Why I Don’t Like Lever Actions

Lever actions have become a symbol of the American West, and as Texan I am supposed to have a soft spot for them. However that is one stereotype to which I do not conform.Β In this episode of TFBTV, I list a few reasons why I have never held lever guns in high regard as well as the 30-30 cartridge.

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Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


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  • Rick O’Shay

    Also a Texan, also not really a fan of lever actions. I mean, between having a bolt action, an AR10 and AR15, and my pump action shotgun (Mossy Persuader), I really don’t see the point in owning one other than the novelty. But more than anything, that little flick action drives me nuts, I don’t know why.

  • Scott Tuttle

    Lonesome Dove wet dream, ha! I’ll tell you the true source of lever action fandom: John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart movies.

    • Harry’s Holsters

      I love those old movies! I wish movies today could bring the same feel.

      • M.M.D.C.

        The recent Coen brothers True Grit is better than the original.

        • Harry’s Holsters

          I’m not a big fan of either True Grit version but the modern one has better acting. Some of the new movies have great acting, plot, set, etc… but they don’t have the same feel. Think Rio Bravo, McClintock, etc…

          John Wayne did it best except for True Grit. The professionals was another great one and Burt Lancaster and Lee Marvin make the movie. The cast in these films had chemistry and it just isn’t there today. John Wayne isn’t what I’d call an exceptional actor but he surrounded himself with friends on set and it made the films appear real. The Wayne entourage made a career of remaking the same style of movie tens of times and I credit that to their great chemistry.

          The new 3:10 to Yuma is one of my favorite movies but it still doesn’t have the chemistry between cast members. Crow had it but Bail couldn’t build on it.

          The Revenant was INSANE. Best new movie I’ve seen in years. But it didn’t leave you with the feeling after you saw it. It’s just a different type of movie.

          I’m really excited about the new magnificent 7 remake. Denzel and Chris Pratt are both great actors and there are very few of their movies I don’t like. They may have the chemistry to pull it off.

          • M.M.D.C.

            “I am struck that LaBoeuf is shot, trampled, and nearly severs his tongue, and not only does not cease to talk, but spills the banks of English!”

            In all seriousness, though, Appaloosa is another good one.
            “Eight gauge”

          • Harry’s Holsters

            Haven’t seen Appaloosa. I need to add it to the list.

          • M.M.D.C.

            I highly recommend it.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Watch Appaloosa.

          • gunsandrockets

            Unforgiven! The ultimate anti-western!

          • Wolfgar

            Revenant sucked. I live where this actually happened and this movie was a crime to the real story.Jeremiah Johnson was a good movie.

          • M.M.D.C.

            Revenant was an extraordinary film in that it did away with all the ADD camera work and editing and took it’s time to tell a simple story. It was a very raw film, though, and the characters lacked any kind of… warmth that one might identify with. Not an easy film to watch, but it definitely didn’t “suck.”

          • Wolfgar

            If you grew up knowing Hugh Glass’s story you would agree the film sucked. Why they have to change the true story is beyond me.

          • M.M.D.C.

            Because a film is not reality it’s a film. No translation of any story into any medium survives the process without some abstraction and it certainly can’t do it to the satisfaction of every man.

            Where in the promotional literature does anyone make the claim that the film was a perfectly faithful rendering of actual events?

          • Wolfgar

            We all have our likes and dislikes of certain films. Jeremiah Johnson did not portray Liver Eating Johnson by his true nature but it did follow the story line.. The Revenant was a complete fabrication and followed nothing of the true story of Hugh Glass. It was hard to watch as you stated because it was a complete fantasy of dark pointless characters in a dark pointless landscape. This might as well have occurred on planet X on the Sci-Fi channel. Stupid.

          • M.M.D.C.

            You know, I have to agree with you on that point. The point you made about the pointlessness, that is.

            There was a certain existential quality about The Revenant: all those shots straight up into the trees and the empty, pitiless sky beyond.

            Still, aside from the offence of having taken too many liberties with the original story, that the film got the message of pointlessness across to you does speak to it’s success as a work of art.

          • W

            So Hell being the complete lack of reason is some how a work of art to you? It takes all kinds!

          • M.M.D.C.

            Okay, okay, you’ve reasoned me into a corner. I give up and you win. Westerns died with John Wayne.

          • Wolfgar

            Now we agree πŸ™‚

          • karl

            I’d argue that. And cite Silverado, Tombstone, Pale Rider, The Unforgiven, Open Range. and Lonesome Dove as examples.

          • Harry’s Holsters

            Jeremiah Johnson was a great movie and is in my top 25 favorites. You can’t deny the quality of production on Revenant was amazing. In the opening scene the only thing that kept me from believing I was standing in the early 1800s rockies with a bunch of trappers was the lack of horrible smells. No chemistry among the actors but the setting and filming were impeccable.

          • FarmerB

            I laughed out loud during that movie. The amount of punishment he was shown to take was Monty Python-esque – i.e. Ridiculous.

        • Wolfgar

          Not even close.

      • Wolfgar

        Those were great times in cinema.

    • Art out West

      Chuck Connors – The Rifleman

      • Wolfgar

        Loved the rifleman, Chuck Connors was great.

    • Wolfgar

      Those were great movies, great actors,great stories.

    • Zebra Dun

      Thou hast raised the name of the Lever gun Saints! (pbuh and pbuh too)

  • Wolfgar

    I have to laugh how times have changed. When I was a boy the lever action was king and for a good reason. Light, handy, low recoil and quick to shoot which I still concede it still is. The lever action Winchester was more than adequate for it’s given range meaning 200 yards or less and a great brush gun for jumping whitetail’s. My late father killed a bull moose with one shot with his 32 Winchester rifle in Alaska when the state was still a territory. He took bear, moose, elk, wolves, coyotes and literally hundreds of deer. He was deadly and faster than lightning when he put it to use. I could never match his speed and accuracy. Two movements up and down is faster than the four movement bolt action rifle for most. When I started carrying a Chinese AK as a Winchester replacement I thought he was going to stroke out. Like I stated before, times have changed.

  • Savage 99: Honorary non-lever-action.

    • Always liked the Winchester Model 88 better; cleaner lines, better stock, and smoother action.

      • gunsandrockets

        Ruger 96/44 for me. But that Henry Long Ranger sure has caught my eye.

        • Both the 96/44 and Model 88 are reasonable picks, but I note neither really caught on. This lends some legitimacy to my theory that lever actions survive because of the popularity of Western movies; the type has been improved considerably several times, but none of those – that looked different than the Western archetype – introduced after the 1940s ever really went anywhere.

          • Paul White

            movies are 90% of the reason I have a model 1892.

          • Wetcoaster

            I’m sure Clint Eastwood has never convinced anyone that they really wanted a .44 Magnum or (more recently) a Garand.

            And no one ever wanted a shorty AR after Heat

          • Yes, well, I said that lever actions survive primarily because of films, not that no one ever bought any other gun because it appeared in a film.

          • Richard

            I bought a Chinese made Winchester 1887 clone because of terminator 2, although it wasn’t exactly the greatest of purchases.

          • DW

            BLR seems reasonably different, and is still in production

          • gunsandrockets

            Too bad it’s so homely.

          • Blake
          • gunsandrockets

            LOL! Yes, beauty is relative isn’t it? The Browning BLR is beautiful compared to that astonishing Mossberg abortion.

