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Old February 1, 2002, 08:43 PM   #1
CZ_
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Lever action .45 LC for primary home defense?

I've got lots of handguns--I'm mostly a handgun collector/user-- but I'm interested in rifles too. I've been thinking that for home defense, a longer barreled firearm makes sense. Longer sight radius, improved ballistics, etc. What do you think about a Winchester .45 LC lever-action for HD? Since its a relatively slow moving round, I think it would be safer than a high powered rifle chambering would; yet it would hit harder than a .45 LC from a revolver. Your thoughts?
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Old February 1, 2002, 08:57 PM   #2
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in Home defense, I think a longer barrelled gun would be less desireable. Given you're likely going to be inside if you ever have need to use it, 'improved ballistics' would be irrelevant. If you had to take a shot, you don't need to be worried about how the gun performs at 300yards, you need to be worried about how it performs at very close ranges. I think a .45LC lever with a shorter bbl (16 inch) would be good. Load some hot hollowpoints and it should be decent at close ranges. At really close ranges, in defensive situations, you might not even need the sights at all.
Just my $.02

M@
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Old February 1, 2002, 09:49 PM   #3
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The Winchester Silvertip 225 grain .45 Colt load mushrooms beautifully and would be my first choice in a self defense load for the .45 Colt. The Winchester Trapper is a light, handy, fast swinging carbine that I highly recommend for home defense. Mine has been perfectly reliable and highly accurate. Mine is a .44 Magnum, that I load either with Specials or light Magnums. I plan to add an Ashley ghostring rear sight to mine.
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Old February 1, 2002, 10:52 PM   #4
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Before I got my AK, my Winchester '94 in .45 Colt was my main go-to gun. Just tape a tactical light to the side and you're ready to rock and roll. It's FAR more accurate than any handgun, and can be used as a fearsome close-combat weapon a la "Rio Bravo."

My only complaint is that some of the WIn '94 carbines tend to jam up too much. I suspect the mechanism, which was designed for the .30/30, has some problems with the .45 Colt. The Win '92, though more expensive, was designed for pistol cartridges and seems to work better with them.
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Old February 2, 2002, 12:48 AM   #5
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I like the short 16" barrel on the Winchester lever actions. They are easy handling and quick to action for a long gun.
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Old February 2, 2002, 12:55 AM   #6
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While you can short-stroke a Win 94 in a pistol cartridge, you can also with a shotgun if you're not careful.

Winchester (or rather, USRAC) doesn't make the model 92 anymore, at least not according to their website, so finding one might be tough.
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Old February 2, 2002, 01:20 AM   #7
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Well, the lever action and the .45 Colt round worked just fine for the old West shooters. I think you could do much worse.

One of the South American or Italian copies of the Winchester 1892, or a Uberti made copy of the 1873 in .45 Colt would work great. Although the '73's are expensive, think of sitting in a court as some sleazy lawyer trys to tell a jury that you used an "1873 assault" weapon to shoot his client!

An advantage of the '73 or '92 is they are noted for not being likely to jam, since they were designed for short cartridges.
A heavy bullet like the .45 Colt and a 10 round magazine in a fast handling carbine would be formidibile.
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Old February 2, 2002, 02:37 AM   #8
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Things to consider about the 92 clones

-The shortest barrel you'll get is 20", from what I"ve seen. 4" doesn't make much difference, but the 16" carbines sure are handy.

-the .45 Colt repros are not designed, from waht I understand, to handle the "Hunting" loads in .45 Colt. While they can take a box or two, too much could hurt the gun. If you don't plan to hunt, it doesn't really matter much.
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Old February 2, 2002, 08:08 AM   #9
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Please visit http://www.olyarms.com/usa.html and check the technical articles on the penetration of large, slow-moving projectiles compared to light, fast-moving bullets. Truly amazing info, and worth considering. No question in my mind which caliber I'd use indoors. However, with any loud rifle indoors I believe hearing protection is a must. Some people now use the electronic muffs to amplify indoor hearing while protecting against muzzle blast and noise.
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Old February 2, 2002, 11:41 AM   #10
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I think the overpentration concerns can be addressed in two ways. First of all, have a weapon you know will hit what you aim at. Either a '94 or '92, or a Marlin carbine, will have a very high chance of hitting the target inside of fity yards and a near 100% chance at close quarters. The more you hit, the less you will have to shoot and the less of a concern overpentration is. Second, use HP's or SP's rather than hard-cast lead. Good old soft lead is another option, too often overlooked. I have not seen any testing on this, but based on what I know of Civil War wounds, a low-velocity soft lead bullet is very likely to distort, fragment and inflict fearsome wounds.
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Old February 2, 2002, 11:58 AM   #11
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Personally I recommend the .44-40 & .38-40 over .45 Colt in a lever gun.

