Marlin 1895 Lever Action Rifle – A tried and true configuration of the famous lever action rifles, the Marlin 1895Rifle delivers lever action performance as smooth as you’ve ever experienced. Made with 6 machined and heat-treated steel forgings for greater strength, the 1895 also features a clean, flat, solid top receiver that keeps out the rain, snow and debris and makes a perfect base for mounting a scope. Classic Marlin lever action look with walnut stock and iron sights on top.
Marlin Model 1895: The Ultimate Guide Gun TESTED
By FRED TOAST FROM gunspatrol.com
Marlin’s modern Model 1895 has been chambered in .45-70 Gov’t since its introduction in 1972. Shown at top is an octagon–barrel model owned by the author’s late friend and firearm industry notable Chub Eastman. Below it is an 1895 Custom Shop gun that has proven to be exceptionally accurate and even more adaptable.
Let’s put the cards on the table: I love lever-actions, but not equally. I’m left-handed. All lever-actions can be operated in ambidextrous fashion, and you’ve got to love that, but the only lever-actions that are truly bilateral in design are top-eject models, which largely leaves out Browning, Savage, the Winchester 88 and all the side-eject Marlins. And while I do have a soft spot for the Marlin lever guns, I didn’t have a great deal of experience with them until recently. Yes, there was a .444 Marlin back in the ’70s, and I had shot some hogs with a friend’s Model 1895 in .45-70 Gov’t in the ’90s. I also did one of the first stories on the awesome .338 Marlin Express, using it for both elk and moose. All worked perfectly, but my experience with Marlin lever guns was far from complete. Marlin 1895 Lever Action Rifle
After my buddy and gunwriting colleague Chub Eastman passed, I acquired his Marlin 1895 from his widow, Gloria. It wears standard “buckhorn” irons and seems amazingly accurate, as far as I can see the sights. With some forward weight from that heavy barrel, it is also pleasant to shoot. It’s still on my bucket list to go hunting with it—Chub would like that—but I’m reluctant because I can no longer properly resolve the open sights much beyond 50 yds.—and an optical sight would just look weird on this traditional rifle.
With a long octagonal barrel and shockingly good wood, my Marlin 1895CB is a lever-action from another era. Winchester lever–actions get most of the Hollywood glory, but I well recall several appearances of Marlin rifles: Glenn Ford carried one in “Cimarron,” and a Marlin saved Brad Pitt’s bacon in “Legends of the Fall.” Marlin lever guns are cool, and I have long admired the current “guide gun” concept: short barrel, sling swivels, weatherproof finish and some type of updated sighting equipment—maybe a ghost-ring reticle, red-dot sight or low-powered scope.
In factory offerings the “guide gun” chambering is most likely to be the great old .45-70 Gov’t. Up close it hits like a freight train, and the Marlin action is strong enough to use either handloads or “specialty loads” that take the old warhorse up into a different power class. Marlin 1895 Lever Action Rifle
No matter what loads you use, the .45-70 Gov’t is not a long-range cartridge and, thus, is not versatile. I probably wouldn’t choose it to hunt brown bears. Nobody shoots big bears at long range, but there’s always the chance for a medium-range shot that’s beyond the .45-70’s comfort zone. On the other hand, I’m not a bear guide. Short, handy and powerful, the guide gun really is excellent for close-range defense and for digging a wounded bear out of a thick alder patch. I see it as a great big timber/close cover setup. It will anchor big bucks without excessive meat damage, is equally good for elk and moose in close cover, and is perfect for the biggest black bears over bait or with hounds
NOT GRANDAD’S MARLIN
Marlin currently offers eight versions of its Model 1895CB Big Bore in .45-70 Gov’t: one with a 22″ round barrel and half-magazine; a full-magazine rifle with a 26″ octagon barrel like my 1895; and six versions with 18.5″ barrels. The latter offer good bases for the guide gun concept. From the factory they come in several stock options: straight or pistol grip; wood, laminate or synthetic. The ultimate from the factory is probably the Model 1895SBL: stainless and laminate, six-round-capacity tubular magazine, sling swivel studs, oversized finger loop, and a rail mount with post front and ghost-ring rear aperture. It’s pretty much ready to go (anywhere) right out of the box, but folks, that ain’t all!
