The lever-action rifle is alive and doing quite well among both domestic and foreign makers, and there’s a wide field to choose from in selecting one for home-defense use. Imagine what you want it to do before you go shopping around. The centerfire models will have a fair amount of crossover in serving both the home front and the hunting camp, if that’s important to you, and you can obviously stretch your money farther by extending the dual utility of a true rifle caliber. The so-called pistol-caliber lever guns have the advantage of less recoil and ammunition commonality with handguns that might be in the house, and in any of the magnum calibers they’re still no slouch. With practical ranges out to 150 yards and more in the hands of a good shooter, they can also easily handle both defense and hunting chores within their practical limitations. See the gallery above to learn about six manufacturers selling lever-action rifles.


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Marlin Firearms


Henry Repeating Arms


Rossi USA


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