How are marlins 22lr rifles?


September 12, 2005, 09:49 PM
I have been debating which 22 lr bolt rifle to get. I want to stick to an American made rifle(no cz), and right now I am really intrested in the Marlins. Can anyone give there impressions of the Marlins(925/981t). I am really intrested in the 981T, but I am not too found of plastic stocks. Anyhow lets hear about theses rifles!!

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September 12, 2005, 10:14 PM
don't know a thing about the bolt guns... but my 39a is just outstanding.

September 12, 2005, 10:18 PM
I used to have an 880SQ, which has the heavy barrel and I think was the earlier version of the 980. Never had any problems with it and it was very accurate. I used it for a couple years and then I started buying CZs. Sold the marlin to a friend and he is still using it without any issues. I guess if I wasn't going to get a CZ I'd get another marlin.

Darth Ruger
September 12, 2005, 10:32 PM
My 880SQ (now called the 980V) is a blast to shoot. I'm planning to put the brown laminated stock on it in the near future. It's made for the standard barrel models, but the barrel channel can be sanded out to fit the heavy barrel:

September 12, 2005, 10:53 PM
They are most excellent.

September 13, 2005, 12:34 AM
I've had my Marlin 925 for two months now. I've put a Burris Fullfield II 3-9 scope on it, and a Safari Ching Sling.

Out of the box, it made 7-shot groups of about 1" at 50 yards. Sometimes much more, sometimes a little less. When shooting with the sling, the groups opened up quite a bit (2" or more).

I decided that the sling was putting pressure on the stock which was putting pressure on the barrel, so I floated the barrel and bedded the action. Now it shoots 7-shot groups better than 1.5" every time, and some better than 1/2". That's with bulk ammo (it seems to like Remington golden bullets) from field positions. The only thing I can't figure out is why it doesn't shoot for beans from the bench. I'm sure it's the loose nut behind the trigger. It does pretty well from prone, though.

Biggest plus: It shoots pretty well for $180, and better after you add $15 worth of epoxy to it.

Plus: Fit and finish is good for a $180 gun. The laminate stock is plain but solid and you won't cry if you put a dent or two in it. It's held up well to my inept attempts to learn 3-position shooting with it. It's got sling swivel attachment points. The receiver is grooved and tapped for scope bases and mounts. The stock seems well proportioned for my 5' 5" frame, and has enough drop that I can shoulder it normally instead of just having the lower corner of the butt in my shoulder.

Minus: The magazine holds 7 rounds, an odd number. You have to be gentle seating the magazine home or it can go past its stop and seat too far. The bolt is stiff to unlock, making it a little hard to work quickly. The magazine well is plastic, but it seems solidly built and is hidden when the gun is assembled.

Biggest minus: The magazine release is odd. Instead of squeezing the magazine release towards the magazine, you have to push it away from the magazine. That makes one-handed magazine changes very awkward, for if the magazine won't drop free you now need another hand to pull the magazine out of the well, for the hand pressing the lever is in no position to grab the magazine.

Summary: I bought this rifle to learn riflery, and it's been very good for that. The sling swivel mounts allow me to learn how to use a shooting sling, and the scope lets me focus on the fundamentals without my rotten eyes making me cross. Learning to work the bolt quickly and accurately is a lot of fun. On top of all that, it's accurate enough from field positions that I can take it small game hunting. I'm very happy with this rifle and would gladly buy it again.

September 13, 2005, 12:59 AM
I'll second the 39a recommendation. GREAT all American rifle. Well made and a good shooter. It's the last rimfire I'd consider parting with. It's my favorite rimfire rifle. Absolutely THE gun for small game hunting and field use.

I also have a Marlin Papoose. Good little auto loader. Reliable, accurate, compact and light. Every time I consider trading it off I take it to the range and it wins me back. The trigger leaves a lot to be desired though. FAR superior to the AR 7. I would rate it equal to the 10/22 in accuracy and overal quality, but the 10/22 has a lot of aftermarket goodies that gives it a lot more potential.

Marlin bolts are a good value. Good accuracy and well made but as a previous poster stated, not as nice as the CZ. I too traded mine away and my bolt 22 of choice is a CZ 452 American. Literally a one hole gun at 50 meters with good ammo.

September 13, 2005, 02:37 AM
I agree completely with everything JustSayMo said, that has been my experience as well. :)

September 13, 2005, 08:53 AM
Forget what model the bolt (too lazy to go check,right now) is, but it has the wood stock an 7 rd mag. I haven't shot the bolt gun all that much, but its very well made, and accurate enough for what I got it for (pests). I need a better scope to really explore how accurate it can be.(Due to vision problems I simply can't use open sights.)

