Taylor’s Tacticool .45-70 Levergun and New SAAs – SHOT Show 2016

Taylor’s & Co has a big new rifle this year, the 1886 Ridge Runner Rifle in .45-70.

Taylor's Ridge Runner.

Taylor’s Ridge Runner.

The Ridge Runner uses John Browning’s 1886 design with modern upgrades such as:

  • matte chrome or blue finish
  • take down design
  • black rubber soft touch over wood stocks
  • half-round & half-octagonal barrel
  • integrated Skinner peep & weaver rail rear sight
  • front fiber optic sight
  • D-shaped lever
  • muzzle brake

This gun is set up for what I consider to be the perfect “low profile” personal defense rifle. To the unknowing eye, it appears to be your grandfather’s rifle, but in reality it’s more akin to a modern artillery piece.  This could quite possibly be the perfect back country rifle, too, capable of stopping almost anything given the right distance.

These guns are available for delivery today $1,481.00- Matte Blue $1,534 – Matte Chrome

Smoke Wagon.

Smoke Wagon.

JC also showed me the newest handgun from Taylor’s & Co., The Smoke Wagon. It boasts a low-profile hammer and wider-style sights that allow for faster sight acquisition. The finish is blue with a case-hardened frame and a thin checkered grip. This gun comes to you from Taylor’s & Co with custom tuning which includes a custom hammer and base pin springs, trigger pull set at three pounds, and wire bolt spring. I can tell you from the little I got to play with this gun on the show floor it felt like a high-end custom revolver. One of the nice things about dealing with Taylor and Company is they will gladly provide you with sequential serial numbered guns upon request. The smoke wagon is available for purchase immediately price starts at $511 and goes up based on the options you choose.

What Taylor’s is doing is really unique. Not only are they setting up great guns for cowboy action, they’re building on those old designs to give new life to 19th century designs.


Ridge Runner in matte blued.

Ridge Runner in matte blued.

Matte stainless version.

Matte stainless version.

Old school cool, walnut, case hardened and blued steel.

Old school cool, walnut, case hardened and blued steel.

{ 39 comments… add one }
  • Kivaari January 24, 2016, 6:08 pm

    They took a beautiful .45-70 rifle and ruined it.

  • Joseph January 23, 2016, 9:12 pm

    Their must be some valid reason many Brown bear guides carry a 45-70 around when they are stalking a thousand pound plus bear.
    It’s a bit more of a load then this old shoulder cares to kiss but if I were going into big bear woods it would be hanging on my shoulder by strap, along with my .44 magnum side arm backup piece.

  • Jim Chandler January 23, 2016, 12:15 am

    I would like to see a good lever gun in .460 S&W. It is shorter than the .45-70 and with proper loads can out perform it.

  • Dick Hamly January 22, 2016, 2:54 pm

    Why 45/70 in a rifle that is not for western shooting. Why not 450 Marlin Mag or 50 Alaskan or something that is modern and powerful. I also agree that if you want a larger number of reasonably powerful pistol cartridges in a lever action, why not chamber for 454 or even 480 Ruger or 500 S&W.

    • john bush January 23, 2016, 11:08 am

      Old 45-70 with modern bullets like the Hornady leverevelution is plenty for any big game out to 300 yards and readily available plus you can use 410 shot shells in a pinch for small game or load your own. Great one gun does it all. have shot buffalo and elk out to 300 yards and that covers most real world shooting situations. I think it is a good choice. Survival guns should be in a common round you could expect to find in any store.

  • Raleigh Thomas January 22, 2016, 1:47 pm

    The Taylor’s rifle is a Winchester 1886, the Marlin 1895 is a totally different action. The current Marlins in no way compare to the original ‘JM’ Marlins, produced before Remington bought them out, fired all the old employees that knew how to build AND FINISH a great rifle, and Quality Control went to the sewer. ‘ Remlins with gremlins’ is now a popular, and fitting, phrase among lever-gun enthusiasts. Actions that feel like they are full of sand, some that won’t even cycle rounds, sights that are installed with a 15 degree offset to one side… all common now. The Taylor’s rifle is a MUCH better built rifle, now. And plenty strong enough to handle any .45/70 ammo loaded by Garrett, Buffalo Bore, etc. that the Marlins can also fire.

    • Tom Horn January 22, 2016, 5:15 pm

      I know a bunch of folk that would disagree with you. There are plenty of North Haven built Marlins on the used gun rack if your a purist. I own both, Marlins and Winchesters. I prefer Marlin’s action, to the 1886 double lug, based on my 1892 Winchester (same J.B. design, scaled down for pistol caliber). Not as smooth as my Marlins, and it ejects brass up in your line of sight. Better fit and finish, though.

