This is a discussion on Lever Action Rifle for Home Defense within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Unless thereís a legal reason, like your state or country, thereís really no reason not to go with a semi auto rifle. Lever guns are ...
Unless thereís a legal reason, like your state or country, thereís really no reason not to go with a semi auto rifle.
Lever guns are awesome, donít get me wrong, and Iíd take a lever gun over a snub revolver or similar, but no reason to go with something with a manual action.
For a heavily trained shooter, sure. But for my experience level, even having taken formal shotgun training classes with a pump action shotgun, I still prefer a semi-auto rifle for home defense. The person in the class who had the least reliability issues was a guy running a semi-auto Benelli shotgun. Everyone else had occasional issues with short-stroking the pump.
For my opinion, the reason that manual action guns are a worse choose than semi-auto, be it rifles, shotguns, etc. is that most people donít have the training or proficiency to operate a manual action gun under that extreme stress. And if a person spends enough time training and practicing with a lever gun, that same time with a semi-auto rifle would make them that much more deadly.
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Iíve bird hunted a lot , and I canít say that short stroking or forgetting to pump the action after a shot was ever a problem.
I can almost shoot as fast as someone with an auto loader. Well...I could in my younger years at least....
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But there's a reason the semi's dominate the 3Gun matches. The only guys I see running pumps are new shooters, or the guys in "Heavy Metal" division because the 12GA pump is mandated along with .45ACP single stacks and 7.62.
Like chuck808, I've taken a couple defensive shotgun classes and the issues I've seen mirror his, short-stroked pumps. Work a pump in "odd" positions around cover etc. and it will happen. I used to be a huge pump gun fan for waterfowl, right up until my move out here when I started hunting more out of layout boats and blinds. Too easy to short-stroke on a right to left crossing bird while laying down. My doubles and triples increased dramatically by switching to a semi.
A modern semi shotgun, maintained and fed decent ammo is a boringly reliable gun. Don't believe it, spend some time on your average skeet, trap or sporting clays range.....
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Big thing is the man, that runs the weapon.
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Can a semi auto shotgun have an actual malfunction? Of course. My point is that under stress, your untrained shooter is going to be much more likely to induce a malfunction with a pump gun, than they are likely to just have a random malfunction on a semi-auto. The pump gun is inherently much more reliable than any semi-auto, but when it comes to how many issues people have under stress when they need to work the action, itís more than a good semi-auto running good ammo.
Same with a lever gun. I used to have a Marlin 1894 in 44 Mag. It was reliable, until it wasnít. Iím not sure if one time I shirt stroked the lever or what happened, but the gun jammed up so bad I had to go get the gunsmith to take it apart and clear it. One thing you really arenít going to see with a decent AR or AK is the action getting so jammed up that the gun is inoperable until it goes to an armorer or gunsmith. You may need to tap the mag and run the charging handle, but the clearing of a malfunction will be easy and quick, and thatís if you have a malfunction. My AK has probably 3500rds with no malfunctions, and my AR is pushing closer to 2500rds, and I donít remember any malfunctions on it either.
The nostalgia for a lever gun is strong, and it should be because they are awesome, and tons of fun to shoot. But when you live in a free state, where you can own whatever you want, Iíd personally say keep the lever gun in the safe and take it out for a fun day, enjoying it at the range. Keep the guns like ARs for home defense.
I shoot lever-action, pump-action, bolt-action, and semi-auto long guns with no issues. I am pretty sure I could still shoot full-auto weapons with no issues. I shoot single-action revolvers, double-action revolvers, and semi-auto pistols with no issues. It ain't rocket surgery!
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I may have to get a TAC 13 though.....
I am not saying anything bad about a semi shotgun, I am just saying that it offers little to no advantage to a pro with a pump. I don't bird hunt, so I don't use a shotgun prone. I have more than a little training and experience in using a shotgun offensively. Sure you work around cover, but you should not crowd cover, which alleviates cover issues.
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