          • J A L

            I agree with your comment regarding the Browning BLR but let’s expand your point and describe this lever action as the future of modern lever action rifles. It has the ability to shoot all types of pointed bullets. It has a box magazine, Its lever and trigger move together, so as to allow the shooter to maintain his sight picture, while keeping his finger on the trigger. Finally, if Browning would increase the size of the magazine you could use this gun as you would a modern scout rifle

          • gunsandrockets

            I saw a brief interview at the Shot Show where the Henry Long Ranger was described as never being able to use an extended magazine because it would interfere with the lever throw.

            But! I bet if you trimmed down the trigger guard a bit then the Henry could be made to work with AK magazines.

  • PK

    The only lever actions I truly enjoy are two stamp short/silent guns. Quicker to work a short-throw lever than a bolt while keeping sights on target, in my opinion.

    Too bad the 96/44 isn’t made any more.

  • iksnilol

    What in ghost of Lenin is this, comrade Alexey?

    Or is it Mr. Alex!? :O

    • Blake

      That’s Herr Alex to you!

      • iksnilol

        Gosh darn rattlesnake he was.

  • A.WChuck

    That boy is gittin’ close to havin’ his Texas citizenship revoked.

    • DW

      He is glad that there are no JMB lynchmob these days. Oh wait

    • Wetcoaster

      He better not start ranting about SA revolver, humph

      • Rap Scallion

        THAT would be blasphemy…..Yes I did use spell check!

    • Giolli Joker

      He has an M2 Browning in the living room, I think he’s well covered.

      • Zebra Dun

        They is hell on squirrels I hear.

  • John

    The second someone makes lever actions in 9mm, .40 and .50DE is when you’ll magically hear a lot of people change their tune.

    • Porty1119

      What, .357, .44 Rem Mag, and .45 Colt aren’t enough for you? Only one of the rounds you just listed is actually worth a damn.

      • Bill

        I’ll take one of each.

      • Art out West

        9mm ammo is much cheaper than .357, .44 Rem Mag, or.45 Colt. That is the only thing it has going for it. The cartridges you mentioned are vastly more powerful, and far more useful.
        Personally, I’d like a lever gun in .357 since I already have several revolvers in .357/.38sp and reload as well.

        • Porty1119

          The cost disparity is mostly a demand issue; component costs are largely similar. Heavier pistol calibers of the sort usually seen in lever guns are quite cost effective if one reloads (and ESPECIALLY if they cast).

          The additional power is especially noticeable with a longer carbine barrel. .357 out of a carbine is nasty.

        • Paul White

          lever gun in 357 = fun for days

    • gunsandrockets

      Actually someone already does. Conversions of 1894 Marlin carbines, with even shorter stroke levers to take advantage of the shorter OAL of the rimless cartridges.

    • AC97

      “.50 DE”? You mean .50 AE?

      Also, I fail to see why anyone would give a damn about a 9mm or .40 lever gun, period.

  • Joseph Goins

    When a Clinton gun ban comes, I’ll be buying lever guns, not bolt actions.

    • billyoblivion

      Be smarter to buy politicians and get it eliminated.

      • Joseph Goins

        If I were going to do something illegal (bribing a public official), I would rather traffic illegal arms (semiautomatics).

  • LG

    Also the lever gun does not have near he brute extraction force of a bolt gun. The Winchester 1895 still had problems with action stretch in 30-06, back in the day. Even Moses could not bring the lever gun p to bol action strength and reliability. With all that said, lever guns fit really well is scabbards, being so flat, and are well suited to horseback. But, IMHO, the Mauser 98 still rules and is king of the heap.

  • Don Ward

    If you do like lever actions you can just go back to Germany and oil your Mauser, Alex.

    *Lee Greenwood’s Proud To Be An American sounds in the background*

    This is America! If you don’t like it, leave it!

    *Bald Eagle Scree sounds*

    • LG

      In truth, the early rifled flintlocks used to dump old King George III, were an evolution of Germanic firearms. So, the Mauser is as American as he American Revolution!

      • Major Tom

        Nyet, Mauser is for fascists. Mosin-Nagant is more American than Mauser ever will be! (It was adopted in small quantities by the US Army in World War One.)

        • ARCNA442

          What about all the M1903’s that we paid Mauser royalties for?

          • Major Tom

            We had guilty conscience for building better rifle than Mauser did. And then kicked their bums with it. Twice.

          • john huscio

            M1917 was superior to both.

          • LG

            I dearly love the 1903 Springfield but it technologically inferior to the Mauser 98. The ’03 has no “C” diaphragm and has less case head support. It is vastly inferior in the instance of a case rupture, not an uncommon ocurance in the early 20th century. The firing pin was inferior due to it’s multiple parts as in the Krag. The lock time on an ’03 is longer unless a Garand firing pin and key spring are used.

        • Zebra Dun

          How ina name of all that is Holy did we get to the Mosin on a lever gun sucks or not thread ROFLMAO never fails.

      • iksnilol

        Doesn’t make sense what you’re saying. So you’re saying that due to early Americans using something that evolved from German guns, that a relatively modern German gun is thus American?

        • LG

          Same father, different mothers. Half brothers, FAMILY!

    • PK

      “*Bald Eagle Scree sounds*”, eh? It’s usually a redtailed hawk dubbed in. Bald Eagles sound absolutely hilarious, so the true call they make is rarely used in film/TV…

      • Don Ward

        Indeed sir. I commercial fish in Alaska and the bald eagles are ridiculous. It’s kind of an ii-ii-ee sound I guess is how I’d describe it. They’re also lazy layabouts who steal fish or wait for a salmon to wash up dead.

        • ostiariusalpha

          LOL! They do basically sound like glorified seagulls.

          • Don Ward

            Yeah. It’s fun watching the seagulls, eagles and arctic ravens quarrel over dead salmon on the beach. I prefer the latter since ravens are genuinely intelligent.

  • Bill

    I might like them less if there were more/any handgun-caliber pump action carbines.

  • Heartbreaker

    My little Henry .22lr lever action is my favorite plinking/varmit gun. It is so narrow and lightweight, it makes a Ruger 10/22 (which I also own) look like a fat old elephant. Plus it’s accurate and there’s just something about running a lever action that is super fun.

    • Harry’s Holsters

      Henrys are incredibly fun guns. My buddy always worries I’ll “accidentally” drive off with his golden boy before he can grab it from my truck on range days!

    • gunsandrockets

      Load up my Henry Golden Boy with 22 rounds of .22 short standard velocity, and plink away nice and quiet, very relaxing.

      • Cymond

        Try some Aguilar Super Colibri sometime. I had an old Marlin 81 with a 24″ barrel, and it was quieter than a suppressed bolt action 22.

  • Lance

    Sorry to say Alex C if you live in the Fascist state of Kalifornia that’s all you got soon with a repeater rifle.
    For killing deer there’s nothing wrong with a Marlin 336 or Winchester 94, its what they where made for. For combat other actions are more suited. Nothing perfect Alex.
    Do your 30-30 run and gun now Alex!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!

    • Porty1119

      The only real issue with a Marlin 336 as a fighting rifle is that the barrel heats up real quick and can lead to vertical shot stringing. Other than that, it’s a damn fine choice if one’s situation rules out semiautos.

