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Old April 12, 2015, 12:04 PM   #1
JellyJar
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Why the new Marlins suck.

Hello

I went to Nashville yesterday just to visit the exhibit. While there I talked to someone from Remington ( didn't get his name ) about why the quality of Marlins went south after the move out of CT. Perhaps ya'll have heard this elsewhere but it was the first time for me.

He explained that the parts to the old Marlins were deliberately made oversized and then handfitted by skilled craftsmen. When they set up the new production line they tried to assemble the new rifles like you do most new firearms nowadays with little or no fitting of parts and that didn't work.

To solve the problem they are investing in new CNC machinery so that the parts to the new Marlins can be made so close to specs that they will not need much if any fitting.


addendum: CZ He also said they were working on one model at a time. Could it be that your Marlin is now being made on a new production line with the problems resolved?
It will take some time but they are committed to the brand.
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Last edited by JellyJar; April 12, 2015 at 02:42 PM. Reason: addendum
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Old April 12, 2015, 12:34 PM   #2
22-rimfire
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That sounds like a reasonable explanation. Hopefully, things will improve as time goes on with close tolerance CNC cut parts. Have to admit that my 39A is a bit tight when working the action and it was made before Remington purchased Marlin.

Did they make any comments on rimfire ammunition?
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Old April 12, 2015, 01:37 PM   #3
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Actually, I would consider that statement to be an excuse, not a reason. Remington is a long-time gun manufacturer, conversant with parts specs for over a century. Do you mean to tell us that the entire QC department, as well as the group in Engineering, failed to notice the design parameters used by Marlin? Especially when Marlin Engineers were present for the start-up?

I suppose that QC never examined the guns before they left the plant? Really? This is the 21st century, not the 1700's. He made a nice try, though. No style points, but a nice try.
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Old April 12, 2015, 01:49 PM   #4
Cee Zee
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So this wonderful rifle I got that says Marlin on the side and came out of Kentucky isn't really as great as it seems to be? It isn't dead on accurate, totally reliable and built more solid than any Marlin I've ever seen before? Silly me. I should know better than to believe my own lying eyes.

Seriously. I own a bunch of Marlins. The best one came from the NEW plant in Kentucky. I swear I think people WANT to have something to complain about. There isn't one thing wrong my Mayfield built rifle.
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Old April 12, 2015, 03:06 PM   #5
earlthegoat2
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I acquired an 1895 GBL Remlin and went through it pretty extensively. I have never owned a Marlin lever gun before but I found quite a few parts that were machined properly but not necessarily made properly.

For instance, the lever. It had proper machining even if it was rough but there were spots in the material where there were voids. I was non critical but now I understand what everyone is talking about.

I smoothed everything out with a 2000 grit ceramic stone and some 2000 grit paper. Works pretty slick even if it was none too bad beforehand.

I have put 300 cowboy rounds through it and 100 Garrett Hammerheads. Functions pretty well and I am not disappointed in my purchase. No gun I have ever had is perfect and always required some love on my end to get it more so.
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Old April 12, 2015, 03:40 PM   #6
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I think they are getting on track. I hesitated for a couple of years because of all of the horror stories yet every rifle I have handled in the store was great. I just bought a new Marlin 1894 in .44 mag a few weeks ago and am happy with it. The fit and finish are excellent and the action is as good as any older model I have seen out of the box. Feeling the need to slick up the action is, by no, means, new to Marlins or any other lever action out there. I think every manufacturer has their rough spots. I was also pleased to find it under $600. To me, that is a lot of gun for the $$.

I am ambivalent about the safety. I don't really use it but I also don't understand the huge outcry about it being there either.
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Old April 12, 2015, 03:59 PM   #7
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Old Marlin made a lot of turds as well. Things like mis drilled scope base holes, crooked sights, binding actions, etc. I'll never forget going into the local Big 5 in the early 2000's and looking over the Marlin levers like one would inspect a Wasr...
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Old April 12, 2015, 04:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Old Marlin made a lot of turds as well.
Really? Why is it none of their stuff that I buy ever turns out bad? I did have a problem with light strikes on a 925 I bought but other than that it's been smooth sailing. Considering how many I've bought that puts the odds pretty small that a person would get a bad one. I've owned and shot them since the 60's and the only one I ever saw come with a problem was that 925. My CZ had issues when I bought it too BTW. Should I start bad mouthing CZ now because I had one with problems? The percentage of trouble free Marlins has been much higher for me than CZ's.
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Old April 12, 2015, 04:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Old Marlin made a lot of turds as well.
Yup. I had a NIB lever in .45/70 in the mid-2000s that would not cycle at all with factory loads. It required two trips back to the factory to make it run. Both trips on my dime, of course. After that, it ran fine, but I eventually sold it.
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Old April 12, 2015, 05:03 PM   #10
greyling22
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Saw 2 1894's in cabelas yesterday that looked as good as anything I have ever seen. I think they finally got it right.

