Comments: (5)

Bighorn Armory M89 Lever Action in 500 S&W Magnum – SHOT Show 2010

Category : Hunting, Rifles, SHOT Show 2010, Video

Check out this video of the Bighorn Armory 500 S&W Mag on Media Day. The recoil is surprisingly mild. Bighorn Armory website.

Be Sociable, Share!
Online Hunting & Gun Magazine & Community: Western Shooter

Comments (5)

Two Big Horn Armory model 89s, spent the night at my house last night (1 June 2010). Their owner / designer Frank Ehrenford (an old friend) stopped by on his way to show his 500 S&W mag. lever action rifles, to some folks down at Raton, New Mexico at the NRA-Whittington Center. Having one of those model 89s in my hands convinced me, Frank got it right.
This rifle is not a knock-off of anyone else’s 100 year old firearm. It is a new designed rifle from the ground up and built to take the 500 S&W mag. round.
There is nothing in the US that you cannot stop with this rifle and when you snap it up to your shoulder you will want one. The feel of this rifle and the way it lines up is something you want on your side, when facing down a brown bear in Alaska. My Canadian relatives could use one of these also. (
It is one manly firearm that will put large holes, in things that need to be stopped from hurting you.
Major Van Harl USAF Ret.


Teddy Roosevelt took a Winchester model 1895 lever action rifle, chambered in the .405 Winchester cartridge to Africa to hunt dangerous animals. At the time the .405 was the most powerful American manufactured rifle cartridge. Roosevelt called his rifle “Big Medicine.” There is now a newly designed lever action rifle being made by Big Horn Armory of Cody Wyoming (www.bighornarmory.con) that I believe could be a modern day Teddy Roosevelt’s new big medicine. Smith and Wesson developed a handgun cartridge in 50 caliber, designated the 500 S&W Magnum. The case size is so large that even after introducing a new larger pistol frame (X-Frame) to handle the 500 S&W Magnum, the cylinder could only be chambered for 5 rounds. Of course as soon as the new pistol cartridge was released to the public the idea of using it as a rifle cartridge was quickly born. Frank Ehrenford, the owner of Big Horn Armor and his master machinist Dan Brown have been working to bring the 500 S&W Magnum to the lever action rifle shooting community. In his own words he wasted too much time trying to make someone else’s lever action rifle work chambered in 500 S&W Magnum. Pressure is the driving factor with the 500 S&W Magnum round and an entirely new designed lever action rifle needed to be developed. The venerable models 1886 and 1892 were used as a basis to start from. By combining features from both rifles and enhancing the strength, Frank has come up with what he calls his Model 89 which is in between “86” and “92”. I knew Frank back in the early 1970s, when we worked at a gun shop and indoor range. Frank always talked about “kicking harder-booming louder” when he discussed his ideas of big manly firearms. I would suggest his new Model 89 is right up there in the higher recoil and increased decimal area. I would also suggest that Teddy Roosevelt would loved to have of had a Big Horn Armory Model 89 to take to Africa with him. I could envision that great, turn of the century hunter with his Model 89 in his hand and a Smith and Wesson 500 S&W Magnum pistol on his belt, stalking the most dangerous wildlife the African continent could offer up for his hunting adventures. Of course the idea of having a cartridge that you could carry into the backwoods that allowed you to chamber it in either your rifle or handgun has been a desired feature since the early days of western expansion. The problem with pistol cartridges of the late 1800s being shot out of a rifle, was the lack of power that left the shooter wanting for more. The 500 S&W Magnum does not leave you lacking or wanting in either the handgun and most assuredly in a rifle. However, other than some single shot rifles and I assume some custom bolt action rifles, there is very little out there that you can match your 500 S&W Magnum revolver up with, to take on nature’s largest and most dangerous. Large caliber, lever action rifles were becoming very popular for hunting in the thick alder-brush of Alaska when I was stationed up there with the Air Force in the early 1990s. A fast handling lever gun could be just the trick in the thick and dangerous quarters of the Alaska bush. Now envision a lever gun in 500 S&W Magnum with a nice 450 grain gas check Keith bullet (Frank’s design and production) moving down range at 1850 plus FPS to stop that bear who is unhappy with your presence. If you need great power and a fast handling shooting platform that is also very good looking, the Big Horn Armory Model 89 lever action rifle will fill that void in your personal shooting adventure and provide you with new big medicine. There is a sense of anticipation about the debut of this rifle and the expected demand by North American hunters of large and dangerous game. New big medicine will put big holes in big animals and the winner is the owner of a new Big Horn Armory Model 89. For manly Oklahoma hunters and Methodist preachers who hunt the high Veld (plains) this is a must have shooting iron. Last week a pet dog was taken from its own back yard here in Colorado by two mountain lions. You don’t want to face off with that type of dangerous animal with a 22 rifle. Bad things deserve nothing but the best in response, two legged or four legged. Did I use the word manly enough?

