“the Army rejected lever action weapons because the rate of fire was too high and might cause the soldiers to waste ammo.”
Not at all true. Quite a few lever actions were put into the field on a test basis and were uniformly rejected by officers and soldiers alike. The rounds were too light, not at all the equal of the .45-70(particularly the 500 grn round issued to the infantry).
Our doctrine at the time was to engage the enemy at longer distances than the lever actions were capable of reaching with any degree of certainty.
This is well documented in the reports of the Ordnance Department.
That's what Custer thought ... His troops were equipped with Springfield carbines. The Indians were sporting Henrys. We know how that one turned out ...
You are right, but I do recall there were arguments against faster RoFs because of “wasted ammo.”
And I bet Custer would have liked a bunch of those lever actions at the Little Bighorn.