While other actions have eclipsed it over the years, the lever gun is still a popular choice for hunters, and a new, exclusive version from Davidson’s has enough new twists that it may just rekindle hunter interest in the lever action.
The Mossberg Model 464 Brush Gun starts with the tried-and-true Mossberg lever action that was introduced in 2008, but the Davidson’s exclusive Brush Gun version takes it to the next level.
First, the stock is gray laminate instead of walnut. The slim fore-end is easy to hold and carry, and the barrel band comes with a sling swivel stud attached—something not included on production Mossberg lever guns.
The inletting is outstanding, and it still amazes me how close the computer-designed machines can cut this epoxy-impregnated wood and still keep a sharp edge. There is an ample supply of cut checkering complete with a single-line border for that custom look.
The buttstock features the same gray laminate, and to me it seems a bit fuller than most. The pistol grip has a natural curve to it, like a combination between a curved and a straight lever. The fullness certainly applies to the grip, and the checkering here is in ample supply, with a flair at the bottom of the pattern complete with the single-line border. The checkering is sharp with no flattened diamonds or overcuts near the border.
The finish is satin and looks like it can take a lifetime of punishment. Finally, the buttstock is complete with a sling swivel stud and a classic recoil pad professionally installed.
The barreled action has been coated with Mossberg’s proprietary Marinecote finish—a durable coating that has seen success on the company’s legendary shotguns. The Marinecote coverage is complete, including the sling swivel studs and the barrel band.
The receiver is your classic lever action: thin, smooth and a place to carry the rifle with a good balance point. The loading gate is on the right side, and while loading a lever gun is never a fun thing, this Mossberg seems a little bit easier than most once it’s broken in. The edges of the gate are polished, and the gate itself pushes in with only a moderate amount of pressure.
The receiver flats are polished, and the area around the ejection port, tang, safety lever and related parts of the gun are all neatly fitted and cleanly finished. The bolt is cylindrical and contains both the ejector and extractor on the bolt face.
This special edition comes equipped with a 16.5-inch barrel and a set of Williams fiber-optic sights that makes this a great close-in woods rifle. The rear sight features two bright-green fiber-optic rods. It is adjustable for windage via a drift and elevation via a top-mounted screw. The front sight sports a single bright-orange fiber-optic rod.
The receiver is drilled and tapped, and I installed a pair of Weaver No. 403 bases and an old Weaver 2.5x20mm scope to bring out the best in the rifle and not the shooter. With the profile of the stock, I had little trouble lining up with the scope or with the iron sights.
There is a safety on the tang that does not block the hammer from being cocked but instead prevents it from contacting the firing pin when set in the Safe position to the rear. I know some shooters dislike a safety on a lever action, but it’s a necessary evil these days because of liability issues. And as has been standard on lever actions for many years, the lever must be fully closed—pressed fully against the stock—for the trigger to operate.
After quite a bit of slack, the trigger registered a hefty seven pounds of pull. The gun came with an offset hammer spur to use when shooting with a scope, but it broke after a few rounds.
You can’t short-shuck this gun. If you don’t pull the lever to the end of its travel, you get a jam. But the loading gate broke in nicely, and rounds fed into the magazine with nary a miss when I operated it as it should be operated. The presence of the scope didn’t cause any ejection issues, and spent rounds jumped right out of the gun.
The groups were average, but I think the results could have been better if the seven-pound trigger pull was dropped a bit. The ammunition of the day was Remington’s fine 150-grain Core-Lokt softpoint, which has done well in other lever guns I’ve tested over the years. I sighted in at 50 yards with Hornady LeverEvolution, and it printed one-inch groups at that distance.
If you’re looking for an all-weather gun that shoots well and handles great, the Davidson’s Mossberg Model 464 Brush Gun would make a fine addition to your hunting battery.
Davidson's Mossberg Model 464 Brush Gun Specs
- Type: Lever-action centerfire rifle
- Caliber: .30-30 Win.
- Capacity: 5+1
- Barrel: 16.25 in., button rifled w/recessed crown
- Overall Length: 34.75 in.
- Weight: 6 lb.
- Stock: Gray laminate
- Finish: Marinecote
- Trigger: 7 lb. pull (measured)
- Sights: Williams fiber optic; adjustable rear; drilled and tapped for Weaver 403 bases
- Safety: Tang, lever, internal hammer block
- Price: $566
- Manufacturer: Mossberg, mossberg.com