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Jack45
May 5, 2010, 09:17 PM
Can a lever action rifle be as practical as a semi auto rifle at short range say 30 yards and under? Or will the semi auto have huge advantage over it? Or in other words, does a semi auto have a significant practical advantage over a lever action when your talking about rate of fire? Yep, I got no experience with lever actions. That's why I'm asking these questions. But personally, I think a semi auto wouldn't have a significant advantage over a lever action when it comes to rate of fire. Any folks with experience disagree? Thanks. really. your opinions will really help me out.

aroundchicago
May 5, 2010, 09:27 PM
a semi auto can shoot much faster. But that doesn't mean you can't learn to shoot a lever action quickly too. Just not as quickly because you still have to cock it between trigger pulls.

EMN89
May 5, 2010, 09:31 PM
A lever action rifle will be slower than a semi auto rifle but not by a huge margin especialy at the distance you specified. the lever action may take a little getting used to if you have never used one but with some practice you will be able to make fast accurate follow up shots.

Bigjfb
May 5, 2010, 09:38 PM
There are some CAS guys that run a lever pretty dang fast.

I only expect to need one shot with my model 92 .44 mag, but if I need another, it wont take long

TXGunNut
May 5, 2010, 09:50 PM
I guess this is where someone with a better memory of mine adapts the joke about why a bolt gun is faster than a semi-auto to the OP's question.

brmfan
May 5, 2010, 10:40 PM
2 words.... Lucas McCain!!

Malamute
May 5, 2010, 10:47 PM
Depends on what you're doing with it.

"Effective" can mean many things. For carrying around in the bear woods, I'd say yes, a lever would likely be more "effective", in the sense that it's thinner, less bulky, and easier to carry, generally comes in larger (more effective) calibers, and usually handles faster from a hand carry. Hitting running rabbits with a lever isnt that tough, or things tossed in the air. So how effective are they?

I've found self loaders to be rather bulky and clunky to carry compared to a lever gun. YMMV

Barbarian
May 5, 2010, 10:56 PM
Given the same level of shooting skill a semi auto will give a huge edge. Accurate followup shots can be made in no more time than it takes for the front sight to drop back down on the target. And continuity of fire is far superior sonce the levergun will only hold 5-10 rounds in the magazine and takes far longer to reload.

However, lever guns are way cooler and a lot more fun to shoot! I found the trick with a lever gun is keep it mounted and keep your spot weld while you run the lever. Keep your right thumb on the stock behind the reciever as you work it. Work the lever by opening and extending your last three fingers and then moving your hand back to the original position. I found this technique gets the least disturbance of the sights. Can't do it well without a rifle with a smooth action, though. Smoothest rifle I ever had was a Uberti Model 1866Winchester in 44-40. The action was like BUTTER.

turboman
May 6, 2010, 01:45 AM
If you're talking small game hunting with a .22, I've never had that many 2nd shots at a running bunny or a squirrel. Same thing with deer and the larger calibers in dense swamp/woods.. Long range varmint (and deer, antelope, etc) shooting in open range land it's a whole different situation..

A semi-auto just tends to make a person "sloppy" with his most important first shot because he knows there's plenty more ammo readily available.
It's a rare game animal that doesn't spook after the first shot. :D

Abel
May 6, 2010, 06:23 AM
However, lever guns are way cooler and a lot more fun to shoot!

Exactly.

Double Naught Spy
May 6, 2010, 05:13 PM
But personally, I think a semi auto wouldn't have a significant advantage over a lever action when it comes to rate of fire. Any folks with experience disagree? Thanks. really. your opinions will really help me out.

You can put a very experienced lever guy against a pseudo experienced guy with a semi auto and have the semi auto guy handily outshoot him with smaller calibers. Not only that, but the semi auto guy will likely have a much larger capacity of ammo to shoot.

If you are getting into big calibers with lots of recoil, the rate of fire from an offhand or kneeling position might be comparable as the lever guy will use the time during recoil and resighting to cycle his gun in about the same time that the semi auto guy is dealing with recoil and resighting.

