Marlin leverguns, back in the game?


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SwissArmyDad
October 21, 2013, 03:38 PM
So i picked up my new 2013 production 336c last week and all seems to be well.

Anyone else bought a guide gun, Model 39 or 336 lately?

I have been following the situation closely for the last few years and while i had the option of buying used, i kinda wanted that "new car smell". :D

Glad i waited, honestly.... though i might still end up getting a nice older pre-safety version.

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Sheepdog1968
October 21, 2013, 03:55 PM
I am starting to see on the various forums positive reviews from folks getting good Marlin lever actions. I'm starting to think they may have sorted things out in the new mfg plant with likely new equipment.

steveno
October 21, 2013, 04:34 PM
Cabela's in Kearney a dozen or so Marlins that had been back to the factory for various reasons. a couple of them more than once. I had a 45-70 guide gun a number of years and while it shot good it seemed like every time the lever was worked it seemed like you were cycling some sand. all they can do is get better

hatt
October 21, 2013, 07:18 PM
Hopefully they have it figured out. I looked at a few news one a month or so ago. Didn't check the serial to figure out the date. Metal and function appeared to be good. Wood fitting was another story. Wouldn't hurt to slim down those forends. Ordered a new forend for an older 1894 recently. Nice piece of wood that feels like an M4. Good for me since I'm going to have to slim it up anyway to get rid of checkering but wow.

Nighteyes
October 21, 2013, 09:11 PM
I'm mostly a cowboy shooter these days, and have two older Marlins that I absolutely love. The first is an 1894C (.38/.357, naturally) with micro-groove rifling and just enough of the magazine spring removed to allow it to hold 10 rounds. The second is an increasingly-rare 336 Cowboy in .38-55 Winchester that I use in "Cowboy Long Range" matches.

Were it necessary to pare down to just one handgun and one long gun, I do believe I'd pair the '94C with my S&W Model 19-2. Together they'd handle a lot!!

Anyhoo, they're great rifles and I'm glad to know they're making their comeback.

VVelox
October 22, 2013, 05:01 AM
They have been nice since they re-opened. I have one of the new production 1894s from 2012 and it is great.

GooseGestapo
October 22, 2013, 09:51 AM
I actually have been around long enough to remember other times that Marlin didn't have the best of reputations.

Although they have made some excellent firearms through the years, their quality-control has been "spotty", at best. This in turn required them to develope a good customer relations department and repair department.

For many years it was difficult to get repair parts and I had three Marlins that I was particularily disgusted with. First was a 70's era 1894 in .44mag that had several problems, mostly bad metal in the barrel. It was poorly cut (rifling) and the dovetail on the bottom that held the sheet metal hanger for the fore-end cap would open up after firing and cap would come off. A trip to Marlin didn't fix it (and at time, had to be sent back by a Marlin "authorized repair station". In addition to shipping costs, the trip to an out-of-state gunsmith at "his convienence", and the fact that it wasn't fixed, "FIXED" me on Malins for a while.

Other issues such as the "infamous Marlin jam", that does have it's "fixes", and other issues have plagued Marlin through the years. Apparently, many of those past issues have been addressed in the latest iteration of the Marlins.

Don't think me a Marlin "hater"; quite to the contrary. I've got "several" and adore them. Especially the .338MX and Marlin/Glenfield M30, both of which are "sub-moa" for 3-shots with decent ammo. Not to mention the near moa .35Rem with which I've killed "beau-coup" deer DRT (dead, right there!).

Although "Remlin" appears to be making a concerted effort to re-enter the market; They still have a ways to go. I too abhor the "fat wood" that they are putting on the current rifles. The laminated wood is acceptable, it's just that they are putting way, way to much of it "on the gun". Picking up my 70's era M336D in .35Rem or the Glenfield M30 with it's "featureless" Birch stock reveals what darling handy rifles these can be. And, standing right next to them the Winchester M94 "Legacy" with it's svelt checkered forend and curve grip butt stock reveal whats made the American Lever-action century's long favorite firearms...

