So... I'm new to marlin .45-70s: do they all suck?


October 5, 2012, 01:18 PM
I checked out some new Marlin .45-70 "guide guns" I guess, on the racks at Cabela's. The short barreled variety. They seemed really crappy. The wood was garbage, the checkering (laser cut, I'm guessing) was so mangled and vague that it looked like it was gnawed by a squirrel, some rear sights were canted, there were sharp edges and marks around the receiver ejection ports. They looked and felt really questionable.

I'm guessing these are the infamous "remlins" I've heard a little about?

How do I know if I've found a good one?

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October 5, 2012, 01:49 PM
Mine is about 12 years old and it is very nice. I hope the rumors arn't true.


October 5, 2012, 02:14 PM
Remember ever company makes lemons, I own a newer model marlin GG and have never had problems with it

October 5, 2012, 03:08 PM
I picked up a brand new guide gun at a gun show a few weeks ago. To say as was not impressed was a understatement. The back two holes in the receiver for a mount was out of alignment:what: i asked my buddy to look at it and he saw the same thing. Go on youtube and search for death of a marlin levergun and watch this guy talk about his. I am in no way a marlin hater. I have owned a 336 for 30 years that I LOVE.

October 5, 2012, 03:25 PM
Mine is perfectly fine, got it about 6 months ago.
I think you got a lemon, all companies have them.:)

Welding Rod
October 5, 2012, 03:30 PM
The owner of my local gun shop told me he was having problems with them coming back, and/or having issues right out of the box.

October 5, 2012, 04:40 PM
an interesting article concerning what seems to be a trend towards lower quality in the "marlin" products these days.

I can tell you one thing, It took me 10 minutes of reading to forget about my dreams of owning a new "marlin" guide gun. This isn't the only article highly critical of marlin since the takeover.

October 5, 2012, 04:46 PM
"checkering is a little fuzzy"That's like saying that Rachel Ray is a little annoying.

October 5, 2012, 04:48 PM
I looked at two new marlins a 336 in 30-30 and 1895 in 45-70 with a Rossi Rio Grande 45-70. I went with the Rossi over them. Beside the fact the Rossi was $437 compared to $700 plus the wood fit perfectly, smooth action (didn't feel like it had sand in it) and when I got it home, checking out the inside I came to the conclusion it is one of the best finished guns I've ever owned. Oh and in 40 years of owning guns that is a lot by different makers.

October 5, 2012, 05:02 PM
Cabelas in Ft. Worth put 6 or 8 brand new Remlins on their clearance rack several months ago -- 336's & 1895's. They were marked down, but it took them several month to get rid of them.

October 5, 2012, 05:06 PM
Go to the Marlin Owners forum if you want specifics of what's wrong with current production. The discussions are lengthy but they go over what exactly to look for. If you're considering a new Marlin you'd be well advised to have snap caps with you to ensure that the rifle cycles properly.

They aren't all bad. I picked up a new production 1894C at the beginning of the summer. The fit and finish isn't 100% on the wood but it's a field gun for me. Most importantly it cycles 38s and 357s perfectly. And the sites were lined up. It goes to the range with me every time :)

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October 5, 2012, 05:07 PM
I have one of the earlier guid guns....its got the ported barrel. never had a problem with it and ive shot the daylights out of it. Found out they dont like 500 grain bullets. Havent looked at the newer ones, but i love my old one...

Njal Thorgeirsson
October 5, 2012, 06:04 PM
For a couple months during the last year I had a phase where I really wanted a Marlin SBL. .45-70 seems like a really fun caliber for the handloader, and its conducive to bullet casting, which I wanted to try.

Anyways, I looked at ~10 of them over the course of those months, probably 5-6/10 were at large sporting goods stores, and the other 4-5 at local gun stores. I was prepared to pay $750 for one w/ tax....

