Recent production Marlin rifles


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Jason_W
February 7, 2012, 02:57 PM
There seems to be somewhat of a general buzz about post Freedom group buyout Marlins being of spotty quality.

How much of this is factually based and how much the usual internet hyperbole? It's inevitable that with any mass produced item, a few lemons are bound to get out to the public, but is the rate of crappy Marlins really as high as people indicate?

The reason I ask is because the 336 BL looks pretty nifty and I may place it on my to-buy list.

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dprice3844444
February 7, 2012, 03:30 PM
my 16.5 inch 1895 45/70 cycles fine

NeuseRvrRat
February 7, 2012, 03:31 PM
i think it's pretty safe to say that Marlin's fit and finish and QA/QC definitely went downhill when Freedom Group bought it.

CaliCoastie
February 7, 2012, 03:33 PM
general concensious is if you are feeling lucky, can look the rifle over with a fine tooth comb(wood to metal fit, ensureing sights are mounted streight, ensure sights are not twisted to one side or the other, and can bring some dummy rounds to cycle through) then they shoot pretty good.
I have observed the metal to wood fit, rounds locking the lever up, and also the bolt sticking out of one side considerbaly more than the other on a friend who thought thatthey couldnt be that bad. he has since shipped it back to marlin, i dont know where its sitting at this point, they have had it for hmmm.....2-3months.

The flip side however, if you have the time and patinance enough they will eventually get it right, there was a guy on a different forum that had to send his new 39A back 4-6 times to get it right.
I dont know the acutal numbers of subpar firearms, however before marlin was bought out if was few and far between that you heard about problematic firearms, now its common place. the lever actions i have seen since they moved to Ky, only one of the 10-15 i have looked at have what i consider acceptable metal to wood fit, alot of them the butt stocks actually rock up and down. Good luck with your hunt!

mdauben
February 7, 2012, 03:36 PM
How much of this is factually based and how much the usual internet hyperbole?There's just too many first-hand reports of the QC failure to dismiss it as internet hype. Reports of buggered screws, grossly misaligned sights, poorly fitted and damaged stocks, total failures to feed, total failures to eject, etc., etc. Over on the Marlin Owners "fan site" they had to open a special forum just for complaints, to keep them from flooding the other sections. Production of most of their lever action line was suspended last year, allegedly to try and get the QC problem under control. Although of course Marlin/Remington didn't comment on why they did this.:uhoh:

The reason I ask is because the 336 BL looks pretty nifty and I may place it on my to-buy list. Obviously, every Marlin gun coming out of the Remington plant isn't a non-functional piece of junk but a distressing number of them seem to be. If you know what you are doing, and can carefully inspect the gun in question both visually and functionally, it could be worth the chance. I would certainly never buy a Remlin manufactured gun sight-unseen.

Asherdan
February 7, 2012, 03:36 PM
Short version: quality is spotty.

You certainly don't hear near as often about the good one as you do the bad, but I s'pose that's normal. I guess the way I'd go about it is to read through some of the common issues being found (http://www.marlinowners.com/forum/marlin-rant-forum/) and use that to make a hot check list. I would advise not to buy sight unseen, but don't swerve off of giving one a good workout and if it passes having it make its way out the door with you.

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
February 7, 2012, 04:29 PM
In the past 2.5 years, I have had 22 of them come to me with various ailments. Brand new firearms with bent or broken extractors, intolerable wood fit, misaligned sites, misaligned drill and taps, feed failures, trigger problems (one was never fired and had a broken sear!) and a few other various ailments. Marlin USED to have one of the best customer service departments in the firearms industry. That is no longer anywhere close to fact nowadays. My friends came to me to look at them after calling Marlin and getting the run around. That way they knew exactly what the problem was before calling them back.

You couldn't pay me to buy a new one. You would be best served finding a good used one that was made before the takeover. Good luck.

Zeke/PA
February 7, 2012, 05:08 PM
I have developed a love affair with the older Marlins and I now have three, my latest a made in 1968 39A.
I would tour the local Gun Shops looking for a nice used rifle as I don't even like the looks of the new stuff.
My 39A, though 45 years or so old was well taken care of and in pristine condition.
Actually the used rifles are CONSIDERABLY less expensive and you may even find the rifle of your choice equipped with optics.

Jason_W
February 7, 2012, 05:44 PM
Thanks for summing up and providing first hand accounts detailing the problems and QC issues.

I guess a followup question would be: What is now the best bet for a new production short barrel (16 to 20 inch) .30-30 levergun? I've heard good things about Henry, but the rifles are a tad on the expensive side for me and seem to be a bit heavy for my needs.