The group that owns Remington Arms acquired Marlin some time back—and also Dakota Arms in Sturgis, S.D. It’s known and lamented that there have been delays getting Marlin back up to full production. Not so well known is that the Marlin Custom Shop was moved to Sturgis. There, custom rifles are the order of the day, and the Custom Shop is turning out some of the finest lever-actions I’ve ever seen. The subject of this article is an “ultimate guide gun” from the Marlin Custom Shop, chambered in .45-70 Gov’t and based on a Marlin 1895SBL.
This rifle is not your grandfather’s Marlin. It is a major upgrade, and also extremely modern. If my grandfather had owned a Model 1895 in .45-70 Gov’t, it would likely have been the older “square bolt” model manufactured from 1895 to 1917. The newer Model 1895 is a different design that simply honors the earlier model designation. It traces its roots to 1948 when the Model 36 was updated with a round bolt and became the Model 336. That begat the modern Model 1895 in .45-70, which came on the market in 1972. It was a combination that rekindled a lot of interest in the grand old cartridge—even more so when the short-barreled guide gun version appeared in 1998. Of course the Marlin Custom Shop is fully capable of doing traditional custom work on all manner of Marlin rifles—but its guide gun is a particularly capable lever-action with several practical enhancements. Marlin 1895 Lever Action Rifle
The laminated stock has been finished with a desert camouflage Cerakote finish; the metalwork has a flat Cerakote finish in desert tan. The rail mount with ghost-ring aperture is maintained, and the bottom of the enlarged finger loop is wrapped with nylon parachute cord matching the stock finish. With an 18.5″ barrel the rifle has a 37″ overall length, making it quite handy. There’s a lot of steel in those inches; weight is 7 lbs., 12 ozs. In .45-70, I’m not sure you’d want it a lot lighter, especially if you intend to shoot heavy loads. The rifle handles extremely well; I first saw a couple of them at the SHOT Show last year and was intrigued; it seemed a fitting tribute to the guide gun concept—especially if it shot as well as it looked.
FIT AND FINISH
Remington’s product manager for Dakota Arms and the Marlin Custom Shop is an old friend, Carlos Martinez—as is Ward Dobler, a key player at Dakota for many years. I talked to both of them about the custom shop Marlins. Lever-actions are a lot different than the Dakota bolt-actions and single-shots produced in Sturgis for decades. It’s taken a lot of effort, and both Martinez and Dobler are proud of the results. A lot of work goes into these guns, and while the outside is one thing, the inside is another. The Cerakote finishing on both stock and metal are perfect, but this facelift is more than skin deep. The basic Marlin rifle is completely disassembled and the internal parts are polished and smoothed.
And while it’s often said that you can’t do much about the trigger of most lever-action rifles, try the trigger pull on one of these custom shop Marlins and you will instantly feel that this isn’t exactly true. The triggers are crisp and clean, and the example I was sent for this article broke at 3 lbs., 8 ozs. Availability is limited, so it took some time before I was able to get my hands on one. But as soon as I did I took it to the range.
Marlin’s .45-70 rifles have a slow 1:20″ rifling twist intended to stabilize the lighter, shorter bullets most commonly used today. As I said, my 1895 Marlin with 26″ barrel is shockingly accurate: At 50 yds. it cuts one ragged hole with every load I’ve tried. My problem is that there’s no point in shooting groups at longer distances because I can’t see the buckhorn sights well enough for it to be meaningful. The rail mount on the Custom Shop guide gun offered a whole world of alternatives. Marlin 1895 Lever Action Rifle
Naturally, I started with the ghost-ring aperture. Considering the range limitations of the .45-70 Gov’t, I’ve long figured “paper plate” accuracy was plenty good enough. So I started with paper plate drills. Available ammunition was Hornady’s 325gr. FTX in the LEVERevolution series, a fast load rated at 2050 f.p.s. The ghost-ring aperture at the rear of the rail is both removable (for low scope mounting) and adjustable—but it came out of the box in almost perfect zero at 50 yds.