  • Rnasser Rnasser

    Lever actions: “Bla, blaah, but damm if they don’t really, really suck…”
    Truer words were never spoken πŸ™‚

  • Art out West

    I want a lever gun for the same reason I have a single action revolver. They are fun, and are American classics. Like most American males, there is something that I love about the Old West.
    I would also argue that they are useful defensive firearms if you live somewhere that has stupid laws against modern semi-automatic rifles. The lever gun is inferior to the bolt action for war, and for most hunting, but it is FAR better than the bolt action for home defense. A lever gun in .357, .44mag, or .45 Colt would make an excellent home defense rifle. A Mauser, Mosin, or Enfield wouldn’t. I think lever guns make good farm and ranch utility rifles as well.

    • Paul White

      I’d also suspect that the difference in capability between an AR and a lever action in .357 is, in most self defense cases, theoretical. My 20″ 1892 holds 10+1 rounds of .357, coming out of a rifle length barrel. I would not feel undergunned.

  • Martin M

    They do suck, but damn if they aren’t pretty. I’ve always appreciated lever guns for their artistic qualities. Plenty of lovely brass and wood, octagon barrels, and huge canvas-esque side plates that scream ‘engrave me’.

  • Renegade

    Meh.

  • Surfgun

    Model 92’s are fine home / interstate defense weapons. A take down BLR with extra magazines could double as a long range fighting rifle.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    There’s something about lever guns that go beyond practicality.

    John Wayne need I say more?

  • VF 1777

    Awww come on, Alex? What ever happen to just having fun? πŸ™‚

  • guest

    As a lefty lever guns are far less awkward than bolt guns.

    • gunsandrockets

      To be fair, there are left-hand model bolt actions. And have you ever tried running a right handed bolt action in the prone with fore-end support as from a bipod? In that position you can use your right hand to run the bolt and reload the mag without ever taking your left hand from the trigger. Should be very speedy.

      • Vizzini

        It’s a pain in the neck to find lefty bolt guns, and many models simply aren’t available in left-handed versions. If you’re lucky enough to be in a position where you can use the bolt right-handed, that’s fine, but its very situational.

  • AC97

    And speaking of the Winchester 1895, the version that the Russians used in WWI chambered in 7.62x54R had the ability to use stripper clips and was well-liked by the people that used it (also, it’s more resistant to mud than the Mosin, as long as the action was closed, which is most of the time).

  • gunsandrockets

    Heh heh heh. But I think a little too much of the Mauser love is coloring Alex’s judgement here. And too much comparing apples to oranges.

    The main thing about lever actions is history passed them by. The fact they yet have such a foothold is due to how well they actually worked in the first place. In fact if it wasn’t for the 1877 Siege of Plevna where the military model 1866 Winchesters firing the .44 Henry rimfire slaughtered the larger Russian forces, Europe probably would have taken even longer to finally replace single shot rifles with repeating rifles.

    The primary reason history passed lever actions by isn’t because bolt-actions are so mechanically superior, it’s because bolt actions were cheaper. That is why bolt-actions became the de-facto repeating rifle of military forces and civilian life. In fact, the cheapness of bolt-actions arguably held back the overdue replacement of bolt-actions with self-loading rifles in military service.

    There were plenty of more modern lever action designs throughout the decades, including some which used detachable box magazines. But they pretty much fell into the gap between the cheaper bolt-actions and the nostalgia for obsolescent model Winchesters. One nice example of a newer design which still can appeal to nostalgia is the Henry Long Ranger lever action, chambered in .223, .243, and .308 and with a free-floating barrel.

    As for speed? Heck even I can run a large loop lever Marlin faster than Alex can run a Mauser. It isn’t just professional level shooting that lets most of those SASS shooters run their lever guns so fast.

    • gunsandrockets

      And let us have a real apples to apples comparison. Is a 30-30 1894 Winchester really inferior to an 8mm Lebel rifle of 1894?

      But no, Alex mainly compares black powder era lever actions to spitzer bullet firing Mausers. Of course lever actions lose in such a comparison.

      If we go to the contemporary era, many of the supposed advantages of a charger loaded Mauser aren’t such advantages any more. A Mauser with it’s bolt rotation and fixed magazine is rather slow and clumsy with a scope mounted on top. And it’s old fashioned locking make it expensive compared to the contemporary advance of locking a bolt into a barrel extension.

      Naturally bolt actions are evolving away from the Mauser to accommodate modern practices. But then so are lever actions. And pump actions.

  • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

    While I have a nostalgic love for lever-guns, I can’t help but agree with most of your points in the video.

    One thing that does irk me about modern firearms, however, is that slimness that you get with a bolt-action or lever-action gun. A good lever-gun carbine chambered in a magnum pistol cartridge like .357 or .44, has a good amount of power and a very respectable capacity usually topped with quality iron sights in a slim and compact package. You just can’t get that with an AR. And when you add optics to list, the levergun gains a little bit of bulk up top, but nothing close to what an AR gets.

    I love AR’s. I REALLY do. But when I pick up a slim lever/bolt carbine, it just feels better.

    The Ruger GSR is one of the closest I’ve found to this type of firearm, but you still have a bulky box mag hanging down off the action.

    Maybe you should do a video about how the Mini-14 is the perfect/ultimate truck gun? πŸ™‚

  • Charles Perry

    My two sons and I hunt deer with three very different rifles. One uses a break action single shot 243. The other uses a lever gun in 30-30. I use a bolt action in 30-06. All are good for deer in Eastern U.S. hardwoods. None of us have had to fire a second shot. If your measure of effectiveness is military battlefield effectiveness, then I agree that lever guns are inadequate. However, your beloved bolt actions are also antiquated due to the superiority of modern self loading rifles. The Garand spelled the death of bolt guns for military use. As for the 30-30, I agree. On paper it looks like a hopeless caliber. But it takes more deer every year than any other round. There is something to be said for that.

  • RaginZerker

    Lol maybe you just suck with lever guns

    • Zebra Dun

      There is that. LOL

  • Jibby

    Can we just revoke Alex c’s ability to write articles for TFB already? I mean he’s a joke as it is and does nothing but bring down the overall website.

  • thedonn007

    Thank you for creating this video. I have been thinking back and forth about buying a .357 lever action to use with my 9mm suppressor.

  • Halifax

    Why I don’t like Alex, all of his posts.

  • adverse4

    He has to have something to vid review I guess. The lever action is not a military rifle now, and I am not military now. Good lever action rifle will get you thru most anything. I am sure there some out there that “suck”. I won’t call brands, but I’d be more than happy with a .30-30 or a .35 lever action, survival wise.

  • Sam higgle

    Boo

  • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

    I can’t argue with you but darn are they fun.

    Ideally I would have a marlin 1894 in .357mag paired with an equally obsolete sp101. I’m not against technology though. I’d have a vortex venom on the marlin.

  • retfed

    The lever’s unsuitability for prone shooting makes it a less than optimal choice for home defense if you have other choices. You won’t go prone in your house, but if you are using your bedroom as a safe room, you’re probably down behind the bed. That lever is almost sure to be blocked by the bed itself or tangled up in bedclothes (unless you made the bed after that crashing noise woke you up at 3 AM). You have to train yourself either to keep the rifle farther back or farther up to clear the lever. (Pump actions have the same problem.) If you can, use something else.