The .45 Colt case was never intended for the lever guns, while the bottleneck cartridges .38-40 & .44-40 were designed for the lever guns.

The .38-40 & .44-40 bottlenecked cartridges are designed to expand so as to seal the chamber against blowback of fouling, thus keeping the action clean. Granted this feature of the older .38-40 and .44-40 cartridges are really only necessary for the original BP loads, but they have about the same terminal ballistics as the .45 Colt and were designed for the lever guns. So I would choose either .38-40 or .44-40 over the .45 Colt for a lever carbine.

BTW, Go with a Winchester M92 or get a Marlin. The Winchester M94 is a longer action(.30-30) than is necessary for shorter pistol type cartridges.
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Old February 2, 2002, 01:27 PM   #12
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About fifty years ago, I watched Federales maintain order in Boys' Town in Ojinaga, Mexico. They carried thutty-thutty rifles. It was truly amazing how peaceful some big old West Texas cowboy would get, after a rifle barrel had been laid up alongside his ear.

One of the Federales must have been a frustrated sword-fighter. I saw him "stab" a couple of guys just above the belt-buckle, which tends to create folded-up peacefulness. Causes the loss of a couple of hours' worth of tequila, too.

There's more to a rifle than just shooting.

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Old February 2, 2002, 01:56 PM   #13
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Art, someone call Paul Castle and tell him there's nothing new under the sun.

As to the original post, Rule #4! Be careful with any weapon about what is behind the target. Ensure a proper backstop. The sound can also be a problem, maybe not so much with a .45 Colt, but especially those .223s that the GSCs always say they use.
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Old February 2, 2002, 03:37 PM   #14
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Here's an interesting quote from this thread:

"Well, the lever action and the .45 Colt round worked just fine for the old West shooters."


Anybody besides me have a problem with that?
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Old February 2, 2002, 07:08 PM   #15
Dfariswheel
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The lever action rifle worked just fine, and the .45 Colt round was very effective out of revolvers. Combine the two TODAY, and it would work well. I didn't mean to imply that original Winchesters were chambered for the .45 Colt.
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Old February 2, 2002, 08:39 PM   #16
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Dfariswheel:

Very good. You had me worried there for a minute.

I agree it would be an effective combo today...

but why not go with 44 mag/special?

More versatile, and easier to find ammo.
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Old February 2, 2002, 09:25 PM   #17
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Is there any feeding issue when switching from .44 magnum to .44 special in a .44 mag lever action? I mean, the case is like 1/10th inch shorter in .44 spl so I would be worried about a feeding problem. Those of you that have the .44 mag version, please let me know based on your experience. Thanks.
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Old February 2, 2002, 10:13 PM   #18
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IF HOME DEFENSE IS THE PRIMARY ISSUE??

A shotgun loaded with bird shot is hard to beat. A shotgun pattern will enlarge at the rate of 1 inch for every yard traveled.
Assuming you are 20 feet from your assailant or intruder, that is close to a 7 inch hole you have opened up in their torso
(that is a lot of stopping power) and the bird shot did not penetrate any walls, killing the babies sleeping in their bedrooms.
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Old February 2, 2002, 10:56 PM   #19
Dfariswheel
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The 44 Mag/44 Special and the .357 Mag/38 Special interchangeability depends on the rifle. The 1873's won't feed two different length cartridges because of the design of the feed system. The elevator will jam if short rounds are used.
The Browning B-92, or a Rossi Winchester 1892 clone is a very effective combo, in 44 Mag. The only reason I haven't mentioned other rounds is because you asked about the .45 Colt.

If I was going to use a lever action carbine, I'd select a good Italian or South American copy of the Winchester 1892 carbine, in 44/40. These short action rifles were designed to work with pistol length cartridges, and don't have the possible feed issues the .45 Colt sometimes does, or the problems of the longer Winchester 1894 rifle action.

If you do some online, or gun shop/pawn shop shopping you can usually find a '92 clone at a reasonable price. The Browning B-92 will cost a bundle but is top of the line. The South American Rossi and the Italian '92 clones are affordable. I'd go for my choice of .44 Mag, 44/40, or 45 Colt. Load it with a good hollow point and practice enough that you're confident you won't short stroke the lever, under stress.
You would be very well armed.
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