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Quality of the new Marlin Rifles (a.k.a. Remlin's)


Seabeejason

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I feel like this is a thread that needed to be started. Mainly because until a couple days ago I had absolutely no idea that Marlin rifle's were now being made by Remington. Since the North Haven, CT Marlin manufacturing facility was closed in 2011 all the new Marlin rifles are made in Ilion, New York & Mayfield, KY. Before buying a Marlin 336W from a fellow member yesterday I started researching quality issues being experienced by owners of the new Marlin's. The list is pretty long it turns out. I was still not convinced though. So today I took a trip to Dick's Sporting Goods, so I could hold one of them. They happened to have 3 brand new Marlin 336's there. I could tell from a distance that the wood was different. It was much lighter in color than the stock on my Marlin 336. Once the store employee put it in my hand I realized I was holding a totally different gun. This was no Marlin in my opinion. The wood was total crap. It was coarse in spots and the ends of the stock hadn't even been smoothed out. Also, the stock was not mated nearly as well with the barrel as my Marlin. The gun just felt CHEAP. Despite this, the price is still $449.00. I wouldn't even pay half that. It's a shame what Remington has done to this brand.

I know that some of you likely have no issues with the new Marlin's being made by Remington, but I do not share that viewpoint. I don't think the new Remlin's are deserving of the Marlin name. I just want to thank Freedom Group for trashing an American icon.

For those who would like to know how to tell a difference between a Remlin and a real Marlin (besides the crappy quality) here are some ways to do that:

-Subtract the first couple numbers in the serial number from 100. That will give you the build year. The older Marlin rifles will have a couple letters at the start of the serial number. My 1965 Marlin Golden 39A has "AA" at the beginning of its serial number.

-Marlin's made in the North Haven factory will have a "JM" stamped on the barrel where the barrel meets the stock. Remington made Marlin's will have a "REM" stamped in the same spot.

-The new Marlin's will have either "Ilion, NY" or "Mayfield, KY" stamped on the barrel for their build location. They may all have "Ilion, NY" stamped on them, this needs to be verified. The true Marlin's will have "North Haven, CT" stamped on them or "New Haven, CT" stamped the barrel for the older ones.

Edited by Seabeejason
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....

-The new Marlin's will have either "Ilion, NY" or "Mayfield, KY" stamped on the barrel for their build location. They may all have "Ilion, NY" stamped on them, this needs to be verified. The true Marlin's will have "North Haven, CT" stamped on them or "New Haven, CT" stamped the barrel for the older ones.

few initial comments from a 336A, 1897c, and model 60 owner.

1. At least one new Marlin 60 I know of had the Mayfield, KY on it. Dunno if all 60's are gonna come out of there or not.

2. You didn't say about the 336's you handled. Where did they say they were made? Talked to a fellow not long ago that said they haven't shipped the first lever gun in any caliber yet from the new locations is reason I asked. He could have been dead wrong or they have now just started shipping.

3. Also, the barrel stamping is not as simple as you say. I just recently acquired a new Model 60SB, seems to date to 2009, and mine says made in North Haven, but has "RP" on barrel. This would seem to indicate that many were stamped this way after Remington bought Marlin, but long before the plant was moved. Friend Garufa also just acquired same model, and his barrel, made in North Haven, has no identifying stamp at all. I believe his was a 2006 model.

4. There is also the possibility that there are left over barrels from various calibers that will be put on guns, in other words will say North Haven but rest of gun made/assembled in the new locations.

And btw, folks over on MarlinForums.com have been decrying the Marlin slip in fit and finish since Remington bought the company at end of 2007, and started called them "Remlins" even then. And the lighter stock has been mentioned for a good long while, so I don't think that has anything to do with new plant production, but more about changing wood vendors for the birch along the way, and/or a change in how they are finished. Which is why I ask again, did they say KY or NY on them, or CT?

Also remember, the Dicks and Wally models are the W or A models, and have been since forever, which are not walnut as in the plain 336, which still commands about a $50 price differential just because of the wood alone.

(I didn't go over to MarlinOwners.com) to check up on latest, but that's the place for more definitive answers to some of the transition factoids. Some of those folks know more than Marlin or Remington themselves). :)

Final point is that most all manufacturers have now cut corners on their mainstream pedestrian guns rather than significantly raise pricing , Ruger 10/22, Remington 870 Express, etc etc. It's not like Marlin is unique in this.

- OS

Edited by OhShoot
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Back when my lever gun fever was at it's worst I had to look for months before I could find a pre-Remlin 1894c. My LGS had a current manufacture 1894c, but the all of the finishing, wood and metal looked very poor. Over at Marlin owners forum there are so many horror stories of guns that will not cycle, bad wood to metal fit, canted sights. I wanted nothing to do with that so I hunted until I finally found a 1978 1894c in .357 for $450. This is now my favorite plinker by far.

All of my Marlins wear this :D

DSC02042.jpg

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Even simpler: If it has a safety; put it back!