    • Major Tom

      You rotate when prone. Tilt the levergun left and then work the lever and then re-align. With practice you can make that happen in one sweeping set.

      • Yeah, but why bother when bolt actions are cheaper, easier to use, and more reliable?

        • Major Tom

          Because knowing a wide variety of skills is better than specializing in only one?

        • DW

          Do you only have Glock for handguns? No? Then you already know this one.

          • So then you agree with me that leverguns are essentially curiosities and not the best tool for the job?

          • Tom of Toms

            The job being prone shooting or from cover? Sure, it isnt ideal.

            But how about modern .45-70 loads with proper bullets in a levergun? In the right hands, you suddenly have a repeating dangerous-game killer, that even with nasty power levels, is more controllable than a light double-rifle chambered in .0-uch. And if you are going prone when dangerous game is afoot, I would think you’re doing it wrong.

          • DW

            They are not the best out there. But not every task requires super low drag high speed tools either. If people can make them work and are happy with that, leave them be.

          • I am leaving them be. You may not have noticed, but this is an article on a website I write for, and the YouTube video was posted to a YouTube channel associated with this website.

            In other words, we did not go to the lever action forums and talk smack about the lever action, they came to us.

        • Porty1119

          Not cheaper, not easier to use.

        • Don Ward

          Cheaper when you have to buy a scope? Cheaper when bolt action rifles these days don’t come with iron sights standard? Oh wait. A good bolt action isn’t cheaper at all when compared to a lever action.

          • A Savage Axis with some good Nikon glass and ammunition for the whole season is cheaper than a Marlin 336.

            So no.

          • Paul White

            What? A 336 at academy is ~399. A Savage Axis w/out scope runs about 280, and then a basic Prostaff (not the rimfire version) is another 180. That’s 60 bucks on the Marlin.

          • ostiariusalpha

            You’d buy a gun at Academy? Sinner.

          • Porty1119

            Who buys Remlins? Used JM rifles are far better quality, and can be had for $300. .30-30 is also just about the cheapest centerfire hunting ammunition out there. You’re comparing the cheapest/clunkiest centerfire bolt gun around to an excellent lever gun.

      • retfed

        Yes, you do. But rotating takes time, and unless you’ve trained extensively for it, you won’t do it when you or your loved ones are in mortal danger.
        I’m not saying it’s useless. I’m just saying there are better choices.

        • Don Ward

          When your loved ones are in mortal danger? You do know that firearms have multiple different uses other than fending off human waves of Muslim Zombie Biker Ninja ATF agents?

          • retfed

            Jeez, quit with the ninja crap already!
            When bad people are in your house, your loved ones are in mortal danger. People don’t pull home invasions to steal the milk from your fridge. That’s why you have a self-defense gun, right?

          • Don Ward

            Or… And call me crazy here but hear me out… You can have an AR for self defense… This is the part where some folks get confused… And then you can also have a lever action rifle for hunting. This is a radical idea I know that you might want different firearms for different disciplines of shooting.

          • retfed

            I never said anything, positive or negative, about using a lever action for hunting. I’ve done it, and they’re fun, and they work great. I was addressing ONE SPECIFIC ISSUE, mainly for people who live in restrictive jurisdictions like California, who should be aware of one specific problem that may crop up, that bears thinking about.
            I’m not interested in fighting over this crap. It’s America, and you can do what you want. If you want to use a 92 Winchester, an AR, or a Brown Bess as your house gun, it’s all the same to me.
            Vaya con Dios.

    • gunsandrockets

      With a typical forend on a typical pump action shotgun, that shotgun can be impossible to operate from the shoulder in the prone position. A disturbing discovery I made with my Mossberg 500A a few months ago.

      Not so with a lever action.

    • Don Ward

      Yes. I suppose in the make believe world where you have to defend the bathroom against hordes of Muslim Zombie Biker Ninjas, the lever action’s deficiency in firing from the prone will be a game loser.

      • retfed

        Will you please quit twisting my words?
        You certainly don’t keep your lever action in Condition One, right? That means you will have to work the lever for your FIRST shot. If you’re down behind your metaphorical bed (or your metaphorical dresser), the lever can be blocked, fouled, or short-stroked before you can take your FIRST shot. Any subsequent shot will run a similar risk.
        I’ve never met any biker zombies, but I have met a few home invaders. They are people you want to be able to shoot.

        • Don Ward

          You’re right. Before the invention of the semi-automatic rifle, thousands of lever action wielding homeowners were gunned down and killed, helpless as they fumbled trying to work the lever action while they stumbled into furniture, got tangled in bedding and curtains and – the worst danger of all – tripping over their cowboy boots. This is why they call cowboy graveyards “Boot Hill”.

          • retfed

            I never said lever actions are worthless. I said there are better choices.
            You obviously love your lever actions, and you’ve probably practiced with them enough that this ONE ISSUE doesn’t concern you. But most people have only shot on the range and don’t really understand the realities of shooting inside the home. I just wanted to point out ONE ISSUE that bears thinking about.
            I hope you always enjoy your lever actions, and you never have to use one (or anything else) in self-defense.

    • iksnilol

      Firing from prone during home invasion?

      the actual duck?

      • retfed

        Not firing prone. Firing from behind a barricade, which is the functional equivalent of prone. The barricade (bed, dresser, etc.) can block the lever, the same as the ground would if you were firing from prone.

        • iksnilol

          I’d dare say pump actions have the same problem (even worse due to the pump being the forestock) yet nobody fears using a pump action for home defense.

          • retfed

            I agree. Pumps have problems, too.
            I never said lever actions are worthless for home defense. I said they have ONE SPECIFIC ISSUE, and that other alternatives are better, if they’re available.

  • gunsandrockets

    Also, I gotta throw a penalty flag on that demonstration of prone firing.

    My suspicion was immediately aroused because my prior research had led me away from pump actions in favor of lever actions, because of the prone operation problem.

    A quick measure with my ruler shows that from the sightline down to the bottom of the fully extended lever on my Henry Golden Boy is 7.75 inches. And that a 30 round AR-15 magazine is 7 inches tall!

    How far did Alex have to scrunch down to get that Marlin lever to hit the ground?

    • How do the militaries of the world which equip their troops with M16 derivatives train them to reload from a prone position? Does it involve, perhaps, tilting the rifle slightly? Seems to me a little training would make a tilt/lever/reacquire motion every bit as quick and smooth as the motion of operating a bolt action and reacquiring.

    • The difference is that the magazine on an AR/AK/whatever is always sticking out that far, so there’s an indicator of when you’ve gone down far enough (and in many cases you can use the mag as a monopod). With a lever gun, you can go down as far as you would with a bolt, but the lever gets in the way when you try to cycle the action.

      Plus, there’s no comparison between the advantage of 30 rounds vs. 5 and 6 vs. 5 for a lever gun (plus a much slower reload).

      • gunsandrockets

        I used the measurement of the AR magazine as a simple example of how absurd the claim was — that lever guns are troublesome in the prone position.

        Are you really going to double down on such an obviously shaky accusation?

        • I find it really funny that lever action people dismiss concerns about prone shooting, but then play up the angles about, like, scabbards and stuff.

          Lever guns (the most popular ones, 92, 94, 336, and similar; there are exceptions such as the ones I talked about above) are a trainwreck, and the prone thing is a relatively minor point that is part of a larger argument.

