I recently bought a 10-round .357 magnum lever action rifle from Henry.
|.357 Mag/.38 spl lever action rifle|
I had an old BSA dot laying around and the rifle’s receiver was already tapped for a scope mount, so I prevailed on my friend and master air gun mechanic, Derrick, to cut and drill a Picatinny-style rail to fit my gun.
After a few minutes of “You want a what on a what?” he took a look at it and told me it’s a piece of
strudel cake. I’m happy to report he did a nice job on
it. I’m very pleased with it.
After blue loctite-ing the rail’s screws in place and mounting the scope on it, I took it out to the range. I zeroed the rifle at 25 yards. I’m not sure I’ll leave it there, but it’s a good start.
|Sighting in the rifle is just the begining process of owning the rifle|
Two things I don’t like about the gun. One: no mechanical safety. I usually carry it hammer down with an empty chamber. Two: lack of a loading gate. It’s fed from a tubular magazine under the barrel. If you want to top it off, you need to pull the magazine plug and drop the rounds in one at a time. It’s not the slow that bothers me, it the direction of the muzzle while I’m reloading it.
What did I want it for?
I always wanted lever action rifle. I didn’t want a rifle caliber. My right shoulder is too screwed up for a lot of shooting of .30-06 or .300 Win Mag. But there is another reason too.
I like the idea of having a rifle and pistol group that fires the same ammo and .357 magnum fills that bill just fine!
|The HP is my reload, I need to get a little better crimp. You never want a pointed bullet in a tubular magizine for centerfire chartridges. The flat top is factory.|
We tend to think of out-the-door-in-to–trouble rifles as tactical guns. If you are serious about the possibility of civil unrest and defense you should be thinking rifle. There isn’t a serious instructor who doesn’t think of the pistol as something to fight your way to your long gun. Most of us think of that rifle as a military style rifle (I’m using rifle as short hand for rifle or carbine) like an AR or AK.
|BSA dots tend to be dark. I need to buy a better one.|
What is it we want out of a rifle?
Most people would say increased firepower, more rounds, longer distance, better accuracy. I’m not mentioning stopping power. Stopping power is a function of shot placement. While some rounds perform better than others, shot placemen is paramount.
Before I constrict this discussion by eliminating high capacity military weapons with detachable magazines, let me remind you many battles have been won by motivated men with 8 round rifles.
I didn’t have any problem with head shots at 50 yards, something I see few people trying with a handgun. The lack of ability to reload with a feeding gate is probably the biggest drawback to claiming it’s a tactical weapon. This may well be overmatched by the ability to be prepared with just one type of ammunition for both weapons.