Lever-action for home defense

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Lever-action for home defense

Postby First Shirt » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:50 am

So, purely as a hypothetical exercise, if you were going to set up a pistol-caliber lever-action rifle for home defense, how would you do it? What sights, lights, leather, mods, etc would you choose? And consider "home defense" to be the house, and within 100 yards outside.

Yeah, I know a pump shotgun or an AR would be a better choice, but, assuming that the operator was willing to put the time and effort into becoming proficient with the lever gun, what would you choose, and how would you set it up?
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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby Precision » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:36 am

Henry Big Boy steel carbine at 16.5" barrel in 38 / 357.

I would run it as it comes. Not lights or other shenanigans with the possible exception of if I lived out in the woods. But very few lever guns have the capacity for adding junk to them and those that do, look like holy hell.

I might add an RMR or other type of reflex / red dot sight as getting irons to clearly define themselves is getting less easy as I get older.

Not sure why one would go this route if they had other options though.
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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby Steamforger » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:59 am

It beats harsh language. Know your manual of arms and run what you brung...

ETA- I seem to remember Madogre had a couple of guys that ran lever actions in his carbine class. If memory serves, they didn't have an insurmountable issues.

http://madogre.com/?p=3052

Jacked up linky because mobile.
Last edited by Steamforger on Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby Vonz90 » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:08 am

In a gun banner state, probably not a horrible choice. Go with a Marlin so it is easier to mount a scope / red dot / reflexive sight.

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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby Rich Jordan » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:53 am

You know you want it.... Grizzly Custom Tactical Marlin Rifle

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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby Gunnuts » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:25 pm

16" Rossi M92 in 45 Colt

I have the Legacy Puma M92 version which is pretty similar.

Compact, sweet shooting, big bore and the chicks dig it. ;)

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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby MarkD » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:45 pm

I've often thought a lever action carbine in 357 or 44 magnum would be great for home defense. Probably with a red dot of some sort, or maybe just a tang-mounted aperture sight. I'd imagine the hard part would be finding bullets that would hold together under carbine velocities but wouldn't over penetrate too badly, since for HD you don't get to choose your field of fire like you do for hunting. It also has the advantage of not looking "evil" if you live in a hoplophobic area.

But that custom Marlin is UGLY.

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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby JKosprey » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:51 pm

I'd use a Marlin 1894C in .357.

It would probably serve well out of the box, but ghost rings or a reflex sight would be better than the buckhorn sights. I wouldn't want a Henry because it lacks a loading port.

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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby Weetabix » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:15 pm

Rossi M92, 357, 16" barrel, tang sight with the insert removed to become a "ghost ring", loaded with 38 for a higher round count.

Oh, wait! I have that. It was my bedside gun until I took it shooting and forgetfully put it in the safe. Need to get that back out.

What do you guys think? 357 or 38 in it?

I suppose I could add a cuff or something to get more rounds on board.
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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby g-man » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:23 pm

Looking at the charts here and here, it appears that .38 from a 16" barrel is on the order of .357 from a 3" barrel, so you're looking at a decent enough bump in velocity to make the extra rounds worth it over .357. You're at least as good as a short-barrelled .357 bedside gun, with the added accuracy inherent with the longer sight radius.

That said, for this scenario I'd just pick an AR, but that's me.
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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby Netpackrat » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:36 pm

I think if a lever gun were my best legal choice, I would either move or use something not legal.

Of course, half of my lever guns are already non-California-legal. :lol:
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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby First Shirt » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:43 pm

I'm sure you've all figured out by now that this is not for me, but after The Incident last week, I've about decided that my options are to (a) get Youngest Minion something better than a single-action revolver for investigating bumps in the night, or (b) weld the little twerp into a barrel until she turns 18.

She's kinda "meh" about ARs and semi-autos in general, and there's already a shotgun in the house, which she thinks is "sloppy and kinda messy." (And it's a 12 ga., which is way more recoil than she can ballast). Let her shoot The Boss's .357 Trapper last weekend, and she really liked it, except for the "itty-bitty bullets."

