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GUNS Magazine July 2012 Digital Edition - Page 26

even what the term means. Like a candle that burns brightest just before it goes out, the lever action made a last stand. For a brief moment there were several “modern” lever actions: Browning BLR, Sako Finnwolf, Savage 99 and Winchester 88. At least they were cataloged, though not necessarily seen in every gunshop. They were chambered for relatively powerful cartridges such as .243, .308 and .358; could be safely used with spitzer bullets; and could be readily fitted with scopes. The BLR was announced in the late 1960s, but I never saw one in use until around 1973, about the time the Winchester 88 was discontinued. I only ever knew one hunter who used the Finnwolf, and he had two in .243 and .308. Of these only the BLR survives. Nonetheless there is still interest in lever actions, though I’m not sure how much is due to younger shooters. Maybe it is just us old guys. Much of the demand is surely nostalgia, for originals and clones of classics such as the Winchesters 86, 92, 94, 95. What about practical advantages? One often listed is faster reloading. By dint of long practice, I’m pretty quick at reloading a bolt action so this one Some of Dave’s lever actions, all with receiver sights include (left to right) a Savage 99 .300 Savage, Winchester 88 .284 Win, Marlin 336 .32 Special, Winchester 94 .30-30, Browning BLR .358 Win. doesn’t carry much weight for me. Lever actions are ambidextrous, an advantage for lefties, and useful should a rightie need to shoot from the left side. The flat profile and absence of projections makes lever guns ideal for carry in a scabbard. Realistically a lever-action revival is unlikely, but I know I’m not the only one who likes them. Something is behind the demand driving up prices of used 88s and 99s. Surely not all of them are being stashed away unused by collectors. LMt LM8MrP ® 19.25” mIL STd 1913 STANAG 4694 COmPLIANT RAIL SPACE STRAIGhT GAS TUBE RESISTS BENdING ANd RETAINS BETTER ALIGNmENT wITh ThE GAS kEy REdUCEd TEmPERATURE TO RAIL, OPTICS ANd BARREL ROCk SOLId ALUmINUm FORGING FREE-FLOATING BARREL ® Size MatterS AND SOMETIMES ITS SMALLER FIREd CARTRIdGE CASE dEFLECTOR LM8 26 5009_GunsMagazineLM8Ad_FINALRev.indd 1 NO LOSS OF zERO FROm ROUGh hANdLING Lm8 PLATFORm dESIGN mAkES FOR A SmALLER, SLImmER, LIGhTER ANd mORE mANEUVERABLE wEAPON VERSATILITy OF dIFFERENT SIzEd RAIL SEGmENTS ALLOwS yOU TO ATTACh ThE ACCESSORIES yOU NEEd FOR ThE mISSION AT hANd It’s short. It’s thin. It doesn’t weigh much. It’s perfect. Already an industry leader in monolithic rail development, Lewis Machine & Tool is once again improving the way weapons are manufactured. The newly designed LM8 (slick octagonal rail) platform redefines what a rail should be by giving you a rail that is smaller, slimmer, lighter and more maneuverable. In short, we’ve reduced the amount of gun that you have to carry, without sacrificing the reliability that you want and the knockdown power that you need. 8 Sides, Hundreds of configuration possibilities, 1 kick-a88 gun. ® B EC AUS E FAI LUR E IS NOT AN O P T IO N TOP RAIL POSITION mATChES m4 ANd E3-TyPE wEAPONS Phone: 309-732-9527 W W W. G U N S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • J U LY 2012 1/25/12 1:45 PM

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