The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: Bolt, Lever, and Pump Action

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old August 15, 2010, 12:19 PM   #1
JonnyP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 16, 2009
Posts: 195
Custom Lever on Winchester

Check out my new custom lever! Just picked it up yesterday.

I found a gunsmith about an hour and a half from the house willing to give this a try, and I must say I'm very pleased with the results.

This is my 1961 Winchester Model 94 in 30-30. I provided an extra pre-64 lever and a full-size drawing with what I wanted. The first attempt was unsuccessful. The gunsmith told me he was finished and got it back from the bluer, but he said he just wasn't happy with the curvature or the bluing and asked me if I was willing to let him try again. He suppplied the second lever. This time, it came out great.

Take a look at the pics and let me know what you think. The goldish color is just from the flash as there is no discoloration on this rifle at all. In fact, when I compared the rifling to some unfired collector rifles I have, they look just the same. Don't think this rifle has seen much use.

Enjoy!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg P1010413.jpg (254.7 KB, 508 views)
File Type: jpg P1010414.jpg (261.7 KB, 321 views)
JonnyP is offline  
Old August 15, 2010, 12:31 PM   #2
Dino.
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2006
Posts: 908
That turned out great!
The curvature of the lever looks very similar to the one on "The Rifleman".
Now all you need is an adjustable trigger screw.
Dino. is offline  
Old August 15, 2010, 03:04 PM   #3
TX Hunter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 11, 2010
Location: East Texas USA
Posts: 1,776
Hey Pilgram
I take it, that your a John Wayne Fan? Well theres nothing wrong with that.
Your Rifle looks great.
TX Hunter is offline  
Old August 15, 2010, 04:00 PM   #4
Bagmup
Member
 
Join Date: August 7, 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 56
Looks great and pardon my ignorance on lever guns but what are the advantages of a large loop? Why were they designed that way in the first place? Or was it just a John Wayne signature?
Bagmup is offline  
Old August 15, 2010, 07:22 PM   #5
DPris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 19, 2004
Posts: 4,535
The advantages are for use with gloves and in spincocking for the camera.
Spincocking is not recommended in real life.

The disadvantage is that, with all that extra room inside the loop for the hand to bounce around, it tends to slow the gun down in rapid fire attempts.

For old Rifleman fans, the only advantage necessary is that it looks neat!

Denis
DPris is offline  
Old August 15, 2010, 09:29 PM   #6
gak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 28, 2005
Location: Aridzona
Posts: 2,767
Yes, it is very close to one of the two designs used by Chuck Connors on his Winchester 92s in The Rifleman, and very similar to the one used on many Rossi 92 equipped with a large loop lever (I've seen two designs, so I guess I'm thinking one of the older ones). John Wayne's 92s usually had a different, more oval or eliptical shape. I converted one of my regular 20" Rossi 92 carbines by swapping levers from a large loop Rossi trapper model just for this same reason, 'cause it looked cool--and the little trapper seemed a little overwhelmed with the big lever! Good thing I have others with the regular lever as they are more useful--but sure do like my gun's (and the OP's) looks! One (?) of the modern Marlins has a smaller (and differently shaped) loop lever, which may be more practical for the gloved hand situation, but they don't look as "cool" to me!
gak is offline  
Old August 16, 2010, 02:37 AM   #7
Dino.
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2006
Posts: 908
I have a Cimarron '92 "ElDorado" in .357/.38. with a big hoop lever.
Obviously the model was named after one of John Wayne's movies, and it sports the more oval hoop gak was talking about.

It's an awesome gun.
Very little recoil and VERY accurate.



Dino. is offline  
Old August 16, 2010, 07:11 AM   #8
JonnyP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 16, 2009
Posts: 195
Appreciate the comments guys.

Ditto the comments about the lever providing no advantage other than looking extremely cool. Anyone who's ever seen Chuck Connors in The Rifleman TV show recognizes this lever. The other one, the one shaped more like an oval, is what I call the John Wayne lever. I personally like the Rifleman lever better even though it has to be custom made.

Winchester did make some large loop levers, but they are the John Wayne oval style, and only for post-64 guns I believe. I managed to get a couple of aftermarket large loop levers, and they fit on either pre- or post-64 guns, but they just didn't work right. I even went so far as to have one tested for hardness and then blued to match my gun (it was originally black). But once it was installed I had to really squeeze the lever to pull the trigger, and sometimes I couldn't pull the trigger at all. The design just wasn't right.

