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Poor wood on new Marlin Lever guns

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Fburgtx, Jul 20, 2007.

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  1. Fburgtx

    Fburgtx Member

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    Been looking to get a Marlin 1894c (357) for several months now. I've managed to come across 4-5 new ones in that period. It seems like every one I've come across has had just AWFUL wood. I don't expect these guns to have the wood to metal fit they did decades ago, but some of these guns looked like the stock was hand-fitted by a family of beavers!! I'm talking ragged edges that look like they were cut with dull machinery/not sanded and gaps that rival those of my truck's spark plugs! I've even seen one with significant wood chipped out around the sling swivel stud.

    Am I the only one encountering this?? It's not that I have anything against Marlins. I've always preferred them over Winchesters and Rossi/Puma/etc. I just don't understand how wood that looks this poor is leaving the factory. Are the more expensive "cowboy" models showing a little more attention to detail in the wood department??
     
  2. Shear_stress

    Shear_stress Member

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    The quality of the wood seems to depend on the type of store you buy the gun in. Big Five, for one, seems to only stock 1894s with beech furniture, rather than the walnut listed in the Marlin catalog.
     
  3. Fburgtx

    Fburgtx Member

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    The ones I've looked at have all been the checkered walnut stocks. I've also seen similar poor wood/metal fit on some 1895's I've looked at. I'd complain to Marlin directly, but they don't even have an e-mail contact on their website.
     
  4. Shear_stress

    Shear_stress Member

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    Of all things, getting wood to fit tightly shouldn't be a problem for Marlin. Ever the optimist, I'm just going to assume that the gaps actually expansion joints that allow the stock to swell when wet and not split. See, it's a feature not a bug :rolleyes:.
     
  5. Smithers

    Smithers Member

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    I got a new marlin 39A recently. I admit the fitting isn't spectacular and there are ragged edges. There are also 2 or 3 defects in the checkering.

    The fluting on the comb is terrible. One side is cut deeper than the other and it's at a sharper angle. Perhaps it's supposed to be asymmetrical, I don't know. Didn't notice that until I got it home. :banghead:

    It is however, a decent shooter and it works as advertised. I plan to use it for hunting.

    I don't think Marlin has cornered the market on badly fitted wood, I've seen many guns from other makers with rough finishes, uneven checkering, etc. Guns aren't made like they're used to. Just make sure you take a very close look at any gun you buy.
     
  6. .45Guy

    .45Guy Member

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    That is sad to hear. My old 336 has some beautiful wood on it. I was actually quite amazed.
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  7. martinc64

    martinc64 Member

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    My 1895 has some pretty good wood and I just bought it about 3 months ago. Maybe less. It is not spectacularly good but pretty nice.

    The wood on my 336 is pretty bland looking as far as grain and texture but there is nothing wrong with the fit or finish.
     
  8. JimmerJammerMrK

    JimmerJammerMrK Member

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    I've noticed this as well, especially on the 1894c at my local Big 5.
     
  9. 22LongRifle

    22LongRifle Member

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    I noticed my FILs Marlin had "pallet wood" on his, when he bought it a coupls of years ago.

    He also had to send it back to Marlin twice to get a sight on it that would shoot POA at 100 yards. Malrin's rep had the nerve to tell my FIL (who is not the most upto date person on firearms) that the sights were regulated at 500yards!! For a lever actions 30/30!! I got on the line and it wasn't pretty. Finally got someone who knew what they were talking about and got the rifle in and fixed.

    I'm thinking when Marlin bought out H&R/NEF they took their service department with them!

    22lr
     
  10. Landlocked Pirate

    Landlocked Pirate Member

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    I'm a big Marlin fan (own 7), but on the 336W I just bought the forearm and stock are different colors. The forearm is dark brown and the stock is almost orange. This doesn't really bother me as I bought this gun for a utility rifle, but it does make me wonder how it was allowed to leave the factory that way.
     
  11. rdaines

    rdaines Member

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    Marlin has a phone number ontheir site, I've called and gotten humans that speak English. I'm looking at the laminate stock for my next Marlin.
     
  12. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    The Big 5 guns are a special run with crappy stocks. That's acceptable for a field gun. They're also cheaper than even the Rossis, BTW.

    The new 39A I bought a month or two ago has gorgeous wood, especially for a stock production gun. It's well-fitted, with great checkering. The grain is what Remington would sell as "semi-fancy" on an upgraded gun like a Classic Trap.
     
  13. scubie02

    scubie02 Member

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    I ordered a 1894 357 and am still waiting, and have to say, it made me nervous, but I never seem to see used ones for sale of those. I agree that an awful lot of Marlin's I see these days are pretty sketchy, and asked my dealer to check it out if possible before taking it--he sometimes drives to the distributors to pick them up. I particularly mentioned to look at the inletting around the tang and make sure it was even and not all chipped up, as I see alot like that. The actions also don't seem as smooth as they did on the old ones *sigh*. While I was there he said he didn't want to scare me but another guy had ordered a 336 recently and when it came in the guy went to work the action whenhe picked it up and the lever came off in his hand! Seems they forgot to put in the lever screw from the factory. Unreal.

