Tactical Lever Guns Are Laughable And Embarrassing, Prove Me Wrong

It’s 2AM and an intruder breaks into your home. “Avast lads, touch steel and have at ye!” You shout as you shred the first brigand with a .75 caliber lead projectile from your Brown Bess musket (bro its .75 caliber!). It blows a grapefruit size hole in his chest, then travels down the block lodging in the center of your neighbors brand new Tesla. The second man steps in the door way. You draw your rapier and close with him, driving it straight through his chest. Your family is screaming, but thankfully they can’t see anything due to the smoke from your musket shot. Your musket ball punctured the battery in the Tesla and it catches fire. Your wife is screaming something about a divorce but you can’t hear what she’s saying because your eardrums have ruptured. Just as the founders intended! Right?

Thankfully we’re not at that level yet, but in states that have draconian gun laws like California and New York, people are turning to obsolete technology as a replacement for modern firearms. The last few years have seen the lever action rifle resurrected from the history books, dressed in modern accoutrements, and pressed into service as a substitute for the modern fighting rifle. Now, I’m not here to rip on lever guns. If you have a weird or quirky interest in specific firearms, and I certainly do, then more power to you. But just because you put M-LOK rails, a red dot, and an FDE paint job on your Henry Big Boy does not make it a viable alternative to a modern fighting rifle. “But bro, its in 45-70, this thing slaps.” Actually, no it doesn’t.

In fact, tactical lever guns are the Beyond Meat of the firearms community. Guys that think they’re just-as-good probably can’t bench two plates. They probably let their wife open the car door for them. And they definitely put their preferred pronouns in their email signature. For god’s sake, reach down and grab hold man!

Why are tactical lever guns so stupid? Because they’re copium. The entire point of the Second Amendment was to ensure citizen’s right to own the same firearms as the government in the event it became tyrannical and needed to be overthrown. Tactical lever guns are antithetical to the original intent of the Second Amendment as they represent the adoption and acceptance of government-imposed limitations on your rights. Their growing popularity in the gun community is both laughable and embarrassing.

The advent of the tactical lever gun also points to a deeper issue in the gun community- the toxic relationship between the firearms industry and your rights outlined in the Constitution. Hopefully it isn’t a surprise to anyone reading this that the firearms industry cannot be counted on as an ally to the Second Amendment. And while we have many allies in the industry, the fact is that when political attitudes and modern technology diverge, individuals will still find a way to make money. Put differently, people who put food on their table selling firearms or firearms training can have their livelihood threatened by draconian gun laws. But since there is a level of monetary dependence, they may end up altering their business model in a way that communicates tacit acceptance of these unconstitutional laws. This conflict of interest has led us to the lever gun debacle we see today. Let’s look at some examples.

Here we see the standard tactical lever gun. It’s got all of the attachments that make it “tactical,” including a Vietnam era bayonet that extends a whopping four inches beyond the muzzle. Four inches, how fitting. Framed in the photo, it looks like Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon from 90’s era SNL dressed as Hans and Franz, standing next to the real life Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Taking things a step further, this prototype abortion from Bond Arms made its debut a couple weeks ago at the 2023 SHOT Show. In addition to all of the bullshit attachments (offset irons on a lever gun??), the gun is magazine fed and compatible with standard AR-15 upper receivers and Remington 870 shotgun stocks. Imagine all the R&D that went into this project, while both a superior and widely available product already exists on the market. As I said before, this abomination is the Beyond Meat of guns; and just like Beyond Meat, it belongs in the trash.

I and so many others grew up in the firearms world watching Magpul Dynamics videos with Travis Haley and Chris Costa. Now Chris is looking something like a mad scientist and acting like one as he promotes the tactical viability of lever guns. As of last year, Costa Ludus has even begun offering courses on tactical lever guns. Now I wouldn’t mind if he explicitly said it was just for fun, but in the advertisement, he states it actually doesn’t matter what kind of gun you run at the end of the day, again implying that just-as-good mentality. It’s gross, dishonest, and perpetrating a fraud. Take a lap, Chris.

Look, at the end of the day, I’m not trying to shit on any one person or company specifically. I love lever guns as much as the next guy, but a weapon that was originally adopted by the military in 1860 has no place in the context of modern combat. If you’re getting a tricked-out lever gun with all the bells and whistles just to rip rounds and have a blast, then god bless you and have at it. But it’s this fallacious just-as-good attitude in our community that I’m concerned about. If you truly think tactical lever guns are a viable alternative to modern technology, I hope you take a moment and reflect on that. Think about what you can do that would be a better use of your time and money. Vote, both with your ballet and with your feet. Support organizations that actually fight for your rights. Call your representatives. What we need is a stalwart defense of our rights, not silly replacements for modern technology that remind us of what we once had. Because once rights are taken away, they aren’t going to be given back.

4 thoughts on “Tactical Lever Guns Are Laughable And Embarrassing, Prove Me Wrong

  1. Spot on. But with a caveat. I get what you’re saying on the political and acceptance angle 100%, and I agree. The caveat is this- can the “tactical lever gun” be a replacement for the standard bolt action rifle? When I saw the abortion, my first thought was, “I wonder if that is easier to cycle than a bolt action rifle?” If you look at it as a replacement for that system, then it makes sense from a practical point of view. And given that it can accept various uppers and Remington stock options, it has built it customization that many bolt guns just don’t.

    While I HATE seeing this “make do” bullshit being levered on the public, and would rather see a loosening of some laws (stupid pistol brace NFA shenanigans), there have been some interesting adaptations and outside the box thinking as a result, and THAT I can deal with.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the biggest issue with regards to lever vs bolt is that nosler projectiles are generally disrecommended in lever guns due to the tip of the projectile resting against the primer of the next round in the tube. I imagine that the bottom throw of the lever could be an issue when shooting prone as well.

      But I think there’s room in your comment for an alternative solution. Can you imagine a straight pull bolt gun in .308 win or even 6.5 creedmoor? Basically modernize the Swiss K31- modern caliber, synthetic stock, rails, comb adjustment, etc. and I think you’d have a absolute killer on the US market. I don’t think the cam action of a straight pull bolt sacrifices any of the strength of the bolt gun compared to a lever action either. Caveat of course, I’m sure production costs would be high. But what an incredible gun that would be.


  2. Everyone needs to calm their shit down and STFU.

    Lever guns are fine.

    Bolt guns are fine.

    Modern sporting rifles are fine.

    Revolvers are fine.

    9mm is fine and so is .45 ACP.

    Pump shotguns are fine, along with semi-autos, O/Us, and SxSs.

    Buy the gun you like. Don’t be the stupid meathead that craps on other people’s choices. The chances of being in combat are small. The chance of enjoying shooting guns is large. We can all get along and shoot stuff, or we can be bitchy, bitch assholes.

    Now go bench some plates, because WTF does that even matter.


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