When people see the AR15 most think you are a bad person for owning one, but they see a lever action in 357Mag or 44Mag and laugh at the old man.

In the 1800’s 2 firearms chambered for the same round had a lot of merit. Today with the onslaught of black rifles (AR-15’s) from just about every firearm manufacturer, the lever action carbine has lost most of it’s popularity. If you do a simple search for home defense rifle, SHTF rifle almost all results will lead you to some sort of black rifle or potentially shotgun. Though I love my AR15’s and have become very familiar with them over the past 30 years, gaining most of my knowledge while serving in the United States Marine Corps. I still appreciate the benefits of the pistol caliber lever action carbine or what I often refer to as the Discreet Urban Carbine.

The Marlin 1894 Carbine in the right hands is still a very formidable opponent for home defense and SHTF situations. In the right hands simply means like any rifle, shotgun or pistol you must train with it and become proficient with it. I would argue the Marlin Lever action requires less training time than an AR15 or at least it did for my family. I showed my daughter the loading gate the working of the action and she was off and running, with a big smile on her face.

We think alike. My daughter loves my Marlin 1895 45-70. She's got a small frame and I don't know how she mitigates the recoil but she will shoot the snot out of that thing. Not my primary for home defense though. While it's rated for T-Rex, over penetration might prove undesirable results. One of the reasons I bought it was due to it's stopping power. I do kind of favor it over my tacti-cool rifles though.
It's not just 30 rounds at your disposal.
It's also the 5.56 round.

100 of witch weight no more than100 rounds of 9mm ammo.
And each produces some 1,200 foot pounds of energy.

A nice balance of weight and power that .357 and .44 Magnum carbines would be hard put to mach.

And for the record I own and enjoy many lever guns.
But some day. I may need to run out the door with all the ammo I will ever have on my back.
I have LONG loved the look and the fun of levers. One big downside is price. They are a little more work to make but, the biggest difference is in how many are made. I have long said when the voters let them take the autos away you will see a sudden interest in the levers again. I would really like to have one in .44. Being a manual action you can roll ammo for all different power levels to your need or desire. If I am still around and shooting when they take the autos I will of course have to have a couple levers. One in 10mm would really be the high want for me. One place I know of so far does make a nice one but sadly at a price I am not sure the Wife would not be super mad about :eek::eek:


In recent years, I went through a cowboy type phase. It started with revolvers and spread to levers. Whenever I go out shooting, my 9422 in 22lr or my 1894CSBL in 357 or both make the trip. Frankly, due to the cost of shooting and difficulty replenishing my supplies (not that I'm low on any, but who knows the next time we'll see cheap, plentiful ammo), I tend to shoot the 9422 more than any other rifle. I love loading that thing up with 23 22 shorts. It's like a quiet cowboy MSR.

The thing that the revolvers and levers inspired in me was a trend of shared ammo and/or mags between long guns and hand guns. As a result, I've come up with what I think are some decent pairings.

- Ruger GP-100 (4" stainless) in .357 paired with a Marlin 1894CSBL (also stainless) in .357.
- Ruger Single Six (6" stainless) in 22 s/l/lr paired with a Winchester 9422 in 22 s/l/lr (early version).
- The modern variant: Glock 45 in 9mm paired with a Ruger PCC in 9mm (using Glock mags).

If SHTF, I'm not sure what I'd take (depends on my mood at the time and the cause of the situation), but it would be one of those combos or an AR pistol. They all have their pros and cons and the AR pistol is a compromise, but I don't think I'd feel under gunned with any of them. Maybe the 22 a bit, but the sheer volume of rounds you could carry in the same space would help make up for it. The levers and revolvers being more traditional in their appearance should blend in better without causing a stir.


Going to be the voice of dissension here :D. My choice in non-Black Rifle is the Ruger Mini 14. With the factory wood stock and 5 or 10 round mag, it's about as innocuous as a lever gun to most folks, with nearly all the advantages of the AR 15 type rifles. Yeah, I've heard all the noise about can't hit the broad side of a barn from inside, it's easy to fix. I have a 181 series, so "2nd Gen" with pencil barrel and all the bad reputation. With only a couple of minor mods, it's a consistent 2 MOA rifle, and that's with a RDS. I know I can consistently and effectively engage man size silhouette targets out to 400 yards because I've done it with this rifle. I've owned a couple of AR's, "built" both, no question it's a fun, highly capable, platform, but I just never fell in love with it. But my Mini 14 is probably the last gun I'd part with, and I've got some pretty nice guns IMO :cool:. Just my 2 cents worth, later.

I had what was probably one of the very first Marlin 1894SS .44Mag rifles that were shipped to Oregon, long about 2000>2001.
It served only one purpose, to be able to use Black Powder for SASS,, I don't think I ever put a smokeless round thru it.
You can run a slicked-up, (really slicked-up,) lever pretty fast with some practice, hints;
Learn to keep the rifle shouldered while working the action.
Don't wrap your thumb around the wrist of the stock.
Have some kind of non-slip butt plate, you don't want the butt bouncing around up an down while you're working the lever.
Wrap some leather around the lever.
Shoot straight.. and fast.


I ended up with a very nice Winchester lever action in .44 mag (long story). Have to admit I was very pleasantly surprised with it. As i've said before, short carbines with magnum pistol calibers in them are no joke. A nice companion to my Redhawk in the same caliber.

Mark W.

I would love to own a Winchester model 92 or one of the reproductions in either 38spl/357mag or 44spl/44mag but the cost has held me back. I do have a 1938 Winchester Trapper (16" barrel 6 round mag) in 30-30win. I load Sierra 125gr FPHP which makes a very effective antipersonnel round as well as a decent deer hunting round.

That said my at home choice will always be either the 20" 8rd 870 or my M1 carbine with 15rd mags so short and makes a great non lethal baseball bat if so desired.
I like that guy lol. Yes, I totally agree with him. I do not actually want to own a suppressor, but the lever action carbine is a very nice weapon that I would use in an instance for an end of the world scenario. I have a Winchester 1894 hunting rifle that my grandfather bought brand new in Boring Oregon lol. My grandmother shot her first deer with it, my dad shot his first deer with it and I shot my first deer with it. It lost its octagon barrel for a round one and has both peep sites and the original brass scope. It was made in 1917. I recently had it torn apart, cleaned and put back together by a gunsmith and he offered me $1000 for it but it is a family heirloom, not for sale. I will give it along with my marlin as a duo to one of my grandchildren before I die. The Marlin, if we had social unrest I would hang my sig on my belt and load up my Marlin and protect my family from the bad guys.
Pistol Caliber Carbines have many merits, and I can appreciate the concept of having them with the companion pistols, But that simply doesn't compute with todays reality for me! I Know what SHTF/TEOTWAWKI looks like, and it ain't pretty, and the last thing I'm gonna want is a combo that I cannot find ammo for once I fight my way through what I boogied with when it all came crashing down! That said, I would still love to be able to grab on of my 1895's with it's stripper clip feeding .30/06! :D


Lead Farm Precision Rifle Match
The Lead Farm
34006 Gwinn Rd, Prosser, WA 99350, USA
Arms Collectors of SW Washington Gun Show
Battleground Community Center
912 E Main St, Battle Ground, WA 98604, USA
Rimfire Challenge Dec 12th @ DRRC
Douglas Ridge Rifle Club
27787 OR-224, Eagle Creek, OR 97022, USA
Albany Rifle & Pistol Club (ARPC) Gun Show
Linn County Expo Center
3700 Knox Butte Rd E, Albany, OR 97322, USA


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