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Tndeerhunter's picture
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Recent Marlin Woes

It could be the end of an era. It could mean disaster for those who really love & enjoy nice traditional lever rifles. I've reaquainted myself these last few years with lever guns and purchased new or used lever rifles in .308ME, .375Win, 45-70, .444, .450 and .325WSM. Over the years, I've killed game with levers in 7mm08, .308Win, .356Win, .358Win, .375Win, .44mag & .450 Marlin. You guessed it, I'm a big fan!

I am becoming increasingly disturbed, however, from what I am reading on the Marlin Owners Forum site (not officially affiliated with Marlin) as well as some other sites. Seems the QC of new Marlin rifles has perhaps gone down the tubes. Horror stories of misaligned barrels/receivers, guns that will NOT reliably feed rounds, rough cycling of the action, misaligned stocks, misaligned sights and much more have been very prevelant of late. Marlin (Remington) actually began shipping mount shims with many rifles because new owners could not get scopes level enough to site in at all! I have heard (read) many a complaint that barrels and receivers were so misaligned that iron sights could not be sighted in either.

The Marlin Owners site actually had to add another forum topic (Marlin Rant Forum) to prevent many other topics from becoming overrun with bad comments, complaints and stories bad enough to make one want to cry. WHY?? Well, it seems to have all stemmed from when Remington was involved with the purchase and take-over of Marlin production, when Marlin "sold out".

The sale was a few years ago and things went as they always had.... for a while. But, Remington then decided to close down the Connecticut Marlin plant and move operations to Ilion, N.Y. That's when all h*ll broke loose it seems. Seasoned Marlin owners, along with shooters enamored with Marlin rifles for practically their entire lives will not even think of buying the newest production guns now coming from Remington's Marlin N.Y. plant, at least not without a thorough examination of know problem areas.

Many Marlin afficianados will only purchase older guns now and also ensure the production years by serial numbers (new numbers are now changed so no one can tell the exact age). I did recently purchase & still, now await arrival of a new 1895M. But I only did so after checking it's serial number and ensuring it's build date was at least as old as 2008.

(The serial numbers actually are set up in an odd fashion and for a time the numbers went down as production became later.)

In closing, I own new Marlins made in 2007 (two) and they were fine. I am hoping my 2008 that's inbound as we speak is as well. I've known others who have '07 & '08 guns that were fine but a couple friends bought newer ones that needed work to simply function at all, never mind smoothly & properly. I ain't here to slam Remlin. I love my real Marlins, made in Ct. I'm simply hoping to caution anyone thinking about purchasing a new Marlin to be sure and look it over VERY well before taking possession. Turn-around times for repairs are not short, on the order of 3 months and longer at Marlin (Remington) for typical repairs. And the number of guns needing them is staggeringly high.

I truly love my Marlins and do hope that all this cr*p can finally get ironed out soon and fine, smooth operating, quality rifles again start being sold under the Marlin Moniker!!

hunter25's picture
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I was wondering if this was

I was wondering if this was going to happen after all the reports of problems with Remington the last few years. The only Marlin I own is a .44 magnum that I recieved used as a gift more than 25 years ago and it is a fine rifle by any standards. It's a shame to see this happen and with so many manufacturers under one umbrella now I'm afraid we will soon not have many domestic quality reasonable priced rifles to choose from. These concerns are why I have not purchased a DPMS or Bushmaster despite great reviews in the past.

Hopefully they will get the message but as this has been going on for awhile now it does not seem like they care at all.

groovy mike's picture
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Thanks for the information

Thanks for the information and the updates.  I have two Marlins - a 45-70 lever gun and the model 60 tube fed 22 long rifle.  The Model 60 is a 50 year old work horse.  The Guide Gun works great when it works but I had a reload misfire with just enough push from teh powder to unseat the bulleta nd dump powder in the action.  That ended up being way more mess than I expected - requiring a visit to my local gunsmith to reassemble the rifle.  That was before my moose hunta nd teh rifle has performed flawlessly since, but that incident threw doubt on the viability of the Marlin lever action for long term rugged use to me.  If just loose gun powder can put a rifle out of commission how reliable would it be in mud and sand and snow?  In short, I don't know as I will ever trust my life to a lever gun on a dangerous game hunt.  It is too bad too because that 45-70 guide gun would make a dandy bear gun in heavy cover like when walking a salmon choked stream bed.  But given my experience, I don't think I'll take that risk.  I might not liek the way the bet pays off.

 

Tndeerhunter's picture
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A good friend of mine had a

A good friend of mine had a similar occurrence while we were on a hog hunt in Georgia in Jan '10. He was using Buffalo Bore 220gr +P ammo in his Marlin .35 Rem. When he went to unload the rifle, one of the 220gr bullets stuck in the throat and the case seperated, spilling gun powder all through the chamber and action. So, bullet stuck in barrel throat and action jammed from all the spilled powder. One thing to have a reload malfunction, but commercial ammo gumming up the works really stinks. We were able to rod the bullet out and get the action cleaned sufficiently.

For the record, Mike, the 336 & 1895 actions are fairly simple to take apart and work on. Even "10 thumbs Ed" has done it to clear a jam caused by an old follower and new LE ammo. There are a couple videos over at the M.O. forum that show how to do it in great detail. Actually, only one screw involved and a total of about 3 or 4 basic parts, allowing the bolt to be removed and action to be thoroughly cleaned. Yes

ndemiter's picture
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i have 2 marlin firearms. a

i have 2 marlin firearms. a model 55g bolt action shotgun and a 25n .22 rifle.

they are acceptional firearms. the .22 is the most accurate i've fired, and the 12 guage, has dropped more birds than the combination of all my other guns combined.

too bad the quality controll is decreasing! i was really hoping to get a lever gun in .44 mag here someday.

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