But, if it anything like the Model 60, it'll be awesome...Have tried a wide variety of ammo (and it has much better scope than the bolt gun), and with several types of (target)ammo, it'll shoot 3/4" (10 shot)groups...This is under ideal conditions, and if I'm having a good day, but even if things aren't so good, groups around 1" are almost a given.

September 13, 2005, 09:03 AM
I have a Marlin model 25 (which I think is now discontinued), and I love it. It's what I'm using to teach my 9 year old daughter to shoot with.

Picked it up used at a gun show for about $90.

Quite accurate, but it has pretty cheap sights on it.

September 13, 2005, 09:28 AM
Bad sights, but everything else is superb. :) Just for the heck of it, I slapped a 6-24x50 on mine (a Marlin 60) a loooooong time ago. Looked downright absurd--skinny little rifle, HUGE monster of a scope.

It was worth it. :D

September 13, 2005, 09:36 AM
Dittos on all good comments about the Marlin 39. It has all the practical accuracy you could want and is a quality firearm.

I've grown very fond of my SS Marlin Papoose. So much so that I had a weaver rail installed so it can take a light weight electronic sight. Nice set up.

September 13, 2005, 09:59 AM
Model 80 was made in the 60's...and functions like it was made yesterday. It's a bolt action that fires 22 short, long, and long rifle from a detachable magazine. Currently, I looking at Marlin lever actions in the 1894 configuration.
My advice...check em out... :evil:

September 13, 2005, 10:10 AM
I have an OLD Marlin 99...not a turnbolt rifle, or the 99A/B/C but still shoots great.

I take the action out of the stock a clean it out every so often, but it shoots great.

Did I mention the my OLD Marlin 99 shoots great? ? ?

I have a cheapy Tasco 4X32 scope on it, because my 50+ year-old-tri-focused eyes can't see the iron sights worth a hoot, but it shoots great.

September 13, 2005, 10:43 AM
Ugly little abortion of stainless and black plastic, but real handy, accurate and fun to shoot. Marlin uses a microgroove rifling system that seems to be more accurate than most. I love it, but it gets many a contemptuous stare whenever someone sees me with it.

P. Plainsman
September 13, 2005, 11:46 AM
Can't speak to the bolt rifles, but as others have mentioned the Marlin semi-auto and lever rimfires, I'll join in the drift.

The lever-action Marlin 39A is a very classy gun; good wood, good fitting, forged blue steel. Quite accurate. Generally smooth action. The new ones come with too-heavy triggers -- I installed an aftermarket trigger from Wild West Guns that improved the pull quite a bit. I must caution, though, that my 39A had a certain tendency to jam up when working the lever, and they were bad jams: locked up the gun, requiring a screwdriver and disassembly of the action to clear. I could have had a gunsmith look at this, but instead I sold the gun.

With the proceeds I got a Marlin 60DL semi-auto (the DL has a nicer wood stock than the std. 60), a basic red-dot sight, a bunch of ammo, and still had the better part of $100 left over to add to my centerfire ammo supply. This little rifle is sweet, particularly in the accuracy department. Ridiculously accurate for a $150 rifle. The red dot sight makes it easy to use that accuracy out to about 50-75 yards; past that, I'd need a scope to do credible work with any rifle. The trigger is OK; not an exquisite target trigger but quite workable. It's early days with my 60DL, as I'm closing in on the first 1000 rounds with no jams or other mechanical problems to date.

I consider the Marlin 60 a best buy among contemporary firearms, and (though it pains me to say this, as a lever lover) I would pick my 60DL over another 39A even if there weren't a near-$250 price difference between them.

September 13, 2005, 12:18 PM
I had a Marlin M25 some years back and a Kimber Classic .22lr. The Marlin outshot the Kimber day-in and day-out! The marlin trigger was rough, so i had it worked...smoothed. What a gem. Now, that I have to limit myself to handguns due to surgeries, have sold nearly all long guns. Marlin? Good quality; good prices.


Darth Ruger
September 13, 2005, 01:32 PM
I have a Marlin model 25 (which I think is now discontinued)...
They're still making it, but now it's called the 925.

