Chub Eastman

Now more than ever, lever-action rifles are a great choice for big-game hunting.

By Chub Eastman

Like a lot of kids, I grew up in the Northwest during a time when blue jeans were not a fashion statement and most everyone got a haircut once a week. The opening of big-game season was a big deal. When the first part of October rolled around and everyone headed for their favorite hunting grounds, most of the rifles that came off the gun racks were lever actions. Models and calibers varied, but most of the rifles were Winchesters or Marlins.

To the farmers and ranchers, they were just a reliable tool, just like a shovel or rake. They stood in the corner of the porch or hung on a peg in the barn most of the year so they were easy to get to in case some varmint started bothering the livestock or digging holes in the field. I can even remember seeing a few that were painted black so they wouldn’t rust.

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By Chub Eastman

Hunting bullets need to do two things well. They need to be accurate enough so a hunter can place the shot correctly, and they need to retain enough weight to penetrate the vital area of a game animal.

Knife-edge accuracy is the number-one requirement of the competition target shooter. But it doesn’t make any difference what the bullet does after it reaches the target, and that is the reason you see completely different bullet construction in bullets designed for competition versus those designed for hunting applications.

For hunters, accuracy is important, but the bullet must also expand and retain enough weight, which relates to energy, to reach the vital area of a game animal when a shot is properly placed.