hanging on a hook in my shop that will likely stay there for quite a while.
     
  14. FuzzyBunny

    FuzzyBunny Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Messages:
    690
    Location:
    Texas
    What show/movie did Chuck Norris use a Winchester?
     
  15. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,476
    Location:
    Morgan County, Alabama
    He meant Chuck Connors. -- "The Rifleman."
     
  16. hardluk1

    hardluk1 member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Messages:
    4,405
    Location:
    nc mountains
    Still have to thank the move gun shops and john wayne for the invention of the loop.
     
  17. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Messages:
    4,060
    I recall seeing somewhere that the large loop lever was originally sold to guys that were heading to the Yukon and parts North.

    Always made sense to me as a standard lever would be hard to work while wearing bulky mittens.

    BSW
     
  18. ball3006

    ball3006 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    2,874
    Location:
    Texas
    The lever loop on a 92 Winchester lets you blast off alot of ammo, like bump firing an AK. You spray alot of lead and don't hit much......Worthless hollywood mod to a nice rifle.....chris3
     
  19. JFrame

    JFrame Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,410
    Location:
    Next to a reclaimed patch of swampland called D.C.

    Yeah -- I always thought the big loop was to facilitate the use of large, bulky gloves.

    But whadda I know...


    .
     
  20. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Messages:
    7,384
    Location:
    Alabama
    It does make sense for cylcling the action with heavy mittens but how about pulling the trigger? Some mittens have slots to allow for a finger to slip out but if the hand is inside a rifle lever it seems just as difficult to operate/fire. Personally I don't know as I haven't tried it( heavy mittens aren't very common in Alabama).
     
  21. JFrame

    JFrame Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,410
    Location:
    Next to a reclaimed patch of swampland called D.C.

    I'm thinking "glove" rather than "mitten" -- although there are mittens with a separate part specifically for the trigger finger...


    .
     
  22. Panzercat

    Panzercat Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    Messages:
    971
    Owning a lever here, I can say it's more than a gimmick. I won't be twirling my 336 around or any such nonsense, but there are days when i'd love the wider gap to make throwing the lever easier.
     
  23. JFrame

    JFrame Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,410
    Location:
    Next to a reclaimed patch of swampland called D.C.

    I kind'a wish I got my Trapper with the bigger loop. I can see where it would be more comfortable to manipulate.

    I just wanted a slimmer, trimmer profile at the time...


    .
     
  24. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Messages:
    7,384
    Location:
    Alabama
    I have never had a problem working any of my levers(Marlin 336s in 30.30,.35rem and 1894 in.44mag and Win.1894 in 30.30) with "normal" levers while wearing gloves. My gloves aren't the thickness of Yukon worthy gloves or mittens though. I'm guessing that unless you live where VERY HEAVY gloves/mittens are a necessity,personal preferrence will make the call.
     
  25. Averageman

    Averageman Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,439
    Location:
    Texas
    Think multiple pairs of hand protection, like a pair of gloves over mitten with knit gloves inside.
    The Military used to issue trigger mittens with liners. It was often cold enough to wear my glover liners inside my mitten liner under my water proofed leather and canvas mittens. I also had a string through my coat sleeves (just like 2nd grade) so I didnt lose them when I took them off.
    Often in the 19th Century Trappers had a similar system but the outter shells were made of Beaver Skin with the fur left on and the either had a trigger finger or cut built in to them.
    Watch the movie Jerimiah Johnson, I believe several pair are shown in use in the movie.

    So in answer to your question a lever action rifle required a larger ring in order for you to operate the action with these gloves in this enviroment.
    Twirelling a rifle doesn't make safe sense to me, in an enviroment that you wont wear those gloves the larger ring is actually uncomfortable as your hand tends to bang around in the larger loops as you cycle the lever.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page