Lever gun for defense?

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by cnorman18, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. cnorman18

    cnorman18 New Member

    Colonel Cooper once opined that the Winchester Model 94 was a better battle rifle than an AK. (1) Better ballistics. (2) Better trigger. (3) Better sights. The only drawback, he said, was that if you use it as a club it will break. I'm considering a Marlin .44 Magnum lever gun in stainless steel as a short-range urban defense gun (I figure if a looter is 150 yards away, he's not much of a threat).
    Any comments?
  2. pioneer461

    pioneer461 New Member

    Fifty ways to love your lever...

    The problem with most rifles for self defense is over-penetration.

    If your hypothetical looter is over 150 yds, pointing a rifle at you, he is indeed a threat. Take the shot.

    I respect and admire the late Col. Cooper, but in some cases he remained in the early 20th century, while firearms and ammo has taken a giant leap forward.

  3. FALPhil

    FALPhil Member

    Personally, I would like the Marlin in 45LC, which can be loaded to higher velocities that 44Mag in the carbine. There is a significant 'cool factor' with lever guns. But, if you are going that route, why not consider an M1 Carbine? That way, you have a rifle with 150 yd range, is quickly reloaded with box magazines, has a peep sight, and will appreciate in value faster over time.

    All that being said, I still like the AK better than either option. It's like a Timex watch - it takes a likkin and keeps on tickin'.
  4. ScottG

    ScottG Active Member

    Why not a lever for self defense? They worked pretty well in the 1800s.

    Second the idea of the M1 Carbine. You can also find some new manufacture 30 rounders.
  5. plumber

    plumber New Member

    If you are talking home defense not a bad idea. It is short, quick to point and swing in a hallway, can be bought used at a fairly low price. Reliable and not prone to as many problem as many autos when left in a closet for years without cleaning. The old 30/30 or 32 is still a man stopper at close range. Penetration through walls not as much as many military type loads. You do not have to explain as much to the authoritys when you state you found some scumbag in your house so you grabbed your "grandpa's old deer rifle" and fearing for you life confronted him. I prefer the 18" barrel 870 or Mossburg 500 for most of the same reasons. You won't hit your neighbor two houses away but it is harder to claim that it was your grandfather's old deer rifle.

    OFADAN New Member

    Some things you need to consider on the drawback of a lever gun (being the Devil's Advocate) are...

    1. A Lever Gun is NOT Drop Safe (like an AK, AR, M1 etc) which means you must leave it in Transport Mode up until the moment you need it. High probability if you drop it with a cartridge in the chamber it will discharge

    2. The chamber/barrel is not designed for rapid fire and thus under certain circumstances (such as a sustain fight in warm weather) could result in a cook-off. A lever gun is much more likely to cook off than a gun designed for rapid fire

    3. Stock sights are not as rugged as battle sights and are not as effective in low or failing light situations. The rear sight notch is too tight and the front sight is too small. Plus they can be knocked out of alignment easily (Don't ask me how I know this!)

    4. Tube magazines is a challenge to reload quickly while maintaining eye contact on the threat area when someone is under extreme stress. You can train to over come this.

    5. In CQC during a retention situation you do not have the luxuary of being able to continue to fire even though a threat has their hands on the gun. You'll probably only have one shot at best as running the lever during a scuffle is not likely

    6. Manipulating the lever in prone can be a challenge

    7. In low light situations, unless you can rig up a weapon mounted light, you'll have a challenge of holding onto a light source AND running the lever or conducting combat or tactical reloads.

    8. IF the lever gun has a malfunction...they are a son-of-a-gun to clear especally in low light scenarios AND when you're shaking from stress...and you don't have tools like a knife or screwdriver to clear the malfunction...many nervious hunters have experienced this when they short stroke a round or charge a cartridge into the tube backwards (from stress)

    I'm not saying a lever gun won't work nor am I advocating you shouldn't use one...you just need to look at the plus/minus - assest/liablity equation and then train around them.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2007
  7. cnorman18

    cnorman18 New Member

    good post

    Good post. I'll give it some thought. I posted the initial question quite some time ago; lately I've been thinking about a Ruger Mini-Thirty.

