We hosted a bunch of kids and grandkids for lunch today, as we do every Sunday. After lunch, the menfolk gathered in the garage around the work bench and we talked guns, shooting, upcoming projects, the week ahead, all the things that families talk about. Some of the grandkids had gathered and I took out a Winchester 94, made some dummy cartridges and we started talking about how the lever action rifle works.
The dummy cartridge, a simple piece of brass with a bullet seated, no powder or primer, is invaluable in teaching how particular rifles operate. As the boys loaded the dummy through the loading gate and worked the lever, they could see the cartridge move through the mechanics of the action and understand how things work together to move the ammunition from the magazine to the barrel.
My grandsons understand the common bolt-action hunting rifle and are learning how to shoot them. The lever gun is one of my true loves and I had somehow forgotten to include that type in the grandkids education. Today I began to remedy that lapse. As we go shooting in the future, I'll have to remember to bring a lever action rifle along. They're great fun and very educational. In my mind, they're very capable rifles, certainly adequate for 99% of the hunting tasks that we might find in our piney-woods.