Good day, all! The question arises not for the sake of choosing a rifle for Africa, but I'm asking here because of the knowledge base represented amongst experienced hunters of a variety of dangerous creatures. The debate is over the barrel length and overall rifle length to be chosen for a levergun for the mean stuff on the North American continent, in partcular Marlin 1895 and Winchester 1886 rifles chambered in 45-70 (no, I am not conspiring to choose one for Africa over long established "standard" arms). There is a well established market, developed over the years, for lever action "guide guns" with 18 1/2" barrels, long touted as the best choice for the big bears over here. I, however, have been bothered by the observation that these guns are well shorter than the classic dangerous game rifles long established for hunting and defending oneself against dangerous things in Africa. So..... with these short leverguns, are we needlessly giving up precious velocity by carrying a rifle barely longer than a yardstick when bolt action, double rifles, and even the classic single shot falling blocks in African hunting history have generally been quite longer for a LONG time? My 1895 Marlins are 22" barrelled and I consider them quite handy, not at all slow to present for quick firing. Likewise my 1886 Winchester. The question to you good people, then, is "what barrel / gun OA length would you consider for quick handling without surrendering too much velocity"? Thanks for your thoughtful responses. Best regards, D.