I don't know what fool decided a lever rifle with a hammer needed a safety, or why, but seeing one tells me all I need to know. Don't bring it home.

Pre 1983 or so depending on model. That'll take some real looking for most folks.

- OS

Edited by OhShoot
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few initial comments from a 336A, 1897c, and model 60 owner.

1. At least one new Marlin 60 I know of had the Mayfield, KY on it. Dunno if all 60's are gonna come out of there or not.

2. You didn't say about the 336's you handled. Where did they say they were made? Talked to a fellow not long ago that said they haven't shipped the first lever gun in any caliber yet from the new locations is reason I asked. He could have been dead wrong or they have now just started shipping.

The 336's I handled said "Ilion, NY" on the barrel.

3. Also, the barrel stamping is not as simple as you say. I just recently acquired a new Model 60SB, seems to date to 2009, and mine says made in North Haven, but has "RP" on barrel. This would seem to indicate that many were stamped this way after Remington bought Marlin, but long before the plant was moved. Friend Garufa also just acquired same model, and his barrel, made in North Haven, has no identifying stamp at all. I believe his was a 2006 model.

My 2009 model says "North Haven, CT" on the barrel and also has the "JM" stamp.

4. There is also the possibility that there are left over barrels from various calibers that will be put on guns, in other words will say North Haven but rest of gun made/assembled in the new locations.

The stock/wood on mine is definitely better craftsmanship. It is night and day compared to the ones I handled today. I would say it was made at the old Marlin factory before it closed.

And btw, folks over on MarlinForums.com have been decrying the Marlin slip in fit and finish since Remington bought the company at end of 2007, and started called them "Remlins" even then. And the lighter stock has been mentioned for a good long while, so I don't think that has anything to do with new plant production, but more about changing wood vendors for the birch along the way, and/or a change in how they are finished. Which is why I ask again, did they say KY or NY on them, or CT?

They said "Ilion, NY" on them.

Also remember, the Dicks and Wally models are the W or A models, and have been since forever, which are not walnut as in the plain 336, which still commands about a $50 price differential just because of the wood alone.

(I didn't go over to MarlinOwners.com) to check up on latest, but that's the place for more definitive answers to some of the transition factoids. Some of those folks know more than Marlin or Remington themselves). :)

Final point is that most all manufacturers have now cut corners on their mainstream pedestrian guns rather than significantly raise pricing , Ruger 10/22, Remington 870 Express, etc etc. It's not like Marlin is unique in this.

I work with manufacturing facilities for a living. Sacrificing quality for a bigger profit margin is never good for the company. It will more often than not cause your customers to go elsewhere for their needs. Also quality is a gun owners top priority when they purchase a firearm. That's why firearms are passed on from generation to generation. If a company can't make a quality gun then they will fail. It's a guarantee. That's why a group like Freedom Group/Cerebus has no business owning a firearm manufacturer. They obviously have no clue as to what generates repeat business when making firearms....QUALITY. If one were to do some research they could come across many examples of when a Wall Street company came along and totally destroyed a good quality driven company. They want to make money hand over fist, but they have no consideration for the long term sustainability of the company. They take no pride in what they're doing or what they represent. It's a driven by pure greed. I have had great experiences with Ruger, so I cannot say the same about them.

- OS

Edited by Seabeejason
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Even simpler: If it has a safety; put it back!

I don't know what fool decided a lever rifle with a hammer needed a safety, or why, but seeing one tells me all I need to know. Don't bring it home.

The Marlin I picked up from a fellow TGO member has a safety on it. I don't like the fact that it has one, but it doesn't really bother me though. I just don't use it. It also seems to be fairly hard to accidentally put the gun on safe anyway. Not really an issue for me.

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Couldn't quote your "quote". :)

"I have had great experiences with Ruger, so I cannot say the same about them. "

Well, if you don't think Ruger cut corners with the 10/22, what with more polymer parts and gooped on paint, you're definitely drinking their KoolAid. :) Even bumping up to the Sporter still doesn't get you a blued barrel.

I don't fault them for it, it was either that or raise prices. And the gun runs as well as the older ones.

And the current Marlins will probably run about as well as they always have, too. Might even improve. Getting rid of the designed in propensity for the eventual "Marlin Jam", would be nice.

Some folks claimed that quality control was suffering before Remington (et.al.) even bought them, could have been cutting corners with old equipment and whatnot to max profits back then, don't have any idea.

And currently, really not sure about these companies "maximizing" profits as much as just trying to keep about the same profit plus the same traditional rate of growth. Certainly, the overall balance of spit and shine and utility vs price are spread sheet micro managed all the way up through Freedom and Cerberus.

One things for sure, Marlin is the only modestly priced US lever gun maker, so it's not like most have a lot of alternatives, and hence I'm pulling for them. Maybe they'll increase their line of better finished options, but those will be right up there with Henry at the least. If Remmie has any sense, they'll turn out as many .357 models as possible, has become THE most sought after level model. And btw, the 1894s still use real walnut and are pretty nicely blued, like the standard 336. Course, we'll never see bluing again like up through maybe the the mid 70's on any production gun in America.

