Author Topic: I've decided I must get one of these (UPDATED WITH PIX ON P.2)  (Read 3915 times)

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Offline Grendel

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I've decided I must get one of these (UPDATED WITH PIX ON P.2)
« on: January 16, 2019, 07:00:23 PM »


Marlin 45-70 Guide Gun

Anyone got one?

« Last Edit: April 14, 2019, 06:41:37 PM by Grendel »
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Online Tok36

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Re: I've decided I must get one of these
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2019, 07:26:01 PM »
I do not have one but i have decided that i will pick one up at some point. It makes an appearance in the movie Wind River (2017) with Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner. Good movie, the rifle is used well in it, knocks people right off of their feet.  ;D

I believe that the one shown in the movie has a tubular hammer spur extension on it. It looks neat.
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Offline Raven45

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Re: I've decided I must get one of these
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2019, 08:13:41 PM »
I have one I have had for many years.  Had Ted Yost do an action job on it when he was the Gunsmith at Gunsite.  That was long before Marlin made them with the rail mount, so Ted built a rail for me, installed ghost ring backup sights, and installed a LER Leupold Scout Scope.  It is really a nice gun to carry.  Shoots very well with 300 gr. ammo.  Used one to shoot a very large black bear in New Mexico.   

Offline The Guardian

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Re: I've decided I must get one of these
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2019, 09:11:32 PM »
I just got done slicking mine up. I've got the .357 version.....polished up the moving parts, removed the cross-bolt safety, put in new lever catch and hammer springs, took off that hideous (IMHO) black picatiny rail and filled the holes with stainless plug screws and the barrel dovetail with a stainless blank, smoothed all the edges on the lever and hammer spur (they were sharp) and laced up some leather on the lever & trigger guard sections.....also put in a Wild West "Happy Trigger" and softened up the Loading Gate/Spring by grinding off about 1/3 of the verticle section of the spring part to make it more reasonable/easier to load rounds........man, stock they are STIFF.  Lets just say its a PLEASURE to shoot and look :o at......also, really like the ghost ring sights.  I'll see if I have a pic to post....thought about a 45-70 but really wanted something I would shoot a heck of a lot more for what these cost.......so .357 Magnum won out  ;D   Mine actually has a "JM" barrel on it, even though it's fresh from the factory......probably a leftover barrel or they are stamping "JM" again ??? .  I will say, Marlin's quality has come back up....I was expecting to have to "fix" a lot of things given some experiences over the last 10-15 or so years with Marlin's.....my 1895CSBL was really put together well from the factory, though its much better now!
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 09:32:16 AM by The Guardian »
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Offline CzechnoWizard

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Re: I've decided I must get one of these
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2019, 09:20:31 PM »
Yes, though without the rail. I have the actual guide gun model.

.45-70 is a very versatile round and I enjoy both cowboy level loads of trail boss and the shock inducing sledge hammers sold by hornady.  A few observations:

These are not all that smooth to cycle and homebrew polishing does not help much.

The trigger flops around a bit when cycling  the action.

The side gate is kind of crude and will scrape up ammo or bite your fingers if allowed. 

The standard rectangular lever looks nice but functionally it's a knuckle buster. I'd look for the larger loop and wrap it I  paracord.

Factory sights are basic at best. Skinner or xs express are almost a mandatory upgrade unless you plan to mount an optic.

The 16" barrel makes a dang handy package.

405 grain loads are tough to regulate sights for. I'm fairly recoil numb but I have problems with my 405 grain loads hitting about 6" high at 50 yds if my sights are zeroed for a lighter, faster load. That makes no ballistic sense unless you conclude that the stout recoil of the 405 grainers,even loaded light, is severe enough to raise the muzzle before the bullet exits.

As with most any non-takedown lever action, cleaning is tough due to inability to access the breach

If buying used or even nos, study up on the collector interest that drives prices for pre-remington produced Marlins. You can end up paying too much for a shooter or you can take home a queen too valuable to shoot.

Beware that buying an 1895 will likely make you want an 1894 to go along with it.



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Offline M1A4ME

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Re: I've decided I must get one of these
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2019, 10:26:16 PM »
Haven't used heavy bullets in the M1A or M1 Garand in years, so I can't say if the different - that close - for say, 150 vs. 220 grain bullets (not a combo for .308 anyway).

For revolvers?  Absolutely.  In .357 magnum 125's hit lower, even at 25 yds. than 158's.  Never shot more than a box of 180 grain .44 magnums and that was 35 years ago, or more.  But I'll bet they hit lower on the paper than 240's.

I had a buddy in the Army that bought a M1895 for his dad.  That was in 1978 or 79.  It was blued.  We expected it to kick worse than a 12 ga. shotgun but when we went to the range we were surprised at how mild it was.  Then again, we shot M14's when we went to the range twice a year (for the US Army) and shot my M1917 and 03 Springfield at a public range, for fun.

Those were factory 405's.  A lot of people load them up for Marlin's vs. the factory ammo that might get used in older guns.
Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.  So, if you see me walking the dogs with my SIG 556R, its okay.

Online Tok36

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Re: I've decided I must get one of these
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2019, 10:55:51 PM »
I asked my FFL and it seems that they are hard to track down. He said he had a five person waiting list. :(
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Offline The Guardian

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Re: I've decided I must get one of these
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2019, 11:54:37 AM »
Here are some pics I promised earlier.....