      Remington has made progress in addressing the issues with their Remlins. I have owned North Haven, and KY built Marlins. If there is a problem with your Marlin, you can send it back to Remington and they will correct it. Wouldn’t hesitate to buy a so called, Remlin. Want a good lever action to tac-out? Get a Marlin:


      • Kivaari January 24, 2016, 6:13 pm

        Remington has gone in to the toilet. I have looked at many of the newer guns and it is a shame the quality has gone down so far. Same for Marlin. It’s too bad, as both companies made good guns in the old days of 20 years ago. A distant memory to many gun buyers.

  • dave January 22, 2016, 10:53 am

    That 45-70 is not legal for SASS competition. The muzzle brake, rubber coated wood, Weaver rail, and barrel mounted peep sight, do not fall within the guidelines of SASS firearm covenants and probably never will.

    • Another POV January 22, 2016, 1:26 pm

      I don’t think it was ever meant for Cowboy Action style shooting. To me it looks like a great ranch gun that is built for keeping in your truck and on the back of a 4WD Mule or Gator cart.

    • Dave Hicks January 22, 2016, 3:45 pm

      Whats with the muzzle brake ? Scope mounts on top eject lever actions never worked anyway.

    • Buck Rimfire January 22, 2016, 4:45 pm

      The SAAS (sic) in the headline refers to the revolver, not the lever gun.

    • Eric January 22, 2016, 11:39 pm

      All the more reason to buy it! Who needs the SASS?! I’d love to get some guns and shoot their matches, but don’t want to spend another $1000 to look like a jackhole. So, I’ll pass on their matches, and continue NOT looking like a jackhole!

      The author didn’t once say it was a newly introduced SASS rifle.

      • Ed January 23, 2016, 1:07 pm

        Amen to that! These folks have created such a looked down and anal retentive “members only” club that it would be no fun for me!

  • Tom Horn January 22, 2016, 9:32 am

    So, if it is tactical, why didn’t they extend the magazine tube the full length of barrel for more capacity? Just saying. I bet my Marlin 1895, with 18.5″ barrel, has as much capacity. Would have been a cheap easy add on. At that price point it is almost twice as expensive as the Marlin. Buy a Marlin and have a smith add a flash hider, if that’s what you want. You’d be money ahead.

    I like 45-70, just fun to shoot. Nothing funner than blowing up water bottles with a .30-30, or a .45-70 lever action on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Only thing that might make this tactical is the flash hider. It will probably end up on Hillary Bloomberg’s banned weapon list because of it.

    • Lonny January 22, 2016, 3:45 pm

      I’m with you, Tom. Why no full length mag tube?
      For my $1.5k it would have to be in stainless, have a max tube and preferably polymer stocks. Oh, and ditch the brake while your at it. To me, Marlin’s 1895SBL is nearly spot-on. I looked at one recently at my LGS and from first inspection, it looks like the build quality has improved (at least on the one they had). I’m still a bit leery of dropping $$ on a Marlin but for $500+ less (or a grand less if you go for the blue GBL) than the Taylor, it’s much closer to what I would consider the perfect lever gun. Close enough for me to buy one and deal with Marlin’s warranty dept. if need be.

  • Scott January 22, 2016, 9:15 am

    The 45-70 properly handloaded or with Garret loads is plenty powerful enough. It has been used successfully on large African fauna that can hit back hard. The loads from other manufacturers are pretty week though.

  • Bob January 22, 2016, 9:04 am

    The Taylor 1886 bears an uncanny resemblance to the Chiappa Kodiak sitting in my safe, and it is not even close to the “perfect low profile personal defense” weapon as far as I’m concerned. It’s a very good quality rifle but it weighs 9 lbs, only has a 4 round magazine, looks nothing like my grandfathers guns with its black rubber covered wooden stocks and is so strong that the 45-70 round can be loaded so hot that it has far too much penetration for a defense weapon in an urban environment.

  • KahrdCarrier January 22, 2016, 9:02 am

    I don’t consider the 45-70 an “extremely powerful” round. For heavy animals, the ft/lbs. just don’t add up. I would like to see someone build a S&W .460 lever action rifle that could utilize 45-70, .454 Casull, and the .460. The one .454 I know of (Rossi) doesn’t say whether it can chamber .45 Colt. So it may be more difficult to design than the revolver. But it would be a great combination to be able to carry a handgun and rifle which could chamber the three common .452 diameter ammunition. Yes, I know serious accuracy would probably not cross over. And it is waay overkill for coyotes. But to knowingly take on the big western bears with a long Colt is almost suicidal. Doesn’t mean this isn’t a cool rifle. Just my two (OK four) cents.

