Every day self-proclaimed “experts” in the media spout off about the evils of semi-automatic rifles, termed “war guns”, “full automatics”, “Assault Rifles”, seeking to ban them once and for all. Then Congress gets involved and away we go. Neither group have any truly pure motives; mostly they just want to control every facet of everyone’s life, whether that violates the Constitution or not.
They are also swimming upstream against history. For example, the 1919 Treaty of Versailles by the victorious Allies after World War I (then called the Great War) placed sole blame for the war on Germany. It sounded like a good thing at the time (which is what many high school boys later claim was their reason for doing something stupid) but was such a monstrosity that almost single-handedly it ensured that the “War to End All Wars” was merely a prequel to an even more-destructive world war twenty years later – World War II.
A group called the IMKK, Inter-Allied Military Control Commission (sort of an international BATF) was established to enforce the provisions of the treaty on German soil. Among other things this commission ensured the following: the German Army could have no more than 100,000 personnel of which only 4,000 could be commissioned officers; the German Navy could have no submarines and no more than 36 surface ships (destroyers, cruisers, etc.); Germany could have no Air Force, could not import weapons of any kind; and have no tanks or heavy artillery.
So the Weimar Republic (the German democracy that replaced the Kaiser) came to the conclusion that when life deals you Zitronen (lemons), you start making Limonade (lemonade). And the boys from the Krupp company, who never saw a weapon they didn’t love, went to neutral Sweden and worked with Bofers, some Swedish arms-builders, and developed a dual purpose 88-mm cannon, which was permitted under the treaty. Actually it would have multiple purposes: anti-aircraft, anti-tank, general artillery, deck guns on naval vessels, and the main gun on deadly armored vehicles named after powerful animals – Tiger, Elephant, Rhinoceros and Hunting Panther.
Today, as in the past, adapt, be flexible, think out of the box. Defense of the 2nd Amendment includes fighting to retain semi-automatic rifles, because banning those will just lead to banning semi-automatic shotguns and semi-automatic pistols. And if those are ever prohibited, next up, pump-style weapons – the list will go on and on until nothing remains.
So, we need to ask ourselves the following question: what will I do if I am unable to own a semi-auto rifle? You probably have already started your evaluation: almost no one I know has only semi-automatic rifles, because if all you have are these, and they are banned, you are now in the “Land of the Blind” with respect to self-defense. And we know that in any uncertain, difficult situation the “One-eyed Man is King”.
Let’s start with rifles for today. What could replace my semi-auto? The closest type of rifle in terms of capability is probably lever-action or pump. Bolt action often exceeds semi-auto in terms of accuracy and range, but is slow-firing in comparison. Pump and lever-actions have a tube on the underside that stores the ammunition. With either, you can probably fire several rounds quick enough to take down an animal during hunting, or a bad guy. Or two, maybe three. Situational awareness is a sense you can develop; it generally will keep you out of a situation where a pack of wolves, or bad guys, are simultaneously attacking you.
A lever action is named appropriately enough, for a lever in front of the trigger guard. Rotating that lever about 90 degrees downward and then back up again, loads a new cartridge into the chamber. Downsides? Yes; it is harder to fire prone. It’s slower to reload (but some calibers hold 10 rounds) and tubular magazines don’t use spire point (sharp-pointed) bullets. You’ll be firing round-nose or flat-tipped. Few self-defense courses cover lever actions.
Lever-action calibers? There are dozens; from .22 long rifle to some humdinger called a 50-110 Winchester. Other upsides? They are proven, having been around a long time. Many calibers are also pistol calibers – easing supply. They often cost less than semi-autos. Henry is a great brand as are Marlin, Winchester and Browning. You can put a scope or red dot on most.
Folks who swore by the lever-actions of their day? Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull, Geronimo, Pat Garrett, Butch Cassidy, William Bonney, and Wyatt Earp. So ask yourself. What did they know that I don’t? Make a lever action, maybe a .357 or .44, a flexible option in your gun safe. Make it your own “88” that can do many things well.