Learn about lever-action rifles in this edition of Shoot Safe

FALL RIVER COUNTY, S.D. — Lever-actions are another firearm where tradition may be one of the main appeals.

Loading the rifle

Conservation Officer Chris Dekker with South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks demonstrated how to load the rifle. He started with opening the tube magazine near the top of the barrel. Then, he slid the tube up and dropped some .22 rounds into the magazine. Lever-actions are usually loaded through either a tubular magazine like this one, or a side gate to load into.

Chambering a round

The tubular magazine slides back down, and Officer Dekker locked it back into place. He closed the action by closing the lever, and then cycled it by opening the lever and closing it again. This brings a round into the chamber.

Shooting the rifle

This lever-action has no safety switch, so once a round is in the chamber, it’s ready to be fired.

“There’s going to be virtually no kick on this, so just a gentle squeeze, and you are good to go,” Dekker said.

Checking targets

It’s always important to make a gun safe before going downrange, but especially so when there’s no safety switch. In this case, Officer Dekker removed the magazine and cycled the action, leaving it open, to ensure the chamber was clear and the rifle wouldn’t be able to go off as we walked towards our targets.

Lever Action Rifle

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