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Best Lever Action Rifle

If there’s any type of gun that’s most American, it has to be a lever action rifle because after all, that’s The Gun That Won The West!

While America has many things to boast of, when it comes to rifles, the cowboy instincts take us back to the days of the West were single shotguns were once ceremoniously replaced by the lever action rifles.

With a personal interest in shooting, I thought why not take you guys to the yesteryears and talk about the best lever action rifle for the money.

I am sure I am attracting eyeballs from lovers of the sport, but if you happen to be an enthusiast, I have added a section of What Is A Lever Action Rifle And Who This Is For which will help you understand the toy for grown-ups better.

Before I move any further, did you guys think lever action rifles are not made any more? No way! To bust the myth doing the rounds on many websites, I have listed for you 11 best lever action deer rifles that can be bought online and trust me on this, you will love each one of them.

Reviews of the Best Lever Action Rifle For The Money

**Below, you’ll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

The Top 11 Best Lever Action Rifle For The Money Reviews

For each product, I have tried to mention as many pros and cons as possible, so that it is easy for you guys to choose from the best lever action rifle for the money. So what are you waiting for? Fill the bullets and let’s get gunning.

1. Seneca Eagle Claw .22 Caliber Lever Action PCP Air Rifle

If you are looking for something that suits your hunting, paper target punching or backyard pest control purposes, then this is the best lever action rifle for the money. This Pre-Charged Pneumatics rifle has a feature of easily adjusting the power and comes with a 10 shot magazine. Perfect for the wild western flavour, this rifle can deliver up to a whopping 10 foot pound of muzzle power in .25 caliber and 45 foot pounds in .22 caliber.

Product Features:

  • The package contains a rifle and a 10 shot magazine

Pros:

  • Shoots .22 caliber pellets at up to 1070 feet per second
  • Shrouded 20.5” barrel
  • Shrouded barrel takes bit of the bark out of its bite for backyard shooting
  • 3000 PSI (200 BAR) max fill pressure with foster quick disconnect fill fitting
  • Made of Indonesian walnut, Monte Carlo stock
  • Follow up shots in less than a second
  • Rubber recoil pad
  • Checkered pistol and forestock

Cons:

  • No mention of regulator

 

2. Walther Lever Action .177 Caliber Pellet Gun Air Rifle

This rifle looks like straight out of the West because of its classic straight stock. The Walther lever action is a 630 feet per second pellet rifle with an eight shot rotary magazine. Made of elegant hard wood, this rifle has an authentic lever action, adjustable sights and works perfect for all kind of shooters.

Product Features:

  • The package contains a rifle
  • Includes two rotary pellet clips

Pros:

  • Powered by an 88 gram CO2 cartridge in the back portion of the stock
  • Shoots .177 caliber at up to 630 feet per second
  • Rear sight adjustable for elevation
  • Front sight adjustable for windage
  • Eight round rotary magazine
  • Rifled blued barrel and receiver
  • Long barrel length at 18.9 inches
  • Total length of 39.2 inches
  • Length of pull of 15 inches

Cons:

  • CO2 not included

 

3. Umarex USA Legends Cowboy .177 Caliber Lever Action CO2 Air Rifle

Stylised based on the legendary model of 1894, the Legends Cowboy Lever Action Air Rifle from Umarex is straight out of the West and a must for your wall of fame. Ideal for target practice, plinking and reenactments, this rifle has features that suit all kinds of shooters. This rifle also comes along with ejectable cartridges.

Product Features:

  • The package contains one rifle
  • Comes along with 10 ejectable cartridges

Pros:

  • Loads and shoots in realistic manner
  • Spits shells while operating the lever
  • Shoots .177 caliber steel ball projectile cartridges at up to 600 feet per second
  • Includes 10 ball projectile cartridge casings
  • Rifle powered by two 12 gram CO2 cartridges in the stock
  • All metal construction
  • Rear sights are adjustable
  • Front sights are fixed
  • Long barrel length at 19.25 inches
  • Overall length at 38 inches
  • Has maximum muzzle velocity of 410 feet per second

Cons:

  • CO2 not included
  • Slightly heavy

 

4. Walther Lever Action .177 Caliber Pellet Gun Air Rifle

If you are looking for a rifle that comes complete with all that you need and at the same time gives you the feel of the Wild West, then this is the best lever action rifle for the money that you can choose. Powered by two CO2 cartridges, the rifle delivers a lot of powerful shots from the eight shot rotary clip. Made of wood coupled with blued steel frame, the makers have also included a metal saddle ring that would make the 1894 Winchester firearm stand out.

