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Lever Action Rifle for Home Defense

This is a discussion on Lever Action Rifle for Home Defense within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Originally Posted by Bad Bob Why is that, in your opinion? I also look at the ammunition suitability for HD. IF I'm worried about the ...

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  1. #136
    VIP Member Array Chuck R.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Bob View Post
    Why is that, in your opinion?
    I also look at the ammunition suitability for HD.

    IF I'm worried about the chances of over-penetration I can easily find ammo in .223 and even .300AAC that fragments at that velocity and reduces the odds. PCC calibers...not so much.

    Then I also look at the catridge effectiveness. I currently own 3 PCCs, 9mm, .45ACP and a .45Colt..none of those can touch the terminal ballistics of either a .223/5.56 or .300AAC. I really like the PCCs, but just not in a primary HD role when i have (IMHO) more effective options.
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  2. #137
    VIP Member Array LimaCharlie's Avatar
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    I like multiple options for worst case scenarios. Plan for the worst and hope for the best. My 1911 and a 12 gauge loaded with #1 buckshot are my primary home defense choices for a routine home invasion. I have other handguns, shotguns, AR rifles, lever-action rifles, and bolt-action rifles in various calibers as options for home defense, hunting, survival with societal breakdown, or just because I like shooting them.
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  3. #138
    Senior Member Array Risasi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck R. View Post
    I also look at the ammunition suitability for HD.

    IF I'm worried about the chances of over-penetration I can easily find ammo in .223 and even .300AAC that fragments at that velocity and reduces the odds. PCC calibers...not so much.

    Then I also look at the catridge effectiveness. I currently own 3 PCCs, 9mm, .45ACP and a .45Colt..none of those can touch the terminal ballistics of either a .223/5.56 or .300AAC. I really like the PCCs, but just not in a primary HD role when i have (IMHO) more effective options.
    .357 from a carbine is a whole different animal. You push it too fast and you'll push the bullet beyond design capabilities:

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  5. #139
    Senior Member Array Risasi's Avatar
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    P.S. Here is another one where Andrew Wiggins was testing against a Level IIIa panel:



    Hardly scientific, but interesting nonetheless.

    Any more I think I'd grab my Rossi '92 before my 12 gauge Mossberg or my Grendel nowadays. Faster follow up shots than the shotgun, more capacity. Still packs a serious punch from 0-100 yards. Optics wise more politically correct than an AR should I make the 9 o'clock news for a home invasion...not that we have to worry about that so much in the Midwest, yet.
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  6. #140
    VIP Member Array Chuck R.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risasi View Post
    .357 from a carbine is a whole different animal. You push it too fast and you'll push the bullet beyond design capabilities:

    Understood, great improvement going from 4" to 18.5" barrel with a .357MAG

    But what's the comparison to a 16" barreled rifle catridge (or 18" if you want to do apples to apples)?

    Once you've crossed over to a long-gun, why not use a long gun caliber??
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  7. #141
    Senior Member Array Risasi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck R. View Post
    Understood, great improvement going from 4" to 18.5" barrel with a .357MAG

    But what's the comparison to a 16" barreled rifle catridge (or 18" if you want to do apples to apples)?

    Once you've crossed over to a long-gun, why not use a long gun caliber??
    Lever Action Rifle for Home Defense-img_5067.jpg

    There are certain intangibles that are a little difficult to quantify, but I'll try.

    - My 16" 357 Mag Rossi is shorter, therefore a little handier in close quarters, hallways, etc. (Random thought: Hmm, maybe I need to put a bayonet lug on this puppy.)
    - It's also about two and half lbs lighter, but only holds 8+1. Still it can be topped off and doesn't need a magazine, and eight rounds usually should be enough.
    - It also has less "fiddly bits", no mag releases, safety switches, etc. So it's easier get it into action (run lever, press trigger), especially for someone who is not me. Like my wife...maybe my 9 and 7 year old too. We'll see how they do with it this summer. I have a lot more confidence leaving them with this at home than an AR when on a business trip.

    These three things alone make it a much better grab and go long gun in the house than my 12 gauge or the Grendel, especially for someone not as experienced with firearms.

    - Recoil is lighter, even though it's a lighter rifle. This is a little subjective though.
    - Potentially less noise and flash. I've run some pretty stout loads, but I've also run some 38 Spl +P cartridges using HS-6 and 2400 that was pushing a 125gr north of 1200-1300fps IIRC. I've also got a "cat sneeze" load I've been working on. It was a 158gr SWC that made little more than a pop, no recoil and was still booking at somewhere around 700fps. I was trying to get it even quieter for uh...vermin control. I kind of got derailed on another project though. I'd have to check my notes, but I think I was down around 2.0gr of Bullseye...and I think I could go lower before sticking a bullet. I think I got that idea from Ed Harris' writings...


