8 Best Lever Action Rifles – 2024

What is the best lever action rifle on sale in 2023.

Last Updated January 17th 2024

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Winners at a Glance

ImageProductDetailPrice
Henry Big Boy X

Henry Big Boy X

  • Overall Winner
Price
Winchester Model 73

Winchester Model 73

  • Best Old School Cowboy Rifle
Price
Marlin Model 1895 SBL

Marlin Model 1895 SBL

  • Best for Big Game Hunting
Price
Henry Golden Boy 22LR

Henry Golden Boy 22LR

  • Best for Plinking
Price
POF Tombstone 9mm

POF Tombstone 9mm

  • Best lever action PCC
Price
Marlin 336 Classic

Marlin 336 Classic

  • Best for Deer Hunting
Price

The best lever action rifles are a nostalgic trip down memory lane. John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and more have dispatched bad guys with a lever action rifle, and you can too.

Now the Henry Big Boy, the best lever action rifle on the market, is more about fun than home defense. But you can use them for hunting, not just plinking, and plenty of people like a bit of old world magic as a truck gun.

Henry Repeating Arms, Winchester Arms and Marlin, old names from the Wild West days, are still the big players, but lever action rifles have come a long way since the days of Billy the Kid.

Here are the best lever action rifles in 2024




1. Henry Big Boy X

  • Price: $999.99
  • Caliber: 45 Long Colt/44 Magnum/357 Magnum/38 Special
  • Barrel Length: 17.4 inch
  • Weight: 7.3lb
  • Capacity: 7

Best Overall

Pros

  • Fiber optic sights + optics ready
  • Multiple caliber choices, 38 to 45-70
  • Action developed over 130 years.

Cons

  • It’s expensive, prices start at around $1000
  • Modern looking lever actions aren’t for everyone

The Henry Big Boy X Model brings the classic lever action right up to date with a series of modern performance features.

This lever action rifle is a model line, not just one rifle, and you can order a range of pistol calibers. Now the 45 Long Colt is the classic lever action caliber, but we do like that you can buy a 357 Magnum or 44 Magnum version too. Those are unusual, but also arguably the best hunting calibers for a short range deer gun.

As well as the classic action, you get a synthetic stock, rubber recoil pad, a Picatinny rail up top and M-Lok slots on the forend. So you can run it with a scope, red dot sights and lights and lasers, if the single green fiber optic front sight and two red windage and height adjustable rear sights aren’t enough.

All the modern accoutrements join forces with a carbon steel receiver with a matte blue finish. That is drilled and tapped for Weaver or Picatinny mounts.

Now the Big Boy X lever gun is just one part of the Henry Repeating Arms X Model line and you can order them with a 30-30, 45-70 Government or even .410 shotgun shells.

So if you’re long range hunting with a scope up top or clearing snakes from your yard, there’s an X Model for everybody. They can come with an old school wood stock, if you’re a traditionalist, but they’re all some of the best lever action rifles on the market.

See the full line here:


Winchester Model 73. Also known as the Winchester 1873, the gun that won the West.

2. Winchester Model 73

  • Price Range: $1,541.99
  • Caliber: 45 Long Colt/45-70 Government/357 Magnum/.44-40 Win
  • Barrel: 19
  • Weight: 7.3lb
  • Capacity: 6

Best old school lever gun

Pros

  • Piece of American history
  • 45-70 Government can take big game
  • Grade 1 Walnut stock

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No mod cons, which is good and bad.

The Winchester Model 1873 is the gun that won the West and the modern reproduction lever gun has stayed pretty true to the old legend right up to its 150th anniversary.

That’s good, because this Winchester Model 1873 is part of the fabric of American firearms folklore and everyone who claims to be a gun enthusiast just has to own one. It’s that simple.

Now you can get a rifle carbine version, but this short rifle version gets the pistol calibers and a Grade 1 black Walnut stock, metal buttplate and brushed stainless steel receiver.

