A Word About the New LeverEvolution Ammunition

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There's nothing that can spoil any hunt faster than a gun malfunction. Couple a simple malfunction with a jam that renders your rifle completely inoperative and you may not only  have a spoiled hunt, but also have a possible dangerous situation, depending on the area and game you're hunting.
Going out to the back forty for a few hours and experiencing a jam might be inconvenient, but having one happen after your 2nd shot at an already hit grizzly bear is something else, totally.
Hornady has given us some very fine loads in the last few years that can upgrade the performance we've seen previous from our traditional lever rifles. They have also invented some excellent new rounds that are good powerful ones based on their new FTX bullets. These lever action loads are known generally as LeverEvolution loads and are newly designed bullets with an elastic tip that makes it safe to load these pointed bullets in a tube magazine as normally found on traditional lever rifles. They are also loaded with some newer powders Hornady has pioneered to give some enhanced performance too.
Nothing new or shocking there. I'm simply rehashing some recent changes. There are a few additional things the buyer of these new rounds for their older lever rifles may want to know, however. There should be no problem with using these loads in any rifles (in good working condition) that are chambered for these loads.
These loads do not work at excessive pressures and should simply work as your previous loads did. On some older Marlin rifles, however, there have been instances where these loads have jammed as the round is moved from the tube to the chamber. Most of these problems have occurred with the "tipped" bullets only and once the jam is cleared and rifle reloaded with older flat nosed or round nosed loads the problem mysteriously disappears.
It's also most common that it is the last round in the tube (first inserted there) that causes the jamming. What has been found is that in some cases the initial round inserted into the tube during loading procedures is found to have become cocked awkwardly in the tube. The round has become misaligned and this can cause a jam as that crooked round becomes the next one to be chambered, as in most typical unloading procedures or when shooting the round previous to it and trying to lever that one into the chamber.
This may not have ever happened to you and may never happen, but it had become enough of an issue that Marlin started making their followers (round plastic piece the first round's nose sits against in the tube magazine) with a dimple in the middle of it to keep the bullet straight in the tube, making the possibility of such a jam much lower.
The newer Marlin lever rifles have red dimpled followers, so they are easy to determine. Depending on just how old your rifle is, it may or may not have this new "improved" follower installed. The follower can be changed out at home if you are handy and you can purchase one from Marlin or some other places for this switch.
Another "cure" is to always load a flat nosed bullet first in the tube, followed by the tipped LE rounds. Or, of course, simply do not use them if you suspect or have had issues with them.


Deer Slayer's picture

My dad and I don't do enough

My dad and I don't do enough shooting to worry about this and that ammo. But, if we ever decide to change ammo we will look into it. Thanks for the tip.

ManOfTheFall's picture

Thanks for the tip. I think I

Thanks for the tip. I think I will stick with what I have always used for my target shooting and varmit shooting on occasion.

hunter25's picture

Although I have looked into

Although I have looked into these bullets and they might appeal to some I myself have not had the desire to try them. I consider my few lever guns to be fairly short range hunters and don't really see the need for a tipped bullet. Plus in a antique rifle I just think it looks more natural using something mostly inchanged from the original. Plain old Winchester flat points in my .30wcf and .32 Special.

If I ever bought a newer gun I might give them a try but it's the old lever guns that get my attention the most.

Critter's picture

Any hunter should always try

Any hunter should always try the ammo that they are putting into their rifles and make sure that it is going to work.  This is weather it is going to be used on dangerous game or the local rabbit population.  I once had a magnum rifle that refused to chamber the first round in magazine when you worked the bolt.  I found that the belt on the case would hang up on the second round in the magazine just enough that the rifles bolt would skip over the first one.  It took a little bit of looking and I ended up reworking the magazine a little to get it to where it would feed that first round.  Now it should of been OK from the factory but it wasn't and if I hadn't tried the rifle with rounds in the magazine I would never of noticed the problem until I needed that first round. 

jaybe's picture

I Always Wondered About That

When these bullets first came out, I wondered if they could possibly cause that kind of problem.

Actually, I didn't consider the fact that the first one in the tube might sit cock-eyed, but I see how that could be a problem.

What I was wondering about was whether the tip of any bullet that was soft enough to prevent detonation of the one in front of it might also be soft enough to catch on something somewhere as it was being fed through the action and into the chamber.

I have noticed in a number of rifles that I have had - pump, autoloader and bolt action - that after a round has been run through the action a couple of times and removed, the pointed soft points have small gouges or flat spots where they have slid against something.

It only made sense that a soft plastic tip might catch and jamb on something.

That's a good tip for those who use these calibers to be aware of, Ed.

 Thanks for your report.