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67galaxie, campero, Kip, Parabola, Stanton Hillis, Tim Cartmell
Total Likes: 19
Original Post (Thread Starter)
#633042 07/17/2023 11:11 PM
by Vol423
First please understand that I've never owned or even handled a Sidelever shotgun. So as a lefty I'm surprised that the lever is on the right side. I would think I would prefer to use my left thumb on a right side toplever to open a gun. I think it would be awkward on the left side. But all the Sidelever guns I have seen, presumably for right handed shooters, have the lever on the right. Please explain.
Liked Replies
#633089 Jul 18th a 11:42 PM
by Drew Hause
Drew Hause
Dewey Vicknair's side lever
The sidelever was chosen, because I think it is the best-looking method of operating the bolts. Invariably, the first question asked when someone sees the gun is why I made the sidelever left-handed. The answer is that I didn’t. I’m right-handed, and when holding the gun, my right thumb is on the left side, hence the lever’s location. It’s not traditionally done that way, but it works well for me; so functionality trumps tradition here. Personally, I never have understood any of the rationales behind putting the lever on the right side of a right-handed gun. Too many things in the trade are done simply because “that’s the way it’s always been done,” and the traditional position of the sidelever seems to fall into that category.
3 members like this
by Lloyd3
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Another variant on the side-lever (& the only one I've even seen). I'm finding that I'm adapting well to its use (as I suspect most would do with whatever version they end-up with). Given all that, I really do find the more-standard right-side sidelevers very useful and attractive (as I'm a southpaw myself).

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
3 members like this
#633050 Jul 18th a 12:36 AM
by Argo44
There are left-side side levers. On this site one gentleman opined that the right-side side lever was easier for a shooter. . .the left-side for a loader. Probably it was just the choice of the person who ordered it. I will say my side-lever Reilly is really easy to break and load. I would imagine that you would want that lever pointed away from your face though.

This Reilly was owned by Terry Buffum; SN 17392 (1871):
[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]
2 members like this
#633058 Jul 18th a 01:25 AM
by JBLondon
Gene, that gun is gorgeous! Wow.
I recently bought my 4th sidelever. Two have been on the left and two on the right. As a right handed shooter I find it most natural to operate the left-sided levers.
2 members like this
#633063 Jul 18th a 07:55 AM
by Parabola
Boss have recently introduced a side lever over and under which they sell with a pair of interchangeable side levers so that the purchaser’s child or grandchild can decide which suits them best.

Slightly off topic, at a Christie’s auction view many years ago I picked up an English SXS gun that had been built as a true left hander with the top lever rotated clockwise to open the gun. I nearly dislocated my thumb trying to open it the usual way before the penny dropped.
2 members like this
#633071 Jul 18th a 12:31 PM
by Drew Hause
Drew Hause
Helpful with contributions from Toby Barclay

The interchangeable Boss

Maybe Bro. Enos was a lefty wink

[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]

2 members like this
#633062 Jul 18th a 07:04 AM
by campero
My W&E has left sidelever and yes, it is the most natural to operate for right handed hunters and shooters.
1 member likes this
#633081 Jul 18th a 04:02 PM
by Drew Hause
Drew Hause
I've never seen a Belgian folding "Poacher's Gun" that had the side lever on the L.

It does seem that many JABC tradenamed side lever guns have the lever on the L however.

Wm. Moore & Co. was a popular knock-off (most by Pieper)

[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]

[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]
1 member likes this
#633107 Jul 19th a 11:16 AM
by Parabola
Boss may claim that theirs is the “World’s First Fully Ambidextrous Shotgun” but if I recall rightly my Stevens 20 bore single from about 1910 would open quite happily whichever way you pushed the lever.
1 member likes this
#633109 Jul 19th a 11:38 AM
by susjwp
I have three side-levers, two Grants and a Lancaster. The Grants, 12 & 16, are right, and the Lancaster, 12 hammer, is a left. The left side for me, a right handed shooter, is far more comfortable than the the right. I was told when seeking to convert the rights to left that the right side was tradition for loaders, and the left for shooters. Not sure how accurate that statement was. Never converted the Grants as it was not problematic (and very expensive).
1 member likes this
by Imperdix
I used a right handed Edwinson Green hammergun with a left sidelever quite a bit and had no issue with it .It was a fine gun !!!
1 member likes this

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