“I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them."  John Wayne as J.B Books in "The Shootist" 1976

Offline bang bang

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Re: I've decided I must get one of these
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2019, 07:10:06 PM »
Yes, though without the rail. I have the actual guide gun model.

.45-70 is a very versatile round and I enjoy both cowboy level loads of trail boss and the shock inducing sledge hammers sold by hornady.  A few observations:

These are not all that smooth to cycle and homebrew polishing does not help much.

The trigger flops around a bit when cycling  the action.

The side gate is kind of crude and will scrape up ammo or bite your fingers if allowed. 

The standard rectangular lever looks nice but functionally it's a knuckle buster. I'd look for the larger loop and wrap it I  paracord.

Factory sights are basic at best. Skinner or xs express are almost a mandatory upgrade unless you plan to mount an optic.

The 16" barrel makes a dang handy package.

405 grain loads are tough to regulate sights for. I'm fairly recoil numb but I have problems with my 405 grain loads hitting about 6" high at 50 yds if my sights are zeroed for a lighter, faster load. That makes no ballistic sense unless you conclude that the stout recoil of the 405 grainers,even loaded light, is severe enough to raise the muzzle before the bullet exits.

As with most any non-takedown lever action, cleaning is tough due to inability to access the breach

If buying used or even nos, study up on the collector interest that drives prices for pre-remington produced Marlins. You can end up paying too much for a shooter or you can take home a queen too valuable to shoot.

Beware that buying an 1895 will likely make you want an 1894 to go along with it.



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Im not sure what brand/model my LGS did for a customer that went to Alaska, but whatever he did and what brand he used, i would have to say it was 2 sweet toys. 

I got a chance to play with it before the owner came to claim it.   

he didnt put the rail up top, but it had ghost rings and the fore grip was squared off like a Thompson and some other things.

I could operate it using my pinkie, no problem.  didnt need to move the rifle from shooting position to operate the lever.

I bought his personal CASS marlin and its just as nice too. 

Offline CzechnoWizard

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Re: I've decided I must get one of these
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2019, 07:32:07 PM »
Here are some pics I promised earlier.....










Very nice work on the leather around the lever. I was expecting to see some lacing or maybe braidwork but your approach is very classy and does a nice job leaving the hand space open.

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Offline CzechnoWizard

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Re: I've decided I must get one of these
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2019, 07:35:15 PM »
I just got done slicking mine up. I've got the .357 version.....polished up the moving parts, removed the cross-bolt safety, put in new lever catch and hammer springs, took off that hideous (IMHO) black picatiny rail and filled the holes with stainless plug screws and the barrel dovetail with a stainless blank, smoothed all the edges on the lever and hammer spur (they were sharp) and laced up some leather on the lever & trigger guard sections.....also put in a Wild West "Happy Trigger" and softened up the Loading Gate/Spring by grinding off about 1/3 of the verticle section of the spring part to make it more reasonable/easier to load rounds........man, stock they are STIFF.  Lets just say its a PLEASURE to shoot and look :o at......also, really like the ghost ring sights.  I'll see if I have a pic to post....thought about a 45-70 but really wanted something I would shoot a heck of a lot more for what these cost.......so .357 Magnum won out  ;D   Mine actually has a "JM" barrel on it, even though it's fresh from the factory......probably a leftover barrel or they are stamping "JM" again ??? .  I will say, Marlin's quality has come back up....I was expecting to have to "fix" a lot of things given some experiences over the last 10-15 or so years with Marlin's.....my 1895CSBL was really put together well from the factory, though its much better now!
Do you mean that you had an 1895 custom built in .357 or that you have an 1894? I was under the impression that the 1895 only comes in 45-70 and previously in 444 marlin?

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Offline jwc007

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Re: I've decided I must get one of these
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2019, 08:36:20 PM »
Had something very similar to it back in the early 1980's, and it was a great Rifle.  One of my more regrettable trade-offs.


Not mine, but exactly the same, minus a 1-4x Bushnell Scope

If you wind up getting one, inspect it very carefully BEFORE taking full delivery.
Current Marlin Production can be hit or miss, quality-wise.

You may find this article, entertaining and informative: https://www.huntinggearguy.com/rifle-reviews/marlin-classic-model-1895-mini-review/
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For all of those killed by a 9mm: "Get up! You are not dead! You were shot with a useless cartridge!"

Offline The Guardian

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Re: I've decided I must get one of these
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2019, 10:01:12 PM »

Do you mean that you had an 1895 custom built in .357 or that you have an 1894? I was under the impression that the 1895 only comes in 45-70 and previously in 444 marlin?


You are correct....my mistake, 1894CSBL......same styling but different receivers between the 1894 & 1895. First crack at doing leather work....was really pretty easy/fun  :)
“I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them."  John Wayne as J.B Books in "The Shootist" 1976

Offline bang bang

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Re: I've decided I must get one of these
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2019, 10:09:35 PM »


Marlin 45-70 Guide Gun

Anyone got one?

nope.  would like, but not on my approved caliber list

i do have a sweet 1894 in 357mag


Offline Grendel

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Re: I've decided I must get one of these
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2019, 11:05:34 PM »
Good info guys, thanks. I'm not a reloader so availibility of good factory ammo is a requirement
Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges - Tacitus

Inter arma enim silent leges - Cicero

I wasn't born in America, but I got here as fast as I could.