So, I'm thinking to hit the gun stores and pawn shops, and find either a Rossi 92, or a Marlin 1894, in .45 Colt, and set it up for her, lest she let her attitude write a check that her a$$ can't cover.

Or maybe I'll just fall back on Plan B: Wrap her in duct tape and shoot Valium at her with a slingshot.
But there ain't many troubles that a man caint fix, with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."
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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby Weetabix » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:10 pm

We'll need pics. ;)
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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby Weetabix » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:12 pm

Talk to me about the advantages of 45LC over 357. Maybe I need another lever gun.

I bought the 357 because my youngest daughter is small and was young at the time. I figured the recoil with 38 in it wouldn't be a problem. It wasn't. But she's a cheapskate, so she made me* buy her a 22 lever so she'd have more bullets/$.

ETA *OK, that's unfair to her. She didn't make me. I bought it for her and left it on her bed without telling her about it. She found it and came down all grins.
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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby First Shirt » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:11 am

Main advantages of .45 Colt over .357, in this case, are (a) ammo commonality with a .45 Colt revolver, and (b) a bigger hole in the target.

Downsides are reduced point-blank range, due to lower velocity, and lack of suitable factory ammunition, which means handloads will be required. Not a real problem, since I've got a 6-cavity mold that throws a 300 gr. WFN bullet, and several hundred pounds of former wheelweights to make them from.
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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby BDK » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:57 am

Henry makes a 327 lever action and Ruger is making 327 SP101s again...

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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby Steamforger » Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:39 am

You can only reload Henry's from the tube AFAIK. I'd go with something that had a loading gate, or a different platform entirely.

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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby First Shirt » Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:41 am

Oh, no!!! If I got her any sort of .32, she'd cry her eyes out, and never speak to me again!! Trust me, I know this Minion! She's pretty sure that handgun calibers start with .4, and only go up from there.
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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby HTRN » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:47 am

theres also the amish machine gun option.
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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby randy » Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:38 pm

Well, since it looks like caliber has been decided, next up sights.

I am very partial to tritium sights on defensive weapons. being able to see them in the dark with no reliance of batteries is a major plus for me. Either replace the iron sights with tritium sights (all of my current carry pistols except the J frame), or mount something like the Reflex sight I have on my AR. (or both if the budget permits).

I've long heard people advocating for Ghost Ring sights on lever actions and shotguns, but have never actually had the chance to try some. Google show that they are made with tritium inserts.

I'm pretty meh on weapons lights attached to the weapon. My experience is that while weapons lights help you find and ID the target, they are not very useful (with my eyes anyway) in picking up standard sights to actually hit the target. Of course, that's for carry or fighting two legged predators. For the situation Jr. Minion found herself in against 4 legged, it might be a benefit.

That said, the House Mossberg 500 does have an mount with a mini-mag light, and with that particular light the bright part of the beam is actually a pretty good aim point at house fighting ranges. I'm just not convinced as to it's usefulness for me on carry pieces / center fire rifles
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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby Netpackrat » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:00 am

Having the ability to mount a light on my Marlin is worth its weight in gold.
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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby randy » Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:53 pm

Netpackrat wrote:Having the ability to mount a light on my Marlin is worth its weight in gold.


I will defer to more actual experience with weapons lights, particularly on a lever action. Would you care to list out the benefits for the sake of the discussion?
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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby Vonz90 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:20 pm

The Ruger 96/44 might be a good choice if one can find higher capacity magazines for them.

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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby HTRN » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:01 pm

Vonz90 wrote:The Ruger 96/44 might be a good choice if one can find higher capacity magazines for them.

AFAIK, the various rugers that use the rotary 44 mag have no other option available besides the factory mag
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Re: Lever-action for home defense

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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby Rich Jordan » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:34 pm



Fixed link here

And on a personal note: 10mm is best mm

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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby First Shirt » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:52 am

Y'know, that's really neat and all that, but $2400 for a Marlin? Really? I mean, seriously? I love the little twerp, but I'm also fond of eating regularly, and sleeping indoors, so this probably ain't gonna happen!

And it's gonna be a .45 Colt!
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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby Netpackrat » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:47 am

randy wrote:
Netpackrat wrote:Having the ability to mount a light on my Marlin is worth its weight in gold.


