Marlin Lives

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Mak
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Well, after vociferously denying it for months, if not years, Marlin Firearms has opened their custom shop.
Now, you too can get as many appointments upon your Marlin as your checkbook allows. I'm as much a fan as any lover of fine wood, engraving, and high polish finishes, but what is really worthwhile on the practical end is the fact that action work is available.
Since Remington bought Marlin so many years ago, they haven't exactly lit up the gun world with their bass ackward decision making. For quite some time it appeared they were determined to assassinate the company the same way FNH did to Winchester, and they just about succeeded. I don't know how Marlin managed to survive the drop off in quality and reliability. 
It really was that bad. It got to the point where used models from the old company became pretty scarce around these parts, other than beaters. Quite a change from the previous condition which guaranteed several in the gun store racks. But then this is an area where leverguns are appreciated.
That apparently is all behind us now. Reports of new production guns, while not wildly complimentary, suggest that Marlin is once again making solid guns. Pretty much the biggest gripe has to do with stiff actions and gritty triggers. Now with the custom shop, even that will become a dim memory.
Marlin lives, back from the brink of death, and for levergunners, this can only be a good thing.

BillW
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Joined: 02/20/2013
New Marlin 1894

Mak and forum,
I am a returning new member.  Just wanted to pass along my recent experience with the new Marlin 1894 in 45 colt.  I have yet to shoot the rifle, but am please with overal fit and finish.  In fact, the wood to metal is some of the tightest I have experienced with a late model leveraction.  Superior to my two older Marlin 94's (.357 & .44), and easily on par with my Miroku Browning made Winchester reproductions.  It does abound in sharp edges, but so do my pre Remington 94's.  The finish is rather flat, but evenly done.  The trigger, while a little heavy, does break crisply.  And the action is, again by today's standards, quite smooth.  I have run/levered snap caps and cast reloads through the action without a hitch.  If I have any complaint, prior to shooting, it would be the rather cheap looking checkering on the butt stock, and the small hard to see front site bead.  But for the $509.95, out the door, price my dealer charged I don't feel I should complain much.  Just wanted to pass this experience along, and will follow up with a range report.
Thanks guys,
Bill

Mak
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Good Report

Bill,
I'm actually glad you posted your pre-shooting review. Marlin guns have been there from the beginning, and it was downright painful to watch their fall. From your explanation, it sounds like the new computer run machining is finally getting the fit and finish worthy of the marque.
If you can manage it, I'd like to hear what you have to say after you put some rounds down that bore.

BillW
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Joined: 02/20/2013
Marlin, Good Job!

Mak and forum,
Took my new Marlin 1894 45 Colt, and Winchester 94 Trapper same caliber, to the range this morning.  Both guns have the semi buckhorn rear sights.  And with my 60+ year old far-sighted eyes, groups were fired from a bench at 25 yards.  Ammo used included two reloads (light plinking cast 225 gr.  round flat nose bullets over 7 grains of Unique, and my standard carry cast Keith style 255 gr. Semi wad cutter over 8 grains of Unique), and two factory loads ( Hornadys 225 gr. Lever evolution FTX, and Blazers 2oo gr..JHP).  Both guns shot all loads well.
And both rifles showed a preference for the two jacketed factory loads(?). My Winchester just loves the blazer HPs, and in the past has not shot my cast loads well: not today.  The Marlin fed/chambered everything .  And while three shot groups with the cast reloads hovered in the 3/4 to 1" range, each had two shots touching, and a possible third shot flier.  The two factory loads produced three shot groups of all touching to one ragged hole: particularly the Hornady load (both rifles). 
What is it about that Leverevolution ammo, it's the most accurate factory ammo in most of my lever guns (.44, .45 and 45-70)?  
Bottom line Mak, is that this/my new Marlin 1894 is well worth the price.  I obtained mine for virtually the same price I paid for my 1894c approximately 10 years ago.  The Marlin 1894 and the Winchester 94 trapper are my two favorite lever guns.
Thanks,
Bill

Mak
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Heavy 45 Colt

Excellent range review. I know for myself I always wanted a levergun in a pistol caliber, but never managed to land one, for a variety of reasons.
I imagine range reviews like the one here will fully announce that Marlin is back, and put to rest a sad chapter in the company's history.
One thing about the Marlin 1894, it is fully capable of handling heavy 45 Colt loads, such as were posted for the large frame Ruger wheelguns. I've heard some folks run bullets up to 300grs, and despite the rather slow rifling twist, get good to excellent results.
We're told over and over that a slow twist won't stabilize heavy bullets, and as a rule of thumb, this is accurate. Yet we should also just go ahead and test the dogma now and then, and from what I 've heard, Marlins can do quite well if the speeds are kept up.
Anyway, thanks for the report. Good information is always welcome.