    - Lastly, it's cheap! Really cheap if you reload. I was out with a group of kids from our church. They took to this lever gun and burned through nearly 200 rounds of 158 gr over 8.5gr of HS-6 like it was candy. It would have been a different story had they been shooting a bottle-neck cartridge. Cheap and low recoil means more practice, which can equate to a better shot.

    Don't get me wrong, the shotgun nor the AR are going anywhere. But I really like my Rossi as this weird little "tweener" carbine, especially since putting a Skinner peep and new front post on it.
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  8. #142
    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck R. View Post
    I also look at the ammunition suitability for HD.

    IF I'm worried about the chances of over-penetration I can easily find ammo in .223 and even .300AAC that fragments at that velocity and reduces the odds. PCC calibers...not so much.

    Then I also look at the catridge effectiveness. I currently own 3 PCCs, 9mm, .45ACP and a .45Colt..none of those can touch the terminal ballistics of either a .223/5.56 or .300AAC. I really like the PCCs, but just not in a primary HD role when i have (IMHO) more effective options.
    With proper bullets/loads in the 357 magnum and 44 magnum cartridges they bracket the 30-30 ballistically.

    223 55 grain bullet 1250 FPE @ the muzzle from a rifle considerably less from a shorter barrel (around 900)

    300 AAC supers can give you about 1000 FPE.

    357 magnum 125 grain JHP will give you almost 1200 FPE from a carbine

    180 grain 44 magnum JHP will give you about 1750 FPE from a carbine.


    Contrast that with my 40 PCC and with 155 grain JHP's it gives me about 750 fps from an 8.5" BBL.


    I really don't see anything to worked up about, they are all close enough that your tactics and marksmanship are what is gonna make a difference, except the 44 magnum..... The 44 magnum makes the others weep.
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  9. #143
    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck R. View Post
    Understood, great improvement going from 4" to 18.5" barrel with a .357MAG

    But what's the comparison to a 16" barreled rifle catridge (or 18" if you want to do apples to apples)?

    Once you've crossed over to a long-gun, why not use a long gun caliber??

    Because magnum pistol cartridges in longer barrels can do anything a "rifle" cartridge can in a defensive role.
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  10. #144
    VIP Member Array Chuck R.'s Avatar
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    Bob,

    As you well know, there's more to it than FPE. There's been enough studies conducted to demonstrate that something "extra" happens in terminal ballistics with a projectile that impacts at over 2000 FPS. While a 44Mag in a carbine is a significant improvement over a pistol, it's not (at least everything I could find) going to reliably get to the over 2000 FPS threshold. The average delta I could find was about 300-400 FPS, which was just about the "normal" increse in PCC MVs when compared to handguns.

    One source i could find on .44 MAG Carbine velocities that shows that most (all????) .44 Mag loads aren't making the "high velocity" realm:

    BBTI - Ballistics by the Inch :: .44 Mag Results

    Just one article that delves into the difference in wound ballistics of high velocity projectiles VS Handgun rounds:

    DiMaio explains that when a full metal jacketed 5.56/.223 round contacts human tissue it will travel along a circular path while beginning to yaw or turn sideways. This turning effect will become significant at 12 cm (approximately 4.7 inches).

    At the point of maximum yaw, the bullet will be turned at a 90-degree angle as it moves forward in the body.

    If the bullet remains intact, it will yaw to 180 degrees and continue to travel base first until it comes to rest.

    Handgun rounds do not yaw while traveling through human tissue.

    This turning or yaw effect releases tremendous kinetic energy into the tissue surrounding the permanent cavity created by direct bullet contact with human tissue. Not only is the permanent cavity larger due to the sideways path of the bullet, thereby destroying more tissue through direct bullet contact, but the surrounding tissue, i.e., tissue not directly touched by the bullet, is severely impacted as well. This surrounding tissue is called the temporary wound cavity.

    DiMaio reports that this temporary cavity will have a diameter from 11 to 12.5 times the diameter of the bullet itself.

