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Discussion Starter #1
Remlins supposedly have had their issues but it seems from the buzz on the internet they finally have figured it out. Have they really?

Question I have if that's true that they have ironed out those issues how does a new Marlin stack up when compared to one made in the 1970s? I mean I know they make them differently but are the materials they use now cheap or are they made with real steel and wood or are they being made with some kind of cheaper alloy? How do they really compare?
 

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The quality of steel used in Marlins before and after the Remington takeover has not changed and current guns are made of steel every bit as good as before and certainly much better than older original ones.

What the early "Remlins" suffered from was the quality of the machine work and fit and finish. The production machinery was either worn out or so new the workers weren't familiar with it and most of the experienced Marlin employees were gone. It took a while to iron out the quality issues but "cheaper steel" wasn't the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The quality of steel used in Marlins before and after the Remington takeover has not changed and current guns are made of steel every bit as good as before and certainly much better than older original ones.

What the early "Remlins" suffered from was the quality of the machine work and fit and finish. The production machinery was either worn out or so new the workers weren't familiar with it and most of the experienced Marlin employees were gone. It took a while to iron out the quality issues but "cheaper steel" wasn't the problem.
So with regard to design and function is it the belief ht the newer guns are every bit as good as well?
 

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My LGS, who I trust, tells me the current Marlin lever actions are back to pre-Remington quality and are well made and finished.
 

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There is another thread about this rifle I looked at one in .357 Magnum damn thing didn't even have a complete rear sight!!! Look at one in your hand very good before you buy one I don't think it would be a good idea to buy one online!!! Marlin better do something positive with their quality control!!! My older Marlin 1894C pre cross bolt lever action .357 is a much nicer smoother gun compared to the new one I recently looked at!!!
 

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I've got a 45C and I love it. I've had no issues, and no cosmetic issues that others have mentioned. The only issue that I have heard that I will be addressing is the two piece firing pin and replacing with a one piece.
 

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I just watched the Hickcock45 video on Youtube the test rifle was a 1894 Cow Boy rifle 20 octagon barrel it seemed to function ok the rifle I looked at was a 1894C (carbine) 18 inch round barrel like I said it didn't have a complete rear sight. So check one out at hand at the LGS before you buy and you will probably be ok. I probably just looked at a fluke that got through Marlin QC!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I just watched the Hickcock45 video on Youtube the test rifle was a 1894 Cow Boy rifle 20 octagon barrel it seemed to function ok the rifle I looked at was a 1894C (carbine) 18 inch round barrel like I said it didn't have a complete rear sight. So check one out at hand at the LGS before you buy and you will probably be ok. I probably just looked at a fluke that got through Marlin QC!!
The video I found was of Hickock45 and a JM Marlin and if I remember correctly it had a 24 inch barrel and checkering on the stock which the current models don't offer. I wasn't able to locate one yet with a newer model, at least not with Hickock45 anyway.
 

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The video I found was of Hickock45 and a JM Marlin and if I remember correctly it had a 24 inch barrel and checkering on the stock which the current models don't offer. I wasn't able to locate one yet with a newer model, at least not with Hickock45 anyway.
The newer 1894 he has is the Cow Boy rifle with the octagon 20 inch barrel not a 1894 C carbine 18 inch round barrel. The Cowboy Rifle retails for a bit more then the 1894C possibility there’s a bit more efforts in the details on the Cow Boy rifles vs the carbines....shouldn’t be.........I am thinking the carbine that I looked at wasn’t checked over properly but that reflects kinda negative in my mind the day I looked at it towards Marlin! I did see more of a flat satin finish vs the older Cow Boy rifle that was Hickcock45’s personal rifle. The older rifles do seem to have nicer attention to fit & finish.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The newer 1894 he has is the Cow Boy rifle with the octagon 20 inch barrel not a 1894 C carbine 18 inch round barrel. The Cowboy Rifle retails for a bit more then the 1894C possibility there’s a bit more efforts in the details on the Cow Boy rifles vs the carbines....shouldn’t be.........I am thinking the carbine that I looked at wasn’t checked over properly but that reflects kinda negative in my mind the day I looked at it towards Marlin! I did see more of a flat satin finish vs the older Cow Boy rifle that was Hickcock45’s personal rifle. The older rifles do seem to have nicer attention to fit & finish.

