Lever Gun Renaissance

  • Jack Collins

So far, we’ve had several interesting storylines developing in the gun world this year (like two states adopting Constitutional Carry laws). But by far one of the least expected — and most awesome — plotlines is the lever-action gun renaissance.

Seemingly out of left field, we’ve got companies that aren’t normally associated with lever guns dropping their new models this year.

Henry Supreme

Henry is a company that needs no introduction in the lever gun world. These American-made rifles are some of the most iconic lever-actions available today. With that being said, it’s getting to the point where Henry is hard-pressed to release something new and innovative.

But that’s exactly what the company has done with the new Henry Supreme. The gun may have a presumptuous name, but it really is a contender for one of the best new lever guns out there.

While some companies would take a “tactical” approach to this lever gun, Henry has kept its appearance old-school. Don’t let that fool you, though. This is a modern lever gun through and through. Chambered in either .223 or .300 Blackout, the Henry Supreme is a magazine-fed lever-action, and it even has a threaded barrel for attaching a suppressor. There’s no denying that this thing is a game-changer in the world of lever-actions.

Marlin Classic Series

Marlin has always been a household name in the world of lever-action rifles, but in years past, the company fell on hard times. That’s all in the past now. Ruger purchased the rights to the Marlin brand, and this year, they began churning out new production rifles.

To kick things off, Ruger has released new production rifles of two old-school Marlin models: the 336 and the 1894. Both feature wood stocks and the exact same action you’d expect from a Marlin gun. The 336 is chambered in 30-30, while the 1894 currently comes in .44 magnum (there’s a 357 version in the works, too).

Winchester Ranger

Winchester is no stranger to lever guns. Heck, the company’s name is “Winchester Repeating Arms,” and Winchester lever guns pretty much won the Wild West. Winchester currently offers a slew of lever guns for sale, so you’d think they’d be content to sit on their laurels.

Wrong! Winchester isn’t exactly going big with their new lever gun, though — quite the opposite. The new Winchester Ranger is a lever-action .22LR rifle. With a price point somewhere between $400 and $500, this baby is going to be a serious competitor to all the Henry Golden Boys out there.

Smith & Wesson Model 1854

This is sort of cheating, since Smith & Wesson actually released a lever gun back in the 1950s. However, this is the company’s first attempt at a lever-action rifle in decades. And it’s definitely got me feeling excited.

The Model 1854 combines the “tacticool” look of a modern lever gun with the sleek form of a classic. It has black polymer furniture and a stainless steel finish. The forend also features three different M-LOK slots to attach your favorite accessories. And in perhaps one of the coolest parts of this gun, it boasts a removable magazine tube so you don’t need to cycle the action to empty the gun.

My only real beef with the 1854 is that it’s only chambered in .44 Magnum. If it were up to me, I’d at least give customers the option of buying one in 30-30. Magnums are for revolvers.

Aero Precision

Closing out our list, we’ve got another name you wouldn’t expect to see producing lever guns: Aero Precision. That’s right, the company that you buy your cheap stripped lowers from is making headways into the lever-action game.

Aero Precision debuted an “early prototype” of its next-generation lever-action rifle at SHOT Show back in January. We don’t know many of the details of this new firearm — no MSRP, no release date, nothing. All we know is that it will be a modernized lever-action available sometime in 2025.

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