Taylorís 1892 Alaskan 45 Colt Take-Down Lever-Action Carbine

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

November 25th, 2013

 

Click pictures for a larger version.

 

 

 

 

The Alaskan wears an excellent set of Skinner adjustable aperture sights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Alaskan takes apart quickly and easily for storage and transport.

 

 

 

 

Taylorís & Company of Winchester, Virginia has been importing quality replica firearms for over two decades now. Taylorís specializes in historical firearms from the mid nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries. Taylorís imports from Europe the quality replica firearms of Pedersoli, Chiappa, and Uberti, as well as the Bond Arms derringers from Texas. Among the firearms imported by Taylorís are some excellent replicas of the 1892 Winchester as built by Chiappa of Italy. About three weeks ago, I was at the NASGW (distributorís show) in Grapevine, Texas, and at the Taylorís display booth, my eyes were immediately drawn to the 1892 Alaskan shown here. I had seen these before, but had never had the opportunity to fire one, so I immediately put in a request for a rifle for review.  The Alaskan is available chambered for either the 357 magnum, 44 magnum, or 45 Colt cartridges, and I requested a rifle chambered for whichever one they could get to me the soonest.

As promised, Taylorís delivered, and this 45 Colt Alaskan arrived a few days ago. Upon opening the package at Brighamís Hardware in Dover, Tennessee, I was not disappointed. The Alaskan wears a durable satin-silver finish, which contrasts very nicely with the black rubber over-molded wood stock. The butt plate is a thick, semi-soft synthetic rubber, which helps to keep the stock in place on the shooterís shoulder, as well as to attenuate the recoil. The test gun wears a sixteen inch octagon barrel which tapers from .843 inch at the receiver to .742 inch at the muzzle, measuring across the flats. The Alaskan wears an excellent set of adjustable Skinner aperture sights, with the front post housing a red fiber optic rod for greater visibility in poor lighting conditions. The barrel is also drilled to mount an extended eye relief (Scout) type scope, if desired, and the scoped barrel will fit into the optional Skinner case. The little Alaskan carbine is a delight to carry, having an overall length of only 34.25 inches, and weighing in at six pounds, eleven ounces on my scale. The Alaskan has a fourteen inch length of pull, and the oversized loop lever makes for quick working of the action, even when wearing heavy gloves.

Thankfully, the Alaskan has a traditional style 1892 Winchester action, with no external safety lever nor rebounding hammer, just as John Browning and God intended. The Ď92 Winchester is a very strong, reliable, and safe design, and has served shooters and hunters very well for over 120 years. There is no need to add external safeties, nor to redesign the action, as some do. As designed, the Ď92 is strong, slick, reliable, and safe. I am very happy to see that Chiappa and Taylorís built this rifle as it was intended. Like all 1892 Winchester rifles, the Alaskan carbine loads through the port on the right side of the receiver, with this 45 Colt Alaskan holding eight cartridges in the magazine, for a loaded payload of nine rounds of 45 Colt firepower at the ready.

One of the handiest features of the Alaskan is that it takes down into two sections quickly and easily, without the use of tools, and goes back together just as quickly when needed. This makes the carbine much easier to store and transport. Taken apart, the longest section measures only eighteen and three-quarters inches in length. This carbine stows handily in the optional Skinner carry case. The case is padded, secures the rifle properly, and has pockets to store ammunition as well.

Unlike replica firearms of the 1873 Winchester design, the 1892 can handle a steady diet of heavy loads. This carbine is also available chambered for the 44 magnum cartridge, and can handle safely the 45 Colt Plus P class of ammunition, as loaded by Buffalo Bore, Cor-Bon, Double-Tap, and others. The only limiting factors are cartridge overall length and bullet shape that might prevent some 45 Colt ammunition from not functioning properly through the 1892 action. The shooter is not limited to the sissy Cowboy Action competition type loads, nor even standard-pressure 45 Colt loads in this Alaskan carbine, making this an excellent rifle for hunting or for defense against large, dangerous animals. With its sixteen inch barrel and sealed breech, the 45 Colt Plus P ammunition achieves much greater velocities when fired from the Alaskan carbine, compared to the velocities obtained from shorter revolvers' barrels.

I tested several different types of ammunition to check velocities from the Alaskan carbine. The loads listed below represent the variety of ammunition available that works well through this little jewel. The standard-pressure ammunition has plenty of power for home defense or hunting of medium game, such as whitetail deer. The Plus P ammunition with the heavy-bullet loads are capable of taking down large, dangerous game. In addition to the loads listed below, I also tried some of the excellent Buffalo Bore 320 grain LBT-style bullet loads, but they are too long to work through the Ď92 action. Velocity readings were taken at twelve feet from the muzzle, at an elevation of 541 feet above sea level, with an air temperature of forty-eight degrees Fahrenheit and humidity in the sixty percent range. JFN is a jacketed flatnose bullet. XPB is the Barnes lead-free copper hollowpoint. JHP is a jacketed hollowpoint. LSWC is a cast lead semi-wadcutter. LHP is a lead hollowpoint.

Standard Pressure Loads

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
Buffalo Bore Keith 255 1178
Buffalo Bore XPB 225 1190
Remington JHP 225 1031
Handload LSWC 200 1123

Plus P Loads

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
Buffalo Bore Cast LHP Deer Grenade 260 1764
Buffalo Bore JHP 260 1585
Buffalo Bore JFN 300 1398
Cor-Bon JHP 265 1570

All loads listed above fed, fired, and ejected perfectly through the Taylorís Alaskan carbine. The action cycles very smoothly; much smoother than a modified Ď92 with a rebounding hammer. The machining, fit, and finish on the Alaskan is first rate. I can find no flaws, inside nor out. The trigger pull measures a crisp four and one-half pounds on my scale. Feeding cartridges into the loading gate worked flawlessly. That is one seldom-mentioned virtue of a lever action carbine, for defense or hunting. The magazine can be topped off at any time that there is a break in the activities. It does not take the rifle out of the fight while loading the mag. The slim forend of the Alaskan feels good in the hand, and the rubber over molded stock provides a secure grip.

Accuracy was very good. I did not want to attach a scope to this trim little carbine, so accuracy testing was done at a distance of fifty yards, using the provided Skinner sights. Every load tested could be kept around the one inch mark at fifty yards for three shots, if I did my part. I could find no fault at all in the performance of this little Alaskan carbine.

The Taylorís Alaskan Take-Down carbine has a retail price of $1324 US as of the date of this review. At that price, it is not cheap, but compared to other such take-down Ď92 leverguns on the market, whether production or custom, the Alaskan is a very good buy for such a compact, reliable, powerful, and accurate take-down Levergun.

Check out the Alaskan online at www.taylorsfirearms.com.

To order high quality 45 Colt ammunition, go to www.buffalobore.com, www.doubletapammo.com, www.luckygunner.com, and www.midsouthshooterssupply.com.

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.

 

 

The Alaskan is very handy to carry.

 

 

Large hole in barrel means serious business!

 

 

Optional Skinner padded carry case.

 

 

The Alaskan proved to be very accurate at 50 yards using mechanical sights.