    Moot point at the moment, anyway. Right now I couldn't afford a quality rubber-band gun.
  8. RMTactical

    RMTactical New Member

    I'd want semi auto. Lever guns are pretty slow.
  9. Dutch

    Dutch New Member

    Lever guns were the original assault weapon. I, personally, don't feel all that undergunned with my winchester 95 src. Fact is, the model 95 came in both military and civilian versions. It saw combat in ww1 and was used extensively by the arizona and texas rangers in a law enforcement capacity.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2007
  10. 1984cj

    1984cj New Member

    This guy doesn't seem to be slow.
  11. sixgunsamori

    sixgunsamori New Member

    I'll take a lever gun. The Marlin in 44 is less likely to overpenetrate (if stoked with specials, which also increase mag capacity) slimmer, lighter, easier to hit with and all around handier. Colonel Coopers main point was that in our "guns are icky" society, a lever gun with classic lines and wood stock is less offensive to the illiterati than a black rifle or an AK, or even the trusty (and woefully unimpressive) M1 carbine. If you can hit with it, use it. As to the "no place to attach a bayonet/flashlight/grenade/plum pitter/ yogurt squirter/popcorn popper/ pocket diaper steamer"... ya got me. I guess now I have to surrender my ninja jammies (with the feet in 'em) and give up my "I wish I was an operator" decoder ring. Sheesh!
    Yes, taking on hordes of rampaging looters or insane inner city residents fleeing the coming cataclysm or crazed zombies intent on eating human flesh or street gangs or drug lords might be easier to accomplish with a fully tricked out super cool $2400 bushmaster bada** AR replica, but to stop a rabid skunk or raccoon or to put the fear of the allmighty into a burglar at 3 a.m. I'll take the sweet mettalic "shcnick schnick" of my lever gun and feel well protected. True, if you drop a loaded levergun it may go bang; the solution is to not rack the lever til you see the elephant. Slower to operate? No. Slower to reload? Irrelevent. As a wise man once said "The fight will start and end with what you have in the gun; if you haven't solved the problem with the first 10, what makes you think the second 10 will do any better?"
    Never seen or heard of a "cook off' in a lever gun... ever. Maybe I'm not getting out enough, but I kind of imagine if leverguns were "cooking off" we'd have pages and pages of history concerning it.
    Prone? Rotate the rifle 45 degrees.
    Sights hard to see and prone to breakage? There is little difference between the Marlin and an AK or SKS...
    Low light situations? For home defense I've already rigged up these amazing tactical devices... they're called LIGHTS. I flip em on, and Voilla! Instant daytime!
    Malfunctions? Well, whatever your weapon a close quarters jam means you have a stick. Bad guys seldom give time outs... but even if the wrist of the stock breaks when you use it to clobber the approaching goblin, so what? There's still a big hunk of metal to swing.
    Use what you're comfortable with. Practice. Lots.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2007
  12. Pounce

    Pounce Member

    It sounded like someone in the backround got him riled up. I guess he showed em!

    I still would not want a lever action for home defense unless it was all I had.
  13. aktommysks

    aktommysks New Member

    Lever for defense

    You make alot of good points, but i just purchased a marlin 10rd 44mag, and feel very comfortable with the gun. We are talking about home invasion, it wouldn't be my first choice if i were going to war. I would feel more comfortable in a court rm. explaining a lever action over having used an assault weapon, also on the marlin 44 you can keep feeding ammo from side inbetween shots. Don't think i would need more then ten. This is just my personal feelings, use whatever you feel comfortable with.
  14. 007BondJamesBond007

    007BondJamesBond007 New Member

    I think Midway's Best Defense did a show featuring the lever gun combat tactics. Very good info.


    Here is another video:



    If you think lever gun is not an effective defensive weapon just ask Gen. Custer.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012