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Thread: Lever Gun Technique

  1. #1

    Lever Gun Technique

    For those who shoot lever action a lot: can you describe your "manual of arms" regarding placement of your trigger finger from the time you break a shot until the time you break the next shot? Where/how do you index your trigger finger while cycling the lever, particularly if you are shooting under time pressure? Also, are you able to maintain a good cheek weld while cycling the action? Reason: I'm thinking of exploring lever guns, but I need to keep track of my somewhat numb trigger finger. I do pretty well once I figure out how to keep it out of trouble, so I'm seeking guidance on the correct steps, and timing of those steps. Thanks in advance for any help.

  2. #2
    Site Supporter JHC's Avatar
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    Yes on maintaining cheek weld. It's easy. Regarding the trigger, I look at this way. If I'm shooting an AR carbine once and plan to shoot again in a big hurry, I don't index my finger outside the trigger guard between shots.

    I don't on a lever gun either. Just get off the trigger, maybe like "flip and press" with pistol. [edit: a BIG flip and press with the trigger finger flying out straight then returning - per next post down] I say maybe cause I've never gotten the hang of that with a pistol.

    Case in point from the other day.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/780361...posted-public/
    Last edited by JHC; 07-11-2018 at 06:11 PM.
    "I realized all the mindset talk was useless without action and that with action, all the mindset talk was unnecessary." - Mike Pannone

  3. #3
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    When I shoot one, as soon as I start to operate the lever, my trigger finger points straight and outside the lever while cycling the action and returns inside the trigger guard when the lever is closed.

    I have no desire to smash my finger when closing the lever nor do I want my finger to hit the trigger unintentionally during the rearward movement of the lever.

    As to maintaining cheek weld, it depends on the design / length of bolt travel and how close you like to get to the sights. Some rifles are longer / shorter than others so it's just something you have to work with slowly to be sure you CAN keep cheek weld while cycling the bolt.
    Last edited by Redhat; 07-11-2018 at 05:57 PM.

  4. #4
    JHC are you doing anything specific to keep from trapping your finger between the trigger guard and the end of the trigger? That's where I have a problem: I open the action, then when I close it, my finger is prone to being smooshed against the bottom (tip) of the trigger.

  5. #5
    Site Supporter JHC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dog Guy View Post
    JHC are you doing anything specific to keep from trapping your finger between the trigger guard and the end of the trigger? That's where I have a problem: I open the action, then when I close it, my finger is prone to being smooshed against the bottom (tip) of the trigger.
    Holy shit I have no idea! I've been shooting them since 1972 (childhood) and never experienced that and have never given it much thought. If I'm target shooting slowly I index out of the trigger guard like we did on pistols back before we learned to frame index. But if on game trying to be ready for a fast follow up shot, it's just snick snick as in the vid.

    Pause . . .

    Damn, I had to get that Win 94 out of the safe and run it fast to find out! My trigger finger FLIES out straight during the cycling of the lever then comes back into the trigger guard as I prep for the next shot.

    Thanks for asking. LOL
    "I realized all the mindset talk was useless without action and that with action, all the mindset talk was unnecessary." - Mike Pannone

  6. #6
    Thanks. I figured on something along those lines, but I want to make sure I'm not missing something really simple.

  7. #7
    Site Supporter JHC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dog Guy View Post
    Thanks. I figured on something along those lines, but I want to make sure I'm not missing something really simple.


    Get one. They are a scream.
    "I realized all the mindset talk was useless without action and that with action, all the mindset talk was unnecessary." - Mike Pannone

  8. #8
    Hillbilly Elitist Malamute's Avatar
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    As described above, definitely trigger finger outside the guard when cycling the lever. I think once you program yourself to do it, you can do it at about any speed.

  9. #9
    The lever gun can sort of force you to get that finger out of there, as it is possible (as an 11 year old Jared can tell you) to pinch the snot out of your finger if you don't do a good job getting it out of the way when you close the action. Yes, I did that as a boy. No, the gun didn't fire because the lever wasn't closed all the way yet. I've recently rediscovered the lever gun, and I'm very glad I did.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Dog Guy View Post
    For those who shoot lever action a lot: can you describe your "manual of arms" regarding placement of your trigger finger from the time you break a shot until the time you break the next shot? Where/how do you index your trigger finger while cycling the lever, particularly if you are shooting under time pressure? Also, are you able to maintain a good cheek weld while cycling the action? Reason: I'm thinking of exploring lever guns, but I need to keep track of my somewhat numb trigger finger. I do pretty well once I figure out how to keep it out of trouble, so I'm seeking guidance on the correct steps, and timing of those steps. Thanks in advance for any help.

    Here's a review of my abbreviated Social Levergun class at the 2018 TacCon. I'll be repeating the class at the 2019 TacCon in New Orleans.

    I keep the gun in the shoulder as I work the lever and for both emergency and speed reloads although I do teach an alternate method for those who don't have the strength to do so for the loading.
    I had an ER nurse in a class. I noticed she kept taking all head shots. Her response when asked why, "'I've seen too many people who have been shot in the chest putting up a fight in the ER." Point taken.

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