12 Legit Lever Action Rifles Worth Stocking

Get familiar with the new rifles your lever-loving customers will be seeking.

12 Legit Lever Action Rifles Worth Stocking
Mossberg 464 SPX Lever Action

Lever-action rifles are regaining some of their popularity. While my first experience with one of these guns started out rocky, I had a new appreciation by the end of that hunt.

I was 16 and my mother wasn’t crazy about me driving across the state in early winter in my two-wheel-drive Ford Ranger. It was Greyhound or nothing, which meant taking my scoped 7mm Rem. Magnum wasn’t an option. But the desire to go elk and deer hunting for the first time in Colorado’s mountains, combined with the willingness of my uncle to loan me a .30-30 lever action upon arrival, planted my butt in bus seat.

Upon reaching his home, my uncle handed me a worn, heavy, iron-sighted .30-30. I didn’t say a word, but my uncle could obviously read my body language because he smiled and said, “She shoots better than she looks.” With those words of wisdom, he patted me on the shoulder and retreated to his recliner.

I already had made up my mind that this hunt was going to be a disaster. But when I slid the lever-action .30-30 into the scabbard that first morning and climbed on my horse, I felt invincible. The brass buttstock and lever extending from the scabbard made me grin. An hour later, just like I’d seen in an old western, I jerked the rifle from its leather home, swung off my mount and dropped a buck.

Actually, we tied up the horses and crawled to the edge of an opening in the timber where a buck was feeding in the falling snow. But that’s what a good lever-action rifle will do. It will make the hunt seem that much more amazing, and the tales of lever-action adventures grow over time.

With the increased interest in lever actions, you’d be wise to offer more than just the worn .30-30s in your used-gun rack. The following rifles, from the relatively basic to high-end collectors, are all great models to consider adding to your stock.

Winchester Model 1885 High Wall Hunter

A 2020 SHOT Show special, the Model 1885 High Wall Hunter ($1,730) features a Grade III/IV walnut stock with classic Pachmayr Decelerator pad, and the rifle’s receiver is gloss blued. The 28-inch full-octagon barrel gives this 8.8-pound rifle a racy western flair, and the falling-block lever action comes with a Talley scope base. Offered in an array of calibers including the popular-for-deer-and-elk .264 Win. Mag., 300 Win. Mag, .270 Win. and .308 Win, this stylish single-shot lever action is sure to be an in-the-field favorite and a family heirloom that can be passed down through the generations. For more information, visit www.winchesterguns.com.

Also new from Winchester, and sure to please lever-action nuts, is the Model 1895 125th Anniversary ($2,500) rifle. Offered in calibers of .405 Win., .30-06 Springfield. and .30-40 Krag., these rifles sport 24-inch barrels and weigh exactly 8 pounds. The rifle that Theodore Roosevelt referred to as “Big Medicine” on his famous African safari, the Model 1895 125th Anniversary sports a gloss-blued finish on the barrel. The receiver is drilled and tapped for a side-mount sight, and the steel nickel finish with hand-chased engraving found on both sides is magnificent. The front sight is a Marble Arms gold bead and the rear sight is a legendary Buckhorn.

Marlin 336C Scoped

Just meat and potatoes, Marlin’s 336C Scoped ($785) lever action is fitted with a 20-inch polished blue metal-work barrel and comes with a factory-mounted 3-9x32mm bore-sighted scope. Available in .30-30 Win. only, this rifle is ideal for those who hunt the thick brush for big game. The rifle is maneuverable and features an American black walnut stock and forend, and the rear semi-buckhorn sight is adjustable. The Model 336C also comes in a 16.5-inch-barrel Compact ($694) model. For more information, visit www.marlinfirearms.com.

Another legendary Marlin model, the 1894 CST ($970), features the over-sized Wild-West loop lever, which gives this rifle an eye-catching appeal. The 16-inch barrel sports a 1:16 twist rate and all metal surfaces are deeply blued. Offered in .357 Mag./.38 special, this lever action has an 8-shot tubular magazine, painted hardwood, side ejection and a hammer-block safety. The rifle weighs 6.5 pounds and was built for quick handling regardless of weather conditions. The XS Sight Systems ghost ring sight makes for easy target acquisition. 

Browning BLR White Gold Medallion Maple

A true stunner, Browning’s BLR White Gold Medallion Maple ($1,540-$1,630) is offered in an array of calibers, which feature different barrel lengths and overall mass weights. The .308 Win. model, a favorite among elk hunters, is fitted with a 20-inch barrel and boasts a fighting weight of 6.8 pounds. A smooth lever action, this rifle boasts a highly figured AAA American maple stock, a rosewood pistol grip and forend caps. The receiver is beautifully engraved and sports a satin nickel finish. The .308 Win. has a twist-rate of 12 and a four-round detachable magazine. For more information, visit www.browning.com.

