What do you believe the strongest lever action rifle available today is? Winchester, Browning, Marlin, Rossi, etc.? Why? As a follow up, which lever action would you NOT trust under extreme circumstances? Why not?
Probably the strongest, indicated by cartridges chambered for, is the Browning BLR. The BLR chambered for such high pressure cartridges as the 300 Win Mag and 7mm Rem Mag. This is the only lever action that I know (excluding lever operated falling block actions like the Ruger No. 1) chambered for these types of high pressure rounds.
The Winchester 1895 handles the 30/06 and 270 class rounds easily.
There's been a lot of discussion about the Winchester vs. Marlin strengths, but seem most are agreeing these days that the NEW Winchester 1886 levers are a bit stronger than the other offerings from Winchester or Marlin. I'm not sure about the Rossi, I've never even handled one, but they are chambered for the 454 Casull, so they must be well made.
Of course, the Savage 99 handles 308 and 243 loadings quite well and I've never heard one complaint about those.
Seems just about all the current manufacturers are doing a good job building strength into their actions, though would suspect by design the 1873 Winchesters being made for Navy Arms and Cimarron aren't quite as strong as the 92's or 94's.
I concur with alyeska, it's probably the BLR. It's an ugly cuss but probably just as stout as most turnbolts. If I recall correctly it has the same type of lock-up as the BAR that was (is?) available in the belted magnum rounds.
While the Browning BLR is undoubtedly the strongest lever action design, it is not a levergun in the purest sense. This 'ol dog still thinks of a true lever action rifle as one having a tubular magazine. The 1886 Winchester holds the high hand in the traditional category. Here is a site to check out that may open some eyes concerning the toggle link action of the 1876 Winchester. www.bar-w.com/1876v04.html
I agree with mike on this one . The BLR is probarly the strongest "lever action" But from a purest point of view it is'nt a traditional Lever gun due to the box mag .along with the mod 88 win ,99 savage & sako Finnbear ! but I'm only going on my personal tastes in leverguns.
Nobody will doubt the BLRs superior strength, but it is, in reality, a lever actuated bolt rifle. It's camming bolt that locks into the breech is what separates it from "typical" leverguns.
For tubular magazined levers the 1886 Winchester stands out. The modern versions can withstand pressure in the 40K+ range. The '95 Winchester rules the box magazine class, as it currently is the only one manufactured.
The 99 Savage is currently out of production. This is unfortunate because it is an excellent design, capable of handling several high pressure medium length cartridges. I have a TD set in .30-30 and 38-55 that i wouldn't trade the world for. The little 20" barrels are fast handling, very accurate, and a pleasure to carry.
How can you not classify the Savage 99 and Winchester 1895 as not traditional lever actions for they are both over 100 years old! John Browning designed numberous lever models 86,87, 92,94,95. An improvement is and improvement whether its in the type of bolt locking or magazine. How about if you take a 94 action with a Remington sprial tube (which will take pointed bullets) and put a synthecic stock would that be traditional? What about people mounting scopes on top of the guns? That's been happening also for the last 100 years.
The only thing I do not like about the BLR is just its looks!
i think the blr looks great, but i think t is the best because of it's unique design that makes it more accurate and able to handle many more cartridges than other lever actions. all the benefits of the bolt action in the lever action package i think it's great
I'm sorry ,but the Puma 92 ,should be ranked near to top ,or at least aknowledged,It can handle 454 Casull,loads in the 60,000 to 65,000 PSI, can be handled in this ,6lb. levergun http://www.gunblast.com/Paco_Legacy_454.htm
Yup...what Buckeye said. It should probably come after the first place BLR, although the 92 cannot handle long cartridges. The 454 is quite a test at that pressure, and the 92 seems to be the only one of the "traditional" levers to hold up to it.
I am also somewhat conservative. Ribbonstone summed it up correctly; we need to give the Puma some time to see what the pounding of the .454 does to it's frame. I do believe that it will prove to be completely up to the task.
I don't have enough experience with the 1895 Winchester, having just recently purchased a SRC in .30 Gov. '06. i have used the '86s for many years, so can base their strength on experience. My post 1910 guns are, in my mind, every bit as strong as the new ones are. I have fired all sorts of ammo through my .45-70s, without any signs of a problem. Same goes for the .45-90 and .33 WCF.
Will handle darn near anything - superior steel and workmanship. I've put many hot loaded 45-70 through it and the weight of the gun also helps mediate the recoil. Very satisfying to whack long range steel with.
I personally believe both are close, but the nod probably goes to the Win. 94....only by a slight margin. I can only base that on the load development of those here on the board and pressure signs they have gotten. Over on Leverguns.com, Buck Elliot posted the results of his tests with both the Win. 94 and Marlin 336 designs rebarreled to the 65K CUP 454 Casull. The one that lasted the longest was I believe a 1920's version of the Model 94 Winchester. All of them lasted only a short time before they were wrecked, as obviously these actions were not made for that kind of pressure. On average, the Winchesters lasted a little longer but not by much. There wasn't enough guns to be really scientific, but it is the only test of this type that I know of. Both designs have their strengths and weaknesses. Both are good designs for the cartridges we use them for and are close in terms of strength, in my humble opinion. Now, for the experts to correct me on all the dumb stuff I just said
Is this line of discussion only concerned with the strongest lever actions chambered for pistol cartridges? If so, the 50AE and 454 Casull might then be considered but rifle cartridges still pack more wallop. Even from a manufacturer of hot loaded ammo.
Here's as close a match as I could find. Same caliber, same manufacturers info (www.CorBon.com) and same weight. Note as a handgun cartridge 250yd data is not listed for the 454. Not only does the 45-70 have more energy downrange but it doesn't stall out as quickly either. At the muzzle, it's not even a contest.
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