All of Marlin's bolt action (not semi-auto or lever) rimfires have been re-named as the 900-series (the 25 is now 925, 880SQ is now 980V, 15Y youth rifle is now 915Y, etc). They're still making the same models as before (as well as the .22Mag's, .17HMR's, and .17Mach2), the only difference is they now have the new T900 trigger:

If you have an older one (pre-T900), Rifle Basix makes a trigger for it:

These triggers aren't available for Marlin's semi-auto or lever action rimfires, only the bolt actions.

September 13, 2005, 02:30 PM
The 982VS my dad bought for close range 'doggin' is a tack driver. 1/2 groups at 50 yards are common... granted it's a 22 magnum, but year it works.

Compared to a model 39 or 995 it seems 'primitive' but how complicated does a bolt action 22 need to be?

I've had two problem with a Marlin, a pinned barrel wedge on a 995 worked loose after a zillion or so rounds (was fixed in minutes while I waited) and the recoil buffer cracked (likely due to harsh solvent like hoppes) which Marlin sent me for free.

September 13, 2005, 03:38 PM
Oh, one more thing about my 925 that I forgot:

I didn't like the trigger: Too stiff and too much creep. When dry firing, the scope cross-hairs would invariably move no matter how carefully I was pulling the trigger straight back. I replaced it with a Rifle Basix trigger, adjusted it to about 2lbs, and have been happy ever since.

September 13, 2005, 03:48 PM
My 39a is over 50+ years old and still going strong and accurate as the day my father brought it home.

September 13, 2005, 04:42 PM
I love my Marlin/Glenfield 25. It's killed more tree rats than any other piece I've ever owned...well, maybe the old Stevens favorite comes close, but the Marlin will always be the favorite child.

Darth Ruger
September 13, 2005, 06:18 PM
what kind of scope is that long skinny one?

September 13, 2005, 11:10 PM
Someone mentioned that marlin uses plastic in their guns. That worries the plastic a problem, and does it break?

September 13, 2005, 11:53 PM
Here's a picture of the plastic part, the magazine holder. It's upside down, muzzle end to the right. The magazine goes in from the top of the picture, with the bullet pointed right.

Rightmost is a hole for the forward screw that holds it to the receiver. The thing that looks like a feed ramp isn't: the rounds go straight from the magazine into the chamber. Left of that is the ejector; Left of the ejector are two ears with holes for a roll pin that fastens the aft end of the part to the receiver. At the top of the picture on the left is the magazine release lever.

It's fairly sturdy. I don't know how you'd ever break it in normal use. I broke mine, but out of sheer "bubba-the-gunsmith" stupidity. While driving out the roll pin, I didn't support the bottom ear. The roll pin, instead of pushing its way through that ear, tried to carry it along for the ride, breaking the ear right across the hole.

You are looking at the replacement magazine well, which I have yet to install. The busted one is working fine despite having only one ear supported. As long as the busted part works, I'd rather not mess with that blankity-blank roll pin.

Darth Ruger
September 14, 2005, 12:13 AM the plastic a problem, and does it break?
Not that I've ever heard of, until now... :D
I broke mine, but out of sheer "bubba-the-gunsmith" stupidity.

Darth Ruger
September 14, 2005, 12:23 AM
You are looking at the replacement magazine well, which I have yet to install.
How much was the replacement?

September 14, 2005, 09:01 AM
Darth, The only markings on it are J.C. whatever POS Sears decided to throw on I guess.

September 14, 2005, 09:13 AM
How much was the replacement?
With shipping, $20.05.

September 14, 2005, 12:19 PM
I bought a 925 a few months ago - was $149. Added a laminated stock which improved the appearance 100% - at least to me! Someone mentioned Marlin's use of plastic above. One item that is plastic in the 900 Series is the trigger itself. That is overly cheap to me. The magazine follower and the magazine guide which attaches to the receiver are the only other 2 items I can think of that are plastic.

The rest of the rifle , for a $149 gun , is not bad by any means. The one I have also has a pretty nice bluing finish on both the receiver and barrel. Much better than the average Marlin.

How does it perform? Most of the ammo tried so far has been somewhat unspectacular at best. However , trying some PMC Scoremaster left me pleasantly surprised with some nickel/dime size 5 shot groups at 50 yards despite the not-so-great trigger and the non PA 6X Burris. A Rifle Basix trigger may be added later.

Darth Ruger
September 14, 2005, 01:42 PM
very nice looking rifle. That's the stock I'm going to put on my 880SQ.

Get a Rifle Basix trigger, it's worth the cost. Makes a world of difference.

July 15, 2006, 10:24 PM
I just bought a Marlin 981T for $140 the scope was extra. It is very accurate. The trigger seemed to be fine also.

This was shot with 16 rounds.

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