With aperture sights there’s a compromise to be made. The smaller the aperture, the more precise the sight alignment; the larger the aperture, the faster the target acquisition. The ghost-ring concept is a large aperture, fast but not precise. In my case it doesn’t matter—my days of precise shooting with aperture sights are over! So, although initial accuracy with the ghost ring was surprisingly good, I next went to an Aimpoint Micro red-dot unit that was easily clamped onto the rail mount and zeroed.
Results on paper plate drills at 50 yds. were excellent. At 100 yds. the dot starts to subtend to a size that obscures a bit of the target, but I shot multiple 2″ groups. Clearly this dog wanted to hunt. In time I would take the rifle hog hunting, and I intended to use the Aimpoint. Here on California’s Central Coast we’re in the “condor zone,” meaning we have to use lead–free bullets, so I also checked it with Hornady’s 250-gr. Monoflex load, a homogenous alloy bullet. Accuracy was indistinguishable, and out to 100 yds. there was no appreciable difference in point of impact.
This rifle clearly wanted to shoot, so to give it the best chance to strut its stuff from the bench I mounted a much larger scope than I would normally put on a .45-70. Using Leupold’s Tactical mount, I clamped a Minox ZA5 2.5-10X onto the rail. Yeah, okay, that’s not a huge scope—but it still looks silly resting atop such a classic design. However, while magnification has nothing to do with raw accuracy, it sure does make it easier to shoot groups.
The Marlin stock is essentially designed for use with open sights, and it was perfect with the supplied ghost-ring aperture. It was okay with the low-mounted Aimpoint, and I assume it would be fine with a small scope mounted low. With the larger scope the comb was hopelessly low. This also has nothing to do with raw accuracy, but everything to do with getting a comfortable and consistent cheek-weld for shooting groups. I strapped on a left-handed Hornady cheekpiece and adjusted it a bit so the fit was perfect. Marlin 1895 Lever Action Rifle
With the scope at 10X, shooting Hornady’s 325-gr. FTX load, I would like to say the results were equally perfect, but I don’t know what that means. I do know the .45-70 Gov’t produces a bit of recoil, and firing five five-shot groups “for score” was a challenge. My intention was to cool and clean between groups, which I did, but I noticed significant vertical stringing within the first few groups. This is not uncommon with tubular-magazine lever-actions. The barrel and magazine are pinned together by a fore-end cap. During firing the barrel heats (and expands), but the tubular magazine does not. Too much heat and accuracy can begin to degrade.
Per American Rifleman protocol, I fired five five-shot groups. I took it slow, allowing the barrel to cool between shots in April temperatures that were in the low 70s. Groups were measured at extreme spread with a micrometer, then 0.458″ subtracted for bullet diameter. The best group of the five was 0.617″, at that large caliber pretty much a ragged hole. The worst was a very mediocre 1.781″—maybe shooter error. But the average for all five groups was 1.321″. In bolt-action terms that is not exceptional, but might be acceptable. In a tubular-magazine lever-action firing a 144-year-old cartridge I think it’s impressive. Especially when you consider that there are no “match loads” for the .45-70. Appropriately, today’s factory loads focus on field performance and maximum velocity at pressures low enough to be safe for use in Trapdoor Springfields. Accuracy well under 1 1/2″ at 100 yds? I’ll take it. That level of accuracy is all anybody needs from a .45-70—and a whole lot more!