From prone, the semi auto guy will have the definite advantage.

2 words.... Lucas McCain!!
4 words.... Lucus McCain shot blanks.

turboman
May 6, 2010, 05:42 PM
Problem I have with a semi is that I have more tendency to "spray" the target and accuracy is less important. This only refers to paper punching...:rolleyes:

A lever action has the same disadvantages as a bolt action. The first shot is the most important. Shooting at live animals that jump and run when your bullet hits nearby makes a big difference. The "machine gun" effect gives little advantage when the rabbit/squirrel is gone. A carefully taken first shot is the "kill" shot.

44 AMP
May 6, 2010, 08:11 PM
keep it mounted and keep your spot weld while you run the lever

This is the "trick" to shooting any rifle. Bolt, pump, lever or semi. Only with single shots do you need to bring the rifle off your shoulder, and not with all of them.

The only difference is that the semi works itself, while you have to work the others. As far as sheer speed, the semi wins, BUT not by a lot, if you bother to aim each shot, and you know how to correctly use your rifle.

Add into the mix that in any caliber larger than pistol cartridges, the lever gun is likely to be lighter and often better balanced that the semi.

For anything I would want a rifle to do, I'd choose a .30-30 over an SKS or an AK. But then, I'm into actually hitting my target, and not just spraying ammo close to it.

I'd pass on my M1A for deer hunting in favor of a BLR or bolt gun in .308, as they weigh less, and the deer won't know the difference.

Semis are great fun to plink with, and have real world utility, but outside of Hollywood, the ability to blast off 10,20, or 30 rnds as fast as you can donesn't get you much but noise and cost.

azredhawk44
May 6, 2010, 08:22 PM
Semis are great fun to plink with, and have real world utility, but outside of Hollywood, the ability to blast off 10,20, or 30 rnds as fast as you can donesn't get you much but noise and cost.

Went to the range last week with my M14.

Took about 60 rounds of ammo with me.

Stayed for about 3 hours.

Came home with 25 rounds left over. Didn't shoot a .22 or any other firearms while I was there. I kept myself busy for 3 hours, constructively, with 35 rounds of ammunition.

My rate of fire was the same as if I had a bolt, single-shot or lever gun.

But, the skills I practiced were applicable to a semiautomatic rifle in the hands of a marksman that cares about hits downrange. And I couldn't have practiced the same skills with a bolt action (magazine changes, time constraints on strings of fire, maintaining position for followup shots).

Unless your accuracy standards are below 1MOA in the field, and you are responsibly in control of your trigger finger and don't send shots chasing after game you can't hit, the semiauto is a smarter choice IMO. If you need that split-second followup shot, you can get it 2-3 seconds faster with the semiauto than you can with a bolt or lever gun. 2-3 seconds is forever when a deer decides to break for cover and you're trying to track him with your front sight or scope.

TXGunNut
May 6, 2010, 08:55 PM
I'm thinking that to properly address the OP's question we need to agree on what we mean by effectiveness.

Gelgoog
May 6, 2010, 09:05 PM
Armies dont use lever guns for a reason. Then again most situations in which you need a rifle will not be anything like a battlefield.

10-96
May 6, 2010, 10:33 PM
I guess this is where someone with a better memory of mine adapts the joke about why a bolt gun is faster than a semi-auto to the OP's question.
I'll take a stab at it.... It seems that a guy with a Levergun can shoot the thing as fast as he wants to, whereas, the guy with the semi-auto has to wait for the action to cycle.

I actually heard a Range Master put that into a practical application at a match at Camp Bullis (sp) by San Antonio. A friend of mine was cranking along with a 1903A3, and I don't know what caught his attention, but he piddled around on a prone leg and almost let the time run out on him. When he realized it- he swung into high gear. I was standing by the stand the RM was on when he said, "Fellers, take a look yonder. That guy there can shoot that thing as fast as he wants- all the rest of 'em hafta wait on their actions!"