The biggest "STINKER" of a Marlin I've ever seen???
It would not be the .308MX with the worst case of "Marlin Droop" that I saw at an Academy Sports store in '11.
It was a M1894CL in .218Bee. I always wanted one until I handled this one. You couldn't work the action 3 times without it binding-up. It was sitting at a Gunshop with a tag on it saying "send it back to Marlin.... AGAIN !!!!".
This was "only" 15years ago.....

So, if they can "slim down the wood"; make it fit a little better; and get the .444, .218Bee, .308MX, .338MX back out, and "legitimize" the 7mmSTE (Shooting Times Easterner) with a Hornady FTX and GMX, and actually meet market demand, they'll be "BACK"...
Most have always needed 'tuning' and 'shooting-in'. Every one I've got now needed a "little"....something...

SwissArmyDad
October 23, 2013, 05:59 PM
Thanks for all the feedback and perspectives, everyone. And thanks for bringing up the fact Goosegestapo, that some might look at older Marlin's with a wee bit too much nostalgia than they deserve. Not knocking all older marlin's, but every company has its ups and downs.

I'm just happy that i have the coin to support an American company while it's hopefully on an up-swing. :D

SwissArmyDad
October 23, 2013, 06:01 PM
Oh and agreed, i'm already planning on slimming my forend close to win. 94 standards. :)

jeepnik
October 23, 2013, 06:34 PM
I've seen Remlins recently that were equal to what came from Marlin. They did go thru a pretty rough time (and Remington should have known better than to release such poor quality firearms, they've been in the business a day or two), but things seem to be getting better.

The newly produced leverguns need to be assessed the same way you assess any new firearm before purchase. If it ain't right don't buy it. If it is go for it.

PhotoBiker
October 23, 2013, 09:02 PM
This is good to hear. Any idea what the safe starting serial numbers might be for the decent lever guns? There is a Marlin youth model at my LGS that would be perfect for my son but I've discounted it entirely due to all the bad rap.

tubeshooter
October 23, 2013, 09:21 PM
I am pleased to hear that Marlin is getting it back together.

I also agree that any company can let a bad one get out the door. Out of my 3 Marlin levers, I actually had to send the second one back (purchased new). They made it right, and I am very grateful for it. Oh yeah - this was before the "Remlin" days, too.


As stated - a great American company on the upswing is a good thing in my book. They had a rough patch there for a while. Great to see them turning it around.

Salmoneye
October 24, 2013, 01:06 PM
Hanging out at MarlinOwners.com leaves me with the exact opposite impression...

Though there are indeed a few satisfied customers of .30-30 and .45-70, that is all that is coming from the factory...

One guy this week told me that he was happy with his guide gun, but then admitted that he had to go through three to find one good one...

As far as I understand it, the 1894 line (Pistol Calibers) that has been closed for well over a year, MAY start up by the end of this month...

Tick-Tock...

SwissArmyDad
October 24, 2013, 01:41 PM
Interesting, salmoneye. So, just to clarify, you're hearing mixed reviews on the 336s and guide guns, but nothing on the pisto caibers because they're not yet in production?

Salmoneye
October 25, 2013, 01:11 PM
As far as I understand it, the only 1894's that have come from Ilion were left-over parts from North Haven...Some barrels indeed were stamped JM and some were stamped REP...

They had so many issues putting parts together that they mothballed the line till they can get used to turning out the round bolt guns consistently...Last I heard was a couple of months ago someone mentioned they had spoken to a Rem rep, and the story was the 1894's would be starting back up in 'October'...

I am indeed hearing more people saying that they are happy with their Ilion made guns, but it is still only about half...

I am saddened that this is all happening as I really would like a .357 Mag lever, and I want it to be Marlin...However, there are none flowing, and if it takes two more years to become consistent with turning them out after the ramp up, then I will probably just give up...

jaysouth
October 25, 2013, 05:01 PM
Most of the problems that Remington has early on were cosmetic. Poor wood to metal fit, off center sights, etc.

