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The Versatile, Time-Tested Survival Rifle You Likely Overlooked

The Versatile Survival Weapon You Likely Overlooked

Teddy Roosevelt’s Winchester 1894. Image source:

In the world of survival and prepping, the best rifle you could own is a tactical semi-automatic chambered for a common round that is reliable and accurate, and that will get as many rounds as you need down range.

By all means, it is vitally important that you train extensively with a semi-automatic-rifle as it is perhaps the most important go-to weapon that you can have.

Many recommendations suggest that you have at least one semi-automatic 5.56x45mm or .308 rifle, a .22 LR rifle, 12 gauge shotgun, and a handgun in a common chambering. But one weapon that is often overlooked is the lever-action rifle.

After all, a lever-action rifle is not tactical, either in appearance or in mechanisms, it has a limited magazine capacity and slow reloading times, and supposedly doesn’t serve any real purpose when you have your AR-15 and a big-game hunting rifle with you.

So why, then, would you want to consider owning a lever-action rifle? There are actually several reasons.

A lever-action rifle doesn’t have anything close to the firepower capabilities of an AR or an AK, so it’s not the weapon you would want in a combat scenario. But having a rifle that’s not tactical could work to your advantage. In a grid-down situation, you don’t want to stand out. Keeping your AR or AK concealed under a blanket and keeping your lever-action rifle slung over your back doesn’t attract much attention, and people may assume that you’re just as desperate as they are and therefore not worth bothering. But even in the event that someone does try to attack you, you have more than an adequate self-defense weapon.

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The lever-action rifle is also an excellent truck gun. They are short (carbine length), slim, light, rough and don’t have a magazine sticking out. Putting a .30-30 in the back of your truck or car with a box or two of ammo will ensure that it’s hidden and will always keep you comforted knowing that you’re keeping a decent survival rifle with you at all times.

Lever-action rifles will get the job done when it comes to hunting, and are more than adequate self-defense weapons. If you don’t have a rifle of any kind in your vehicle, consider a lever-action rifle.

Most lever actions are chambered in .45-70, .30-30, .44 magnum or .357 magnum/.38 special.  Having the handgun round in your rifle will simplify things if you pack a revolver with you, as you only need to carry one caliber. The .30-30 is also an excellent deer-hunting round and one of the most plentiful non-military calibers available. Any sporting goods store will have more than enough .30-30 shells for sell. And the .45-70 is a powerful, hard-hitting round that is used for hunting grizzly bear and moose, and it will drop anything you need it to in North America.

Presently, the two most common lever actions are the Winchester 1894 and the Marlin 336, the 1894 being one of the most popular sporting rifles of all time. The major difference between the two: The shells eject out the top of the Winchester, and out the side of the Marlin. Which one should you buy? It’s a matter of personal preference. Both are of nearly equal size, quality and reputation. Other brands do make lever-action rifles, but if you want something that’s tried and true, it’s nearly impossible to go wrong with the Winchester or the Marlin.

The lever-action rifle continues to hold a valid place as a valuable weapon in today’s world. No, it is not the combat rifle that an AR or an AK is. But at the same time, that’s not why you would buy a lever-action rifle, either. Lever-action rifles are affordable, are an excellent truck and/or survival rifle, and will attract less attention in the event of a grid-down or other disaster situation. And beyond that, they are some of the most fun guns to shoot.

What do you consider to be the strengths of lever-action rifles? Leave your reply in the section below:   

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