JANUARY 26, 2023

Concept Lever Action Rifle from Bond Arms Wins "Best in Show" at SHOT Show

Granbury, TX - Bond Arms® is excited to announce that a concept lever action rifle has taken top prize at SHOT Show 2023, winning this year’s RECOIL Magazine’s Best in Show for Best Firearm.

The shooting, hunting and outdoor world converged at the Venetian Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas last week to take in all the new products from numerous brands. A significant event for the shooting sports industry with everyone from optics to tactical gear and hunting manufacturers present, RECOIL Magazine declared Bond Arms concept lever action rifle the best among firearms at the event.

This year, Bond Arms set out to create a ground-up modern lever action, with many of the design objectives deriving from the last 60+ years of AR-15 development. Features like rotating bolt for strength and precision, chambering of modern cartridges, user configurability and modularity, as well as the utilization of modern materials were all a point of emphasis.

The result is compatibility with the AR-15 platform in components critical to changings calibers, including barrels, bolts, and magazines. While there is also compatibility with AR-15 upper receivers and handguards, there is an additional opportunity to optimize these components for this application by eliminating the gas system and moving sighting systems almost a ½ in. closer to the bore.

Bond Arms owner, Gordon Bond, shared some of the inspiration for this firearms creation process. "At Shot Show 2019, right before Covid, we were sitting around after the show and we started talking about, "If we built a Lever Action Long Gun", what cool features would we want to add? After discussing what things we liked about Lever Action guns, we started talking about how we could improve the features and performance. Most Lever Action guns have a very long lever throw, so we thought it would be cool to do a Short Lever Throw that would actually be smoother than the normal long throw. We also thought that it would be cool to utilize all the new technologies in play over the last 60 years with the AR market and make it a magazine fed system."

"Little did we know that cycling a 5 round magazine was easy, but cycling a 30 round magazine with a lever gun was nearly impossible."

"We spent over a year redesigning the lever system and actually came up with a very clever cam system that will aggressively extract a round out of a 30 round magazine with no problem and it allowed for a very short throw even with the longest rounds. It was so good, we did a patent pending on this and several other things we discovered going through this design process. Also, with all the interchangeable barrels we have with our current guns, we wanted to make it easily convertible to other calibers to add more cool factor."

While the system was originally envisioned as a quiet and fast handling suppressor host (also allowing full capacity in short barrel configurations, unlike traditional lever actions), ironically the same manual action resulted in a compliant design for restrictive states. The lever loop is user configurable both for personal preference, and to match readily available Remington 870 stocks. The system utilizes the out-of-battery safety inherent in conventional AR-15 bolt carriers, as well as both manual and grip safeties. It features a magazine release location and feel familiar to AR-15 shooters, while also having an ambidextrous release.

The intent is to have complete rifles at launch, although pistols and build kits are possibilities down the road. The lever action firearm will likely initially launch in 5.56, 300 Blackout, and a large bore offering. The platform will also support any chambering using a standard rotating AR-15 bolt. Although still in development, the goal is availability in approximately a year.

Gordon Bond was particularly excited for the accolade. “We’re really proud of what we accomplished with our first showing of this concept lever action rifle. This was an extremely successful show for us, and we’re really excited not only for this product to hit the market, but for our future growth of the company”


BOND ARMS, INC. is located in Granbury, Texas and manufactures the award-winning Bond Arms Derringer - the finest in double barrel protection. Originally organized under the name Texas Armory, the company became incorporated as Bond Arms in 1995 with the idea that the Remington Model 95 over-under, single-action derringer could be converted from an Old West anachronism into a modern & reliable handgun. The barrel and frame were redesigned to safely fire modern calibers & the entire handgun is constructed entirely from stainless steel. This makes for a pistol that's both strong and durable.

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