    • Richard January 22, 2016, 9:18 am

      @KahrdCarrier, while the other calibers you mention are certainly more powerful than a factory .45-70, remember factory loads are made to be safe with older 1873 Springfields. In a modern gun, a handloader can bring out a lot more power. Plus, your last sentence, “to take on the big western bears with a long Colt” suggests this is a 45 Long Colt. That’s a completely different caliber than 45-70. Apologies if that’s not what you meant…but it sure seems like it’s what you meant 😉

    • shootbrownelk January 22, 2016, 9:20 am

      If you were shooting my .45 colt loads you wouldn’t be suicidal. Very warm loads and no killer recoil compared to .454 Casull.
      I’m shooting a RSRH though, and not a rifle. Why Marlin doesn’t offer their lever-action in .460, or .454 puzzles me. The rifles should handle .454 or .45 colt without problems I would think.

    • shrugger January 22, 2016, 9:48 am

      I should think designing them to run .45 Colt and .454 wouldn’t be any more difficult than lever guns that run .38spl and .357.
      I don’t know anything about the .460 so can’t comment on it.

      • dave January 22, 2016, 10:45 am

        Look up the cartridge specifications. A 45 colt and 45-70 are no where interchangeable. Different diameter bullets and completely different cases.

        45-70 uses a .458 projectile and the case rim is .608
        45 Colt uses a .454 projectile and the case rim is .512
        The .357 Magnum was originally a wildcat cartridge developed to get more performance out of a .38 special. The only difference between a .38 special case and a .357 Magnum is the case of the .357 is slightly longer to prevent people from chambering them in 38 special firearms and damaging their firearm.

    • Tom Horn January 22, 2016, 9:57 am

      The .45-70 really isn’t a bad round for home defense. I would rather be shot at 50 yds with a 5.56X45, than a .45-70. Have heard that many folks have died of hydro-static shock after being wounded in a limb with the .45-70 (no evidence to verify this statement). Have heard from my military buddies who served in Iraq, of 5.56X45 rounds pin-holing through adversaries at 25 yds, and they just kept coming. You hit someone with .45-70 within 50 yds, I don’t care if they’re hopped up on PCP, or whatever, they are not getting back up.
      That’s my penny for your thoughts. I think were up to a nickles worth of wisdom, now.

    • Carroll Rickard January 22, 2016, 2:40 pm

      When I lived on a farm in Chatham Co. North Carolina, I carried a Sig Saucer 357 cal along with a Rossi 357 saddle gun. It was a good match for anything stalking our cattle. Of course we didn’t have bears to worry about.

  • Michael January 22, 2016, 8:34 am

    I don’t understand how a lever action is tactical.

    • Eric January 22, 2016, 11:46 pm

      One can be VERY tactical! Have you ever seen how fast and accurate some of the western shooters can engage multiple targets with one? It’s damn impressive! I would take a 16″ Model 94 Carbine in 45 Colt to clear a house any day over a similar AR.

  • Chief January 22, 2016, 8:13 am

    Why Johnny Ringo in the video , I’ll be your huckleberry 🙂

    • John L January 22, 2016, 9:13 am

      ” Oh, I’m afraid the stress was more than he could bear”.

    • Namvet 1st cav January 22, 2016, 12:21 pm

      Hucklebearer, not huckleberry.. The handles on a coffin were called “Huckles” back in that time…

      • Another POV January 22, 2016, 1:28 pm

        Thanks Namvet – I didn’t know that!

        • DLaney January 22, 2016, 3:41 pm

          “Huckleberry” was commonly used in the 1800’s in conjunction with “persimmon” as a small unit of measure. “I’m a huckleberry over your persimmon” meant “I’m just a bit better than you.”

  • Blasted Cap January 22, 2016, 7:53 am

    Wow, with over 100 thousand membership numbers, one would think you could at least get the initials correct. It’s the Single Action Shooting Society, SASS, not sure what SAAS is.

  • Elliot January 22, 2016, 7:40 am

    The 2nd to last picture says matte stainless, but it should say matte crome. I wish it were stainless…

  • Dillon January 22, 2016, 7:27 am

    Sure I’ll have one of each…will you take a post dated check?

  • callmeBob January 22, 2016, 7:23 am

    Lovin that rifle, but would like to see a large loop on the lever

  • jrdeahl January 22, 2016, 6:19 am

    At first glance the 45-70 is an abomination! Even the name. The 45-70, which I have several Marlins, got their name out west. Not in the blue ridge mountains of the east.

  • Nero martin January 22, 2016, 6:03 am

    Not sure that I what is so special about the Taylor Ridge Runner rifle ? Not much different than a Marlin Guide Gun, which costs a lot less than $1500 and is made in USA ! Would agree that either firearm is a great game getter and critter stopper.

  • Rogue January 22, 2016, 5:15 am

    Don’t own one but have considered this caliber for a a long time. Would be very handy and extremely powerful rifle. A popular bullet making website claims the 45-70 with blunt hard cast bullets will take down any North American game. Claims off angle shots are no problem as the blunt non expanding bullet will usually penetrate a brown bear or Buffalo end to end with a larger wound cavity than a expanding round nose bullet. This would not be the ideal long range gun but at under 200 yrds and in close quarters would be mean machine.

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