Lever action rifles have been with us since the days of the Wild West, and are an iconic part of US culture and history. Most of us, however, are unable to afford an original piece. Fortunately, it’s possible to find an authentic looking, modern reproduction of a centerfire lever action rifle.
What is a Centerfire Rifle
Centerfire is one of two ways a cartridge can be fired. The other is rimfire, and it’s impossible to talk about one without mentioning the other. A cartridge consists of four parts – the bullet, the powder, the casing, and the primer.
On a centerfire cartridge, the primer is in the middle of the flat side of the casing. When looking at a cartridge, you can see a little round dot in the center. The firing hammer strikes the center, creating a small, enclosed explosion, which propels the bullet.
A rimfire cartridge has the same components, but the primer is on the edge of the base, not the center. So the two types of cartridges can be told apart based on whether or not you see a little dot in the middle of the base. If you don’t, it’s a rimfire.
What this means that rimfire cartridges are limited to smaller calibers, as the casing needs to be thin enough to bend when struck by the firing pin. All larger calibers are centerfire cartridges, which is what you’ll see in most firearms.
Advantages of a Lever Action
Lever action rifles are very maneuverable is enclosed spaces, like thick brush. They’re also easier to move around with while in a blind when the slightest rustle can alert your target. For home defense, they’re easy to remove from storage, navigate your home, and can fire almost as quickly as a semi-automatic.
Lever actions can also operate with a wide variety of ammunition, from light loads for squirrel to heavier ones for deer or elk. With admirable accuracy at ranges 100 yards and less, it’s definitely worth giving one a try on the range.
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