Jelly, while I appreciate the guy you talked to's explanation, oversized parts don't explain stripped screw slots from being assembled with the wrong type and sized screwdrivers, and the total failure of the QC department to stop the flood of garbage being released on the public. Or the due diligence on the part of remington before the buyout to see how are these guns made? can we make them the same way? no? what will it take to make them? Are we willing to do so?

When I $25 dollar daisy bb gun has better build quality and fit/finish than a $700 1894, you have a problem.

But, like I said, it appears to be all good now. or at least mostly good.
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Old April 12, 2015, 05:20 PM   #11
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I have two Marlins, both Remington guns. My first, was the 1895G, which has been fine from day one. Sights straight, wood fit is good, function is fine, and its accurate.

My only real complaint, other than that silly recoil pad is, it, as well as most Marlins Ive ever had or shot, have rough actions, mainly due to that notch in the bolt the hammer hangs up on. A bit of filing and stoning smoothed things up a little, but its still no Winchester.


The second, a 336Y, which has seemed to personify the problems people have been having, and it was the pick of three they had at the shop.

Of the three, it had the best wood fit, the straightest sights, and seemed to function OK. That was until I tried to fire it.

They never tuned the extractor, so the gun would not function with ammo in it. There is no way they test fired it and had it function. It would not eject a case, as the extractor would hold the case just enough to not let it go, but would allow it to "drop", just enough as it cleared the chamber, that it would not clear the port, and jam things up.

That was the first thing I fixed.

Next, something was up with the carrier assembly, and after a couple of outings, it would not allow a round out of the magazine. Lots of filing and stoning later, I got it to work.

That was the second thing I had to fix.

The more I shot it, the looser the stock started to get. It seemed to be tight when I got it, but on closer inspection, it was obvious they over inletted it, and the screw was drawn up as tight as it would go. I had to shim it up.

That was third. And like the 1895G, I had to file and stone a few things to try and smooth the action up.


Im still amazed they let the 336 out of the factory the way it was. It did not function from the git go. The only reason I didnt send it back, was the number of reports of them coming back, worse than they went. It works OK now, but I have that "waiting for the other shoe to drop" feeling about it. So well have to see.

Ive had a couple of different Marlins over the years, and all but the 1895G has had to go back, or should have. The .22's were junk, and I was never really all that impressed with the center fire guns. The 1895G has been the only one I really wasnt that disappointed in.
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Old April 12, 2015, 05:25 PM   #12
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Only a small bit of the story & slightly outdated.

The old Marlin equipment was worn out.
Less than five Marlin employees transitioned to Ilion.
Ilion people didn't know the guns or how to coax the old machinery along.

Remington's invested several million into new equipment & processes.

They been re-vamping individual models in some cases, and there's a marked improvement in new quality.

Canted sights, very sloppy machining, guns that would not cycle ammunition, and abysmal wood-to-metal fit were common immediately after Ilion started production there, but things are looking up.

And- Marlin was dropping in quality the last year or so BEFORE the Remington buy.
Remington just greatly accelerated the slide.
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Old April 12, 2015, 05:32 PM   #13
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My 2012 1894 had to be replaced under warranty. The 2014 mode they gave me, after the line started back up is good.

But there is more to it. The 2012 had bugger screw heads, that is just poor quality. Loose stock too. 2014 is good, but had glue or something stuck to butt pad, that I haven't quite got off. Not a big deal, but for $600 you expect better too.

So ya they have assembly issues, maybe resolved, but quality control or skilled labor, is up in the air.
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Old April 12, 2015, 06:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Actually, I would consider that statement to be an excuse, not a reason.
I'd consider it to be a fabrication since it's long been possible to machine tight tolerances
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Old April 12, 2015, 06:17 PM   #15
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Remington/Marlin HAS replaced old machining stations with new CNC, that's helping.
Before, machinists fabricated parts & fitters assembled them.
Now automated machinery with better consistency produces parts that require less fitting.
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Old April 12, 2015, 06:23 PM   #16
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Quote:
The old Marlin equipment was worn out.
Less than five Marlin employees transitioned to Ilion.
Ilion people didn't know the guns or how to coax the old machinery along.
I understand they had no blueprints either, just worn out tooling. I think the real victim in all this was actually Freedom Group who was clearly sold a bill of goods in Marlin.