I considered having the screw hole added, but thought better of it. The Model 94 requires the lever to be squeezed before the trigger can be pulled, unlike the Model 92 from the Rifleman show. I figure if I tried it with a Model 94 I would likely damage the trigger as the screw would contact the trigger before the lever was completely closed thereby causing damage.

I think it's cool enough as is. I might even have him make a couple more.
JonnyP is offline  
Old August 16, 2010, 12:16 PM   #9
DPris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 19, 2004
Posts: 4,535
I have the oval style on two Win 94s & one Rossi 92.
I've never had a problem with the levers on the 94s, but I agree with your assessment in considering the trigger screw on the 94 action.
Denis
DPris is offline  
Old August 16, 2010, 12:45 PM   #10
JonnyP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 16, 2009
Posts: 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by DPris
I've never had a problem with the levers on the 94s
I'd be interested to know where you got the ones you have. The aftermarket ones just didn't work for me, and I tried them on both pre- and post-64 Model 94s. Seems like the "pad" on the lever that depresses the button (don't know off hand what it's called) allowing the trigger to be pulled wasn't quite tall enough or something.
JonnyP is offline  
Old August 16, 2010, 02:28 PM   #11
DPris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 19, 2004
Posts: 4,535
"Winchester" had the Wrangler Model 94 (16-inch Trapper with a loop lever) for a while that came with that lever on it, and for several years you could order the lever separately.

One of my 94s is the Wrangler, the other started out as a Trapper. I think I spent about $50 for the loop lever as a Winchester replacement part that I put on it.

I see Numrich, who sold them for years, is sold out now.

Neither has any problems in depressing the trigger block.

I have seen, particularly toward the end of "Winchester" production in New Haven, some standard levers that had to be squeezed tightly to overcome the trigger block, so it's not inherent to the big loopers.
One John Wayne Commemorative I saw at a gunshow in '88 in relatively early USRAC production was unshootable for the reason you mention- could not squeeze the lever far enough to dis-engage the TB.

It should be possible to have a gunsmith bend the triggerguard slightly to bring the lever closer to the trigger block, requiring less squeeze.
A more involved method, if you're determined to have one, would be to have a gunsmith weld up the engagement area on the lever & re-finish.

Both of my loopers are Angle Eject rebounding hammer models, and I find those levers may be slightly slower to use, but they give me more leverage in overcoming the resistance added to cycling the action with the rebounding hammer mechanism. They actually work smoother.

Denis
DPris is offline  
Old August 16, 2010, 03:17 PM   #12
JonnyP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 16, 2009
Posts: 195
Thanks Denis.

I tried to get a Winchester large loop lever when I was going that route, but had to settle for aftermarket, to my eventual dismay. One was from Numrich and the other was from a seller on Gunbroker. The Gunbroker one was listed as a factory Winchester part, but when I got it it was in the same packaging as the one from Numrich. In fact, I had a gunsmith look them both over closely, and in his opinion they were not only from the same manufacturer, but likely from the same aftermarket mold. I got a partial refund from the Gunbroker seller. Even so, neither one would work because of the need to excessively squeeze. They are uninstalled and just take up space in my safe now.

Think I'll just stick with my pre-64 "Rifleman" modification.

Jonny
JonnyP is offline  
Old August 16, 2010, 05:30 PM   #13
DPris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 19, 2004
Posts: 4,535
What you've got looks great.
Whichever way you go, looks like it'll still cost you some money.
Denis
DPris is offline  
Old January 8, 2012, 09:11 PM   #14
Ghweaver
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2012
Posts: 2
Winchester 94

I'm looking for a big loop for my 9422m and 9422 does anyone know where I might get a couple?
Ghweaver is offline  
Old January 9, 2012, 04:43 AM   #15
mongo356
Member
 
Join Date: September 7, 2011
Location: IL
Posts: 88
Very cool.
Looks like great work.
mongo356 is offline  
Old January 9, 2012, 07:30 PM   #16
ckracing
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2012
Posts: 1
Chuck Connors

Can someone supply a full size template of Chuck Connors "D" style lever.