The rifle kicked itself clear of the sandbags with every shot, but .45-70 recoil is more of a push than a hard rap, so it isn’t difficult to deal with. The trigger pull is superb, and loading and unloading were smooth and easy. I noted that there was some velocity loss from the short barrel. Hornady’s 325gr. FTX is rated at 2050 f.p.s. from a 24” barrel. In the 18.5” barrel, actual velocity was 1745 f.p.s. The 250-gr. Monoflex load is rated a bit slower at 2025 f.p.s., probably from pressure concerns with homogenous-alloy bullets in Trapdoor Springfields and other not-so-strong actions. Actual velocity with the 18.5″ barrel was a bit faster at 1805 f.p.s. Obviously the short, handy guide gun concept trades off some velocity, but the bullet is still of large diameter and hits hard. I wouldn’t worry too much about the speed, but you do want to match the bullet to the game you’re hunting.
BRINGING HOME THE BACON
In my case, the light-for-caliber Monoflex bullet was the only available load I could use, so I got a date in April with Chad Wiebe of Oak Stone Outfitters (oakstoneoutfitters.com), about 20 miles north of my house, and checked zero with it and the Aimpoint sight.
Our pigs are down after the long drought, but they’re coming back fast. Against that, we’d gotten good rains, which meant there was lots of food and plenty of water, and the pigs were widely dispersed. In the morning we saw quite a few pigs, but I gave my wife Donna the first shot, and she shot a really big hog with her 7 mm-08 Rem. Now it was my turn, but wind and heat came up quickly and we saw no more pigs. Marlin 1895 Lever Action Rifle
The evening was cooling fast, good, but the wind was still strong, not so good. Chad and I looked high and low all afternoon, seeing zero pigs, which is pretty unusual in this area. The light was fading, and I was thinking it was going to be another short night and early morning when we came around a corner and saw four pigs rooting at 70 yds. They were all about the same size, maybe 150 lbs., no monsters, but no piglets—all were perfect “eatin’-size” porkers. I picked the one that looked the largest, waited until it turned broadside, and put the red dot on the center of the shoulder.
There was no noticeable reaction, but the other three pigs ran left and that pig ran straight away, lost behind a tree before I could work the lever. I was pretty sure of a hit and so was Chad, but dark was coming fast. Quickly finding blood where the pig had stood, we took the line. The pig was down in less than 40 yds. That little Monoflex bullet had gone in one shoulder and out the other, little damage but a very dead pig—just like it had been hit by a .45-70. Immediately I felt as though I was facing a dilemma: I don’t need another .45-70, and really can’t afford this one. So should I send it back or keep it and take it on a bear hunt?
I suppose I should have anticipated as much after remembering back to the NRA Annual Meeting &Exhibits in Atlanta where several Marlin Custom Shop lever-actions were on display. There were Model 1895CBs, 1894s and 336s, and when I picked one off the rack and worked the action, I knew that this was not my grandad’s Marlin. Well, it might have been if he’d used it for 40-odd years, because it sure felt a lot slicker than I expected!
Review: Marlin 1895CB
By ALEX LUFFO FROM gunspatrol.com
If you wade into the den the Dark Lord, bring your guts and a Marlin 1895CB. The classic lever action rifle has developed a solid following among amateur hunters and professional guides alike. Heck, if someone — anyone — is walking into the field with a big bore lever action rifle, odds are it’s a Marlin 1895.
Sadly, mistakes made after Marlin’s transition to Freedom Group Remington ownership tarnished the reputation of the once sterling brand. Many lever action fans, myself included, turned their back on the new “Remlins”.
Good people, you can turn your faces back to the light. The big bore beauties have been revived, are as good as they ever were, and the Marlin 1895CB proves it. Marlin 1895 Lever Action Rifle
The mid-20th century Marlin is not the original late 19th century Marlin. That’s because the heart of the Marlin lever action center fire rifles changed quite a bit in 1948, with the Marlin 36. The 36 then became the 336 we are all now so familiar with. It’s pretty easy to tell the 19th century Marlins from the later versions. If you see a big oblong cut-out on the right side of the receiver, it’s a post ’48 model.