Product Features:

  • The package contains one rifle
  • Comes with a wearable 4U cloth
  • Two CO2 packs of total 90 grams
  • A pack of 500 pellets
  • Includes 2 rotary clips, a pellet seater and 2 tools

Pros:

  • All required things come in the package
  • Front sight is adjustable for windage
  • Rear side is adjustable for elevation
  • Hardwood stock
  • Strong blued steel frame
  • Barrel delivers 10 shot groups of 5/8 inches (centre to centre) at 10 metres
  • Length of pull is 15 inches
  • Trigger pull is of 3 pounds
  • Has a rubber buttpad
  • Vintage design

Cons:

  • Slightly heavy

 

5. Barra 1866 Cowboy Series Lever Action Multi Pump BB and Pellet Air Rifle

This, my friends, is The Gun That Won The West, but I must warn you, this is a beautiful replica of the original gun and made for only keeping it as a showpiece.

Product Features:

  • The package contains a replica of the Barra 1866 rifle

Pros:

  • Made of full metal and wooden stock and barrel grip
  • Barrel length of 18 7/8 inches
  • Overall length at 39 inches
  • Lightweight at 5 pounds
  • Good for gifting purposes

Cons:

  • Slightly less detailed

 

6. Wearable4U Umarex Limited Edition – Legends Saddle Gun- Lever Action 6mm BB Airsoft Gun

This rifle too comes along with all that you need to begin shooting. This rifle is best suited for target practice, plinking and reenactments, and has features that suit all kinds of shooters. This rifle also comes along with ejectable cartridges.

Product Features:

  • Package contains one rifle
  • Includes CO2
  • Comes along with 16 shells
  • Package contains 1,500 ball projectiles and 300 pellets

Pros:

  • Shoots 0.177 caliber pellets at a velocity up to 600 feet per second
  • Made of faux wood, making it lighter
  • Full metal frame
  • Comes with dual ammo kit
  • Front sight is fixed
  • Rear sight is adjustable
  • Realistic lever action
  • Spits shells while operating the lever

Cons:

  • Synthetic wood

 

7. Denix 1866 Lever-Action Repeating Replica Gun (Brass) – Non-Firing Replica

Stylised like the original Winchester Model 1866, this replica is a showpiece that has been made rugged on purpose as the original one had such a make. The original rifle was that of a lever action which helped gunmen fire a number of shots before having to reload and thus the name, ‘repeating rifle’. A fun fact: The Winchester Model 1866 was also called the ‘Yellow Boy’ because of its because of its brass receiver which was actually an alloy of bronze called gunmetal.

Product Feature:

  • The package contains a replica rifle of the Winchester 1866

Pros:

  • Made of wood and metal
  • Overall length 37 inches
  • Weighs around 8 pounds
  • Good for gifting purposes

Cons:

  • Slightly less detailed

 

8. Denix Model 1873 Lever Action Rifle, Antique Grey Finish – Non-Firing Replica

Modelled like the Winchester 1873, this replica rifle is once again a wonderful showpiece for your wall. The best part is that the company has paid much attention to the details. The rifle has the exact toggle joint action that opens the breech, cocks the hammer and then drops then raises the extractor block just like the real rifle of 1873. This rifle also has the King’s patent loading gate for cartridges on the right side of the receiver which is the same like the original.