This is what I gathered from the pictures I've seen so far.
 

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Just bought this rifle from a big-box place. It is ok. Nothing to write home about but after 150 rounds it works better. Seems like it needs some more break-in before I can call it butter though.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just bought this rifle from a big-box place. It is ok. Nothing to write home about but after 150 rounds it works better. Seems like it needs some more break-in before I can call it butter though.

Fit and finish? Almost looks like in Hickocks video the finish (paint) wore off a bit when firing or am I seeing things? By the way, I'm realy wanting one but a bit hesitant because of fit and finish.
 

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I too saw the Hickok45 vid with the 1894CB. It seemed like the gun functioned well but it was NOT a good example in terms of fit/finish. I'm a little surprised Bud's gave him that one, it should go back to Marlin IMO, it has some issues. I have an 1894 44 mag made in 2015 that looks pretty darn good, shoots great also it's a really nice rifle. I did just buy an 1894C .357 mag, well that one was not as good.
The checkering was not so good on the butt stock, and it didn't group well either. So, I called Marlin about it and they took it back. They are now sending me a new one at no charge for shipping out and back and will pay for my new NICS check. I should have it in a week or so. The ones I've seen in the stores lately (2 of them) look pretty good, nice fit/finish. I'll be happy to get one like one like that !
Bottom line, look em' over.
 

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It is not too bad.......first lever gun I have owned so don't know what to compare it to.
 

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The differences between the JM's and current Marlins:
I have two new ones (2014 and 2016), and 2 JM's. Three of the 4 are CB's (Cowboys).
The newer ones have just as good of wood to metal fit, just as smooth (they all need breaking in, or slicking up to speed up the break in process), great triggers, accuracy and functioning.
Things the workers at Ilion need to work on:
Mismatched wood, sharp loading gates, and rounding of the flats on octagon barrel models.
My two new ones have even better barrel polish and deeper bluing than the JM's, but they must have a gorilla do the buffing.
My JM's have crisp edges where the octagon flats meet, the new Marlins are over
buffed and rounded off.
My 1895 CBA (.45/70 with shorter 18.5" octagon barrel) looks like a round barrel carbine from a distance, when you get closer you go "Oh, it's an octagon".
But it shoots sweet.

A CBA I bought in 2013 I ordered sight unseen from a Cabela's warehouse, and it was fine except for the rounding of the flats and mismatched wood.
I called Marlin, with my credit card in hand, hoping to get a darker, more straight grain butt stock, as the one that came with it was angled grain Yellow Pine looking wood.
The guy I talked to asked me to send him a few pics of the stock and fore arm wood (which was nice) and picked me out a butt stock that was a nice match, no charge.
This older one I sold to a friend had a glossier wood finish than the one I have now:

The other Cowboy I just bought last month was a JM 1894 .45 Colt made in 1988, but the guy I got it from hardly fired it.
It needed "slicking up", the hammer spring and finger lever plunger spring was too stiff, so I took a coil off of them.
When you worked the action, it was hard to open because of the finger lever plunger tension, and another rough spot was when the underside of the bolt pushed back the hammer. I polished those areas, but it was clear that the springs were a bit too stiff.
It's nice now:

The current Cowboys are uncheckered and have a 20 inch octagon barrel.
If you want checkering and a 24" barrel, you'll have to look for an older JM one. Just expect to pay $300-$400 more for the JM.
Is it worth it ? I don't think so, you can buy a lot of ammo for the difference.

The one piece firing pin can help make the action feel smoother, but there's nothing wrong with the two piece ones. The two piece pin will out last you.
Just competition shooters looking to spend some money on something, so they "need" a one piece pin.
 

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Sandog sums it up well. If you like Marlins, buy a Rem made Marlin, they are very good. I love my 2015 Rem made Marlin 1894 44 mag. it's a life time keeper. Gonna go shoot it tomorrow. Can't wait to get my .357 1894C back so I can put tons of rounds through that one as well.
 

