Lever-action for home defense

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First Shirt
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Lever-action for home defense

Post by First Shirt » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:50 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

Post by Precision » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:36 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

Post by Steamforger » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:59 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.


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Last edited by Steamforger on Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Post by Vonz90 » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:08 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

Post by Rich Jordan » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:53 am

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

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Re: Lever-action for home defense

Post by Gunnuts » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:25 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

Post by MarkD » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:45 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

Post by JKosprey » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:51 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

Post by Weetabix » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:15 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

Post by g-man » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:23 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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