History questions for you all....

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by Nolaphoto1, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. Nolaphoto1

    Nolaphoto1 New Member

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    I am picking up interest in a lever action rifle. Growing up, a buddy of mine had a little Marlin .30-30 and I remember how compact and quick to point that rifle was. ANYWAY, since I don't do much hunting and am primarily interested in plinking, I don't necessarily have to have a .30-30. My primary concern is a period correct aesthetics. I love the look of a straight grip stock and prefer the crescent butt. However, my questions are: 1) When did the semi-pistol grip stocks appear? and 2) When did the butt move away from crescent to straight or shotgun style?
  2. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    I did a little checking and the pistol grip stock on long guns (or an extended trigger guard that has the effect of a pistol grip) has been around since 1600 or so, but they were uncommon until around 1900. The first standard U.S. Army rifle with a pistol grip stock was the M1903A1, officially adopted in 1929, but rarely issued since it was required that the supply of straight stocks be used up first. (The British Pattern 1914 and U.S. Model 1917 really don't have pistol grip stocks; the stock shape is not designed to be a pistol grip as such, but to be a hook for withdrawing the bayonet.)

    I would say that to the general hunting public, the pistol grip stock didn't really come into its own until after WWI, when many Americans liked the feel of the German Mauser rifles, and Winchester made their Model 54 and 70 with pistol grips. There had been rifles before that, notably Remingtons, but they were uncommon. After WWII, the pistol grip stock became the norm, even on shotguns.

    The "shotgun" buttplate also had been around for centuries. It was associated with the shotgun because of the need to bring a shotgun up to the shoulder quickly and without interference, something the so-called "rifle buttplate" was not suited for. The rifle buttplate was primarily associated with more deliberate fire. While the rifle buttplate looks odd and even pain inducing, in fact it is not uncomfortable. It allows good control for followup shots, since the butt doesn't slip down off the shoulder when the rifle recoils as rifles with shotgun buttplates tend to do.

    Possibly because millions of men became acquainted with the straight buttplate during WWI, the rifle buttplate vanished shortly thereafter.

    The third common style, called the "carbine buttplate" was used on short handy rifles; it was a compromise, having a deeper curve than the "shotgun" type, but without the projections of the "rifle" style. Again, the carbine was seen as a gun that the shooter, especially a mounted shooter, would want to get into action quickly and without interference. So the carbine was associated primarily with the horseman and after about WWI, the number of mounted hunters and soldiers declined. The carbine itself was too handy to vanish, but the special features associated with its use on horseback went away; those included the saddle ring, and the "carbine" buttplate.

    HTH

    Jim
  3. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    Another thing to add a bit more specific to lever-actions and the two stock options that you mentioned.

    With most examples, both the cresent-style buttplate (or the shotgun-style buttplate that Jim mentioned) and pistol-grip stock styles were usually seen on full length rifles as opposed to carbines. Sometimes both together, sometimes just one or the other. It's fairly uncommon to see a pre-WWI or even pre-WWII era carbine with either option...typically they were straight-stock with the carbine style buttplate. But they are out there.

    The same goes for a full octagon or half-round/half-octagon barrel. A typical carbine has a full round barrel. Typical long rifle could be full-round, half&half, or full octagon.
    And magazine length too...a carbine mag tube is almost always the same length as the barrel, while a long rifle might be full-length or what is called a half-magazine (which is about half the length of the barrel).

    It's kinda like how we used to be able to order a car with the options that we wanted instead of the one or two option packages that you usually find these days.
  4. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    If you are just looking for a lever with a straight stock and a rifle butt, but not necessairly wanting 30/30, might I suggest some of the guns being made for Cowboy Shooting.

    If you want the Henry-style elevator feed, you can get 1873s with either the rifle butt or the carbine butt.
    http://www.uberti.com/firearms/1873_rifle_and_carbine.php

    Same with 1866s.
    http://www.uberti.com/firearms/1866_yellowboy.php

    If you prefer the Browning design, you can get 92s with the same choices.
    http://www.cimarron-firearms.com/RepeatingRifles/1892Model.htm

    And, if you want bigger more powerful, you can get the Browning 1886, which is a 92 on steroids (actually, the big 86 was first, and they shrunk it to make the 92).
  5. Nolaphoto1

    Nolaphoto1 New Member

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    WOW! Thanks so much for the in depth answers! I don't know why I have suddenly taken an interest in these guns. I just started looking at some examples and felt that they represent the quintessential image (in my mind) of what a rifle should look like. I'm not a western fan. I'm not into cowboy action shooting. I do however appreciate history. The Henry's, 1892 carbine, and the 1894 just look like such quick handling guns. In my mind, they seem to represent that sweet spot where form meets function.
  6. Oldtown2

    Oldtown2 New Member

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    I use a lever action 22 LR Browning for plinking and when I want to reach out a bit down range I use a Henry 22 mag lever action , I have owned other 22 mags but this Henry is a keeper.
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