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Half/Button magazines on lever action rifles


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What are people's opinions of shortened magazines on lever action rifles?

I can only assume that the reason they were created was to reduce weight somehow, although to be honest, I don't think it'd be all that much.

I've always thought they were odd looking, and can't for the life me really understand why they were wanted.   When I found my 86, it had a 20" barrel, and a button magazine, but it clearly had been shortened and did not come that way from the factory.   (The slots for the magazine hangers were still there, albeit filled in.)   The factor letter didn't say so, but it suggested that it probably also came with a 24" barrel, as that was standard, and there was no record of a special short barrel for this gun.   Anyway, I put on a new magazine, and the gun looks a lot better, IMO.  (Left the barrel short.  If it was cut, it was done quite expertly.)

I know that the later Model 71's came from the factory with the short magazine, and as far as I know, a full length one was not even an option.

Anyway, there are two questions here.   1.   Why?   What was/is the purpose of the shorter mag?  2.  Does anyone here actually like/prefer/have a shorter magazine on your guns?   For a Main Match gun, it'd be a problem but for something like a 94 or and 86 for side matches, it might not be much of a big deal.

What do people think?

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I don't know this for fact, but some will like the half-mags because of cosmetics, and like the way it looks.    Not me.

 

Another reason I think manufacturers created them was for certain state laws that restrict the number of rounds allowing in

certain firearms for hunting purposes.

 

I don't know when the 'plug' was introduced into shotguns, but its possible that a plug wasn't introduced into certain rifles and therefore,

manufacturers had to do something to limit round capacity.

 

..........Widder

 

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The main reason I can think of for the shorter magazine versus a full-length would be for balance, especially with rifles chambered for long, heavy cartridges, and where the shooter felt there wasn't the need for more than four or five rounds for hunting.  Another reason for combining a short barrel and a half or button magazine would be for faster handling in close quarters or heavy brush.  Years ago, I came upon a M1886 Winchester...just a receiver with a 16-5/8" full octagon barrel. The barrel was marked "W.F. EXP. Co. XX22"  The Wells Fargo Museum stated that it had probably been a local purchase item by one of their field offices. The barrel did not look like it had been chopped but there was no way to tell for certain. It is noted that this odd length was available from the factory. There was no slot cut in the bottom of the barrel near the muzzle, not a hole for a screw, either of which could be used to retain the end plug of a full length magazine.  I restored it with a button mag, which held three rounds of .40-65 WCF, plus one in the chamber.  It would have been ideal for use in a railroad express car.  Better range and power than a .44-40, and easily handled in close quarters.

 

Some years earlier I was hunting wild boar down in central Tennesse, with a M1886 chambered for .33 WCF, with a 24" barrel and a half-magazine. I was in dense brush when I saw a large European/ferral hog running along a fence line. I raised up and started to swing when the end of the barrel snagged on a sappling.  Never got off a shot! :(  But that was the last time I ever went hunting with a rifle having a barrel longer than 22"!  (I did get two other hawgs with the .33, but that is another story.
 

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Michigan, for one. Six total. 

2 hours ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

I don't know this for fact, but some will like the half-mags because of cosmetics, and like the way it looks.    Not me.

 

Another reason I think manufacturers created them was for certain state laws that restrict the number of rounds allowing in

certain firearms for hunting purposes.

 

I don't know when the 'plug' was introduced into shotguns, but its possible that a plug wasn't introduced into certain rifles and therefore,

manufacturers had to do something to limit round capacity.

 

..........Widder

 

 

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Sometimes it just looks better. I don't think I would like a short magazine if I was going out in the wild west and might have to fight off red Indians or bandits.

 

But while I have several 20-inch barreled guns with full length magazines, this one is just pretty.

 

881188288_Browning5332WCF.jpg.32a86e43a3f86ad755ec89672cf2bbf4.jpg

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Call me crazy, I definitely prefer the half mag style lever guns for taking afield. I’ve always thought they seemed sporty! 
Interestingly my plain vanilla Marlin / Glenfield 1/2 mag 30-30 has always been an absolute tack driver, so go figure:lol:

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I’ve got both an 1894 SRC with button mag in 30 WCF and an 1886 Extralight in 45-70. Both carry and swing well for hunting, but are definitely handicapped for SASS long range events when it’s a 10 shot string with time as a factor.  

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I think it is partly cosmetic and mostly functional due to the half octagon barrel. A full octagon barrel is easier to hand a full length tube on. 73's were available with up to a 32" barrel which also had two mag tube retaining bands. There is some firepower. Muskets had tubes that were 3-4 inches short of the muzzle. I have a couple non 73 takedown winchesters and the tubes are equal to the octagon  portion of the barrel.

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Other than times I've been soft hearted, and just wanted to chivy a Coyote away from the house without killing it. I can't recall needing more than three shots. Don't have one with the button magazine, but other except for competition, practical if you have to carry it walking.

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Most of the '92s that came to Australia back then had half magazine and many were chambered in 32-20.

 

Two schools of thought: .... after you've fired one or two shots there was seldom anything left to shoot at .....

                                       ........ the thinner walled magazine tube was less prone to damage and deformity from less than dainty handling if it didn't extend past the schnabel of the forestock ...

 

I have one but we got another short mag tube and made them into a "fuller" length magazine ...   :)

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29 minutes ago, Forty Rod SASS 3935 said:

Laws change.

Neighbor had a fit because my Winchester 94 holds 8 .38-55's.

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5 minutes ago, Trailrider #896 said:

Have to look and see. Not sure how to post a photo here. 

At the bottom of the dialog box, there is a paperclip and "Drag files here to attach, or choose files..."

Click choose files then browse your computer to find the picture.  There is a size limit, so if it is big you might have to resize it.

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