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Question by gumby. Uploaded on January 20, 2012
As with any firearm, regardless of type of action, the secret of safe gun handling is being smarter than the gun. This fact is especially disconcerting in light of Master Emter's genius response. For his safety and that of those around him I hope that he stays well clear of firearms. A bolt action is a very simple action easily checked to see if it is loaded or not. A lever action is less easy to visually check and requires cycling each round through the action to unload creating an opportunity for an accidental discharge with each round that cycles through.
I really haven't heard anything about this particular subject. However I thought about it for a few minutes and the one big thing I could think of is, when you cycle a round into the chamber(thus drawing back the hammer) the gun is in a "ready to fire" status. That being said it might be easy for a novice hunter to slip his finger trigger into the guard and accidentally/inadvertently depress the trigger and fire the weapon when trying to cycle a new round into the chamber.
That's all I got...
Sorry that should read, "trigger finger" guess I must be slightly dyslexic tonight. Oh well.
My dad would never let me use his Winchester model 97 when I was a kid because of it's stubby little hammer and maybe not being able to let it down easy if needed. I would guess the same thought applies to lever guns, don't know what caliber has to do with it.
Any rifle with an exposed hammer poses a safety problem when wearing gloves or when fingers and thumbs are cold and numb. I have investigated a negligent shootihng where a young man let his thumb slip off the hammer. Lost part of his foot. My Grandson isn't allowed to use exposed hammer firearms. I don't see where caliber would have any bearing on the outcome.
I have personally witnessed two accidental discharges in which a novice shooter let the hammer slip on a Model 94 Winchester while attempting to lower it after chambering a round.
I mention the high caliber only because of my experience. I've only shot my .22 and old single shot 12 gauge shotgun before and am looking to buy my first deer rifle.
I'm personally a big fan of bolt action rifles (nothing wrong with a lever action though). But depending on where and what you're hunting its hard to make a recommendation. And before someone tries to trump what I'm saying, southern deer are small in comparison to a north/western mule deer. They have thick bodies and heavy bones and the .243 that is used on Louisiana deer might not be so good on a Montanan mule deer.
Small or large, what's the real deference?
You handle and give them both the same respect period.
As to your question, that's new one on me and I've handled and shot a many of them including owning two, a dirty-30 and a 444 Marlin.
They do make a Scope Extender that mounts on Hammer (Leaver) Guns, they also make a Wider Hammer that fits over a small Hammer! But don't Know what Caliber has to do with it??
my only thought is if it is a tubular magazine and you load a spitzer or such you can cause a discharge of the other rounds in the mag from the recoil, you can only load flat nose or the hornady leverevolution type pointed ammo.
A hammer block safety is relatively new to the lever action guns. Or a cross-bolt one at the trigger. My 30-30 has no manual safety, only a half-cock ability. When I'm moving around, I only have 3 rounds in the tube magazine, and leave the chamber empty until I'm sitting. If I chambered a round, I unload before I move and put it back in the magazine. Just my thing I guess.
Also, I only use round nose cartridges and not those Leverution polymer tipped ones, even though they are allegedly just as safe, because in theory it would be possible to set off a chain reaction in the magazine tube, although highly unlikely.
the safety issue came with the larger caliber guns having a tube fed magazine. the pointed tip of the bullet would rest on the primer of the bullet in front of it, then the spring would put tension on the rounds. If the gun was banged around too hard or sometimes just by chambering a round a bullet would go off in the tube. It didn't happen often, but it did happen. Now they have the new LeveRevolution rounds by honrady with the softer tips so the bullets are safer. This is why they made larger caliber (30-30, 45/70) rounds to have a flat nose, this solved the problem, but made the rounds drop significantly. Now with Hornady's new rounds the accuracy is greatly increased and pointed tips may again be used.
Another caveat would be to avoid loading full metal jacket bullets in tubular magazines. Hornady issued a warning about this many years ago when a lever gun exploded upon firing the first round.
Hadn't heard about the full-metal jacket caveat. Thanks for bringing that to our attention. Interesting. I don't recall seeing any full-metal jacket bull-tipped lever action bullets only half-jackets. The biggest safety issue has obviously always been the old-style exposed hammer and necessity to half-release it to get the gun on safety after injecting a round. Glad to hear some lever manufacturers are finally addressing this, apparently with a second safety. Better late (like a hundred years late) than never. But I'm having a little trouble trying to visualize how this feature would work. Would like to no more.
The Hornady full metal jacket warning came about when lever gun manufacturers began chambering their rifles for .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum pistol cartridges.
The hammer is the biggest issue, I think. When I was a kid I hunted with my dad’s old Winchester 1897, which he inherited from his dad. This is a 12-guage pump shotgun with exposed hammer. Once after cycling a round, I tried to lower the hammer with cold, wet hands. It slipped and the gun fired. I had it pointed in a safe direction, but even so, the unexpected recoil drove it back into my hand and the hammer left a pretty good gash. I inherited the 97 from my dad, but now the ol’ “widowmaker” stays in the gunsafe as a treasured heirloom.
Another safety-less feature of the Model 97 (like its successor Model 12) is that if you keep the trigger compressed while pumping, the hammer will trip as soon (or hopefully as soon) as the bolt is closed.
This one I can answer: Bruised and Sarge are dead on. Keep your finger OUT often trigger guard when cycling!!!! When I am on a range, I now make damn sure the safety is on (if you have one) every single time when cycling.
TRUE STORY: Once I was on a range and was practicing for rifle season with my Marlin 1895. I shot and cycled the bolt for the next round and my finger in was in the guard. The glove caught the trigger and as soon as the bolt closed she went off. Lucky it was pointed downrange and I was alone that day or I might be wearing an orange jumpsuit right now.
As OHH pointed-out Pre 1969 Pump Shotguns can clear out a tube full of Bird shot by holding back the trigger and working the Pump, in 1970-71 all that changed for the better, most or all Pump shotguns made(1969-70-71) had a trigger stop, one Pump one shot. I like the cross-bolt safety my Lever Guns you can walk the woods with the hammer at full ck.and my thumb on the safety your good to go on a deer! best part NO Noise with the Hammer.
As far as I know all 870s ever made, including my pre-1968, had a trigger stop. As did its predecessor, the Remington Model 31. My brother was given one of those in 1964, the same year I received my first gun, a Model 12. His gun definitely had a trigger stop. I only just now learned that the Mossberg 500 is essentially a remake of the Model 31. Explains why that particular model exceeds the usual crap made by Mossberg. It's not really one of their guns.
Also, I THOUGHT the Winchester Model 1200, which superceded the Model 12, also had a trigger stop.
The exposed hammer & lack of a safety on many older models. The hammer not being cocked is the "safety" on many of the older models. Loading & unloading cocks the hammer back & the gun is ready to fire, even accidentally.
Leverevolution ammo is perfectly safe and awesome. just dont leave your bullets in the tube for too long, the nose may flatten out. Personally i wouldnt use a lever gun with a cross bolt safety. Its unnecessary, cumbersome and inelegant.
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