A close visual inspection that reveals non of these earlier flaws indicates that you most likely have a good gun.

ALL marlins made since about 1990 need to have an action smoothing job that is simply polishing metal contact points with fine stones or emery cloth. The new one that I see in shops seem to need the same polishing on lever and extractor.

I would be happy to own a new Marlin of recent manufacture. As soon as I wear out a bunch of older ones dating back to the 50s, I may do just that.

Texan Scott
October 25, 2013, 05:45 PM
I want a new 336 in .30-30; I've tried three times in the last couple years. One I actually had to refuse possession of at the point of sale.

I will not pay for a rifle that has "minor, mostly cosmetic" problems. If the company wants my money, they need to get it right the first time! Sadly, though I've been looking, I've yet to find one that didn't appear to be assembled by monkeys fired by CAI for incompetence.

Also, as one who doesn't scope his rifles: off center sights are not a cosmetic problem- they're a fatal flaw .

Salmoneye
October 26, 2013, 07:45 AM
Most of the problems that Remington has early on were cosmetic. Poor wood to metal fit, off center sights, etc.

"Off center sights", barrel droop, and cracked receivers, are not what I would call 'cosmetic'...

hatt
October 26, 2013, 10:01 AM
I want a new 336 in .30-30; I've tried three times in the last couple years. One I actually had to refuse possession of at the point of sale.

I will not pay for a rifle that has "minor, mostly cosmetic" problems. If the company wants my money, they need to get it right the first time! Sadly, though I've been looking, I've yet to find one that didn't appear to be assembled by monkeys fired by CAI for incompetence.

Also, as one who doesn't scope his rifles: off center sights are not a cosmetic problem- they're a fatal flaw .
Why not buy a used one? 336 .30-30s are the one Marlin lever you can pretty much find every day in good shape and with good prices.

Fiv3r
October 26, 2013, 10:10 AM
I looked over a 18.5" 336 with a large loop at a local feed store the other day. I'm 30-30less, and it's very tempting. I had a new production 336 a couple years ago that I could never get into due to a very stiff gritty action. I'm a southpaw with an injured little finger, and that envelope slot lever bit my piggie something fierce.

This new one with the larger loop seems to have a smoother action on it than my old one. It's 1.5" shorter too. Fit and finish seemed nicer as well. I might have to see if it's still there the first of the week. I love the 30-30. I love the idea of a lever gun as a leftie. A shorter rifle is handier as well. The price didn't seem too far off as most of the dedicated gun stores are still low on stock and the big box sporting good stores are stupid high in price.

jeepnik
October 26, 2013, 01:57 PM
Hanging out at MarlinOwners.com leaves me with the exact opposite impression...

Though there are indeed a few satisfied customers of .30-30 and .45-70, that is all that is coming from the factory...

One guy this week told me that he was happy with his guide gun, but then admitted that he had to go through three to find one good one...

As far as I understand it, the 1894 line (Pistol Calibers) that has been closed for well over a year, MAY start up by the end of this month...

Tick-Tock...
As a former member of that forum, and one who didn't drink the .444 vs 45-70 koolaid and was thus banned, I have great doubts about some of the wisdom there. There's still a lot of prejudice against the Remington made firearms based only on the fact that the manufacturing was relocated and many of the original companies employees let go.

That said, I've been around leverguns a day or two and have a few. I'll stand by my assessment of the recently made firearms. I miss the Marlin of old, but at least they are still made in America as opposed to the latest Winchesters of Japanese manufacture.

Salmoneye
October 26, 2013, 03:34 PM
Not sure what the ".444 vs 45-70 koolaid" is...

tubeshooter
October 26, 2013, 03:38 PM
^ .444 is a proprietary Marlin chambering.


I bet I can guess what happened...

Salmoneye
October 26, 2013, 03:53 PM
.444 is not proprietary...Marlin and Remington designed it, but other guns have been chambered for it since it's introduction...

tubeshooter
October 26, 2013, 04:21 PM
Oh - my mistake. What little I've heard of it, I've always heard it referred to as .444 Marlin.