          Which is that they suck.

          • Don Ward

            You’re getting tinfoil Hattie here Nate old buddy. Next you’ll be blaming lever actions on the Alt Right.

          • Tinfoil hattery? Did I say something about lizard people by accident?

          • Marc

            Lever guns suck…….as modern day battle rifles. Fixed it for you.

          • No, they just suck for any purpose. But don’t let that chafe you too bad, because that’s just my opinion and you don’t have to agree with me.

          • gunsandrockets

            What I find really funny is the hate for 124 year old design lever guns is so great, that they dive right into false accusations about prone shooting without a moments hesitation or reflection.

          • Zebra Dun

            Don’t use them then Laddie.

      • Don Ward

        The prone demonstration was demonstrably silly and gunsandrockets has the right of it. This time…

        Furthermore, how often are you going to be firing a lever action rifle in the full prone? Are we expecting black tail deer to return fire when we’re hunting this October?

        • Zebra Dun

          Apparently and do a under fire combat speed re-load of his magazine.
          Them deer in his part of where ever must be heinous to cook being so tough and all.

      • William Nelson

        You only go prone when you can use your dead horse as a rest for the rifle, so then you have plenty of room to work the lever! Ta-da!

      • Zebra Dun

        If all you are doing with your rifle is hunting a Whitetail deer what are the advantages of a thirty round magazine, faster re-load or the prone position?
        The Lever action is not a Military assault rifle and was never meant to be.
        Comparing the lever action Winchester with an AR- platform is the problem.
        Like comparing a football with a basketball, they do different jobs.
        I normally carry maximum of three rounds hunting and in the magazine probably even just two rounds of 30/30 which at the ranges I use it works excellently on deer.
        I’ve never had to do a speed re-load on a white tail deer.
        And cowboy action shooting is a hobby, fun sport that dates back to cowboy days.

    • Porty1119

      Pump guns SUCK to fire prone. Lever guns, not so much.

  • Kevin Harron

    “Some gun that may help you live out your Lonesome Dove wet dream.” One of your better lines Alex. πŸ˜€

    • Tim

      Glad he didn’t say Brokeback Mountain wet dream…

  • DW

    Modern lever actions are very strong, some are chambered for monsters like 45-70 (modern), 444 marlin and even .500sw. And there are pseudo leveractions that are essentially boltguns. As for Spitzer bullets discharge in tube mags, TAOFLEDERMAUS debunked it. If the idea of loading FMJ Spitzers still bothers you, the pseudo leveractions mentioned above are box magazine fed.
    You really should run-n-gun a levergun and compare time with a mauser. FOR OUR ENTERTAINMENT!

    • gunsandrockets

      .45-70 black powder, now that’s entertainment!

    • iksnilol

      Did Tafloedermaus do that retarded test with the transparent tube which he fired a shotgun at?

      Because that test was retarded.

      • Porty1119

        “Retarded” is being kind.

  • Paul White

    You also think Kansas City bbq is better than brisket don’t you?

    • Oh now that was a low blow, pardner– there’s no need to go throwin’ around fight-starters like that.

      • Paul White

        If he’s un-Texan enough to bash lever guns, we have to assume the worst.

        Hell, he probably dislikes breakfast tacos

        • iksnilol

          Are breakfast tacos a Texas thing? I do it all the time here in Norway because I am an adult.

          • Paul White

            They’re not a Texas exclusive but they’re a huge part of our diet. Gimmie a breakfast taco with brisket, eggs, potato…or eggs, green chilis, potato and bacon….

          • Don Ward

            When I die, I hope that I go to Texas…

          • Vizzini

            I live near the hometown of Gen. Phil Sheridan. For a period, he was the military governor of Texas. One of the things he’s famous for saying is “If I owned hell and Texas, I’d live in hell and rent out Texas.”

          • Don Ward

            I’m a Union man myself. But I can imagine how popular Little Phil is in the Lone Star State.

  • Rusty S.

    I’ll just leave these here….
    Walt longmire does NOT approve.
    All kidding aside, I fully agree with you on the .30-30.

    • gunsandrockets

      Even Longmire uses a 1911!

  • Paul White

    just because it isn’t a battle rifle anymore doesn’t mean it isn’t fun as hell to shoot though. And perfectly fine for a lot of hunting, or self protection roles. Not the most practical gun, and not what I’d pick for an LEO to carry (that really is dumb), but for most of us, “practical” isn’t the biggest concern.

    • Porty1119

      Lever guns are just about the cheapest way to field a rapid-fire repeating carbine, since SKSes can no longer be had for $90. While better options do exist for some purposes, a .30-30 lever can fit most all applications that Joe Citizen might need. Semiautos are an expensive luxury that simply aren’t always practical.

      • gunsandrockets

        Even in Commiefornia, you can find bullet-button AR clones within $100 of even a new 336W Marlin. And a (gag!) Hi-Point carbine is $100 less than a Marlin.

        Boy has the market changed over the years. I remember the days of $99 retail unissued Chinese SKS and when an AR was the high-end .223 rifle.

  • Marcus D.

    I saw this article as I was heading out the door to pick up a new (to me) Winchester Model 92 in .45 Colt. I think that Alex’s bias is that he judges all rifles as military arms, and although I agree that the Winchester is not a great military arm (notwithstanding that it did a real number on Custer and crew), not every rifle has to be judged on that metric. Military rifles are often not a particularly good hunting gun; they tend to be long and heavy. As one FFL said to me, “You will take the Garand hunting…once.” By contrast, the lever action was an excellent arm for the mounted cowboy, and later a great truck gun because it is short, light, handy, and effective at ranges up to 100 or more yards for the pistol action carbines and short rifles for any varmint or deer you might run into, and 20 yards in .30-30. The classic Alaskan Guide gun is always a lever action in .45-70, an even older (and originally black powder) round, which means to me that the right action is plenty stout enough. Each gun has its niche, and for the lever, it is not just cowboy action shooting.

  • Thatmanoverthere

    Alex, your video is comical. You took some basic facts and tacked on a stream of extrapolations, uninformed opinions, half-truths and a healthy dose of B.S. I got the impression that you were deliberately trying to insult fans of the lever action .30-30 rifle.
    Well, I’m a .30-30 fan and I’m not insulted because I know the real deal.

    I know what the .30-30 does for me every year in the North woods. I own magnum bolt action rifles but after hunting deer and bear with lever actions, I feel that magnum rifles are suitable only when I expect to hunt big game beyond 125 yards or so or when I’m on a stand. Up to that range, the .30-30 performs out of proportion to its age and its appearance. It’s handy, light and hard hitting.

    That 170 grain soft point bullet does a number on big game. Deer go down faster when I hit them with a .30-30 than when I hit them with .300 Winchester Magnum. Too much velocity is not a good thing when hunting deer sized game. If only you knew what I knew…but that’s for another day.

    If you can attempt to disparage the .30-30 lever action rifle with a straight face, then I can only surmise that you are not a serious hunter or you have never killed anything with a .30-30.

    The lever action rifle is not the 21st century assault rifle but it doesn’t need to be. Still, anyone who knows how to use a Model 94 or a 336 would be well armed. It’s primarily a sporting rifle. Any responsible hunter will need only one or two shots but the Model 94 provides 7 or 8 rounds. I don’t want to call you an idiot, but I will just say that you are woefully uninformed.

