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Lever action rifles

Old 10-20-2004, 03:04 PM
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Default Lever action rifles

I've never had one, but I've noticed that a lot of them are made in handgun calibers. Does this go back to an old-West sort of tradition?
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Old 10-20-2004, 03:20 PM
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Default RE: Lever action rifles

I don't think so much, as the up swing in Cowboy action Shooting has picked up.
Lever guns in handgun caliber are fun to shoot and offer more for the hunter who wan'ts a compact,light weight handy deer rifle.
The old west days of having a handgun and a rifle in the same caliber was more for the conveience of not having to carry alot of diffrent ammo.
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Old 10-20-2004, 05:10 PM
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Default RE: Lever action rifles

Not trying to stir up any trouble here but I just don't see how you could take a shot at a deer with a Lever action rifle using a pistol cartridge outside of maybe 30 yards and feel comfortable. I just bought a Model 94 and considered geting it chambered in .357 cause I have a Taurus revolver but when I hold a .357 cartridge and think of it dropping a 120+ lb. animal at any decent range doubts flood my mind.

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Old 10-20-2004, 05:29 PM
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Default RE: Lever action rifles

The long the barrle the more FPS and Ft/lbs,take a look at your Factory ammo,lets say a 357 Rem Mag out of a pistol.
4 in Tube 180 gr Bullet
M/FPS M/Ft lbs 100 yds 100 yds
1250 625 1080/fps 465/ft lbs

Rifle 18 in Tube 180 gr bullet
M/FPS M/Ft lbs 100yds 100yds
1550 965 1210/fps 590/ft lbs
Now there a bit of diffrence between a rifle and pistol,both in velocity and Ft/lbs,not to metion the accracy you will gain with a large sight radius.
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Old 10-20-2004, 05:43 PM
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Default RE: Lever action rifles

I understand your getting more energy from the rifle barrel that is waisted on a pistol barrel, that said, someone on this board used the rule of thumb for ft/lbs. for a deer at least 1000 ft/lbs. at any given range.

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Old 10-20-2004, 05:51 PM
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Default RE: Lever action rifles

A few things here. First, I really wasn't talking about deer...yet!

Next, the rule of thumb for years for deer was 800ft. lbs. I think the recent move upward to 1000 ft. lbs. was done by manufacturers who want to sell more magnum cartridges.[&:]

Finally, and what I was really getting at was this: Wouldn't a .454 Casull make a sweet lever action rifle...even as a close range deer gun? The handgun has performance approaching the 30-30. A rifle version might do very well.
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Old 10-20-2004, 05:57 PM
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Default RE: Lever action rifles

Taken from Chuck Hawks' free site:

The Winchester factory load using a 260 grain Nosler PartitionGold bullet can be taken as representative. Winchester figures show a muzzle velocity (MV) of 1800 fps with 1871 ft. lbs. of muzzle energy. At 50 yards the figures are 1605 fps and 1485 ft. lbs. At 100 yards the velocity is 1427 fps, and the energy is 1176 ft. lbs.
So, out of a pistol, it is a 100 yard deer cartridge. From a rifle, it should, I would think, make a 150 yard deer gun.


Also, what about the .500 S&W magnum?
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Old 10-20-2004, 07:00 PM
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Default RE: Lever action rifles

Yes..Lever guns shooting "handgun ammo" does go back to the old west days. This was done for the reason of simplicity... only had to carry one caliber of ammo for both weapons as well as revolver ammo being much lighter then rifle ammo of the time.
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Old 10-20-2004, 07:19 PM
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Default RE: Lever action rifles

Wouldn't a .454 Casull make a sweet lever action rifle...even as a close range deer gun?
Without a doubt. Thats a big chunk of lead and it moves pretty well from a handgun, but it would be even better in a rifle. Especially if you reload and tailor the loads to the rifle.
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Old 10-20-2004, 07:52 PM
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Default RE: Lever action rifles

No honestly it isn't a tradition...I'm not certain why it really came about, I would assume because leverguns are really good with straight wall cartridges, and NEED flat nosed ammo, which is more typical of handgun bullets...

As far as history goes, I believe the 1894 Marlin, 92 Winchester and 94 winchester, following the 73 and 66 and Henry, and of course the spencer were available in pistol cartridges...but these weren't nearly as common as their "rifle cartridge" counterparts.

The reason they're so proliferent now because of their popularity in Cowboy action shooting, where having all three guns (two revolvers and a rifle) in the same cartridge is desired (although MANY shooters load different loads for their guns, one load for the revolvers and one for the rifle).

I fell in love with .44mag because of a Marlin 1894 "rancher", now I've got three of them, and four handguns in .44mag (not to mention five other leverguns and 7 other revolvers included in my broad battery).
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