Thank s in advance

Charles
ckracing is offline  
Old January 9, 2012, 07:55 PM   #17
the rifleer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 5, 2008
Location: Sunny California
Posts: 1,252
Whats the advantage of the large loop?
__________________
There is no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid people.
the rifleer is offline  
Old September 20, 2012, 03:29 PM   #18
zmopardude
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 11, 2010
Posts: 5
Rifleman big loop lever

They are now selling them on ebay for both pre and post 94 models.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/WINCHESTER-9...item1e7251166f


http://www.ebay.com/itm/WINCHESTER-9...item1e72513c8e
zmopardude is offline  
Old September 20, 2012, 10:13 PM   #19
SIGSHR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 13, 2005
Posts: 3,059
What is the advantage of the large loop-it looks cool on screen and helps to give the character some visual distinction-like the Mare's Leg, or the Buntline Special or Paladin's holster. I note those aftermarket loops do not have the screw to trip the trigger.
I read that in the opening credits of The Rifleman there is one more shot than the magazine capacity of the Winchester M1892-that was done so the shots would synchronize better with the music.
SIGSHR is offline  
Old September 22, 2012, 03:51 PM   #20
sc928porsche
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 29, 2008
Location: now living in alabama
Posts: 2,433
Some of us guys have some pretty thick hands, so getting our hands through the narrower stock loop makes it a bit tricky and impossible with gloves on.
__________________
No such thing as a stupid question. What is stupid is not asking it.
sc928porsche is offline  
Old September 23, 2012, 12:44 PM   #21
dgludwig
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 12, 2005
Location: North central Ohio
Posts: 5,182
Okay, I expect to get run out of town for my comments but I have no affection for the big looped levers: I hate how they look and feel (granted, an entirely subjective opinion) and I don't like the fact that they won't fit into a normal sized scabbard and/or gun case. The few times I have handled one, I found them to be slower to operate the lever to fire repeat shots than when shooting with rifles having conventional size levers. Finally, though I have fairly large sized hands and often wear gloves when hunting deer, I have never experienced a problem getting my hand inside the levers of my Winchester Models 94 and 1886 rifles nor into the lever of a Savage Model 99 I own.
Okay, I've had my say, and I'm on the way out of town and will try to stay ahead of the posse.
__________________
ONLY AN ARMED PEOPLE CAN BE TRULY FREE ; ONLY AN UNARMED PEOPLE CAN EVER BE ENSLAVED
...Aristotle
NRA Benefactor Life Member
dgludwig is offline  
Old September 23, 2012, 04:17 PM   #22
gak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 28, 2005
Location: Aridzona
Posts: 2,767
I don't entirely disagree with the comments that the large loop doesn't provide much if any advantage other than gloves, and the Rifleman style is more than necessary for that. Even so, one of my Rossis just "had" to be so equipped -- and I fully understand others who have done at least one of their lever brood that way. However, I have small hands, especially for the rest of me, and while I find the standard loops fine (on both 92s and 94s--nearly identical--I find there's zero extra room...so I can't imagine how folks with large or even "normal" hands--or any hands gloved--fit! If I were the Winchester designer, I would have made the exact same shape standard lever, but about 10-15% bigger. Then again, folks were also on average probably at least 15% smaller back in the days of yore!

Last edited by gak; September 23, 2012 at 04:45 PM.
gak is offline  
Old September 23, 2012, 04:30 PM   #23
SIGSHR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 13, 2005
Posts: 3,059
I recall an article in American Rifleman in which the author got to spin one of Chuck Connors' rifles, realized it would have been easier if he was 6'4" like Connors with arms to match.
SIGSHR is offline  
Old September 24, 2012, 04:02 AM   #24
Jack O'Conner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 11, 2005
Location: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,475
Looks like something off the Hollywood set of The Rifleman.

Jack
__________________
Fire up the grill! Deer hunting IS NOT catch and release.
Jack O'Conner is offline  
Old September 24, 2012, 09:23 PM   #25
gak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 28, 2005
Location: Aridzona
Posts: 2,767
IIRC it's very similar to one of the two designs used on Connor's 92's - the other being a more squared off "D" - less elegant but must've provided him some functional advantage.
gak is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:18 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12395 seconds with 10 queries