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Old March 11, 2012, 03:49 PM   #1
vaquero aleman
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Does a Lever Action Rifle jam?

I am just a little curious. I have read many discussions about semi-automatic weapons stove piping etc. I have experienced an M16 misfeeding because of the pitiful maintenance done on the mags that were loaded for us. But I can't recall any stories of a lever action jambing or having a feeding malfunction. Is the lever action as dependable as a revolver? Would having a lever action over a semi-automatic be a sensible decision. Of course, an AR has a multitude of high capacity mags available, while the highest capacity lever action will usually be 10 or 12 rounds. But which one can be trusted to always perform when needed?
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Old March 11, 2012, 03:53 PM   #2
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Most are reliable, but not all. I have had a number come into the shop for repairs over the years. On 444 marlin was a nightmare, but I got it working perfectly after a fight.

Generally, lever guns work quite well, and those that don't can be made to work well
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Old March 11, 2012, 03:55 PM   #3
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Every once in a while. Some are sensitive and need to be worked briskly. The typical problem that crops up with leverguns is due to handloading cartridges that are out of their operating range for overall length. IMHO, for your average civilian, a semi-auto holds little advantage over a good levergun.
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Old March 11, 2012, 04:01 PM   #4
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It doesn't happen often but sometimes if the lever is not operated briskly sometimes it will jam the action up.

The biggest problem seems to be from running .22 shorts in a .22LR, .38s in a .357, or .44SPL in a .44 Mag. Normally what occurs is that the shorter cartridge jams up in the action.
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Old March 11, 2012, 04:03 PM   #5
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Any repeating firearm can Jam, except maby a Double Barrel.
But in my shooting experience, and being associated with lever action Rifles of various makes and manufacture, Ive never seen one jam, in the over 30 Plus years I have shot them, and been around them in the field, on the range or otherwise.
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Old March 11, 2012, 04:04 PM   #6
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I have been considering buying the Rossi in 454 Casull. I just want to make sure that it is a better choice than an AR. Of course, I know nothing about Rossi lever guns. I have had a few Rossi revolvers and I don't remember any problems with them.

There is just something about having 10 rounds of 454 in a 20" rifle that gets my attention.
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Old March 11, 2012, 04:09 PM   #7
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While most any rifle is pretty reliable the simple truth is that lever actions are the most complex, least reliable of all repeaters.

That does not man they are unrelaible. Just far less reliable than any other repeating action.
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Old March 11, 2012, 04:09 PM   #8
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Levers can jam, especially when you don't work the lever correctly. IE too softly or don't fully cycle the bolt. What usually happens is a stove pipe or a FTE. My 1895 has a pretty long swing, sometimes (very rarely because I usually shoot heavy loads out of it) when I get in a hurry I don't fully cycle the bolt and get that nice little click of a hammer falling on an empty chamber. Which is great for showing off that flinch I develope after shooting a 525 gr round out of a 6ish pound gun.
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Old March 11, 2012, 04:09 PM   #9
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As others have noted, cartridge OAL is important. My Marlin M1894C will only fire 38 WCs single loaded. Lever actions can often benefit from a little "slicking up", "breaking in", often best accomplished at the range or by dry firing at home.
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Old March 11, 2012, 04:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Any repeating firearm can Jam, except maby a Double Barrel.
Any metallic cartridge firing gun can jam- failure to extract/eject is a "jam" .... I understand that trapdoor springfields firing BP tend to have cases stick in the chamber when the barrel heats up - if Indians were after your hair, that would certainly put you "in a jam" ....
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Old March 11, 2012, 04:10 PM   #11
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Vaquero

Im sure it would work just fine, I assume you probably have a 454 Casule Revolver as well. Good luck.
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Old March 11, 2012, 04:14 PM   #12
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Better choice.... For what? Nostalgia? Levers are pretty much surpassed in every way for any application. Save SASS and history buffs. Not as accurate as a bolt, not as fast as a semi...about as accurate as a shotgun. Unless you want a high cap of a large caliber that used to be black powder you're pretty much better served with something else.
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Old March 11, 2012, 04:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
I just want to make sure that it is a better choice than an AR.
Better for what?


