If you’re looking for a lever action this year, you might be waiting a while for a Marlin. Lucky you—with the Chiappa Wildlands starting to show up in Canada, you can buy one of those instead, if you’ve saved up.
Since Ruger bought Marlin’s brand and business from Remington, we’ve been waiting for the company to be re-established. And, if you’ve been paying attention to new and used lever-action sales in Canada, you’ll notice prices are rising, and supply is drying up. This is especially true for American-built guns, which have usually been fairly affordable.
That makes lever actions built overseas a more attractive buy. The Chiappa Wildlands come in two familiar actions, copied off the famous Model 1892 and Model 1886 designs by John Browning. The 1892 is available in a take-down configuration, just like classic lever-actions of the golden age of railway-based hunting expeditions. It also comes in a standard frame. The 1886 only comes in a take-down configuration.
These aren’t old-school lever-actions, though. The Wildlands rifles come with either a cerakote/laminate wood finish, or a classic wood-and-blued-steel finish. Even the model with old-school finish has a Picatinny rail and threaded muzzle, though. These rifles also come with fiber-optic front sight and a peep-style rear. The furniture has a modern wedge shaped-forend. The 1886 model weighs about 9.5 pounds, and comes in at 38.3 inches long, with 18.5-inch barrel. The 1892 has a 16.5-inch barrel, weighs 6.2 pounds or 6.9 pounds (takedowns are usually heavier). It’s 35 inches long.
For now, it seems Chiappa only builds the 1892 in .44 magnum, and the 1886 in .45-70. Both rifles come with a four-round magazine. No doubt that will change if the line sees success. At this point, it seems what few Wildlands rifles brought into Canada for 2020, if any, were sold out quickly. With other manufacture’s lever guns mostly unavailable, the Wildlands faces a lot less market competition this year.
Who would buy a Wildlands?
The Wildlands line mixes the usability and fast-shooting design of a lever action with modern materials. The shooting world is once again realizing the benefits of a lever action, particularly when paired with modern features like a Picatinny rail. Hunters should find the weatherproof coating and furniture particularly appealing. But, pricing seems to start around $1300 for the 1892 models, rising to $1800 for the 1886 model. That price tag rules out many of the traditionally budget-oriented shooters looking for an economical deer gun.
For more details, pricing and availability, check your local gun store or preferred online retailer.