Lever-action rifles in .44 Magnum aren’t quite as common as .30-30 or .45-70, but you can still find some excellent rifles out there. Here’s a list of some of the Best .44 Magnum Lever-Action Rifles to check out.
Marlin is one of the leading names in lever-action rifles today. All of their lever-action rifles are side-ejecting, which gives them a big advantage over other lever-actions. Because they are side-ejecting, the cartridge carrier isn’t dependent on cartridge length. This means that Marlin rifles are virtually oblivious to misfeeds due to cartridge length.
This means that the .44 Magnum rifles can also fire .44 Special and .44 Russian with no problem. The .357 rifles can also fire .38 Special. No issue with cartridge length.
The Marlin 1984 weighs 6.5 lbs and is 37 ½ inches in overall length. The .44 Magnum variant comes with a 10 round tube. The rounds are fed into the tube by a side door, and eject through the side, as mentioned above.
At one point you could find for just over $800, although demand has increased price, the Marlin 1894 in .44 Magnum is an affordable option if you’re looking for a .44 Magnum lever-action cowboy carbine. There are certainly less expensive options, but the Marlin 1894 is one of the best quality lever-actions that you can find today.
Another premiere name in lever-action rifles is Henry. Henry rifles are always made in the U.S.A. and are always high quality firearms. The Henry Big Boy brings Henry quality to the .44 Magnum platform.
Henry Big Boy Classics have 20 inch barrels just like the Marlin, and come in a variety of calibers besides .44 Magnum. The .44 Magnum variant comes with a 10 round tube magazine and Henry’s classic brass lever.
Henry knows a thing or two about .44 caliber rifles. The very first Henry rifle was a .44 caliber rimfire designed by Benjamin Tyler Henry back in 1860. Since then, Henry has become known as one of the leading cowboy gun manufacturers in America.
For the level of quality you get in a Henry carbine, you can find a Marlin Big Boy in .44 Magnum for a pretty reasonable price. You can expect to pay around $1,000 – $1,200 for one of the best cowboy guns on the market.
If you’re looking for the very best lever-action .44 Magnum rifle available today, look no further than the Winchester Model 1892. The 1892 was designed by none other than John Moses Browning himself, the father of modern firearms. Browning designed the 1892 to be a smaller, lighter version of the Model 1886, which in turn replaced the Model 1873 version.
As the story goes, Winchester asked Browning to design a rifle to compete with a Marlin lever-action that was recently released. Browning responded by saying that he would deliver the new design in under a month, or it would be free. After just two weeks, Browning delivered a fully-functioning Model 1892.
Winchester produced over 1,00,000 Model 1892s over the span of 50 years. They were popular with cowboys on the western frontier, but also popular with militaries of the early 20th century. The Royal Navy, for example, ordered 21,000 for World War I.
When the United States became involved in WWII in 1941, Winchester stopped production of the Model 1892 in favor of more modern rifles to contribute to the war effort. After the war, Winchester did not resume production.
Other manufacturers quickly picked up the design and began making clones, including companies like Rossi, Browning, and Chiappa. Many of the Model 1892 clones are very good quality, such as the Rossi R92 which we will discuss next.
Rossi is a Brazillian company that offers 17 different models of lever-action rifles. The R92 is a clone of the Winchester Model 1892, one of the earliest and greatest lever-action .44 Magnum rifles ever produced. The Rossi clone lives up to the legend, and offers some nice modern features.
First, the Rossi is a very high-quality clone and performs every bit as well as an original Model 1892. The Rossi R92 features the Taurus Security System (Taurus produces handguns for Rossi), a feature that disables the gun when not in use by locking the hammer in place. The R92 also offers a half-cock feature which allows you to carry the rifle cocked without risk of a drop-fire.
It’s hard to keep in mind that the Rossi R92 is a clone because it’s such a quality firearm. At just over $600, the Rossi R92 is an excellent option for someone looking for a budget-friendly lever-action .44 Magnum rifle.
The final .44 Magnum rifle in this list is somewhat of a celebrity. In the 1950s, when Westerns were popular on American television, Steve McQueen was one of the most famous cowboys on the small screen. In his show “Wanted: Dead or Alive”, McQueen carried a firearm that had previously never been seen before.
It was a cut-down version of a .44 Magnum rifle, carried in a hip holster like a six-shooter. It became an instant hit and soon, every cowboy and wannabe cowboy had to own one. The Mare’s Leg is actually a Henry Big Boy with a shortened barrel and shortened buttstock. It holds five rounds of .44 Magnum and measures just 25 inches in overall length.
For the younger generation, The Mare’s Leg can also be seen in the Woody Harrelson movie “Zombieland”. His Mare’s Leg is a .44-40, but is still pretty sweet.
You don’t have to be a cowboy or a rustler to want to own a quality .44 Magnum lever-action rifle. They are great to take down medium-sized game like deer at medium distances or through heavy brush.
You may not see lever-action rifles in pistol calibers for much longer, but for now here are five of the best around.
Alex Joseph is an avid bow hunter and father of two boys. Originally from Tacoma, Washington. Alex now resides in California.