Major Van Harl USAF Ret

“The cats were sorely afraid of the Big Horn Armory Model 89 Lever-Action Carbine”


Obadiah was a field mouse living on his land out in the country in Wyoming. Because of his hard work, he was a successful farmer and business mouse. However, Obadiah was completely surrounded by large cats. Some of these cats had land with mineral rights that, if worked correctly, could bring great wealth and a contented way of life for the cat community. The problem with the cats was that, even with all the land and potential wealth, they fixated their time and hostile efforts on the tiny patch of extremely productive land that Obadiah owned. In the name of their cat- God, they declared a holy cat war on Obadiah, his family and his fellow mice who lived on this land. Obadiah from the Bible was a successful man who was a servant of God and used his own wealth to hide and protect the persecuted. The Wyoming Obadiah was also a protector of his fellow mice. The cats came on multiple occasions to strike at Obadiah, many times in herds of cats. I am sure you can recall the expression “like trying to herd cats,” implying that, just as you cannot make a group of cats move in the same direction, at the same time, to accomplish a common goal, you cannot make some people move to accomplish a task. Trying to get a group of cats to strike at a common target and function in a coordinated effort is extremely rare. What cats will do is wait until one cat has wounded its prey, and then the un-herd will move in as a collective body to share in the spoils. Wyoming Obadiah, knowing the ways of cats and that he had a duty to protect his land and his fellow mice, decided he must out-gun the cats. He acquired a Wyoming made Big Horn Armory Model 89 lever action rifle in 500 S&W magnum. The cats were sorely afraid of the Model 89. They did not have such a weapon. They knew the Model 89 was capable of massive destruction of cats, should they attempt to attack Obadiah. So they did what cats and children do when they do not get their way-they whined and complained to whomever would listen. “We do not have a Model 89 and no one will give us one.” “It is not fair.” “There needs to be a worldwide committee set up to look into Obadiah and his Model 89.” “There needs to be restrictions placed on Obadiah, his land and his Model 89.” After all, what happens if the next time a cat or un-herd of cats tries attacking Obadiah, and he is so concerned he cannot repel the cats by conventional means, he brings out the big gun-the Model 89? Why won’t someone give us cats a Model 89? It is not fair-it is not fair. Do you think if we stood in the streets just outside of Obadiah’s land and threw stones & rocks and called to our cat-God to destroy Obadiah, that someone would give us a Model 89? The Model 89 is so powerful that if Obadiah fires it at one cat, the collateral damage down range may include many other cats. That is not fair-that is not fair. Obadiah continues to try to live in peace, even as he is circled daily by ever larger and more vicious cat-God inspired felines who wish to attack and be martyred into cat heaven. Obadiah is a God fearing mouse and does not want the blood of many cats on his hands. He knows how the Model 89 works and what it will do to the cats, but he has never fired the “89.” He truly fears the day will come when he must make that deadly decision. Obadiah knows he can fire the “89” many times and smite his enemies, but if he fails to defend even once, the cat un-herds will rush in and feed on the bodies of his fellow mice. If this happens, Obadiah’s lands will fall-perhaps-forever into the paws of the cats. Cats, who, after feasting on the dead, will allow the land to go feral and barren. The cats will also be free to prey on mice living outside of Obadiah’s former land and protection. Make no mistake-Obadiah will use his Model 89, firing a Mt. Baldy Bullet, 50 caliber, 450 grain cat annihilating, Keith bullet, specially lubricated with beeswax and lard. He will do this before he allows the destruction of his own kind and his land, driving a spike into the heart of evil. Cats have no idea what is truly fair or unfair, but they must learn–hopefully not from the mouth of a Model 89.

Major Van Harl USAF Ret

I want one of these, but I have heard from three people that they have ordered the rifle and waited and waited and waited and still don’t have the rifle after several months.

Does anyone know if they are still operating or are having some problems?

We are finally shipping rifles. Sorry about all the delays. It took more time then we thought, but wanted to get it correct. We are slowly filling backorders and hope to be caught up by the end of the year.

Post a comment