What's on your Marlin Wish List?
(With Ruger gearing up their manufacturing, what can we expect?)
by Scott Crawford - May 14, 2021
With 2021 nearing the half way point and a promise from Ruger that they would start shipping centerfire Marlin rifles before the end of the year, I'm starting to get excited. There has been a lot of speculation as to which models they will continue, resurrect & bring back or possibly discontinue. The later gives me the shivers.
To be honest I believe they will issue standard models from all of the major three groups, the 336, 1894 & 1895's. I'm expecting at least one jaw dropping new model for them to regain a foot hold in the lever action industry. Personally I'd like to see some models with factory porting come back, at least in the Guide Guns & Outfitters. Chime in and let me know what you're hoping for after you read the whole article.
A couple Marlin models from circa 1998-2000 (Outfitter & Guide Gun)
As I type this I'm waiting patiently for a response from Ruger on my "Request for Information" that I've sent them regarding product serial number tables and current status on their factory floor. I've also asked for a listing of projected models to be produced through the end of 2021; I'm not expecting much feedback on the later as it would spoil a nice Shot Show presentation....
With Marlin's rich & troubled history it's amazing how well they have recovered from previous buyouts & bankruptcy. I would suggest their favorable recoveries had a lot to do with the loyal following of Marlin owners. I'm a bit more concerned this time around just because of the length of time they have been out of production. Henry Firearms has really stepped up their game with a huge number of new releases and of course now they incorporated a side loading gate.
To offset some of my worries I'm anticipating excellent quality coming out of the Mayodan, NC factory. That being said there are always hundreds if not thousands of potential process related issues that could delay a quality release. I know this isn't Ruger's first rodeo so I'm betting on them to remedy any issues prior to shipments beginning.
Ruger's Mayodan Mfg Plant in North Carolina
At the February Quarterly Earnings Conference this year Ruger's CEO Christopher J. Killoy announced that they indeed did hire some Remington employees that were familiar with the product that had been shipped to Mayodan. Over 100 semi-trailer loads showed up including product in varying degrees of completion and of course machinery. All of the wood working equipment was parsed out and sent to their New Hampshire facility where they are sorting it out readying for production. The Mayodan facility has also hired some amount of new employees to be trained to work alongside existing production line workers. Speaking of, the line is being setup and parts should start rolling off sometime over the next few months. Assembly, although a critical part of production isn't what could hold up shipments. Machines churning out metal & wood parts on the other hand are the larger areas of risk. Remembering the transition from Marlin skilled employees over to Remington line workers brings back terrible memories. I have higher hopes for Ruger/Marlin.
An inside look at Ruger's Mayodan Plant
The hot Lever Action of 2019
The Marlin 336 was introduced to enthusiasts in 1948, although the overall design was a familiar one with lever-action fans. It’s a direct descendant of the company’s Model 1893, which went out of production in 1936 after more than 40 years. Unlike its predecessor, though, its breech bolt is rounded and stronger, and the mainspring and trigger springs are coil instead of flat. The gun has a variety of other improved features that, cumulatively, continue to make it a perennial contender for the title of best-selling lever-action rifle to this day. In fact, last year it was the third-most-popular in that category among retailers using the services of GunBroker.com.
Side ejection gives the rifle a decidedly modern advantage over most other lever-actions—optics can be mounted. The 336 Dark model even comes with a rail atop the receiver to make the process fast and easy and another version even ships from the factory with a 3-9x32 mm riflescope already mounted and bore sighted. It’s the classic look that attracted the more new owners in 2019, though. The wood stock with checkering at the wrist and fore-end were more popular than the laminated or railed polymer versions with a threaded barrel. It even outsold the Model 336C Curly Maple version, which is worth a double-take if you’re a lever-action fan. Most enthusiasts went with the stainless metal finish.
According to GunBroker, the most popular choice in chambering was another timeless one, .30-30 Win. The 336 is also available in .35 Rem., if you’re wondering. Versions with a 20-inch barrel won the competition, although there’s also a Compact variety that wears 16.5 incher. All feature the company’s micro-groove rifling. There were 10 models from which to choose and MSRPs ran from $693.67 to $1,059.94. The latter, the 336TDL Texas Deluxe, has B-grade American Walnut, light engraving and Marlin horse and rider inlaid in gold on the receiver.
Marlin model 336 circa 2019
IN THIS ARTICLE
Marlin Firearms Ruger Remington Arms Henry GunBroker.com
June 1, 2021 at 9:37 am
I too am looking forward to the New Marlin releases. Like you I like the ported models, I have ported Guide Gun and 1894P. I will be checking back with you from time to time to keep up on Marlins progress. Thank You