2 Big Reasons You Need A Lever-Action Rifle

Published on July 24, 2014

Here is one gun that a firearm owners and regular shooters should have: a lever-action rifle. Why? See two big reasons according to Bearing Arms:

If you’re a firearm owner and regular shooter, and you’ve been around the block a few times, then like me you’ve seen a lot of guns come and go. For whatever reason, one day they just aren’t on the rack anymore.

Most of the time, you won’t know the reason. It could’ve been the cost of manufacturing, low popularity, minor design flaws, or a combination of all of those things. Those of us who are long-time firearm enthusiasts can name several firearms we’ve known from the past that aren’t made anymore. But if you’re new to shooting stay with me here, because I’m going to pass on a little nugget of wisdom to you. For you long-time shooters who should know better, it’ll be more like a stern finger wag, because I KNOW you know this, or at least you should. Ok, here we go. Ready?

Buy yourself a lever-action rifle.

I can already hear your reactions, from the “Wait, what?” response to the “Pfft. Whatever. That’s my grandpa’s gun.” Some of you though, are nodding your heads in agreement because, in your wisdom, you know where I’m going with this. You see, you can go into nearly any gun store in America today and find lever-action rifles on the shelf. To the old timers (who don’t own one) and the newbies, you should ask yourself, “Why is that?”

Great question. After all, the lever-action has been around since 1860, and…stop right there. Let that sink in. 1860. That’s 154 years. Why would gun manufacturers still be making a weapon system which, modest modifications, cartridge, and metallurgy improvements aside is essentially the same system it was one-and-one-half centuries ago?

Because it works. But what does that mean? It means the lever-action rifle is a time-tested, low-maintenance firearm with a practical, modern-day application for hunting, self-defense and general recreation.

Here’s a few items to think about.


Lever-action rifles are made in a wide variety of calibers, from .22 long rifle to .357 and .44 magnums, on up to the mighty 45.70. From squirrel to elk, you can find a lever-action rifle to suit your hunting needs. Accuracy is excellent, and with modern hunting ammunition such as Hornady’s LEVERevolution ammo, you gain range, accuracy and terminal ballistic performance.


The Pros:

  • It’s a repeater. That means with a little training, you can deliver a respectable volume of steady, accurate fire onto your target.
  • Lethality. In handgun calibers such as the.357 mag, .44 mag, 45 colt, etc., the longer rifle barrel increases muzzle velocity (in the neighborhood of 1600 to 2000 fps at the muzzle depending on ammo and barrel length) with those rounds, making them devastating out to and even beyond 100 yards. Center fire rifle rounds like the .30.30 are effective well beyond that. Combine those qualities with a good tactical load and you’ve got yourself a hard-hitting bad guy stopper.

The Cons:

  • Magazine capacity. As I mentioned, it isn’t an AR-15. You’ll likely have 6-10 rounds in a tubular magazine compared to 20 or more with a contemporary semi-auto rifle. Make the most of them.

  • Reloading. Marlins, Winchesters and Winchester clones load from a gate on the right side of the receiver, one round at a time. Although you can top off your magazine on the move, it’s still a comparatively slow process, especially if your heart rate is elevated due to stress.

  • Distance. Most lever-actions are chambered for calibers that are for short to medium ranges, unlike many modern military rifle calibers which can reach out to 500 yards or beyond. If you don’t plan to shoot at those ranges it shouldn’t be a problem, but it is something to bear in mind.

    Read more: Bearing Arms


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