How to Disassemble a Lever-Action Rifle

by Edwin Thomas
Lever-action rifles have a classic Wild West appearance.

Lever-action rifles have a classic Wild West appearance.

Lever-action rifles have a classic Wild West appearance, and many modern deer-hunting rifles continue to use the lever-action system, ensuring the continued popularity of this type of gun. Like other rifles, lever-action rifles require disassembly for both routine cleaning and major repairs, and although the exact procedure for taking apart a Winchester will vary from that of a Marlin, some general guidelines can serve as a guideline for breaking down the main moving parts of a lever-action rifle.

Release the safety by pressing in the button under the hammer on its right side, as viewed with the barrel pointing forward. Pull the trigger to release the firing spring.

Retract the rifle's bolt by pulling the lever forward, just as you would if you were loading the rifle with a fresh cartridge.

Find the hinge pin, or the screw that is located where the lever enters the receiver (the part of the rifle that houses the majority of the moving parts). Unscrew the hinge pin and pull out the lever.

Pull out the breech bolt. This part came out of the back of the receiver when you lowered the lever in Step 2. Pull this part out of the receiver. Attached to it at the far end is a ring with a prong on it, known as the extractor. Try to keep this attached when you remove the breech bolt. If they don't come out together, push it out by sliding a screwdriver into the rifle's ejector port (where the spent cartridges pop out).

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver


  • As the exact procedure for lever-action rifle disassembly varies from rifle to rifle, consult your owner's manual for exact instructions and modify these steps accordingly.


  • Always check to make sure a gun is unloaded before you attempt to disassemble it.

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