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Old April 12, 2015, 06:45 PM   #17
DPris
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True on the drawings.
Old Marlin employees knew the guns & knew the machines, as well as the parts.
New Remington people had none of that.

New drawings are a part of the overall program upgrade.
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Old April 12, 2015, 10:26 PM   #18
Cee Zee
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And- Marlin was dropping in quality the last year or so BEFORE the Remington buy.
Remington just greatly accelerated the slide.
Again I find it amazing that I managed to miss all those problem Marlins. I bought at least 6 new Marlins during the transition period and only one had an issue. But for some reason everyone thinks they are junk.

A few years ago I bought a new Remington 870 Express (also made in the transition period) in addition to two H&R Parnder shotguns and you wouldn't believe the mass of people that told me they would all rust down to dust in 6 months. That's been 6 or 7 years ago I bought the Express and the Pardner's right after that. Not one of them has a speck of rust anywhere.

I see this way too often. People decide something is true and no matter how much evidence there is the contrary people go right on believing the worst and they act like they don't even hear people say they're wrong.

Look I've been wrong many times. I've gone on old information and just bad information that I picked up here and there. But I have person experience with the Marlins from the period everything says they are all junk. Mine aren't junk. None of them. I don't expect top grade walnut on an entry level rifle. And I don't buy lever guns. But people were talking about "all" Marlins being made outside of the old factories. Not so long ago people were slammng the old factory and praising the new ones. Go figure.

Last edited by Cee Zee; April 12, 2015 at 10:32 PM.
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Old April 12, 2015, 10:37 PM   #19
stiab
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Old Marlin made a lot of turds as well.
I've owned 9 Marlins made from 1948 to 2006, down to 3 now just because I'm getting old. Never had the experience you are referring to. 3 - 336 in .35 Rem, 1 - 336 in .32 Special, 1 - 336A in .35 Rem, 2 - 1894c, 1 - 336Y, 1 - 336 XL, all well made guns.
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Old April 12, 2015, 10:57 PM   #20
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The 2011 model I purchased was disappointing. I wanted it and sent it to Grizzly Custom to get it fixed to the way it should have been from the factory. It's a great firearm now. As such I've been keeping a close eye on new Marlins ever since. The ones I saw in late 2014 were good.

This problem was completely predictable and could, should have been avoided. I do tech transfers all the time at work for things highly regulated by the government. What I do is nothing special and we avoid SNAFUs such as Remington experienced all the time.
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Old April 12, 2015, 11:01 PM   #21
DPris
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CZ,
I got two Marlins in the 18-month period before the move.

The .44 Mag's stock was totally shattered, inside its totally non-damaged box.
The fore-end screw was also sheared off.
Both had to be replaced.
There's no way that gun could have been damaged that way enroute without also damaging the TWO un-damaged boxes it shipped in.
It was obviously packed in pieces at the factory.

The second was a .410 shotgun.
Quality was sliding in fit & finish, the action was nowhere near previous Marlins I've owned & borrowed, dating back to the 1970s.

Actually, my oldest dates to about 1915.

Just because YOU didn't see the decline does not mean it didn't happen.
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Old April 12, 2015, 11:26 PM   #22
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As long as they continue to use that horrible pressed checkering, things are not looking up. How much can you expect out of a company whos #1 goal is to produce rifles as quickly and cheaply as possible? It shows.
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Old April 12, 2015, 11:37 PM   #23
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I personally owned a 2012 that was junk. After sending it in 3 times for the same problem, they finally sent me a 2014. Which was good.

So some people can say it didnt happen to me, so it didn't happen. But it did happen to me. When you spend that much money and have that many problems, it robs the fun.

Besides the jammig, buggered screws, and loose stock, I could not mount a scope or sights to it, cause the threads were stripped. Metal curled out the first time I took a screw out.
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Old April 13, 2015, 12:42 AM   #24
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I returned 2 Marlin .357 carbines to Big 5 in early 2000's (they were about $299 then!) due to faults. One had canted sights/binding action and the other had mis aligned scope base holes. I had an older Glenfield 30-30 (336) that was flawless though.

Eh, after a hundred years or so you'd think they could get them right...
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Old April 13, 2015, 01:19 AM   #25
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Not pressed, the checkering's lasered.
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