Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 60

Lock, Stock & Barrel
By Jim Romanelli

The	Winchester	lever	action	rifle	is	as	American	 as	Mom	and	apple	pie.

Winchester Lever Action Legacy
T
HE EVOLUTION of the lever action started back around 1848 when a Walter Hunt developed the Volition Repeating rifle and his externally primed Rocket Ball ammunition (hollowed out base of a bullet filled with powder) that used an independent external primer. The rifle looked like a hammerless muzzleloader, but with a magazine tube under the barrel. Only a few were made as prototypes and the rifle never made it into production. About a year later, a gentleman by the name of Lewis Jennings improved on the Hunt design, calling it the Jennings rifle. This design looked more like the hammered muzzleloaders of that time. Henry Tyler and Horace Smith worked with Jennings to improve the design of the rifle, as well as the Rocket Ball ammunition, and produced around 5,000 rifles before the company fell upon hard financial times and closed its doors in 1852. In 1854, Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson (along with a businessman who had purchased the Smith-Jennings patents, as well as Oliver Winchester), further improved the toggle design, creating a lever action design rifle and pistol, along with the internally primed volcanic cartridge (hollowed out bullet filled with powder and a primer), creating the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company. A year later Winchester took over ownership and created the New Haven Repeating Arms Company. Winchester employed Tyler Henry, who was experimenting with metallic rimfire ammunition, and he created the .44 Henry rimfire cartridge and redesigned the Volcanic rifle to shoot it, calling it the Henry rifle. The advantage of the metallic cartridge was that the amount of powder was not limited to the volume of a hollow-based bullet (thus limiting the power of the ammunition), plus the metallic cartridge formed a better chamber seal. Practically speaking, it was the Henry action rifle and the .44 rimfire cartridge that started lever action history. As with all firearm designs it takes a conflict that would further its practical popularity, and it was the Civil War (1860-1864) that really gave it a boost of adrenalin. The .44 rimfire cartridge held 28 grains of black powder and sent a 216-grain lead bullet at

WALTER HUNT developed the Volition Repeating rifle in 1848, which was the forerunner of the lever action gun.

60	

GAME	 NEWS



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012

Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012
History of the Whitetail
Table of Contents
Going to the Ducks
A Tribute to Jon DeBerti
You Can’t Call It Back
Cover Story
Last Shot for Pap?
75 Years of Success in Pennsylvania
NASP Students are Hungry for More
Bears and Turkeys
A Natural Connection
The Other Migratory Game Birds
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Fun Game
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - History of the Whitetail
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - Table of Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - Going to the Ducks
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - A Tribute to Jon DeBerti
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - You Can’t Call It Back
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - Cover Story
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - Last Shot for Pap?
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 75 Years of Success in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - NASP Students are Hungry for More
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - Bears and Turkeys
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - A Natural Connection
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - The Other Migratory Game Birds
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - BB1
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - BB2
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2012 - Cover4
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