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  #1  
Old 09-20-2012, 08:14 AM
Canuck Bob's Avatar
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How full do folks load their tubes?


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I routinely loaded my 444 one in the chamber and two in the tube. I found the hand carry balance changed too much after that. Also the feed spring pressure was through the roof and a real pain to unload. I have witnessed one accidental discharge while unloading a lever.

Just wondering how folks handled this?
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  #2  
Old 09-20-2012, 09:10 AM
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Hammer lever action guns can be dangerous. I've seen a get AD when unloading, so everyone should keep the muzzle in a safe direction. I never like to see a child operate a lever/hammer gun in the field, weak hands and the gun stays cocked. I've got 10 lever guns, all older models without safeties.


I seldom carry a full mag in any gun. as you say the spring force varies so much that feed problems can result, and in many win/Marlins that pressure also wants to pop open the lever...not good when hunting in thickets.

In my 44, 375, 30-30, 35, 25-20, and 348 rifles I seldom carry more than two rounds in the mag tube with one in the chamber. If i miss something with 3 shots: 1st it isn't still in range, and 2nd I as the shooter need to settle down reload and rethink the shot.

I fully agree with your present thinking.
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  #3  
Old 09-20-2012, 09:41 AM
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In my experience I was hunting with a workmate but not a hunting partner. He showed up for a day hunting with a Win 94. I instructed him to unload with his barrel close to and pointed at a big spruce. His finger slipped and bang, one unhappy spruce but no blood!

When designed I suspect most levers got loaded and sat above or beside the door on a farm or ranch. Saw many of them as a boy. Now that we have to unload to transport this is something all new lever shooters should learn.

It is possible to unload without fully chambering a round. I start it in then turn the rifle over and retract the bolt and shake. It is not nearly as easy on a Marlin as the open top Winchesters. Strict barrel control and full attention still works best. The scariest is a guy who unloads like the opening scene of the rifleman, levering as fast as he can!

I bought one of the new Stevens Favorite Model 30 for my young girls. Only to find out the hammer wasn't safe for their little thumbs.

Last edited by Canuck Bob; 09-20-2012 at 09:46 AM.
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  #4  
Old 09-20-2012, 10:06 AM
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Yep, those 20 ga break action hammer guns that lots of folks recommend for kids starting are VERY dangerous.

I my state 12 year olds hunt deer, and small game. Few have the finger strength to lower a hammer...and worse some of those hammers have very fine grooves for the fingers to engage.

A Kid must start learning with a gun that has a safety. Obviously the Safe Rules of gun handling MUST be followed by everyone and espically the young learner.

I've found a number of kids hunting with lever guns to take a shot at a deer (maybe even drop it) then forget to lower the hammer and are walking around in the woods with the hammer still on full cocck. the excitment of a shot/kill makes them forget.
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  #5  
Old 09-20-2012, 12:11 PM
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It's simply a matter of using one's head. I've seen ADs with bolt guns, too. If I didn't feel somebody was comfortable with a certain type of firearm, I wouldn't be around that person with that firearm.
I load my levers with a full magazine tube and one in the chamber with the hammer down - if it has a half-cock notch (which predated the abominable rebounding hammer in the '94) that's where the hammer rests.
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  #6  
Old 09-20-2012, 12:33 PM
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I carry 3-4 in the tube and one in the chamber of my Outfitter. I use the crossbolt safety for unloading.
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  #7  
Old 09-20-2012, 01:16 PM
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My Marlin 1894 .44 Mag gets one in the chamber and 4 in the magazine. I learned as a kid to keep my finger out of the lever/trigger guard when unloading or cycling the action and I put my left thumb between the hammer and the firing pin when I go to half cock with my right thumb holding the hammer and my right trigger finger releasing the trigger. I have seen accidental discharges with all kinds of guns and consider levers as safe as any other firearm. You can see if it is cocked, it is easy to inspect the chamber and when the hammer is on half cock an accidental pull of the trigger will not fire the gun. jmo
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  #8  
Old 09-20-2012, 03:08 PM
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One in the pipe and four in the magazine. That's enough in the 1895 45-70 More than that (it holds nine) and groups get funky.

I can unload my 1895 without working the lever by simply fully depressing the loading gate and the loaded rounds squirt out.

Dont remember if Mom's thutty thutty (M94) would do that or not.

RJ
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  #9  
Old 09-20-2012, 05:41 PM
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when i was young, I loaded her full! and once needed every one of them (it was at a small bedded buck i had walked upon and he no idea where i was, tiny target (neck and head) and i think i missed the first 3 shots!! not my proudest moment
nowadays, one in the chamber and 4 down below. i seldom unload them all by cycling the lever. I usually take the bottom 4 right back out the loading gate, then all i have to do is open her up and it's empty. this is tougher when it is full and the spring is real tight. if i do unload by cycling, i kneel down, hand in the finger loop only, sideways, with the shells heading to the ground.
happy hunting!
CJ
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  #10  
Old 09-21-2012, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recoil junky View Post
One in the pipe and four in the magazine. That's enough in the 1895 45-70 More than that (it holds nine) and groups get funky.

