Newton Leverbolt rifle: The bolt and lever rifle have had a child

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Newton Arms have revived the Leverbolt rifle that was invented by the famous gun and cartridge designer Charles Newton in 1929. The design borrows element from the Springfield, Lee Navy and the Winchester lever-action. By utilizing a lever the bolt can be cycled faster than a traditional straight pull bolt action.

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According to my copy of Bolt Action Rifles (4th Edition), the story of the Leverbolt is a sad one. Charles designed the rifle after this business, Newton Buffolo Rifle Corporation, folded in early 1929. Unbeknown to him, and everyone else, the stock market would crash in October of that year heralding the beginning of the Great Depression.

Newton approached Marlin who agreed to limited production only if he could secure at least 500 orders. The cost was a $25 downpayment and an addional $35 on delivery. He failed to secure the neccessery orders and once the market crashed any chance of the rifle being manufactured was gone. Charles died a few years later aged 62.

Mehul, a moderator at nitroexpress.com and expert of the topic emailed me information about the Newton rifle:

For a straight pull action that is much sleeker than any of its competitors today (the Blaser R 93, Strasser RS 05 and the Heym SR 30 are three popular designs that come to mind) the Newton Leverbolt is especially interesting because it comes with a controlled feed and extraction system that would make it ideal for dangerous game. The speed of reloading and getting repeat shots off would also be ideal for an African rifle – with a 5 shot magazine in calibers from 375 H&H to 458 Lott this could be much better than anything else available today.

I am not sure of pricing or availability of the rifle at this time.

A big thanks to Mehul for the info.

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • http://crypticsubterranean.blogspot.com/ Jay.Mac

    Excellent post Steve- never heard of this one before.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      thanks Jay.

  • http://www.forums.nitroexpress.com Mehul Kamdar

    Hello Steve,

    Thanks for the good words but I am no expert – just a happy learner about guns and that is why I visit your blog. I guessed that you and your visitors would be interested in this very interesting revival of a great old design. From what I have heard, the new Newton rifles would be available in two action lengths – 30-06 and 375 H&H for $ 8000 finished but without any bells and whistles like case hardening or engraving. Harald Wolf has a website where he sells his magazine Hatari Times http://www.hataritimes.com but He does not yet have a website for the new rifles. However, since he has bought the Newton Arms name and plans to use it, he should have a dedicated website for these rifles in the future. I’ll let you know whenever I have any information.

    Good shooting!

    Mehul

  • mmathers

    If I understand things correctly, this is a straight push-pull rifle like a Schmidt-Rubins or a Steyr M95 but chambered in a bunch of calibers suitable for African game.

    How is that interesting?
    -g

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      mmathers, it is very different from those.

  • http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw.html Daniel E. Watters

    I had always wondered why no one had tried to revive this design earlier. It seemed like a pretty ingenious design modification to me.

  • http://www.nitroexpress.com Mehul Kamdar

    mmathers,

    This design was a combination of design features of the traditional American lever action and the Mauser bolt action design by Charles Newton, not a straight pull bolt like the Steyr 95, the Ross or other designs from that time and earlier. It is an American design masterpiece and it is a positive thing that it has been put into production after Newton’s unfortunate demise before he could do this himself.

  • firewish 1

    Newton’s design -or re-design of the Lee straight pull would be an expensive rifle to make- rapid fire of 375 H&H hurts to say the least so is not really practical from a consistant sight- now if you want firepower= 308 FnFlan- or other type assault weapons would be back up in an elephant hunt . most shooters are a little afraid of straight pull actions, the appeal is limited- face it- the basic Mauser action is still being built 110 years later with all calibers- I have a Newton 30-06 standard rifle- second type- the man was a genius -I think winchester borrowed his lines for the model 70 – but that too is a Mauser action at its core

  • Bob Greenleaf

    Hi.
    I am a retired gun designer (1966 Savage Model 110C). The leverbolt is no faster than a lever gun. For a quick second shot the pump action is faster as the right hand does not move and the trigger finger is always in position.
    Interestng site.

  • ed cano

    Hi. I have an original catalog and the calibers were .30 USG., model 1906, .256 Newton, .280 Newton, .30 Newton, and .35 Newton….
    Prices for the rifles …standard..$ 60.00
    sling swivels, per pair……………$ 1.75
    Kerr sling………………………….$ 1.50
    Lyman No. 48 peep sight……….$ 11.50..mounted..$13.50 each
    100 cartridges any caliber………$ 10.45

  • ron kenoras

    well were talking about a guy who did all this back 1905 designed 22, high power, wrote for (outdoor life magazine) then designes the 7,mm special witch is now the 280 remington. and as you know savage adopted the 22, high power. in there 1899 model “H” take down. and the big one the 25,cal newton special latter became as we know it now as the 25-06 then savage again adopted the 25-3000 again for its 1899 (1914) remeber newton came out with the action that was tested to 55,000 per square inch, then 22, newton and the 256 newton cals = in 1914 now the big one the protected point spitzer bullet. ( bearcat bullets) paper insulated bullets,partitioned bullets, we all use these today. 96 years latter. then in 1915 he suppied his owen ammunition in 256,30,and 35 newton with remington umc cases. he put out all his owen catalogs, and advertisements. set up his owen factory. 1916 all his owen ideas, plans. and put out his owen hand loading tool. in 1917 put out 200 hunderd rifles. take down set trigers, peep sight, leal sights. now if you ask me i feel the winchester model 88, used his lever bolt disign. he had talked to savage ,winchester, trying to get them to manufacture his rifles bullets ,but with them under contract for the war effort wasnt going to happen ,all this while doing his every day job. as the late bruce jennings said, genius inventor a man before his time. father of high velocity. this are my views and feelings and feel there are a verry few that can match this mans life accomplishments .ron. collector newton rifles

  • Todd

    I live in Buffalo and just met a guy yesterday who has 3 Newton rifles. I want one! Up until yesterday I never knew that there was any firearms production in Buffalo. Thus begins a new quest…..

  • Dave

    I have a Newton Rifle that I cant seem to find any information on. It is a bolt action 30-06 IMP. Any help would be appreciated.

  • Todd

    http://www.cornellpubs.com/old-guns/historic-newton.php

    http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/edu86.htm

    http://opencarryflorida.org/NewtonRifleCartridgeReloaderAssociation.html

    Speer still makes brass for reloading 1x per year for collectors. I believe you have to pay for your order in advance. More information is in the above link.

  • Gary

    I have an Original 256 Newton Rifle I would like to sell 1200.00 . Contact Me If interested

  • Raoul O’Shaugnessy

    Looks like history really does repeat itself…

    The part about the company going broke and failing, I mean.