The lever-action rifle stands tall within America’s gun culture. Much of this esteem stems from the days of westward expansion, when the lever-action repeater was the gun of choice. Even long after the frontiers were conquered, the appeal of the slim, tube-magazine repeaters from Marlin and Winchester remained strong. Of all the various models of that late-19th-century era, none are better remembered than the Winchesters, whose origins can be traced back to the fertile imagination of John Browning. While the later Models 94 and 95 were highly regarded for their marriage of smokeless powder and traditional operation, the earlier Winchester lever guns were appreciated for their smooth operation. Browning’s first Winchester repeater was the 1886, built for the longer blackpowder cartridges of the day, and six years later he scaled and shortened the Model 86 to produce the Model 92 for short blackpowder cartridges. Both guns were successful in their day and have been replicated in modern times.
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