That open receiver housed a round bolt with a corresponding cut for it to travel through the receiver. As opposed to the old model this allows the 336 to have a good deal more metal surrounding it, and at the same time allows for single round loading. The newMarlin 1895CB is simply a Model 336, enlarged for the old .45-70 Government caliber and released in 1972. If you are reading reloading data about the modern lever action Marlin, this action is what they are referring to.
The .45-70 load is about the only government I like. The practically ancient black powder cartridge is really at least two, and more like three different cartridges, depending on the firearm it’s used in. Marlin 1895 Lever Action Rifle
Most reloading manuals will have a “weak” action section, like the Trapdoor Springefield. At this pressure level, generating 1,600 ft/lbs of muzzle energy, the cartridge is capable of taking any game animal in the western hemisphere.
At the far opposite end of the spectrum, you have the Ruger No 1, probably the strongest action ever created for a hunting rifle. The No 1 in .45-70 Government has been loaded to produce 4,000 ft/lbs of muzzle energy. I can tell you from personal experience, a lightweight Ruger No 1 (7 lbs naked) loaded and fired at this level takes meat on both ends.
Somewhere not quite to that level are the “strong lever actions.” The example of the “strong lever action” in most manuals is the Marlin 1895, made after the 1948 model 336 changes. In this firearm, like the 1895CB, the old workhorse can launch a 320 gr bullet at 1,900 fps, easily surpassing the 3,000 ft/lbs of energy mark, and quite a bit more. With the right bullet, such as those by Garret Cartridges, the Marlin 1895CB is well capable of ethically taking any animal on Earth.
Although the Marlin 1895 shot a buffalo-killing cartridge, it was never one of the buffalo guns. After all, there were less than 100 American Bison free-ranging by the time the first Marlin 1895 was produced. Nor was it really a cowboy gun. It arrived too late in the game for that as well, and the cartridge the great rifle fired was simply out of date by the time the model 336 came out. The .30-30 grossly outsold it (and justly so.)
No, the popularity of the 1895 didn’t really have anything to do with the western expansion or the cowboy age at all. If anything, it was the shorter barreled “guide gun” versions, either custom or from the factory, that really built the 1895’s legacy. Marlin 1895 Lever Action Rifle
Alaskan bush hunters and their guides needed a shorter rifle that packed a punch, and so many gravitated to the Marlin. That short barreled (16″-18″) 1895 became synonymous with the Alaskan bush guide’s profession. It also helps that, in the 1970’s and 80’s, there simply weren’t many options for lever action .45-70s to choose from.
By naming this new rifle the Marlin 1895CB (for Cowboy), Marlin is borrowing a bit of mythological nostalgia from its own past, and the reputation of the modern repeater, now legendary for heavy loads in hard country.
Although it has the improved action of the Model 336, the current 1895CB shares a lot of features with the original rifle.
Both the 19th century Marlin and the current CB come with a 26″ blued octagonal barrel. The modern 1895CB has a tapered barrel, and by the time it ends, the .458″ tunnel doesn’t leave much metal left. The result is an easy-handling gun that moves quickly and balances very well, for its length. The traditional Ballard cut barrel has a 1:20 twist, enough to stabilize the heavy 400 to 500 grain flat-nosed bullets.
Directly underneath that barrel is a full-length magazine. That tube holds nine rounds of dinosaur-stomping authority. Folks, if you need more than two, something has gone awry. Consider retreat. Marlin 1895 Lever Action Rifle
The stocks on the CB are a straight grained American black walnut. Most of the post ’48 models of the 1895s I’ve seen, and the majority of the ones currently offered by Marlin, sport the fuller pistol grip style buttstock. Neither grip is more traditional than the other, at least not on the 1895s. Plenty of examples of both styles exist on the 19th century models.
Lever gun aficionados are familiar with the “Marlin red” finish of the wood on the older guns as well as many custom Marlins. The CB’s stocks are a natural shade of light brown.
The original 1895’s finish came color case hardened, but a blued receiver was available from the factory as well at no additional cost. This is a firearm that looks especially beautiful with a case hardened receiver, but no such option is currently available from the factory. There are a few folks now that can color case harden these guns. This refinishing is not particularly cheap, but worth every penny.
