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TTAG hasn’t had a bout of lever fever in quite some time. Rest assured that the Cowboy Assault Rifle (CAR) project gun is in the works. Again. Still. We got off to a slow start (as in racing glaciers). Marlin eventually sent us a new 1894c to replace the inadvertent folding stock version. We’ve sent the new lever gun [not shown] to Crimson Trace for some skunk works laser action. Top Shot winner and Crimson Trace marketing maven Ian Harrison has handed the gun to CT’s boffins. But not until Ian had a chin wag with our main man Lew Bonitz over at Grizzly Custom Guns . . .

Lew’s waiting for an experimental (i.e. don’t hit him up for one yet) tri-rail within which the laser gubbins may—or may not—be attached. Meanwhile, Mr. B’s cooked up a new twist on America’s oldest continuously produced rifle. Et voila: the BackPacker Lite “Scout” – Marlin 39A.

Check out that shortened barrel (16″) and slammed scope. The detachable optic doesn’t co-witness with the iron sights but who reads the Watchtower with a friend anyway? The perfectly proportioned loop is a new build. And no, the gun is not for sale. Nor the next. After that, maybe.

But wait until you see the CAR. Without doubt, it will be the ultimate stylatical lever gun. Patience? Yeah, you’ll need some of that. Money? That too. But then who can put a price on perfection? Other than Glock.

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  1. A very handsome sexy firearm. I want a tactical CAR yet the price on this piece is beyond my budget.

  2. this is the first level action that i would consider getting. 1,699 is pretty steep, you do get a TON of extras with this. but after FFL and shipping, i’m getting the feeling that you could by a brand news SCAR rifle or something comparable for this price.

  3. I’d take one in .357 or .44 maybe, but all that for a tricked out .22? I think I’d rather spend half (or less) on a 10-22 or an AR in .22 and be ten times as tactikewl

    • One can never have enough .22 rifles. People always talk about limiting themselves to 1 or 2. I have at least 1 full safe just for rimfire. I just can’t get enough .22LR, .22WMR, .17 HMR, etc. Rimfire is not just for plinking you know……

      This would be nice and light for backpacking trips and rabbit hunting. With scout scope target acquisition will be fast. Must have 🙂

  4. LEVERGASM! Admittedly it’s an extremely expensive peashooter, but Grizzly and Wild West can do the same takedown treatment to just about any Marlin. Imagine how neat that same gun would be in .45-70, and then look up the ‘Alaskan Co-Pilot’ carbine.

    It’s been months since I reviewed it, but I’m still thrilled by my Wild West .357 Marlin. It’s not quite a CAR since it doesn’t wear any ‘tactical’ goodies, but it’s wickedly fast and accurate. With more than 1,000 lb-ft of energy at close range, it hits at least as hard as an AR (possibly harder because of the much wider permanent wound cavity.) As a bonus, it’s legal in all 50 states *and* for those poor buggers in the District of Columbia.

  5. I saw this a few weeks ago, and I’m seriously considering getting a second Marlin 39 for my collection, to build a similar rifle.

    This is the first one I’ve seen with such a short barrel, and it’s really growing on me. If it handles .22 CB Longs as quietly as my current 39, it seems like it would be the perfect varmint gun for those of us with neighbors.

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