Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Lever Guns

While lever action rifles and carbines are often overlooked in favor of more “serious” weaponry, they are simple, easy to use for a variety of applications, and with practice can be a valuable tool for fighting.

Lever action weapons have a lot of advantages. They are simple to use, which means anyone with a minimal amount of training and practice can learn to work one. They are normally lightweight, which is an advantage if you’re carrying it for extended periods of time, and good for engaging quickly, especially when dealing with multiple targets. Weight and size are also an advantage for smaller size people like women and young shooters. Finally, they work equally well for both left and right shooters.

The lever gun comes in a variety of calibers. For example the ammo for my .357 magnum Marlin carbine – which I consider to be a great round – also fits my K frame Smith and Wesson revolvers, and I can shoot either .38 Special or full .357 loads. Then there are a lot of .22 lever action rifles out there you can pick up to train and practice with. Cheaper ammo means more range time. If you need big bullets, those are available as well.

A wide variety of parts available for the lever action rifle, and there are plenty of shops that specialize in modifying lever rifles. You can get synthetic stocks, large lever loops, and a world of sights. You can mount anything from peep sights to red-dots or magnified optics, making it user friendly for you and your application.

Another big advantage of lever guns is that there are some places where you can’t own an “assault weapon,” so the lever action may be just the ticket. It doesn’t appear menacing, but with training and practice you can get to where the lever rifle can be shot and loaded quickly. We’ve had students run them in our defensive carbine classes and trust me, you would not want them shooting at you with that “old” lever gun.

Regardless of what type weapon you normally use it would be a good idea to know how to operate a variety of other weapon actions. So even if you don’t have plans of owning a lever rifle borrow a friend’s and work with it some so that if necessary you will know how to operate one.

A lever gun is an effective fighting rifle. Most of us are not laying down suppressive fire; it’s not about how many rounds you can put downrange. For us fighting with a firearm is about placing accurate hits on the threat in order to stop them efficiently. The tactics are the same, and learning how to work a lever gun is easy. Your ultimate advantage in a fight is the ability to assess the situation, determine the solution to the problem you face, and then apply those actions properly. The lever gun and the proper mindset will do well.


October 10, 2010 - Posted by | AR-15, Defensive Mindset, General Training

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