The forerunner of the modern single shot pistol, also known as a derringer, was originally fashioned in China. This pistol, which held a single lead ball and was based on the design of long barrel shotguns, was quickly replaced by revolvers, yet has managed to survive the ravages of history. The most likely reason is that they were superbly suited to be easily hidden on one’s person.
In the days of the Wild West, these single or double shot weapons were called derringers and were a favorite among gamblers. Lever action guns were invented to allow the user to fire multiple rounds without reloading. Sometimes confused with bolt-action weapons by novices, these guns actually had a very different mechanism which comprised of a simple lever mechanism just in front of the trigger guard.
A brief history of Lever action guns
The very first lever action gun to be patented was made by the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company in 1848 and was named the Volitional Repeater. However, this design proved was flawed, and the gun never made it to production.
The first lever action weapon to actually be produced though was of a more practical design than its predecessor, this was made by Benjamin Tyler Henry in 1860, and was aptly named “The Henry Rifle.” Using a 44 caliber cartridge this gun was used during the American civil war and was said to give the user “the firepower of a dozen men armed with muzzle-loading muskets” due to its superior fire rate and ease of use.
The next and probably most famous lever action repeater was made by Oliver Winchesters’ company – the Winchester model 1866. This weapon was used by the French during the Franco/Prussian war in 1870, but to no avail, as they consequently lost the war.
However, Winchester wasn’t finished there, his next version of the Winchester was the model 1873, and he marketed this as “the gun that won the west.” This weapon was made in three different variations – a 24-inch barrel rifle, a 20-inch barrel carbine and also a musket, the latter was aimed mainly at military contracts and therefore only comprised 5% of the overall production of the model.
Then, in 1885, due to the success of the Winchester, the company used a design by John Browning to make a lever action shotgun.
Browning, however, preferred the slide action design, and the slide action design became more popular with shotgun users.
Lever action guns for sale
If you would like to purchase one of these unique weapons to add to your collection, then please feel free to browse our stock online or at our store. Buy now at our online marketplace or visit us today.