Learn something new every day...

hang fire
October 26, 2013, 05:52 PM
For $1580.00 msrp, Winchester Repeating Arms (rolled stamped on bbl) has come out with their 1873 rifle in 357 magnum/38 special.

hang fire
October 26, 2013, 05:59 PM
Marlin and Remington in early 1960s stole the .44 Van Houten Super design from Van Houten and Lucky Wade in AZ.

tubeshooter
October 26, 2013, 06:03 PM
I really should have at least cruised by Wikipedia or something before repeating my long-held assumption as fact.


I apologize for that. Turns out there was a whole lot I didn't know about the history of the .444 Marlin.

hang fire
October 26, 2013, 06:12 PM
I knew Lucky Wade when he had his gun shop in Phoenix, nice guy and a terrific gunsmith.

cdb1
November 17, 2013, 07:02 AM
Bought a Remlin 336W for my son in November of 2011. It was a POS so it was sent in for repairs. Came back after deer season was over. They fixed a nonexistent problem and did not address the actual problem. Fortunately the manager at Academy took it back and let me go through their inventory and pick out another one.

I picked the best one but it still had a horrible trigger and the action was very gritty. I found a YouTube video on how to polish the action and took it apart and polished the internals. I also bought a Happy Trigger and installed it. It is now a very good shooter but if I ever purchase another one it will be an older used model.

herrwalther
November 17, 2013, 04:42 PM
I have a Marlin 336 built in the 70s that I compare with my grandfathers Marlin 1894. Other than many modernisms of the 336, you can see how similar they are in build and finish. I picked up a "Remlin" Marlin 45-70 a few weeks ago and it felt like a cheap toy rifle in comparison. The wood didn't even feel real on it. I sound like an old codger but they just don't make them like they used to.

Old Dog
November 18, 2013, 02:24 PM
I had to pick up a quickie back-up rifle for deer camp when on a trip out of state a while back, ended up with a 336W from Wal-Mart ... still looks good, shoots great, and I just compared it to the 336C on the rack at a local Sportsman's Warehouse, and I've just gotta say ... the new 336s look and feel like doodoo. That matt finish and the fugly wood, ouch! My W is beautiful in comparison, and you guys are right, the older slim forend is much nicer; even the birch stock on mine isn't bad-looking compared to the new furniture.

I'm with jeepnik; I don't go that owners forum anymore for wisdom, although a couple friends' experiences bear out the fact that the Remlins are still not up to snuff.

dickydalton
November 18, 2013, 08:42 PM
There's nothing wrong with the Marlin Forum that isn't wrong with every forum I've been to. Every one has a few people that think they know more than anyone else and aren't afraid to talk down to others. Such is life.:rolleyes:

jeepnik
November 19, 2013, 10:28 PM
There's nothing wrong with the Marlin Forum that isn't wrong with every forum I've been to. Every one has a few people that think they know more than anyone else and aren't afraid to talk down to others. Such is life.:rolleyes:
Do they still have the "secret" clubs? And, what happens these days if you insist that the 45-70 is a better round than the .444.

A bunch of folks left, and a few of us were banned because we refused to drink the .444 koolaid. If the same guy is in charge, there is still plenty wrong with that forum.

1-1 Banger
November 20, 2013, 11:34 AM
I would say so. I bought an 1895SBL about a year back, went home on leave super excited to shoot it and the %*^& thing would FTF/FTE nearly every round. Took it apart, smoothed the loading gate and the action with a dremel and it was good as new. Smooth as glass now and took all of 10 minutes.

wombat13
November 20, 2013, 12:07 PM
I bought an 1894 one year ago. The front sight was damaged when they pressed it into the base, so they had to send me a new one. Last month the front sight and base flew off and hit me on the head when I blasted a porcupine. I ended up putting a Burris FastFire 3 on it. Worked great when I took a deer Saturday.

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