Quote:
Levers are pretty much surpassed in every way for any application. Save SASS and history buffs. Not as accurate as a bolt, not as fast as a semi...about as accurate as a shotgun. Unless you want a high cap of a large caliber that used to be black powder you're pretty much better served with something else.
Wow, you can always tell those who have little to no experience with something, they make posts like that, riddle with plenty of biased opinion, lots of misinformation and no actual fact based on experience.
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Old March 11, 2012, 04:28 PM   #14
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Hey Semi,
Don't know where you get your info but levers can be very accurate and extremely dependable. Both my Marlin 30-30 & Rossi 45 Colt are. And they can be top loaded while a round is chambered. Not too many rifles are capable of that.
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Old March 11, 2012, 04:34 PM   #15
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In areas where you are not allowed to own an AR type rifle, a lever action carbine is still a very effective defensive firearm. Most are chambered in cartridges that are well up to the task.
They are great for hunting as well. I took my first Deer with a Winchester Model 94 30 30. I still have one to this day. The one that the OP is interested in is chambered for a cartridge that would be outstanding for close range heavy firepower.
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Old March 11, 2012, 04:35 PM   #16
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I've been through about a dozen 94 Winchesters and two 92 clones. Add about a half dozen 336's, two 39's and 2-3 1894 Marlins, meaning their pistol caliber carbines. I've also shot several 444's and 1895's quite a bit.

I never got rid of a Winchester or close copy because they jammed. I can't say that for the Marlins. Winchesters/clones are all I own today and I don't see that changing. I'd make an exception for the Browning BL22, which is a splendid little lever action.

On this whole levergun vs. AR thing- a good AR is a better high-volume bullet hose. When the city buys me one, I'll carry it provided it runs and shoots OK. I've been carrying a 94 Winchester in my issued car for a little over 20 years now. Never felt the least bit under armed.
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Old March 11, 2012, 04:37 PM   #17
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Ok, so they're more accurate that a comparitably priced semi or bolt action? No. They're faster shooting than a semi? No. Ok....hmmm they hold more rounds than a semi...Nope. They're capable of longer ranges than a semi, bolt, or single shot? No... They're available in more calibers than a semi, single or bolt action? Nope...dang... They're capable of shooting higher powered rounds than....well I think you get the point. But if you can tell me something beneficial a lever gun can do that another gun equally priced can't do better, I'd be deeply impressed and even delete my comment.
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Old March 11, 2012, 04:40 PM   #18
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Last hog I shot, I levered my gun and caught the stand on the down stroke. The result ended up being (in the dark, you understand) that the spent case didn't eject and then it tried to add the new round in the port area and the two had a little traffic collision. Luckily, I had no other targets. I ended up shaking both the spent and new rounds out and cycled a fresh one from the mag into the chamber, about 30 seconds slower than I was expecting to be ready.
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Old March 11, 2012, 04:47 PM   #19
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Can you top load a semi with the action closed? I don't think so.
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Old March 11, 2012, 04:58 PM   #20
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My Marlin 1894 in 45 Colt jams if the crimp isn't right. But I got that figured out and it's been 100% since then.
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Old March 11, 2012, 05:36 PM   #21
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Yes, I can drop the magazine and topload that...though it'd be faster to put another in I can reload a magazine faster into a magwell than I can loose rounds into a tube. Ditto for rounds into a magazine than through a slidegate I can top feed a shotgun, and you can't top feed all levers. The marlin 60's are loaded at the top of a tube and ?sharps? are loaded through the butt. Also the BLR is magazine fed, so no toploading that either.

Either way, I never bashed the lever gun, I own one. I'm not saying lever guns are not good weapons. They are just not BETTER.
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Old March 11, 2012, 05:42 PM   #22
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Semi Problematic,
The one thing a lever action rifle can do that your Semi Auto magazine fed rifle cant do is to be topped off as you go.
If you have a big pocket full of shells you can just keep loading and shooting.
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Old March 11, 2012, 05:42 PM   #23
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What about the dreaded "Marlin jam"? What causes that to occur?
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Old March 11, 2012, 05:54 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinky
What about the dreaded "Marlin jam"? What causes that to occur?
Not using a Winchester

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Old March 11, 2012, 07:05 PM   #25
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What about the dreaded "Marlin jam"? What causes that to occur?
Babying it when you cycle it, or using out of spec / incorrect ammo. If you want a 454 Lever Action, but plan on shooting more 45 Colts out of it, you'd be better off getting a 45 Colt Lever Action or sticking with 454 brass for reliabilitys sake.
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