Sarge
May 6, 2010, 11:04 PM
The important thing is to get a disabling hit on your opponent(s) before he/they get one on you. I have carried both as patrol rifles and am equally comfortable with either one.

hammie
May 7, 2010, 02:57 AM
A few months ago, a gun writer named mike venturino wrote how he took a lever action .44-40 to a famouns gun training camp and, as an instructor, out shot the attendees in accuracy and effective rate of fire. His point was that someone with a supposedly obsolete weapon can be very lethal. Now, I don't have his skills, but in the event of bumps in the night, civil unrests or a coming barakalypse, I would not feel at all helpless with a lever action gun. Matter of fact, a marlin 1894 with an 18 inch barrel and chambered for .357 magnum might be pretty close to ideal. It can be reloaded or "topped up" without taking the gun out of action. It is short and handy and has a range and power that would be adequate enough for most situations, with a manageable recoil. Plus, loded with full metal jackets or silhouette bullets, it could penetrate an automobile passenger compartment and probably deflect less than a 55 grain .223 Rem. So,..if all I had within reach was a lever action, I would sleep well.

Double Naught Spy
May 7, 2010, 07:09 AM
I'll take a stab at it.... It seems that a guy with a Levergun can shoot the thing as fast as he wants to, whereas, the guy with the semi-auto has to wait for the action to cycle.

I actually heard a Range Master put that into a practical application at a match at Camp Bullis (sp) by San Antonio. A friend of mine was cranking along with a 1903A3, and I don't know what caught his attention, but he piddled around on a prone leg and almost let the time run out on him. When he realized it- he swung into high gear. I was standing by the stand the RM was on when he said, "Fellers, take a look yonder. That guy there can shoot that thing as fast as he wants- all the rest of 'em hafta wait on their actions!"

I have a video of a buddy of mine shooting his AR15 with a 300 rpm speed. That comes out to 5 rounds per second. I have never seen a person shoot a lever gun that fast.

If the guy with the lever gun wants to shoot it that fast, he isn't going to have to wait for the gun's action to cycle itself, but wait on his own biological action to cycle the gun and his biological action is going to have to cycle the gun over a considerable distance.

The guy with the AR15 has to move the trigger approximately 1/8" to discharge the gun and release it 1/8" before the second shot can be fired. The guy with the lever gun is going to have to depress the trigger the 1/8" then lever open the action such that the lever travels something like 4-5" out and then 4-5" back.

So you have the difference in biological action of 1/4" per cycle versus 10"+.

mapsjanhere
May 7, 2010, 08:27 AM
Even at 30 yards I can't think of any situation where the lever gun is superior to the semi. No difference would probably describe it in most cases, but for similar rounds, lets say a M1 carbine vs a 357 lever, itshtf (wild boar at 20 mph, not zombie) I'd want the semi auto to get as many rounds as possible into the critter before it reaches me. And for the average Joe, the semi will always put out more lead than the lever, gun artists with a lever notwithstanding.
For big guns the difference isn't quite as clear, I have a SR-1 in 9.3x62 and a BLR in 450 Marlin, in both cases my rate of fire is recoil limited, so you tend to aim better and shoot less.

jmr40
May 7, 2010, 09:10 AM
Just a few comments

Lucas McCain was a fictional TV character.

CAS shooters are shooting pistol calibers loaded light. Put rifle rounds in the guns and demand 50-100 yard accuracy and all manually operated actions are pretty close in speed.

Which manually operated action is fastest depends on the firing position. When firing prone the bolt rifle is faster than a pump or lever. Firing offhand the pump is fastest. The bolt and lever are a virtual tie in rifle calibers. The lever wins with pistol calibers.

The semi auto wins at speed every time.