Product Features:

  • The package contains a replica rifle of the Winchester 1873

Pros:

  • Sights, weights and balances exactly like the original model
  • Has a steel receiver like the original
  • Good for gifting purposes

Cons:

  • Slightly heavy

 

9. Denix Model 1892 Lever-Action Cowboy Rifle – Non-Firing Replica

The 1892 model was a direct descendant of the Henry and the Winchester 1866 and this gun is an exact replica of the 1892 model. Simple, rugged, yet effective, this replica has been made based on the legendary gun just like the gunners of the West would love. A fun fact: The production of this rifle was started in 1892 and was continued till 1941 and the total production was in excess of a million pieces. In the 49 years of its production, many variations and calibers were produced, but the main design was kept intact. These rifles are still used widely for bear hunting and deer shooting, which speaks volumes about the reliability and longevity of the rifles.

Product Features:

  • The package contains a replica of the Winchester 1892 model

Pros:

  • Made of wood and metal
  • Barrel length of 19 inches
  • Overall length of 37 1/8 inches
  • Lightweight at 5 pounds and 13 ounce
  • Good for gifting purposes

Cons:

  • Slightly less detailed than the original

 

10. Denix CA Classic M1866 Repeating Rifle

This rifle is also a replica of the famed Winchester 1866 and has almost all the features that the original had, except that this one does not fire. Good for hanging it on the wall or gifting it to your shooting buddy, this replica rifle has historically accurate details, working lever action, polished nickel finish and a wooden stock and fore grip. A true collector’s item!

Product Features:

  • The package contains a replica rifle of the Winchester 1866

Pros:

  • Made of real wood and metal
  • Overall length of 39 inches
  • Weighs around 6 pounds
  • Good for gifting purpose

Cons:

  • Slightly heavy

 

11. Buck Lever Action Rifle 400-Shot Hardwood Stock 350 fps

Made for beginners, the Daisy Buck youth air rifle is made of wood and has a fibre optic sight. This rifle features an easy to use lever action. The rifle has a blade and ramp front sight. This is a spring piston rifle and has a 400 shot capacity and a muzzle velocity of 275 feet per second. Ideal for training purposes.

Product Features:

  • The package contains one rifle

Pros:

  • Lightweight at 5 pounds and 8 ounces
  • Safety cross bolt trigger bolt
  • 400 shots
  • Lever cocking spring air
  • Good for beginners

Cons:

  • Does not come with pellets

 

History Of Lever Action Rifles

Although contested, the most accepted history of lever action rifles dates back to 1826 when Italy’s Cesar Rosaglio made the first lever action revolver capable of firing six shots. The revolver was patented in 1829.

However, it took some time before lever action rifles could be available in the markets. Between 1837 and 1841, Patent Arms Mfg. Co. Paterson, N J Colt’s Patent produced the first lever action rifles — Colt’s 1st and 2nd Model Ring Lever Rifles. In those days, the ring lever would be located in the front of the trigger. When pulled, the loading lever would index the cylinder to the next position and cock the hammer hidden internally.

As people started taking interest in the new form of rifles and began identifying its use as a good hunting rifle, more companies began introducing their models of lever action rifles or repeating rifles.

Before the Spencer repeating rifle and the Henry rifle in 1860, the Volcanic pistol by the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company hit the markets. This was before the American civil war. However, when the Spencer and Henry models were introduced, they brought along with them a sea change in the designs and makes.

The Spencer rifle made by Christopher Spencer, was used in the American Civil War and this was the first time when an infantry and cavalry rifle with a removable magazine was adopted by any country. In those days, the Spencer was a lever-operated rifle with a removable seven round tube magazine. The hammer had to be cocked separately after chambering and the Spencer only served to unlock the action and chamber a new round.

For the Henry rifles, it was Benjamin Tyler Henry, a gunsmith employed by Oliver Winchester, who invented a centrally located hammer that was cocked by the bolt’s rearward movement. The magazine was also placed under the barrel and not in the buttstock. This trend was followed by most tube magazines ever since.

In 1881, John Marlin, the founder of Marlin Firearms Company introduced his first lever action rifle and subsequently, kept coming up with new models.

Later, in 1895 and 1899, Savage Arms Company became famous for their hamerless models that used the lever action system.

