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Ruger Unveils New Lever-Action Marlin 1895 SBL Rifle


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Hope they do a good job bringing it back to life .

 

Legacy, tradition and American-made are all words that describe American gunmakers Ruger and Marlin so it’s fitting that Sturm, Ruger and Co. was the company that purchased Marlin Firearms assets from the then-bankrupt Remington Outdoor Company in 2020. Ruger’s goal: to make Marlin better than ever—and it’s doing just that. Today it announced the unveiling of its first-ever Ruger-made Marlin rifle: the classic lever-action Marlin 1895 SBL (Stainless Big Loop), packed with upgrades and innovations hunters and shooters will appreciate.

Ruger’s big undertaking involved delivering both new and improved features on the Marlin 1895 SBL backed by Ruger’s reputation for rugged, reliable firearms. The first step was to get Marlin’s centerfire lever-actions back on the market by December 2021 with immediate focus on the 1895 SBL in .45-70 Goverment. But while Ruger purchased Marlin’s equipment, rights, design, branding, inventory and machinery, the process entailed far more than the flip of a switch.

“Our biggest thing was to meet or exceed [expectations] in catering to Marlin aficionados,” said Ruger Public Relations Manager Paul Pluff. “We added better machines, rebuilt fixtures and created new ones.” As for how Ruger can sell the quality product it sells for a fair price, note that without doing this, in the long run, Rugers—and now Marlins—would cost more or not work as well. As Pluff explained, “Every part was reviewed with a fine-tooth comb, understanding that removing material at stress points tightens tolerances. Can we do it better? What will this cost? How tight must we create every part to make Marlin better than before?”

I got to test the rifle on a hunt with Pluff and a few friends two weeks ago in Texas with outfitter Steve Jones of Backcountry Hunts. We had the option of chasing a Carmen Mountain whitetail, an aoudad or a mule deer using Hornady LEVERevolution ammunition, designed specifically to provide higher ballistic coefficients for lever guns, thanks to the Flex Tip technology of its FTX and MonoFlex bullets. I was not surprised at how my whitetail dropped at 115 yards, considering the rifle’s accuracy and the .45-70's terminal performance. It was the same with Pluff’s whitetail at 200 yards. While other chamberings are superior at longer ranges, I thought of the thick, brushy areas particularly back East where hunters are lucky to see out to 200 yards, and certainly they will put the fast-handling rifle to good use.

Mehall Shooting Marlin 1895 SBL off rock

While Ruger is continuing with Marlin’s forged receivers, the first big difference is that the 1:20-inch twist-rate barrels are being produced using the cold-hammer-forging process for which Ruger is known (versus the button- and broach-rifling methods). This aids accuracy and consistency, and barrels better handle heat and stress, improving barrel life. During production, the “hammers” pound on the barrel as a mandrel inside the hole of the blank creates rifling with the desired twist rate, as rifling lands and grooves are formed into the surface in reverse relief. (Worth noting, cold-hammer forging is part of the reason the Ruger American rifle is so accurate—especially for the money.)

The fact the rifle’s 19-inch barrel has a cap for a sound suppressor is also a big deal. Explaining the importance of the end cap, Pluff noted, “The Marlin lever-action 1895 SBL comes with a finely-machined barrel end cap that not only completes the attractive polished aesthetics but protects the 11/16X24 TPI barrel threads, which will allow for the addition of a suppressor or muzzle brake of the owner’s choice.”

Pluff also emphasized how heat-treating critical stainless parts prior to machining creates a better product, though it changes machining “tack times” (the number of pieces that can be produced per hour—something Ruger has down pat). For background, tack time changes the variance rate. The more overhead you have and the less you can produce, the higher cost of the gun.

Sighting in 1895 SBL

Addressing engagement with the sear, hammer notches are now cut with a wire-EDM (electrical discharge machining) machine, which permits cuts that can’t be made on a CNC (computer numerical controlled) machine, such as those inside the receiver. The result is probably the most rugged Marlin rifle ever made. A heated electrical wire melts away excess materials, ideal for operations that require tight tolerances. Usually, “EDM-ing” creates a finer part. In contrast, Remington used an old broaching machine to cut notches, leading to inconsistent trigger pulls from gun to gun. The previous trigger pull of 5 to 7 pounds was replaced with a 6-to 6.5-pound trigger that breaks clean and hard. The rifle feeds easily and the big loop lever is nice for people like me whose hands tend to need gloves, even on warmer days.

