Rifles > Lever-Action

Mossberg 464 SPX

Mossberg’s 464 lever-action carbine gets a tactical makeover.

10/4/2012

The lever-action rifle has been with us for 146 years. As the first successful repeating rifle, it was the “battle rifle” of its day. Lever-action rifles have been chambered in everything from low-powered rimfire cartridges to huge express cartridges capable of handling the world’s largest game. And while lever-guns continue a rich hunting heritage, their primary purpose for more than a century has been to serve as a marshal rifle.

When Winchester closed its New Haven, Conn., facility in 2006, lever-action aficionados began to rent their clothing. But a couple of years later Mossberg manned up and began producing the Model 464 lever-action. Though its appearance is clearly Model 94 inspired, Mossberg offered a number of improvements on John Browning’s lever-action, while keeping the price point available to most budget-minded shooters. I had the opportunity to review the Model 464 in 2008 for American Rifleman and found it to be a well-designed and well-executed replacement for the iconic rifle.

Today, everything in the shooting industry has to be tactical. From guns to optics, accessories, ammo and even clothing—if it is to sell, it has to be tactical. So Mossberg has given its traditional lever-action rifle a tactical makeover. It has been fitted with a six-position adjustable stock, a Tri-Rail fore-end and an optional flash suppressor to cap off its 16 1/4-inch barrel. Traditionalists might be taken aback by the new-fangled lever-gun. But if you put in some trigger time with this unconventional piece, it’ll start bringing you around. Younger shooters—many who know little of walnut and blued steel, and couldn’t care less, seem to be more open minded. A few of them have dropped by recently as I was looking it over, and their response was a virtually universal, “Wow, way cool!”

The Model 464 is a melding of old-school design and modern manufacturing, along with a few design improvements for today’s market. Primary in design improvement is the adaptations made to allow the top-ejecting rifle to kick spent cases out of the receiver at an angle, thus allowing it to accept a top-mounted riflescope. This really isn’t new; Winchester developed the Angle Eject version of the ’94 in 1982. Mossberg simplified the design by incorporating a plunger-style ejector instead of the more-expensive-to-manufacture blade used in the Winchester. Both extractor and ejector have been rotated about 30 degrees from the traditional 12 and 6 o’clock position to accomplish this.

In further deference to scope mounting, Mossberg put a 3/4-inch-long rear bridge across the receiver. Not only does this provide a conventional rear support for the riflescope, it strengthens the receiver and allows the use of a round bolt that is less expensive to manufacture. Mossberg did not, however, over-emphasize cost cutting to produce the 464. Instead of modern investment castings, the receiver is machined from a forging. Modern CNC machining centers are more capable of producing exacting parts that require less hand fitting, yet the fit is on par with hand-assembled guns.

But the big changes to the 464 SPX are the barrel, stock and fore-end. The barrel has been trimmed from 20 inches to 16 1/4 inches, and an optional flash suppressor is available. I did not shoot my sample at night, so I cannot say whether it is effective or not, but a threaded barrel at the muzzle is capable of wearing a sound suppressor—a handy, hearing-saving accessory for abbreviated barrels. Dovetailed into the barrel is a set of adjustable, fiber-optic sights. A shorter barrel means that the tubular magazine is abbreviated as well and holds only five rounds, instead of the normal seven. The fore-end has three Picatinny rails molded into an otherwise standard lever-action fore-end, and ladder-style covers are included. Just for grins I attached my SureFire vertical fore-end light base to the 464. The strange-looking lever action looked even more bizarre with it, but if you had night work to do with this rifle it would be worth it.

In back of the receiver Mossberg attached a six-position stock with a comfy recoil pad. The height-adjustable comb is sans any joints or fissures that have a notorious tendency to pluck facial hairs from such endowed shooters like me. Right where the rear grip transcends in to the adjustable stock there is a slight bend upward to allow the comb to be closer to parallel with the bore. It’s not truly parallel, as I found out at the range. Different stock lengths affected bullet impact significantly, and even the minimal amount of lost motion of the stock in position needed to be addressed. Translated into real-world terms: I found that I needed to pull the buttstock firmly and consistently to my shoulder, lest my groups suffered. It’s probably not a big thing when shot from field positions since seating the buttstock firmly into the shoulder is SOP, but on the bench it was noticeable.