I can unload my 1895 without working the lever by simply fully depressing the loading gate and the loaded rounds squirt out.

Dont remember if Mom's thutty thutty (M94) would do that or not.

RJ
I'll test my Win 94 later today and report!!

I also want to add that I think exposed hammer guns are the safest in my opinion. I can check firing status by sight or feel anytime and from across a room. They just have their own procedure. I have a Winoku with a tang safety and don't mind it at all. Still, it is hard, dare I say impossible, to improve on a half notch hammer system like Browning designed. My girls will still use the Stevens when their little thumbs are stronger. When getting down to business there is something focusing about thumbing back a hammer, cocked and hot.

Last edited by Canuck Bob; 09-21-2012 at 07:34 AM.
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  #11  
Old 09-23-2012, 03:10 PM
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I've always carried my 336RC 35 with a full tube & then loaded one into the chamber once on stand. I'll be doing the same thing this fall with my new 1895 45-70. (& I do the same with my bolt guns, fill mag at truck & chamber one in stand) If I had a 1894 or other hi-cap tube lever I'd only load it with 4-5 or so rounds when hunting. I've just never bothered carrying alot of extra rounds, if you cant kill a deer or two with a handful of rounds I doubt you'll be able to with half a box+.
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  #12  
Old 09-23-2012, 05:03 PM
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When I pack my 336A 35Rem. I pack it full, one in the chamber and stuff the tube till no more will go in, that's all I take, and so far all it's taken is the one in the chamber.
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  #13  
Old 09-24-2012, 07:44 AM
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I don't put any rounds in the tube of my Winchester '92 .44-40 clone anymore. Not since the day my loading gate broke off and fell into the receiver while I was loading. No problem as I don't hunt and only shoot this rifle at the range.
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  #14  
Old 09-24-2012, 11:34 AM
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Shooting for fun I stuff it full. Hunting is one in the barrel and a couple in the mag.
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  #15  
Old 09-24-2012, 12:02 PM
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Empty Chamber, and 3 in mag. tube. When ready to shoot, lever one into the chamber. I've only made one follow up shot in the last 14 years, and it was within 2 inches of the initial shot, and they destroyed the lungs and exited the other side. [.357/44 Bain & Davis.]


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  #16  
Old 10-22-2012, 03:39 AM
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I load my lever according to situations. Sometimes I want it full. Other times I do not. Thanks for all the info on lever safety. As most of you know, I have had my problems and I know others that have also. All firearms are different with their different safety challenges. Basic safety at all times and becoming familiar with firearms are the best approach.
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  #17  
Old 01-08-2013, 08:03 AM
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I usually load my 25-35 model 94 pretty full. I don't want them for follow-ups as much as I like a bit of extra weight out there to stabilize the barrel. The stock on my (20") carbine was cut down by my grandfather so that it would be comfortable for my grandmother. Perhaps because I'm about 6'3", a longer stock would eliminate this need.

I unload through the gate. I found that having a loaded cartridge to hold the gate inward while I use my finger to pull the rounds past the gate works well.

I borrowed a friends 336 in 35 Remington this year. I found the lever popping open a lot. Pain in the *** when you are still hunting.
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  #18  
Old 01-08-2013, 10:46 AM
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Just a note on hammer type break action rifles and shotguns. I learned long ago to break the action open before uncocking the hammer. This way if you do slip nobody gets hurt. Every youngster I have ever handed one has had this lesson and it becomes second nature pretty quickly.
Sorry for the off topic but it may help others be a bit safer down the road. Wish I could do something similar on my 444s.
Stay safe.
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  #19  
Old 01-08-2013, 12:19 PM
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1 in the chamber, 2 or 3 in the mag of my M71.

I empty the gun in the same way, that Canuck describes - upside down.

Pete
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  #20  
Old 01-08-2013, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GLADESMAN View Post
Just a note on hammer type break action rifles and shotguns. I learned long ago to break the action open before uncocking the hammer. This way if you do slip nobody gets hurt. Every youngster I have ever handed one has had this lesson and it becomes second nature pretty quickly.
Sorry for the off topic but it may help others be a bit safer down the road. Wish I could do something similar on my 444s.
Stay safe.
I'm on the far side of 50 and have handled levers for most of those years. Never heard this suggestion, but it is obviously a very good idea. Thanks for the tip.
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