Browning BLR Lightweight 81 Stainless Takedown

With just the flip of the takedown lever located under the action, the barrel is removed by pulling it straight out.

This cool takedown version of Browning's innovative Model 81 comes in a number of barrel lengths and is available in a wide variety of popular rifle calibers, ranging from .223 to .450 Marlin and including .270 WSM, 7mm WSM, .300 WSM, and .325 WSM.

Features of the rifle include satin nickel finish receiver, stainless barrel (20-, 22-, and 24-inch lengths depending on chambering), crowned muzzle, checkered gray laminate buttstock (straight grip) and forearm, detachable box magazine (four- or five-round capacity depending on caliber), and TruGlo front sight. The receiver is drilled and tapped for scope mounts and so is the barrel. An optional scout-style scope-mount base is available from Browning, and it requires the removal of the adjustable rear sight.

The most interesting feature, in my opinion, is the takedown system. With just the flip of the takedown lever located under the action, the barrel is removed by pulling it straight out. No twisting is required. In case anyone is wondering about the lockup after the barrel is installed, well, no need to worry. According to Browning, it locks up tight by virtue of a stout locking lug that engages a recess in the bottom of the receiver and cannot come loose during firing.

I've been shooting one in .223 with a 20-inch barrel (1:12-inch twist), and it has given me pause to reconsider my usual disinterest in lever-actions. I've never really been interested in lever-guns, probably because I grew up shooting other types of rifles, but I have to say that I really have enjoyed working with this one. It handles well, feels good against my shoulder, and shoots darn well. It put three shots with Black Hills 55-grain Match HP factory loads into a group measuring 0.50 inches at 100 yards with an old Burris 7X intermediate eye relief scope mounted on the barrel. That's very good for any type of rifle in my book. And when I took it down and then put it back together, it shot almost to exactly the same point of impact. I may just have to add this one to my personal firearms battery.

Recommended for You


Introducing the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield

Joseph von Benedikt - April 12, 2012

  Smith & Wesson has just announced its new Shield handgun. It's an addition to the


Accurize It

Greg Rodriguez - March 11, 2011

You don't have to spend a fortune to make "Ole Betsy" shoot better.


Review: Bushnell FORGE 4.5-27X 50mm

Sam Wolfenberger - May 01, 2019

The new Bushnell FORGE riflescope is “the only choice for long-range hunting enthusiasts.”

See More Recommendations

Trending Stories


Review: Smith & Wesson Model 19 Classic Revolver

Joel J. Hutchcroft - March 08, 2019

The Smith & Wesson Model 19 is back in production after being on ice for almost two decades.


FNH USA Announces 5th Annual FNH USA Midwest 3-Gun Championships

Shooting Times Staff - September 23, 2010

The FNH USA Midwest 3-Gun Championships kicks off at 8 am on Friday, May 21.


Danger Tamed: Hornady DGX Bonded Hunting Ammo

Joseph von Benedikt - May 23, 2019

A half-century in the making, the new DGX Bonded is Hornady's best-ever dangerous-game bullet.

See More Stories

More Rifles


Review: Rock River Arms Predator HP

Steve Gash - April 22, 2019

Steve Gash says the Rock River Arms Predator HP is a coyote's worst nightmare.


Review: Hi-Point Model 1095TS Edge

Steve Gash - February 26, 2019

Just right for hunting, plinking, and home defense, the semiautomatic Hi-Point 10mm carbine is...


Mossberg Patriot Revere: Hog-Hunter

Steve Gash - June 17, 2019

The author discovered that getting ready for a Texas hog hunt is almost as much fun as the...

See More Rifles

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.