While there were others who made repeating rifles too, I am keeping it to those that were momentous and noteworthy. In the same tone, I would also like to mention Strum Ruger and Company who in 1990s introduced a number of lever action rifles. You may ask why I am mentioning this company. Well, most of the repeating rifles were made before World War II, before semi-automatic rifles ruled the roost.

What Is A Lever Action Rifle And Who This Is For?

To keep things simple, a lever action rifle is a type of repeating rifle. Predominantly used in the West, these rifles were generally used by cowboys. However, lever action rifles are now used in various sporting affairs such as hunting and target practice. These rifles have always been preferred by bear and deer hunters.

How Does A Lever Action Rifle Work?

A lever action rifle uses manually operated cocking lever which is located around the trigger guard area that moves forward to push the bolt internally through linkages which will feed cartridges into the barrel chamber and prepare the hammer for firing. In simpler words, a lever action rifle uses a lever located near the trigger to load new cartridges into the gun. In most rifles, the shape of the lever is such that it doubles up as a trigger guard.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Lever Action Rifles

For me, it’s all about advantages of using a lever action rifle. The best lever action rifle can provide you with style and a feel of the times of the West when the cowboys ruled the roost. For me, lever action rifles are easy to carry, easy to load, high capacity tubular magazines, fast follow up shots and can help you keep your eyes on the target while ejecting or loading the shells. Moreover, these rifles make one go nostalgic and the very feel takes one back to the golden years.

If I have to talk about disadvantages, then they are minimum for me. Personally I do feel at times that lever action rifles cannot shoot longer distances, but hey! We are not taking this toy for a war so this really doesn’t matter. You would anyway keep your target within 100 yards or find a deer nearer to you.

How To Choose A Lever Action Rifle?

Before you decide to buy the best lever action rifle, first identify why do you need one. Not all rifles serve all purposes. While some are good for shooting animals like bears and deer, some are solely meant for the shooting ranges or backyard needs.

Once you have decided what your purpose is, it is very important to understand how much you want to spend in buying the best lever action rifle.

While finally settling to buy a rifle, aspects such as the weight of the rifle and features are very important to be checked. Too heavy rifles will make you easily tired and too light a rifle will make it bobble while being shot and chances of missing a target will remain to be high.

The length of the barrel is also an important aspect. A very short barrel will not render proper accuracy. While a very big barrel will disturb your gun balance and chances of missing a target will be high.

Things To Consider Before Buying Lever Action Rifle

  • Your purpose for a lever action rifle: There’s no shying away that these days there are various types of rifles to pursue a shooting sport, yet, lever action rifles find takers. Why? While most people buy these rifles for the nostalgia of the West, some actually find the mechanism suitable. Even other just want to add another type of rifle to their collection. So it is important for you to understand why you need a lever action rifle in the first place.
  • Check out the features: Not all lever action rifles have the same features or come with the same items you expect. Some companies sell just the rifles; others pack along with them the CO2, shells and other things needed. However, if you are sorted with the other things, you may simply go for just the rifle.
  • Check for Feet Per Second: Different rifles have different shooting speeds which depend on the make of the rifle and other aspects. This is a tricky thing to choose I must say. So if you want a rifle for backyard shooting and small distance target practices, I’ll suggest you take anything within 800 feet per second. However, if you are looking for a hunting rifle or may be the best lever action deer rifle, then go for a gun which gives you a speed above 1,000 feet per second.
  • Check for the make: While most of the lever action rifles are made of wood, some use fibre that looks like wood. In one word, if it’s not wooden, it is not Western, period. I personally prefer wooden stocks with some metal because of its strength and the feel, not to forget the nostalgia associated with it.
  • Check for length and weight: As mentioned above, the length and weight of rifles are important while shooting and should be kept in mind before buying. Too heavy or too light are both not good while too short or too long are not preferable.

 

FAQ – Lever Action Rifles

What is the best lever action rifle for the money?