  • Oldtrader3

    As a Texan, you need not have anything negative to say about what puts food on your table, moron!

    • My bow?

      • iksnilol

        Oh crap, he went for the bow.

        Gonna need that popcorn soon.

        • I exclusively resort to archery when it comes to turkey and deer.

          • iksnilol

            Sounds like it’d ruin meat but eh, whatever floats your turkey I guess.

          • You shoot turkey in the neck to hopefully take their head off.

  • IndyToddrick

    No matter how less effective than other rifles, they are effective enough for most situations. The main reason I think I won’t be getting rid of my Marlin is because it just looks good in my safe next to the Remingtons. (Truth be told, I don’t shoot it though :-). I won’t even put a scope on it because it ruins the rustic look. It would look really good hanging it on the wall, and for how cheap they are, I wouldn’t feel bad about it filling that role…

  • Don Ward

    Another reason Alex hates the lever action?

    Small hands.

    FITE ME IN REAL LYFE ALEX!

  • A Fascist Corgi

    The Marlin 1895-series of rifles are still the most popular rifles for defense against brown bears. Why do you think that is?

  • Gusto

    Browning blr is perfection

    • FarmerB

      No, they aren’t.

  • Kevin

    Alex, measure the height between an AR with a 30 round mag and an open lever action from the ground. Yes I know you’re comparing it to the Bolt guns but its not as outrageously tall as you’re making it out.

  • Don Ward

    Seeing Alex “operate” that lever gun in the prone, I can’t help thinking what dinner must look like at stately Capps Manor.

    • Today I learned that True Lever Action Shooters(tm) are able to warp the steel levers of their guns into solid materials to shoot prone.

      • Don Ward

        Or – you know – you can learn how to shoot a lever action while prone? It’s a BS issue anyway because most people while shooting prone will use a sandbag, log, berm, shooting stick or this thing called a backpack to rest their rifle on which has the benefit of raising the rifle up from the ground allowing one to operate the slide. Also, if the US Army is able to teach the mysteries of firing a 30 round M16 while prone, the same technique should be applicable. But watch out for TV trays. They can never be mastered.

        • Paul White

          I hardly ever shoot prone at all, but I’m not an operator or sniper or whatever so…

        • Zebra Dun

          Yup, that pistol grip and magazine sticks out way more than a lever.

      • Marlin336

        Why is it when you guy’s make jokes about entire groups of shooters it’s just “poking fun” but when anyone makes jokes about you guys you.get all bent out if shape?

        • I am teasing Don. We know each other.

        • Don Ward

          It is true. I know Nate and Alex. I am reasonably confident about their ability to operate a TV tray.

          • Vizzini

            “reasonably”

          • Zebra Dun

            Hell I have never mastered the TV tray, the wife goes ballistic!

        • BigR

          @Marlin336
          I wish I had said that!

        • Zebra Dun

          Heck we are all joking anyway.
          I never found an action I did not like firearms wise, pumps, lever, single semi or full auto.
          I shoot them all and grin like a fool doing it.

      • Zebra Dun

        I’ve never, ever had to shoot my lever guns prone to bag deer or squirrels.
        Is there something I’m missing?

        • dltaylor51

          Lever guns are stand your ground guns not lay on the ground guns.

    • Just say’n

      REAL Cowboys don’t shoot prone!

      • Scott Tuttle

        there’s plenty of room for the lever on the back of a horse!

      • Zebra Dun

        Hell why for when there is a horse or bale of hay to shoot from?

  • Thatmanoverthere

    Alex, your video is comical. You took some basic facts and tacked on a stream of extrapolations, uninformed opinions, half-truths and a healthy dose of B.S. I got the impression that you were deliberately trying to insult fans of the lever action .30-30 rifle.
    Well, I’m a .30-30 fan and I’m not insulted because I know the real deal.

    I know what the .30-30 does for me every year in the North woods. I own magnum bolt action rifles but after hunting deer and bear with lever actions, I feel that magnum rifles are suitable only when I expect to hunt big game beyond 125 yards or so or when I’m on a stand. Up to that range, the .30-30 performs out of proportion to its age and its appearance. It’s handy, light and hard hitting.

    That 170 grain soft point bullet does a number on North American big game. Deer go down faster when I hit them with a .30-30 than when I hit them with .300 Winchester Magnum. Too much velocity is not a good thing when hunting deer sized game and hard point bullets will simply pass through without expanding and transferring all of the available energy. If only you knew what I know…but that’s for another day.

    If you can attempt to disparage the .30-30 lever action rifle with a straight face, then I can only surmise that you are not a serious hunter or you have never killed anything with a .30-30.

    The lever action rifle is not the 21st century assault rifle and it doesn’t need to fill that role. Still, anyone who has a Winchester 94 or a Marlin 336 and who also knows how to use it, is well armed indeed. These are primarily sporting rifles. Any responsible hunter will need only one or two shots but these rifles offer seven rounds.
    I don’t want to call you an idiot, but I will just say that you are woefully uninformed.

  • Stephen Beat

    I always used to wonder why this fast action did see wider military adoption than it did…Right up to the day that a friend said ‘have you tried firing one prone?’ Ahhh…! Still, they did see large scale action with the Turkish and Russian armies…And even the RAF dabbled with them in WW1 aboard very early aircraft! But, come on guys…True Grit! πŸ™‚

    • gunsandrockets

      Have you tried manipulating a lever action in the prone position? It isn’t a problem. Don’t buy into this really dumb myth.

      You know it’s fine to bag on lever actions, so I don’t begrudge Alex for that. But I’m annoyed at Alex for promoting a firearm myth, when there are so many myths and misunderstandings already about firearms that need resisting.

  • mazkact

    ‘In the words of Sheriff Andy Taylor “That just ain’t Western”. Speaking for all my fellow Texans, dang it Alex why did you have to go there? I shoot my 1892 in .357 a lot and would feel confident with it in a tight situation. As to the “True Grit” conundrum, I love the Duke and I love Coen brothers movies. I see both movies as separate entities and enjoy them both. The only place I found myself making a direct comparison was when Mattie was dickering with the horse trader as it was almost a direct overlay of both scenes. Both scenes are excellent but come on you must give it to Struther Martin. Right……………….now lets get back to bashing Carcanos,glocks and high points πŸ˜‰

  • DannyBoyJr

    LOL, too much clickbaitiness. TFB may have jumped the shark.

  • Sneakthief

    This is click bait, there’s been a lot of this on this site recently, though, I’m not surprised Alex doesn’t like lever actions, he’s ax bolt gun elitist, he wants his rifle to be as uninteresting, stale, and boring as he is

  • datimes

    I was at the range a few weeks ago and had the opportunity to fire a basic Henry .22. I was surprised by the quality of workmanship, the smooth effortless lever action, and basic fun it was to shoot. My Winchester pump from the 20’s may have some competition.

  • Goody

    Bit of a stretch to say that a full power bolt gun is quicker than a full power lever. Two movements is quicker than four.

    • FarmerB

      No it isn’t. Maybe if you pick a rifle with the correct caliber (short throw, low pressure, etc), but in my experience lever actions in full power calibres aren’t much faster than bolt guns (and Blaser action is much faster than both).

