Like many of my other friends raised in Texas, my first "big bore" gun as a kid was a Marlin .30-30 Lever Action Rifle scoped for deer. Same with my cousins, either Winchester or Marlin. Some went the bolt action route, but I'd say that at least 75% of my friends and relatives growing up had at least one, and usually more than one lever action in .30-30 or .30-06 in the now-long-gone living room wood and glass gun cabinet.
Maybe you're old enough to remember the days when folks proudly displayed their gun collections in an ornate locked gun cabinet in their living room. The popularity of home burglaries rendered these types of displays history, and gun safes became the norm among gun owners, but I remember the days that guns were openly displayed in pretty much everyone in our neighborhood's home as well as those of friends and relatives in Houston and East, Central and West Texas. It's just the way it was and is.
So I just remember that those who occasionally hunted always had at least one lever action in the cabinet, and those serious hunters usually had an array of bolt action and lever action rifles in a variety of calibers. It was always cool to watch friends dad's cleaning their various arms and regaling us with the attributes and drawbacks of that design and caliber and so on.
The other mainstay that it seemed every gun owner in Houston had was a snubnose S & W Model 36 or Colt Detective Special/Cobra in .38 Special. Everyone had one, not only for home defense but for a sidearm when shotgun or rifle hunting.
Houston, with it being the violent type of town that's it's been since it's inception, many folks also carried guns in their cars, purses, suits and on their persons and this was absolutely tolerated amongst the law abiding by the police until the 1970's. I don't know all of the different kinds of guns that some of my friend's parents carried, but mostly they had .38 snubnoses and 4" barreled guns and older .25 and .32 autos in their car gloveboxes.
So to me, the lever action is as normal as a shotgun over the back door of the country home, which was normal for all of my kinfolk that lived in deep East Texas in the country.
The lever action, it should be pointed out, is really the gun that won the west, and not the Colt revolver. Yes, God made man and Sam Colt made them equal but battles were fought with long arms and not pistolas.
I'm aware that we have had several major wars and numerous "police actions" around the world in the intervening years where other types of rifles were used to win or fight those wars. We moved from lever actions to bolt actions to semi-auto's like the M1 and M1A and M14 to the M16 platform that we've used for the last 50 years.
And of course, what child of the 50's and 60's wouldn't want a
I was googling to try to find some sort of product that would attach to the end of the barrel tube or magazine tube of a lever action to mount a short rail for mounting a flashlight/laser combo, for I plan to acquire at some point at Rossi Ranch Hand in .357 caliber as well as a Henry Mare's Leg in .22 caliber. Both of these guns will have some sort of laser on them for point shooting, perhaps even a cheap daytime laser.
I found this thread that I link to here with some interesting discussions and links about lever actions for self defense. Below that, I copy some ballistic information contained in the thread about the velocity of a .357 from a short rifle barrel. WOW!
Here's a link for a show about Lever Actions for Self Defense. I haven't watched it yet. http://www.downrange.tv/shootinggallery/episode109.htm
Here's the program information:
Lever Action Self Defense
The lever action rife is one of the most overlooked self-defense tools out there — accurate, powerful, easy to shoot and inexpensive. Host Bane gathered together several fans of the lever gun, including Dick Williams from SureFire, Dave Biggars from XS Sights, "Tupelo Flash," host of COWBOYS, and former LEO and firearms trainer Steve Hendricks at the world-class Swanson Tactical Training Center in Utah to wring the old rifles out. [ LEARN MORE... ]
HERE'S THE THREAD CUT AND PASTE THAT ENDS UP SHOWING SOME .357 FIGURES:
BB has this for listing of normal persure 357 loads from a 18.5" lever gun.
a. Item 19A/20-180gr. Hard Cast = 1851 fps
b. Item 19B/20-170gr. JHC = 1860 fps
c. Item 19C/20-158gr. Speer Uni Core = 2153 fps---- Can you believe this?!!!
d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Speer Uni Core = 2298 fps
here is win super x 123 ga soft points ( from thier web site) 7.62x 39
Muzzle Velocity: 2355 fps
Muzzle Energy: 1509 ft. lbs.