As If We Needed Reminding

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 Picaninnytinny 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.


In my post yesterday about the new FNugly plastic pistols, I made reference to revolvers looking like real guns, at least.

What I should have done was add a few revolver pics, because as we all know, pictures of guns are what this website is all about good for the soul:

And yes, I have owned all the above, and more, during my lifetime.  Tragically, as Longtime Readers know full well, all were lost in The Great Canoeing Accident On The Brazos River several years ago.

But all of them, even the rimfire revolvers, look more like real guns than the FNuglies.

Luxury Deep-Woods Gun (Part 1)

I have often spoken of the need for a decent deep-woods gun — preferably carbine-length barrel, with a hard-hitting cartridge that could take care of any game likely to be found inside a hundred yards.  (From memory, the average distance for game taken in Pennsylvania forests is about a hundred feet.)

Of course, we all know what fits this bill:  the venerable lever-action rifle chambered in something like .30-30 (.30 WCF), which has always done the job with distinction and will no doubt continue to do so for the rest of time as we know it.  Here’s a Marlin 336 as seen at Collectors:

Or if we were to go upscale, so to speak, then there’s always the gorgeous Cimarron 1894 carbine:

Now as all my Loyal Readers know well, I am not one who tinkers lightly with tradition, so as a rule I would just say, “That’s that” and move on to other topics.

Not today.

You see, there’s another kind of deep-woods hunting, this time as practiced by Germans, Austrians and the like for as long as anyone can remember.  And they didn’t use lever rifles, but bolt-action carbines chambered in their equivalent of our .30-30, the 7x57mm Mauser cartridge, which they found quite adequate for hunting in the forests of Western- and Central Europe (which are as dark and deep as any forests to be found in the U.S., as anyone who has seen them will attest).

And as all my Loyal Readers also know, I have a deep, abiding love for the old Kraut cartridge, having taken many, many impala, springbok and even kudu back in the day with its long, thin and deep-penetrating bullet.  (Also one eland, but we can talk about that another time.)  Here’s a comparison between the 7x75mm and the well-known .308 Win:

In my case therefore, were I looking for a deep-woods rifle, I would not be limited to a Marlin, Henry, Uberti or Winchester, oh no not me.  That would be too easy.

I would also be considering a bolt-action carbine in 7x57mm (just to make my life even more complicated than it should be).

So… with all that background, imagine my surprise, as I was meandering along the electronic highways and (mostly) byways of Ye Internettes, when I stumbled into that evil place known as Steve Barnett Fine Guns, and found this:

Have mercy.  A Mannlicher-style full stock encasing an old Mauser?  Be still, my beating wallet.

And beat it would;  for this paragon of musketry costs over six thousand dollars, in that it was built by master gunsmith and stockmaker, the late Dale Goens.

In Part 2 next week, I’ll be talking about this situation in detail.

Quarantine Project

Last week I posted how a friend decided, whilst being confined to quarters, to clean his shotguns.  Clearly, he’s not the only one getting twitchy.

From another locked-down Reader comes this project:

Nothing else to do, so I attacked my Thompson Center R55 .22 rifle.  The stock always felt clumsy and clunky to me, so I smoothed out the sharp edges, rounded the corners & cut away near the trigger.  Then finished it with automotive clearcoat.
And I think we can all agree that this was time well spent:
What a beauty.  And I’ve written before how good a rifle the R55 is.
If anyone else out there has been bored out of their tree and taken to fiddling with their guns in this time of cholera Chinkvirus, feel free to share the details, with pics.

Gratuitous Gun Pic: Ruger Talo Carryhawk (.45 LC/.45 ACP)

While seeking to assuage my Lockdown Blues a couple days ago, I stumbled on this little piece at Collectors:

Hmmm… a down-sized carry revolver in .45 Colt/ACP;  what could be bad about it.?

Leaving aside the single-action issue (not an optimal choice for self-defense, really), what’s wrong with this piece is the bird’s-head grip.

Maybe it’s just me, but I find revolvers thus gripped to be almost uncontrollable:  the damn thing turns in my hand not just up-and-down (which is a good thing with the bird’s head as it helps handle recoil) but side-to-side as well, which is a huge problem.  I once had a pretty little Ruger Bearcat revolver in .22 LR, like this one:

…and after a couple years I sold it to someone who wanted just that kind of revolver.

Maybe it just was my hand size, I dunno;  but I just had no fun shooting it.  And that was a .22 LR revolver:  what, I wonder, will it be like trying to control that grip in a meatier chambering like the .45?  I’ll probably never own this type of gun again, but I’m willing to be proved wrong.

Your thoughts in Comments.

Cooped Up

A Longtime Friend writes and tells me of his terminal boredom with this lockdown bullshit, made worse by a day’s rain.  So he decides to clean some of his shotguns:

My only comment is that there are WAY too many over-and-unders…

Because, as any fule kno, a proper shotgun’s barrels should be side by side like a man and his dog, and not over and under like a man and his mistress.

(For a closer look at this magnificent Piotti shotgun, go here.)