Good article I was sent by my buddy Steve. It makes for a good read about using lever action rifles in a self defense scenario.
The Combat Leveraction Rifle | Open Source Survival
Click the link above to continue reading the article.
When I took a defensive handgun class, our instructors told us that when the slide is locked back, after loading a charged magazine the best way to chamber the round was to pull back on the slide and let it snap back into battery. Before then I always thumbed the slide stop lever.