    Come on, Marlin! It's getting so you don't dare order any gun sight unseen, which sucks because where I live the dealers tend to be small and not have much inventory
     
  14. 115grfmj

    115grfmj Member

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    Not in my experience....

    Marlins around here all have beatiful wood!! Mine is a recent vinatge 1894c with stunning wood........Something smells funny here:scrutiny:
     
  15. Big Daddy K

    Big Daddy K Member

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    336

    I have decided to get a 336 Thursday. Unless I find a better deal between now and then I'm gonna get a new one at Acadamy. I want good wood but it will be a hunting rifle so its not gonna be a deal breaker. Some one said Rossi wood is better than the new Marlin 336 from one of the Big 5s. Dang o Dang man that aint good.:banghead:

    I hope its a good shooter.
     
  16. Fburgtx

    Fburgtx Member

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    No, nothing funny going on. I'm just inquiring as to whether I'm the only one who has had bad luck with finding a new Marlin. I own a few others (336, 1894 (44), 2-39's). All are 10 years old or older. The wood to metal fit is fine on all of them. The recent examples I have seen have all had ragged edges around the tang and some significant gaps. I can understand a large gap, but the ragged edges make me think that their equipment to make stocks is getting old/dull and they are just too lazy to fix it.

    I'd be happy to just order one, but as a previous poster mentioned, I'm afraid of what will show up. I'd think about picking up an older/used one, but most of those have the micro-groove barrel.

    I guess I could pick up an aftermarket stock and fit it myself, but I hate to get $600-$700 tied up in a standard 1894C. Guess that's why I'm asking if the 1894 Cowboy comes with a better wood/metal fit.
     
  17. glockman19

    glockman19 Member

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    I just bought a 1894 SS in .44mag and the picture sent showed perfect checkering and a Dark Walnut stock with nice grain. I paid $550 and hope to have it in the next two weeks.
     

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  18. scubie02

    scubie02 Member

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    well, like I said, mine's on order, so I guess we'll see--I have my fingers crossed
     
  19. scubie02

    scubie02 Member

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    oh, and 45guy--that's one gorgeous rifle you have there! The old ones are the best ones IMO
     
  20. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    I don't know about Academy, but the Big 5 guns are 1894H (not in Marlin's current catlog) and 336A models.

    The '94H has uncheckered stained beech or birch or something, like a base-model 10/22. The 336A is a checkered stained hardwood, sold as a budget hunting gun. They sometimes sell each of them for $375. That works for me, as a field gun. That's what these models are intended for.

    However, and I just got back from the store -- NOT Big5 -- where I handled some new Marlins, if you spring for the walnut on the 1894, 94SS, 94C, 39A, 336C, 336SS, Guide Guns, etc., you will get some nice wood. At least all the ones I've seen are really nice, and the 39A I got is nice. I was really excited when I pulled it out of the box and saw what I was getting!
     
  21. Alphazulu6

    Alphazulu6 member

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    Makes me want to run out and buy those special editions right now..... HAHA
     
  22. JimmerJammerMrK

    JimmerJammerMrK Member

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    At the Big 5 I was at, I'm sure it was an 1894C.
     
  23. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    The catalog 1894C has a walnut stock with a rubber buttpad and cut checkering.

    Maybe 1894CH, or maybe they didn't re-mark the barrels for the Big 5 run.

    I just know what I've seen at every Big 5 I've checked.

    Again, for the price (sale price, anyway, and Big 5 will usually give you the "last sale price" if you ask for it with your wallet out), it's a good and functional gun. Beats a Brazilian Winchester copy for $100 more, with ugly wood.

    If you're picky, get an 1894C with walnut. It's no more expensive than the Rossi, and much nicer.
     
  24. YodaVader

    YodaVader Member

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    What I have seen often in Marlin lever actions is a stock and forearm that are badly mismatched. Saw a 357 mag lever action with a stock that looked like it belonged on a custom rifle , incredible figure and grain - paired with a forearm that looked like some old 2x4.

    But about 8 years ago I did manage to find a new 44 mag 1894 that had wood that was so perfectly matched I just had to have it! Unfortunately the thing would not feed ammo , lever locking up in the fully open position. Gun shop owner said it was because of my reloads?:confused: He proceded to fully load the tube with some of his factory ammo with a shop full of cutomers watching - locked up on him with the first round too!:D

    Anyway he took it back and I gave me credit towards the purchase of another gun.
     
  25. LaEscopeta

    LaEscopeta Member

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    OK I don't know what is meant by "poor" or "good" wood, but here is another data point. Brand new-in-box Marlin 1894C ordered on line, sight unseen. I tried to take pictures of the areas noted in the posts above as having defects in other rifles. My new rifle has a flaw in the grain in the butt stock just in front of the sling attachment (1st photo) but it is purely cosmetic; can’t be felt or seen when shouldering the weapon, so it is not an issue for me. I’m not noticing any rough edges, checkering flaws, large or uneven gaps, etc. YMMV, etc.

    Another data point:

    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=76335278

    Apparently one of the non-checkered beach? birch? wood models. A search of Gunbroker.com, Gunsamerica.com, etc will yield more photos. Hope this is helpful.
     

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