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Pretty sure Marlin is finished...

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by vart, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. vart

    vart

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    When researching a new .45 Colt carbine to buy, I went to a Marlin forum and there were a bunch of threads about how they all went to crap over a decade ago when Freedom Group bought them out, fired the experienced workers, and hired cheap and inexperienced labor.

    Quality tanked and multiple issues arose. Then I read that they were slowly improving and you could find a decent rifle. You can get an 1894 about $250 less than a comparable Henry. So I bought one and it arrived with decent, but not good, fit and finish, yet a far cry from the Marlins before the takeover.

    Now, my LGS had the comparable Henry model in stock but it had the action zip-tied closed and a trigger lock. No way to verify that it cycled smoothly. But I did look at the fit and finish and the wood to metal fit was not impressive though the checkering and bluing was better than Marlin.

    But with Marlin, the devil is in the details.

    After now having dug deeper into the forums after having issues and read extensively experiences from industry insiders and customers, it seems Marlin WAS improving. Then the guy that was turning things around left, or was forced out, and quality has again taken a sharp downturn.

    There is apparently a narrow window of rifles that were produced that had improved to acceptable and then changes were made and they are again producing junk.

    I have taken my rifle apart twice, in an effort to correct a binding action and occasional jams. I got the action to stop binding by putting a radius on a cam on the lever and the edges of the hammer.

    Today, I was backing out a forearm screw when it fell apart. It literally split in half.

    I found out that Marlin has even changed the quality of the screws that hold the guns together! That explains why a replacement screw is on a 5 to 8 week backorder.

    Once I got the magazine tube out, I discovered that the follower, which is plastic, was partially crushed and cracked. How that happened to a new rifle with around 50 rounds through it is beyond me.

    Every time I touch this rifle, I find something else that is screwed up or inferior quality.

    Unfortunately, I screwed myself by going down the path of trying to fix it myself, thinking a couple of minor tweaks would make it a reliable rifle. I have voided the warranty.

    However, the latest news is that there is a current backlog of two months for warranty repairs. It is getting longer every week due to the huge number of garbage rifles they produced. And, it takes a couple of tries to get it repaired properly and most people give up and just get their money back. So, even if I hadn't touched it, I would have been out of a rifle for a few months at least.

    I will continue to try and address the multiple shortcomings of my rifle and will likely have more into it than I would have had if I had just bought a Henry.

    The bottom line is that you should not buy a Marlin. They have cheapened the components and if one fails and you send it in for repair, you will be out of a rifle for months at a time.

    Learn from my mistake and DON'T BUY A MARLIN!!
     
  2. KennyFSU

    KennyFSU

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    Never owned a Marlin, never will.
     

  3. AF-Odin

    AF-Odin

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    Have had a Marlin 336 in .30-30 since 1973. Great rifle and works just as good as it did 45 years ago. Have not used it as a deer rifle in quite a long time, but inside 100 yards with open sights, it did it's job if I did mine. Still has great fit and finish if you ignore a few minor dings and scratches from being in the field and deer stands. Have no experience with newer Marlins.
     
  4. Jumpstady

    Jumpstady

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    All my Winchester and Marlin rifles are older than dirt and very reliable.
     
  5. davidjon_99

    davidjon_99

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    That's very sad. I have three Marlins. An 1894CL in 25-20, an 1894CS in 357/38Sp and a Golden 39A. The 1894's were bought by me in the early 1990's. The Golden 39A was bought by my father around 1965. All are great quality. I've always loved Marlin lever actions and it's very sad they are going down hill like they are.
     
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  6. NAZG26

    NAZG26 Lost in transit

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    Everything freedom group touches turns to $***. That is why I chuckle when people tout the superiority of the remington 870 and 700 models. Yes, pre freedom group. Now.... $***
     
  7. Gray Dood

    Gray Dood

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    Sad post. Bummer.

    Have a soft spot for leverguns, have had Marlins 94 in .45 Colt (Cowboy Model), .38/357 (wish I still had that one, GREAT little carbine) and a 95 in 45-70 (also a Cowboy). Have been searching for years for an "older" stainless .357 I can afford.

    Sorry to hear about the quality. Thanks for the warning. Good luck getting your rifle back in action.
     
  8. MikeB2

    MikeB2

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    I'm happy with my RemLin 1894 in 45colt. It was on my bucket list and the instant my LGS had one last March I bought it. Lucked out and got the $75 rebate also. It did need some work for CAS action which is normal for any firearm to be competitive. Slicked it up, modified and made some parts to get it where it works pretty good. Think it edges out my Rossi on speed now.
    Hope they don't go under, might need a part I can't make sometime in the future.