...And I wouldn't consider spending anywhere near that on any one of the rifles I looked at. Every one had very poor craftsmanship... The actions almost always felt rough and sandy (which could be fixed with polishing and lubrication I'm sure), the rail was sometimes visibly torqued (2/10 rifles), the edges on the lever loop were sharp enough to remove skin if I were to attempt to chamber rounds repeatedly without wearing gloves, and the edges around the ejection and loading ports [if that's what you call them] felt like the edge of a rough serrated steak knife. I don't want to bash Marlin just to bash them- I'm just presenting my experience. With exception of the twisted rail, the rest could be fixed fairly easily, but if those cosmetic flaws are indicative of the overall quality of the rifle, I wouldn't want anything to do with it. I'm sure there are a million FANTASTIC new production Marlins out there... but in my search I certainly didn't encounter one, and I certainly wouldn't advise anyone to spend money on one if they haven't handled it in person.

To satisfy my desire for a large-caliber stainless/laminate gun, I special ordered a Ruger super blackhawk bisley hunter instead, and I couldn't be happier with that decision.

October 5, 2012, 09:07 PM
I would look for A. nice older marlin. The new ones have A high percentage of problems
Some good ones are slipping through.

October 5, 2012, 09:09 PM
two words...

Capital Management

loose noose
October 5, 2012, 09:26 PM
I have one of the older ones, with the Ballard rifling. It is a real shooter, and I never had a problem with it. The older Marlins had the micro-groove rifling and would only shoot jacketed bullets accurately. I'm wondering if Marlin went back to the micro-goove rifling. BTW the wood to metal fit is superb, as well as the checkering and the american walnut stock. In fact I put a 1and 1/8" recoil pad on it to absorb the recoil. I forgot to mention mine is the 1895 model.

October 5, 2012, 10:26 PM
I got lucky last weekend and found a used Marlin Guide Gun (ABL version) that is in great shape. It has a little "JM" stamp on the barrel and none of the issues that seem to exist on some of the Remington made models. From my research it seems that the ones coming out of the Rem. factory these days are better than those that came out at first. Sounds like there are still a lot of problems though based on posts in this thread.

October 6, 2012, 12:07 AM
yes, the new ones are terrible. I sent 3 1894's back because they were garbage and wound up keeping my old 70's version....

October 6, 2012, 12:41 AM
I handled a new 45-70 Marlin Guide gun a while ago and just thought it was cheap, pure and simple. I own 2 Marlins, a .444 and an 1894c .357. Both are great guns and have a great look. I am quite sad to see the quality, or rather lack of quality of the new remlins. Hopefully, they will recover some day, but so far, they just are not a Marlin.

October 6, 2012, 03:10 AM
How do I know if I've found a good one?

Just look on the barrel on the drivers side near the chamber. If it has a "JM" in a circle, chances are very good that it's a good one. if it has a "REM" in a circle give it an extra hard stink eye, the chances of it being a good one just dropped precipitously.

October 6, 2012, 08:23 AM
The Remlin lever gun production currently going through the distributors still have a high percentage of garbage. Poorly made/fitted stocks, finish issues and sight/mount screw holes with problems.

October 6, 2012, 05:23 PM
Mine is an 1895, pre-remlin, paid $525 for it new. It is one I think I will keep and pass on to my kids. 45 70 and just a great rifle. The action is smooth as glass and the fit and finish are excellent.

I did put a limbsaver on it and picked up a beautiful forearm from a stock maker in NM that I fitted and stained. Also sewed up a cartridge holder for the butt stock.

It is disappointing to hear of the lowered quality of the new ones. Guess it makes mine more valuable.

October 6, 2012, 08:17 PM
if i was the dealer,i would call rem and ship the crap back to them.bought a 16.5 guide gun couple years ago in 45/70,everything looked great.even bought a 7 1/2 inch bfr 45/70 pistol to go with it

October 7, 2012, 12:07 AM
if i was the dealer,i would call rem and ship the crap back to them.bought a 16.5 guide gun couple years ago in 45/70,everything looked great.even bought a 7 1/2 inch bfr 45/70 pistol to go with it
If you own AND shoot a 45-70 BFR, you have a lot more hair on your chest than I do. :what:More power to you.

P.S. is that .38 .44 magnum and a .444 Marlin?

October 7, 2012, 01:24 AM
LOL - You can say that again!

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