In a hunting rifle does it matter? Probably not. Hunting is about having fun. I use what I enjoy hunting with.

hammie
May 7, 2010, 10:39 AM
Sure, the rate of fire is faster with an auto loader. It is even faster with a fully automatic weapon. Now, I agree with all of you. In a self defense or combat situation, if I had to choose between an autoloader or a lever action, the lever action would be left to lay. My point is that in the hands of a skilled person, a lever action can come pretty close to matching the effective rate of fire of an autoloader in the hands of an average person. A bolt action or a lever action can still serve your needs. My uncle chased the germans to berlin, including through the ardennes forest. If I remember his stories correctly, the 98k did pretty well against the M1 garand.

44 AMP
May 7, 2010, 12:27 PM
Armies dont use lever guns for a reason.
Yes, quite true. And the reason is a combination of history and military requirements.

Armies (in general) also didn't use semi autos until after WWII. Ours was the exception. Other nations did field small numbers of semis during WWII, but generally they were stuck with the bolt guns they had before the war started.

The history is, that back when armies were switching from single shots to repeaters, lever guns were not able to meet most military requirements, primarily for power, but also for ruggedness. And the lever gun is a primarily American design. And, even our military kept the single shot for general issue, long after lever guns had proved their popularity in civilian hands.

The Semi wins for sheer speed of fire, and speed of reload. And it has an edge, in rate of aimed fire, especially in the hands of someone not well trained in shooting. A well trained lever gun shooter works the action as he brings his sights back on his target. The "2-3 seconds" (and for some people it is less) that it takes to work the lever is done at the same time as getting the sights back on target from recoil. The semi is marginally faster, but not decisively so, in the hands of a good shooter.

However, the majority of people are not (self) trained to the level where the lever gun gives the semi a run for its money, in terms of speed. Using light recoiling rounds (pistol caliber or .223) exaggerates the semi's speed advantage. The main advantage to the semi, for hunting (in most people's hands) is that the sound of the action working is blended with the sound of the shot, making it less likely to spook game, in the event of a miss.

turboman
May 7, 2010, 02:00 PM
Read somewhere that it averaged out to 10,000 rds (small arms) fired for every enemy casualty during WW2. Side that fires the most ammo, wins the most. Hence semi and full auto. False assumption?

...never understood if casualties are the same as killed. Supposed to be that it took (3) support people to handle each wounded soldier. Wound one and incapacitate (3) others. Hence .223. High wounding ratio and easier to carry more ammo.

Battle situations and range/paper shooting are as far apart as you can get.

Could be to win a battle all it would take is loud PA's playing sounds of many different weapons being fired. Demoralizing the enemy and give him reason to retreat. Ha Ha.

My apologies. Just was in a silly mood...:p

L_Killkenny
May 7, 2010, 02:15 PM
Trying to figure out why armies do some of the things they do is an effort in futility. Why did the U.S stick with front stuffers instead of the Henry towards the end of the civil war? Why did the U.S. stick with breech loading single shots till the mid 1890's? Why did the German army use bolt action mausers as their main battle rifle till the end of he war? Etc, Etc? Using armies from around the world is not a very good reference.

The English used to do what they called the Mad Minute. 15 aimed shots at 300 yards in a minute or less. Most shooters today would have trouble doing that with any rifle (including semi's) let alone a bolt action. But in no way does that mean a bolt action Enfield is a more effective battle gun.

It appears the the OP is talking about battlefield conditions not hunting. Kinda scary but it is what it is. Given reliability, range and accuracy all being equal or close to equal a lever gun is better than a single shot, a semi is better than a bolt gun, etc etc. As a matter of fact even a fairly inaccurate semi like the AK or an SKS(as compared to a rifleman's standards) is far and away better than any manually operated action.

For comparisons sake lets take a couple lowly .22's.......a Henry lever gun with a very slick action vs. a 10/22. At 20 feet on a man size target I'm betting many shooters after some trigger time could be almost as fast with the Henry and the 10/22. Move that out to a basketball sized target at 50 yards and the 10/22 will smoke all but the best shooters using a Henry.

