Why Are Lever Actions So Expensive? [Explained]

Lever action rifles are still expensive even years later after their introduction because they contain a great historical value. Moreover, the design and performance of the guns are still functional which is really impressive. 

The design was developed when state-of-the-art technologies were unavailable. So, it’s not possible to manufacture those easily with molding or cheap materials. As a result, the price can’t be mitigated even by the company. 

But what about its performance? Is it worth it to spend this much to buy an expensive lever action? Let’s explore this in detail.

Why Are Lever Actions So Expensive? [Top 6 reasons]

Lever Action rifles have more than 100 years of consistent service history and a legendary brand value. 

Along with these the following parameters are responsible for this rifle to be so expensive. 

Performance accuracy

Lever Action rifles are highly accurate and precise in terms of performance. 

It is capable of continuously firing powerful rounds. Besides, the variation in caliber size enables using different ammunition with high precision. 

Due to this top-notch performance, these rifles are very popular in plinking, sports, hunting, or self-defense.

This versatility of usage and accuracy in performance makes this rifle stand out in the market and eventually affects the price to be expensive. 

Futuristic design

Let’s talk about the legendary Lever Action rifle Winchester 1873 or the iconic Henry model. 

For years after years, these guns are on the top of the choice list and still competing with recent and modern designed guns. That’s simply because of the futuristic design of these rifles. 

Behind the trigger, the rifle has a large metallic lever that the shooter has to push downward and forward. And thus it’ll remove the cartridge and recycle it for the next shot.

This flexibility was completely new back then and still very rare. So, to produce and maintain this noble mechanism, the price was increased. 

Enhanced functionality 

Compared to a bolt action rifle, where the shooter has to move both his chick and sight from the target after every shoot, a lever action rifle is more functional.

The shooter can keep his eye on the target and remain in the same position and continue shooting without changing a bit of his position. This adds great value to both the war field and in sports or hunting. 

This automatic cartridge removal and consistent shooting experience needs highly tuned mechanisms and skill assembly skills. And eventually, it affects the price. 

Compatible with advanced ammunition

The Lever Action rifle was the first rifle that used smokeless powder instead of black gunpowder. And this development had made a great impact on bullet design. 

Before that, to contain more black powder the cartridge as well as the overall bullet had to be heavy and large. 

By using smokeless gunpowder, the range, power, and efficiency of the bullet increased. 

Moreover, the bullet size becomes smaller than previously since smokeless powder can produce adequate power for firing with a little amount of powder.

So, undoubtedly, this uniqueness has a great impact on the price of a Lever Action rifle. That’s why compared to other similar old rifles, Lever Action is expensive. 

Market dynamic

Lever Action rifles are not so available these days. You may see some old, antique piece that was used by someone’s great-grandfather but this has some great historical value.

So, enthusiast people have to wait for their expected historical model that is still completely functional. Due to these inconsistencies in supply and demand, the price increases.

However, some of the rifles are available at a cheap price though they may not be as accurate and special as a Winchester 1873 or Henry.

Complex machining process

Making a lever Action rifle involves a complex machining process. It takes a lot of hard work and time to make different small parts and put them together to work properly. 

As a result, not only the CNC or other machine tools but also extremely skilled labor is also required. And of course, the manufacturer has to spend a lot of money on this.

So, to maintain the profit margin, they have no other option than to increase the end price of the rifle.

Why Are Lever Actions Still So Popular?

Lever Action rifles are still standing out in the market due to their unique features and historical value. Let’s explore the top reasons behind this rifle being so popular. 

Pure American rifle

The Lever Action rifle was completely designed and developed by two Americans. 

Even still there are no other non-American companies that make Lever Action rifles. That’s why this has become a symbol of national identity and pride. 

Moreover, the rifle provides a subtle Cowboy feeling, and this is something cherished by most Americans.

Flexibility of using

We’ve already discussed how the shooting experience got better with lever action rifles. 

Furthermore, depending on the magazine and barrel length, the bullet capacity can vary from 8 to 12 rounds.

So, one can choose a rifle as per their requirements. Firearms lovers still enjoy this flexibility of choosing and using this rifle for various purposes.

Sporty and attractive look

Lever Action rifles are widely popular for shooting sports and hunting. As a result, along with regular military uses these rifles are also extensively used by rifle lovers and collectors.

So, there’s always a demand for a Lever Action despite being expensive. Some companies also make smaller rifles like .22 long and this thing is very popular for those who are beginner hunters or practice shooting frequently. 

Is Buying Expensive Lever Actions Worth It? 

This is a very difficult question to answer in short. Before going to any decision, let’s discuss what you should consider before buying Lever Actions.

  • These guns are very old and these days very few are found completely functional. So, if you see a completely new or used but in good condition rifle, then definitely it’s worth it.
  • If you regularly participate in shooting competitions or practice regular firing, this gun can be a good choice since it is durable. But there are much cheaper guns out in the market too that you should consider too.
  • Many people would love to own a Lever Action rifle as a part of their life just to resemble the iconic feelings. If you’re one of them, then, Yes! The gun is worth it for you.

Top 3 Alternatives Of Expensive Lever Actions

For those who just want a well-performing rifle for hunting or self-defense, not a fancy one with a huge price tag, here are some alternative options for them.

1. Ruger American

Ruger American is a widely known hunting rifle that offers various configurations to choose from. However, the price of this rifle can be around $500. Check online sellers for the best deal.

2. Tikka T3X Lite 

These rifles are lightweight, provide amazing performance, and come with stainless steel barrels. Compared to its performance the price is not as high as Lever Actions.

3. Bergara B-14 Ridge

Though these guns are a little heavier than usual, in terms of performance it is highly accurate. The design, butt-pad, and all other fittings maintain high quality as well.


Now, let’s see some of the most frequently asked questions from different Lever Action rifles enthusiasts all around the globe.

What Is The Most Famous Lever Action? 

The Winchester 1873 is considered the most famous Lever Action rifle of all time. According to the study, the Henry is the most sold model though Winchester is the most popular due to its look and performance. 

Is Lever Action Better Than Bolt Action?

Bolt action is slower than Lever Action. Moreover, in lever Actions, you need to change position for multiple shooting continuously. In that terms, Yes! Lever Actions are better.

How Far Can A Lever Action Shoot?

A Lever Action rifle can shoot at 150 to 300 yards. These rifles are used for short or mid-range firing. However, you should consider the effective range of a rifle rather than the maximum range.

Final words

There are tens of millions of Lever Action rifles produced since its introduction years ago. But very few of them are still functional and available in the market.

People who have nostalgia for this rifle are ready to spend thousands to own one of these iconic rifles. 

That is why Lever Actions are so expensive. If you’re not one of them, go for the alternatives.