View Full Version : lever action pain

October 17, 2002, 12:11 AM
Hi, my first post to this forum. I recently picked up a used Winchester 94 and was wondering how to make rapid fire less painful for the lever fingers. The knuckle sides of the two middle fingers seem to take it from the squared edge of the lever. Should I round the inside of the lever or should I put some sort of sleeve over the bottom part of the lever? Or should I get the action smoothed up, which might reduce the pressure required to lever the action? Any advice would be appreciated!

October 17, 2002, 12:19 AM
You could do what John Wayne did and have a loop lever attached.

October 17, 2002, 07:32 AM
You might try some FP-10 on the action first... that'll make it slick...

After that, you're on your own..

Good Luck..

Bill Mitchell
October 17, 2002, 07:41 AM

Most cowboy shooters wrap the bottom part of the lever in a leather wrap of some sort. This can be as simple as leather shoelaces wrapped around the lever to leather sewn on over a padding of some sort. The result is not only cushioning of the knuckles, but the lever will fit your hand better.

October 18, 2002, 01:07 AM
....and leather will attract moisture, so yer looking at it being either a *very* temporary (just until you get back from the range), or a permanent job.

October 18, 2002, 06:10 AM
Make sure the leather you use is "vegetable tanned". Vegetable tanned leather is not nearly as corrosive to metal. Also, keep it soft with a good leather preservative.

Bill Mitchell
October 18, 2002, 07:08 AM
A thin coat of Johnson's past wax on the lever will does a great job of preventing any rust. I have a lever that has been wrapped for a couple of years, and no signs of rust yet, (and I've shot in downpours).

October 18, 2002, 10:20 AM
I thought that the lever was what it was hammering me too, but it turned out it was the shotgun beating my hand up. When I pulled the forward trigger, the trigger guard slammed into my fingers. Just a thought before you go spending money on something you don't need.
Unless that was all you were shooting that day then ignore me.

Charlie D
October 20, 2002, 09:07 AM
Sounds to me like the leather wrap would be a quick easy fix.
I did the grinding and smoothing of the lever on my .44 Mag Rossi lever action rifle. It really helped. I wish I'd rounded and smoothed the hammer a bit to make it look more traditional while I had it apart.
I used the hot blue from Brownell's. The stuff that you wipe on, boil in water, then steel wool. Your lever will no longer be the same color as the rest of the bluing; mine was on the brown side, but I like it's overall looks.

Click on Rossi. Then click on picture for larger view.

Armando B
October 21, 2002, 12:32 AM
Does the big loop lever actually help on wear and tear on the hand? Does it also (really) make you faster?

I've been thinking about having one put on my Rossi.

Bill Mitchell
October 21, 2002, 07:52 AM
Big loop levers are meant for folks with big hands or with gloves on. Yea, they look cool and The Duke used one, but they will not decrease the banging that your knuckles take, and they are slower to use than a standard lever. Ideally, for speed shooting, you add padding (leather) the the bottom of the lever until your fingers fit with no slop. The result-no wasted motion and cushioning of the knuckles.

So, unless you want to look cool or have (real) big hands, stick to the stock lever. Plus, the big loop lever for the Rossi is a big hoop, unlike the actual loop on the Duke's Winchester, which is more oblong.

October 22, 2002, 09:04 PM
Might be the way that a WIN '94 unlocks & opens up?

They sorta drop down THEN swing forward. This can be painful if done fast & repeatedly. They also tend to pull the stock off of the shoulder during their 2-part down-stroke. It's just the way they were designed, in order to handle "high pressure smoke-less" rifle rounds, like the .30-30.

If you want to shoot "pistol" rounds, then the earlier model Winchesters (1866, 1873, & 1892) were designed for that, and are much smoother. John Wayne had a big loop on his '92, and Chuck Conners used a '92, as "the Rifleman". You can also "spin-cock" a looped '92, but not a '94.

Big Hext
October 26, 2002, 01:38 AM
Howdy Roscoe,

You can put the wrap on and it will help. In my experience, the slicker the gun, the easier it is on your knuckles.

Cut to the chase, put a wrap on the gun. Use it and save your nickels for another gun that will slick up. Rossi 92s, Marlin 94s and Uberti 66s and 73s all slick up nicely with use or a short trip to the gun doctor.

Couple of pennies thrown your way amigo,

Old Fuff
October 26, 2002, 01:52 PM
You can ease the action a little by putting a leather or soft rubber washer between the tang and the mainspring where a screw holds the spring. This is an alteration just about anybody can do and if you don't like it, take out the washer. This trick also works on single action revolvers.

October 26, 2002, 11:21 PM
Thanks for the advice.

Does anyone make a commercially sold wrap, or do I have to break out the speedy stitcher and stab myself a few dozen times?

Bill Mitchell
October 27, 2002, 06:51 AM

Try Longhunter Shooting Supply. They sell a pre-made leather wrap for your lever for $10.
Long Hunter Shooting Supply
PO Box 372, Hartley, TX 79044
PHONE: 806-365-0093.........FAX: 806-365-0092
TOLL FREE: 1-866-545-6565

Contact: Jim Finch
- aka: “Long Hunter” S.A.S.S. # 20389L Life

[email protected]

November 1, 2002, 04:38 AM
Bill.. I contacted Jim, but at this time he does not supply the leather wrap. I think there's a small ad by someone who does in the back of the Chronicle... I'll try to find it.

Big Hext
November 1, 2002, 10:13 AM
Eight Bits Leather (http://eightbitsleather.home.att.net/Store.html)

This is a good guy and a good page.
Eight Bits wrote a series of articles on do it yourself leather, including the wrap.

Good luck amigos,
Big Hext

November 1, 2002, 01:20 PM
Big Hext... thanks for the link, but I can't get it to go through... any other ideas?

Bill Mitchell
November 1, 2002, 02:18 PM
OK, I fixed Hext's link to Eight Bits Leather- give it another shot.

Mike Irwin
November 18, 2002, 12:44 PM
Fun story about the Duke's spin loop Winchester.

When it was first developed for him (with no precedence in the history of the West), it was a rifle version.

The first time he spun it the barrel came around and was just long enough to clock him in the chin and knock him flat out.

After that it became a carbine. :)