Don't even go to comparing CAS shooters with an average shooter, civilian or military. The guys you see on TV are the BEST at what they do and are shooting slicked up guns shooting squib loads. You put standard loadings in their guns and their times would double if not triple.

It's the same reason a DA revolver is a better SD weapon for ALMOST everybody than a single action.

LK

azredhawk44
May 7, 2010, 02:31 PM
Don't even go to comparing CAS shooters with an average shooter, civilian or military. The guys you see on TV are the BEST at what they do and are shooting slicked up guns shooting squib loads. You put standard loadings in their guns and their times would double if not triple.

lol.

I've met CAS shooters at certain events I attend monthly, and one of 'em was so off on his sights that at 25 meters, he was splashing rounds in the dirt at about 15 meters and skipping the bullets into the target... and didn't even realize it.

Using that lever gun at CAS, it didn't matter where the sights pointed, because:
1 - Targets were only 10-20 yards away, and about 3ft square.
2 - Competitive rate of fire was so fast that the expectation was for a shooter to shoot from the hip, use only the front sight (or no sights at all), and ignore elevation concerns.

My respect for CAS as a legitimate shooting discipline took a serious hit after seeing this guy not even realize his sights were off by DEGREES (plural) rather than minutes. He had thousands of dollars into his CAS rig, and gunsmithing, and reloading, and so on... and didn't even have his custom-installed sights bore sighted... let alone sighted for accuracy (even from a bench).

jammin1237
May 7, 2010, 03:24 PM
is the semi auto practical? no, it is effective in certain situations but can lead to a lot of wasted shots and bad habits... i would choose lever action over bolt or semi in most situations, i seem to be able to keep on target better in between shots... just a thought...



cheers

batmann
May 7, 2010, 06:07 PM
Faster? Hard to beat a good bottom feeder for speed, but I believe the old Colonel himself said that a lever action was a pretty good SD rifle when it is pistol calibers. A good lever man/woman can work the action as fast as need be with practice.

44 AMP
May 8, 2010, 11:38 AM
Trying to figure out why armies do some of the things they do is an effort in futility. Why did the U.S stick with front stuffers instead of the Henry towards the end of the civil war? Why did the U.S. stick with breech loading single shots till the mid 1890's? Why did the German army use bolt action mausers as their main battle rifle till the end of he war? Etc, Etc? Using armies from around the world is not a very good reference.


The simple answer is COST!

The more complex answer involves things like disruption of production during a war, training of troops, (and supply/repair people,) getting spare parts inventory into the system, and a host of other little things, to include personal egos of the people involved in making the decisions. And thats when the new design is clearly superior to the old one. When its not, its even tougher!

Another thing that many don't realize is that it wasn't until WW II that the concept of newer being better (in combat) really began to take hold. For a century before, military bureaucracies (especially in ordnance) were the most hide bound traditionalists you could find anywhere. Many Generals and ordnance officers fought against repeaters, because they would "waste" ammunition! And ammo was money! We only got a few units of Spencers in the Union Army because Lincoln virtually ordered it, after he had tried one!

The Germans had a huge investment in the 98k bolt action, and it certainly did work. It wasn't until things began going against them that they began looking for something else.

The Garand was only made in .30-06 because MacAurther and a few others demanded it, due to the millions of rounds of ammo we already had in inventory. Again, COST!

No major nation ever adopted the lever gun as their service arm, although I think a South American govt or two did buy quite a few at one time. The bolt gun just does GI stuff better. After WW II the semi (and a bit later the select fire) rifle became the weapon of choice for military use. And, like the bolt gun a couple generations earlier, became popular with civilians as well.

If you really want a puzzler, ask yourself why we love pump shotguns, and lever action rifles, but not pump rifles and lever action shotguns?

Art Eatman
May 8, 2010, 12:00 PM
A lever gun doesn't lend itself to rapid fire from the prone position, particularly when you are so prone that your belt-buckle's in the way of getting lower.

The US Cavalry messed around with the 1895 Winchester, some, but not to any great extent. I once had a '95 in .30-'03; saddle-ring carbine with GI markings.