If you chose to scope your 1895, I would hope that you would not do so for the CB model. However, if you absolutely must, the Marlin comes drilled and tapped for a rail atop the receiver.
There is no rubber butt pad, but instead a hard plastic checkered plate with the Marlin logo. The originals were metal and more curved like the rifle buttstocks of their time. Although the robustness of the metal is appreciated, the flatter plastic butt plate is far more forgiving in recoil. I would have appreciated a rubber butt pad even more, both for comfort in long strings of shooting as well as the additional length of pull. Marlin 1895 Lever Action Rifle
The lever is a standard narrow style, and it’s blued. Sharp edges on the lever is one of the things I noticed on the Marlin guns immediately after Remington purchased them. No such failing exists on the new Marlin 1895CB. Yes, all Marlin levers are more narrow, and therefore a little sharper than some other manufacturers’ guns, but this lever has rounded and polished edges, as it should. Marlin 1895 Lever Action Rifle
Unlike the early Marlins, the current generation of 1895s (and 1894s) include a cross bolt safety. It works perfectly, but does spoil a bit of the aesthetic of the receiver. If you should choose, a filler block for the safety is inexpensive and simple to install.
The sights are also similar to the old models, although several options on the originals were available from the factory. The 1895CB includes a simple drift-adjustable front sight with a brass bead. Like every other modern production rifle with a brass bead front sight, this one works much better with a little bit of hand polishing.
After Marlin fell under the Remington umbrella, a misaligned front sight was one of the most common complaints against the Marlin guns. There was no such issue here. I also had the opportunity to check out quite a few newer Marlin lever action rifles over the last few months at various Cowboy Action Shooting matches. Although most of the guns had significant work done on them to increase their cycle speed, none had any issues with sight alignment.
The rear sight is a traditional ramp-mounted buckhorn version, with a white diamond insert. This design works well for more precise shooting over longer ranges, as well as using the wider portion between the top of the ears for fast shooting at close-in and moving targets. Marlin 1895 Lever Action Rifle
Because of the wide variation of loads and uses, the stair-stepped ramp on the rear sight is particularly vital for rifles firing the .45-70 cartridge. For example, a duplicate of the Trapdoor Springfield cartridge requires the rear sight at the highest setting to hit point-of-aim to point-of-impact at 100 yards. The modern Hornady 325gr FTXLeverEvolutionrequires the next-to-lowest setting.
Right out of the box, the Marlin has a darn good trigger. There’s very, very little creep or mush. You really have to try to feel for it. The trigger breaks at 4 lbs, 8 oz as the average of five pulls with a Lyman digital trigger scale. Curiously, although the trigger breaks cleanly, there was a 4 oz difference between the highest and lowest weight of those five pulls. I have Marlins with a Happy Trigger Kit installed, and some of those guns needed it. This gun does not.
There’s no such thing as a buttery smooth Marlin factory action. The 1895 requires a solid tug to get the action open, followed by a strong pull to get it back started home again, and there are a couple of little hitches along the way. I’ve felt this with every factory Marlin of the modern age, no matter who owned the company. A Marlin action can be smoothed out, but it takes someone who really knows what they are doing to make a big difference.
For this review, I paid particular attention to the action. Problems loading and cycling are the issues I have personally witnessed on several of the new generation Marlin rifles. I’ve purchased a Marlin 336 that, right out of the box, would not load and cycle any commercial round I put into it. Marlin 1895 Lever Action Rifle
This 1895CB has a lifter that lifts just fine and a finger lever that pivots smoothly and without catch. These were some of the previous areas of concern, but the many folks who coaxed me back to Marlin seem to be right. For all of the things that went wrong, Marlin seems to have gotten back to building guns right, and the quality control to keep it consistent.