On the range I was able to look beyond my classic-style prejudices and recognize the possibilities of this little carbine. With the stubby barrel, there’s no doubt that this carbine is handy, either for clearing a building or busting through brush. After I did my accuracy tests I did a little walk-and-shoot with it and found it quick handling and utterly reliable. Accuracy was on par for an open-sighted rifle with a short barrel. My best results were with Hornady LEVERevolution 160-grainers, which turned in an average 1 3/4 inches at 100 yards. Surprisingly, the short barrel did not give up any velocity over its longer brethren. In fact, it bested it! Going over my notes from when I reviewed the first 464 this ammo exited the muzzle at an average of 2,128 fps. The SPX with ammo from the same lot yielded an average of 2,250 fps with a standard deviation of 80.

I found two things that could be improved. First, of course, is the trigger. At 7 pounds, 2 ounces, it is quite simply a pain in the finger. The other thing that struck me as substandard were the fiber-optic sights. They seem awfully fragile and adjusting them is by the cut-and-try method. XS Sights is now making a ghost-ring aperture sight for the 464, and if I were to keep this carbine, that would be my first call to make. You won’t find it on the website; it’s that new. You’ll have to call them.

The question begs; where will this carbine eventually fit into the grand scheme of shooting? As a dyed-in-the-wool traditionalist I can assure you that I will not be giving up my wood-stocked lever-guns. But there are some niches this gun can fill nicely. As a first deer rifle for a youngster, the adjustable stock allows the carbine to grow with the shooter—a big plus for families on a budget. Its handiness, ruggedness and .30-30 power make it an ideal truck gun. And for those poor souls forced to live in the states terrified by semi-autos, the 464 SPX provides decent firepower for home and camp self-defense. With its $535 MSRP and a street price likely in the low to mid-400s, it does fill a niche once owned by the ’94—an everyman’s rifle.

Manufacturer: Mossberg; (203) 230-5300; www.mossberg.com
Model: 464 SPX
Type: Lever-action repeating rifle
Caliber: .30-30 Winchester
Barrel: 16 1/4 inches; 1:10” RH; optional flash suppressor
Trigger: 7 lbs., 2 oz.
Magazine: Tubular; 5-round capacity
Sights: Adjustable fiber optic
Safety: Tang
Stock: Six-position adjustable synthetic stock
Overall Length:
33 ½” with stock collapsed; 37 1/2" extended
Weight: 7.0 lbs.
Metal Finish: Matte blue
Accessories: Tri-rail fore-end with rail covers gun lock
Suggested Retail Price: $535

Mossberg Tactical Lever Action

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40 Responses to Mossberg 464 SPX

Hugo Stiglitz wrote:
July 30, 2014

I have a Henry Big Boy .357 but I'd trade it for one of these bad boys if Mossberg makes it in pistol calibers (as I suggested to them....makes more sense for a tactical rifle IMHO)

cowboyjo wrote:
December 14, 2013

I don't care what anyone says. I handled one recently and it felt great in my hands and comes up nicely. Looking forward to buying one. I bet it shoots great. I perceive an adjustable stock to be an advantage. Especially for kids just beginning. Not everyone is comfortable with factory fixed length of pull. Rifles don't have to look pretty. They just have to do the job in the hands of the shooter.

Jonny wrote:
November 12, 2013

They need to make it in .357 and side ejecting like the marlin lever actions. That would make it really easy for mounting optics. I live in Cali and a .357 lever gun paired with a .357 revolver is a really good/popular option as a shtf combo. I would love to be able to put magpull sights with a co-witness red dot.

AJ Bertalan wrote:
June 19, 2013

Update - got mine in early November and LOVE IT! I added a Bushnell Banner 3-9x adjustable and shoots like a laser at 100yrds. I use the over/under scope mount to get in quick on shorties. Never a hang or jam! There are no bad/ugly guns, just guns I don't have yet!

Nate east wrote:
May 19, 2013

It's not how the gun looks it how it handles, how it shoots and if you can hit your target. Give me the ugliest gun in the world as long as it's true and reliable.

