When I first saw the headline to this article, my immediate reaction was: “Seriously?”
7 Great Lever-Action Rifles
Lever-action rifles have been with us since the 19th century, and despite this age of AR-15s and precision-bolt rifles, the lever-action rifle still has its place.
…and in other news, the Marines have stormed Belleau Wood.
But let’s not get all judgey here, thinks I; maybe there’s something new to see.
That’s the Uberti 1886 Hunter Lite, in .45-70 Govt. And I swear, the sight of it makes my dangly rather less dangly, if you get my drift. What’s next?
Great Davy Crockett’s bleeding hemorroids, that’s uglier than Hillary Clinton after a 3-night tequila bender. Ugh. Let’s get away from the Mossberg
Anorexia 464 SPX in .30-30, and look at something else.
Okay, this Marlin 1894 CSBL in .357 Mag is much easier on the eye, even with the Picatinny rail slapped on top of it like an elongated carbuncle. (I know, I know; all the cool kids love a rail mount these days because then they can put red-dot geegaws and such on the rifle — and the length of the rail means you can also go all Jeff Cooper and turn it into a “Scout”-type rifle if you’re of that persuasion.) What’s #4?
This is, as the article suggests, Winchester’s reward to you for having bought “standard” lever rifles your whole life. It’s the Model 94 Deluxe in .30-30, and it’s so pretty I want to take it out on a date. In the deep woods. With a deer somewhere in the neighborhood.
I’ve always liked the .22 LR Browning BL-22, and this “Midas Micro” model is just lovely to look at. Give me a moment to write this one down on my Santa list, and then we can move on.
This Rossi R92 shoots the very manly .454 Casull monster cartridge, and this means that if you’re a devotee of the cartridge — and many are — you’ve got a decent companion piece for your Freedom Arms revolver. And finally:
What is it with this trend towards the fake-brass look of Cerakote, as practiced by the Pedersoli 86/71 Boarbuster Mark II in either .444 Marlin (a hotter .44 Rem Mag) or .45-70 Govt? The blurb states that it’s based on the old Winchester Mod 71. Okay. And of course, this rifle sports an adjustable plastic stock and the Pica
ninnytinny rail, making it very trendy. All fine and good; I’m just not in the target market.
I guess that some of these rifles are an attempt to chase after the “youth” (i.e. well under my vintage) market, which is fine, I suppose, because the next generation has different tastes from me and mine. But what that also means is that older models, long beloved by shooters, are going to be “phased out” because they can’t afford to make both kinds of guns. We’ve already seen this with the demise of the excellent Winchester 9422 rimfire lever rifle, and you heard it here first: the “standard” Model 94 and its ilk will likewise disappear in the near future — only the above-mentioned “Deluxe” (i.e. more expensive) models will remain on the production line.
All the above rifles, good, bad and fugly, are too damn expensive, as you will see when you follow the link. I don’t mean too expensive for a rifle; I mean too expensive for a lever-action rifle. The old warhorses are not thoroughbreds, they’re pit ponies and cart horses; and if these seven rifles are anything to go by, I for one don’t like what I’m seeing here. Only the Rossi still looks like and costs about the same as a traditional lever rifle should — and it’s made in Brazil.
Take from that what you will.