With the right bullet, the 1895CB is capable of more precision than most would expect. Recreating the original Trapdoor Springfield load, a 405 grain lead bullet traveling at just about 1,400 fps, the 1895CB produced an average of 2-inch five-shot groups over four-shot strings from a Caldwell Stinger shooting rest at 100 yards.
The standard deviation of these rounds varied widely, as a percentage. The smallest groups measured just over 1.4″, with a cloverleaf pattern. I got lucky with that one, but mild pressures, gooey bullet lube, a bore-sealing lead bullet, and long sight radius is always a great combination for rifle accuracy.
Stepping up to a more modern loading, the commercial Hornady 325gr FTXLeverEvolution round shot 2.7-inch average groups. In the Marlin, the Hornady round is carrying 1,000 ft/lbs of energy at three hundred yards. Many hunters consider it the new standard for store-bought lever gun performance, and for good reason. Marlin 1895 Lever Action Rifle
I ran the 1895CB at a local black powder cartridge long-range match, shooting 8″, 12″, and 15″ targets out to 400 yards. For this match, I used 70 grains of GOEX FFgpowder under a well lubed 405 grain bullet, and took first place in my division (barrel mounted sights). I guess I should note that I was the only person shooting in my division.
For the match and the practice leading up to it, I shot 80 rounds of this load, cleaning the bore fully and blasting the action with Birchwood Casey Gun Scrubber spray after rounds 40 and 80. I also shot multiple Hornady commercial cartridges, to include 40 rounds of their 250 grain Monoflex and 60 rounds of the 325 grain FTX cartridges. In addition to these, I fired 20 rounds of Winchester’s 300gr Super X commercial cartridge. I also shot 100 405 grain Rim Rock bullets with various smokeless loadings at low to moderate velocities.
Other than the black powder loads, I never cleaned the gun at all during the review and I never had any issues loading, firing, or ejecting a round. I shot all of the jacketed rounds after I shot the lead rounds. Out of the box, this is a gun I’d stake my life on. Marlin 1895 Lever Action Rifle
Considering the feeling of betrayal I experienced with some previous Marlins, I was hard-pressed to pick up another one in earnest. Too many people who know their lever guns convinced me otherwise, and I’m glad they did. The new production Marlin 1895CB is just as good as any Marlins produced in decades.
Accurate, dependable, and supremely powerful, it also looks pretty good to boot.
For me, this rifle was just too good to turn back in. I bought the gun and I can’t wait to get a Soule sight set for it and get back to the range as well as bear hunting this Fall and Spring. Marlin 1895 Lever Action Rifle
Caliber: 45-70 Gov’t.
Capacity: 9-shot tubular magazine
Action: Lever action, side ejection, solid-top receiver
Finish: Blued metal surfaces
Safety: Hammer block safety
Stock: American black walnut straight-grip stock
Barrel: 26″ tapered octagon barrel, Ballard-type rifling (6 grooves)
Barrel twist rate: 1:20″
Sights: Adjustable Marbles Arms semi-buckhorn rear sight and Marbles front sight post
Length: 44 1/2″
Length of Pull: 13 3/8”
Weight: 7 lbs.
Ratings (out of five stars):
Style and Appearance * * * *
The blued finish is even and well done for a working gun. The straight-grained walnut stocks are well executed with an even fitment around the metal.
Reliability * * * * *
With any round, commercial or homemade, from 250 grain Hornady Monoflex to 405 grain pure lead and hard cast, from myriad smokeless powders to old-school black, this faithful lever gun ran and ran and ran.
Accuracy * * * * *
As good as anyone can expect with traditional barrel-mounted iron sights and a long sight radius.
Overall * * * * 1/2
I’ll take half a star off for standard wood and a good, but nothing special finish. The truth of it is that this is a great gun, supremely capable anywhere on Earth. Whatever Remington got wrong on Marlin before, they have indeed fixed the production issues with these guns. With the 1895CB, Marlin has reminded us all why these fantastic lever actions gained such a deserved following. Now that Marlin is for sale again, let’s all hope the new owners take those lessons to heart.
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