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Some object to the cross bolt safety on the Marlin, but I find it to be the least obtrusive of the lawyer induced safeties that come on new levers these days.
I even have appreciated it's presence on a few occasions, even if I don't like it's looks.
If you have to cross a creek or fence, you can do so safely without having to unload/reload. If say, it's pouring hard out by the time you get to your vehicle, you can jump in and unload safely without worries of your finger hitting the trigger while jacking out rounds.

A few weeks ago before I left Montana, I wanted to see if their was a plug, limiting the magazine tube on my 1894 to 10 rounds.
Rather than take apart the tube un-needlessly, I loaded it up and sure enough, it only held 10 rounds.
Even the 29 year old JM Marlin I had bought used had a plug in it.
I had some A-Zoom dummy rounds, but only had 6 of them, so I loaded up with live rounds, saw that it had the plug, and unloaded safely without fear of a discharge.

If you live in a free state and want to take out that mag plug, you must first remove the fore arm cap and fore end, in order to get the tube to drop down and inch or so to get the mag tube cap off.
Drop the tube down, hold onto the cap so it won't fly out under spring pressure and once the tube clears the stud sticking out, the cap and spring will come out.

One thing that I would replace on a newer Marlin is the plastic mag follower.
It can distort and not stay totally round, and doesn't slide as freely as a metal one.
There are replacements that are brass, anodized aluminum, or stainless steel.
The brass followers look cool on a Marlin CB, but a brass follower is hard to tell from a round still in the mag.

When you reassemble that mag tube, be careful putting the fore end cap back on.
Make sure the wood and cap are back all the way, then look in the screw hole and see if the cap is centered on the tenon, you don't want the cap screws to go in off kilter and cross thread.
You can insert a punch tip to help line it up.
Start one screw but don't tighten it up all the way until you get the screw on the other side started.

One thing that bugs me on all Marlins, new or old, is how the hammer tends to ride to one side, which scrapes the bluing off that side and not the other.
When I have mine taken apart, I put a thin shim washer on the side that scrapes, and then polish out the rubbed side and touch up blue.

For those that don't like the cross bolt safety, Clyde Ludwig makes a screw that replaces the cross bolt, once installed it looks like just another action screw.
Replacement Kit for the  Marlin Cross
Beartooth Mercantile also sells a screw or a saddle ring to replace the cross bolt.
https://beartoothmercantile-2.myshopify.com/products/basic-safety-delete-for-marlin-rifle.

If you are worried about the cross bolt coming on when you don't want it to, but don't want to modify your rifle from original, you can just remove the butt stock, (one screw on the tang) and reach in with an Allen wrench and turn in the set screw that rides against the cross bolt. Turn it in all the way, and your cross bolt won't engage.
Or you can do like some competition shooters do and buy a small rubber o-ring that fits tight around the safety where the red painted groove is.

When hunting, I just feel with my finger once in a while to ensure the safety hasn't engaged. If I need to use the safety when crossing a creek or something where I might fall, I still have the safety if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The differences between the JM's and current Marlins:
I have two new ones (2014 and 2016), and 2 JM's. Three of the 4 are CB's (Cowboys).
The newer ones have just as good of wood to metal fit, just as smooth (they all need breaking in, or slicking up to speed up the break in process), great triggers, accuracy and functioning.
Things the workers at Ilion need to work on:
Mismatched wood, sharp loading gates, and rounding of the flats on octagon barrel models.
My two new ones have even better barrel polish and deeper bluing than the JM's, but they must have a gorilla do the buffing.
My JM's have crisp edges where the octagon flats meet, the new Marlins are over
buffed and rounded off.
My 1895 CBA (.45/70 with shorter 18.5" octagon barrel) looks like a round barrel carbine from a distance, when you get closer you go "Oh, it's an octagon".
But it shoots sweet.

