When lever action is mentioned, the beloved Winchester 1873 comes to mind. While ’73 wasn’t the first lever action, it was first model that became commercially successful. As it is obvious by the name, a lever-action firearm uses a lever to operate the action mechanism. This lever is located with the trigger; in fact, when you grip the stock of a lever action firearm you are essentially wrapping your hands around the lever itself.
The lever is operated by using the trigger hand to pull it away from the stock towards the front end of the rifle and bringing it back to its starting position. This one, fluid motion ejects the empty cartridge, cocks the firearm, and inserts a new round into the chamber. Lever action firearms are most popular with hunters and sporting sharpshooters. However, firearms that use this action aren’t popular in the military as it is interrupts the flow of the fight when trying to fire it from a prone position.
A lever action firearm is fed ammunition using a tubular magazine, which greatly limits the type of ammunition that it can be used with. For instance, using a pointed center fire spatter bullets can cause an explosion in the magazine.