How are the Mossberg '94 clones?

I know for a fact the fit and finish on the Rossis is atrocious, even for a guy who doesn't care that much about aesthetics.

Abel
February 7, 2012, 05:52 PM
If I were going to buy a new one, I'd just get a new pre-2010 Marlin off of Gunbroker. But for "someone who doesn't care that much about aesthetics", you should be looking for a used 336C that you can shorten to 16.5".

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
February 7, 2012, 05:55 PM
The Mossy's aint pretty but they are hard to beat for function. As far as Rossi's fit and finish, they aren't all that bad really. Not for what you pay for them anyway. They usually function well within tolerances. I'm not that big of a Henry fan. They are just a bit too much "full of themselves" for my taste.

ClickClickD'oh
February 7, 2012, 06:11 PM
I was personally appalled at the Marlins I saw at the last show I went to. I have three Marlins at home, a 336, a 1895G and a 308mx. They are all well used guns, but they have a certain luster and shine to them. The new ones I saw didn't. The wood sort of looked like a baseball bat had been carved to shape. It certainly didn't look like the old polished Walnut stocks to me. They looked very cheap.

Steel Horse Rider
February 7, 2012, 06:29 PM
My local gunsmith/dealer doesn't even stock them anymore because of the quality issues and he doesn't use the internet....:cuss:

Sheepdog1968
February 7, 2012, 06:35 PM
My new Marlin purchased this past Aug had about 6 defects that should have been caught at the factory. I sent it off to get fixed to a lever action expert at my expense as I wanted it to work. He can make the fixes. The only thing he didn't think he could easily fix was that all of the top screws drilled and tapped into the receiver are off by 1/16th of an inch off center. It shoots straight but it's off center and this will bother me. If I were looking for a Marlin, I'd go for a used one right now. I had a friend talk to Freedom group about it at SHOT. They apologized and said they should have the issues resovled by this summer.

NeuseRvrRat
February 7, 2012, 07:00 PM
they could have the issue resolved by next week if they just looked the rifles over and didn't let the defective rifles leave the factory, but then they'd lose money. that's what Freedom Group does, sacrifice quality for higher profits.

Driftwood Johnson
February 7, 2012, 09:38 PM
Howdy

Yes, shoddy quality with recent Marlins is no Internet rumor. In fact, quality was so bad that Remington shut down production of Marlins until they could get a handle on the quality issues.

I'm surprised you guys have not heard this. The various versions of the 1894 Marlin are a very popular mid-priced rifle to use in Cowboy Shooting. Over on the cowboy forums we have been discussing it for months. When the Marlin operation was moved from Connecticut to the Remington plant in Ilion, NY, all the old machinery was shipped to Ilion. But it was old and worn. A lot of the equipment dates from the 1930s and 1940s. The crew at the old location had been keeping things running and turning out good product because they knew how to finesse the old equipment and were putting in a lot more hand work than anybody realized. But non of those workers were transferred to Ilion. So when the operation was set up in Ilion, quality was very bad.

So Remington shut down the operation and stopped producing Marlins until they could come up with some solutions. This was a few months ago. I just read a report from a friend who was at the Shot Show a week or so ago. He visited the Remington display. He says they were very candid about the problems they are having, and said they had suspended production until they could get some new equipment in and get the quality back up where it belongs. They were very specific that they will not stop making Marlins, but they want to make quality rifles.

I have not heard any information about when Remington will begin producing Marlins again.

Joe Vaquero
February 7, 2012, 10:19 PM
I bought an xs7y in 7-08 for my son last year. Has the proof mark indicating a remington barrel. It'll shoot the lights out. Fit and finish is acceptable for an entry level gun.

PedalBiker
February 7, 2012, 10:38 PM
The "value" added by "private equity".


http://www.prudentbear.com/index.php/thebearslairview?art_id=10626

I don't know if it's our crappy business schools or what, but modern management skills are falling short of even adequate.

DPris
February 8, 2012, 12:32 AM
Remington has been re-vamping the Marlin levergun production process, check a new one over carefully in your own hands before committing to buy it.
Denis

DNS
February 8, 2012, 03:05 AM
I know that the 795 and to a lesser extent the 60 have become flaming turds and are literally knocking themselves to pieces.

The Marlin group over at the RimfireCentral website makes for some interesting reading nowadays and I steer new buyers away from Marlins.

Abel
February 8, 2012, 04:28 AM
I don't know if it's our crappy business schools or what, but modern management skills are falling short of even adequate.

