Leaver action for home defense?
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  1. #1
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    Leaver action for home defense?

    My father is in his late 70s, he was an elite athlete most of his life (didn't stop playing basketball until he turned 70) but age is starting to gain on him faster now. Growing up, I remember him taking crows on the fly with a .22 rifle. So I was really surprised when he asked me to show him how to use a semi-auto pistol he was given by a church member and he struggled to hit anything. With enough work, I'm sure I could get him shooting fine but what was disconcerting is he struggled with the gun. Both to completely grasp the order of actions (loading and clearing) and operating the slide. He finally admitted he's loosing dexterity in his fingers.

    While he wants a pistol for home defense (not a revolver), I came away convinced a semi-auto was not the right answer for him. I had been planning to get him a pump shotgun but he's never owned one and I wondered if some of it's complexities, mainly clearing the gun, might be a problem. I don't believe he would get out and use it enough so whatever he has needs to be simple.

    Earlier this week I started thinking about a lever action rifle like the Henry Big Boy Carbine. Conceptually, it doesn't appear that different from his bolt action .22 tube fed rifle. I saw a Twang N Bang video on the .357 Magnum version and he said the .357 Magnum recoil was about equivalent to a .223.

    Anyone have experience?
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  2. #2
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    I've got a couple Henry's my father left me. One is brand new, never has been shot. That one is a .22. I vote for a Henry if your gonna do a rifle......Need to find what is most familiar to him since he is aging.

    I would also say pump shotgun, but, as we know, practice makes perfect. If he's not gonna practice much, the need to find what is familiar to him becomes much more important.

    Losing dexterity/fine motor control in his hands, I'm sure he can rack the slide on a semi-auto. Maybe try a 19. I think the size is perfect. Big enough to rack the slide for arthritic hands, and shoots soft enough to not kick those hard, brittle bones in his wrist.

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    What about a slide pull? As long he isn't doing conceal carry then there many styles at a reasonable price.

    Brass Stacker is the only one that doesn't stick out sideways that I know of that would conceal better but they are not cheap.

    Also a new lever gun can be just as hard to cock as a new slide on old hands.

    Gaz
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    Quote Originally Posted by OHgaz View Post
    What about a slide pull? As long he isn't doing conceal carry then there many styles at a reasonable price.

    Brass Stacker is the only one that doesn't stick out sideways that I know of that would conceal better but they are not cheap.

    Also a new lever gun can be just as hard to cock as a new slide on old hands.

    Gaz
    Great idea

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    Quote Originally Posted by MtStream View Post
    My father is in his late 70s, he was an elite athlete most of his life (didn't stop playing basketball until he turned 70) but age is starting to gain on him faster now. Growing up, I remember him taking crows on the fly with a .22 rifle. So I was really surprised when he asked me to show him how to use a semi-auto pistol he was given by a church member and he struggled to hit anything. With enough work, I'm sure I could get him shooting fine but what was disconcerting is he struggled with the gun. Both to completely grasp the order of actions (loading and clearing) and operating the slide. He finally admitted he's loosing dexterity in his fingers.

    While he wants a pistol for home defense (not a revolver), I came away convinced a semi-auto was not the right answer for him. I had been planning to get him a pump shotgun but he's never owned one and I wondered if some of it's complexities, mainly clearing the gun, might be a problem. I don't believe he would get out and use it enough so whatever he has needs to be simple.

    Earlier this week I started thinking about a lever action rifle like the Henry Big Boy Carbine. Conceptually, it doesn't appear that different from his bolt action .22 tube fed rifle. I saw a Twang N Bang video on the .357 Magnum version and he said the .357 Magnum recoil was about equivalent to a .223.

    Anyone have experience?
    While the recoil isn't much ... the gun weight may be (8.68#, unloaded). Not to make assumptions about your father's health and/or condition, I'd see if he could shoulder and manipulate a large(r) bore lever action. Like the many older members of my family, shooting one was virtually second nature. Unfortunately, unlike an AR, weight may be too much. A compromise might be the Mare's Leg in .357 by Henry. It's lighter, easier to swing inside a house, and still a lever action. It's referred to as a lever-action pistol.
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    The perfect home defense weapon is a 20 gauge double barrel hammerless, not one of the newer style ones that have hammers that have too be cocked. They usually come with a 26" or 28" barrels. In most States the legal length of the barrels cannot be under 18". So you can take it to a gunsmith and have him cut the barrels to 18 1/2 to be safe. Put some 00 buckshot in it and he's ready to go.

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    Thanks Buck, large muscle strength isnt an issue, but almost 9lbs has to come into consideration. What he is loosing is some fine muscle control, like writting. Knowing it was second nature to your family is very helpful. Can the lever action pistol be shouldered? I think shouldering would be helpful.

    He's never taken directions well but I was surprised that he just wasnt getting the process of a semi-auto. Anything from how the round went into the magazine, to remembering to remove the magazine before clearing the gun, it was all a foreign language to him. So even without physical limitations, I'm not sure I'd turn him loose with one. I probably should just give him a bucket of baseballs. He'd be downright deadly with them in close quarters!

    I did think about a double barrel shotgun, I got stuck thinking "what if he needed a 3rd shot?" Probably unlikely but I don't know.

    I'll see if I can find someone stocking Henry's to check them out. Any other mfg/models I should consider?

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    Mare's Leg in .357 by Henry
    Definitely on my wish list.


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    Quote Originally Posted by MtStream View Post
    Thanks Buck, large muscle strength isnt an issue, but almost 9lbs has to come into consideration. What he is loosing is some fine muscle control, like writting. Knowing it was second nature to your family is very helpful. Can the lever action pistol be shouldered? I think shouldering would be helpful.

    He's never taken directions well but I was surprised that he just wasnt getting the process of a semi-auto. Anything from how the round went into the magazine, to remembering to remove the magazine before clearing the gun, it was all a foreign language to him. So even without physical limitations, I'm not sure I'd turn him loose with one. I probably should just give him a bucket of baseballs. He'd be downright deadly with them in close quarters!

    I did think about a double barrel shotgun, I got stuck thinking "what if he needed a 3rd shot?" Probably unlikely but I don't know.

    I'll see if I can find someone stocking Henry's to check them out. Any other mfg/models I should consider?

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
    If he is use to the .22 that would be my first consideration.

    They shoot easy, but, most importantly, what is most familiar is the utmost priority. I've worked with geriatric clients for many years. As we age, what is familiar, we learn the best. And the .22 can be shouldered, most of the time, the smaller of the rifle lineup. Since it's a smaller caliber, the firearm itself will be lighter as well.

  11. #10
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    Century Arms has a lever action 12 ga., 5 rounds

    https://www.cheaperthandirt.com/prod...fType=&from=fn

    And Henry has a lever action 410 shotgun but it's MSRP is $900+. The Charter is listed for $330 on Cheaper than Dirt or if you are a Sportsman's Guide member for $309

    Chiappa Firearms has a 3 barrel 20 ga. Chiappa Firearms But they are 1400 and up on Gun Broker
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