OJ
May 8, 2010, 12:15 PM
No major nation ever adopted the lever gun as their service arm, although I think a South American govt or two did buy quite a few at one time.

Please don't interpret this as a flame or any such thing - it is intended to relay some information I happen to have - the source being in the "For Collectors Only" volume 3 - THE MODELS OF 1894 AND 1895 Winchester Lever Action Repeating Firearms - page 118.

The M1895 and its immediate predecessor, the M1894, were the only two lever action repeating rifles ever sold in any quantity to the U.S. Army. and, during World War 1, 293,816 M1895 muskets in 7.62X54 mm were sold to the Tsarist government of Imperial Russia.

If one of those Russian models are found, they bring a sweet price.

OJ
May 8, 2010, 03:10 PM
FWIW, I think the speed of getting second shots off is less important than placement of the first shot. It was once demonstrated by some expert that, with a slide (pump) action 22 rifle, he could fire and empty the same size magazine in less time than could be done with a semi-auto.

One thing I like about lever actions over semi-auto rifles is that, if a second shot isn't needed, my rifle doesn't have a live round in the chamber that I have to either unload or apply safety to - and, if needed, I can load a round from the magazine quickly.

YMMV

SIGSHR
May 8, 2010, 03:42 PM
Also what cartridges are we talking about here? For a truly valid comparison I think we would need 2 rifles in the same caliber-say 44 Magnum or 7.62x39 or perhaps 30 Carbine.
IIRC the Turks used Winchester 73s with devastating effect at the Battle of Plevna on July 30, 1877. No nation adopted a lever action as it standard arm because most of the lever actions available were chambered for pistol cartridges, military thinking of the time decreed that a rifle/rifled musket had to be powerful enough to bring down a horse.

CPTMurdoc30
May 8, 2010, 03:54 PM
It worked for The Rifleman.
http://cdn1.ioffer.com/img/item/126/100/339/rifleman.jpg

10-96
May 8, 2010, 06:23 PM
Double Naught Spy-
... and I had a reference to Post #5 keyword "JOKE". Thanks anyhow.

jammin1237
May 8, 2010, 07:25 PM
A lever gun doesn't lend itself to rapid fire from the prone position, particularly when you are so prone that your belt-buckle's in the way of getting lower.


i have to disagree with this quote... try this one at home... grab your lever action... lay on your stomach and turn it sideways about 60 degrees, look down the sights, and cycle the action...better then sticking your hand in the air to operate a bolt or moving the opposite hand to operate a "pump" action...

just another thought...

cheers

OJ
May 8, 2010, 07:26 PM
The history is, that back when armies were switching from single shots to repeaters, lever guns were not able to meet most military requirements, primarily for power, but also for ruggedness. And the lever gun is a primarily American design. And, even our military kept the single shot for general issue, long after lever guns had proved their popularity in civilian hands.

If George Custer could answer that - he & his troops were using the then issue Trapdoor Springfield single shot 45-70 rifles but, the Indians that did them in used Yellow Boy repeating lever action rifles.

comancheblack2
May 8, 2010, 07:27 PM
Jack I spent 22 years in the infantry my last year in Iraq. I love my two 30-30's one marlin and one winchester. But would not want them over there clearing a building. I had a M-4 with a 30 round mag.

OJ
May 8, 2010, 07:33 PM
comancheblack2
Member


Join Date: April 24, 2008
Posts: 25 Jack I spent 22 years in the infantry my last year in Iraq. I love my two 30-30's one marlin and one winchester. But would not want them over there clearing a building. I had a M-4 with a 30 round mag.

No disagreeement from me about that - I'm with you at least 100% - I will never forget the total thrill I felt during WW II when my original issue 1903 Springfield was replaced with the M1 Garand.