    Damage to the tissue in the temporary cavity will include “severe…compression, stretching, and shearing of the displaced tissue. Injuries to blood vessels, nerves, or organs not struck by the bullet, and at a distance from the [bullet] path can occur.”

    https://www.policeone.com/police-pro...ty-cartridges/

    FBI Study on Mechanics of Handgun Wounding:

    All handgun wounds will combine the components of penetration, permanent cavity, and temporary cavity to a greater or lesser degree. Fragmentation, on the other hand, does not reliably occur inhandgun wounds due to the relatively low velocities of handgun bullets. Fragmentation occurs reliably in high velocity projectile wounds (impact velocity in excess of 2000 feet per second) inflicted by soft or hollow point bullets.10 In such a case, the permanent cavity is stretched so far, and so fast, that tearing and rupturing can occur in tissues surrounding the wound channel which were weakened by fragmentation damage.
    http://gundata.org/images/fbi-handgun-ballistics.pdf

    So based on what I can research, I'll stick to the HV rifle rounds, VS PCCs, without the other considerations such as recoil:

    6.5lb .44Mag = 10.24 lbs
    6.5lb .223 = 3.8lbs

    ShootersCalculator.com | Recoil Calculator

    Which effects the rate of follow up shots, unless of course one has discounted the potential need, but I haven't seen a 100% 1st shot stop weapon yet that's shoulder fired.

    Having competed with both a lever gun (.45Colt Marlin 1894 with action job) VS my AR15 I can easily put 5 rounds of .223 into a target at HD distances compared to 2 of lever gun in the same time. So as I said previously I really like lever actions, they were state of the art defensive guns somthing like 130 years ago.

    They'll work, but IMHO they're noth the "best" choice.
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  11. #145
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    I got to say, after I used a 223 on the weedmonkey that's on drugs and he was hit about five times in the chest. He was down but is still shooting at us with the AK, for he bleed out. I will stick with bigger bore weapons.
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  12. #146
    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck R. View Post
    Bob,

    As you well know, there's more to it than FPE. There's been enough studies conducted to demonstrate that something "extra" happens in terminal ballistics with a projectile that impacts at over 2000 FPS. While a 44Mag in a carbine is a significant improvement over a pistol, it's not (at least everything I could find) going to reliably get to the over 2000 FPS threshold. The average delta I could find was about 300-400 FPS, which was just about the "normal" increse in PCC MVs when compared to handguns.

    One source i could find on .44 MAG Carbine velocities that shows that most (all????) .44 Mag loads aren't making the "high velocity" realm:

    BBTI - Ballistics by the Inch :: .44 Mag Results

    Just one article that delves into the difference in wound ballistics of high velocity projectiles VS Handgun rounds:




    https://www.policeone.com/police-pro...ty-cartridges/

    FBI Study on Mechanics of Handgun Wounding:



    http://gundata.org/images/fbi-handgun-ballistics.pdf

    So based on what I can research, I'll stick to the HV rifle rounds, VS PCCs, without the other considerations such as recoil:

    6.5lb .44Mag = 10.24 lbs
    6.5lb .223 = 3.8lbs

    ShootersCalculator.com | Recoil Calculator

    Which effects the rate of follow up shots, unless of course one has discounted the potential need, but I haven't seen a 100% 1st shot stop weapon yet that's shoulder fired.

    Having competed with both a lever gun (.45Colt Marlin 1894 with action job) VS my AR15 I can easily put 5 rounds of .223 into a target at HD distances compared to 2 of lever gun in the same time. So as I said previously I really like lever actions, they were state of the art defensive guns somthing like 130 years ago.

    They'll work, but IMHO they're noth the "best" choice.
    https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...t_detail&p=243

    Match the bullet to the job.

    That 2000 fps everyone is hung up on came from Theodor Kocher a German scientist in the 1880's or 90's (pre smokeless powder). The assumption in fact that he used was Handguns bullets are slow and set the velocity @ 1000 fps, Rifle bullets are fast and set the velocity @ 2000 fps. Anyone else that uses those velocity figures when comparing swaged lead bullets at those velocities to modern smokeless powder loads at any other velocity is ignorant and full of feces.

    Magnum revolvers were not even a wisp of a dream in the black powder era, 1500 fps from a revolver..... Simply unheard of. Another phenomenon that did not receive lots of research was cavitation with bullets. There were a few tests conducted but they were never carried past I believe around 6mm. They tested I believe 2 calibers and indicated that less velocity was needed the larger the caliber to produce cavitation but I do not remember the specifics.

    but I haven't seen a 100% 1st shot stop weapon yet that's shoulder fired.
    12 gauge slug.

