The annual SHOT Show held in Las Vegas showed that 2024 is going to be the year of the lever gun! Companies well known for producing these handy manually operated carbines and rifles are diversifying their selections. But the surprise of the show was the number of gun makers offering long guns in this class for the very first time. Here are a few of the more exciting models to look forward to this year:
Bond Arms of Granbury, Texas, is best known for its extensive selection of pocketable stainless steel double-barrel pistols. But after several years of R&D, the company is ready to launch the innovative, AR-compatible LVRB rifle. This new platform is built around a proprietary lower receiver configured to work with Mil-Spec AR-15 upper receivers and magazines, including the popular and readily available 30-round magazines. Since this gun does not require a gas system to cycle the bolt the Bond uppers will omit it to make the gun simpler and lighter.
A variety of patent-pending innovations have been integrated into the LVRB. This includes a cam system which reliably cycles ammunition from semi-automatic style magazines using the manually operated action. The bolt assembly features a rotating bolt, just like an AR, for reliable lock up. The controls follow an AR layout, including the magazine release button and trigger. The lever is configured to provide a short, light throw with a loop sized and angled to fit the Remington 870 shotgun style shoulder stock. This non-adjustable stock, along with the lever operated action, makes this gun a compliant option in many jurisdictions that restrict the use of semi-automatic sporting rifles. The first models will be chambered in .223 Wylde with additional calibers in the works including .300 BLK, .350 Legend and .450 Bushmaster. Look for this rifle to start shipping around the second quarter of 2024 with an estimated retail price in the neighborhood of $1,599.
Henry Repeating Arms is taking their brand in yet another new direction with the launch of the Lever Action Supreme Rifle (LASR). At first glance, it's tempting to think this gun is just an addition to the company's Long Ranger lever-gun line up. But this is not the case since the Long Ranger, with its removable box magazine, was just a starting point.
The new LASR incorporates lever gun lines and furniture with features, caliber options and AR-15 magazine compatibility favored by modern shooting sports enthusiasts. The hard-coat anodized aluminum receiver is topped off with an adjustable sight system and is drilled and tapped for an optics rail. The hammer is fully enclosed in the receiver to keep out dust and dirt. The round-profile blued steel barrel is free floated, which contributes to its sub-MOA accuracy potential, and threaded for popular muzzle mounted accessories including brakes, compensators and sound suppressors.
A rotating bolt face provides positive lockup while patent-pending quad bar linkage and a slider crank mechanism contribute to the smooth operation of the short-throw lever. This model is outfitted with a match-grade trigger that can be adjusted for 3- to 6-lbs. of trigger pull. The classically styled American walnut fore-end and shoulder stock sport precise diamond checkering for improved purchase. Initial caliber options will include 5.56 NATO/.223 Rem. and 300 BLK with pricing yet to be determined as of this writing. Watch an Industry Day at the Range video of this rifle here.
Sturm, Ruger & Co. continues to grow its Marlin Firearms centerfire line up with the tactically styled Dark Series Model 1895 chambered in the venerable .45-70 Gov't. The alloy steel receiver is topped with a long Picatinny rail for optics along with an iron sight system consisting of a peep sight at the rear and a bright fiber optic with a tritium ring up front. The threaded muzzle leaves the factory with a removable radial muzzle brake installed. A thread protector is also included for those who prefer to shoot without the brake installed.
The AR-type anodized aluminum handguard has a pair of QD sling swivel ports to the left and right. It also has several M-LOK accessory slots for mounting lights, lasers or a bipod. The reinforced polymer shoulder stock is loaded with features including removable textured grip panels, M-LOK accessory slots, an adjustable cheek riser and a thick, soft-rubber recoil pad. This version of the Model 1895 is priced at $1,429 with the Model 1894 .44 Mag. and Model 336 .30-30 Win. members of the series expected to be available in the near future. Watch a video about this rifle here.
Smith & Wesson has long been associated with high quality double-action revolvers and, more recently, top notch polymer-framed M&P series pistols along with AR-15 rifles. But nearly 170-years ago, founders Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson got their start as gun makers with the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company which specialized in lever-action handguns and rifles. Taking a page from the original company play book, Smith & Wesson has returned to making lever guns with the launch of its take on the Model 1854 Lever-Action chambered in .44 Mag.
The standard Model 1854 is configured with a more modern leaning set of features including a matte finish, all-stainless-steel construction and synthetic stocks. A fixed front sight blade lines up with an XS Sights ghost ring rear sight that shares the top of the receiver with a Picatinny optics rail. The round profile barrel is threaded at 11/16-24" TPI and ships with a thread protector. The textured fore-end is fitted with a steel end cap and sports two MLOK accessory slots. The shoulder stock has a textured grip, sling swivel stud and is capped off with a soft rubber recoil pad with a suggested retail price of $1279.
For those who prefer a more classical treatment of their lever-gun finish, Smith & Wesson will also offer a Limited Edition of the Model 1854 in the same caliber. This version sports many of the same features with a few key changes. The stainless steel is treated with a polished black PVD finish, the stocks are made of high-grade Walnut with a satin finish and the front sight features a gold bead. This model is listed at $3499.
Winchester Repeating Arms is putting a smile on the faces of its rimfire rifle fans with the new Ranger lever-action .22 LR. Along with its handy size and popular caliber, this is a toolless takedown carbine. Pressing a single retention pin out of the receiver allows this .22 LR to separate in half for easy cleaning and storage in more compact spaces. The milled billet aluminum receiver is paired with a 20.5" long, round-profile button rifled chrome-moly steel barrel made in the same factory as the Wildcat and Xpert rimfire rifles. The hooded front sight is paired with an adjustable rear sight.
The bolt assembly is nickel plated for smoother operation while the traditional hammer configuration provides dropped, half-cock, and cocked positions. The tubular magazine has a removable brass liner with room for up to 15-rounds of ammunition. This model is neatly completed with smooth Grade I hardwood furniture. The Ranger is designed to be easily cycled and operated to fit a wide variety of hand strength and shooting experience levels. This handy little rifle has a suggested retail price of $419.99. See the video by following this link.