I now love my M1A but the Winchester 95 is fine for sport and hunt shooting. I wouldn't have to think twice about my preference for a semi-auto for combat use.

warrior poet
May 8, 2010, 07:36 PM
I'm going to be the BOO HOOER and say the word... POLITICS. There are, unfortunately, quite a few places where the local powers that be won't allow the, (insert scary tone of voice) "assault rifle," for their police. I mean, (insert indignant tone) "Heaven forbid the police look so scary."
It has happened before.

Old Time Hunter
May 8, 2010, 11:35 PM
Read the "Plevna Delay"

http://www.militaryrifles.com/Turkey/Plevna/ThePlevnaDelay.html

Seems the lever guns did pretty well in a major conflict after all.

OJ
May 8, 2010, 11:37 PM
Consider this what I wanted to finish in my last post - got pulled out for a social obligation.

I'm afraid I may have unintentionally painted myself as a lever guns only shooter and nothing could be further from the truth. I have a large size safe full of guns of all types for all types of uses - shotguns, rifles, pistols, revolvers, and even pellet and BB guns.

I can strongly agree, though, when I'm dodging bullets, looking for cover, and trying to identify enemy combatants before they identify me I sure want my rifle to relieve me of the distraction of keeping the chamber filled with live rounds.

My M1A handles like the M1 Garand with the added advantage of a detachable box magazine -

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/kmastf/RIFLES/M1A.jpg

the only mod - XS ghost ring set for better sights-

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/kmastf/RIFLES/M1AXSGHOSTRINGSIGHTS.jpg

I've had my BL22 and Winchester 94 30-30 some 40 years and love'em. However, five years ago today, my wife gave me this beauty for our 25th anniversary - Winchester 95 Hi Grade 30-06 -"NIB, unfired, with manual"

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/kmastf/RIFLES/AWINCHESTER95-1.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/kmastf/RIFLES/IMG_1494_edited-1.jpg

It shoots under one MOA at 100 yards from "fist rest" on a table when I zeroed it -

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/kmastf/RIFLES/W95100yds.jpg

Don't want to bore you more - I've been a registered "gun collector" since 1934 when I had to register my NFA "weapon" (.410 pistol) and had to state why I owned that weapon - I said I was a collector - I was nearly eight years old.

Different guns for different uses - my wife is tops as an all purpose wife so I only need or want one of her - ;)

gb_in_ga
May 9, 2010, 12:54 AM
Can a lever action rifle be as practical as a semi auto rifle at short range say 30 yards and under? Or will the semi auto have huge advantage over it? Or in other words, does a semi auto have a significant practical advantage over a lever action when your talking about rate of fire? Yep, I got no experience with lever actions. That's why I'm asking these questions. But personally, I think a semi auto wouldn't have a significant advantage over a lever action when it comes to rate of fire. Any folks with experience disagree? Thanks. really. your opinions will really help me out.
From what I've come to understand, it all depends on the time frame.

Over the short time frame, the box magazine fed autoloader has a significantly higher rate of fire. This lasts just as long as pre-loaded magazines are available. However, over the long time frame, a side-gate loaded lever action using the "shoot 1, load 1" technique has the advantage. The point is that it is true that a very fast rate of fire can be attained with box mags as long as mag reloading isn't being factored in, once you have to pause to reload the magazines themselves then that rapid rate of fire plummets as long as there is no aid to magazine reloading such as stripper clips. But a side gate lever action can maintain a pretty decent, even superior (in trained hands), sustained rate of fire using the "shoot 1, load 1" technique, and is able to provide impressive rapid fire rates over the very short term as required. And they can maintain that rate of fire indefinitely, as long as ammo holds out.

The thing is that when you are looking at sustained rates of fire as well as short term rates of fire, they aren't all that different. The lever has the better sustained rate of fire, and the autoloader has the better short term rate of fire.

Let's not give the old lever action designs short shrift, even those that have magazine capacities of only 6 or 7 rounds. They still have their places. They are more effective than you think, given modern preconceptions.

