Lever action rifles are usually as traditional as you can get. They feed from a tube (Winchester 94), a
tubular rotary magazine (Savage 99), or a box magazine (Browning BLR). They don’t feed from a belt.
A guy in the UK decided to convert his Ruger 96 in .44 Magnum into a belt-fed rifle. He didn’t stop there. He also made it into a bullpup. Thus, he had a belt-fed, bullpup lever action rifle.
You see in the UK he couldn’t have a semi-auto rifle but they didn’t have a restriction on magazines. As with all laws restricting firearm design, there are ways around it and someone will be ingenious enough to do it.
Here is part of what he said in the introduction to his video on the project.
In 2019 I set myself the challange to see if I could produce a belt feeding mechanism for my Ruger Model 96. I also wanted to see if I could set this up in a compact Bull-pup stock to make, What I believe to be, the ultimate in manually operated Guns.
Here in the UK, we can’t have semi-auto firearms BUT – we can load our guns with as much ammo as we can (no magazine restrictions!). Therefore I believe this set-up offers the most fire power you can legally own here in the UK.
All I could think of while watching this video were very non-PC thoughts. Such as could you imagine if Custer and the 7th Cavalry were armed with these rifles when they faced off against Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, and thousands of Sioux warriors? There would be no “Custer’s Last Stand” and no monuments to the Battle of the Little Bighorn. It would just be another battle in the Indian Wars of the latter half of the 19th Century. That is, of course, so long as the troopers carried enough belted ammo in their saddle bags.