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When you think about lever-action rifles, the image of wood stocks and blued steel is probably what pops into your head. Typically, that is what you see when a new lever gun hits the market, and then companies may come out with other variations down the road. Well, when Smith & Wesson released the new .44 Magnum Model 1854 at SHOT this year they skipped that step and went right to stainless steel and M-LOK equipped polymer stocks. It’s a slick, modern rifle, but if you like something a bit more traditional, then S&W has you covered with their latest release.

S&W just dropped a Model 1894 with walnut stocks. It’s still a stainless steel barrel and receiver, but they’re coated with a black Armornite finish, which has the look of a deep, matte blueing. The walnut stocks have some neat aesthetic touches like the way the textured inlays are broken into sections and the S&W logo on the bottom of the grip. MSRP on the walnut version of the Model 1854 is $1,399, but it’s a slick option for folks who want the modern touches like a threaded barrel, ghost ring sights and stainless steel construction, but who still want a traditional look.

Model 1854 Walnut Specifications:

  • 11/16-24 Threaded Barrel
  • Accepts mounts compatible with Marlin® 1894 hole patterns
  • Walnut stock with textured grip panels
  • Walnut forend with textured grip panels
  • Gold bead front sight
  • XS Sights ghost ring rear sight
  • 1:20-in. RH Twist 8-Groove Rifling
  • Large loop operating lever
  • Forged 416 SS receiver with Armornite finish
  • 19.25-in. 410 SS barrel with Armornite finish
  • MSRP: $1,399

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    • “Meh.”

      I kinda like it, JWM.

      Hard-cast Buffalo Bore .44 SPL chambers just fine in it, and the threaded barrel makes a adding a suppressor a snap. The locked action makes it even quieter, just the thing when it becomes necessary to be eliminating pests of various types… (wink-wink) 😉

  1. Copying the Marlin unabashedly, even including the stupid lawyer crossbolt safety is as big of a miss as the ” Classic ” revolvers with the Hillary Hole… HARD pass from me

  2. So the Marlin design patents must have expired or Ruger has a lawsuit in the works, but if you’re going to take the lazy way out and just carbon copy someone else’s design, why wouldn’t you use the appropriate 1894 action, instead of the 30-30 sized 1895 design? And why not get rid of the totally unnecessary crossbolt on it ?

    • “So the Marlin design patents must have expired…”

      Only by over 120 years or so…

  3. Why pay an MSRP of $1,400 for a .44 Mag lever gun when a perfectly serviceable .44 Mag/.44 Spl Rossi 92 can be obtained for 1/2 of that? I have one and it’s well made, accurate, and quite reliable. Also, have two in .45 Colt (one of which is a SS carbine) and another in .357 Mag/.38 Spl. I love lever guns and I’m here to tell ya a Rossi is worth a look.

    • Reloaders who don’t want blown out case bases. Not every Rosi 92/clone but a lot have the issue similar to Glock smile. With that said will have to wait and see if this model has similar issues.

      • Because you want a Smith, not a Rossi. Perfect companion to my 29-2.
        S&W stock keeps going up, too.
        Rossi, lol

    • “…when a perfectly serviceable .44 Mag/.44 Spl Rossi 92 can be obtained for 1/2 of that?”

      Does the Rossi come with a threaded barrel?

    • I absolutely agree! My Rossi is approximately twenty years old. It is a tac driver with .38 special and is at least as good with .357 mag.

  4. I hardly consider this going classic. Looks more like a modern WOOX.

    This is the kinda thing that gets my attention though. It might end up on my list.

  5. No thanks. Pressed checkering? Smooth black walnut. Straight grip. 16″ barrel. Can’t these people get anything right? Oh. Wait. The XS ghost ring sight is correct.

    • The sights are the first thing I would change. My preference would be stainless with walnut though.

      They do make a 19 inch version and a limited edition without checkering if you like (for 3 times the price).

  6. I would think if one were to make a classic style lever action they would not add a picatiny rail or the ugly checkering.
    Smith&Wesson should bring back the Vulcan if they want classic.

    • “…if one were to make a classic style lever action they would not add a picatiny rail or the ugly checkering.”

      Checkering makes it easier to grab when your paws are ‘wet’, and the pic rail makes adding a red dot easy.

      I’d dig one in 16 inches, loaded with .44 SPL, and with a red-dot and a can hanging on the end of it… 😉

      • While I would tend towards the 357 over the 44 (would get both) it would be more a barrel length optimization for caliber math problem where 14-16 is about the last relevant increase for 357 and 44 is somewhere between 11-14 and firmly sbr territory for most loadings. Frankly I am just happy to see more options imperfect or not as it will drive some critical thinking and development.

      • Doubt that, would probably be more accurate to say outside of some states where stupid levels of permits are an issue such a rifle wouldn’t be a priority purchase especially while it’s still largely unproven vs known competitors in it’s price range and cheaper mostly functional options are available. $1200 AR’s flew off the shelves for a decade not that long ago.

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