A lever gun doesn't lend itself to rapid fire from the prone position, particularly when you are so prone that your belt-buckle's in the way of getting lower.
Well, um ... maybe not. Think about it. How much clearance is required to work a lever gun lever? And how far does a 20 or 30 round magazine extend below the rifle? Those both effect the ground clearance. Which requires less ground clearance? It depends on the designs of the weapons themselves. While I think that many autoloaders have better ground clearance, that's not a universal trait. And I don't think it is so different that it is significant enough to matter in the long run. It is inches at most. And I haven't seen any analysis that shows that the relative combat effectiveness of a particular platform is markedly changed by an inch or 2 difference of ground clearance.

For instance, back when I was wearing green in the Army, we'd have been happy to have ready access to the longer 30 round mags for our M-16s as opposed to the 20 round mags we were normally issued, never mind that they were longer. The extra inches just weren't all that significant, even though we knew we were going to have to crawl on our bellies if it came to that.

Art Eatman
May 9, 2010, 09:22 AM
jammin, sure, you can do that tilt thing. Nothing new about it. But it's still a slower cycle time, and the rifle is moved farther off aim than with a bolt-gun.

Lever guns have a lot going for them in the civilian usage. I've had several; have a 94, now. But, they're nowhere near being a reasonable answer in modern military combat.

James R. Burke
May 9, 2010, 09:26 AM
I like that Lucas McCain. Good one. I dont think there would be a huge differnce once your used to it. A lever can be pretty fast, and might give you a little more time to recover from recoil, and get a good second shot. Also depends on what your mainly going to use it on.

roscoe
May 10, 2010, 03:48 PM
If you need that split-second followup shot, you can get it 2-3 seconds faster with the semiauto than you can with a bolt or lever gun.
This is just not true. I can fire my 30-30 about .5 seconds slower per round than my SKS. The rounds have similar recoil, and while reaquiring the target after the shot, I am cycling the 30-30. Yes, an AR is faster, but that has a lot to do with the reduced recoil of the round. WHere the SKS is truly faster is after I have shot 7 rounds and have to reload the 30-30 through the gate. With my .45LC, it's 10 rounds, but the reload is really the only time you need worry about the difference. And most of us can finish our transactions in under 10 rounds. I would almost never feel undergunned with a decent levergun.

Doc TH
May 10, 2010, 04:25 PM
A few years ago the American Rifleman published a comparative study of accuracy and speed for bolt, pump, lever, and SA rifles. Check it out; the differences in speed weren't as great as you might expect. Not surprisingly, as folks tried to shoot more rapidly, accuracy declined.

Double Naught Spy
May 10, 2010, 05:21 PM
Read the "Plevna Delay"

http://www.militaryrifles.com/Turkey...evnaDelay.html

Seems the lever guns did pretty well in a major conflict after all.

And limited numbers of them were used quite effectively in the Civil War as well, but those were battles of the 1860s and 1870s, prior to semi auto guns.

briandg
May 11, 2010, 10:03 AM
Sounds to me as if the OP is asking about gunfights. Spoken seriously, a gunfight will be decided within 3 rounds, or it will take forever. I'll take my lever .357 over any of the communist 7.62 semis, unless the thing drags beyond those first 3 rounds. If I don't kill him immediately, I know that about ten rounds later, I'm going to have an empty rifle, and reloading my rifle is going to really suck while he is emptying his second 100 round drum into whatever cover I have found.

A lever action is not a combat weapon to use against superior forces. That swat team is going to get you.

Jack O'Conner
May 11, 2010, 12:59 PM
My Savage 99 had significant muzzle lift. A smith told me cause was the low comb design. As suggested, I sent the rifle to Magna-Port in Michigan; they cut 4 slots into the barrel near muzzle. Muzzle jump was eliminated! Accurasy not affected! No addit'l noise! I can shoot this .308 much faster than before.

We have an older Remington slide action rifle that is even faster. The slide action is very fast; probably as fast as a semi-auto. Pennsylvania woodsmen are very keen on this rifle type.

Jack