      • Goody

        “but in my experience lever actions in full power calibres aren’t much faster than bolt guns”

        You literally contradicted me, then contradicted yourself. All else being equal, the bolt gun is slower.

        • FarmerB

          No, the qualifier is important – I was contradicting your statement that “it’s a bit of a stretch” because 2 < 4. I'm happy to believe that the lever in a lower-pressure, shorter OAL is quick – probably even quicker than a comparable bolt gun, but in my experience with high-power (i.e. 308W) lever guns, the lack of camming power, extraction difficulties, etc mean there's nothing in it – and a good bolt might even be faster.
          Furthermore, the difficulty on the downstroke for the BLR (in particular) means that you really, really don't like to shoot it for more than 10-20 rounds before the back of your knuckles are red raw.
          I bought one to replace a (crushed) semi-auto. I was disappointed. If I had to make the same choices again, I'd take a Blaser straight pull.

          • Tassiebush

            Lever gun back of hand sucks. I have been looking at Adler shotguns(lever action variant of course) and I’ve concluded I just wish the Mossberg bolt actions were still on the market (other than slug models). I’ll probably just get another double.

  • WFDT

    Makes a great farm rifle, though.

  • Don Ward

    Well lookee here boys. Seems like we have the makings of a Jim Dandy Internet lynch mob!

  • DANIEL MARRONE

    I think this guy is choking his chicken! I have over 50 rifles in different configurations and my rifle of choice for hunting is a Marlin 336 or a Remington 700 depending on the type of landscape. What he does not mention is the lighter weight, and shorter length of the Lever action makes it much more easy to carry in wooded areas. Maybe they don’t have any trees or mountains in Texas. As far as ballistics they make lever actions in .22 35 rem, 348 win, 243, 30-06, 308, and 45-70 which cover all the game he is going to hunt in North America. As far as pointed bullets in a tube, the round nose 30-30 have taken more game than almost all other calibers in North America without any problem. Hornaday makes pointed 30-30 ammo that is safe to load in a magazine tube if you insist it is better. It is apparent this guy is a paper shooter and never goes into the woods to hunt. I can get off a second round pretty fast with a lever gun, then again you should be able to take game with the first shot, maybe it’s different when you shoot at paper. I prefer my bolt gun, but never dismiss the lever action. I think this boy should be taught a lesson about lever guns.

  • ozzallos .

    Leverguns really, really suck. And just for today, we’ll ignore all the glaring deficiencies of the bolt action rifle it’s being compared to in this site-sponsored trolling event.

  • Quasimofo

    Noted, but I think I’ll still keep my 7mm-08 BLR as a general purpose sporting arm because I’m civilian as —-. It functions like a lever-action bolt-action, but it’s lighter and handier than a typical bolt gun or AR-10, and it can definitely let off aimed shots quicker than a bolt (2 motions < 4, and you can maintain a cheek weld, too). It's accurate enough out to practical ranges (~300 yards or less) and prone shooting isn't an issue in the woods, fields, and ranges of PA.

    I don't shoot one, but I know you can't bust on the thuddy-thuddy. You might as well be spelling "America" with a "k" when you do that. It's old, inefficient, and it's still a better general purpose hunting cartridge than most anything chambered for an AR-15 or AK pattern rifle. Drops deer, black bear, and the occasional elk as well as it did 100+ years ago.

    • ostiariusalpha

      6.5 Grendel > Thuddy-thuddy all day and all night.

      • Porty1119

        Manual action > semiauto action all day and all night if you’re cycling a variety of load weights and velocities. One of the beauties of .30-30 is the ability to load anything from sized buckshot to 110gr varmint/pistol bullets all the way up to 200gr thumpers with little to no difficulty in cycling the action. It’s basically the ultimate do-everything centerfire rifle chambering. While it is not quite as effective in any one role, the ability to hunt anything from varmints to black bears with a rapid-fire, handy weapon that is quite effective for personal protection, chambered in a ubiquitous and cost-effective caliber, and available nationwide is a huge, huge advantage. The only thing that comes close in flexibility is a pump shotgun.

        • gunsandrockets

          There are even black powder loads for the 30-30.

      • Quasimofo

        Sure, it’s a fine choice for folks who want to bust paper at long range using a cartridge with comparatively very limited availability. πŸ˜‰

        6.5G is a decent deer cartridge out to ~300 yds, but I don’t know folks with any sense who would recommend it for black bear or anything larger. And considering most shots at deer are taken at 300 yds or less (typically much less), even 6.8 SPC makes more sense than 6.5G given its similar performance at this range and better commercial support.

        • ostiariusalpha

          If it can kill a bull elk at 405 yds then it can certainly kill a black bear; and in fact, has done both. A Grendel with a Barnes TSX does the job more than effectively, and just as reliably as any .30-30 load. Your “sensible” folks seem to be heavy on opinion and light on facts.

          • Quasimofo

            I wasn’t implying it couldn’t do it, just that it wouldn’t be recommended (outside of the 6.5 forums, at least), particularly if you have better, well-established options available. For example, my buddy once bagged a decent cow elk DRT at ~200 yds with a .30-06 using a factory loaded 165gr NBT, but he still wouldn’t recommend using BT bullets on elk even after that experience.

            Larue’s shot is amazing, but it’s an outlier that demonstrates the importance of shot placement that rests on a lot of skill and more than a little luck. Good shot placement is important, but cartridges like the 6.5 just don’t provide the “margin of error” the typical hunter may need for game larger than deer and hogs.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Right on, margins of error are important. Which is why I would turn to my .30-06 for an elk, and either my 6.5 Creedmoor or .308 for a black bear; I certainly wouldn’t go with anything chambered in .30-30. If my only options were either the 6.5 Grendel or a potato round from 1895, then I’ll use the one that gives me enough of an energy budget for taking down an elk at 400 yds, and is still a flat-shooter at that distance.

          • Jack B.

            I swear that looks like Jim Belushi in a bear suit.

  • Disarmed in CA

    Lever actions are properly shot from horseback, not lying on the ground. Sheesh!

    • FarmerB

      Same thing – I’ve seen how you ride.

  • Rob

    I’m glad this was not my introduction to your videos Alex, I’d have thought you a fool and moved along.

  • Two Guns

    The title of this article should be “NO ONE CARES WHAT YOU LIKE”. Lever actions are fun to shoot! I use a 44mag to hunt deer because in my state you can only use a rifle with straight wall cartridge. What was the point of making this video?

  • With more on the way

  • Will

    For me lever action rifles are all about the esthetics.
    I don’t hunt but still have my trusty Marlin 30-30.
    With Hornedy Lever-Evolution ammunition it is a 200 yard rifle all day long. Possibly even better in the hands of an accomplished rifle shooter.

    • Porty1119

      Drop on .30-30 at 300 yards is about three feet. Not ideal but not insurmountable.

  • Sgt. Stedenko

    The level of butthurt in the comments is outstanding.
    Keep up the good work Alex.
    Maybe next time you can tell us why you dont like Glocks so Jump and all the other tier 1 operators can have a coronary and never be heard from again.

  • Blake

    I love leverguns, especially designs that can use spitzer bullets.

    Ya know what I’d like to see more of? Straight-pull bolt actions. A while back I was looking long & hard at a Russian Biathlon 22LR rifle…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolt_action#Straight-pull

    • gunsandrockets

      Saw a couple old Mauser 96 in the gun-store. Not the the 1896 Mauser, the straight-pull sporting rifle from the late 1990’s. They had one in .270 Winchester and one in .300 Remington Magnum.

