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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a quesiton for the experts out there. I have been on this board long enough to become an addict :shock: - but I still have a lot to learn.

The question is... in what way are lever actions "inferior" to bolt actions or semiautomatics? My interpretation of what i have read is that lever actions do not have the range of some other guns. Why is that? Does it relate to the cartriges that they fire or some other variable? No matter the answer i am a devoted lever-man - in my mind it is hard to top them for all around functionality (not to mention how cool they are 8) ). I just want to understand.

Thanks! Rob
 

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Lever guns have a magazine to store the cartridges. Since they lie end-to-end, the tips need to be flat. If they had pointed ends, the points would be pushing on the primer cap of the bullet in front of it, which can be problematic. If the rifle is dropped or when there is a strong recoil, it is possible to cause the cartridge in front of the pointy bullet to go off. This causes a chain reaction and will ignite all the bullets in the magazine.

Because the only safe bullets are flat, they have poor aerodynamics which affects their range.

However, in the last 6 months, Hornady has released their LeverRevolution cartridges that have soft polymer tips that are safe to use in leverguns and retain the ballistic properties of those used in Bolt action and semi autos, etc..

Check out http://www.hornady.com/story.php?s=198
 

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robs,

Welcome aboard. My answer to your question is limited to the context of sport hunting as it is available to most of us today. In other contexts, my answer does not always hold.

As you might guess many (most? all?) of us on this forum do not consider leverguns inferior. And as you see from my "signature," long range effectiveness is of no practical importance to me.

In general, bolt action guns, and some designs of semi-autos, pumps and single shots, allow them to fire cartridges with higher internal pressures, thus more velocity, thus flatter trajectory, thus more range, other factors being equal.

And there are many folks who believe that possessing a tool with greater capabilities (i.e. longer range) somehow makes them more competent themselves. Well, I'm here to tell you that owning a guitar doesn't make anyone a musician. And buying "better clubs" doesn't, of itself, make one a better golfer.

So, for a skillful marksman who really knows how to hunt, leverguns are rarely inferior, under real-life field conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Space, that is what i would have guessed - thanks for confirming it!

WyoStillhunter, I couldn't agree with you more that is why i put "inferior" in quotation marks. I do not own anything but levers :mrgreen: .

Thanks for the welcome. I have posted once or twice before but got lost during the last site crash :( and had to re-register.

Rob
 

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As to the technicalities of the situation,a tubular magazine ,until recent developments in bullet design had neccesitated the use of flat or round nose bullets and the effect on it's ballistics was not favorible or conducive to long shots or flat trajectories.This has changed.
However,many ,but not all lever actions have an action which locks up in the rear of a long bolt.This gives the bolt room to flex slightly upon firing which is what limits the pressure of the cartridges it fires somewhat.
Thirdly,most lever actions use an action which essentially makes a two piece stock a neccesity ,which also lends a certain amount of flex to the rifle also limiting it's range somewhat ,there are also exceptions to this also.
If it sounds like the deck is stacked against the lever actions-absolutly not .As most hunting situations are limited more by the person's ability than the weapon a good hunter can easily make up for the small amount of difference these problems entail.shootrj2003
 

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I concur with the rear-locking-lug comment above. I would add that many leverguns (not all) have only one locking lug which may somewhat limit the ability to withstand bolt thrust ("pressure") when compared with guns that have front locking lugs, and/or multiples thereof. The Browning BLR leverguns are an exception to this "rule" in that they have multiple front locking lugs. BLRs also have a box magazine that allows pointed bullets to be used safely.

A couple other partial exceptions to the rule are the Winchester models 1886 and 1892. I say "partial exception" because they do have multiple locking lugs, but they are in the rear of the action, not the front.

I reloaded for and test-fired one particular gun with locking lugs in the rear, but it was not a levergun, and it was one of the most accurate rifles I have ever had the pleasure of firing. This was a Remington model 788 in 308 Win with the 24-inch barrel, owned by my brother-in-law. It was scarey accurate with handloaded Sierra 150 grain spitzers and IMR4064.

I agree that leverguns are not "inferior" weapons. They are excellent weapons! If one needs a flatter-shooting rifle, then get a flatter-shooting rifle. I own leverguns, bolt-actions, and single-shots. If they were not all excellent, I would not own them.

Live well
 

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Welcome to MO
 
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