I will defer to more actual experience with weapons lights, particularly on a lever action. Would you care to list out the benefits for the sake of the discussion?


Bears are quite active at night, and out in the middle of BFE, it is much less likely to muzzle something you don't want to muzzle, when using your rifle as a flashlight. And then when you find the thing that might need to be put down right fucking now, conveniently you are already pointing your rifle at it. I find that with the light on, I can see the silhouette of my sights enough to be useful. Running a firesight front on the Guide Gun, so maybe that makes a difference.

Even just walking from the cabin to the outhouse, it is a comfort.

Perhaps FS' minion is not in the same situation, but a bump in the night in his area could easily be something that would benefit from being illuminated.
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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby First Shirt » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:35 am

Netpackrat wrote:
randy wrote:
Netpackrat wrote:Having the ability to mount a light on my Marlin is worth its weight in gold.


I will defer to more actual experience with weapons lights, particularly on a lever action. Would you care to list out the benefits for the sake of the discussion?


Bears are quite active at night, and out in the middle of BFE, it is much less likely to muzzle something you don't want to muzzle, when using your rifle as a flashlight. And then when you find the thing that might need to be put down right fucking now, conveniently you are already pointing your rifle at it. I find that with the light on, I can see the silhouette of my sights enough to be useful. Running a firesight front on the Guide Gun, so maybe that makes a difference.

Even just walking from the cabin to the outhouse, it is a comfort.

Perhaps FS' minion is not in the same situation, but a bump in the night in his area could easily be something that would benefit from being illuminated.

She's not likely to encounter bears (not impossible, but not likely) her problems are more likely to be coyotes, feral hogs, feral dogs, or smaller vermin like raccoons or possums, possibly with rabies. In any case, I'd like for her to have the ability to light it up while still keeping both hands on the long gun.

Now that ability has gone from a "nice-to-have" to a requirement!
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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby Netpackrat » Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:41 am

A 20 gauge shotgun might have a lot going for it in this application.
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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby HTRN » Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:02 am

Netpackrat wrote:A 20 gauge shotgun might have a lot going for it in this application.

A stevens 311, with the barrels cut back to 20 inches or so would fit with the motif. :ugeek:
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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby Netpackrat » Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:21 am

HTRN wrote:
Netpackrat wrote:A 20 gauge shotgun might have a lot going for it in this application.

A stevens 311, with the barrels cut back to 20 inches or so would fit with the motif. :ugeek:


I was thinking more along the lines of a shotgun suitable for a task rather than a motif... Like virtually any pump or semi 20 gauge. There's even a few unconverted Saiga 20s still around, which would be an ideal basis for a formidable and soft shooting young lady's anti-varmint device.

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/741907326
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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby Gunnuts » Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:11 pm

If we're going shotgun and the lady likes old school, there's really only one choice....

Norinco 97T Trench Shotgun with replica Remington M1917 Bayonet.jpg
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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby First Shirt » Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:24 pm

Please, do NOT give her any more ideas! She knows she's not 9 feet tall and bulletproof, but she's pretty sure she can fake it. If she had a shotgun with a bayonet, we'd have to sedate her with a ball-peen hammer to keep her out of trouble!
But there ain't many troubles that a man caint fix, with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."
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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby Gunnuts » Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:04 pm

First Shirt wrote:Please, do NOT give her any more ideas! She knows she's not 9 feet tall and bulletproof, but she's pretty sure she can fake it. If she had a shotgun with a bayonet, we'd have to sedate her with a ball-peen hammer to keep her out of trouble!


Just tryin' to help a girl out. ;) LOL

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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby Weetabix » Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:24 am

Phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range?

Callahan Full-bore Auto-lock. Customized trigger, double cartridge, thorough gauge. She could call her "Vera".
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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby Rumpshot » Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:42 pm

First Shirt, are you taking notes? You could give Lawdog a run for the money if you put this all down on paper.
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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Postby First Shirt » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:30 pm

Nah, it would never work. People that don't know her wouldn't believe it, and people who do know her would say I'm soft pedaling it.
But there ain't many troubles that a man caint fix, with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."
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