Taylor & Company Alaskan Takedown – The Ultimate Lever Gun

Taylor and Company Alaskan rifle in action


“Fill your hands you son of a bitch!” And with those words, a “one-eyed fat man” took on four outlaws with a Winchester lever gun and a Colt Single Action. Of course, the quote is from the 1969 movie  True Grit and it is one of the most iconic scenes in John Wayne’s long career. The 2010 remake, with Jeff Bridges, was very well done and to many, is actually better than the original. My infatuation with lever guns came from a childhood where we watched Bonanza, The Rifleman, and Gunsmoke. The lever gun is the symbol of the American West and the hard men who used them.

With all of the advancements in firearms technology, it warms my heart that the lever gun is alive and well in 2023. If you don’t believe me, take a look at brands like Marlin, Winchester, Rossi, Uberti, and Chiappa. These companies offer a wide variety of models, in various calibers, to suit almost any need. In looking at the current offerings one company really caught my eye. Taylor & Company Firearms is based in, of all places, Winchester Virginia. Unlike the other companies listed, Taylor does not actually manufacture any firearms. Instead, they partner with existing companies, such as Chiappa and Uberti, to market and sell exclusive models.


One of the coolest models is the Alaskan take-down that is based on the Winchester 1892. The Alaskan is actually made for Taylor & Company by Chiappa Firearms. While available in .44 Magnum, I requested an Alaskan chambered in .357 Magnum. This was based on a number of reasons. First, I already had a good quantity of both .357 Magnum and .38 Special ammo in stock. Second, I really wanted a short 16” saddle carbine-size rifle. This .357 Magnum was just the ticket.

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Taylor and Company Alaskan lever action rifle laid on vintage wood
The Taylor & Company Alaskan is a nifty 16”, lever action, carbine that is available in .44 Magnum or .357 Magnum.
Alaskan engraving on side
The Alaskan features a corrosion-resistant matte finish, making it ideal for use in inclement weather.

While the action is based on the 1892 design, the Alaskan takes advantage of modern materials and manufacturing methods. Our test rifle featured a corrosion-resistant matte chrome finish and wood stock and forend that has a black rubber over mold coating. The coating protects the wood from the elements and provides a positive gripping surface in wet environments. The overall length of the Alaskan is 34.25” and it weighs 7 lbs. 5 oz.

Alaskan view on the action
The Alaskan is based on the 1892 action. The action on our test rifle was exceptional.
The Taylor and Company Alaskan has smooth edges
Users appreciated the lack of sharp edges and the overall finish on the Alaskan. The trigger, on our test rifle, broke cleanly at 4 lbs. 2 oz.
Taylor and Company Alaskan stock made from wood and rubber
The stock is wood with a rubber over mold coating and features a non-slip recoil pad.


The Alaskan reflects a lot of attention to the small things. There are no offending sharp edges on any part of the rifle. The action is extremely smooth and the trigger broke cleanly at 4 lbs. 2 oz. The loop on the lever is enlarged to allow for use with gloves, but not so large as to be cumbersome. The 16” octagon barrel is a nice feature but does increase the weight of the rifle.

The Alaskan features a fiber optic front sight that is paired with a Skinner peep aperture that is integrally mounted on a Weaver/Picatinny rail. The rail allows for the mounting of an extended eye relief magnified optic or a red dot. While I had a Trijicon RMR available, I selected to test the Alaskan in the factory configuration.

Taylor and Company Alaskan front sight
The front sight on the Alaskan is a fiber optic post that is dovetailed into the barrel.
Taylor and Company Alaskan has a Skinner peep aperture rear sight
The rear sight is a Skinner peep aperture that is mounted on a Weaver/Picatinny rail that provides mounting for an extended eye relief optic.
Shooter using Taylor and Company Alaskan
The low mount and aperture size of the peep sight requires a lower cheek weld.


