Sid R
Just my humble experience with Marlins
Thursday, March 14, 2019, 06:34

Most of them are Model '94's. I only have two rifles that are not "JM". I am no way an expert or a gunsmith but I do local work in my area of Arkansas on smoothing the actions on model 94's. 98% of the work I get is on new rifles and I notice that the fit and finish of these rifles (until recently) were inferior to the average JM.

I do have an 1894 SS in .357 magnum and 44 magnum made around 2008 and they are decent the wood on the 44 is fantastic. They were hit and miss.

I know an engineer that worked in the New Haven plant and for a short time at the new plant. He told me that there were issues at the end of the "JM" era. Machines were old and some folks had bad attitudes with the sale of the company. When they moved they did get some new manufacturing equipment and they were not dialed in and the new employees were not experienced. The new company had bean counters incharge and cut corners especially when it came to Quality Control. They would rather send an inferior product out than make it right. That is the reason this engineer resigned. I am mostly speaking of the Model 1894.

I do have a JM .308ME that had barrel droop. Bad droop. It was my brothers and he decided to send it off to a gunsmith than back to the manufacturer. I now own that rifle and it is a tack driver. He traded me that rifle a .444P an 1895CB 45/70 and a nice .50 cal muzzle loader for a Reeder .45 colt Vaquero.

I would honestly say if you were to buy a brand new 2018-19 Model 94 you would have a fine rifle. Try to stay away from anything on the internet from 2007-2017. Only buy what you can visibly check out and work the action on.

I am a Marlin and Ruger nut but not a gunsmith and I don't pretend to be. I do have 40 years in Aviation and 20 of that as Quality Control. I know good work when I see and feel it.

To answer your question no 1894 .44 magnum is worth 700 bucks unless it is a rare special run or stainless steel. You should be able to find them for 500-650 bucks, even new ones. You are going to pay a premium for a JM because collectors and dealers made the inflated market. No the older guns are not better but a good used Marlin will have a slicker action and possibly better wood fitment.

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