    I am not disagreeing that an AR is not a better choice as a combat rifle, but a lever gun is certainly capable if the shooter is. Some locations people can have a lever gun but not an AR. Ashley Emerson and there was a Sheriff's Deputy from I believe Montana that used lever guns to good effect at thunder ranch.
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  13. #147
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    Yes, the NATO 5.56X45 mm FMJ boat-tail round was designed to tumble after hitting to increase the wound potential. Not all .223 rounds are designed to tumble on impact. I saw a guy on a boat in Viet Nam shot with an M-16 at close range. The bullet hit his right thigh, tumbled and hit his chest near his heart, bounced off of his ribs, and hit his left forearm. He had three minor flesh wounds and was walking and talking. I prefer bigger heavier bullets that don't tumble and have lots of momentum.
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  14. #148
    Senior Member Array Risasi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck R. View Post
    Bob,

    As you well know, there's more to it than FPE. There's been enough studies conducted to demonstrate that something "extra" happens in terminal ballistics with a projectile that impacts at over 2000 FPS. While a 44Mag in a carbine is a significant improvement over a pistol, it's not (at least everything I could find) going to reliably get to the over 2000 FPS threshold. The average delta I could find was about 300-400 FPS, which was just about the "normal" increse in PCC MVs when compared to handguns.

    One source i could find on .44 MAG Carbine velocities that shows that most (all????) .44 Mag loads aren't making the "high velocity" realm:

    BBTI - Ballistics by the Inch :: .44 Mag Results

    Just one article that delves into the difference in wound ballistics of high velocity projectiles VS Handgun rounds:




    https://www.policeone.com/police-pro...ty-cartridges/

    FBI Study on Mechanics of Handgun Wounding:



    http://gundata.org/images/fbi-handgun-ballistics.pdf

    So based on what I can research, I'll stick to the HV rifle rounds, VS PCCs, without the other considerations such as recoil:

    6.5lb .44Mag = 10.24 lbs
    6.5lb .223 = 3.8lbs

    ShootersCalculator.com | Recoil Calculator

    Which effects the rate of follow up shots, unless of course one has discounted the potential need, but I haven't seen a 100% 1st shot stop weapon yet that's shoulder fired.

    Having competed with both a lever gun (.45Colt Marlin 1894 with action job) VS my AR15 I can easily put 5 rounds of .223 into a target at HD distances compared to 2 of lever gun in the same time. So as I said previously I really like lever actions, they were state of the art defensive guns somthing like 130 years ago.

    They'll work, but IMHO they're noth the "best" choice.
    I concur, there is more too it than FPE.

    If speed is your game;

    https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...t_detail&p=103


    1707fps from a 6" GP100, 2298fps from an 18.5" Marlin 1894.


    And here is a 44 Mag doing 1900fps from a 20" Marlin: https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...t_detail&p=232


    You also have to take into the account the meplat on a big, flat nosed bullet like the Keith style SWC in both .357 and .44 Magnum. Something "extra" happens too on that flat. Veral Smith, Taylor, Keith, and many others have noted the holes created being bigger than the diameter of the bullet. Veral Smith proving too that it wasn't the driving band like Keith thought, but the meplat doing all of the work.

    You might find this interesting: Terminal Ballistics

    Basically in a nutshell water is not compressible. One makes use of the hydraulic action of the bullet's momentum to drive through the material. With a big, flat nose the said in-compressible material has nowhere to go but out and away from the meplat and nose of the bullet thereby creating a wound track bigger than the diameter, whereas a pointy round has a tendency to "slide" through the material except at really high speeds getting the hydrostatic pressure you reference.

    The thing is with a big flat nosed bullet it's more effective at a lower speed. It seems like anything north of 1000-1100fps you're going to get this hydraulic effect, and the faster you drive it the bigger the hole and faster the game will drop (within reason).
    But with the pointy bullets you need 2000-2500fps. The problem with the pointy FMJ bullets is that they also tend to do their most damage early in soft tissue and then slow down and poke a small hole the rest of the way through. Which is why at really high speeds you get all that blood shoot meat on game, but something like a magnum pistol cartridge it just chunks a big 3/4-1.5" hole through and through.

    Inside 100 yards I'll still take the .357 or .44 Mag...heck Col Doug Wesson dropped deer, moose, elk, griz with an 8" S&W 357 Magnum shooting a 158gr SWC at ridiculous distances for some of those shots. Keith put two .44's into a wounded Mulie at 600'ish yards...



    JHP in a magnum cartridge is another study in and of itself. The problem there is that the profile of the nose is changing as it passes through a soft tissue medium.

  15. #149
    Member Array 86camaro's Avatar
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    I have a Rossi 94 in 357Mag. Lives at my moms farm but after a fluff and buff runs like a raped ape. Super handy and easy pointing, dont let the price deceive you.

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  16. #150
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    I just bought another old lever-action Marlin. This one in .35 Remington. Never had or fired anything in that caliber, before. How do y’all think that combo would stack up for HD?
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