This Winchester lever action rifle could do with a rubber recoil pad and a more comfortable lever action, but then that would be messing with the original design and willfully missing the point.

A gold bead front sight, full length tube magazine and side gate loading remain basically unchanged since 1873. The engineering, manufacturing and materials have stepped up with the new Winchester Model 1973, especially with the cold hammer forged stainless steel barrel.

John Moses Browning joined forces with the Winchester Repeating Arms company and you can still buy those lever guns too, but the gun that won the West has to be one we’d go for.

There are also sporting versions that are popular in Cowboy Action shooting competitions and more tactical lever action rifles for hunting big game.

Check the full line here:


Marlin Model 1895 SBL. A great lever action rifle.

3. Marlin Model 1895 SBL

  • Price Range: $1,670.99
  • Caliber: 45-70 Government
  • Barrel: 19
  • Weight: 7.3lb
  • Capacity: 6

Best for Big Game Hunting

Pros

  • Combination of classic style and modern tech
  • Laminate stock is elegant
  • Lever is big and comfy
  • Fun to shoot

Cons

  • Limited to 45-70 Government
  • Price

The Marlin Model 1895 is another one of those pioneers of the lever guns scene that has come screaming into the modern age.

It also starred in Jurassic World and is rated for a T-Rex on Marlin’s own site. I mean that sounds optimistic, but it’s definitely a top class game hunter.

We like the modern look of the laminate stock Marlin 1895 SBL Stainless Big Loop lever guns, but you can also choose the more traditional Guide Gun or 1895 Trapper.

This one comes with a Picatinny rail up top, which opens up opportunities for red dot sights and other optics for this tactical lever action.

Of course it has the classic side gate loading and six rounds of 45-70 is a lot of big holes.


Henry Golden Boy, a great lever acion 22lr rifle

4. Henry Golden Boy

  • Price Range: $540.99
  • Caliber: 22LR/22 Win Mag/17 HMR
  • Barrel: 20
  • Weight: 6.8lb
  • Capacity: 16

Best for Plinking

Pros

  • Cheap fun
  • High capacity tubular magazine
  • Great training gun
  • Fun to shoot

Cons

  • 22LR is for small game only
  • There are much cheaper 22 rifles

If you’re just plinking for fun, or hunting small game, then you don’t need more than a 22LR. So you can save money and get the full Wild West feel with the Golden Boy.

The Henry Repeating Arms rimfire lever guns come in the standard rimfire calibers and they all have that old school flavor.

A 20 inch blued octagonal barrel, Brasslite receiver, brass buttplate, American walnut stock and traditional adjustable buckhorn sights mean the Golden Boy looks and feels like a proper big bore lever action. From a distance, but you can shoot all day without worrying about ammo costs.

With 16 rounds between reloads, there’s a lot to be said for the 22LR if you’re just shooting for fun. And that 6.8lb heft means this rimfire lever action is accurate and recoil just isn’t a thing.

It was the first rimfire to win the Guns & Ammo rifle of the year award, which is kind of cool. And there’s a Henry Youth version, too, with a shorter length of pull and 16.25 inch shorter barrel.


POF Tombstone 9mm laver action rifle, a left field alternative to your AR-15

5. POF USA Tombstone

  • Price Range: $1,848.99
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Barrel: 16.75
  • Weight: 5.75lb
  • Capacity: 10

Best 9mm Lever Action Pistol Caliber Carbine

Pros

  • 9mm great for plinking or defense
  • Detachable box magazine
  • Modern design

Cons

  • Semi Auto PCC is more practical.
  • It’s properly expensive

The POF Tombstone is about as modern as you could hope. It’s a 9mm tactical lever action rifle that is an oddball, steampunk alternative to a Pistol Caliber Carbine.

You get a compact gun with a 16.5 inch barrel, M-LOK handguard with partial rails top and bottom, and a synthetic stock. While you can rely on the integrated ghost ring sight, there’s a place on the Picatinny rail for a red dot sight too.