While all the above rifles are good, I personally prefer the Seneca Eagle Claw, Lever Action PCP Air Rifle air Rifle and the Walther Lever Action .177 Caliber Pellet Gun Air Rifle.

In the Seneca Eagle Claw, what I love the best is the versatility. You can literally use this rifle for anything, starting from a backyard game to hunting animals and target practicing. A perfect for the wild western flavour, this rifle can deliver up to a whopping 10 foot pound of muzzle power in .25 caliber and 45 foot pounds in .22 caliber. The rifle is made of Indonesian walnut, Monte Carlo stock, just like I like it and has a rubber recoil pad which absorbs the shock better. The best part is that the follow up shots can take place in less than a second.

For the Walther Lever Action rifle, I literally drool over its look. Simple, elegant and stylish, this rifle looks like as if it has come out straight from the West. This rifle too is made of elegant hard wood and has an authentic lever action, adjustable sights and works perfect for all kind of shooters. The best part is, the Walter comes with rotary pellet clips. The rifle is powered by an 88 gram CO2 cartridge in the back portion of the stock and shoots .177 caliber at up to 630 feet per second.

How much does a lever action rifle cost?

The best lever action rifle for the money may cost between $700 and $900, depending upon the company, the make, details and features of the rifle.

What makes a good lever action rifle?

Precision and proper craftsmanship are two very important aspects. This is one thing that makers of lever action rifles keep in mind. The technology, which was introduced years ago, is still being replicated and hardly any makers make a change in the functionality. The more the precision in following the method of making the rifles, the better the outcome is.

What is the warranty?

Generally, all the rifles have a one year’s limited warranty.

How to care & maintain a lever action rifle?

While many often ask professionals to clean their guns, it is very simple to do it yourself. Here’s a step by step guide.

  • Step 1: The first step is to unload the rifle if there is any pellet inside and to do this, remove the receiver bolt, lever and ejector. Then cock the hammer with the safety on and open the lever halfway, following which, remove the lever screw and the lever.
  • Step 2: The receiver bolt should be removed out of the receiver, which will leave the ejector loose inside and you can now clean the bore of the rifle.
  • Step 3: In order to moisten the bore with a solvent, use a jag and a patch. A perfect sized jag or bore mop has to be attached to the ramrod and once moistened, the ramrod has to be put inside the barrel and pushed through the bore. Allow the solvent to soak for at least 20 minutes to half an hour.
  • Step 4: With the perfect sized wire brush attached, remove the jag from the ramrod. A bore guide may come handy as it keeps fouling from getting pulled back into the receiver. But do not worry if you do not have one. Simply remove the brush after pushing it through, take out the ramrod, reattach it to it and repeat as many times as you want to.
  • Step 5: After you have scrubbed the bore of the barrel, begin pushing in dry patches after reattaching the jag .Do not worry if you do not have a jag, use a hoop tip to dry the bore.
  • Step 6: Once the bore is clean and dry, it is time to oil it up to prevent rusting. Using the jag, push in oil patches. Be mindful of not using too much oil.
  • Step 7: Although the receiver is less likely to get dirty, you can use a brush or a microfiber cloth to clean the receiver and its parts by wiping down. You can do the same thing for the bolt and the lever, but do not forget to use gun grease to help it in its movement.
  • Step 8: It is time to reassemble your rifle and first put the ejector back in its place and slide the bolt back. Slide the lever back into the slot. Once you have done that, line the lever screw hole up and put it back.
  • Step 9: To give it a final touch, use some gun oil and apply a thin coat of it on the outer side of the rifle. This practice keeps it from rusting.

Additional tip: If you are looking to store your rifle for a long time, go for a hard case cover and not the cloth bags as the fabric has a tendency to soak the oil, leading to rust on the gun. Also, a hard case cover is better in terms of protection.

Final Verdict

If guns are your passion and the Wild West attracts you, there is no better time than now to pick up the best lever action rifle for the money. While I have tried to talk about all that is needed for you to know, right from the price range to why a lever action rifle, there will always be more to learn when you pick up the gun and aim it at your target. So what are you waiting for mate? Let’s get gunnin!

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