Its not because the management schools are bad, its because the consumers are not informed. The uninformed consumer is like a sheep headed to the wolf to buy food. The wolves know exactly what they're doing, and the sheep gets killed every time. They are not in the gun business, they're in the money business.

LAK
February 8, 2012, 05:06 AM
I have no experience with any new Marlin guns; I have only owned two older guns before, a model 39A .22 and a 336 30-30. And based on must of what I have read in recent times if I were looking for something in the value for money catagory I would look at Savage arms instead who seem to have a very good record of QC

eastbank
February 8, 2012, 07:29 AM
i see many older used marlin,s going for from 250-400 dollars at gun shows,i know because i have been buying them. i own 11 right now, .22 to 45-70, the only problem i had was with a tight lever closeing on a loaded round on a 94 CB in 44-40, but after 100-150 rounds it smoothed up. the new ones do need looking at before buying. eastbank.

Beagle-zebub
February 8, 2012, 08:27 AM
Its not because the management schools are bad, its because the consumers are not informed. The uninformed consumer is like a sheep headed to the wolf to buy food. The wolves know exactly what they're doing, and the sheep gets killed every time. They are not in the gun business, they're in the money business.

That's certainly how American managers think about it, anyway. Consumers eventually see a turd for what it is, and flock to a producer with a better quality ethic. This is the biggest reason why the Japanese and Germans make so many more cars than we do; in fact, Germany alone makes twice as many as we do, despite paying their factory workers twice as much and having a population a little more than a fourth the size of ours.

CaliCoastie
February 8, 2012, 08:37 AM
big thing is to check out marlins if you are buying them new, as to why the quality dropped i have heard anything from old machines to people who were fired on the marlin owners website saying that they had newer machines but remington just wanted to cut cost got new cnc machines and the cheapest workers to run them. Remington fired all they could at CT and retired the ones they had to, then moved with just a hand full of people from the old location. but hey its the internet, who knows what is 100% true??

look over any rifle before you buy it, do some reasurch over on marlinowners.com on buying used lever guns if you like. I personnaly would keep an eye out for a cheaper150-200 marlin lever and have a smith bob the barrel. but if 20" works(the longer end of the range you listed) you dont need to bob the barrel, most marlins run a 20" barrel. good luck.

Jason_W
February 8, 2012, 11:47 AM
Looks like a used but not abused Marlin is my best bet. I could probably have a lot of fun modding one out into a utility/pseudo-scout rifle (sorry, purists).

And yet another question: What do all the suffixes after the 336 mean? I've seen 336c, 336 RC, 336cs etc.

Are they all mechanically identical and just have different stocks?

CaliCoastie
February 8, 2012, 09:08 PM
Very similar, cs cross bolt safety, rc regular carbine (20"barrel), t Texan (straight stock). Allot of them deal with different woods birch/walnut. Check Marlin owners for more info.
Mechanically the are the same.

NYH1
February 10, 2012, 05:14 PM
We bought my son (10) a Remington made Marlin 336Y 30-30 Win. (short 12" LOP stock and 16.25" barrel) for Christmas. It's a nice little carbine. Fit and finish was really good and is better then a lot of new Marlins that we looked at. Gotta make sure you look them over really good before buying them. That go's with any firearm.

NYH1.

larryh1108
February 10, 2012, 07:48 PM
As for the clones, the Mossberg 464 is a very nice repro that handles and shoots very well. Is it a Marlin? No, but if you want a nice lever action for a good price then you can certainly do a lot worse than the Mossy.

http://i342.photobucket.com/albums/o435/larryh1108/Mossberg/Mossberg464-22.jpg

atomchaser
February 11, 2012, 10:04 AM
I'd stick with a used one. I bought mine in years past and they have all been well made and no issues whatsoever. There was a post I read on a Marlin Forum somewhere by an engineer who had worked at the CT plant who largely refuted the "worn out equipment" excuse. He likely had an axe to grind, but it hard to understand how any reasonable QC program at the new plant would let some of the rifles out the door with the obvious problems that have been reported.

jsimmons
February 12, 2012, 08:17 AM
I'm not that big of a Henry fan. They are just a bit too much "full of themselves" for my taste.

<SARCASM>Ahhhh, a well considered reason.</SARCASM>

I don't care for the Henry centerfire rifles due to the tube-loading as opposed to a side loading gate (like seemingly every other manufacturer has). Other than that, they're really nice rifles, and customer service is out-freakin-standing. Henry's lifetime warranty means lifetime of the rifle - not the original owner.

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