Turning To Trappers

I have several leverguns with barrel lengths of 24" and even 26", and they are fine for easy shooting but not so good for easy packing. A pair of brass-framed 1866 Winchester replicas with long octagon barrels got very little use until I got rid of some extra metal and turned them into “Trappers.”

There was a time when both Marlin and Winchester offered virtually any barrel length the customer would like. Just think how handy a .357 Magnum levergun with a 12" barrel would prove, besides exceptionally easy shooting. The same length on a levergun chambered in .44 Magnum would be quite practical for use in tight quarters — whether hunting deer or feral pigs. Alas, in this day and age, they’re not to be.

Just about the time I was ready to enter this world, the U.S. Congress mandated minimum barrel lengths for rifles and shotguns. By the time I reached the age of being able to purchase a rifle, Trappers could no longer be made with 14" or 15" barrels. The first modern short-barreled levergun I can remember seeing (and lusting after), was the Marlin Model 336 Marauder with a 16-1/4" barrel chambered in either .30-30 or .35 Remington. This rifle was only produced for one year in 1963, a time I was married with three young pre-schoolers and attending college full time; there was very little expendable money — certainly no excess cash for a levergun.