GLOCKATTACK45 wrote:
May 03, 2013

This lever action rifle is so ugly and bad I have one on order. I will use the new Hornady Revalution ammunition it is daed on and good for an extra 100meters. Off course for fun you could buy the Zombie ammunition for it too. Put a handle & a laser and tac light on it and maybe some fiberoptics and your set for Zombie killing!

p brain wrote:
April 27, 2013

all you lever action fanatics that say oh its ugly i would never do that to a lever action... your lever action is just a quick fire musket so get off your high horse and look at it as a gun... is it reliable(yes)... dose it shoot straight(yes). need i keep going?

Matt wrote:
April 13, 2013

Not the prettiest thing, but I bought one anyway. I must say it is light, shoots well and has more knock down power than my .223, which has made the gun effective in my fight to destroy the feral hog population on my property in East Texas. That said, still love my Marlin 1895 in 45/70 better.

Harry Burgos wrote:
March 03, 2013

Is there a .357 in the future???

oldscout wrote:
February 20, 2013

The we're giving away our rights-this might B the most tactical allowed. Pretty is as pretty does

Franco Templet wrote:
February 02, 2013

What's the problem? This rifle looks like it will serve all who buy it just fine. Adjustable stocks work for families with different size kids, everyone can shoot the same gun. Some people right now don't have endless resources to spend, guns might come after food & the power bill. Some in the shooting fraternity need to check their egos at the door.I'll bet if this is the only gun you have, It'll start lookin' pretty freakin' sweet..

scott davis wrote:
January 12, 2013

I have liked the lever gun too. Tactical for me is a 'load as you go' capability. A very old Shooting times article. Belt with lots of loops, in stead of mags to worry about. M-92 .357 mag. 16'' bl. Happy Trail's all. Scotty

David Fiala wrote:
January 06, 2013

I thought it was unpracticle and ugly as well. So I bought it anyways because I got a good deal. I own almost every brand of handgun and rifle out there. Hands down this is a great gun! I find myself shooting it more than my fully upgraded stag arms 223. It was pin point accurate from 100 yards out of the box with a very light recoil. If you notice, all the people bashing it has never even held one. Everyone that has shot it once lov

Dwaine F. wrote:
December 24, 2012

I recently purchased the Mossberg 464 tactical and love it. Unfortunetly. I lost the rear fiber optic sight. It apparently wasn't tightened at the factory. Anyone know where I can get a replacement?

J.Silva wrote:
December 19, 2012

Thinking about this for a light weight brush gun in 30-30. Or a Rossi Ranch Hand in 30-30 or .44 mag. to go into Scabard on a Kawaski T-Rex off Road vehicle.

Stevenr.f. wrote:
November 24, 2012

Want, want, want. :) This weapon deserves center-stage in a redneck-kills-zombies movie a la "Zombieland".

david t wrote:
November 20, 2012

well, i just bought one. why? my shoulder is bum and i liked the stock. i reload my win's real light and shoot the classics, but with this new 94"ugly stick" i might be able to shoot a full load again. thats why!

Tex wrote:
November 15, 2012

got one for $405, at a gun show, and took off the side rails and cut down and balenced the lower rail for a bi-pod, works great for just shooting around and I like the stock actually it lets the youngsters shoot something more compact

Jeff wrote:
November 14, 2012

I'm a member of the young generation, but I don't particularly care for the tactical rifles flooding the rifle market currently. I am a huge fan of the lever action rifle and it is the most beautiful with walnut furniture and blue or stainless steel finishing. I have a soft spot in my heart for lever actions. I used my uncles old 94 winchester .30-30 to take my first mule deer here in Nevada just a couple years ago and I've been hooked ever since. I purchased a few lever actions since then and the mossberg 464 with the straight walnut stock was one of them and it is outstanding quality for a reasonable price. Was glad to see mossberg keep tradition of making basically a modern 94 in the good old U S of A without charging 1300 bucks for a finished rifle. Good shooting.

Dana Basiliere wrote:
November 13, 2012

MY WINCHESTER MODEL 94 CLASSIC (1966) WITH AN OCTAGON BARELL WILL SHOOT CIRCLES AROUNG THAT PEICE. mILK JUG AT 250 YARDS OPEN SIGHTS OR GOLF BALL AT A 100. I LIKE TACTICAL, BUT DONT MESS WITH A CLASSIC SHOOTER.

MICAH wrote:
November 12, 2012

1 in 16 twist consumes less energy. Speeds up velocity. it would probably take cast slugs well

Daily Llama wrote:
November 07, 2012

Me likey! Old-style ever actions are just that: Old style. Fine when we still used the horse-n-buggy. We ARE in the 21st century, right? Everyone take a technological step ahead ... or fall back.