      Man that action was like magic, flick-flick, open-closed. The only thing I didn’t like was the bolt-handle was placed forward of the trigger guard. But that might be compensated for with different bolt manipulation technique.

  • Fred Johnson

    Well, I sure got to see how quick one could operate a bolt gun in that video about lever actions.

    Where’s the video example of speed, or lack thereof, with a lever action in direct comparison?

  • Jim_Macklin

    The flat sided lever action, such as the W 94 30/30 or a Marlin which could be a 44 Magnum or a 45/70 carries better on a saddle than does an AR or a K98.
    But the point isn’t about ballistic perfection, rather it is about tradition. The range limitations of the lever action don’t matter if you learn how to stalk.
    The versatility of the rifle/handgun sharing the same cartridge has a point for some.
    The Winchester 88 is a modern lever action, magazine fed and chambered in 243, 308 and 358 from the factory is not in production, anywhere, by anybody.
    But the video served to allow an opinion to be spread by YouTube.
    AS for the Civil War, 150 years ago, or the plains Indian wars, a minor would was enough to take the soldier off the battlefield and death often followed because of the state of medical technology. The Indians’ bow and arrow was faster, the Colt and S&W and Remington revolvers were in demand, even though TV and movies were 100 years into the future.

  • DaveB

    Yes, so lever actions don’t make good front line military arms. Well, duh. Unless you happen to be in the market for a military rifle, who cares? Lever actions are not the all-around action – but they do have their place. Frankly, I would give any French rifle house-room (or French car for that matter).

  • Rap Scallion

    What part of Texas would let you live there……….Lever guns are THE primary weapon of choice for most REAL Texans…….Conversely…..most real Texans also have a bolt action or two, AR’s, Front Loader of some sort, or a pile of H&R Handi’s! But to just obliterate and disrespect a whole class of fire arms????? Your head ain’t on right son!

  • James Bagley

    I like lever guns. They have decent power for open-sight applications, they are light and quick-handling, ammunition is affordable and available, and they distance me from knuckleheads like this writer…

  • Disgusted Citizen

    Personal Opinions are like @55es.. everyone has one.

  • efred1

    Now, what makes the 7.62 x 39 such a great cartridge? It’s inherently inaccurate, yet has the same power as the 30-30? Just because some Russian invented it, and it’s the most used cartridge in the world, doesn’t prevent it from being a turd, either.

    And for shooting prone, Browning’s BLR has a short-stroke lever that can be cycled without releasing the thumb from the topstrap.

    That said, tube-fed lever actions are still a pain to reload, and most lever actions are limited to a range of ~100 yards, excepting the Savage M99s, BLRs, M1886s, and M1895s.

  • BigR

    Opinions are like azzholes, everybody has one!

  • Tim

    Without lever actions, there would be no Arnold racking a shotgun one handed while riding a Harley around obstacles at high speed.
    That justifies their existence right there…

  • dltaylor51

    Running down lever guns is down right communism.Don’t condemn something just because you’re not good with it.

  • FarmerB

    Been there, done that. I replaced my semi-autos with a Browning BLR in .308W. Really, I don’t like it at all, although it’s killed several hundred pigs. Of all the guns I’ve owned, I’ve never sold any except those I was forced to. But that Browning sits there and looks at me in the safe, and I am seriously wanting to sell it. So, I tend to agree, lever actions suck.

  • FarmerB

    No practical difference. If you can get enough good 308 brass, go for it. But 30’06 offers 10-20% more of everything, so go for that and I’ll take the 308 brass off your hands πŸ˜‰ You haven’t talked about your requirements, but hunting, the 30’06 can push a slightly bigger bullet with more power than a 308. Long distance you can drive more slippery bullets at velocities of 308 for much less slippery bullets. Eg 190-205 gns v 175 in 308. Might not be quite as bench rest level accurate, but long distance it will do the job because of ballistics. Disclaimer: I have never owned a 30’06 although a former US marine shooting partner has a custom one which is staggeringly accurate. I have a dozen 308’s – which I like just because outside of the US there are many more options with brass and loaded ammo (surplus ball to sniper ammo) whilst 30’06 has almost none.

  • Richard Lutz

    He might like to carry a 94 Winchester in the woods for deer hunting (on foot or horseback) to get a feel for why is it such a great rifle. A great rifle for any animal that can be quickly killed with a .30-30 round within 200 yards when you don’t need a scope.

  • Edward Brush

    Not to belabor the point, but the first high-velocity commercial cartridges were introduced by Savage in the 1910’s – the .22 Savage Hi-Power and the .250-3000 Savage. While out of fashion today, ballistics are ballistics and a 70gr pill whizzing downrange at 3000+ FPS is pretty hot. In 1920, they introduced the .300 Savage, which gave birth to the .308 (which can do anything a .300 Savage can do, in a slightly larger package).

    The kicker is Savage had only one rifle in their catalog before WW1 – the 1899 lever action. Rotary magazine, hammerless, suitable for telescopic sights… not a bad package overall. While never as popular as the competition from Winchester and Marlin, it was still popular enough to remain in production for nearly a century.

    So, while you made some good points about lever actions in general, you also made a bunch of generalizations that diminish your argument. It would be equivalent to me talking about a Mosin Nagant and concluding that all bolt-action rifles are equivalent junk because they share the same method of operation.

  • Zobeid

    Calling out all the deficiencies of the levergun as a military weapon is just a silly straw man argument. It’s been a long time since anybody used or advocated the lever action in a military weapon, so why keep harping upon this?

    The 30-30 cartridge is indeed old and not particularly efficient. That’s why the 308 Marlin (among other calibers) was invented. What’s that you say? Too proprietary? Not widely available enough? Perhaps, but would it not be fair to say the same about 6.5 Grendel or 6.8 SPC? How many of those do you find in the average gun shop? At least the 30-30 is a perfectly adequate deer hunting cartridge, which can’t really be said for 223 Rem.

    Video clips of somebody rapidly cycling an old military bolt-gun look impressive for a few seconds, until you realize how much more awkward that becomes with a scope on.

  • Tassiebush

    I think bolt actions are superior but just often aren’t available in the chambering, action length or general configuration at the same price. No reason they couldn’t be though and they could be cheaper when they were. A pistol caliber trapper carbine would make a great truck gun for small properties.

  • Mikial

    I doubt anyone will claim a lever gun is a substitute for a modern sporting rifle with a semi action and 30 round mag in any defense or combat situation. And there is no question that most of the famous hunting guns were bolt actions. But that does not mean that lever guns don’t have a place in any gun lover’s collection or in any SHTF stash.

    Lever guns are versatile, can be loaded a round at a time when prone or in the thick of things, shoot a wide range of cartridges, are easy to manipulate in tight quarters, and don’t meet any of the Liberal’s politically motivated criteria as an assault rifle that might be outlawed on any given election year. Frankly, everyone should have one in their favorite caliber of choice.

    I sure do.

  • OFWGAz

    Alex is free to criticize one of the guns “that won the west”, and I’m free to say that Stoner’s gun “made by Matel” is a POS that got soldiers killed in Nam. I’ll bet they would have taken a Winchester 30-30 in a heartbeat.