In addition, the Ruger-made Marlin features are:

  • Tumbling of parts that interact with one another to make a smoother action and remove burrs, and they are gauged at every step to meet specs
  • Softening of the sharp edges on the lever, trigger, hammer and loading port
  • Improved machining to create a cleaner surface prior to polishing so there is less sanding and polishing of metal to remove machine marks
  • Heat-treating of all stainless-steel parts prior to machining
  • Improved thread timing on the barrel and receiver
  • Improved barrel torque process is more precise, providing for straight front and rear sights every time,

The chamber has fewer parts to machine. The receiver and “finger lever” slugs are heat-treated first, and the finger lever is machined to fit together better. Ruger provided the following overall specs:  

  • Chambered in .45-70 Gov’t
  • Polished stainless steel with a 19-inch barrel with a threaded muzzle (11/16-inch X 24 threads)
  • Black-and-gray laminate stock
  • Six-shot tumbler magazine (total capacity is seven)
  • Low-profile HiVIZ optic front site with tritium ring and HiVIZ rail with fully adjustable rear sight ideal for fast target acquisition and follow-up shots
  • Big loop lever
  • Forged machined receiver for added strength and durability
  • Updated nickel-plated bolt with spiral flutes that add a distinct look and make for a smoother, improved action
  • Thicker recoil pad to minimize felt recoil
  • Weight: 7.35 pounds
  • Crossbolt safety
  • MSRP: $1,399

 

https://www.americanhunter.org/content/ruger-unveils-new-lever-action-marlin-1895-sbl-rifle/

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Marlin made their name by selling quality firearms for a working mans price.

Remington tried making a firearm under Marlins name with terrible quality but at a price point.

Ruger had a choice when they bought Marlin to make a cheap gun or a quality gun. Looks like they’re going the quality route. Let’s hope they sell enough of them to keep the Marlin traditions going!


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I have a Marlin, Marlin.  Shoots like pointing my finger.  Feared by deer and never jams

My buddy had a Remington Marlin toward their demise.  What a piece of crap and just looked cheap. Jammed often

Have you been to the gun store?  Guns aren't cheap unless they really are cheaply made.  Price of both guns and ammo went way up in last two years.  Ruger is one company I think could do Marlin Justice.

Unlike what happened to Winchester.  What's the first question.  Is it pre-1964?  

Edited by hueyjazz
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1 hour ago, Buckmaster7600 said:

Marlin made their name by selling quality firearms for a working mans price.

Remington tried making a firearm under Marlins name with terrible quality but at a price point.

Ruger had a choice when they bought Marlin to make a cheap gun or a quality gun. Looks like they’re going the quality route. Let’s hope they sell enough of them to keep the Marlin traditions going!


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I have no doubts they will succeed 

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I have no doubts they will succeed 

Obviously they have people way smarter than me that have decided that there is but I don’t see the market being very big, Especially for the big bores! 1300$ for a gun that is basically a toy for most isn’t something I see them selling tons of but I hope for ruger and the Marlin name that I am wrong!


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1 hour ago, Buckmaster7600 said:


A few hundred gun broker sales are a long ways from making up a 30,000,000 initial investment. I hope I’m wrong but I just don’t see it working out for them.


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In 2021 Ruger had 570 MILLION dollars in sales.

30m is just a tax write off and a competitor didn’t get the name. Get salvage value for some equipment and inventory…..

I don’t think they care.

From what Ive read, just sales through Lipseys and special runs, put Ruger in the black for a year. And thats just one distributor that unless you are into Ruger number 1’s, most here wouldn’t even know.

Edited by Dinsdale
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This was talked about in detail a few weeks back on the Big Woods Bucks Podcast. The guy from Skinner Sights got to demo one and was talking about it. I just picked up a Henry .45-70 to scratch that itch and I gotta say I’m a fan of the tube load. I don’t love side gates. I realize I’m likely in the minority with that. I wish they’d (anyone in America) would make a straight grip, 16” .44 mag with a normal size lever, and preferably a tube load option. Looks like I’ll have to customize a Henry to get that.

I hope the Ruger Marlins are good and sell like hotcakes.


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This was talked about in detail a few weeks back on the Big Woods Bucks Podcast. The guy from Skinner Sights got to demo one and was talking about it. I just picked up a Henry .45-70 to scratch that itch and I gotta say I’m a fan of the tube load. I don’t love side gates. I realize I’m likely in the minority with that. I wish they’d (anyone in America) would make a straight grip, 16” .44 mag with a normal size lever, and preferably a tube load option. Looks like I’ll have to customize a Henry to get that.

I hope the Ruger Marlins are good and sell like hotcakes.


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I’m definitely with you on preferring the tube load! So much easier to load and unload! So much so that I carry my Henry over my 16” 1972 Winchester 94 in 44mag although it’s almost 2lbs heavier.

I carried a 16” 44 mag Henry most of this year and really enjoyed it. I wish they would make them a couple pounds lighter but other than that I really liked toting it! Why don’t you like the big loop? I think they look stupid and slow you down a bit while racking but that’s offset by how fast I can get my hand in the loop while bringing the gun to my shoulder.


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I’m definitely with you on preferring the tube load! So much easier to load and unload! So much so that I carry my Henry over my 16” 1972 Winchester 94 in 44mag although it’s almost 2lbs heavier.

I carried a 16” 44 mag Henry most of this year and really enjoyed it. I wish they would make them a couple pounds lighter but other than that I really liked toting it! Why don’t you like the big loop? I think they look stupid and slow you down a bit while racking but that’s offset by how fast I can get my hand in the loop while bringing the gun to my shoulder.


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You answered it for me…they look stupid lol. I have never understood why most lever guns are so heavy. In my opinion there is no reason for them to be over 6lbs. I want it short and as light as possible. I find myself carrying my BLR in .358 with 20” barrel or a BAR Shorttrac with 18” barrel the most nowadays.


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