Take-down rifles and shotguns have always intrigued me. The Alaskan was no exception! To take down the rifle, a retaining lever, located on the end of the magazine tube, is unlocked. This allows the magazine tube to be rotated counter-clockwise, unthreading it from the end cap of the barrel unit. With the magazine tube free from the receiver, the barrel is then rotated 90 degrees, allowing it to separate from the receiver. When broken down, the length of the stock and receiver is only 19”. This makes it ideal for transportation, or storage, in confined spaces. Taylor offers a take-down case at their website.

Taylor and Company Alaskan in process of takedown
The takedown procedure requires a locking lever to be lifted. This allows the magazine tube to be unscrewed.
Taylor and Company Alaskan threads on barrel
The barrel has two sets of threads that allow it to be rotated 90 degrees and separated from the receiver.
Taylor and Company Alaskan with barrel removed
This photo shows the end of the receiver with the barrel removed.
Taylor and Company Alaskan taken apart
The end result is a compact package that is easily stored or transported. Taylor offers a nylon case for the Alaskan.


For those who are unfamiliar with lever guns, care must be taken concerning the selection of ammunition. Under recoil, a more pointed projectile can result in the detonation of a round in the magazine tube. Hornady makes a specific round for lever guns. Hornady LEVERevolution Ammunition is designed with a patented elastomer Flex Tip that is designed for safe use in tubular magazines. Unfortunately, this product was back ordered and was not available for this review.

Taylor and Company Alaskan at the range
On the range, the little carbine was a joy to shoot.
Taylor and Company Alaskan great range day
This photo shows just how compact and handy the Alaskan is.

I selected two .357 Magnum loads and one .38 Special +P load for this review. The two magnum loads were the Federal 158 gr. JSP and the Speer 158 gr. Gold Dot load. For situations where the magnum load may not be the best choice, I selected Speer’s .38 +P 125 gr. Gold Dot. As expected, the 16” barrel significantly enhanced the performance of all three loads. The Federal 158 gr. magnum load averaged 1,742 fps while the Gold Dot magnum averaged 1,680. The .38 +P Gold Dot averaged 1,155. All three rounds had a blunt face projectile that made it safe to shoot in the Alaskan.


For accuracy testing, I shot from a bench using a sandbag. I found that the fiber optic front sight almost completely covered the B-8 repair center targets I was using. Even with this, my five-shot groups ranged between two and three inches. The data on the chart represents the best three of the five shots. I had forgotten how fun, and accurate, iron sights can be!

Traditionally, a rear peep sight is mounted close to the eye, giving a much wider field of view. The M-1 Garand is an example. I found the extended eye relief of the Skinner Peep sight to be an issue. The distance from my eye to the rear sight was 13”. I also had to really lower my cheek weld to center the front sight in the rear aperture. Under speed drills, I found myself losing the front sight post. I just didn’t find it fast or comfortable for me.

Taylor Alaskan Take-Down Carbine
ManufacturerLoadAverage VelocityExtreme SpreadAccuracy
 Federal .357 Magnum158 gr. JSP 1,742 fps61 fps1.54”
Speer . 357 Magnum158 gr. GDHP1,680 fps82 fps 1.02”
Speer .38 +P125 gr. GDHP1,155 fps29 fps1.25”
Velocity measures at 10 ft/Accuracy Bench Rest from 50 Yards/Best 3 rounds


I recently completed an article on the practical use of .22 LR and .22 WRM for personal defense. For this project, I used two blocks of ballistic-grade Clear Gel. I was interested to see the ballistic performance of the three loads we tested. To be fully transparent, these blocks still had the cavities from the .22 testing and had not been reconstituted. Because of this, I only shot one round per load. I did cover the blocks with four layers of denim. While not the perfect test, it did satisfy some of my curiosity. The results were very interesting.

SEE MORE: .22 Magnum for Personal Defense – Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze?

Taylor Alaskan Take-Down Carbine
ManufacturerLoadAverage VelocityPenetrationExpansion
 Federal .357 Magnum158 gr. JSP 1,740 fps 27”.47”
Speer . 357 Magnum158 gr. GDHP1,680 fps23.5”.63”
Speer .38 +P125 gr. GDHP1,155 fps13.5”.56”

The two magnum loads appear to be ideal for taking medium size game. For personal or home defense, I would probably select the .38 +P Gold Dot.

