You want to penetrate armor gents,

To quote Clint Smith “Rifle eat armor the way Pac-Man eats dots”.

That M-4 or AK don’t take up any more room than the levergun but have considerably more power and capacity. Velocity too.
And even the cheap $600 models are better than the leverguns for reliability and longevity sad to say.

A friend picked up a Diamondback AR, somfar its been surprisingly good for the price. No its not a Les Baer custon, but for a rack grade gun, not bad.