A CBA I bought in 2013 I ordered sight unseen from a Cabela's warehouse, and it was fine except for the rounding of the flats and mismatched wood.
I called Marlin, with my credit card in hand, hoping to get a darker, more straight grain butt stock, as the one that came with it was angled grain Yellow Pine looking wood.
The guy I talked to asked me to send him a few pics of the stock and fore arm wood (which was nice) and picked me out a butt stock that was a nice match, no charge.
This older one I sold to a friend had a glossier wood finish than the one I have now:

The other Cowboy I just bought last month was a JM 1894 .45 Colt made in 1988, but the guy I got it from hardly fired it.
It needed "slicking up", the hammer spring and finger lever plunger spring was too stiff, so I took a coil off of them.
When you worked the action, it was hard to open because of the finger lever plunger tension, and another rough spot was when the underside of the bolt pushed back the hammer. I polished those areas, but it was clear that the springs were a bit too stiff.
It's nice now:

The current Cowboys are uncheckered and have a 20 inch octagon barrel.
If you want checkering and a 24" barrel, you'll have to look for an older JM one. Just expect to pay $300-$400 more for the JM.
Is it worth it ? I don't think so, you can buy a lot of ammo for the difference.

The one piece firing pin can help make the action feel smoother, but there's nothing wrong with the two piece ones. The two piece pin will out last you.
Just competition shooters looking to spend some money on something, so they "need" a one piece pin.
Great looking guns and thank for the detailed explanation.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Some object to the cross bolt safety on the Marlin, but I find it to be the least obtrusive of the lawyer induced safeties that come on new levers these days.
I even have appreciated it's presence on a few occasions, even if I don't like it's looks.
If you have to cross a creek or fence, you can do so safely without having to unload/reload. If say, it's pouring hard out by the time you get to your vehicle, you can jump in and unload safely without worries of your finger hitting the trigger while jacking out rounds.

A few weeks ago before I left Montana, I wanted to see if their was a plug, limiting the magazine tube on my 1894 to 10 rounds.
Rather than take apart the tube un-needlessly, I loaded it up and sure enough, it only held 10 rounds.
Even the 29 year old JM Marlin I had bought used had a plug in it.
I had some A-Zoom dummy rounds, but only had 6 of them, so I loaded up with live rounds, saw that it had the plug, and unloaded safely without fear of a discharge.

If you live in a free state and want to take out that mag plug, you must first remove the fore arm cap and fore end, in order to get the tube to drop down and inch or so to get the mag tube cap off.
Drop the tube down, hold onto the cap so it won't fly out under spring pressure and once the tube clears the stud sticking out, the cap and spring will come out.

One thing that I would replace on a newer Marlin is the plastic mag follower.
It can distort and not stay totally round, and doesn't slide as freely as a metal one.
There are replacements that are brass, anodized aluminum, or stainless steel.
The brass followers look cool on a Marlin CB, but a brass follower is hard to tell from a round still in the mag.

When you reassemble that mag tube, be careful putting the fore end cap back on.
Make sure the wood and cap are back all the way, then look in the screw hole and see if the cap is centered on the tenon, you don't want the cap screws to go in off kilter and cross thread.
You can insert a punch tip to help line it up.
Start one screw but don't tighten it up all the way until you get the screw on the other side started.

One thing that bugs me on all Marlins, new or old, is how the hammer tends to ride to one side, which scrapes the bluing off that side and not the other.
When I have mine taken apart, I put a thin shim washer on the side that scrapes, and then polish out the rubbed side and touch up blue.

For those that don't like the cross bolt safety, Clyde Ludwig makes a screw that replaces the cross bolt, once installed it looks like just another action screw.
Replacement Kit for the* Marlin Cross
Beartooth Mercantile also sells a screw or a saddle ring to replace the cross bolt.
https://beartoothmercantile-2.myshopify.com/products/basic-safety-delete-for-marlin-rifle.

If you are worried about the cross bolt coming on when you don't want it to, but don't want to modify your rifle from original, you can just remove the butt stock, (one screw on the tang) and reach in with an Allen wrench and turn in the set screw that rides against the cross bolt. Turn it in all the way, and your cross bolt won't engage.
Or you can do like some competition shooters do and buy a small rubber o-ring that fits tight around the safety where the red painted groove is.

When hunting, I just feel with my finger once in a while to ensure the safety hasn't engaged. If I need to use the safety when crossing a creek or something where I might fall, I still have the safety if needed.
Onc again hanks for such great and detailed information.
 

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Took mine out of the safe just now to check on a sight. The forestock wood is a little 'fatter' on one side than the other and the tang is slightly higher than the surrounding wood on the stock.
 
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