Ammunition tests
The rounds recovered from the Clear Gel shown in order. Left to right
Federal and Speer ammunition tests
Federal 357 Magnum, Speer .357 Magnum Gold Dot, and Speer .38+P Gold Dot.


I was extremely impressed with the Alaskan. The quality and the finish were well worth the MSRP. As previously stated, the Skinner Peep Sight didn’t work well for me and I would prefer a more traditional rear sight. The other shortcoming I noticed was the lack of mounting points for a sling. That being said, the Alaskan is a super handy rifle that is perfect for hunting applications and personal defense, particularly in states with bans on “black rifles.”

If you enjoy classical Western firearms, check out all the options at Taylor & Company Firearms.

Taylor & Company Alaskan Take-Down Carbine
Caliber Test.357 Magnum
Weight7 lbs. 5 oz.
FinishMatte Chrome
Stock/ForendWood/Rubber Over Mold
Rear SightSkinner Peep Sight/Rail
Front SightFiber Optic
ManufacturerChiappa Firearms

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  • Kbc kurt May 8, 2023, 10:25 pm

    Prefer Marlin actions, they don’t trap rain, dirt, or tree/shrubbery in the open top action when hunting. Marlin/made in the USA and Smoother too.

  • John Schleifer May 8, 2023, 8:42 am

    This carbine truly intrest me, I am considering purchase of the forty four mag.

  • Sherman A. House DDS May 5, 2023, 8:01 pm

    Strong work Rob! I’m interested and will be adding this guy to my collection, SOON.

    Curious…can you try .38 WC’s in this? I have a 20” Rossi that feeds them and Chuck Haggard and I have fiddled with it. Never chronographed, but they’ll do 16” in gelatin (Federal Match WC’s).

    Thanks again!


  • Deaf Smith May 5, 2023, 6:33 pm

    I use a Rossi 16 inch barrel stainless rifle for the same purpose. It’s in .44 magnum and I have a Redfield receiver sight on it. Just about any .44 magnum load will do! I like the concept a real lot. Far more effective than a ‘bear pistol’.

  • Dan bardwell May 5, 2023, 2:27 pm

    I’m sorry but that looks like an ultra cheap Italian imported knockoff of a Wild West guns co pilot ,however I do like the calibers , to match a quality American made wheel gun .

  • Frank May 3, 2023, 12:27 am

    Was there something wrong with my comment regarding the disadvantages of a forward mounted aperture sight?

    • Garrett Rob May 4, 2023, 3:49 pm

      I’m not sure as I didn’t see the comment. Thanks you reading the article.


      • Frank May 5, 2023, 3:06 pm

        Thank you, sir. I enjoyed your article. My original comment was eventually published… guess the moderator had fallen behind. Keep shootin’!


  • Alan Nichols May 2, 2023, 6:11 pm

    Big Horn Armory nice lever action . I have 2 of model 89 in 500 S & W.

  • Frank May 2, 2023, 11:13 am

    Bravo, sir! You mentioned the very issue that caught my eye right away. A forward mounted aperture sight completely negates the very reasons for choosing an aperture sight! As originally intended, a rearward aperture provides at least three advantages over traditional leaf rear sights. The eye MUCH more easily focuses on the front sight, the sight radius is increased significantly, and (as you stated) permits an almost unlimited field of view. The first two features significantly increase accuracy, and the latter provides greater situational awareness.

    If red dots, or low power optics are your thing on short range lever guns, this might work for you… but the “factory” sights seem to be an afterthought at best.

  • Mike in a Truck May 2, 2023, 9:31 am

    As much as I dislike it there are jurisdictions where a handgun while traveling/ visiting is illegal. Yes I’m aware that passing through is legal but if you actually want to do something there this would make a nice alternative when staying in motels or camping in those places. “A cowboy gun” tends not to terrify the docile sheep like an evil black rifle. The price is a little steep but that’s the fault of our stupid government devaluing the dollar.

  • Matthew Brehm May 2, 2023, 7:15 am

    You forgot the biggest name in modern lever guns, Henry.

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