    Also have a 1895 in 45-70 I got about a year before the 1894 and it works just fine.
     
    Edge likes this.
  9. WayneJessie

    WayneJessie

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    That’s your choice but you missed out on some very well made guns for the price before FG raped them. The older 39-39A guns as well as the 336 guns were well made and a value for what they costed during that time period. Nothing that a FG company offers interests me in the least.
     
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  10. PhotoFeller

    PhotoFeller A swamp dude

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    Outstanding post except for the last line. I think your warning should have read:

    'DON'T BUY A MARLIN MANUFACTURED AFTER THE COMPANY WAS SOLD AND MOVED TO NEW YORK AROUND 2009. Marlin rifles manufactured in Connecticut prior to the relocation (identified by JM proof marked barrels) remain well known for pre-acquisition quality and desirability.'

    Thanks for sharing your research and information about your bad experience with a new ''Remlin'. I didn't know Marlin quality had dropped so dramatically, again. Sounds like a once-wonderful brand is on the threshold of collapse.
     
    Obi Wan, byf43, vikingsoftpaw and 2 others like this.
  11. Lazy R

    Lazy R

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    Firearms sales in general are down sharply, and I wonder if that's why they started strangling Marlin again after their quality began to improve.

    I'm glad I have two pre-Remlin Marlins. They are wonderful rifles.
     
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  12. AZ Husker

    AZ Husker

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    My old Marlin is a great piece. But to use the original Marlin name in the same sentence as Rossi is an insult.
     
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  13. F14A

    F14A

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    Damn. What a shame. Is Freedom Group a bunch of liberal Democrats?

    Sheesh..

    Good luck vart.
     
  14. Mr. Pick

    Mr. Pick

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    I hate that. I love my 1975 model 336 in 30-30. Still solid and quite accurate, for a field gun. Still have my grandfather's 1930 vintage Marlin bolt action .22, and it is still a shooter. Marlin used to be such a good value for the money. I sure hate to see them come to this.
     
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  15. AZ Husker

    AZ Husker

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    Look at Remington, even a better known name going down the same road.
     
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  16. treg

    treg

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    Through second hand insider information... I have heard that there are good gun guys, in the engineering dept at Marlin and they are doing their best to put out good, quality product.
    I'm guessing it's the bean counters running the place.
    Sad to hear.
     
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  17. PhotoFeller

    PhotoFeller A swamp dude

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    As I recall, Marlin was first acquired by Cerberus, an opportunistic asset acquisition company, and was quickly handed off to holding company Freedom Group for ongoing management along with Remington, Bushmaster and other companies. Top management of Cerberus and Freedom Group are primarily financial people. I don't know if Freedom Group management below top execs are gun people or not.

    It was long rumored that George Soros was a major influence (money source) behind Cerberus and his strategy was to buy firearm companies and drive them into ruin. Based on serious issues Remington and Marlin are having, the rumor seems plausible. I don't know if Soros was ever officially linked to Cerberus.
     
  18. Ross-in-Pa

    Ross-in-Pa Western Pa

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    My newest Marlin is from 2009, bear the end of the true Marlin production.

    I have several older rifles, and all are great . That being said, I would not buy a new production rifle.
     
  19. redrick

    redrick

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    I have bought 3 870's in the last 3 years and they have been good . I am very happy with them , fit , finish and function . Two of them pattern #9 shot we use at the turkey shoots better than my SX3 . I have won many rounds with them , I quit using my SX3 for the turkey shoots , but I still use it most of the time hunting . I bought them to use as a beater gun and to lend to new hunters , you can't beat it for $225 dollars after rebate .

    My nephew just bought a new 11-87 20ga. and it has also been good . It hasn't missed a beat ejecting low brass #6 shot that he is using for rabbits .

    I would still not buy a new Marlin lever gun though and probably not most of the Remington rifles .
     
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  20. First shot

    First shot

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    I've been following the "results"on your purchase vart. Sad to hear your analysis, which I trust. I have a Marlin, 336C, in .30-30, that I purchased in 1968, at the age of 14. It definitely makes me shake my head, to hear, "first hand", the poor results of a once great firearms company. My old .30-30, is still clean as a whistle, and works flawlessly. I hope that you can make yours usable.
     
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