Rob Taylor wrote:
November 05, 2012

I think some shooters forget that part of owning a firearm is just liking one. I have a Rossi Ranch Hand in .45 that I love not because it's the perfect gun but because it's interesting and I like oddball things. Unlike other collectibles ugly guns still function as defensive tools, meat getters etc. It does kind of have a sci-fi look and that might appeal to some people. If I found one cheap I might buy one just because it looks funny. To each his own.

C. Ford wrote:
October 30, 2012

I purchased one roughly 2 months ago and my son and I love it. The only other rifle he's fired is a .22 and this was really a tremendous step up for him. He was a little intimidated at first when he heard how much louder it was, but he did an amazing job manning up and pulling the trigger. Regardless of how well the gun holds up over the years, I'll have fond memories of the day I brought it home. Recently purchased the XS Sight systems upper rail and it fits perfectly. A little budgeting, and I'll think we'll see a Leupold FX-II on it soon. I'm still not a hug fan of Mossberg's thumb safety, but I can live with it. And lastly, in my honest opinion; the trigger-pull really isn't that terrible. I have definitely gotten my money's worth out of this rifle, and intend to keep it and give to my boy when he's ready.

Martin B wrote:
October 22, 2012

Looks like a robot cowboy gun. I have a 16" barrel SKS which does the same job, but that lever thing looks intriguing. You could accessorize to your heart's content until it's too heavy to take anywhere. May be fun, though.

Ron H wrote:
October 19, 2012

I have only 3 small suggestions: 1: Take that adjustable Stock off . Make it one piece and Wallnut. 2: Take that composit fore stock off. Make it wallnut also. 3: Remove that stupid suppressor. Not necessary. Then it will be perfect. Thanks

Alex Bertalan wrote:
October 17, 2012

I bought this two weeks ago and it is all the review states. NO buyers remorse. The Piccy rails fly a Nebo 190 lumen LED on the left side that makes the fiber sight glow and really lights up the area. This gun is a tool, not a beauty queen - and she does her job very well.

Mark wrote:
October 17, 2012

UGLY,UGLY,UGLY, I will stay with my old Winchester 92 in .45 LC. Who in hell wants a Tactical lever action rifle?

Matt Graff wrote:
October 16, 2012

Obviously you are willing to give a good review to virtually anything, how sad. My model 94 Winchester is beat up ugly but still looks better than that. I would not insult the integrity of my lever gun to dress it in this manner. My tactical weapons will not cross this 'cross dressing line'. Thanks but no thanks!

Rich wrote:
October 16, 2012

When will one of these manufacturers bring back a lever action chambered in that ballistically better .41 Rem. magnum? And, I do agree with it being ugly! Why do all the new rifles need all the attachment points for more stuff? Just how much can you attach to the rails and still be able to use it effectively?

Jim mcghee wrote:
October 15, 2012

Wow this thing is ugly, I don't think my Marlin or Winchester are going anywhere and the price is well beyond my Marlin. My Marlin with Hornady lever ammo is plenty accurate.

bob wrote:
October 15, 2012

all i can say is, so such disrespect for an american classic, you should be ashame

Stu Mathison wrote:
October 15, 2012

Looks like something a zombie would carry.

DLaCourse wrote:
October 15, 2012

Looks like some cowboy fed his lever action to many steroids. I think I'll take one anyway.

Peter Caroline wrote:
October 15, 2012

What's next, a "tactical" single action revolver with a Piccatinny rail?

bob wrote:
October 15, 2012

i love lever actions but that is plain butt ugly

Gladstone wrote:
October 10, 2012

The Mossberg traditional 464 with blue and walnut is one heck of a beautiful affordable deer gun for me in 30-06.

Doc wrote:
October 09, 2012

Take a iconic design and convert it to an ugly stick. I like tactical but this ain't it!!

C. ford wrote:
October 08, 2012

True. It ain't pretty... but that didn't stop me from buying one. It shoots every bit as well as described and makes a terrific conversation piece at the ranges and amongst friends. A fine addition to the collection. Very fun, inexpensive and practical.

Vincent wrote:
October 06, 2012

That may be the ugliest thing I've seen in a long while. Give me a Winchester 94 or a Marlin 336 over that, any day.