POF Tombstone 9mm lever-action review

Review: POF Tombstone 9mm lever-action — a modern cowboy gun?

There is a rapidly growing trend for modern “tacti-cool” lever-action rifles featuring synthetic stocks and accessory-friendly forends. These guns are not pretty in the traditional sense but they do some things the traditional guns can’t.

The Tombstone 9mm lever-action rifle by America’s POF (Patriot Ordnance Factory) is a quantum leap beyond any lever-gun in the marketplace. 

POF Tombstone 9mm lever-action review
The Tombstone is a very modern interpretation of the lever-action, and it’s a 9mm carbine to boot!

We were excited to get one of the very first of these rifles brought in by importer Cleaver Firearms to field test.

We took it out and put over 300 rounds through it, both on the range and in the paddock.

This innovative new lever gun brings strong reactions. I took it to a local range and some people absolutely hated the look of it at first sight. One older bloke refused to even try it!

Others, however, fell in love with the businesslike modern black profile, and everyone who shot the Tombstone enjoyed the experience. 

POF Tombstone 9mm lever-action review
Not only did it shoot well on the range, it was surprisingly popular

Most were surprised by its performance on target.

Why does this rifle even exist? I asked Arizona-based POF, a long-time manufacturer of high-quality AR-type firearms, whose staff explained it was a response to the growing trend to restrict semi-automatic firearms globally.

It also reflects the development team’s desire to do something creative with the 150-year-old lever-action concept, taking it into the 21st century whilst keeping quality standards high.

Once you get past the highly unconventional looks, you find a 10-shot (for Australia) 9mm carbine that uses a super-slick lever action to manually cycle those stubby little cartridges into the chamber.

POF Tombstone 9mm lever-action review
The lightweight, compact Tombstone is a very handy rifle that’s quick to swing onto target

My first surprise was just how light and handy the Tombstone is. At only 2.58kg (5.7lb) unloaded it feels much more graceful than it looks and really does handle well in the field.

It is very fast to target and features an integrated XS-brand rear peep sight combined with a high-visibility front blade with white stripe. 

These iron sights work fine but I equipped the rifle with a new Eotech Vudu 1-6×24 FFP illuminated reticle (an amazing scope we will explore further in a separate review). 

Fitting it was very simple since the Tombstone has a built-in Picatinny rail that will suit most scope mounts or red dots.

POF Tombstone 9mm lever-action review
The quality of the Tombstone is excellent, and the action well made and slick

This scope had fantastic clarity and was ideal for our accuracy testing in various circumstances. If I owned this lever gun, I would likely run it with a red dot, but we wanted to wring it out for accuracy, especially since most people have very low expectations of a 9mm carbine.

The two magazines supplied with the rifle were long but blocked off to only take 10 rounds (rather than their original 20) for Australian regulation. They worked perfectly but I would rather have the shorter magazine (which is available for $59.95, as are the long style mags) to keep the rifle a little more compact in a vehicle and on the bench. 

The magazines are well proven one that POF already produces for its Phoenix 9mm carbine in the USA. They seem to be a clone of the CZ Skorpion magazines and should last a long time no matter what you throw at them.

POF Tombstone 9mm lever-action review
There is a shorter alternative to the long magazine, which is limited to 10 rounds under Australian law

The nice thing is that each magazine comes with a highly effective loader to make filling it a breeze. The manual suggests using the loader to ensure best results and the only time I had a malfunction with the Tombstone was when I deliberately ignored that advice

Using the loader was 100% reliable if we did our part and worked the lever with authority.

The barrel is 42cm (16.5”) long and free floated. It has a short muzzle break threaded onto the end (½”x28), meaning it can be removed and any other barrel accessory fitted as needed.

The stock is the tried-and-tested Magpul brand and is very comfortable to use. It shoulders quickly and was the right length for me, but being a Magpul it is dead simple to adjust the length of pull to suit. 

POF Tombstone 9mm lever-action review
The Tombstone’s Magpul stock is a good one

The forend  is 260mm long and features enough MLOKs and a pic rail to mount virtually anything a shooter can dream up while also providing a solid and comfortable grip when shooting. 

I mounted a torch on the forend for night hunting, which worked well and resulted in several hares being shot (excuse the lack of photos but the JHP 147gn projectiles made a mess of them).

The lever was comfortable in the hand and smooth to operate.

We tried a number of different rounds, from 115gn JRN up to 147gn JHP and learned quickly that the gun likes to be well lubed and that you need to be running that lever all the way forward, much like on the 1892 or 1886 Winchesters. Do that and it feeds everything you can throw at it.

POF Tombstone 9mm lever-action review
Forend design allows the fitment are all sorts of accessories

We put just over 300 rounds through it and thoroughly enjoyed every shot. The Tombstone brings a smile to the face and is a plinker’s delight, which brings us to the burning question: “But what is it for?” 

Well, I would say first and foremost it is a fun gun, shooting an almost recoil-free and inexpensive (for a centrefire) round. 

It is a plinker and a small to medium game hunting rifle at up to 100 metres or so, as we learned on some large hares which were instantly killed. 

I’d say it is fine on foxes, wild dogs and the like, but limited by the range of the 9mm cartridge. 

The Tombstone would also make an excellent gun for some type of “Aussie 3 Gun” practical shooting match and take the same ammunition as your favourite handgun.

POF Tombstone 9mm lever-action review
Yes, it shoots pretty well for a lever-action carbine in a pistol calibre. This five-round group was shot at 50m

What about accuracy? At 50 metres we were able to put three rounds into 25mm (1”) on the metal plate. Shooting five-round groups on target we were averaging under 40mm (1.5”) and some groups were well below that. 

I am sure the excellent trigger helped in that result. It is super smooth and crisp, breaking at around 1.58kg (3.5lb) — a delight to use. 

Even at 100 metres we had no trouble constantly hitting metal plates and they were ringing with some authority. I’m sure the longer carbine barrel adds noticeably to velocity and, as such, improves function and lethality when hunting.

There are two separate safety mechanisms: a cross bolt safety that is easy to access and use as well as a half-cock feature using the hammer. 

Having a detachable magazine is also a great feature as we were able to leave the gun completely unloaded in the field and then simply slip in the magazine quickly and quietly to begin shooting.

The main downside to the Tombstone is the price. At just over $3100 they are not cheap and this will limit the market, but they are very well made and well finished. 

The only other gripe we had was that we couldn’t try the short magazine, and if that is all we can complain about then it is pretty good. 

Just remember to work that lever hard and you will have a gun that most people at the range will be clamouring to borrow. It can be shot on most pistol ranges (if the range officer allows) due to its wonderful 9mm chambering and there now seems to be a healthy supply of 9mm in the marketplace compared to many other calibres.


  • Calibre: 9mm
  • Action: Lever action
  • Magazine: 10-shot detachable
  • Sighting: XS brand rear peep and front blade
  • Furniture: Magpul brand stock and M-LOK forend
  • Barrel: 42cm (16.5”) fluted with muzzle brake
  • Weight: 2.58kg (5.7lb)
  • Trigger: Crisp 1.58kg (3.5lb) 
  • Safety: Cross-bolt safety and half-cock hammer 
  • Price: $3100 (2023)
  • Distributor: Cleaver Firearms




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Graham Park

Graham is the President of Shooters Union Australia and is also a keen lover of all things that go bang. With over 40  years of experience in the firearms community and industry, Graham is well placed to share information on a wide variety of firearm related issues. He runs a cattle property and is also a well published writer, with an Australian best-selling book (health related) and many, many published articles in Australian and international media.