Ruger No. 1 Model 1304

A Talo distributor exclusive, Ruger’s .30-06 Springfield No. 1 Model 1304 ($NA) boasts a strong, simple and compact falling-block breech mechanism with an artillery-style breechblock and under-lever design. The easy-to-see sliding tang safety promises security. The sculpted receiver forms a rigid support for the 22-inch barrel, stock and sliding breech block. Created from alloy steel, the No. 1 Model 1304 features an American walnut stock and is branded with a mass weight of 7 pounds. Integral scope mounts have been machined directly on the solid steel quarter rib to provide a stable mounting surface for the included scope rings. For more information, visit www.ruger.com.

Rossi R92 .357 Magnum

A classic lever action with a polished black finish and Buckhorn sights, Rossi’s R92 .357 Magnum ($748) is fitted with a thumb safety and has a mass weight of 6 pounds. The lever-action rifle has a capacity of 10 rounds and measures 37 inches from stock to muzzle. This beauty was designed for target shooting, recreational shooting, hunting and collector use. The R92 is also offered in multiple other models and calibers. For more information, visit www.rossiusa.com.

Cimarron Firearms 1873 Sporting Rifle .44 Special

With more than 541,000 examples turned out between 1873 and 1919, Winchester’s first centerfire arm was truly the rifle that won the West. Cimarron’s 1873 Sporting Rifle ($1,396) is a recreation of the popular 1873 and is fitted with a 24-inch standard blue octagon barrel. Chambered in .44 Special, this 13 + 1 repeater has a case-hardened frame, walnut stock/forearm and tips the scale at 8.6 pounds. The rifle is also available in calibers of .45 Colt, .357 Mag/.38 Spl., 3.2 WCF, .38 WCF and .44 WCF. For more information, visit www.cimarron-firearms.com.

Davide Pedersoli Lever Action Boarbuster Mark II

A nightmare for dangerous game, the Boarbuster Mark II is the latest version of the Boarbuster model. Chambered in .45-70 and .444 Marlin, the rifle ensures easy handling thanks to the 19-inch barrel, making it ideal for use in heavy brush. With a mass weight of 8.16 pounds, the Mark II is fitted with an adjustable-comb-height stock and a Cerakote finish on all metal parts. The rifle’s internal rear sight can be easily mounted from both ends of the base, allowing the shooter a choice of having it at a distance of 4 or 20 centimeters from the action. For more information, visit www.davide-pedersoli.com.

Henry Big Boy X Model

Offered in calibers of .45 Colt, .357/.38 Spl., .44 Mag./.44 Spl., Henry’s Big Boy X ($970) gives hunters a robust platform and the versatility to perform several different jobs right out of the box. Fitted with a durable, synthetic stock and forearm with integrated mounting points for a sling, the rifle also gives shooters both Picatinny and M-Lock accessory slots. The carbine-length barrel is topped with a fiber-optic sight that’s visible in any lighting condition, and the muzzle is threaded (5/8x24) to accept a suppressor or other muzzle device. The Big Boy X uses a 7-round removable tube magazine for convenient unloading, and those who like to tote a pistol can easily match the caliber of their rifle to their favorite sidearm. For more information, visit www.henryusa.com.

Mossberg 464 SPX Lever Action

From the minds at Mossberg comes the 464 SPX Lever Action ($535). The rifle’s six-position tactical stock promises a customized fit and feel, and thanks to the conveniently positioned ejection port, you can count on casing clearance when using mounted optics. The rifle boasts a top-tang safety and 3-Dot adjustable fiber-optic sight. The receiver on this .30-30 Win. rifle is drilled and tapped, and the muzzle is threaded and comes fitted with a flash suppressor. The barrel measures 16.25 inches and sports a matte-blue finish. For more information, visit www.mossberg.com.

Taylor’s & Co Chiappa 1892 Alaskan Take-Down

Available in popular big-game calibers like .44 RM., .357 Mag and .44 Mag, the 1892 Alaskan Take-Down ($1,412 to $1,500) is heralded amongst lever-action lovers for its fast handling design, ease of disassembly and knock-down power. The rifle is fitted with Skinner Express-style sights, and the barrel is drilled and tapped for Scout Mount optics. The Take-Down’s stock and forend are made of wood with an over-molded rubber soft-touch finish. Barrel lengths and mass weights vary by caliber. For more information, visit www.taylorsfirearms.com.

Lever-action rifles have always been and remain a good choice for some styles of hunting. They are dependable, lightweight and quick handling. Modern manufacturing and better ammunition have improved performance along the way.

In addition to hunters, there are also those who love the nostalgia of lever actions, as well as a growing number of participants in lever action competitions. There’s a market for these guns, and the lever actions highlighted above are all worthy of a place in your rack.


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