- OS

Edited by OhShoot
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I cannot say i am surprised.

I just don't get it. We have grades of steel that are so far and above ANYTHING made years ago; the quality and durability are twice as good as they used to be.

We have multi axis machining centers capable of holding tolerances in the tenths(.0001) and I've seen CNC ID/OD grinders that can get down to 50 millionths. That's five decimal places!

.....and so much of what we make is utter garbage by comparison. I compare a brand new Ruger or Smith to the old Colt (1920) Special Army of mine. The cylinder locks up much tighter and has a better (un modified ) trigger. Why??? Laziness and greed.

It's so sad.

Edited by Caster
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Couldn't quote your "quote". :)

"I have had great experiences with Ruger, so I cannot say the same about them. "

Well, if you don't think Ruger cut corners with the 10/22, what with more polymer parts and gooped on paint, you're definitely drinking their KoolAid. :) Even bumping up to the Sporter still doesn't get you a blued barrel.

I don't fault them for it, it was either that or raise prices. And the gun runs as well as the older ones.

And the current Marlins will probably run about as well as they always have, too. Might even improve. Getting rid of the designed in propensity for the eventual "Marlin Jam", would be nice.

Some folks claimed that quality control was suffering before Remington (et.al.) even bought them, could have been cutting corners with old equipment and whatnot to max profits back then, don't have any idea.

And currently, really not sure about these companies "maximizing" profits as much as just trying to keep about the same profit plus the same traditional rate of growth. Certainly, the overall balance of spit and shine and utility vs price are spread sheet micro managed all the way up through Freedom and Cerberus.

One things for sure, Marlin is the only modestly priced US lever gun maker, so it's not like most have a lot of alternatives, and hence I'm pulling for them. Maybe they'll increase their line of better finished options, but those will be right up there with Henry at the least. If Remmie has any sense, they'll turn out as many .357 models as possible, has become THE most sought after level model. And btw, the 1894s still use real walnut and are pretty nicely blued, like the standard 336. Course, we'll never see bluing again like up through maybe the the mid 70's on any production gun in America.

- OS

Well, I suppose my experience with Ruger is limited. I love their revolvers. I do not go to them for my long guns whatsoever. I have heard the same thing about Marlin starting to have quality trouble before they sold out to Freedom Group. But one thing is for certain, the quality issues definitely became multiplied once Remington shut down the old Marlin factory in North Haven. They did not have any regard for the same quality standards that Marlin seemed to maintain for the most part. I agree that gun manufactures have to balance profit margins and quality. But it is still possible to do that and make a quality firearm. If anyone is willing to pay more for quality it is definitely true for gun owners. Quality is number one. Gun owners take pride in their firearms and they are a group that talks about their experiences. This forum is a great example, along with forums like marlinowners.com. When a gun manufacturer goes from producing quality firearms to producing substandard firearms word gets around quick. Once loyal customers can become a gun manufactures worst enemy. I for one, will never buy another Marlin from the store unless it's used. If Remington ever gets their act together (and I hope they do) I will buy a new Marlin from them. But it will take a hell of a lot of improvement on their part.

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I cannot say i am surprised.

I just don't get it. We have grades of steel that are so far and above ANYTHING made years ago; the quality and durability are twice as good as they used to be.

We have multi axis machining centers capable of holding tolerances in the tenths(.0001) and I've seen CNC ID/OD grinders that can get down to 50 millionths. That's five decimal places!

.....and so much of what we make is utter garbage by comparison. I compare a brand new Ruger or Smith to the old Colt (1920) Special Army of mine. The cylinder locks up much tighter and has a better (un modified ) trigger. Why??? Laziness and greed.

It's so sad.

All those fancy machines and high grade steels mean doodly-squat without experienced and conscientious craftsmen putting things together.

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All those fancy machines and high grade steels mean doodly-squat without experienced and conscientious craftsmen putting things together.

Amen to that brother. Nobody cares anymore! THey're just there for a paycheck. There was a time when a man getting paid for his work was only half of it. His pride was on the line. If anyone doubts that, compare a new Model 70 Winchester to one made say...1940 [just threw that out at random]

You CAN still get the quality. But you'll have to sell a kidney and take a second mortgage to pay for it. Case in point: Hamilton Bowen.

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Saw a 1978 built 1894 in 44mag last week on GB from a pawn shop in on the west side of Nashville asking 499. Not a nibble on the auction. I was tempted to go down to the store and offer $450.

Wow. Makes me feel even better about finding an older (Microgroove) 1894 in .44 Mag on the used rack at the LGS (Farnsworth's) - with a price tag that was a little bit below $400. When I went back to make a payment the other day, I was told that several people who had previously looked it had later decided to buy it and came back for it - after I put it in layaway. I'm glad I 'jumped' when I did. When I put it in layaway I knew that if I didn't act then it would be gone and I'd be kicking myself later.

Edited by JAB
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