A lever-action firearm usually has a shorter barrel, is lighter to carry, and is easy to operate for follow-up shots. A popular style of action among rifles, it is a good choice if you are hunting in thick brush (remember to cover the trigger guard to protect the trigger). Most lever-actions have a loading gate where the cartridges are pushed into a tubular magazine. To load a cartridge from the magazine, grasp the lever and swing it down and away from you. Make sure that the barrel is pointed in a safe direction. Next, swing the lever up and towards you. This releases a cartridge from the magazine, chambers the cartridge and closes the action. After you load, engage the safety if your lever action has one; otherwise, place the hammer at half-cock position. After firing the lever action, swing the lever down and away from you to eject the cartridge.
Important! Many older lever-actions do not have a safety to engage before unloading the firearm. Be sure to always keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction, and take extra care in keeping your fingers away from the trigger when unloading. KNOW YOUR FIREARM!
Safety First! Remember that if your firearm uses a half-cock safety, you must pull the trigger in order to move the hammer from the FULL- to HALF-COCKED position. When releasing the hammer, be sure the muzzle is pointed in a safe direction, hold the hammer in the FULL-COCK position with your thumb. Keep your thumb on the hammer as you pull the trigger. As soon as you feel the hammer exerting forward pressure on your thumb, remove your finger from the trigger and ease the hammer slowly forward to the HALF-COCKED position.