There’s a twin port muzzle brake on the threaded barrel, it’s a lightweight gun with a detachable box magazine, rather than the side gate loading tubular magazine found elsewhere.

Also it’s a 9mm tactical lever action rifle, which is unusual to say the least.


Marlin 336, a deer hunting classic rifle chambered in 30-30 Win. Is this still the best deer hunter?

6. Marlin Model 336

  • Price: $2,549.99
  • Caliber: .30-30 Win
  • Barrel: 20.25
  • Weight: 7.5lb
  • Capacity: 6

Best for Deer Hunting

Pros

  • Beautiful checkered black walnut stock
  • Cold hammer forged barrel
  • Legend status in hunting community

Cons

  • Again, price is an issue
  • Caliber is a deliberately oddball choice

The deer hunting community has a long love affair with the Marlin 336 Classic Lever Action rifle.

It’s an updated Marlin Model 36 with performance features like a chrome plated breech bolt, a flared open ejection port and a high quality extractor to go with the semi buckhorn sights.

It is designed for easy field stripping and can be cleaned from the breech.


New Original Henry, a modern tribute to the classic repeater that

7. New Original Henry Iron Frame

  • Price: $2,901.99
  • Caliber: .44-40 Win/45 LC
  • Barrel: 24.5
  • Weight: 8.62lb
  • Capacity: 13

Best for Historical Re-enactment

Pros

  • True to the 1860s design, down to the serial numbers
  • Case hardened steel
  • High capacity

Cons

  • It’s heavy
  • It’s insanely expensive

In the 1860s, Benjamin Tyler Henry took the 44 Henry Rimfire cartridge and created a lever action rifle that would change the course of the Civil War.

This is as close as you’ll get to those rifles without spending crazy money at auction for an original repeating rifle.

Now this Henry Repeating Arms rifle changed history as it went up against muzzle loading Springfields that were generally good for three shots a minute in skilled hands. The 16 shot Henry was a revelation and the soldiers coined the tagline: “Henry, the gun you load on Sunday and shoot all damned week.”

This side gate color case hardened receiver is steel not iron, and there are other concessions to the modern ammunition and materials. Aside from that, this gun follows the original patents and patterns faithfully.

You even get the classic folding ladder rear sights and traditional half-cock safety hammer notch, together with that tack driver of a blued steel barrel.

The New Original Henry Rare Carbine offers a slightly shorter barrel and hardened brass receiver.


Rossie R92 Carbine rifle.

8. Rossi R92 Carbine

  • Price: $915.99
  • Caliber: 357 Magnum/38 Special/44 Magnum
  • Barrel: 20
  • Weight: 5.6lb
  • Capacity: 10

Pros

  • Super lightweight
  • Fast lever action
  • Great price

Cons

  • Doesn’t have the name of the big three
  • 38 can have feed issues

The Rossi is a lighter, cheaper and more compact version of the Winchester 1873 and more and more folks are choosing this for cowboy action competition.

As well as the price advantage, the lever action is fast and slick, reliability and accuracy are certainly good enough and being chambered for 357 Magnum and 38 Special gives it flexibility.

It’s a thoroughly modern looking gun with a Picatinny rail, laminate stock and brushed stainless steel receiver and barrel. There’s a lot to like here if you’re prepared to stray from the big three.

They do come with more traditional finishes, too, if you want to go that way.


Honorable Mentions

The Savage Model 99 is an icon that has been discontinued. So that’s why we don’t have the Savage Model 99 on the list of the best lever actions.

Author

  • Nick Hall

    Nick is a lifelong gun enthusiast who has a simple mission. He wants to find the best deals for guns online and help you make the best choices with weapons your life may depend on one day.Nick won a minor league shooting competition at the age of 11 and it all went from there. Now he runs one of the biggest firearms websites on the net and his work has featured in Playboy US, Tatler Asia, Forbes and a whole host of national magazines and websites.

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