SHOT Show 2024: The Year of the Lever Action

Stag Arms lever action rifle
Stag Arms lever rifle is so new is doesn’t have a name yet.


During dinner Monday night before the show opened, the conversation turned to the new lever guns that had been announced. And before we new it the list got even longer, at which point Michael Bane, well-known industry insider and devoted lever gun aficionado, declared, simply, “this is the year of the lever-action.”

Walking the show floor it seems Michael was absolutely right. You couldn’t turn down an aisle without running into a display with a lever-action rifle. Or at least it seemed that way. This really is the year of the lever action.

One of the most anticipated models is probably that from the most unexpected manufacturer, Bond Arms. The LVRB was quietly first shown at last year’s SHOT Show. Then it drew crowds at the NRA show in Indianapolis.

This week it once again drew crowds. Talking to the crew from Bond Arms, it looks like we’ll see this new rifle to begin shipping at the end of the second quarter. MSRP should be $1,599, just $100 over their anticipated pricing when the project initially got under way.

Ruger’s purchase of Marlin has fully come to fruition as their classic Marlin models are all shipping. Welcome news to distributors at the NASGW Expo this past October who had been eagerly awaiting the reintroduction of classic Marlin models.

With manufacturing dialed in, Ruger is now rolling out a tactical version, known as their Dark Series. The first in the series, the Model 1895 in .45-70 Govt is available now. Also on display but not yet shipping was the Model 336 in .30-30. The MSRP for the Dark Series rifles is about $1,379.

Just before SHOT, Smith & Wesson announced their new Model 1854 in .44 Mag. On display were two models, one with stainless steel barrel and receiver outfitted with black synthetic furniture and retailing for $1,279. The other was a Model 1854 Limited Edition (above) with high-grade walnuts satin finish furniture and a polished black PVD finish. This one retails for a pricier $3,499.

Not to be left out of the burgeoning lever-action craze, Aero Precision presented a couple models of their own.

One model, with traditional styling, will be from sister brand Stag Arms (top). It will retail for $1,400 to $1,500. The Aero model (above), with its skeletonized aesthetic and sleek tactical lines, will run you around $1,900. Neither rifle has been named yet. According to the Aero Precision booth staff, these rifles will come out in the first quarter of 2025.

And as we noted earlier, Henry surprised everyone at Range Day with the new H023 magzine-fed lever gun. It has a rotating bolt, is chambered in .223/5.56 as well as 300 Blackout and the barrel is threaded.  Most notable is the fact that it’s magazine fed, using standard AR magazines like the PMAG that ships with it. It’s so new it isn’t on Henry’s web site yet.

Elsewhere on the show floor, there was a lot more happening than just lever-actions, despite it being their year.

Radio Free SHOT Show was in full force at the booth where the popular No Lowballers podcast was recording live in a mini studio situated dead center of the booth. Show attendees could walk by and watch as the No Lowballers’ podfathers interviewed guest after guest. In case you missed it, you can watch their podcast on YouTube.

If you’re unfamiliar with Turkey’s presence in the US firearms market, you definitely haven’t walked the SHOT Show floor. Each year there seems to be another company importing firearms from Turkey. And despite the lower price point and the assumptions that inevitably come with inexpensive guns, Turkey is producing some very nice firearms.

Walking past the Best Huglu both you wouldn’t be faulted for doing a double take. The shotgun that Mustafa was kind enough to show me (above) features their Grade 3 Turkish Walnut, and it looked better than just about any shotgun outside of the premium guns you might see from Beretta or from Perazzi. But unlike those models, because Best Huglu will be handling their own importing in the near future, this shotgun will retail for about $999.

Spotted in the Burris booth was their new Spotter Signature HD 20-60x85mm spotting scope. With a street price of $1,700, this scope features mounting positions for a red dot (not included) to help narrow down your area of focus. It features an ARCA-Swiss compatible tripod mount, a built-in sun shade and is easily rotated for use whether standing or prone.

Next door in the Steiner booth was the new Predator 4S 4-16x44mm rifle scope, the smallest, lightest of its kind, or so I am told. You can see the difference in overall length compared to the Predator 4 model 4-16x50mm.

If you’re hunting includes a lot of hiking, and reducing overall weight is your goal, then the Predator 4S might be the scope you need. Who are we kidding? It might be the scope we all need.


Paul Erhardt is the managing editor of the Outdoor Wire Digital Network.

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