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Thread: Winchester Lever Action

  1. #1

    Winchester Lever Action

    I recently brought in a 30-30 lever action (model94).
    Being my first ever lever action I noticed the lack of a normal safety.
    What is the best practice in the field with these rifles if one has a cartridge chambered?
    Rely on the finger lever safety?
    Drop the hammer? All the way? or to the stage just before Hammer touches the firing pin?
    edi

  2. #2
    Your's must be one of the older models that doesn't have a cross bolt safety that have been fitted to model the 94 for quite a few years now and which block firing pin travel. These older rifles look much nicer than the newer rifles. Obviously the safest way to carry the rifle is with an empty chamber but you can also carry the rifle with the hammer in the half cock position and draw it back to full cock just prior to taking the shot. Whatever you do, don't rely just on the lever safety.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  3. #3
    Thanks 8x57.
    I'll give that a go, just hate to pull a trigger on a live round hoping my wet thumb won't slip while releasing the hammer to half cock.
    edi

  4. #4
    The marlin I use has no safety, so I use the half cock, do you have a hammer extension, these aid in letting the hammer off, if you like shooting off hand you are in for a treat.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ejg View Post
    Thanks 8x57.
    I'll give that a go, just hate to pull a trigger on a live round hoping my wet thumb won't slip while releasing the hammer to half cock.
    edi
    That's why good gun handling is so important irrespective of the action type for instance when chambering a round in a bolt action and applying the safety you always point the rifle down and in a safe direction don't you, so it will be no different with lowering the hammer into the half cock position. You will soon get used to it.
    Taff isn't telling you the whole truth when he says his Marlin is the same as your Winchester and doesn't have a safety. What he means is that just like yours it doesn't have a cross bolt safety, there is still the half cock position on the hammer,the lever safety and the two piece firing pin safety. He's certainly telling the full truth though when he mentions how much nicer these rifles are to shoot off hand especially the older ones which have much more style. The safety catches on the newer guns are more of a pain in the arse than a help. A slightly different scenario but I used to use a couple of Marlins in gallery rifle events and never ever used the push through safety, none of us did. Some people even go so far as to remove them for competition shooting as they are superfluous.

    P.S. As the rifle is a few years old it might be advisable to get a gunsmith to check it over especially to see that the half cock position on the hammer engages fully.
    Last edited by 8x57; 16-09-2012 at 14:18.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  6. #6
    My Winchester was built in 1975 but has only fired a handfull of rounds. There is not a single scratch on it anywhere.
    I think it seems safe enough from what I can see. My father was the last person who fired a few rounds out of it.

    edi

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by 8x57 View Post

    P.S. As the rifle is a few years old it might be advisable to get a gunsmith to check it over especially to see that the half cock position on the hammer engages fully.
    Good advice on safe gun handling but as an old hand with lever guns and other period single shots that have a half-cock notch, you can save the trip to the gunsmith. On an empty chamber, put the gun on half cock and squeeze the trigger hard. If it doesn't fall, you are good.~Muir

  8. #8
    Ejg she's a youngster, mines a 1974, 8x57 was correct in I meant it did not have a cross bolt safety, are you going to scope it or use open sights.

  9. #9
    I had a look on the net and saw pictures of the cross bolt safety, don't have that.

    Andy, the hammer doesn't fall on half cock. The rifle is as just out of the box. She seemed very stiff when I got her
    so I put a few drops of teflon oil on the mechanics and worked her a bit to loosen the thing up.

    Taff, no plans for a scope for now. Plan is to use the rifle in our monsoon conditions in heavy cover when scopes and binos are useless.
    Not even sure if I'll fit a sling.
    Looking forward to trying it.
    edi

  10. #10
    Fitting a scope on your particular rifle would be a bit of a pain and in any case the ejected cases would hit the scope. The later models are known as angle eject AE models and eject the cases to the right rather than straight up in the air. If you do have a desire to improve on the buckhorn sights you might consider either the Lyman or Williams aperture rear sight which simply screws into the left side of the receiver which is already drilled and tapped to recieve such a sight. The Lyman is much better than the Williams. I fitted a Lyman on a Marlin that I owned and found that for shooting at up to about 100 yards it was brilliant.
    Last edited by 8x57; 18-09-2012 at 06:05.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

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