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Big Horn Armory Model 89

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Big Horn Armory Model 89

Ever since the .500 Smith & Wesson Mag. came on the scene in 2003, there have been folks trying to figure out how to cram the cartridge into a rifle—especially a lever-action rifle. It’s an American obsession dating back to the cowboy days: A guy “needs” to have a lever-action rifle chambered for his handgun cartridge. Whether that need is real or not can be debated elsewhere, but the perception remains steadfast. Most of the popular revolver cartridges—from the .32-20 to the .45 Colt—have been placed in a lever-action rifle. However, when it comes to the .500 S&W Mag. there are a few dimensional problems in getting that cartridge to fit into an established platform.

Enter Greg Buchel and Dan Brown. Buchel has a background in architecture and engineering, and Brown is a master machinist. Both are gunners. About five years ago they partnered up to figure out how to marry the .500 S&W Mag. to a handy lever-action rifle, calling the new company Big Horn Armory (BHA). One of the most successful lever-actions chambered in handgun cartridges is the Winchester Model 92. This super-slick brainchild of John Browning took its wildly popular pappy—the Model 1886—and shrank it proportionately to accommodate smaller pistol cartridges. But, alas, the Model 92 is just too small for the big S&W cartridge.

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