I don’t know what it is, but some questions have been coming in from multiple folks asking about the viability of a Lever Action Shotgun for Tactical use. This answer is a straight up no. Reason being, is that the Lever Action Shotgun loses the advantage of flexibility that the normal shotguns have, or the ability to top off on the go like a normal lever action rifle. So instead of being the best of both worlds, it’s the worst of both worlds.
Sure, Terminator 2 made it look cool with the firing from a motorcycle and spin cocking it… But that’s about where the cool factor comes to an abrupt end.
The reloading is second to none when it comes to being slow and awkward.
The reliability is questionable in every Winchester and Win-Clone I’ve seen. But even if you had one that ran as reliable as the Sun Rise – it’s still limited with a very short mag tube that you can’t extend, and reloading is about as clumsy as mechanically possible.
Even one as practiced as Master Quinn has a time of running these things.
A Shotgun has it’s advantage in being Situationally Flexible. You take that away from it – it’s handicapped drastically.
A Lever has it’s advantage in being light and easy to handle, narrow in profile, and easy to top off on the go. Take those things away from it, and it’s handicapped.
I see no point in these Lever Action Shotguns other than as a Novelty or a Historic Curio Reproduction.
The use of one in a Tactical Situation would be a mistake unless this was the only weapon you had or that it was a stop gap weapon until you could get to a better weapon.
Granted 12 gauge is devastating and 4 or 5 shots from it is formidable… but this is like planning on using a 2 shot Derringer as a defensive weapon. There are better options out there. In every metric there are better options.
That being said. They are still freaking cool and fun… so outside of the Tactical Use spectrum – they are just fine.
Quick Update – There is a Marlin Lever Action in .410… It was produced for a time, dropped, brought back briefly and dropped again. So examples are out there. They are rare and hard to find. I’ve only seen 2 in person. They are cool and could be viable as a Tactical Lever Action Shotgun. But they are only in .410 and that’s also a handicap. But it’s better than harsh language, so there’s that.
I have to admit – I like the looks. But there are two things that disappoint. 1. They are adding some really cheap sights and acting like it’s an upgrade. That’s just sad right there. This is really no biggie though, as I’d replace it the same day I got the rifle. With this. It begs for the Lever Rail. 2. The stock – which is fine on the outside… It’s laminate wood on the inside. I’d rather have seen a sturdy synthetic stock used here to take a pound of weight out of the gun and narrow it up a bit.
It’s interesting that they are having FNC do the Finish on it. I’d have thought Remington would have kept that work in house and use the same finished that they used on the 700 XCR Tactical Rifles. I don’t know what advantage FNC’s finish is going to have. Or maybe… FNC did the finish on the XCR rifles?
Really though – it’s just an 1895 GBL with a Green Stock. I like it, but I’m not excited about it.
What would really excite me though, is if I could get that in an 1894 .44 Mag. Now THAT would be sweet.
This is “The Green Marlin” which became the Cowboy Assault Rifle, or CAR-30-30, or Tactical Lever Action. It started out as a stock Marlin 336C which had some serious water damage to the stock that ruined the finish. I was going to do a John Deer logo on the side of it, but then I decided I hated that color. The gun its self though was straight up awesome. Barrel cut down to 16 on the dot, and an 11 Degree Target Crown and a 1 Piece firing pin and the Trigger Happy trigger from Wild West Guns. The result was a 30-30 that would print 1/2″ groups with LEVERevolution ammo.
This is what replaced my Crusader Modified Rock River… which no matter how good or accurate it was, it was too damned heavy. This is a very lightweight build that Gundoc tweaked for me. Slipstream treatment and a Battlecomp round out the details. Topped with an EOTech, to get on target fast. Accuracy is more than enough to make me laugh wickedly. Yeah, I’m not giving anything up on the Rock River’s accuracy.
Now, I’m holding a Rossi M92 in .44 Mag. And I do love the 92’s, the gun in the photo that brings this to the front of the pack, is the one Evil Jim is caressing. That’s his SBL. This is the .45-70 Thumper that forced me – FORCED ME – to buy a Guide Gun of my own. I don’t have a pic of me holding mine, so this one will do.
Notice that out of all these rifles in this post – most are Lever Actions. There’s a good reason for that. I love Lever Action Rifles. Especially one’s with some modern touches that enhance the Lever’s ability to hit – and knock the shit out of the target.
It was asked, “What is Crusader going to do if there is another Assault Weapons Ban and you can’t build AR’s anymore?” What will we do? We’ll do custom Lever Actions. I’m one of the few Trainers out there that actively train – an encourage – Lever Actions.
We’re talking Guns and Smack… and asking about what Firearms you would like to see Crusader do for you.
So far, the biggest thing is LEVER ACTIONS. Lots of interest in the Art Of The Dynamic Lever. Part of me is surprised at all the Lever Interest… and then again, I’m not surprised. Because while a Lever Action is often forgotten about in this world of AR Type rifles all over the front pages… The Lever Action remains very cool. Regardless of Caliber, they tend to be easy to shoot, potent, rugged, and reliable. Accuracy is generally very good too. I’ve seen some amazing accuracy out of customized Levers. And the great thing about a Lever is that they tend to be light weight and maneuverable. No box mags hanging out, no pistol grips. Just straight forward killing potential. You don’t Shoot At things with a Lever. You kill things with a Lever. The flat ogive of a Lever’s projectile hits with a great deal of shock. Slapping impact instead of a stab. This magnifies the hydrostatic shock effect and puts critters down hard. You gotta love that.
What would Crusader do for a Lever Action? Well first off, every new lever action I’ve dealt with this last couple years has been far from smooth. Jarring, harsh, ratchety, when cycling the actions. This is priority one to sort out. You want a nice smooth action so you can easily cycle it while the gun is on the shoulder, between shots. Everything else is icing. The Permanent Slipstream Treatment is the Medicine for a Lever Action. That and some Hand Polishing of certain internals to make it “Buttah”.
A fellow that shall not be identified has brought in his gun collection for liquidation. Here are just some of the guns.
If there are any guns you want – Please come to Basin Sports in Vernal Utah, 511 West Main Street. You have got to see these for yourself. If you want to pay for one over the phone to have it shipped to your Dealer – Dude, I wouldn’t recommend it. Some of these guns have the original boxes and they are DELICATE.