Smith and Wesson Lever Gun?

KinleyWater

Handloader
Jun 15, 2019
1,043
1,367
Well, folks, I'm torn. S&W now has a lever rifle, the Model 1854, in 44 Rem Mag. Sown here: https://www.smith-wesson.com/1854
What I like: It's stainless. It has a 1:20 twist. It comes with a peep sight. It has integrated sling studs. It's not absurdly heavy. It has a large loop. It has a pic rail if you want to put an optic on it.
What I don't like: 19.25 inch barrel (I would prefer a 16 or a 20). It's not very light either (7.1 pounds... or 6.8 depending on where on the page you look).
What I'm ambivalent about: Synthetic stock (it's okay, but I like Henry's stained wood better).
When I'm not sure about: The price. $1,279 MSRP as of the moment I write this. On an unproven design? Not so certain.
My final thoughts: Well, I'd like to put hands on one to see what it's like. I've hunted in some truly foul weather, and that is why I would consider this. I really would prefer a 16 inch barrel. I would also prefer a take-down, but the only one of those I know of are hundreds more.

Thoughts?
 
I'd venture a guess that you can scratch the "unproven design" worry off the list...

Its a Marlin clone, same as Henry... looks to be an exact clone, but I haven't seen the insides of one yet so there may be some differences.

Probably a fine rifle.
 
Well, I have a local shop that tends to get new Smiths in quickly; if they happen to get one in, I'll take a long, hard look.
 
You know, now that I think of it, this might be the first step to a .460 or .500 S&W Mag lever rifle. That would be something I don't think I would pass on. Especially a .460 that would cycle all the way down to 45 Colt. But, even if it can't, I can light load a higher pressure cartridge a lot easier than loading up a lower pressure one.
 
Looks interesting Jim, lots to like about it. It's a nice feature to be able to take out the lever, extractor and bolt for easy cleaning. Not sure I like that trigger flopping all over the place but it just might be a non issue.
 
Just a first impression here but I don't really like it. Now I have stainless rifles stocked in synthetics that I like but they are all bolt rifles. But I am basically a traditionalist at heart. I am drawn to flintlock rifles and wood stocked leverguns that look a certain way. Personally I like the Henry rifles in 44 magnum and the new ruger 44 magnum.
When I buy a new rifle I spend a lot of time researching the gun and how it operates, how dependable it is, how accurate it is, etc. But the bottom line before I put m;y money down is do I like the way the gun looks. And will I be happy totin' this thing around for a few years. Right now the new S&W lever gun doesn't do it for me.
I could change my mind after I hold one. Regardless I think they are all way overpriced and that has a bearing also.
 
I agree that the new S&W lacks that je ne sais quoi that would make me want to purchase a rifle. And I do love lever guns.
 
But if this is a new platform that would lead to other offerings like the 460 S&W and 500 S&W, it could be a game changer. 🤔

JD338
I messaged Smith earlier this week about just this subject, and today, they got back to me. The official line is that, no, there are not currently any plans to bring it out in any other chamberings.

Okay, that's all well and good, but I tend not to believe them. No other cartridges? None? Not even .357? No? Okay, sure Jan. Maybe 460 or 500 S&W is a bridge too far, but if not Smith, then who?
 
I don't know what pressure specs are for the 460 and 500 but I would think they would be safe in their lever gun.
Time will tell.

JD338
 
Both the 460 and 500 run at magnim rifle pressures....65k psi for the 460 and 60k psi for the 500.

Not just any lever can do that... the bolt thrust is hard on them.

There are some Winchester lever clones out there than do run the 460 and 500 though... VERY expensive rifles.

I'm not sure a Marlin clone should even be done in 454 Casull... which is also 65k psi, but a little less bolt thrust due to a good bit less powder.

I'd love to have a 460 lever gun.
 
Both the 460 and 500 run at magnim rifle pressures....65k psi for the 460 and 60k psi for the 500.

Not just any lever can do that... the bolt thrust is hard on them.

There are some Winchester lever clones out there than do run the 460 and 500 though... VERY expensive rifles.

I'm not sure a Marlin clone should even be done in 454 Casull... which is also 65k psi, but a little less bolt thrust due to a good bit less powder.

I'd love to have a 460 lever gun.
Thanks for the input RR. Looks like you answered the question. The 500 S&W in a lever would make one heck of a stopper.

JD338
 
Thanks for the input RR. Looks like you answered the question. The 500 S&W in a lever would make one heck of a stopper.

JD338
The price of admission is waaay high... but it can be had.

 
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