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The Browning BLR (Browning Lever-Action Rifle) is a modern rack and pinion action system available in over 20 variants, of which three are still currently in production for 2020, one is available in limited edition and one, a fascinating takedown model discussed below, ended production in 2016. Each production model has 12 to 16 calibers!

The aforementioned calibers are grouped into 20” (overall length 40”), 22” (42” or 43”) and 24” (45”) length barrels. They are either 4+1 capacity for standard ammo or 3+1 for the magnum ammo.

The 20” barrels include .450 Marlin, .22-250 Rem, .223 Rem, .243 Win, .308 Win, .358 Win and 7 mm-08 Rem.

Next, the 22” barrels include .270 Win, .270 WSM, .30-06 Springfield, .300 WSM, .325 WSM and 7 mm WSM.

Finally, the 24” barrels include the .300 Win Mag and 7mm Rem Mag.

Depending on barrel length, action length, materials, etc., weights run 6 pounds 8 ounces all the way up to 7 pounds 12 ounces.

The BLRs share certain traits including low-profile adjustable sights, detachable box magazines and, of course, how the entire trigger assembly moves with the lever to avoid pinching one’s fingers. The lever is ultra-smooth, and its rack and pinion system has been simplified and lightened.

The receiver is modern, made as it is of aviation industry grade lightweight aluminum. It’s also drilled and tapped for scopes. Long serrations run the length of the top. The iron sights are low-profile and atop the barrel. The front one is a gold bead sight on a raised ramp. In back is a low-profile screw-adjustable rear sight.

Thoughtful details abound. For instance, the hammer has horizontal serrations and is a fold-down type with four positions (fired, folded, half-cock or full-cock) so one can look at the rifle to know its status.

The button-rifled barrels feature muzzle crowns. They are machined out of heat-treated chrome moly steel. At back is a thick recoil pad. The triggers are luxuriously gold plated, wide and vertically grooved with a 4.5 pound pull pressure.

There are currently three production models. Two are variants of the BLR Lightweight with Pistol Grip, which has a glossy walnut Schnabel forearm and a glossy walnut stock. The Schnabel design fronts the forearm with a quasi-knob that functions as a hand stop. Furthermore, this gun has a curved 18 LPI diamond checkered pistol grip leading to the stock and the same checkering pattern on the forearm. Both are enclosed in dovetail pennant surrounds. This feature set is available in stainless steel barrel mated to a satin nickel finished receiver or a blued barrel with a black aluminum receiver.

The third model is the BLR Lightweight ’81, named after 1981, the year it was designed. It differs primarily in its use of a gloss walnut straight grip and a gloss walnut tapering forearm that lacks the Schnabel grip’s hand stop knob. It has a blued barrel and black aluminum receiver.

The fourth model referred to above is the beguiling BLR Lightweight '81 Stainless Takedown. It has a gray laminate stock and forearm, matte stainless barrel and a light tan satin nickel finished receiver. It last saw production in 2016.

The BLR Lightweight '81 Stainless Takedown and various other discontinued takedown models break down easily and without tools simply by a join lever. Often simplicity takes much more work than something more complex. This little engineering marvel is a great example. Unlock the join lever, and the BLR’s barrel and forearm assembly separate easily with a 90-degree twist from the gun’s receiver assembly. Reverse the process to reassemble the gun and lock it together, which, incidentally, also uses a locking lug to lock the barrel into the receiver.

These takedown models are as accurate as the standard models. Since the join happens where the receiver meets the barrel and forearm on the other BLRs, the uninitiated won’t even know the takedowns split as they do.

All these guns come a nearly flush-mounted detachable box black polymer magazine that protrudes a bit below the belly. These use offset fed, double-stack architecture and weigh 4.8 to 8.0 ounces, depending on ammunition.

The Browning BLR lever-action rifles are Made in Japan.

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